Category Archives: sewing

Charm Square Skirt

I’m on the mailing list for Missouri Star Quilt Company to get the youtube tutorials that they put out. One of the latest ones that caught my eye was the Charm Square Skirt tutorial.

I decided to give it a go and make a skirt for Charlie out of one of my Aunt Grace charm packs. It was pretty easy to do the only problem I ran in to was that I started on the bottom tier first when I should maybe have done the two smaller tiers to check on the length. I ended up not putting on a yellow waistband and instead used the upper tier to make into the waistband casing instead.

I would have taken a picture of her but needless to say she didn’t want anything to do with the skirt, lol.

Charm square skirt


Knitting tote.

I am a big fan of the Missouri Star Quilt Company and their tutorials. It’s the only tutorial that I’m signed up for through youtube so every time a new tutorial gets posted I get a link.

The latest tutorial caught my eye as it was for a quick and easy tote. I’d been thinking of making a tote bag to carry all my knitting supplies and I have a few books that are for making quilted bags but this tutorial looked so easy I had to give it a go. Tote bag tutorial

Instead of using charm squares as in the tutorial I decided to use one of my Moda scrap bags that have been sitting in my drawer forever. I only used about 1/3 of the bag so it doesn’t take much. I also wanted a larger bag that would hold my spindles and knitting needles and my plastic art bin. I decided to add a pocket to the lining as well. The pocket has four openings that are open at the bottom so the spindles and knitting needles can slide down to the bottom of the bag. I guess I could just have made a longer pocket but I only had a smaller piece of fabric left over so that’s what I used. The other sections of the pocket are sewn shut and hold the smaller needles and ruler.

Tote made from Moda scrap bag.

knitting tote pocket
Hand-dyed lining with pocket to hold spindles, Knitting needles, double-pointed needles, circular needles, ruler. Bag has plenty of room for my plastic art bin tote and lots of yarn/fibre.

hand-dyed lining

tote front view
Front view of bag loaded with gear and ready to go. I’m thinking of putting in a snap as a fastener to close it up a bit so stuff won’t fall out.

All in all a very quick tote to make and I made it using fabric that had been hanging around the house for a few years. Even the batting was leftover pieces that I sewed together to fit the bag so I’m well pleased.


Party Aprons

Today is my granddaughter’s birthday and her mom phoned last night asking if I had any child-sized shirts that she could use (she knows I have stock from tie-dyeing). Unfortunately I don’t have much in the way of children’ shirts. Upon further inquiry it turned out what she really wanted were children’s aprons. It seems the company that she had ordered from messed up her order and instead of delivering her nine little aprons yesterday they sent her two tea balls. Say what?

Anyhow I went online to try and find a local store that carried small aprons and couldn’t find any at all and the long and short of it was that I ended up making nine wee aprons for the cookie decorating/birthday party. I was fortunate to find a tutorial online that had a free pattern so many thanks go out to Sew Much Ado for saving the day.

I didn’t have time to use binding, in fact I didn’t have any binding on hand for nine aprons but I did have a partial bolt of white left over from fabric dyeing so I cut out two aprons, made some ties and then sewed it all together and turned the apron inside-out and then sewed a 1/4 finishing seam around the whole thing. That way I didn’t have to sew the opening by hand that I’d left over from turning the apron inside-out.

Many, many hours later I’m done just in time for the party.

child aprons
This is my artistic photo, I thought the ties hanging down looked cool.

party aprons
Nine different aprons with children’s print fabric pockets.

Needless to say my daughter phoned just as I was putting on the last pockets to let me know that three of the children wouldn’t make it. Hmmm, that would have been about an hour’s work right there. Oh well, at least they are done.


Chuga, chuga, choo, choo!

I’ve been working on my grandson’s quilt the last few days and thought I’d share the progress so far. I still have some checkerboard borders to sew and attach and then of course the actual quilting so I guess I’m only about 1/3 done so far but it’s been an easy sew to date.

Riding the Rails by Renae Lindgren for Wilmington Prints.

I also worked on November’s CAL blocks for my afghan. I only have December to do up and then I have to sew the squares together, a job I’m not looking forward too. I still don’t know whether or not I’m going to keep this one or give it away. I’ve put a lot of work into it and I’m not sure anyone else will appreciate the effort that’s gone into the afghan so I’m inclined to keep this one. Besides it matches my bedroom colours.

African star designed by Edith Smith.

Shining Star designed by Amelian Beebe.


Crayon Rolls 2012

Well the time is once again running down and the days are getting fewer until Christmas and it’s always a mad scramble to try and figure out exactly what I can get done before the big day.

Each year I promise myself that I’m going to start early and get things ready on time but each year I don’t. I have come to the conclusion that I’ll never be ready and even if I were then I’d always find that last minute item that I’d want to make anyhow and then run out of time.

I’ve been trying to come up with ideas that would be good for the grandkids but wouldn’t break the budget. Now that John is retired I have to think twice before going out and spending the retirement dollars. It suddenly occured to me that I could make some crayon rolls for the children. It’s been a few years since I last made these and I’ve always given them away for charity. This year I can finally give them to my grandchildren instead.

Crayon Rolls.

These are very easy to make and there is a good tutorial over at Skip to my Lou


Clothespeg hanger and bag.

I had been using an old drawstring bag that my Guess purses came in to store my clothespegs but they were made of a flimsy fleece type of material and finally the holes in them were big enough to let the pegs fall through so I decided to make myself a new bag.

I went to the Internet to find a tutorial for making a clothespeg hanger and the simplest one that I could find was by KelliR at the site.

Clothespeg Hanger Bag.

And then since I hadn’t made it big enough I had to make a matching drawstring bag for the rest of the clothespegs.

Matching bag with extra clothespegs.

The drawstring was leftover ribbon with the Robert Kaufman name woven over and over into it. This was ribbon that held together my Dr. Seuss quilt kit that I made last year. I felt quite clever recycling the ribbon.


Charlie’s Dress

It’s been awhile since I’ve last blogged but I’ve been on a real reading jag and haven’t really done much in the way of crafting for the past two months. I decided to make Charlie a couple of dresses so bought two patterns on sale $1.99. Floored me that the regular price is $14.99 because you can almost go out and buy a dress for that price.

Anyhow picked out fabric then realized I needed lining and a zipper then all of a sudden my $1.99 dress had esculated up into the near $30 range and all I could think of was I definitely could have bought maybe two dresses for that price.

Started in on the dress and realized that although the dress didn’t seem that fussy to make it was. Sewing the dress also made me remember how much I hate sewing hence the long time in getting it done. Funny I don’t mind making quilts at all but sewing clothes I don’t really like even though I did it when I was younger. Sad thing is I have one more dress to make but the pattern is larger so I guess I can put that one off untill later.

New Look #6974 view B.

It would have been nice to have a picture with Charlie in it but she’s such a squirmer that I didn’t have the heart to try. Maybe I’ll get one later.


Hedgehog liners and pouches.

Managed to get some very needed gardening in yesterday. Jonathan my son came over and helped to dig up one of the beds and then helped me add some compost from one of the green bins to two of the beds. We then planted some peas and then he had to go back home. Later on in the afternoon I planted the rest of the seeds.

Then as I was about to collapse Dan came up to me and reminded me that I needed to sew up some fabric into accessories for his girlfriend’s baby hedgehog. Oh right the hedgehog, when do I need to do this? Hmmm seems that she was picking up the hedgehog the next day. Anyhow after another hard slog only this time in the sewing room this is what I came up with.

Hedgehog pouch and cage liners.

Seems that the little hedgehogs don’t use wood shavings and they have tiny claws and feet that get caught on all kinds of stuff so I had to sew a couple pieces of flannel together for the liners and then for the pouch same idea but using fleece. I finished off by hand so no loose threads or stitches are showing. Very simple but amazing how it still sucks up the time but an interesting experience because the items were for a hedgehog.

I got my Knitpicks order yesterday in the mail. I’m supposed to be on a strict yarn diet but these were on sale and worked out to $1.79 a ball instead of $3.59. They are the road trip totes from Knitpicks. I didn’t order the kits to make the tote but rather ordered the kits because the yarn worked out cheap and it co-ordinates within each kit.

Knitpicks road trip totes in Badlands (blues) and Harbor Lights (oranges and mauves).

The blues are designated for a tam pattern by Kate Davies and the sunset colours will be either a sweater or tam. One of the girls in my Ravelry group had used the harbor lights kit to make herself a Fair Isle sweater using this yarn and it was stunning.

Not much else doing around here. There is still the garden to work on and I’ve bought fabric to make a dress for Charlie. Still waiting on the backing for my Chinese coins quilt. The backing I had turned out to be a yard shorter than I’d ordered so the piece I’m waiting for is a replacement piece provided at no charge. Unfortunately Hancock’s was out of the fabric collection I’d ordered the original piece from, here’s hoping the new piece looks okay it’s a batik.


Cat In The Hat Quilt – Finished!

Finally it’s done, over finished, yeah!!!

Some photos but given the overcast day they aren’t that good. I tried to show the quilting but it was hard.

Quilt on double bed. I couldn’t back up far enough to get it all in.

Border shot to show the binding. This stripe really brightened the quilt especially in the border against the navy.

One shot trying to show the stitching. I used thread to blend in with the background so it’s hard to pick out.

Another block showing the quilting.

I’m so glad this is finally over. I angsted over what thread to use but ended up just doing a meandering stitch with a background colour trying not to stitch over the drawings in the main blocks but quilting around the pictures. I used matching thread in the bobbin because I didn’t want any darker colour coming up and showing through on the top. The back isn’t pretty but it doesn’t look that bad either. First I used navy thread to quilt around all of the blocks to anchor them down before doing the quilting inside the blocks.



Today’s post is not about something that I created but rather I thought I’d share with you what my friend JoAnn has made and maybe you’ll be inspired as well.

Each year Toronto has a big craft show called “The Creativ’ Festival” and vendors from all over Canada and the States attend this show as the turnout really is phenominal. JoAnn and I have been going for the last couple of years and each year we visit the Len Mills fabric booth. This year I didn’t buy anything but I helped JoAnn pick out some fabric that she wanted to make into pillowcases for gifts for her daughter and son-in-law.

Some of the pillowcases were ones that she designed herself but some ideas she got from the One Million Pillowcase Challenge website.

JoAnn has an beautiful sewing machine that allows her to do all the fancy stitches and has software that you can use to create your own designs as well.

The pillowcases are longer than this but it was easier to take the photos with them folded in half.

Closeup of one of the pillowcases, beautiful patchwork set off by the embroidered initial and ribbon.

My favourite of course because it’s “purple”. :)

Two more pillowcases with some cutwork.

Closeup of the cutwork. JoAnn designed this one herself and her machine has the ability to not only do the satin stitch but cut away the material at the same time. JoAnn did the cutwork and then put the green fabric underneath it and then did some more embroidery to hold the two pieces together.

Some fun pillowcases – pirate and princess themed. The princess pillowcase has a tiara embroidered above the lettering and the pirate pillowcase has the little pirate embroidered on it. Also notice the little patchwork points along the inside border.

These are really nice and look fun to do so I might just have a go at trying some myself. One tip JoAnn pointed out is that if you do make a set of these make sure to have them mirror-imaged so they go on either side of the bed, something I wouldn’t have thought of myself.