Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Pick A Pocket Tote

I made a Pick A Pocket tote, which is a small bag with 6 pockets that go around the bag. I first sewed strips of fabric together to create my fabric, then I made the bag. As usual, I made it better by fusing interfacing to the fabric and making the fleece a bit taller, because with the first one I made, there wasn't enough fleece where it gets folded over at the top. This is a free pattern from All People Quilt.
This is how the bag looks on one side.

View from one side of the bag.

The lining has no pockets because all 6 pockets are on the outside of this bag.

This is how the bag looks on the other side.

View from the other side of the bag.

And the pretty bottom of the bag. 
I made this Pick A Pocket Tote first and there wasn't enough fleece at the top and my pink lining fabric wouldn't lie flat as you can see. Plus I didn't like sewing across the handles, especially with the thread being light on the darker fabric.So I also changed that and stitched the handles in place a little below the top of the bag, so I could topstitch the bag all around and move the handles out of the way, as I did in the green tote above. I usually have to make something once and then make changes on the next one (if there is a next one). Some things I can see as I am doing and can make those changes, but some things I cannot until i sew as per instructions and that's when I rewrite my own version. I gave this one to a woman I know who wanted a small bag.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Bonnie Slide Knit Shawl

I knit this shawl called the Bonnie Slide, by Taiga Hilliard Designs and it is a free pattern on Craftsy.com. I used a royal blue mohair yarn. I was starting to run out of yarn, so I had to bind off earlier than the pattern called for, but it still turned out to be a nice size shawl. It is easy to knit with a simple lace pattern.
Knit in mohair yarn.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tip of the Morning Tuesday~ Best & Easiest Way to Clean Your Iron

I have a great tip for you about how to clean your iron quick and easily with no mess. Maybe you already know about this, but in case you don't here goes: Purchase a package of Mr. Clean brand Magic Dry Eraser Sponges (no affiliation), and then turn your iron on to get it hot. Meanwhile dampen one of the sponges with a little water and wring out any excess. Once your iron is hot, unplug it and let it cool for a minute, so it's not so hot as to burn you. Then just rub the sponge all over the iron sole plate and especially in the steam holes and you will see your iron getting clean as your sponge gets dirty. It cleans faster and easier than using that iron cleaning paste in the tube and there is no odor! I love this Magic Eraser sponge! It is my new iron cleaning sponge from now on. I will certainly be cleaning my iron more often since it is so much easier and faster to clean.

Sorry I didn't take any before or after photos because I did this last night and wasn't sure what the results would be. I will say the steam vent holes are finally clean as new now. I had never been able to get those vent holes clean no matter what I tried cleaning it with and I tried it all before.

I haven't even used these Magic Erasers for anything else, but I hear they clean other surfaces well too. If you clean other items with these, I would like to know what you clean and well it works for you.

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Minifacto Bag

Christine of ChrisW Designs created not one but 2 bags for the June Bag of the Month Club this year. The Factorium (which I did not make) is a large bag suitable for light travel or for the office to carry papers, laptop or other electronic devices and more. This Minifacto Bag is the smaller bonus bag included in the BOMC and it is a cross body bag for daily use. It can fit inside the larger Factorium bag. I chose to test this smaller Minifacto bag. Some of the testers made both or chose the larger or smaller bag to test only. As always, Christine's instructions are excellent! (*Note you can only get this bag pattern through the Bag of the Month Club now. It will be available for sale by Christine on her website in 6 months, so not until December 2017. If you join the BOMC now, you will get all 6 patterns that came out from January 2017-June 2017, plus this Minifacto BONUS pattern. A new BOMC will start in July for 6 months with 6 new patterns from 6 designers).

To see both the large Factorium and Minifacto bags made by the testers you can go here.

I made a few changes to the bag and noted in the caption what those changes I made were. This is a really nice bag to carry just a few belongings with you. It has a lot of pockets, especially Christine's signature cell phone pocket, which is so handy because you can access your phone (or in my case keys) quickly without having to even open up the bag itself. The bag is not too big or too small.
The strap has an adjustable slide, so it can be adjusted to fit the person wearing it for across the body or on the shoulder. I did not have the type of closure that Christine called for in the pattern to close the front pocket, so I sewed on a large snap. (You can see this pocket open several pictures below).

Zipper opening to the bag. You can see the front pocket is pleated, giving it a bit more space in the pocket.

The strap tabs on the pattern are shorter and are sewn into the top seam, but I wanted my strap tabs to show more, so I made them longer and added a bit of bling to enhance them too. 

See the cell phone pocket and how easy it is to access your cell phone and or keys.

The bag of the bag has a hidden zippered pocket, which you cannot see in this photo.

See the zippered pocket here?

Here the hidden zippered pocket is opened and I put a tin inside so you can see in better. 

Here is the front pocket opened up. See where I sewed a large snap to keep the pocket closed. I did not have the pocket closure called for in the pattern, so I used a snap instead and it works great.

To give you an idea of what can fit inside, I put my wallet, reading glasses and sunglasses, a pen in the slip pocket too.

Inside is a zippered pocket and across from it a slip pocket. Another change I made was to make a sleeve (out of the green exterior fabric) for a stiff corrugated plastic to help make the bottom more rigid. In the pattern, Christine called for a thinner template plastic that is sewed in place before turning the bag right-side-out. I just didn't want to wrestle with the bag doing that, so I made this small change.

Here you can see the slip pocket closer. I like to divide my slip pockets with a pen size division, so you have a place to put a pen or pencil and a slip pocket on each side of the pen pocket division.

If you are interested in purchasing this bag I made, I am selling it. Please contact me and I can invoice through PayPal. The cost is $45 plus shipping (USA only about $8 shipping).
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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Alphabet Quilt Pattern New Updated Version

After 17 years, I thought it was high time to update my Alphabet Quilt Pattern. The original Alphabet Quilt pattern that I wrote 17 years ago, along with the updated supplement is now all in one pattern for sale on Craftsy.com So you can make the new updated Alphabet Quilt or the original Alphabet Quilt or a combination of the 2. If you purchased the original pattern from me on Craftsy, you will receive an update notice and you will be able to download the pattern for no additional cost, since you already purchased the pattern.

I started making the updated quilt a year and a half ago and got most of it done, but then life got in the way and the writing of the pattern took me so much longer to finish. But I got it done at last! While I made this new version in girly colors and hearts, you could make the updated version in boyish colors and use one or more of the original pattern's applique motifs instead of hearts.

The Patchouli Moon Studio header of my blog was made using my own Alphabet Quilt pattern, so if you can spell a word or more, you can create all kinds of quilts with this versatile pattern. (Hint, hint, lol!!!)

I had a long arm quilter quilt this new version with a heart pattern. I used a soft flannel for the backing fabric.

The new updated Alphabet Quilt.

Flannel backing that is an alphabet print, plus a polka dot border because I didn't have enough of the alphabet fabric, lol! You can see the heart quilting better here too.

I would love to see what you make using my pattern (old or new version). Please email me a photo or 2 if you make this quilt.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Fiber Arts Fiesta 2017

I went to this year's Fiber Arts Fiesta with a friend on Friday. I entered a mixed media piece into the show, my first entry into this show ever. It was a fun show with lots of beautiful wearable and non-wearable art, plus vendors too. I took 318 photos! There was so much to see and I didn't even photograph everything, only stuff I liked, because there was just way too much. I posted all the photos I took on my Flickr album: Fiber Arts Fiesta 2017, if you would like to see the show.

This was my favorite in the mixed media, named "Burrito".
His name is Burrito. My favorite mixed media piece made out of felt. I love his 3-D ears! I like the frame on this piece too, Looks like Burrito was hungry and took a bite out of the center of the frame on all 4 sides, lol! Be sure and click on the link above to see all the other photos I took of this show. Enjoy!

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Friday, May 19, 2017

MJ's Messenger Bag

Annie Unrein of byAnnie Patterns had several patterns to test recently, but I chose to test MJ's Messenger Bag. This is Annie's longest pattern to date. It took me 3 long days to cut and sew this bag together too! But the sewing is really not that difficult if you take it one step-at-a-time (although not a bag to tackle for a beginner). There are so many nice features to this bag and of course using Soft and Stable foam stabilizer (a byAnnie product) really gives this bag structure and the padding it needs to hold a laptop or other electronic device. The pattern comes with a small and a large version. I chose to make the large bag and it is a big bag.

Here is my MJ's Messenger Bag~
I had this fabric for several years. I bought it when I was in California visiting a childhood friend about 10 years ago! I knew it would make a nice bag, but no bag pattern seemed quilt right until I saw this messenger bag.

On the sides of the bag are pockets. I chose to use triangle rings instead of the D-rings because when you are using swivel hooks the D-rings (or square or rectangle rings) end up shifting because the hook wants to grab the ring in the corner. So round rings or these triangle rings work best with swivel hooks. I told this to Annie and I am not sure if she made another bag with the triangle rings yet. But for anyone wanting to use swivel hooks on any bag, you should get triangle rings or round rings and not use rings with corners.

Under the flap there is a zippered closure too. The zipper provides that extra security that nothing falls out of the bag if you have it sitting on the car seat for example.

Under the flap there are 3 pen pockets.

Inside the bag is a pocket with a tab that has a Velcro closure to keep your device cushioned and secure. Across from that pocket is a slip pocket. I made my slip pocket out of fabric. The instructions have you use a mesh pocket, but I didn't have a good color mesh that would work, so I chose to make a fabric pocket instead.

There is an adjustable strap with an additional padded shoulder pad and a carrying handle too. The flap stays in place with the 2 swivel hooks and rings, keeping this bag very secure.

I quilted the bag in wavy lines and then stitched a decorative wavy stitch across the dark blue pocket flap, the carry handle and the strap too. My signature zipper pull is on the zipper.

The back of the bag has a large pocket that you can divide in half if you want to. I thought this would be a nice place to hold a folder or papers, so instead of stitching a dividing line in the middle of the bag, I added a snap closure that can be unsnapped for adding large papers, and kept snapped for putting in smaller items.

Looking into the back pocket you can see the snap above.

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