Category Archives: Sewing Patterns

Sewing Patterns

Catching Up

Aaaaahhhhh.  It’s so good to be back.  It has been so long since I’ve been able to be here and chat with all of you.  Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you and saying “Ha!  You thought you had a plan?  Here’s where you’re going now . . . ”  I know that each of you can completely relate.  So let me catch you up:

  • Yesterday David turned 45.  We celebrated with a yummy Old Fashioned Devil’s Food cake and Fluffy Chocolate frosting from The Cake Doctor by Anne Byrne (Jamie Lee Curtis’ favorite cookbook).  David said it was the best birthday cake he’s ever had!  Then we enjoyed a couple’s dinner out at Dahlonega’s Crimson Moon and listened to Tom and Julie sing the night away.

  • My younger son turned 10.  I cannot tell you how excited he is to be in the double digits.  He’s also wearing glasses now, and has become a voracious reader.  He’s so committed to reading he carries a flashlight in the car so he can read in the dark on the way to school.

  • My older son is carrying the 60-lb bass drum in marching band, and is needing chiropractic visits because of it.  As much as we love seeing him march and enjoy attending the high school football games, I will be glad when he’s done carrying that albatross.  He’s now in the habit of drumming on anything that doesn’t move.  A habit only a mother can love.

  • I taught a Color Mastery workshop to 70 of the  most wonderful ladies in the Crazy Quilter’s guild in Chattanooga.  Much of the credit for huge attendance goes to Sandi, one of my faithful and true quilt testers, who visited area guilds and put out the word that I was coming.  The guild made the workshop super affordable and even included a box lunch.  I dreamed the night before the workshop that we never got to the first exercise of three in the class because of the large group – a bit of a nightmare, really.  In reality?  I was truly amazed at how well everyone understood and applied the concepts of color in such a large class, and Sandi heard rave reviews all day.  Color is not an easy subject to teach, and it’s a challenge to do it with such a large group, but it was a perfect day for both teacher and students.

  • Took a long overdue “me” day and sewed to my heart’s content, making the reversible Market Bag from Tanya Whelan, two Wonder Wallets from LazyGirl Joan Hawley, and a purse organizer insert in anticipation of Joan’s new Suzi pattern.  I used fabric from Michael Miller and Westminster from Karen William’s new quilt shop in Jasper, Quilt Shop on Main.  I used one of the Wonder Wallets as a business card holder and even got a compliment on it from a guy at a social media conference I attended last weekend.  Wow.

  • I started a new business developing and implementing social media campaigns for small to mid-size businesses.  I’ve been so successful with social media in promoting Color Mastery that I’m helping fellow entrepreneurs do the same with their terrific products and services.  I am quite selective about my clients, and  partner only with people whom I believe in and I know put their clients first.

What does all this mean for my quilting, writing, and teaching?  It’s always my first love, but I’ll have somewhat less time to devote to it.  I won’t be posting on this blog quite as much, but you will find me on Facebook and Twitter every day, so catch me there at my personal page, Color Mastery page, or Willow Ridge Media page.

I will continue to write and teach, but will be approaching it all in a way unseen in our industry before.  I was a leader in publishing with many of the ways I reached out to my readers, being the first in the quilting world to do a blog tour, give away a chapter of a book, and have a YouTube channel.  I’m so excited about the new roads I’ll be forging in our industry, and all I can say is, “fasten your seat belts ’cause it’s gonna be a fun roller coaster of a ride!”

Summer Sewing Camp

I’m getting my girl time on Friday mornings in my studio, when five young ladies arrive to cut, stitch, and play their way to adorable, funky projects.  Here Olivia and Abby show off their handbags made from a shower curtain, caribiners, and bungee cording.  Who would have thought all those unlikely players could be so cute together?  So far we’ve made pillowcases, a green shopping bag (complete with pink monogram, of course), and the handbag above.  Projects to come include a beach backpack, American Girl doll clothes, and a zippered case.  I’m not sure who’s having more fun:  the girls or me.

Are you sharing your love of sewing and quilting with the young people in your life?   I shared my Top Ten Tips for teaching the next generation of Project Runway designers how to sew in the Teaching Your Kids/Grandkids Wise Money Choices chapter of The Frugal Fabriholic, and here are the top three:

  1. Small isn’t necessarily better.  Large projects use large pieces, easier for small fingers to manipulate
  2. Let them pick the fabric.  Period.  Get over it if it doesn’t match.
  3. Realize that not every sewing session needs to result in a finished product.  It took me a long time to understand that when my son said, “Mom I want to sew,” he didn’t want to make a project, he just wanted to sit on my lap at the sewing machine and use it.

Secrets of Accurate Half-Square Triangles

The Spring Tulips table runner uses a lot of half-square triangles (HSTs) in the pieced tulips blocks.  In fact, every table runner I’ve designed so far uses them.  For much of my early years as a quilter, cutting and piecing accurate HSTs was a mystery to me.  I followed all of the instructions, tried the triangle paper, triangles on a roll, and just didn’t find a way that suited me.  I even did Debbie Caffrey’s method of cutting bias strips, seaming them, and then cutting the HSTs.  It was accurate, but a headache too.

I needed something simpler.  I like simplicity:  clean, accurate, easy, no weird tools, just the basics on how to do it right.  I finally figured out the secrets of accurate HSTs, and now I’m sharing them with you in this checklist.  I’ve become a huge fan of checklists after reading Atul Gawande’s book The Checklist Manifesto.  It’s a fascinating look at how pilots, surgeons, architects, and other creative and technical people nail down a procedure so there are no mistakes.  So here’s my gift to you:  a HST Checklist for getting them right.  Every. Time.

To view this full-size and print it out, click here for the link.  I suggest putting it next to your sewing machine or cutting table:  someplace visible so you don’t miss it!

Kennesaw Mountain Table Runner

Creative Quilters, I’d like to introduce you to Kennesaw Mountain, the March pattern update to our year-long color-of-the-month series.

Inspired by the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War in 2011, this table runner gets its name from a battlefield near my home in north Georgia. The red-violet, mustard-yellow, and yellow-green reproduction fabrics give an historical feel to blocks that look like they’d be right at home in Civil War times. I’m not a quilt history expert; rather, I’m inspired by that period of history to create a project that commemorates our history in a muted, dull color palette.

Kennesaw Mountain Pattern Update:  $5.95 (free to subscribers – keep reading!) Add to Cart

If you can’t get to the quilt shop to select your own fabrics, no worries.  I’m offering a Kennesaw Mountain kit as well.  It’s best to choose your own fabrics for your color palettes, but we all have those times when life gets too busy and we just can’t get to it.  I’d rather you be able to do the lesson with a kit than not at all.

Kennesaw Mountain Kit:  $21.95 Add to Cart

Learn by Doing

March’s featured color is red-violet, and while most people think of fuschia, magenta, and raspberry, I chose a more elegant and historical palette.

The key to contributing a mood to a quilt is by orchestrating the intensity, or how bright, the colors are.  A child’s quilt relies on high-intensity, bright fabrics to convey an energetic, playful mood; reproduction quilts rely on duller, muted intensity fabrics to create an aged, historical feel.

Learn New Techniques

You’ll learn how to identify the dull fabrics in your stash by making your own intensity wheel, and selecting just the right fabrics for Kennesaw Mountain.

Forget quilt as desired!  I’ve included quilting designs, the very ones I used in my own project, based on simple quilting women of Civil War times would have included in their own quilt.  Color-0f-the-Month subscribers are also enjoying our weekly chats and videos, and are looking forward to a new video on how to do freemotion quilting next month.

To order the Color Mastery Table Runners enhanced e-pattern. click here: I Want to Master Color

Kits Are Here! Kits Are Here!

I’m thrilled to announce I’m offering kits to go along with each monthly table runner in the Color of the Month series.  The Winter Bird and Love Apple kits are available in the online store, and they contain the same fabrics I used in my own quilt, with a few substitutions.  No worries, though, as you’ll love the other fabrics as much or even more than the ones I used.  I had so much fun putting together these fabrics and kits.

What I love about these kits is they allow you to play with color and value and still achieve great results in your project – just without the cutting.  In a perfect world, we would all choose our own fabrics, cut them, and piece our own table runner.  Then life happens.  Work gets crazy.  The kids get sick.  Church commitments call.  Before you know it, the month is gone and you’ve haven’t been able to get to any piecing or quilting.  Think of these as a back-up plan or a sweet treat for yourself.

Pink: February’s Color-of-the-Month

In the month of hearts, roses, and valentines, pink is a natural for February. Being the only woman in my home, I enjoy touches of pink here and there, so I had a blast putting together this month’s show. Nine terrific designers and fabric companies offer their tips for using pink in a palette, and don’t miss how you can win a ginormous fabric bundle valued at over $60!  (If the text is too tiny in the presentation, click on the Full icon at the bottom to view it Full Screen.)

This is my 250th blog post and I’m celebrating with a big giveaway! I’m giving away this stunning Robert Kaufman pink fat quarter bundle when my blog reaches 150 subscribers.  So, if you haven’t subscribed already, do it now by clicking on the Subscribe buttons in the “Don’t Miss Out – Subscribe to My Blog” section of my sidebar.  When I reach 150, I’ll be giving this away to one lucky subscriber.  Ready?  Subscribe!

Love Apple Table Runner

Creative Quilters, I’d like you to meet Love Apple, the February update to my new Color-of-the-Month pattern series:

Learn by Doing

This month’s color lesson is all about value, and you’ll learn how to work within a single color palette and still get enough lights, mediums, and darks to make your baskets and pomegranates stand out.  Then take this lesson and apply it to every other quilt you make!

Learn New Techniques

This month’s update even includes quilting designs!  I listened to my loyal subscribers and they wanted suggested quilting designs, so I offer two different free-motion quilting designs in the pattern.  And I show you, step-by-step, how to make accurate half-square triangles that keep their points without getting cut off.  I also have step-by-step photos on how to precisely place the appliques so there’s no question where they go. Each month will showcase different techniques so you can become a more versatile quilter.

To order the Color Mastery Table Runners enhanced e-pattern. click here: I Want to Master Color

All Dressed Up and a Transformation

Winter Bird by Maria Peagler

I couldn’t wait to dress up Winter Bird on my table, with my Christmas china, candles, and flowers.  My kids love having dinner by candlelight and think it’s quite a special occasion when I bring them out.

Winter Bird shadow by Maria Peagler

As I was arranging, adding, and editing the table setting, something started to happen.  Can you begin to see it here?

Winter Bird Light by Maria Peagler

The light.  Soft afternoon light streamed in my kitchen windows, to make long shadows and highlights on the table.  This is exactly the kind of still life I love to capture as a watercolor painter.  Gorgeous depths of color and value created by soft light.

Winter Bird Flowers by Maria Peagler

My kitchen, as well as my entire home, doesn’t get a lot of light.  Our neighborhood stresses a natural, subtle look to the homes, so no one has much in the way of large front windows.  But the back windows are where the sunlight invites itself in.

This elegant setting called for a special dinner:  homemade spaghetti and meatballs.  Yum.

A big welcome to the Color-of-the-Month pattern subscribers!  I can’t wait to see those table runner photos in the online forum.  I’ll be sending you the link to join by email.  Until then, I’ve got a birthday cake to make:  my older son turns 14 tomorrow!

White: January’s Color-of-the-Month

Welcome to a new feature in 2010 here at Quilts & Creativity:  Color of the Month.  The first Tuesday of each month, I’ll be featuring quilt and fabric designers and how they use the featured color in their palettes.

This month?  White!  Get tips and see quilts from your favorite designers for your own quilts.

5 Creative Ways to Use White in Your Quilt Color Palette

Note:  Slideshare is having technical difficulties, so here are the links for each designer:

Vickie Oehlke, Willowberry Lane, Lattice Stars quilt

Yolanda Fundora, Garden Party, Seascape quilt

Pat Sloan, A Baker’s Dozen

Mary Kay Mouton, Flip-Flop Paper Piecing

Maria Peagler, Winter Bird

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Color Mastery Pincushion

I’m humbled and thrilled at the response from quilters and reviewers to Color Mastery.  I’m giving lectures and workshops, producing videos on color, and building relationships with quilters across the globe on my blog, email newsletter, Twitter, and Facebook.

I’m starting to work on my next book, talking to shop owners, industry experts, and fabric companies.  But the opinion that really counts?  Yours.  Quilters.  Real, honest-to-goodness, everyday quilters that make baby, bed, wall, memory, and every other kind of quilt.  I’m here to serve you.  Could you take a moment to help me?

I need to know what you look for and need in a quilting book.  I have my own ideas from my teaching, but I need your opinion.  As a small independent publisher, I must be wise in what I publish so I don’t enter into a subject over-published or compete with the big guys who have large advertising budgets.  Quilting books seem to have exploded lately, and I want to make sure I serve an area that needs it.  It’s what I did with Color Mastery:  saw a need and filled it.

And in gratitude for your time and response, I’m sending you a pincushion pattern immediately after you take the survey.  My way of saying thanks.

Click here to take the survey.  And keep an eye out for some really exciting content upcoming here at Quilts & Creativity.  2010 will be a super-creative year for all of us!

A Real Book’s Lasting Value

Color Mastery Fan

I want my work to last.  Longevity is one of the three main goals I have for my books.  The other two?  A post for another day.

I realized long ago that it took just as long to write a book that was trendy and out of print after two years as it did to write a classic.  And as a quilter and artist, I appreciate books that provide me with lessons for years to come.

Bookshelf

I often hear people complain about how expensive books are, which is why I go for those that provide me with lasting value.  I enjoy patterns, booklets, and other fun diversions.  But they don’t have the lasting value of a book.

Bookshelf 2

Color Mastery has nine quilt projects.  If you bought them individually in a pattern, each would average $15.00.  Multiply that times nine and you get $135.00.

Color Mastery also has 11 exercises, and has twelve months worth of class material.  I teach shop owners how they can offer a different class each month using the exercises and projects in the book.  A full-day class averages about $60.00, and 12 of them would be $720.00.

$135.00 worth of patterns/projects, and $720.00 worth of classes is a total of $855.00.  Still think a book is expensive?  Look’s like the world’s best bargain to me.

The real test of a book-lover’s book is this:  does it provide those things that make a reader’s life easier, that will make the book last, and makes it easy to find, or get more information?  I printed Color Mastery on museum-quality paper using the best photographer and printer in the industry.

I included an index to make information easy to find.  Look at the latest quilt book you bought:  I bet it doesn’t have one.  Publishers are skimping on this kind of stuff and betting you won’t notice.  Bibliographies too.  I want to know how to find out more information when I’m interested in a topic, and I know my readers do too.  And librarians love them.

Does the book’s binding last?  Is it sewn or glued?  Color Mastery’s is sewn, of course.  And it has a spine, so you can find it on a store shelf or your own.

Look for these qualities when you buy a book.  Be a discerning consumer.  Expect them in your books and ask for them.  And support quilt book authors who give you the best.

My Picks from Spring Quilt Market 2009

As I walked the aisles of Spring Quilt Market, I saw hundreds of quilts, but only a few really stood out as having an outstanding use of color.  Here are two of my favorites:

Pam Mostek's Picadilly quilt

This quilt is from Pamela Mostek’s Piccadilly fabric line, and it is stunning.  My photography does not do it justice.  The violets, greens, browns, and yellow-orange colors in her fabrics come together to make an outstanding symphony of color.

Mellow Yellow quilt

Remember here when I shared the forecast for new colors?  Here are black and yellow, and put together in an adorable quilt.  The manufacturer had three quilts made from this fabric line, and this was my favorite.

Favorite products?

Pincushions!  Can a girl ever have too many pincushions?   I know I certainly can’t, and I fell in love with these:  Fruit Salad Pincushions from Miss Rosie’s Quilt Co.  Oversized strawberries and watermelons, filled with  Sweet Dream cotton stuffing from Quilter ‘s Dream so the pincushion stays in place, instead of falling off of my cutting and sewing tables.  Definitely on my summer To-Do list.

Batting!  Quilter’s Dream is my absolute favorite batting to use, as it makes machine quilting easier and less of a chore to glide the quilt sandwich through the machine.  Not only do they have the awesome new Sweet Dreams 100% cotton stuffing (mentioned above for the pincushions), they also have a new product made from recyclable plastic bottles, and I can’t wait to use it.  It’s called Dream Green, and it’s actually a light green color and feels great.  Again, a must-try for the summer.

Fabric!  Here’s a stunner, but my favorite fabric from this spring’s quilt market actually is a line of neutrals from Maywood Studio called Paisley.  It draped their tables, my buddy Joan Hawley has a new Claire handbag made from it, and they had a Birds and Bees quilt made from it that was beautiful.

I know I’ve got all kinds of project waiting for me in my quilt studio.  It’s been too long away from my sewing machine, my journal, and my fabric.  Excuse me, but I’ve got to get quilting!

Christmas Comes Early

It’s been a whirlwind of activity here at the Willow Ridge Press family studios.  Thanksgiving was a gourmet feast, as my husband and I both love to cook.  He made Emeril Lagasse’s turkey recipe from his new show Emeril Green, and I made the traditional cornbread dressing, made with whole grain cornbread.

Then it snowed on Dec. 1st!  I’ve been Twittering almost daily, and I shared about our turkey sightings, snowball fights, and hot chocolate.  Now the news is there’s a mountain lion in our midst.  Yikes.  That’s almost like having a bear in our garage, which we really did about five years ago.

I was gone all day yesterday on a business trip.  I played with fabric all day long, looking through the best and most current fabric samples from major manufacturers, all headed your way in beautiful designs you’ll be seeing in the near future.  Had a great ladies lunch, drove three hours home to hugs and kisses.

My son asked me this week if I was excited about Christmas coming.  Wow, what a loaded question.  He anticipates all the magic and joy, and we moms/wives/sisters/daughters anticipate the work!  Well, I am excited, and I’ve been working hard with my friends and asking them for the most wonderful gifts for you.  Yes, you!

If you subscribe to my newsletter you’ve known about this for awhile, and the time is here!  It’s a Quilts & Creativity Twelve Days of Christmas giveaway!  Starting next week, Dec. 8, I’ll be giving away gifts for you, and all you have to do is comment on this blog.  I’ll randomly choose one comment each day as the lucky winner.  And the gifts?  Great stuff like fabric, books, notions, threads, and patterns.  So don’t miss a day.  Santa’s filling your stocking early this year!

2008 Best Craft/Hobby Books

I adore books.  Really.  I would buy books before food and clothes, and when I go into a quilt shop I always look at what the new books are.  So I was excited to see USABookNews.com’s picks for best Craft/Hobbies books.  Take a peek and see how many quilting and sewing-related titles are here.

Looking for a gift for a fellow quilter?  Here’s the list:

Winner:

The Color Book of Beaded Jewelry

by Genevieve A. Sterbenz
Creative Homeowner
978-1-58011-348-9

Finalist:
Create Your Own Hand-Printed Cloth by Ryana Gillman
C & T Publishing
978-1571204394

Finalist:
Knitbook: The basics & beyond by the Editors at Landauer
Landauer Corporation
978-0980068832

Finalist:
Machine Quilting: The basics & beyond – The Complete Step-by-Step Visual Guide to Successful Machine Quilting by Lynn Witzenburg
978-0-9793711-3-4

Finalist:
Oh Sew Easy Life Style by Valori Wells & Carolyn Spencer
C & T Publishing
978-157120-444-8

Finalist:
Simply Stunning Woven Quilts by Anna Faustino
C & T Publishing
978-1571204-523

Finalist:
The Games of War: A Treasury of Rules for Battles with Toy Soldiers, Ships and Planes by John Bobek
AuthorHouse
978-1-4343-3028-4

Finalist:
The Siblings’ Busy Book by Lisa Hanson & Heather Kempskie
Meadowbrook Press
978-0-684-05785-9

USABookNews.com – Covering what’s Hot, New, & Noteworthy in the World of Books

Miranda Day Bag: Pattern Review

Miranda Bag

I’ve been searching for the perfect handbag. One that’s large enough to hold my small sketchbook and colored pencil case, in addition to the normal planner, checkbook, keys, lipstick and other essentials organized girls carry. Either the handbags were too small or were cavernous dark holes that everything got lost in. Until I found Miranda.

Miranda Bag Pockets

I had asked Jean to order this pattern and it somehow got lost in transit, but arrived just in time for the long weekend (which was even longer due to snow in Georgia!). I told Jean I’d make a sample for her shop as well as one for myself.

I made the sample bag first, and was duly impressed with Joan Hawley’s instructions. As a technical writer, I was also struck by the photos Joan used to illustrate each step. Photos are great, as you see exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, as opposed to illustrations, where you have room for misinterpretation.

Here’s the sample I made for Jean:

Miranda Bag Sample

After making it once, I made a few changes to my bag when I made it. I quilted the flap, shortened the handles to make it look more like a handbag and less like a tote bag, and used the same fabric for the flap and handles as I did the cover. I wanted the focus to be the handbag, not contrasting accessory parts to the bag.

I love it! I used French provencal fabric my friend Danielle brought back for me after her trip to Europe, and mixed that with some others I had in my stash for quite the sophisticated look.

In my next post I’ll talk about how I chose the colors for my bag using the color wheel.

Somebody Stop Me!

QuiltSmart bags

I’m surprised my sewing machine isn’t smoking I’ve been using it so much this December. When I need a break from quilting the UGA quilt, I’ve been making multitudes of these. They’re the QuiltSmart bags. No pattern needed, just use their interfacing and the pattern is printed right on it. On their website they show the bags without being cuffed, which makes them reversible, but the proportion of the bag doesn’t seem right to me. So I used the “rule of thirds” design rule and cuffed the bag 1/3 of its length and I think it looks much better.

SmartBag

These are the ones I could photograph before my boys whisked them away to school for their teachers. Two left the house without photos: a blue toile with a tan floral cuff, and a black toile with a black mini-check cuff. Both adorable.

QuiltSmart bag

I used a lot of Michael Miller fabrics for these. After all, what teacher wouldn’t love getting a Dick and Jane tote bag, or one with cursive writing practice on it?

QuiltSmart bag

Two more are in the works for my other nieces, with their Christmas gifts tucked inside. Ssshhh! It’s a secret! Not to worry . . . they are not readers of this blog. Yet.

Pink Floral Apron

Pink Floral Apron

Voila! In no time, here’s my finished apron! I love the fabrics, and this Threads pattern is so easy to whip up. Living in a house with all men, it’s a treat to get to make something feminine once in a while. So I went with pink florals and polka-dots!

The bottom pocket is really two pockets, as I sewed a dividing line about 2/3rds of the way across so it would be more usable. This apron is reversible, and here’s side two:

Polka Dot Side

I don’t think the men in my home will be borrowing this anytime soon. One of my favorite features of this apron is the bottom: no hemming required, as the selvedges make the bottom. You can see that here in my original version:

Jalapeno Apron

That little bit of white peeking out on the bottom is the Alexander Henry label on the selvedge bottom. The opposite side of this apron has matching jalapeno pockets so my husband can wear it when he’s grilling outdoors.

I’ve searched the Threads archive for the pattern, but they don’t offer it online. The article was written by John Giordano, who at the time of publication taught International Business at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, and apparently designed and sewed aprons for fun. What a guy!

Apron Sneak Peek

I really did buy the Threads issue this summer with the apron pattern in it. I can’t find it for the life of me, even turning my studio upside down looking for it, so I’m going with Plan B. I’m making the classic apron that was in Threads 2005 issue and I’ve used so many times. I truly used that apron every week. I will share photos of it next week, but here’s a sneak peek of the new apron in progress:

Apron Sneak Peek

And here go the pockets:

Apron Sneak Peek

Annabelle Purse and Sew Mama! Sew! Bag Month

Annabelle Purse Finished

I’ve made many purse patterns and I’m usually disappointed in the results: the pattern looks great, but once I make it I find it’s not really as functional as a purse I could buy. No more.

Meet Annabelle. I spied her at the Quilt Beginnings shop in Columbus, OH, and I fell in love. I had to have her. She’s the creation of Renay Martin of Purse Strings Patterns. She’s easy to get to know, beautiful, and really functional. What a cutie.

Here are a few photos to show you the process and how gorgeous she turns out:

Annabelle Step 1

You start by adding strips to fusible fleece (I didn’t have any so I just used batting). I used Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler fabrics:

Renay suggests using decorative stitches to add interest, so I did a couple of samplers on scraps to see what I liked.

Annabelle Step 2

I ended up doing machine quilting instead. I thought the decorative stitches overpowered the fabric, while the machine quilting gave the bag texture without detracting from the fabrics.

Annabelle Step 3

Here’s what it looks like on the inside, before the lining:

Annabelle Step 4

The lining is Merrimeko fabric from Pottery Barn, and is more like canvas than most 100% cotton fabrics:

Annabelle Step 5

Here she is all finished, with a vintage button and some beads:

Annabelle Purse Finished

I’ll definitely be making a fall and winter version of Annabelle. I’ve been using the purse for a month and it’s held up well. I love it!

Bag Month Sew Mama Sew

Sew! Mama Sew! is featuring lots of great bags, both originals and from patterns, on her blog.  Check them out by visiting her blog.

Great Wallet Pattern for Boys

Boys Holding Their Wonder Wallets

My guys are getting old enough to have their own wallets, what with chores, and allowances. But they didn’t need a bulky man’s wallet with too many compartments, and the ones sold for kids don’t last.

So again Joan Hawley of Lazy Girl to the rescue. I’ve made her Wonder Wallet pattern for myself, and I thought it would be perfect for my boys.

They each picked out their own fabrics from my studio (finally the fat quarters they beg for at the fabric shop came in handy) and helped me make them. They folded, pressed, and snipped threads. I used the rotary cutter and sewed. Usually I let the kids sew, but this pattern has so many layers of fabric it would have been difficult.

We left off the outside buttons, and they are thrilled and proud of their new wallets. It’s fun to sew for my guys again. They are getting too old for me to make any clothes for them anymore, so I do other kinds of things: pillowcases, quilts, blankets, pillows for their stuffed animals, etc.

Here are the wallets close-up:
Wonder Wallet
?
I have so many of Joan’s patterns because she makes the process of putting together a bag, wallet, or sewing caddy fun. I bought my first Lazy Girl pattern over 10 years ago and I still buy them, because I’m not cursing math while I’m sewing. I have made her:

and probably even more. Thanks Joan for some great patterns!