Monday, October 13, 2014

Finish Up Monday! - Manly Yoga Tote

What you say? A Finish on a Monday? What I can I say... things are a little cattywampus around here these days. I'll take a finish any 'ole day I can get one! It also gives me a chance to wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving! Today is also my Dad's birthday. To say it's been a long time since I made him anything would be an understatement. I won't get into all the gory details, but we haven't always had the easiest of relationships. 
So when he asked a couple days ago if I was still sewing much (apparently he doesn't subscribe to the blog ☺) and wondered if I might make him a yoga bag, I felt like an opportunity fell into my lap. I went searching for just the right yoga bag tutorial... not too plain, not too fancy, not the same as the one I made for Ms. M.  I decided to use Amy Butler's free pattern as a jumping off point (mainly for the sizes of pattern pieces) and modify as I went.

Sewing things over the holiday week-end (i.e. when the LQS is closed!) can be a little challenging. To the stash, my friends! I found some denim left from Ade & I's Sewing Circle Totes. Though I had originally thought to do the pocket and strap in an orange print (my Dad's not afraid of colour!), there wasn't anything just right in the stash. But this Robert Kaufman remnant fit the bill nicely! Where the denim is so heavy, I opted out of lining the tote.

Sometimes I buy notions without a clear idea of exactly what they will become. This 2 inch webbing (looks like seatbelt material) came in handy for making a nice, wide, durable strap. I can't stand when straps curl up and look shlumpy. Yup, shlumpy's a word.
I tucked it into an 8 inch wide strip that I had pressed into quarters. Worked like a charm!

Then my least favourite part, sewing that pesky bottom into the bag. I reached for my Wonderclips....
This is the sort of thing that happens when you leave Wonderclips out in the open. Did I mention that Himself is life-long fidgeter? True story. Anyway....
The Wonderclips are so much easier to deal with than pins in this situation. Thanks to Dominique from The Running Thimble for pointing this out to me on the last yoga bag I made!
I didn't think ahead of time and made the bottom the same fabric as the tote body. The pocket fabric might have been a better fit here, but it's not as sturdy.

More digging in the bin of random notions...
yielded these treasures, elastic cording and a pinch closure. The Amy Butler pattern didn't have a closure system, but felt like it needed a drawstring at the least.
And done! The height is just right for the mat and the pockets are super deep. I don't see keys or a phone getting out of those pockets!
When it was unwrapped, Dad pronounced it just right. He'll be heading off to yoga class tomorrow with it over his shoulder! Only now Mom's a little less enamoured of her less than fancy yoga tote - made sometime at least 10 years ago. A sewist's work is never done! ☺

So, what I am I thankful for today? Honestly, with very little thought, the list grows long... quickly. I am of course thankful for Himself and our much wished for Double Trouble (set to arrive very soon). But I'm also thankful that I was able to enjoy a wonderful meal and quality time with my Mom and Dad today. There was a time in the not so distant past that I never thought that would be possible. So very, very thankful. Here's hoping that you too had some thankful moments today. We don't have to save it for once a year!


P.S. Shamelessly linking up with Anything Goes Monday @ Stitch by Stitch. I mean, it's not every Monday I have something to blog about! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Finish Up Friday! - Open Wide Zipper Pouches à la Noodlehead!

A while back, I made some gorgeous Road Trip Cases designed by Anna Graham of Noodlehead. The pattern was well worth the 7$ price tag (and no, she didn't pay me to say that!) That said, if you're not into paying for patterns, she has some fab tutorials on her site as well - one of which is for the Open Wide Zippered Pouch. I've had this tut pinned for a dog's age and this week, I thought of the perfect reason to whip some up!

I won't go into all the details of how they're made - Anna's tut does that far better than I ever could! But I did opt to box the corners at 3 inches instead of the 4 inches given in the pattern. This is probably why my pouches turned out a little more squat than the ones on the Noddlehead blog. I have an odd feeling that I did something wrong in the construction of these, but I can't quite put my finger on what it is. Oh well... they still look good! ☺

These three medium sized pouches will be filled with goodies and packed in my hospital bag as gifties for the great nurses I know I'm going to have at our local women's and children's hospital. When I was hospitalized at the same facility back in early March, I had phenomenal care. I feel badly that I wasn't able to thank the nurses with a little something... I was just too sick.
I also went on to make a few of the small versions of the pouch... here's one pictured with the medium version. There's also a large pouch (which I've yet to make).
 Don't you just love Domino Dot?
And the smaller ones are for the receptionists at my doctor's office. These ladies have been so good to us through this long, long process!
Since it's Friday, I'm linking up with Finish Up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts.


P.S. In the interest of full disclosure, it may seem from a bloggy perspective that a lot of amazing things get done here every darned day. I will say here and now that there is a great deal of napping, eating of snacks, and general bleh-ness. Sometimes wanting to write a blog post about a project is the thing that keeps me going and makes me feel some semblance of normality is being maintained. Remember... not everything you see on TV or the internet is exactly like real life. Any one still trying to adopt a House Hippo?

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

WIP Wednesday - And now for something completely different...

Too tired to sew? Can't decide how to quilt that pesky WiP? What's a very pregnant soon to be momma of twins to do? Screenprint two dozen onesies, of course! I know, I know... it's not exactly quilting and this is a quilt blog. But I also love to use my Yudu. I've even done some quilting/Yudu projects and would love to do more.

I've been having some technical difficulties with my machine for a while and I'm just so darned pleased to have it up and running again. For those of you who don't know much about Yudus, I'll give you a quick primer. It's a device that allows you to make professional level screens using light sensitive emulsion and then use those screens to print anything you'd like on fabric, paper, wood, etc. If you can create it on your home computer and make an overhead transparency of it, you can screen it on fabric. Fun, huh? I won't go into all the steps, but here are the basics of how to print something once you have a screen made.
First apply your ink... I use primarily Yudu or Speedball brand inks.
With the screen not touching your item to be printed, flood the screen with ink using a sharp edged plastic tool. The open areas are going to be what show up on your printed item. You want to make sure you fill them with ink.
Then pull the tool over the flooded area, pushing the ink onto the fabric under the screen. Sorry, no pic of this step. It's too tricky to hold a camera and pull ink at the same time. But, voilà! A finished printed onesie!
Onesies are a little trickier than big people sized t-shirts because you have to position them so carefully. That said, I normally can only do one image per screen for t-shirts. For onesies, I can fit three in the same space! Here's a sampling of what I made today...

Cute, huh? They won't all be for Double Trouble. I plan to tuck a few away in the present box for future baby shower gifts. I have about a million more ideas, but may run out of time (and energy!) before they're done!

I'm linking up today with WiP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced and Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts. I hope they don't kick me out for lack of quiltiness this week! ☺


P.S. If you're interested in screen printing, but some of these links offer DIY techniques on a simpler scale to achieve similar results. Warning - I haven't used any of them!
Technique using an embroidery hoop, organza & Martha Stewart decoupage glue
Technique using a freezer paper stencil
Technique using embroidery hoop & pantyhose

You can also check out Speedball Art for info on their screen printing system. They've been around forever!

***We will now return to our regularly scheduled quilt blog!***