Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A New Bag for School

This weekend I’ll be attending Hands On Sewing School in Old Town Alexandria. It will be my first time attending something like this. I’m a little nervous attending it alone since none of my friends were able to go with me, but it is so close to home that I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to attend. It will be 3 days (Friday-Sunday) of sewing and embroidery with a combination of classes and hands-on sewing time each day. There is also a welcome reception on Thursday evening that I plan to attend.  I decided I would like to make a tote bag to use for the weekend. My friend and I already had a craft day planned this past weekend and I decided to skip my original plan of working on Christmas gifts and make the tote bag instead. (What’s a little procrastination, right? 😂)
Crafting with a friend is "sew" much fun!
I decided to make the Strip Tote Bag from Sweet Pea and decided on the 7x12 size design. I used a jelly roll which is a collection of fabric strips that are 2 1/2” wide. The instructions called for 120 strips of fabrics that are 2” wide, but I just used the 2 1/2” strips cut to the right length to save time and it worked out fine. Sewing 120 strips of fabric sounds like a lot of work, but it really went much faster than I expected!
For the decorative stitching that’s on the top of each panel, I used a clear metallic thread (thanks to the suggestion of my friend who also let me use her metallic thread!). It was my first time using a metallic thread. I’ve heard people say they can be hard to work with and I will admit it took a little more attention than working with regular embroidery thread. Coming off the spool holder the thread was getting kinks and breaking a lot. I tried slowing the speed down, but that alone didn't help much. I had read the tip of putting the spool in a coffee cup so I tried that and it was a little better but I still had to watch it closely and it was still getting quite a few breaks. I eventually ended up sitting the coffee cup on the floor with the spool in the mug on it’s side and that seemed to give me the best results. I still had occasional thread breaks, but it was bearable.
Metallic thread in a coffee cup which I eventually
moved to the floor for the best results.
Decorative stitching being sewn onto
one of the six panels for the bag.
I added the monogram to one of the panels while I still had it in the hoop so I didn't have to worry about trying to center it later. I used the Intertwined Vine Interlocking Monogram Font from itch2stich. I used the 3.5" size for this bag.  Once the panels were done, the bag went together pretty easily. I strayed from the directions for making the strap and did mine following this tutorial from Simplicity (minus the extra stitching down the center of the strap). I love the way the bag turned out and I can't wait to use it! I'm all ready for sewing school now! Stay tuned to hear how it goes.
The finished bag!
Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Coaster Fun

I made a couple of quick coasters this week as a gift for some friends visiting from Florida.  The designs were from Kreative Kiwi and were free designs in their members only section.  The beer mug is done in the 5x7 hoop.  The coffee cup design comes in two sizes, one for the 4x4 hoop and one for the 5x7 hoop.  I chose the 5x7 so it would be a similar size to the beer mug.  I added the names using Embrilliance software.  The fabric was all from my stash.  I thought they turned out cute!
Beer Mug and Coffee Cup Coasters

A couple of months ago I made some coasters for each of our guest rooms with Kreative Kiwi's Swirly Coaster Design.  I used the design for the 5x5 hoop.  You can use up to 12 different colors in each coaster, but I kept it simple with just one color on each side.  I used one fabric for the front and a different one for the back.  As long as you use matching bobbin thread, the coasters end up reversible.     They'd probably take longer if you did each swirl in a different fabric, but with a single color on each side they stitched up pretty quickly.  Now the coasters from our living room don't disappear into the guest rooms when we have guests. :-)

Swirly Coasters
Thanks for reading and have a great day!