Saturday, December 28, 2013

It's in the bag!

I'm embarrassed to say this, but I didn't give my twin sister a birthday present this year.  Bad twin, I know.  My intentions were good, but we all know about that road.  Here's what happened:

Back in September in the after school program at my shop, we were making small drawstring tote bags from denim and scrap fabric based on this Lunch Tote tutorial.  I really liked the one I made as a class sample, and was thinking that I'd give it to my sister as a project bag for her knitting for her birthday.  But then I noticed that one seam wasn't quite perfect, and it wasn't one that would be easy to just re-do.  In disgust with myself, I banished the bag to the armoire in my shop.  Every time I opened the cabinet door, though, I saw the bag - a constant reminder of my failure, a project that defeated me.

That just won't do.  Aren't you supposed to start the new year fresh?  I couldn't start the new year with that project hanging over my head. (ahem, ignore the 4,327 other UFOs I have going at present...)  So today, I pulled it out, made a fabric yo-yo, covered the yo-yo with a button I'd been holding onto for just the right occasion, and VOILA!

I love the bag all over again!  There is a drawstring top to keep her projects in,

but also to allow her to use the bag like a yarn bowl. (For those of you who don't knit or crochet, when you pull on your yarn, the ball of yarn likes to roll around, escape, if you will.  Think of that song, "On top of spaghetti" - but substitute the yarn ball for the meatball.  A yarn bowl keeps the yarn in one place, allowing you to pull the yarn as needed without having to chase the ball.)

I bought her a skein of hand-dyed yarn, a set of handmade stitch markers and two hat patterns to go in the bag, all from my shop.  I hope she likes it!  (yeah, I know Christmas is over, but she's spending the holidays in Puerto Rico, so she doesn't know that her gift hasn't arrived yet)

I hope your holidays have been merry and bright!


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Holiday sewing

Ack!  Nearly another month has passed between posts!  When people say you work harder when you have your own business than when you work for someone else, they aren't lying!  But it is so rewarding, it is worth the extra time and effort.  What that means, however, is that I haven't had many opportunities to sew for me.  Most of what I've made these days are samples for classes at the shop.  But Christmas is coming, and while the business is doing well, money is tight, so I am extra motivated to make as many gifts as possible this year.  I know the holidays are right around the corner, but I'm doing pretty well so far.

I knit a face cloth/dish cloth for a friend.  I'm pairing it with some wonderful handmade Herbal Oatmeal Goat's Milk Soap from my shop.
I now know that a solid is a better choice when incorporating a design (can you see the Christmas Tree?) but this is all that I had on hand.  I don't have a yarn stash.  Yet.
I made some double potholders for a family member.
These were actually a sample for a class, but I love them so much, I'm giving them as a gift.
I made a set of two single potholders with hand pockets on the back for another family member.  The third one (without the hanging loop) is a gift for a sewing friend.  These three blocks were orphans that have been hanging out on my design wall for years now.  I'm glad they now have a purpose.
The loops came out kind of wonky, but I don't care.  I wish you could see how the machine quilting I did makes the stars pop!
I'm almost done knitting a hat for another family member.
Oops!  Left the double points at the shop, so I'll have to hold off on finishing this.
I've made a Union Jack block for a family member who asked for "anything British" for Christmas.  Now, I'm trying to decide what to make with it.  I was thinking another potholder since she likes to cook, but I'm thinking now maybe a bag or a composition book cover.  Right now it is just 9" square, so that's a bit small for a pillow, although I could frame it with some of the red and blue, I guess.  Any ideas out there?
Paper pieced, of course
I've got a couple more projects to knock out in the next couple of days.  What about you guys?  What are you making as gifts for the holidays?