Thursday, January 30, 2014

Happy New Block of the Month

 January and Sew Kitschy BoM
2014  Quiet Play 's   Sew Retro Kitchen BoM has begun 

I am  "so having fun ", starting out the new year with a new paper piecing block of
 the month project , over at Kristy's  Quiet Play blog!

 Kristy is gracious, and is offering the featured BoM pattern for FREE ( during its debut month)through  her Craftsy store !   The whole set  bundle is also  available for sale, if you just can't wait ! 

And Kristy has a Linky Party every month, where we can see the blocks that everyone is making!  I get to inspired looking at them!

So what is the first block?   It is called  "  Sew Retro Kitchen Oven Mitts "

Free pattern til Jan 31  
I was lucky and delighted to see that I have a few   tons of fun fabrics in red, white and turquoise shades!  

My  Oven Mitts block                         made by Susie's Sunroom

Fabrics:     reds, whites, and turquoise  variety from Michael Miller  (some are Mini Mike)
                  fussy cut-   David Textiles  Kiss The Cook

I can hardly wait to see which design  will be the February pattern!  

I'm off to my sewing room!

                                     Linking up to  Sew Kitschy @ Quiet Play

Monday, January 27, 2014

A New Scissors Keep Pattern

The " Mini Keeper"  Tutorial Pattern
January ATPSA 

At the beginning of January, our monthly Across The Pond Sew Along project was announced... Scissors Keepers.
Amanda, The Patchsmith,  had time to whip up two pretty and practical scissor keepers , in her  perfect Patchsmith style and colors. Aren't those flowers so cute!

Amanda made her version of the 3 Pocket Scissor Case

And this is Amanda's " About Town"  case , for traveling

There are  some more  beautiful scissor  keepers that are  posted in our ATPSA Flickr Group.  (Hop on over to see the beautiful Heart Scissors keeper, and the  darling linen and embroidery keeper! )

After looking around at all of  the different ways to keep scissors, I was inspired to make my own  little pouch.  This little "Mini Keeper"   attaches quickly to my sewing machine, to hold scissors ,a seam ripper,  little screwdrivers , little rulers, etc.  

 The Mini Keeper ...      an attachable little pouch to hold your scissors and tools alongside of your sewing machine

  I decided to make up a free tutorial , so I could share the pattern with you .

The Mini Keeper   Tutorial   SS04  designed by Susie's Sunroom

      A printer friendly pdf file is here:    SS04  The Mini Keeper pdf


The Mini Keeper   Tutorial                                            SS04

                                       ~ design by Susie @ Susie’s Sunroom
      A handy, little pouch (“keeper” )  for small scissors and  sewing tools,  alongside your sewing machine

Finished dimensions:   8 ½ “  x 3 “  for pouch
Supplies list:   Fabric-    1 – 9 “ x 7 “  main fabric
1-      9 ” x 7 “ lining fabric
1 -  22 “ x 3 “ strap fabric  { can be lining fabric or an accent fabric}      *this length might need be adjusted to fit your sewing machine
                          Batting-    1 -  9 “ x 7 “ batting or fusible fleece  .  I recommend Pellon FF 987 fusible fleece
                           Velcro -    2 “ piece  Velcro strip , ¾  “ wide  (I recommend no sticky types)
                           Tape measurer  -   to see how long to make the straps

Measure your  sewing  machine:
Take your measuring tape and place it around your machine, in the same way you will be placing the straps for your pouch. 

 See in the photo above-  your pouch will be about 8 inches cross.  So,   22 inches will be long enough for the strap on this machine : the straps are sewn into the left and right sides of this “keeper” pouch.  You can adjust the length later,  before you sew the straps into the pouch sides.  

Cut fabrics:
Cut out :  1 main fabric  9” x 7 “
                  1 lining fabric  9” x 7 “
1-    Batting or fusible fleece 9 “ x 7 “  .   This is ironed (or basted) to the back side of outer main fabric.    *  I often use up my scraps of FF987 in this way.*

 Pieces of fusible fleece ironed onto back of main fabric

1           1-     Strap fabric 22 “ x 3 “    * adjust the length if needed, from the  measuring step page 2.

Making the pocket pouch:    
               Sew main outer fabric to lining fabric   

Lay lining fabric right side up.  Place main outer fabric right side down on top of lining. (Right sides together.)
Pin together, leaving a 2 ½ “  gap for turning. 

 Sew around all 4 sides, using a ¼ “ seam allowance.  Remember to   leave the 2 ½” opening.

Trim the excess fabric away from the corners. 
Turn the fabric…. that is, pull the main outer fabric out through the gap you left.   Carefully   push out the corners  and sides. Press with an iron  , and turn under the gap opening , so it will be sewn into the  seam later.
Put aside the pouch piece for now.

Make the straps:
Fold each short end in ¼ “ and iron.  (This creates finished ends.)
Create the long center crease by folding the strap fabric, wrong sides together, and ironing the fold.  (The piece will be 22 “  x 1 ½ “ now.)

Open up, and  then fold the top half in so the raw edge meets the newly created center crease.   Iron well.   Repeat this for the bottom half of the strip.  The raw edges are now meeting at that center crease . (Strip is 1 ½” at this point.)   Lastly,  fold the halves together so that the  folded edges meet , making the strip a final ¾ “.  Press well and pin.  { There are no raw edges at this point.}
Sew along all 4 edges with a 1/8” seam allowance.       Do not cut strap yet!

Place your measuring tape around your machine, so you can measure how long to make each strap.  I want my straps to meet in the back, so the short strap needs to be 4 ½ “.   The long strap is about 17 “.   

Cut the strap at 4 ½ “ from the left edge.  The remaining strap is about 17 “.
 Note:  the Velcro is 2 inches long, so there will be some “ give and take” for attaching it behind your machine.  It is not meant to be a “skin tight” fit.

Figure 2 A short and long strap

Sew the straps into the pouch:
Take the pouch fabric, and fold it in half, with the lining fabric on the inside. The fold  will now be at the bottom and it will measure 8 ½ ” x 3 ½ “.
 Pin the sides together, after inserting one strap into each side.  Each strap should be placed about 1 inch from the top  edge of the pouch .

Sew each 3 ½” side together with a ¼” seam allowance.    Reinforce your stitches at the beginning and end.     Hint:  I often start at the bottom  edge (the folded edge) , and sew up towards the top. It is easier to finish up on the  thicker edge.

Now we are ready to add the Velcro to the ends of the straps.

 Position your Mini Keeper on your sewing machine:
It is very  helpful to place your pouch where you want it to be positioned on your sewing machine.  You will probably want your “mini keeper” to be at a spot that is not on top of your power cord or on/off switch.   It will be most likely be long enough to fit around the front corner of your machine.

Pin the ends of the straps together on the back side of your machine. Make it fit to your own personal preference.  This will show you where you need to sew the Velcro  pieces on.  Place pins so you know where to center each Velcro strip.   There will be some “give and take”  since the Velcro is 2 inches long.  This is a ’ relaxed fit .’ 

Figure 3 This is the way you will want it to connect at  the back side of your sewing machine.

Pin the Velcro onto each strap.
 One  piece of Velcro is pinned to the top side of the strap ( the short piece.)  And the other piece of Velcro is pinned to the bottom side of the other strap ( the longer strap.)  Double check this before sewing!

Important details in this next  picture :

Worth saying again:          Add one piece of  the Velcro to the TOP side of the short strap.
             Add the other piece of Velcro to the BOTTOM side of the long strap. 

Sew the Velcro to the short strap.  (The top side )  I shorten my stitch length to 2.0, and go around all four sides twice.   (Probably overkill!)
Next sew the other piece of Velcro to the long strap (the bottom side) in the same manner.

Figure 4 Sewing the velcro on to the strap

We are almost done now!
If you would like to make sections in the pouch, you can sew a seam down the front of the pouch to make pocket sections.  I made 2 pockets in my mini keeper, by sewing one seam down the center of the pouch.  You could create a narrow pocket, too, for your seam ripper.

This Mini Keeper can  "keep" a lot of sewing tools!

Position your “Mini Keeper” at your sewing machine, and adjust the straps so they will connect with the Velcro at the back.
The back of my Viking sewing machine.

Side and front view of my Viking machine

My Viking sewing machine is ready to go now… with my tools right at my fingertips!

 I made a second Mini Keeper for my other machine, the Baby Lock Creative Pro. (I didn't want her to get jealous!)

The Mini Keeper on my Baby Lock machine


Please share your pictures of any scissors keeps that you make, in our ATPSA Flickr Group! We'd love to see them.

Last thing...                       Cute Swap Alert:   

 The Skinny Pincushion Swap  at Amy Made That!

                Sign ups close on  Jan 31 at midnight EST, at Amy Made That!

Some skinny pincushions that I made , with the free pattern
Amy,  of Amy Made That! blog, is hosting this cute pincushion swap.  Here's her description of this swap:
A Skinny Pincushion is easy to make.
You can add some assorted goodies just for fun,
then send it off to a happy new friend...
and wait for your OWN Skinny Pincushion to arrive
from another swappy friend!

There are nearly 50 "swappy friends" signed up so far... from countries all over the world.  Maybe you'd like to make a new sewing friend... so  join in a simple and fun swap with us!

I'm off to my sewing room!

Linking up at Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts    and
                    And Sew We Craft Together @ And Sew We Craft  and
 Threading My Way  Sewing Accessaries Linky @ Threading My Way

Friday, January 24, 2014

Purse and Pouch Passion

Purse and Pouch Passion:  Part 1

It's no  secret that I LOVE to make bags, purses and pouches.  (You can add several  a bunch of other things that I like to make, too...)

Recently, I have made more purses and pouches than I could blog about !  (When I started writing this blog about 17 months ago, I worried that I wouldn't have enough things to blog about!)

I'd like to share with you some of the cutest things ever...

First purse:     Little Bow Pleat Party Purse Clutch Bag Pattern
Designer:             Samantha @ At Home With Mrs H

Such a cute clutch!   click here for the pattern
         Fabric:  Michael Miller    and black blender
         Closure:     magnetic snap

Little Bow Pleat Party Purse Clutch Bag   made by Susie's Sunroom

This bag made up quickly and easily, thanks to Samantha's clear directions and great pictures!                            
I decided to make my little clutch without a chain.  The next one I make, I will put the little loops inside the bag, as I have since purchased a nice metal chain for another clutch!
Samantha has directions for this, of course!

Can you see the pleat in the middle?
 (I know my fabric is busy, so it is hard to see in my photos.)


I like this clutch because it easily holds my cell phone and glasses .

This clutch may look small and elegant, but don't let that fool you!  it really does hold a lot!

  Cell phone, glasses, blush , and keys
I love the ease of this bag... an intermediate sewist can whip a pretty  little bow clutch in an afternoon or evening,  and match her outfit for the event!   Hop on over to At Home with Mrs H and see how cute it looks in many different fabrics.

When you want to make one...the patterns are available as PDF files at  Samantha's Craftsy store!  

I"m ready to go.... where should I go??  ;)
I'm off to my sewing room!

Linked up at Can I Get a Whoop Whoop @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Basket and Blocks

The January weather is snowy and really  cold outside, and it is great to be  inside sewing, with a cup of coffee at my side.  Perfect weather to work on my comforting Patchique' blocks!
Amanda, The Patchsmith, leads the way to making the blocks from this book

First block:   #15   Kasuri niju kaku  (Kasuri double square)

#15  Kasuri double square from the book

This block , a double square,  uses 3 different fabrics.  I went to the first fabrics that anchored my brown colorway for the blocks.  (Moda FaLaLa)
#15  Kasuri double square      made by Susie's Sunroom

Second block:  #75  Hoya no hana   ( Hoya flower)

#75  Hoya flower   from the book

#75  Hoya flower    made by Susie's Sunroom
This block had a lot of applique' pieces to cut out, and to blanket stitch around the outer edges (machine). I like the brown and aqua colors together.  I enjoying looking at the blocks together in groups after I make them....

Side by side...  #15 and #75    made by Susie's Sunroom

Do hop over to see Amanda's progress on her Patichique' blocks, and see beautiful  pictures in her Flickr group. 

My progress in the Patchique' journey so far:  (slow and steady progress!)

Completed blocks   Jan 22

Basket time:   a Divided Basket    pattern by  Anna at Noodlehead 

This basket is one of my favorite baskets to make! This is a nice sized basket, with so many possible uses!

Divided basket  by Noodlehead    made by Susie's Sunroom

Fabric:   Le Cerise    berries and script   by Susan Winget
             green tonal blender

Basket Dimensions:  13.5"wide, 7.5" deep, 10.5" tall including handles (7.5" tall without)

I fell in love with these fabrics...  The black and cream  outer fabric has French words for different berries .  The companion fabrics are so pretty... with berry panels, a blueberries and leaves print , and  a cute cream text with  nature sketches.  ( I *heart* these!)
The basket went together quickly, as it was the second time I made it, and I knew what to expect.  The directions that Anna provides are excellent!

I placed a  blueberry panel on one side of the divider section

The other side of the divider has cherries

I was nearly giddy with delight when I noticed that the berry panels fit exactly into the dimensions of the divider, and could be put in as a feature on the front pocket of the basket!  (You , out there, know what a great feeling this is when you first discover something fits exactly for fussy cutting!!)


Strawberry panel on the front outer pocket

My  dear friend is using this basket for her mail.  I hope she thinks of me every time she uses it!

Blog Hop Ahead...
Have you noticed the new button on the top right of my blog page? 
                  It is the Hugs and Kisses Blog Hop,   Feb. 12- 19. 
The creative and ruffley Mdm Samm , at Sew We Quilt, has organized this Feb. blog hop, with Soma , at Whims and Fancies !

I   have been busy making some projects for the upcoming blog hop that I am in , using  fun and fresh new Valentine's Day patterns designed by the talented Soma,  of Whims and Fancies !  

You can buy Soma's patterns, where donations are being made with the purchase.  
The whole list of the bloggers will be coming out soon, and I will have them on my blog.  You can look for my projects , near the end of the hop (so far that's how I am scheduled!)

Well, I think I need to make a divided basket  for myself now!  One can never have too many baskets..

Linked at :

ASWC Together Linky Party @ And Sew We Craft

I'm off to my sewing room!