Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pattern Mini-Review and a Giveaway

 This is the fifth one of these I've just made:
I saw this pattern a few times, and I had to have it. 
(The clickable link takes you to a page where you can order it. Because I don't know how to make a clickable link from an image. Anyone? Anyone?) It's possible that some of you could figure it out by looking at the pictures, but not me. I need instructions, and the more detailed, the better. And lots of close-up photos. So I ordered the pattern (the first time I've purchased a downloadable pattern) for this little zippered pouch made out of quilted fabric that has a clear vinyl front. The photos are so clear and helpful. And the instructions are quite good. I'm glad I purchased the pattern. Tracy, the designer, includes a lot of tips for sewing vinyl. I followed the instructions to a T. And I made one. Then another, and another. Then I got the idea of changing the size. My first attempt came out a little odd, but maybe in an endearing way.
See how the vinyl "wraps around" the bottom? That's what I mean. Endearing?

Then I wondered what would be the biggest size I could make with a fat quarter*. The photo at the top is one I made last night, and it's close.

And these were all made with one fabric each. Imagine how cute they'd be made up with multiple prints. Which I will get to. These are so much fun to make, and a pleasant break from garment sewing.

Okay, so let's have a giveaway. Would you like to win one of these? 
Post a comment by Tuesday, September 3 at 11:59 pm EDT. Try to give me some ideas about the size(s) that would be most useful to you and/or what you would use it/them for. I'll announce a winner (anywhere! Not limited to the United States!) by Thursday, September 5.

I've been using fabrics and zippers and vinyl that I have on hand. The vinyl has ladybugs in a random pattern all over it. I have no memory of what I thought I would make with it when I bought it (ahem) some time ago. And I'm not sure how much of it I have left. But now I'm going to use it all up on these. Unless you have some other ideas for easy sewing projects that use vinyl (with ladybugs sprinkled randomly all over it).

* A fat quarter is a term used in quilting. It means 1/4 yd of fabric, but instead of it being the full width of the fabric (usually 42 to 44 in. wide) and 9 in. long (1/4 of 36 in. [36 in. = 1 yd]), it's 1/2 the width and 1/2 the length. So a fat quarter is still 1/4 yd, but it's about 22 in. wide by 18 in. long.

Update: This next one (just completed) is off the top of the cuteness scale (in my opinion). Wouldn't it make a great case for a summertime first aid kit? The size, as you can probably tell, is about 9 in. wide by 5.5 in. high. I added a little loop to this one, too, so that a key ring (for example) can be added.
I made it from fabric left over from this purse project:

Blessings and peace...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The County Fair Chocolate-Covered Bacon

Louie and I went to the Erie County Fair yesterday, something we do every year. It's always fun; there's so much to see and learn and do. And eat.

Oh dear. Let's take a closer look...

Louie and I didn't treat ourselves with any of these. But we might have shared a "Fried Dough." It is the county fair, after all, and it's only once a year. ;) 

I've been sewing but not keeping up with photos. I will bring you up to date one of these days. Oh, and I'm planning a road trip to western Massachusetts and southeast Vermont later this week.

Have you been to your local county or state fair yet this year? What did you see, eat, learn, and do?

And I'll leave you with this photo from the fair.
Everybody Loves Louie
Blessings and peace...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Just Had a Little Blogging Moment

When I started my blog last fall, it was to give back a tiny measure of what people all over the world have given to me and to keep a record of my sewing and knitting projects as well as how I have improved my health. Then I started and learned a couple of things:
  • It takes a lot of work to create a tutorial.
  • I love love love to hear from my readers.
  • Comments from spamsters (which seldom appear here) are, for the most part, pretty funny.
  • People are so very kind and helpful.

So I was just clicking around, visiting a few blogs, and saw someone's request for guest bloggers who will post a tutorial for the "festive season" (code for Christmas, I think). I read a bit about it and thought, "Oh I have a couple of ideas; I think I could help!" And then I read the requirements, which included:

have a reasonable amount of traffic  - page views of 75,000 per month or more   
Since statistics have never been my thing, I have seldom looked at the stats for my blog. A couple of times I've looked and been so happy to see readers from several countries in addition to the United States. So I just looked, and golly gee, I've had 12,501 page views since I started, and of course, that includes the visits from the spamsters. I believe that this means that my blog has an unreasonable amount of traffic.
So I guess I won't be offering to submit a guest post. (BTW, I don't feel bad in any way. I'm just sharing this emotion-neutral experience.) Interesting, eh? 

If you have a blog, do you care about the numbers? What do they mean to you? (Maybe I should care?)

Blessings and peace...

Monday, August 5, 2013

I Saw the Buttons-Theme Rug and Fabric

When we were in Pittsburgh last week, I saw the buttons-theme rug and fabric at IKEA that Ruthie blogged about here
Size: 6' 5" x 4' 4" (195 x 133 cm). From the IKEA website: "The dense, thick pile dampens sound and provides a soft surface to walk on."

I didn't buy it because of the dense, thick pile (and maybe also because of the size). And it's too heavy to hang on the wall. However, if I can figure a way to rearrange my sewing room to place it away from where I scoot around on my chair-on-wheels, I'll go back and get it. Maybe I have a little space for a comfy chair and lamp; I would love that!

I also found the buttons fabric:
It's 59" wide and only $5.99 per yard. The particular bolt of fabric I saw, unfortunately, had smudge marks every 10 to 15 inches, darn it, because it is also so cute.

Between the two, I liked the rug better; it was just somehow more pleasing to the eye. One or both of these may find their way to my house one of these days. It's a week later and I'm still thinking about them!  

If you are near an IKEA store, take a look and let me know what you think. I don't think they are available to purchase from the website. Oh, and thanks, Ruthie!

Blessings and peace..

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Decluttering Skills Fail - Added an Embroidery Machine

Before dearly treasured family members came for a visit this weekend, which was followed by an overnight trip to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to see a Pirates (baseball) game, ... I bought an embroidery machine! It's a Brother PE770 embroidery-only machine. I'm really excited about this new addition to my sewing room, although I have to create some space so that I can get it set up.

Evidently I am going to have to un-retire to pay for all the embroidery thread I will need. And software. And stabilizers. And spray adhesive. And designs.

Maybe I can make this pay for itself. Hahahahahahaha!

I welcome any and all tips, hints, suggestions, resources, and ideas of how to learn to use my new toy. Thanks!

{{Sorry, no photos; I'm on my iPad.}}

Blessings and peace...