Friday, September 30, 2011

Hand Woven Sewing Tote

I love to make baskets. However, I have been off on other paths the past few years such as knitting, spinning, sewing, gardening. There are only so many hours in a day. Recently, a friend told me about a basket making class which was being taught by Beth Hester from GH Productions. I decided it was time to make baskets again. For two nights we met at a local church to make the Soteria basket. It is the perfect size to carry my sewing projects or any other project for that matter.

This is my basket after the first evening of basket weaving.

handwoven basket gh productions

This is my basket after two nights of basket weaving. I love the finished product! In the past, when I have made baskets, I put them on a shelf to look at and admire. This one, however, I plan to use often. The shaker tape handles are great for carrying the basket but fall out of the way when you need them to.

handwoven basket

This is a close-up of the seagrass accents and the button detail on the handles.

handwoven basket gh productions

I made a little trip to GH Productions today to gather supplies to make more baskets this weekend.  I bought a packing tool which I am pretty excited about. I'll use it to push the weavers down and save my fingertips!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Criss-Cross Coasters

Last week, at our monthly American Sewing Guild meeting, we made criss cross coasters. Each coaster requires 6 charm squares to complete. Just google criss cross coasters to find a tutorial. I decided to make mine a little smaller so I cut 4 1/2 in squares which finished to a 4 inch coaster. This is a super quick project and looks great tied up with a ribbon or strip of fabric.
Charm Pack Coasters

We will be donating our coasters to WKU's Family and Consumer Science Alumni Group. This is the 100 year anniversary of the Family and Consumer Science Department. They are sponsoring a quilt exhibition at the Kentucky Museum on WKU's campus and the coasters will be sold among other items to raise money for the scholarship fund.

Charm Pack Coasters

Have you found any new project ideas lately for charm packs?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Shorts for Haiti

A few months ago, a group of ladies at church started making little dresses for 3 orphanages in Haiti. As the project progressed, we decided that we should make enough dresses so that all the girls in the orphanages would have a new dress. We now have over 125 dresses! For the little boys, we decided on shorts with elasticized waists in sizes 4 through 14. We now have about 100 pair of shorts and still counting. A week or so ago, I was not having much luck finding affordable, appropriate fabric. It was much easier for the dresses since we could pick up cute pillowcases at Goodwill for 50 cents. I just happened to be in the Design, Merchandising and Textiles Department at Western Kentucky University. A group of students and their sponsor from the Fashion Inc. Club donated enough fabric samples to complete the project. Thank you to Fashion Inc. for your generous donation!

sewing shorts haiti

charity sewing short haiti

I added little tags with sizes to the back so that the boys would know which way to put their shorts on!
sewing shorts for Haiti

Saturday, September 10, 2011

New Dress for the Big Game

My daughter decided that she needed a new dress to wear to the big college football game. Western Kentucky University is playing Navy. She went through my fabric stash and chose a white knit with black polka dots. Since WKU's color is red, she added red accessories to show her school spirit. We have used this quick and easy pattern (McCall's 6112) a few times now, always with great results.

My favorite tip for sewing with knits is the double needle hem. I use a 4 mm double needle with wooly nylon in the bobbin. Pin up the hem very evenly and stitch from the right side of the garment. With this hem, you will still have lots of stretch in the hem and will not be popping stitches when the fabric stretches.

I also used this method to topstitch around the neckline after I finished it with a self-fabric "ribbing". This picture shows the front neckline and the inside of the back neckline.

I'm off to the game. Go Big Red!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Charm Pack Coasters

In my search for charm pack projects, I ran across a simple quilted coaster tutorial.  Sometimes simple is best. It is not written for charm packs, however, it is easy to adapt. I used the 5 inch charms and ended up with a 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 inch coaster. I plan to make lots more for myself and also for gifts. Maybe I'll make them in seasonal prints to change up for the holidays. Wouldn't they be great with monograms in the center? The possibilities are endless.

charm pack coasters

charm pack coasters

I'm off to search for more charm pack projects!