How did I miss October?!?

Well, I didn’t miss it completely, just blogging during October — but this Autumn just got too crazy, and something had to give. I did sew though, a few costumes… this adorable penguin costume for my niece (you might recall I made her very first Halloween costume in 2011):


The hat was actually purchased, because her Mommy found it under $10. And it’s hard to see, but I made a pillowy fleece & flannel body with black “wing” flaps that attached around her wrist with thin black elastic. She was specific about being a girl penguin (Girl has two big brothers, y’know) so Mom lent her a string of pearls and added a pink flower pin to her hat. Crazy adorable.

Handmade Penguin halloween Costume

And you can almost see it in that photo (she was too excited to stand still!) the Trick-or-Treat bags that I made for her and her brothers:

Trick or Treat Bags Panel

They were a panel I bought a few years ago, and I liked the retro images so much, I almost made myself a table runner out of them instead! 😉 We spent a fun evening with the Lioness granddaughter at Living History Farms Family Halloween (Lion costume from Pottery Barn Kids):

Lion Halloween GemmaIf you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know I love Halloween and I love creative costumes. Have to share one last pic that shows the great robot costumes my sister created for her boys (the penguin’s big brothers):

Kids Trick 0r Treating

until next October…


Lil’ Dumplings

I posted this to Facebook after finishing it on Sunday–and I included a Sharpie marker in the pic I posted, to show the scale.  This bag is TINY–it measures about 3.5″ x 2″ at the base, and not quite 3″ high!

Since then, I have made seven more dumpling bags… just one in a slightly larger size (the one on the left with the purple flower/purple zipper is bigger than the rest):

Using lots of fun fabric from my stash and scrap boxes:

I’m hoping to sell these at our Church Bazaar this weekend… not sure about price, maybe around $8.00 each.

They are fairly easy to whip up, made from Keyka Lou’s free pattern and tutorial…


A lot lower fat than edible dumplings, and a whole lot cuter, too!

You can find Keyka Lou’s tutorial here.

They only other sewing I’ve done this week is one 12.5″ purple star block for an exchange:

I realized when pulling fabrics for this block, that the one color I buy very little of, is purple!  Do you have a color like that in your stash (or missing from your stash)?

Bird Brained

Picked my mail up on the way off to retreat this weekend, and there was Carla’s One Block Over package (GREAT timing!) so the first thing I did once I got set up at retreat was make these two cute blocks… love the quilt idea, adore the birdie print!!!

The rest of retreat was spent creating bags…

Note the red sequins on the Ruby Slipper bags!
…and more bags…
I really like the way this MOMO fabric from Moda quilted up!

 …and a few more bags…

Love the Joel Dewberry fabric I used for lining on the birdie wristlet (sadly, it’s one of my last scraps of it!):

I’ve sewn three more of these wristlets since this weekend (more pics to come), to get ready to vend at a craft boutique this weekend.   Feeling bird-brained (pun intended) from doing the same thing over and over… I’m not much for mass-producing, or assembly-lining items, so, to me this seems like an unpleasant way to make a living, but I’m committed to two craft boutiques, so…

The best thing about all of these bags–and Carla’s blocks?  Almost everyone was made from fabric in my scrap bins!  I really didn’t cut into too much new fabric.

Have a favorite of my bags?

Ever done any vending yourself?  Or made many of something to sell?

Blogtoberfest Day XVIII–Fun Favor Bag Tutorial

Today I’m going to show you how to make these cute Candy Corn favor bags–but even if you don’t like Halloween decor and sewing, keep your mind open to the possibilities of these being cute little Christmas or birthday giftbags, favor bags for a quilting retreat filled with sewing notions, etc., easy favor bags for a child’s birthday party…. Just like my reversible tablecloth tutorial, the options are endless!

What you will need:
  • I used 9″ x 12″ pieces of felt from the local craft store (Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn Fabrics)
  • Rick-rack to match your felt/fabric (I used Wrights Canary (#086) and Orange (#058)
  • Ribbon for your drawstring (I used a printed “Happy Halloween” ribbon from Michael’s)

1.  Cut your yellow (bottom) strip 2.5″ wide, your orange (middle) strip 3″ wide, and your white (top) strip 3″ wide.  You should be able to get four strips from each piece of felt.  Cut a piece of yellow rick-rack and a piece of orange rick-rack slightly longer than the length of your strips (I cut mine 9 1/4″)

2.  Set your sewing machine to zig-zag stitch, wide enough to tack your rick-rack down while catching both strips of fabric/felt.  Abutt your two pieces of felt up against one another…

Place your rick-rack down the center of your seam, and zig-zag all three together.  Repeat with your white felt (top) strip and orange rick-rack along other side of orange strip.

3.  Cut your 3-strip piece in half, lengthwise, and trim excess rick-rack from edge.  Also, cut two pieces of 9″ ribbon for your drawstring.

4.  At your sewing machine, switch off the zig-zag, and set your seam to straight stitch.  Lay your ribbon face down (if it has a “right” side) against the ” inside” side of your bag, approx. 1/2″ down from top:

Fold a 1/2″-5/8″casing down over the ribbon and sew a straight seam along edge of casing.

When you turn it over, it will look like this:

4.  Right sides of bag facing, match up the outer edges of your bag and sew around the outer edge, starting at your casing seam line and continuing down the side, along the bottom edge, and up the second side, stopping again at your casing seam line.   (Do not sew through your drawstring/ribbon!)


5.  Before turning right side out, clip your corners.  NOTE: I sew a slight curve on my corner seam, rather than a sharp 90 degree angle, this makes a sharper corner on the outside once the felt is turned:

6.  Tie the ends of your drawstrings/ribbons together to finish your favor bag:

Fill with candy, treats, jelly beans, popcorn, pretzels, sewing notions, toys, etc…. NOTE:  I reversed my yellow and orange rick-rack on one bag to see what the contrast looked like–you could use any trims and ribbons or colors and have a wide variety of bag designs!  ENJOY!

Remember, Blogtoberfest and my Halloween Party continue until October 31st, so comment on any and all posts to qualify for the giveaways.   

This week’s giveaway includes an American Jane pattern, a spool of Nature’s Rainbow thread, and 5 fat quarters of Lizzy Dish fabric from Andover.  (Followers of my blog automatically get an extra entry):

Happy Halloween and an awesome October!

One BIG bag

I finished this bag last night, and I’m working on a tutorial for the blog on how to make one.  It’s intended to serve as an oversize tote for carrying things to guild meetings or retreats, like show-and-tell quilts, your cutting mat, supplies, etc.  It’s HUGE.  The bottom insert measures 9″ x 24″, and the sides are approximately 12″ high.  I used a stripe from Kate Spain’s Central Park for the lining, and the exterior is an upholstery weight fabric from Hancock Fabrics.   I added the pocket to the outside to hold a pen/pencil and notebook/iPad/cell phone.

Tutorial coming soon. 

I also finished up my Modern Quilt Guild Habitat Challenge quilt this week, the big reveal is at tomorrow’s meeting, so just a sneak peek today:

Oh, and that chocolate cake?  Made for a co-workers birthday, with the best chocolate frosting recipe (from the Chocolate Cake Mix Doctor Cookbook) and made healthier by substituting plain Greek yogurt for the oil, eggs, and water.  Seriously.  It works.  …and it tastes fabulous.  (I’ve used the applesauce substitute before, and the Diet Coke substitute.  This is better.)

Happy sewing,

Strings and Things

I got back into the swing of things this Sunday, with a long overdue sewing day with my pal, Toni.  Toni finished up an ancient UFO, a baby quilt top…and I made a few Bee Blocks.

This one is for Susan, for the Fresh Modern Bee that, due to some things going on in my life, I had to drop out of early, but promised her I’d finish up her block:

Then I made these fun string blocks for Terri, for the One Block Over Bee:

Using a paper foundation, these blocks go together FAST and EASY:

Now, obligations fulfilled, I am on to sewing bags, starting with a few coin purses:

It’s great to be creating again…