Saturday, December 29, 2007

Fabric gift bags and wabi sabi

I like the idea of using fabric to create gift bags, I only managed to do a couple this year. My son's girlfriend is a beginning sewer so I got a copy of Bend-the-Rules Sewing by Amy Karol for her. This gift seemed to really call out for a cloth wrapper. So, I made a crazy quilted bag for her gift. I wasn't sure how to close off the top, I didn't want to cinch it as you would lose the view of the quilt and a flap over would also cover the quilt. So I placed 3 sets of ribbons on either side of the top edge. Tie off the ribbons and you have a nicely decorated top edge.

I also made a gift bag for a gift exchange with my circle sisters. The gift was to be a wabi sabi one. Wabi sabi is from the Japanese aesthetic that emphasizes the value and beauty of simple things. A wabi sabi gift is one that would have a humble grace, not necessarily new, but loved. I found my wabi sabi gift at a local thrift store, it is a brass item which probably had candles in it (it had a lot of wax on it). I made a little circle of cloth for the bottom and put in this gift bag.

I was casting about for a good link to help explain wabi sabi and found this site. It is a non profit organization in Moab, Utah that helps people in the community by running a thrift shop, recycling building materials, and other activities that truly exemplify application of wabi sabi. Their definition of wabi sabi: "beauty lies in the imperfection that surrounds us, that new is not necessarily nicer, and that our discards could very well be our salvation."

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Elvis Christmas stocking

Last year when my local Hancocks Fabric was going out of business I purchased some Elvis Christmas fabric. The print was set up to make a very large Christmas stocking. One side has Elvis with his guitar and a red background, the other side has Elvis just looking cool with a green background. Who better to make this for than my DJ musician son? What fun this was. I layered it with white cotton quilt batting and lined it with a solid white. I did some free motion sewing around the poinsettias and Elvis' profile and the topped it off with red and white polka dot bias. There was a small print of a stocking shape on the fabric, about 6 inches long, so I made that up to match the uber stocking.
Nathan loved it, we all shared quite a laugh. As you can see it even can be "worn" on both feet for a warmer.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, In what ever way you celebrate this time of year, may it be joyful.

We had a visit with my son and daughter in law last weekend. Here is a photo of the table napkins, bread basket cloth and dog Christmas tree ornament that I made for them. 2007 is the year they adopted Sirius, so the commemorative ornament honors her this year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pieced Peace

I made another peace grocery bag a couple of weeks a ago. Here's the first one I made awhile ago. I donate these to my congregation and they are sold at the grocery store coupons table. I was told that someone requested a bag for a man with a peace symbol. I forgot to take the finished shot of this bag. So this is the most complete I can share.

Here are some along the way shots of how I put the peace symbol together. First I draw a circle and put in the center bones, I used seam binding tape for this one. Then I cut several little squares of a variety of fabric colors and patterns. I iron the pieces in place with a little bit of stitch witchery tape. I sew the pieces down by going around the inner and outer circle and then putting a serpentine stitch down the middle. The pieces of peace are left with unfinished edges on purpose, after all peace is not easy to attain.
Once again, my wish for you... May you find peace.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Odd things for men

I have made some odd things lately, all connected to the needs of some of the the men in my life.

# 1
Flannel case for prescription safety glasses.

# 2 Fabric hat for Blacksmith work, keeps hot projectiles from burning your scalp or setting your hair on fire. It also keeps the dirt off of you head. I drafted the pattern by copying a paper disposable surgery cap, used in a hospital setting.

# 3
Pencil and paper holder for the co-driver of my son's race car. This has Velcro on the straps so that it could be strapped to his lower leg, making it easy for him to reach down for the pencil or paper. It turned out that he didn't like it on his leg, but did find it useful strapped to the roll cage bar.

#4 Another item for race car support. This is a large bag made to cover the head light set that goes on the car for night driving. I used a moving blanket, serged it into a big pocket and added a tie strap. Easy sewing, but will be very good for keeping the lights from getting scratched up in transit.

Gumdrop Footstool

I haven't posted in awhile, I have been pretty busy, but I have found some time for sewing in between and around other aspects of my life. I will try to catch up on some posting in the next few days.

At serger club we made the Gumdrop Pillow from a Amy Butler pattern. I didn't think that I really needed such a pillow or that I would get much use out of it, but it has turned out to be very useful and was fun to make. This is the 18 inch size, which required the entire contents of a 5 lb. box of poly-fill. Here you see Sarah enjoying it during a recent visit and our cat Trooper perched on top. I purchased enough of this fabric to make a 24 inch gumdrop also, that will probably be a 2008 project.