Category Beyond Quilts

April Newsletter

April showers bring May flowers…… You know the saying. But here in South Texas, we get beautiful wild flowers in April too. And it has been a good spring for it. I hope y’all are having a wonderful spring, enjoying the warmer weather and fabulous showers (well, mostly down pours !!).

It’s always a hive of activity here at the Cottage, no matter what. I seem to meet myself coming and going all the time.

We decided that it was time for a much needed vacation, (haven’t had one in 5 years). Carefully we looked at all the stats to decide which week would be the best for y’all. According to all our records, the week of Memorial Day is the slowest week of the year. So we picked that one. Please mark your calendars. We will be closed:

Monday May 30 thru June 4.

We will be back open Monday June 6.  We thank y’all for understanding and look forward to seeing y’all for Row by Row !!

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Row by Row 2016

“Home Sweet Home”

Start planning your route

Check out the national website

https://www.rowbyrowexperience.com

and the Texas FB page

https://www.facebook.com/TXRowbyRowExperience

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It can’t always be a bed of roses, sometimes reality gets in the way. With very fond memories but heavy hearts, we have had to say goodbye to 2 beloved local quilters. Our sweet and funny little Evalyn Poole who left us on March 31. She brightened the Cottage with her presence every Saturday.Version 2

Long time quilter, much loved and always smiling Judy Rodriguez, left this life behind on April 7. We always enjoyed her company at coffee on Fridays.Version 2

We will feel their loss for a long time.

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Strip Club !!

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The May Strip Club is ready to go and waiting for you. We picked a beautiful spring color combo to go with the “Drop Diamonds” pattern.

AND……..Ta Da……….we invented the “Jelly Flats”.

(Same thing as a jelly roll, in a different format, we couldn’t make out jelly rolls look neat so we got creative).

Don’t they look delicious !!!!

Next Strip Club Meeting is Sat. May 21 at 1 pm. Bring your finished top from March and show it off. Don’t forget to pick up this dazzling purple diamond set before the meeting and get your pattern FREE.

April Grab Bag

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It’s such pretty colors with hummingbirds and morning glories. An original pattern designed by Christer and I, “Signs of Spring”, makes up into a 42” X 54” throw. Add a couple more borders if you choose to increase the size.

We also still have a couple of March grab bags, “Top O’ the Mornin” to Ya” here at the Cottage if you missed out.

NEW HOURS

We have adjusted our hours slightly to help accommodate your needs and ours. Starting immediately, we are open;

10 am to 6 pm Monday thru Friday

10 am to 4 pm Saturday

New at the Cottage

Finished Quilts

We now have a lovely stack of finished quilts in various sizes FOR SALE. Some of them made by me and some selected from other quilters. All beautiful and ready to give as a gift to a loved one or yourself.

Custom Notions

A local woodworker has custom made a couple of handy little notions for us. You will want to add these to your sewing room!!

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Birch Ruler Stand $24.95

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Hand Sewing Caddy $14.99          various exotic woods

New Fabric Collections

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Back by popular demand

“Calling All Nurses” by Windham Fabrics

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Adding to our vast Halloween fabrics; “On The Web” by Red Rooster. I Love this one !!!

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Rare & hard to find RV fabric. This is it!! All we can get so far.

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Vibrant “Autumn Song” by Red Rooster. (with a touch of gold)

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Cute & fun “ Cats In The Garden” by Clothworks

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New 108” backings from Windham

(wouldn’t this make a great jacket or bag or shirt !!)

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New colors and textures of Cuddle by Shannon

I just can’t get enough of this luxurious, soft, fabric

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More Halloween !! from a new supplier for us. Riley Blake’s “Lost & Found Halloween”

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Our fabulous new thread cabinet filled with a rainbow of Mettler 40 wt Polysheen threads. It’s beautiful and perfect for machine embroidery or garment construction.

Calendar

Fri. May 13 9am to 10 am Coffee at the Cottage

Fri. May 13 10am to 12 noon Hand Embroidery Club

Mon. May 16 6:30 pm to 8:30 ish Medina Quilt Group

Sat. May 21 1 pm to 4 pm Strip Club

Mon. May 30 CLOSED for vacation thru Sat. June 4

Fri. June 10 9am to 10 am Coffee at the Cottage.

Fri. June 10 10 am to 12 noon Hand Embroidery Club

Mon. June 20 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm Medina Quilt Group

Tues. June 21 starts Row by Row 2016 “Home Sweet Home”

Don’t forget that every Wed 1 – 4 pm is Open Sewing Workshop

Valuable Info

If you have ever wanted to work with that fabulous soft faux fur, but were afraid to, April’s Valuable Info article is very interesting and well worth the read.  It is taken from the Shannon website.

(Sorry, none of the pictures transferred over)

Editor: Liz Johnson   April 1, 2016  Shannon fabrics blog “My Cuddle Corner”

If you’ve ever touched quality plush fabric, you’ve probably made this sound: “Ohhhhhh, ahhhhhh.” You’re also likely to have immediately stroked your cheek with this wonderfully soft fabric. Luxury plush goes by several names. Many people refer to it generically as Minky, but that is actually a brand name, much like Kleenex® is a brand name for facial tissue. For this article, we’re referring to it as “Cuddle,” which is the name given to the category by industry leader, Shannon Fabrics. The fabric gives a fabulous softness to a wide variety of projects, from toys to pillows to blankets and more (we loved using it for a soft fitted crib sheet). It’s not a difficult fabric to sew with, but to create the very best results, it helps to have a few tips and tricks under your belt prior to jumping in. And doesn’t jumping into a huge pile of Cuddle sound like a wonderful thing? “Ohhhhhh, ahhhhhhh!”

What is it and why is it so soft?  As soft to the touch as cashmere and mink, Cuddle is actually 100% polyester. The high quality and density of the nap is what distinguishes it from its standard fleece cousins. You can launder it over and over without compromising the softness, the brightness of its colors or the warmth. It traditionally comes 58″ – 60″+ in width with the stretch along the width of the fabric. There is little to no stretch along the vertical (the grain line).

Types of plush fabric

The variety available is stunning. We could spend the whole article just showing you pretty pictures. Instead, the least overwhelming way to think about Cuddle is to organize it into four main categories: Solids, Prints, Embossed, and Double-Sided. Within each of the categories are dozens and dozens of options.

Solids and Prints

Solids range from vivid brights to baby pastels. Prints come in classic dots and chevrons as well as designer prints. Shannon Fabrics has many beautiful collections.

Embossed

Embossed Cuddle is a favorite. You get softness plus a subtle design that pops up from the nap, such as the classic dimple as well as hearts, stars, paisley, and more. We used it on our Playful Stuffed Crocodile to simulate his scales.

Double-sided

The selection within double-sided prints is not quite as varied with mostly solids and just a few prints. This is a great option to create a fast blanket with just a single bound layer, as we did with our Teen Pretty Pack Sleepover Blanket.

Washing and cutting

As mentioned above, Cuddle holds up beautifully through multiple launderings. Cold water washing is best, and do not use fabric softener.

Pre-washing Cuddle isn’t necessary because it doesn’t shrink. The one caveat is red. Polyester fabrics seldom fade or run, but red is always the exception to any rule.

Some people have expressed concerns about drying the embossed fabrics, saying it can cause the embossing to lose its texture. We haven’t experienced this problem, but we do choose to tumble dry on a cool setting or even to simply hang dry.

A rotary cutter with a standard or pinking blade is the best choice for cutting. The pinking blade adds a nice finish to your seam allowance. If you are working with a Cuddle that has a very long fiber, you may want to follow the recommendation for cutting faux fur, which is to cut from the back with scissors through just the backing. We have a full tutorial on Sewing with Faux Fur for more detail.

You will get lots o’ lint when you work with Cuddle. It’s simply the result of working with the deep nap that gives the fabric its ultra softness. You can’t eliminate it, but you can minimize it. Have a lint roller on hand and keep a small vacuum nearby for post-project clean up. You’ll also want to pay attention to your machine. Lint can quickly build up around the needle and presser foot as well as in the bobbin case. Take the time to clean as needed along the way as well as after you complete your project.

You can also take your larger cut pieces outside prior to sewing in order to give them a good shake. If you are sensitive to lint, make sure you don’t have a fan running that can blow the lint around and consider using a dust mask.

And my personal tip about lint: never wear all black when constructing a Cuddle project; you’ll come away looking like you’re turning into a stuffed animal!

Cuddle has a definite nap. You need to pay attention to the direction of the nap when cutting out your pieces so the nap is going in the same direction on any adjacent pieces. If your nap is going in opposite directions both the texture and the color will be different and ruin the look of your project. The image above is the same fabric with the nap brushed in two different directions.

When cutting pattern pieces, some people prefer working with pattern weights over pins because pinning through thick Cuddle layers can distort a pattern. We haven’t had a problem working with pins, but it is something to keep in mind. Another option would be to flip the pattern and trace it onto the back of the Cuddle, similar to how you cut a pattern on faux fur.

Machine set-up and stitching 

The number one tool to have is a Walking or Even Feed foot. Cuddle can be slippery, and the best way to combat it is with this type of specialty presser foot. It has upper feed dogs built in that work in harmony with the lower feed dogs on your machine. Your layers are fed in unison from both the top and the bottom.

We like to work with quilting gloves as an additional aid against the fabric slipping or sliding.

Start a new project with a new needle. A 90/14 stretch needle is the top choice as it has a slight ballpoint tip. We’ve also used a 90/14 universal needle with good results.

Set-up the machine for a longer stitch length: 3.0 to 4.0mm. Test your stitching first on scraps to make sure the length and tension settings on your machine are generating the best results.

Thread the machine with all-purpose thread in the top and bobbin. Decorative or specialty threads will get lost in the nap of the fabric.

We prefer to simply pin layers together, spacing them fairly close together – about every 1″ for stability. Don’t be afraid to use lots of pins.

If you don’t have access to a Walking foot or you simply find yourself getting frustrated with uncooperative layers, other options to hold things together include: hand-basting, using a fusible seam tape, such as Dritz Washaway Wonder Tape, or trying a basting spray. With a spray, make sure you protect the right side of the Cuddle prior to spraying.

Use a ½” seam allowance at a minimum. Cuddle has a tendency to curl, and the wider seam allowance helps stabilize it. It will also help decrease stretching.

Cuddle doesn’t fray so seam finishing isn’t necessary, however, when mixing Cuddle with another fabric (see below), if the resulting seam allowance is too bulky, grade the seam by trimming away some of the Cuddle.

Topstitching a finished seam will also help reduce bulk and help the Cuddle lay flat. If you choose this option, always topstitch in the same direction as the nap.

Combining plush fleece with another fabric type

It’s common to combine Cuddle with another fabric. We often use a quilting cotton as a binding for our blankets. And, we’ve seen some gorgeous quilts lately that have chosen Cuddle as the quilt’s backing. It adds a lovely softness, and if you chose a Cuddle with a short nap, the quilting design does show up, adding texture, beauty, and softness to the quilt back.

The main thing to keep in mind is that these other fabrics will likely behave differently in the wash than Cuddle. Pre-wash all fabrics you’ll be using in combination with the Cuddle to avoid uneven shrinkage when laundering the finished project.

When stitching, work with the Cuddle on the bottom against the feed dogs for the smoothest movement through the machine.

Another trick we’ve used on several blanket projects is to insert a layer of double-sided flannel between the layers of Cuddle. Because the back of the Cuddle is smooth and rather slick, when two layers are wrong sides together, as they would be for a blanket, they’ll want to shift against each other. You can certainly add lines of quilting to hold the layers together, but sometimes that isn’t the look you want, and with larger blankets  – unless you add lots of lines of quilting, the two layers can sometimes still droop or slide between the quilting. We’ve found the “grippyness” of the flannel helps keep the layers stable.

Pressing

Cuddle is 100% polyester so it can melt if directly exposed to high heat. In most cases, the rule is to simply not iron it at all. If you feel you must press a seam, do it from the wrong side and use a pressing cloth.

The embossed Cuddle is especially sensitive to heat as it is heat that created the embossed designs in the first place, so excessive heat can take that texture away.

Placing the Cuddle face down against a plush towel rather than directly on your flat ironing board also helps preserve the nap.

Our thanks to Fabric Depot and Shannon Fabrics for providing some of the background tips for this article.

 

 

Looks What’s New !!!!!

Time flies when you are busy !!  No sooner did Row by Row wind down than a flurry of deliveries started flooding in.  It’s a mad house around here !!  New fabrics, new thread cabinet and colors, new “Old Style” 100% Cotton laces & rick rack in pastels, new flannels, new buttons, new linen blend 60″ wide and new Cuddle fabrics 60″ & 90″ wide.  We are stocking River Silks fabulous silk ribbon and BEADS !!!!  Glorious Czech glass beads !!

And right on time,now that the quilt show is finished and all the quilts have been retrieved by their owners, the classroom looks naked !!  Time to get busy and schedule more classes and get some projects done.  Christmas is right around the corner and at the rate time is flying by, it will be here before we know it.  Time to get busy !!

Pictures never do true justice to fabrics or quilts, but here are some exciting things to think about !

Come into the shop and check them out when you are our the area:

THE NEW FABRICS

You have to feel this to believe it !!  Shannon’s “Spa Cuddle”.  This glorious fabric, just in time for fall, is “Cuddle” soft on BOTH side of the yardage !!  Add a beautiful binding and it’s snuggle ready 🙂  Or make up a fantastic bathrobe that will caress you all winter long.  The “Camo Cuddle” is back and “Star Embossed Cuddle” made it’s debut. (more coming in a few weeks)

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Spa Cuddle (the pink close up) in 3 colors; pink navy, tan  ~ Rabbit Cuddle (close up on the end)

DSC_2348Also more colors in the amazing Suede Cloth by Shannon.

The beautiful and sumptuous Linen Blend by Stof from Denmark.  This is the loveliest fabric to work with.  If you sew clothing at all, you want some of this !!  Jackets, skirts, pants, even shirts.  It’s wonderful to embroider on and Home Decor items are a no-brainer with this fabulous fabric.  It washes up like a dream, it’s soft, smooth and comfortable, yet crisp when pressed.  I got a bolt to “try” and it flew out the door.  So I ordered it again in 3 colors this time, white, black & sand.  More to come in the future.  Look at all the rich colors this blend (55% Linen~45% Cotton) comes in,  Let me know which color you want me to order next

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More fun and cuddly flannel.  Now that Old Man Winter is knocking on our door, it’s time to think about flannel shirts & pajamas, not to mention baby quilts  & throws for everyone !!  I even made a “Little Somethin’ Jacket” out of flannel and it is the best !!  (I’ve used it all summer too when the A/C gets to me)

These are, ohhhh so soft, yarn died flannels, (the plaids) Yarn dying makes the flannel look and feel the same on both sides.

There is just something nostalgic about flannel.  Gotta love it !!

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New fabrics for the “Modern Quilt” minded.  But it’s working for all kinds of things too.  Everything from baby burp pads to aprons and skirts to wall hangings.  Everyone’s fabulous creativity never ceases to amaze me !!!!  I love it !!

Fabrics from Northcott and Micheal Miller

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These wonderful blenders from Northcott are so soft and beautiful, you won’t believe it.  The brown looks like old leather. Wonderful!

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Buttons, Buttons and more Buttons

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A wall of buttons !!  All the new Christmas and Holiday buttons have arrived.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, new standard shirt & clothing buttons.  Novelty buttons of all kinds !  Here are some close-ups of the ever popular “Nativity” set.  The have added new ones this year.  Last year they sold out, so don’t delay if you want these darling buttons

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Along with the buttons, our supplier has made “Crafting Beads for Jewelry Kits”.  Eight different popular Disney characters to chose from and make up with your little princess.  One of  my customers kindly allowed me to post this picture of  her darling granddaughter proudly wearing her creation.  Sooooo Cute !!!

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Glass Beads and Silk Ribbons

For a few months now, we have been stocking River Silks fabulous silk ribbon.  River Silks ribbon is the best on the market, I’ve been told.  It has been tested thru canvas and proven not to fray or split.  We have  4mm, 7mm and 13mm widths.  We are increasing our color selection with each order.  Come in and see how wonderful it is and how easy it is to work with.  Watch us grow !! (next order in progress to fill the empty spots on the wall & add a few new ones too)

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Beads that sparkle and shine are lighting up the wall right next to the silk ribbon.  Beautiful, quality Czech glass beads are complimenting our embellishment wall.  Our first order came last week and we are still getting them packaged and up on the wall.  The next order is already in progress to improve and expand the pallet.

We are truly excited about our beads !!

Watch for more arriving, it’s just the beginning. 🙂

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It’s really hard to keep up around here with so much going on.  The annual Medina Quilt Fest was last month and the classroom was filled with beautiful quilts made by the Medina Quilters on display.  Thanks so much ladies (That’s why the classes were halted)

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Next post ….new class schedule …..stay tuned

UPDATE

UPDATES:

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Stuck in the middle of a project ???


Need a little push ???


Can’t figure out what to do next ???

Join us on Saturday, May 16th
at Little Cottage Quilt shop at 2 pm for
“Group Therapy”.

We are starting a UFO ClubEvery 3rd Saturday of the month, bring your most pressing UFO and have some fun with others in the same boat.  “Two heads are better than one” and “The more the merrier”.  Sometimes just another perspective or different view is all it takes to spark a new idea or kick you out of the rut you are in.  It’s easy to get bogged down and “Can’t see the forest for the trees”.

(I’m just full of quotes tonight 😉

But seriously, we all want to finish up those nagging projects sitting on our tables mocking us because we just don’t know what to do or where to go next with them.  Sometimes just the inspiration from an other’s view is all it takes to motivate us.

Soooooooo,  pack up that UFO and join us for a fun afternoon and some great motivation.  Bring your favorite afternoon snack and we will provide the coffee and tea.

See you then !!!!

Class Date Change

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Silk Ribbon Embroidery Class  has been rescheduled.
Bobbie Richard, our instructor, is enjoying a cruise.  She is worth waiting for.  Bobbie is a Martha Pullen certified instructor.  She is experienced in both silk ribbon embroidery and teaching the skill.  We are so excited to have her teach this class!
The new date is Thursday, June 18.  The class will start at 10 am and is an all day workshop.  If you are interested in this fabulous opportunity, please call the shop and get on the list. (830)589-2502
The first part of June, a special reminder email will go out to all those on the list for this workshop, with additional details including the workshop fee.
Be sure you are on the list 🙂

Wine Charm Coasters

Wine Charm Coasters

I thought I had posted these pictures and info.  Apparently not, OOPPS !!

(Thanks Joann T. for bringing it to my attention)

Here is the fun and handy Charm Coasters.  They work as a coaster, a drink charm, great hostess gifts, stocking stuffers and last minute gift ideas.

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I made these out of Northcott’s  Artisan Spirit Shimmer charm pack.  It takes 5 charms plus 1 charm (5″ square) of Roclon’s Waffle Muslin per coaster.

Here are the directions I wrote up:

This is a free pattern for you.  We also have them here at the shop for you to pick up along with all the supplies you will need to make these.

Wine Charm Coaster

For each Charm Coaster you will need:

5 Charms (5 x 5 in square) of fabrics

{these can be all the same or coordinating}

1 charm (5″ square) of the Waffle Muslin

matching thread

Lay the Waffle Muslin square on your work surface. Place the first charm square that you want to be the backside of your Coaster on top of the Waffle Muslin square, right side up. Line up all the edges.

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Fold the remaining 4 charm squares in half, wrong side together.  Start laying the folded charms on top of the backside charm, one at a time, along each side of the square, matching all the raw edges. When you line up the 4th folded charm, tuck it under the 1st folded charm.

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(please note that the jarring none coordinating fabrics are to make it easy for you to see how it goes together)

At this point you can cut the 5 inch square into a 5” circle if desired or just round the corners.  If you leave it square, be sure to clip the corners after stitching to remove as much bulk as possible.

Stitch a ¼” seam all around the 4 outside raw edges or circle. Stitch a second seam between the raw edge and the 1/4” seam.

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Turn the Charm Coaster right side out. The Waffle muslin should now be completely concealed inside the Charm Coaster. Push out the corners if you have left it as a square. Roll the seams between your thumb and fingers to pull the seams out all the way. Iron it smooth and PRESTO !! You have a wonderful gift for any occasion, even yourself 😉 in just minutes.

Nestle the pedestal of the glass inside the opening of the Charm Coaster. Now the coaster stays with the glass.

CHEERS

Christmas Ornament Class

CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT CLASS

We have had lots of inquiries about classes for this beautiful Christmas ornament.

We have decided to go ahead and start classes without the class room. (although, the guys are making great progress)  We will hold small classes in the new back room until the class room is finished enough to use.

Now, I need your help in deciding what time of day, and finding out who is interested in signing up.

Please let us know. Call the Cottage, (830)589-2502, or email, littlecottagequilts@gmail.com, or come on in and talk to us to get on the list.

Once we have gathered the data, I will let you know all the specifics. We can only do 8 people per class, so don’t delay. Thanks

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My Latest Creation

My Latest Creation

I sew almost everyday. 🙂  Most of what I sew is practical.  I love to make items that you use, home decor, clothing, etc.  I love bags !!!!  I have been making bags of some sort all my life.  Bags carry your “stuff” !!  They are an important part of life, for all of us.  My latest bag is for my granddaughter, a cat lover.  I used the “Kat-tastic” collection by Benartex for her bag.  She is heading to middle school this fall and this can carry all her “stuff”.   It’s part of the pattern “Sew Easy Pajama Pants” by {Taylor Made Designs} for darling pajama pants & shorts & bags.  (we have both the pattern and the fabric here at the cottage)   It is a nice sized bag and could be used for a number of uses.  I added pockets to each side on the outside.  You could add pockets to the inside too, for electronics, pencils, gym shoes, or even snacks. Practice makes perfect, I’ll make it again in another collection and try a little something different in the pocket configuration.  SEW MUCH FUN !!!!

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Fun and straight forward to make.  No one else will have the same one for sure !!

And while I’m on the subject of bags…………………last year, a new fabric came out.  It’s the same stuff they make the labels on jeans out of.  It’s interesting stuff.  It’s washer and dryer safe.  It’s tough and strong.  You can do a lot of things with it.  You can paint on it, rubber stamp it, sew it, just about any medium you can think of.  Different stuff to work with.  (to say the least)

So I got the brilliant idea to make a purse out of it, both as a display in the Cottage and then for me to use after.  I discovered real fast that you need to work with it as if it were leather.  The first seam I tried to turn right side out, actually ripped the thread out.  Tough stuff !!  I changed my approach.  I lined it and added pockets to hold everything inside.  I padded the handles so after I load it up with my 40 pounds of “stuff” it won’t kill my shoulders.

I have to say, it’s pretty cool fabric.  I think it would be great as: book, ipad,or e-reader covers, handles for anything, decorative “leather” accents on anything, pencil pouches, portfolios, and yes, even bags. 🙂 You will be limited only by your imagination.

It’s “kraft-tex kraft paper fabric”.  It comes in natural, white and black.  We have all three colors here at the cottage.  Try your hand at something creative today !!

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Inside pockets view

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Stormy Night in Medina

Stormy Night in Medina

It’s Monday night, after Mother’s Day weekend.  I hope ya’ll had a nice Mother’s Day.  Mother Nature is kicking up her heels tonight !!!  It got quite dark early.  The wind is howling, it’s been pouring rain off and on for about two hour so far.  Constant lightening strikes across the dark sky and the thunder rolls across the sound waves.  In a way it’s cozy, safe here in the little farm house out of the weather, while the wind pounds the rain against the windows.  I’m so glad to be in here and not out there. 🙂

So tonight, I thought I would share with you some more  things to do with fabrics.  Fabric is such a versatile medium.  It can be the clothes on our back.  It can be a quilt to keep us warm, a kitchen helper, curtains for privacy & decorating.  It can be an art piece, a gift or a flag/banner.  The uses of fabrics are limited only by your imagination.  I love to see others creativity and imagination.

Here are two local ladies who ventured out of their “norm” for sewing and made these fun and easy jackets.  The pattern is “A Little Somethin’ Jacket”, by Karen Nye of CNT Pattern Co..  It’s a great pattern, quick and easy  to make.  One of these ladies has made it at least 3 times.  Once in flannel (great for cool spring evenings)long sleeved, once in a beautiful batik and the one in this picture.  Thanks for sharing ladies 🙂  I have one cut out of a grey flannel for myself, can’t wait to get it sewn up and wear it !!

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Another basic but useful thing to do with all the beautiful fabrics out there are table runners.  They can be just decorative, or you can add insulation (like Insul-Brite, or a couple of layers of cotton batting) to the inside to use as a big hot pad for the hot dishes you serve your meals in.  This fun and attractive table runner is perfect to grace your breakfast table or coffee table.  Easy to do !!!  I took the panel, hemmed all the sides and did a pretty decorative machine stitch around the hem.  Voila !!  Instant style !!  Makes a great hostess gift too.

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I am a Tea lover.  Anything tea !!  I love the ritual of sipping soothing tea while visiting with friends or family.  I love curling up with a nice cup of tea and reading or sewing on something.  I love tea pots, I have a collection of about 200 (some them displayed at Little Cottage Quilt Shop).  I also have a collection of antique tea cups and saucers.  I love all the paraphernalia that accompanies tea.  I love tea books and tea cook books.  So when I got this darling tea fabric, I just had to make a table runner out of it.  The table runner is a modified “10 Minute Table Runner”The pattern is free for the asking at the Cottage.

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This table runner is an insulated one for those hot dishes you set on the table filled with your deliciously prepared foods for those you love.  I pieced the top together, sandwiched Insul-Brite between that and a coordinating print.  I quilted it on my machine, a quick “stitch in the ditch” and around the saying blocks.   I still have to put the red binding on it tonight.  Then it’s being dropped in the mail tomorrow for  my daughter. 🙂

I hope I have inspired you a little to use your imagination and explore many avenues of discovery with fabrics !!!

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More Things To Do With Fabrics

More Things To So With Fabrics

As I said in another post, I have sewn almost all my life.  I constructed clothing, home decor of all kinds,  crafts and anything else you can think of made out of fabrics, GLORIOUS FABRICS !!  I made my first quilt when I was 17.  Then when my kids were very young, I made custom order quilts for a bedding store.  Over the years I made many more quilts, but most of them were made because we needed it, quick and easy,  not necessarily works of art.  But, I think I have made many “works of art” out of fabric beyond quilts over the years.  Here are a few fun projects to inspire you to step outside the quilted box and do something more with fabrics 🙂

Tea Cozy

I Love Tea !!  I enjoy the nice hot liquid, but I love the companionship that usually comes along with the tea.  I enjoy the ambiance tea evokes.  I love the paraphernalia that accompanies tea.  (I have a very large tea pot collection)  But I think most of all, I love the feelings that I get when I can sit down with a loved one and enjoy time together over tea.

This is a cute little tea cozy I redesigned, from an old one I have had for decades, and made here for the shop.  It’s easy to use and cute to look at.  Kind of goes along with that wonderful Tea culture. 🙂  Come on and ask for your free copy of the pattern.  We’ll even make you a cup of tea if you like 🙂

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Giant Pin Cushion/Gadget Caddy

I’m all about gadgets that make life easier and more efficient.  I found this nifty pin cushion on a post on FB and down loaded the free pattern.  I really liked the idea.  I decided that we needed to make one for the Cottage to share with everyone.  (not to mention corralling all the  tools scattered around the sewing table)  Ann and I both worked on it.  She took all the Fossil Fern scraps left over from a display quilt we made and did all the patchwork piecing and put it together.  Then I finished it with the stuffing.  But I added a couple of additions to the original pattern.  I wanted to use the ground walnut shells some how at the top because they sharpen the pins.  I made a pouch the same size as the top of the pin cushion and filled it with the crushed walnut shells.  Then I turned the pin cushion upside down and put the shell pouch right in next to the top surface.  Then I filled it as tightly as I could with poly fill.   As I was stuffing it tightly, it occurred to me that it’s going to be very top heavy and flip over with the ground walnut shells weight at the top.  Hmmmmm……..that’s not going to work…… IDEA…..  I made another pouch just like the ground walnut shell pouch and filled it with rice.  BINGO !!  Ballast !!  We have achieved equilibrium 🙂    It’s great, a little bit heavy, but it stays put where ever you need it.  Very handy.  Another free pattern to share, just ask for it.

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