Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Reusable Gift Bag

I love making small gift bags. It can add a unique touch to any gift. A cute reusable bag is almost a gift in and of itself. This particular bag is a variation on my Treasure Bag. I've made it slightly bigger, added a separate casing and made it reversible(for those of us who like options). Of course, something special is going in the bag. You'll just have to wait and see.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Show

The above image is the mailer for this year's Craft Art Market. It's held every year between Thanksgiving and New Year's. I was surprised to find they used my "art". Hopefully sales will be better this year than last year. My "art" tends to be whimsical rather than useful or traditional. It's suppose to be fun, like bring a smile to your face, fun.
Here's the picture I took of the "Dotty Jester" a few months before the show. He was originally made as a challenge for the Central Coast Art Doll Club, which I am very involved in. Actually right now I'm the president. This is one of the most kick back but stimulating activities I do. The hardest part of being president is actually keeping everyone focused on the meeting at hand. The "other " conversations are very interesting. Probably more so than the current business we are trying to accomplish. In spite of this we actually accomplish a lot. We do a variety of challenges and projects every year. More importantly everyone has a great time. Lots of smiles!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

My poor blog has been a bit neglected lately. I haven't forgotten about it but I've been so busy that I haven't taken any pictures to post let alone log in. October means Halloween. Halloween means costumes. Guess what? Even if your children are grown up you still end up making them costumes. Bigger kids means more sophisticated costumes. Well... sometimes. My daughter found a tutorial online for a pretty easy and good looking costume. Any way you're probably wondering what this all has to do with pumpkin cinnamon rolls. It turns out I had a decent picture of the rolls and not the costume. I will give more details when I get a good picture of the costume. I have a great recipe for yeasted pumpkin bread and I turned it in to pumpkin cinnamon rolls. One word: yum. Of course, I put chocolate chips in them. Just about everything tastes better with chocolate. And maybe if I catch up with myself I'll have time to post the recipe.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Pencil Bag

This is the pencil bag my college age daughter designed to replace the one that died. I did help a bit with the construction. If I thought googlie eyes would survive the book bag I would have glued them on. Of course, I not sure how anything survives being in her book bag without getting smooshed . It's always stuffed full, coffee, water bottle, lunch, snack, extra snack for those with puppy dog eyes, books, notebooks, misc. and of course the pencil bag. Now the pencil bag the last time I saw it being stuffed into the book bag was also stuffed to the max. I asked her "What's in there besides pencils, a bunch of candy?" Oh ya! It's amazing she got it zipped closed. I was told the candy was every bit as or even more important than the pencils. Those kids do have their priorities.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Momiji Doll Birthday Greetings

Momiji dolls were a recent discovery for me. I'm not sure why it took so long to find out about them. They are small and cute. Just the kind of thing I adore. Of course, when I did discover them I just had to make my own version. I'm still tweaking with the pattern a bit. But I did make this one as a birthday present for a close friend who recently discovered zakka. I made a special coordinating gift bag.
And as you can see, she can hold a secret message. A friend of mine commented it would be a great way for little girls to pass notes to one another at school. My oldest daughter, who is a teacher, wasn't so sure about that.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Patchwork Bag Pattern

It's a free pattern for a small patchwork bag. My birthday's coming up and I've decided to share one of my favorite patterns with you as a gift. This pattern was one of a line of patterns I had produced several years ago . It's been updated a bit. Hope you enjoy making it as much as I do. It is one of my favorites to make as a reusable gift bag. I've also made them using just the lining pattern piece and reducing the size a bit as goody bags for birthday parties. They can be reversible. The finished bag is about 4x4 inches.

You can get the free bag pattern here. Please use this pattern for your personal use and enjoyment only.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Birthday Bling

It's that time of the year again-birthday time. Many of my friends have their birthday's either in late August or September. Of course mine is in September. This brooch is the first of several gifts I'm making. It's embroidered with an assortment of beads. I also made the small matchbox to give it in. Then I made a very small (3/4" x 3/4") birthday card to go with the present. And it actually did not get lost in my purse before I gave it to her. Good things can come in small packages.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Three Way Bag

Yes it really is just one bag. One bag, three different looks. How fun is that, one bag for every mood. This is a pattern from a Japanese book. It was one of those you had to draft your own pattern from a diagram. Of course, this makes it easier for design changes. I prefer a shoulder bag, so I made the handles longer. I also wanted a completely reversible bag. The list of possibilities goes on and on. There are a few more changes I'd like to try. Hope I get around to it soon.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ladybug, Ladybug

Remember that poem from when you were little. I was reminded of it while putting together this table. My daughter needed a project table for her classroom. We bought the table top and legs from Home Depot. They were raw wood. My husband cut down the legs a bit so that it was child-sized. Then we sanded and primed it. My daughter thought long and hard about how she wanted it painted. She couldn't decide. One night I had a dream, in full color, that the table was painted turquoise and red. I love that combo. Of course she wasn't sure about it. But I had a dream. The turquoise paint is leftover from painting the bathroom. I love that color. Maybe I mentioned that already. Anyway while buying the red paint she found the cute ladybug stencils. Her classroom has a plant and bug theme to it. Ladybugs are a perfect fit. If I still had little ones I would love to put this table in their room. Too cute!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Charm Square Purse

This is a bag I see frequently in Japanese books and magazines. It is made from 17 squares. I used a charm square pack (Clementine by Moda). The 5" squares make a nice size bag. Or a least I really like it, not too big, yet big enough. The extra squares from the charm pack can be used to make pockets on the inside and/or the handles. If you don't have a charm pack, you can use leftover pieced squares from a quilt or even make some just for this bag. You can use a different size square to make a different size purse. It is a very versatile pattern. I plan to post a tutorial on how to put it together as soon as I edit the pictures.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Quilt Yuko Made

July was one very busy month. We went to Santa Barbara for a week. Had a great time. We went to the Museum of Natural History. The live butterfly exhibit was fantastic. There were butterflies everywhere. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera. Thus no pictures. Of course we went to beach etc. Also my daughter's college roommate visited for a week this month. She decided she wanted to make a quilt. The three of us cut and pieced a quilt top in four days. Which is pretty amazing considering she's never sewn before. I really like this pattern and might just have to make one for myself. I'm not sure August is going to be any less busy. I'm doing a craft show this weekend. I've spent this week getting ready for it. Hope sales are good.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy Scrappy-Me Three

Well this is the forth quilt I've finished this year. The first is a picture of the overall quilt. The second picture is a detail of the border. Sometimes borders just add the right finishing touch. This quilt has a polyester batting in it, so it is a bit fluffier than some of my other quilts. I prefer to use warm and natural or flannel as the batting. One thing to note is the scrap pile is a bit smaller. Well the scraps are much now much smaller pieces. I'll have to make some smaller scrappy projects. I really like these fabric baskets. I keep making them but they don't stick around. They make great gifts and gift baskets.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Kangaroo Pocket Purse

The pockets on this bag remind me of a kangaroo pouch. I love pockets in purses and bags. It helps separate out those important items or the really small ones that tend to get lost. So, I designed this completely reversible bag. Because of the way it is made it has four pockets. I love making new designs. I'm seriously considering publishing patterns for sale again. This bag pattern may be one of the first.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Oooh Baby. . . It's a Quilt

The latest quilt, a baby quilt, made as a gift. It is kind of scrappy. I went through my stash and used everything that coordinated with the sashing. There was a bit of frustration with the backing fabric. It was 1" too small for the quilt. I measured 6 times hoping each time that some how it would change. Not a chance. So there is a row of the left over rectangles in the center of the backing. I really liked this block and may make another quilt with different fabrics.

Monday, June 15, 2009

And the Winner is. . .

Yes again, it was me. Let me explain. A couple of weekends ago was the Central Coast Quilt Shop Tour. Many of the shops had challenges or contests. Quilt'n Cousins theme was Surf's Up. So the challenge for that shop was decorated flip-flops. So here are my decorated flip-flops. They won as well as the pair my daughter decorated. Of course we were the only two entries. Still though, we each won a very nice gift certificate to one of my favorite quilt stores.

The flip-flops have ribbon glued on to the straps. The medallions are based on one of my popular brooch designs. They are made from fabric covered with sequins and beads. Anyway I thought they dressed up plain black flip-flops rather nicely.

Monday, June 8, 2009

And the winner is. . .

You're going wait a sec, the May giveaway day is over. Yes it is. But this weekend was the Central Coast Quilt Shop Tour. And I won :) one of the daily gift baskets from Betty's Fabric. It was a tote bag stuffed with lots of quilting related goodies. That bag was heavy let me tell you. The contents are pictured below.
Lots and lots of fabric, books, patterns and notions. There was even a package of bamboo batting. I've been wanting to try this since I heard about it a few months ago. So I'm off to sort all that fabric out and find projects to use it up on. More about the tour on the next post. Hint: another prize.

Monday, June 1, 2009

And The Winner Is. . .

And the winner is. . . But before I announce the winner let me thank each of you for your wonderful comments. They were all much appreciated and I loved reading each and every one. I apologize for not posting the winner this morning like I was going to but, it has been one of those days. Anyway the random number generator picked mmmoffitm. She will not only get the treasure bag but the coordinating kitty pin (see picture) as well. I will be contacting the winner to get her address. Thank you all again for your participation.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May Giveaway Day

It's May Giveaway Day at Chimera Threads. Thank you Sew Mama Sew!Blog for coordinating this event. It sounded like to much fun to miss out on. Sew here are the details for participating on this blog. I am going to give away a treasure bag. It will, of course, have a treasure or two or more in it. To qualify for the treasure please either comment on ways I can improve my tutorial (previous post) or what is your favorite thing about craft type blogs. By this, I mean do you like seeing what others are making, or are you looking for good ideas or inspiration, etc. You get the idea. I am trying to improve my blogging skills. Only meaningful comments, please. I will randomly pick an appropriate comment the morning of June 1st. I am willing to ship internationally as I love getting international mail. I will accept comments from this post and the previous post (treasure bag tutorial).

Monday, May 25, 2009

Treasure Bag Tutorial

This is a tutorial for a small gift bag. I've been making them for my family to hold chocolates and small gifts for the various holidays. I like to use theme fabrics when making them for the different holidays, hearts for Valentine's, shamrocks for St. Pat's, bunnies for Easter, etc. The finished size is about 4 1/2" tall x 3" wide. This is my first attempt at a tutorial. I would appreciate comments that would help my tutorial writing skills improve. So here goes:

Materials needed:
  1. 2-5"x6" pieces of fabric for the sides
  2. 1-3 1/2" circle of fabric for the bottom
  3. 7/8-1yd 1/8" ribbon or cord for the drawstring
Add Image
Due to the small size of the bag the casings get pressed before sewing the side seams.
Press down 1/4", then 1" from that fold. Unfold and sew the side seams (1/4" seam allowance), leaving a 1/4" opening 1 7/8" down from the top edge. (See above picture).Press the seams open.

Add ImageI usually stay stitch just a bit less than the seam allowance on the bottom edge. This will allow you to clip to the stitching to help it lie flat when sewing to the bottom.

Now fold down the casing, 1/4" and then 1", edge stitch from the bottom fold and stitch again 1/4" away from the edge stitching. Make sure the side seams are flat or you will not be able to get the drawstring threaded through.

Next pin and sew the bottom to the sides,1/4" seam allowance. I divide the bottom and sides by quarters, match these up, pin on these marks and then sew. You may need to clip the bottom edge of the sides to make it fit and lie flat enough to sew. Just be sure not to clip through the stay stitching.

Turn the bag right side out. Cut the ribbon or cord in half and thread it through the casing as follows: start on one side and completely go around and come out where you started, then start on the opposite side and completely go around and come out where you started. Knot the ends together. TIP: Because the casing is so narrow I use a large blunt needle to thread the ribbon through. Thread the ribbon into the eye of the needle and push through the the casing with the eye end of the needle.

Your bag is now ready to be filled with treasures for that special someone.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Scrappy Too

This is scrappy quilt number two for this year. It did use up some of the bigger scraps but it didn't make much of dent in the scrap pile. I'm still working on it. Scrappy quilt number three is waiting to be quilted. It will have to wait until I finish the baby quilt I'm working on.

The pattern I used for this quilt can be found here. It's hard to believe that it is the same pattern. The fabric choice makes a such difference.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A New Pincushion

I finally made a new pincushion for myself. My old one was about 16 or 17 years old. Time for an update. My mom and I attended the Seven Sisters Quilt show and she bought this pattern there. So we went home from the quilt show and made it that very evening. The fabrics are all leftover scraps from my scrap quilt. I just finished that quilt a few days ago and hope to post a pic soon. Hope my new pincushion serves as well as my last one.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Eco-friendly Lunch Bag

After shopping for quite some time for the perfect lunch bag/box, my daughter found a picture of one she really liked in a Japanese magazine. Unfortunately the directions were almost undecipherable. So we found a bag of the size and shape she wanted and I drafted a pattern using the design elements from the magazine picture. It worked perfectly as you can see. And has the added bonus of being machine washable. By-the-way sushi is one of her favorite lunches.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Miss May Flowers

Miss May Flowers looks like a folk dancer ready to do the May pole dance. When I was in elementary school we had a May day celebration. All the classes would learn different folk dances, dress in costumes and then perform their dances for the whole school on the playground. I can't remember if it was the third or fourth graders who got to do the May pole dance. I do remember doing the May pole dance. It was fun. What a great way to celebrate spring.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bunny, Bunny

I designed and made these very cute bunnies to go in the baskets I made for Easter. See previous post about the baskets. I really like the way the larger prints work for their bodies. I will definitely be making more of these soon.

Monday, April 13, 2009

3 Baskets Full

Baskets photographed while waiting to be filled by the Easter Bunny. There's a great tutorial here for making these cute and useful baskets. It is also a great pattern to use up some of those smaller scraps. Of course nothing I make with scraps seems to make a dent in the scrap pile. I'll keep trying though.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pumpkin Scones

I know this seems to be a bit out of season but, here's a recipe for pumpkin scones. I recently made these because I found an open can of pumpkin in the refrigerator. My family has no problem eating these any time of the year.


1 c. flour
1 c. ww flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 c. brown sugar
6 tbsp butter
1/c c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. sour cream (reduced fat will work)
1/2-1 c. dry mix-ins (any combo of chocolate chips, nuts or dried fruits)

Preheat oven to 400*f. Mix together first 10 ingredients. Cut in the butter until it is the size of very small peas. (You can freeze the butter and then on the large holes of the grater, grate the butter into the flour mixture. Work in the butter with your fingers.) Stir in the mix-ins. Thoroughly combine the pumpkin and sour cream. Stir into the flour/butter mixture until it comes together. (You may have to use your hands.) Divide the dough in half and flatten to a 6" disc on a lightly floured cutting board. Cut into 6 wedges and place on cookie sheet. Repeat with other half of the dough. (I like to make smaller scones. This way you can eat more than one with no guilt.) You could also flatten all the dough and cut into 8 wedges. Bake @ 400*f for about 15 minutes, longer if you make bigger scones.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Nesting Owls

Here is the latest design in the nesting set series, owls in fun spring colors. They're based on my matryoshka doll design. I'm still tweaking with the design details, but for now I'm happy with the shape and size.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Old Top-New Bag

Out with the old- in with the new, spring has sprung around here. We've been out in the yard taming weeds and laying out new planters. This means I haven't been sewing quite as much as I would like to. My daughter on the other hand is on spring break and has time to sew. She made this very cute bag out of a halter top. She has a whole bag of clothes just waiting to be re-purposed. I can hardly wait to see what she comes up with.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Happy Scrappy Quilt

This is the first quilt I've completely finished this year. I made the quilt top last year. I have to admit my favorite part of quilting is designing and sewing the top. This one was made from a wide variety of scraps. And no it didn't make a dent in the scrap pile. I keep trying. Stashbusters (a yahoo group) has a hundred yard dash challenge that started late last year. The goal is to use up 100 yards of fabric from your stash. They do give specific guidelines as to how the fabric used is counted. Since I got a late start and many of my projects are quite small (under 5") My personal goal is a 50 yard dash. I like to set realistic goals.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spring Things for Swap-bot

This is a picture from a Japanese zakka swap I did on swap-bot. It is a sakura (cherry blossom) bag. I love Japanese craft/sewing projects. They are usually quite clever and very cute. The word zakka generally means cute and useful. I'm not sure how useful this particular bag is. The bag (which is behind the flower) is only about 2" in diameter and about 1 1/2" tall. But it is very cute.

This is a set of matryoshka dolls for a swap-bot swap. I love making matryoshka dolls. I love the concept of small nesting dolls and animals. I've been working on many variations of them. Currently I'm designing a set of nesting owls. I'm almost done and will soon start on the next set of nesting animals. Hopefully I can post pictures when they are done.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ankie Daanen Class cont.

Here are the pictures of the doll I created in the Ankie Daanen class I took a couple of weeks ago. It was a wonderful experience. Also look at the finished doll. One of the best I've ever made. I would have posted these pictures sooner but I have been busy quilting. As in finishing quilts. I've machine quilted two quilts this week. Stay tuned for pictures of completed quilts. Not quite the same caliber as the doll but...