Archive for the 'Crafting' Category

A Lesson In Leather Strap Placement

I’ve been putting a lot of leather straps on bags lately and here is a sample. At first glance, these bags probably look about the same.  Sure, one is bigger, but they use the same fabric and they both have leather straps. The leather really elevates the bag, in my opinion.

The bag below is the first one I made.  Nothing glaringly wrong with it. Except that the straps look funky.  I had momentarily forgotten about my 6-inches-between-the-straps rule.   The leather is bending and warping near where it attaches to the fabric and eventually this bag is going to become misshapen between the straps. Oops.

Jessie leather 1

Lucky for me I had enough fabric for another one!  Made the bag a bit bigger and more importantly, remembered the strap rule and am so happy with it!

Jessie leather 2

Can you see it?  Left = bad.  Right = good!

Jessie leather 3

Gray + lemons + limes + tangerines + leather = very good.

 

 

 

 

Two Quilts. (Yep, TWO!!!)

It all started with me wanting to design my own baby boy quilt.  It was going to have mushrooms growing all over it, and it was going to be SO CUTE.  I drew it up in Publisher and colored it in.  I was determined to applique without adhesives.  After determining that I could cut the applique in half by not having mushroom stems, what I ended up with was a quilt with little mushroom caps on it.  Isn’t it funny how things work out? The caps look more like little hills but I’m happy with how it turned out.  This little boy is due any day and his quilt is ready for him!

Even though the mushrooms didn’t look the way I expected, I really liked the patchwork background and went to work on a mushroom-less girl quilt.

I love a cute ruffle quilt.  And this one was backed with a double gauze receiving blanket.

The ruffle is a Mona Luna print.  I am gradually hoping to use up my traditional fabric and replacing it with organic.  My chemical sensitivities have gotten more severe and I’ve been cleaning up my life.  No more adhesives melting under my iron and putting fumes in the air.  No more fabric with dye fixers that I shouldn’t be around.  Did you know that there is a certification process for organic fabrics that can ensure that the chemicals used in processing meet certain toxicity and environmental standards?  GOTS certification – that’s what it’s called. MonaLuna, Birch, and Cloud 9 fabrics all have this certification, thankfully, so while my fabric choices are somewhat limited, there is still a lot to choose from.

A post with 2 quilts!  I’m so proud of myself.  🙂

 

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Bulldogs!

My friend Jessie is, by all accounts, a cat lady.  She has several cats and would save more off the streets if she could, so it surprised me when we were out shopping that she found some bulldog fabric and asked if I could make her some cushions.  “I like bulldogs,” she said and  I was so surprised.  How did I not know this?  What kind of friend am I?

bulldog-cushion2

Won’t her kitties be jealous?

bulldog-cushion1

Yes, yes, they will.  Because these cushions are so cute!

bulldog-cushion-tie

A little peak at the ties in back.  I always want the backs of cushions to be as cute as the fronts.  And in this case the jealous cats will be messing the cushions up on her couch and they won’t stay facing forward.

Family Portrait Cushion

A few months ago I was introduced to Creative Market, an online shop for all things digital: fonts, photography, and graphics.  It’s packed full of inspiration and fun! For no particular reason, other than the fun factor, I purchased the Personalised Portrait Creator and went to work.  I made a birth announcement for a friend,

WOMAN auburn-fs

and family portraits of my other friends.  I framed this one (this is the largest family I know!) and gave it to them as a Christmas gift.

WOMAN auburn-fs

I even made a family portrait of my own family for my Facebook profile pic.  I mean why would I put my own picture up there when I can look so much better as a cartoon character?  No eye bags or combed hair to worry about, no making sure everyone’s eyes are open and faces are smiling.  Ha!WOMAN auburn-fs

For my sister, a family portrait couch cushion (with name smudged out for privacy purposes).

jos-cushion-smudged

I had the portrait printed on a linen cotton canvas at Spoonflower and sewed it up with a gray linen trim.  It doesn’t get much more personalized than that, does it?  I hope she loves it!

The gift that gave twice.

A friend stopped by just before Christmas and brought toffee and cookies for our family.  Fewer and fewer people do that theses days so it was a special treat!  I took pictures of the toffee, because it was so pretty.

toffee

The kids ate the toffee.  Then, when the time came to write our thank you notes, the toffee shots became our thank you cards.

christmas-2016-thank-you-cards

I love it when it all works out like that. 🙂

 

Warm Winter, Peanut

If I had hand-picked a dog for myself, I couldn’t have picked a better pet than Peanut.  He came to us by chance, rescued off the streets of our neighborhood.  No chip, no collar, and after days of posting online and hanging signs, no claim from his owner.  That was 4 years ago and he’s become a sweet addition to our family.  At times he’s 13 pounds of vicious watchdog and at other times he’s 13 pounds of snuggles. And during the winter, he’s 13 pounds of sorry shivering.  I’ve bought him sweaters from the store, but he’s at an in-between size – the smalls are a bit tight and the mediums are so big that they’ll “get wet” when he’s let outside.  This year, I determined to fix the sweater problem.

I used an old sweatshirt of mine, cutting it so that the neckline went around his neck.  I also eliminated those uncomfortable front leg holes by using an elastic loop that goes around a button.  He still doesn’t like having it put on over his head, but eliminating the awkward leg hole problem has made putting on the sweater so much quicker.

peanut-jacket

Warm winter to you, Peanut!

peanut-jacket-2

 

Kiomi Dress

I have known for a while that in addition to the run-of-the-mill pollen allergies, I’m also allergic to some atypical things: chlorine, sunscreen, makeup, hair dye, MSG, chocolate.  It all came to a head last summer when my body became overwhelmed and I finally sought help from the Environmental Health Center in Dallas.  The good news is I have more good days now than bad days.  But I am on a constant quest to decrease my chemical exposure.  It turns out that fabric isn’t without it’s problems from a chemical perspective.  The dyes and fixing agents can contain toxins unless more natural options are used.

Linen is one of the more minimally processed fabrics, but organic linen clothing is priiiiicey!  Behold the Kiomi Dress, from Lotta Jansdotter’s book, Everyday Style.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this dress took me FOREVER. Too much time was spent finding and tracing out the pattern pieces from the chaos that was overlapping lines from different pieces all superimposed upon each other on the same pattern sheet.  It was chaos, and one of the reasons I prefer to buy patterns rather than pattern books.

kiomi4

Once I got going, the dress was straightforward enough.  I will say though, that when it was getting close to being done, I started to get nervous.  In my fittings, this dress was looking like a NIGHTGOWN.  In an act of desperation, I twisted the dress up tightly until it twisted up on itself and left it in a basket overnight so that it wouldn’t unwind.

kiomi2

It wasn’t until this morning when I unraveled this mess of wrinkly goodness that I loved it!  I put it on and wore it to church.  Then ran around in the back yard while my hubs took pictures.

kiomi-1

Specs:

Kiomi Dress, from Lotta Jansdotter’s book, Everyday Style
5.3 oz linen (medium weight)
Image from book here.

The pattern calls for medium weight linen, but I think I’ll go with a lighter weight for this type of dress in the future.  The fabric just didn’t hang well until I twisted it up.

 

 

 

 


Craft Apple

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, crafting is my apple. It's what I do to maintain my sanity while taking care of my family. I homeschool my three boys, ages 12, 13, and 14), am a quilter, a bagaholic, and a pattern designer.
© 2006-2015 Craft Apple Creations

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