It’s always been a dream of mine to be able to put leather straps on my bags but I’ve been hesitant to purchase a bunch of stuff online while not really knowing anything about what I’m buying. Turns out there is a Tandy Leather brick and mortar store just a few miles from my house. Who knew? The very nice gentleman helped me find everything I needed to attach leather straps with rivets to my bag. I got a hand press, a couple sizes of rivets and all the necessary hand press attachments.
After watching a few YouTube videos, I was in business. The only mistake I made on this bag was marking the rivet placements on the fabric with a pen and then realizing I marked them in the wrong place (oops), which is why I took another piece of leather and a few rivets and attached them on over the pen marks. Whew.
I actually like the extra pieces of leather. They make the top of the bag more sturdy and less floppy.
Since this is my first time using leather like this I have so many questions:
Should I have reinforced the area around the fabric where the straps are attached? Probably.
Will the fabric hold up under long-term use? I hope so.
Am I allergic to the tanning chemicals in the leather? Possibly.
Is there a safer leather to use? I think so. I need to do some more research.
Meanwhile, I’m enjoying my new bag! Fabric is duck cloth from Hobby Lobby.
Published May 16, 2016
For Christmas last year I gave my friend a gift certificate for 2 handmade cushions.
By February she had given me her color choices and I had decided on hexies.
By the beginning of March I had 140 hexies cut out.
At some point I thought it would be a good idea to cover both sides with hexies and started cutting again.
By April, after many, many hours of sewing (I lost count after 20), the hexies were sewn and then I got the flu.
Now here we are in mid May and the cushions are finally done!
Merry Christmas, Monica!
Published April 10, 2016
For years I’ve been using the blah black strap that came with my camera. I was just never motivated to make myself a camera strap. Then I got a new camera and the new strap had the model of the camera embroidered right onto the strap in high contrast white on black. Why do they do that? I felt like I’d be a walking advertisement. The Look at me and my camera! strap is not my style. So the day the new camera came I found this tutorial on Allen Design Studio’s blog and made myself a camera strap cover.
Honestly, it was quick and easy. Most of my time went to selecting fabric to go along with my ribbon. And that is the most fun part of sewing.
The brilliant part of this tutorial is the tearing of the fabric and the nice raw edges. It was a Why didn’t I think of that? moment.
Published March 22, 2016
How many bags does it take for me to sew through and write up a bag pattern? If all the bags I dug up after cleaning the sewing room are any indication then the answer is 8. Eight bags sewed up to the proper specs. This doesn’t count the ones that didn’t make the design cut. Took pictures and listed them in the shop.My favorites are in the left column, first and second rows. Do you have favorites? I’d love to know!
Published March 15, 2016
The story of this project started on a trip to NYC I took last year. It was my first visit there and I loved it! Lots of walking, lots of good food, lots of unique small businesses. My friend and I stopped at a children’s clothing shop that was filled with beautiful things. But the only thing I could afford was a silky soft bamboo receiving blanket from Aden and Anais. I knew it would make a wonderfully soft quilt backing. (Note that the “Classic” swaddles are NOT as soft as the “Silky Soft” swaddles).
Then Baby Katherine was born and her nursery colors were PINK – my favorite! I drew out a simple pattern.
And picked some stash fabrics.
My goal was to use a bold fabric along the edge to create a border, but it didn’t exactly turn out as planned. The border fabric, while I love it, just wasn’t bold enough.
The silky soft receiving blanket was VERY difficult to work with. It reminds me of gauze, but was more slippery. In some parts of the world, this fabric is called muslin. I had to use the seam ripper a couple of times and the muslin almost didn’t survive.
Now it’s done and I love it. The backing is wonderful and the front is exactly how I hoped it would be. I hope Katherine likes it too.
Published January 29, 2016
I use rice bag warmers a lot. They are so easy to pop in the microwave for some instant warmth. In the winter time I often put one down by my feet when I go to sleep. I’ll warm one up to put on my lap when I’m grading papers. If I have a sore throat, there is nothing like falling asleep with a nice warm rice bag on my chest. So I decided to get creative and make a rice bag cover.
Quilted in the center, this one looked like a sunflower. The warm rice bag slips in the back of the flower and latches shut. If there is any interest, I might put this together into a PDF pattern, so please let me know if you’re interested!
Published December 22, 2015
If you’ve ever been to Sample Spree at Quilt Market, you know that all common sense goes out the window when it comes to purchases made. So although I’ve never had a desire to use jelly rolls, it’s no surprise I picked up my first jelly rolls at sample spree this year. All those colors packaged so cutely together really caught my eye and it turns out they are a lot of fun to play with!
My first projects were with the Lecien strips. Some careful patchwork applique, some quilting, and lots of sewing later and I have some cushions.
I really love how they turned out. The precut strips made it easy to pair fabrics.
Some zigzag stitching made for some fun quilting.
Remember the rubber stamps I had made? I used the same “hello” that I had written for the stamps and enlarged them for the cushions. I always like when a project is personal from start to finish.
Just a couple of days until Christmas. I still have a couple of small things I’d like to make for family when we see them next week.
Until then, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!