Catching Up

So I finally got the gifts to my in-laws, it ended up being a Christmas in June. Some of the gifts had been finished around Christmas, but once Theodore was born I did not have time to work on anything for a long time (nor the energy). I finally finished them all and was able to give them to everybody while visiting back home earlier this month.

Since the reason I hadn’t posted any was that I didn’t want to spoil the surprise, I can finally catch up on posting the latest creations on here.

I previously gave my mother-in-law a tote bag, and my mother made her a second one. She requested three more as her Christmas present since she uses them for the classes she teaches. She wanted one for each class. Tote bags are easy and fun to make (each being a day or two day project), so that was no problem. I love making them up without patterns to go on as it helps me to use up my scrap fabric and create something very unique. I always use canvas bags (you can find the big ones at Hobby Lobby – I wasn’t able to find the large ones elsewhere) and just cover them with a fabric “shell” of the same measurements. I added three lanyard/key ring clips to the bags. It makes it easier to find keys, and I picked up that trick from my mom. You just make a loop with scrap fabric and attach a carabiner. Each of the totes is very different from the rest, providing a great variety. I’m sure my mother-in-law will receive plenty of comments on her bags! These are the three different ones I ended up making…

This first tote I made with scraps I stole from my mom’s collection. It was also my first time using vinyl in sewing. I actually had to buy a new foot for my machine to keep it from slipping – but I needed a few new ones anyways for projects I have planned. If I were to use clear vinyl again I would definitely buy a less flimsy/thicker high quality vinyl as well as sew a protective fabric “lip” at the top to keep it from tearing. Hopefully these hold up well. I thought it was a cute idea – and having one side each for different orientations keeps the options open for switching out photos as Theodore grows. I used a “natural” beige colored canvas on the inside.

The second tote bag was made from the bright fabric scraps left from this quilt. I used a white canvas tote and think the colors are so fun!

The last tote I made for my mother in law was made from girly fox fabric I found at JoAnn Fabrics. I originally used this fabric in a quilt top I put together pre-Theodore. I made one very girly quilt top with these fabrics and another that I’m finishing up with blues and browns. Both featuring foxes, of course. I love the pink canvas bag I found for this one.

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This smaller tote (no canvas lining, but with an outside pocket) is the perfect size for using as a purse or as a small bag for reading books. I made it for my sister-in-law using scraps from these pillowcases

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This small random bag was a “test” bag, I wasn’t completely happy with how it turned out, but it is cute. My mom liked it, so I gave it to her and she currently has it in her sewing room. She will be adding a flap or magnet closure to it. She loves Paisleys, so the fabric choice was great. It is simple and functional, but doesn’t have many other features. I’m still a beginner, so taking that into consideration it turned out just fine.

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I made these oven mitts for my brother-in-law and his fiance. Hopefully they have made their way to them since I forgot to bring them to our gatherings while in town. I did leave them with my sister-in-law to pass along. I happened to have this pepper fabric that I wasn’t sure what to do with (though I had definitely planned on something cooking related), scrap striped fabric in matching colors, and insulated batting. The batting was a huge pain to work with and I am also not accustomed to sewing curved edges. I’m not sure if I’ll use this exact pattern again, but I at least know how to make these a bit better if I want to make them again.

Other Projects

I have been working on Theodore’s baby book and a handmade scrapbook for my pregnancy and his first couple months of life. I usually do digital scrapbooks, but this was easier with my ultrasounds, etc. Plus I had some cute baby scrap-booking supplies 😉 It isn’t finished, but I plan on laminating each page once I’m done and keeping it for Theodore when he gets older. I am (still) working on hand-quilting the baby quilt I’ve made for him myself – he already has quite a few made by my mom. There’s always projects to work on in my sewing room! Other things in the works include a couple changing mats, camera straps made from scarves I never wear, a row by row wall hanging, “test” products that I enjoy sewing and may also sell, a few cloth books, and other “day” projects. Now that Theodore is becoming better at entertaining himself, I should be able to get in an hour or so of hobby time every couple days. Once my mom is in town, we will likely both be sewing more. I may also be working while she is in town, so we shall see how that turns out.

 

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