Camp Goodies

Can I brag on my campers one more time? They were such awesome girls and I had so much fun with them last week. They also were amazingly prolific during the course of camp. Clothes, bags, quilt blocks. You name it, I threw it at them and they knocked it out. Out of the park, even! LOL!

Friday was our last day and they came in that morning and whipped up their fourth A-line skirt before tackling the big final project: crazy log cabin blocks. Because I only had two girls in the camp, I could let them work on different projects so one girl chose to make a little bag and the other a pillow.

They used 7″x7″ pieces of muslin for the blocks and I had them foundation piece their log cabins. Why? Well, I think it’s easier to keep the shape — especially when using different sizes of strips — if there’s a little something to help guide the block formation.

The girls kept me busy cutting strips. One decided to use only the fabrics she’d sewn with all week for her blocks while the other was willing to dip into my stash for hers. Of course, she also wanted to use her favorite fabric — Paula‘s Par Avion from Flights of Fancy — for the centers of all her blocks, so I spent some extra time fussy cutting them.

I could not be more proud of their finished projects and they were so happy with them, too. And they promised me they were going to wear and use everything they made (in fact that’s why one pair of PJ pants is missing – they were worn the night before at a sleepover!). Also missing from the photos are the gifts they made their moms as a thank-you for enrolling them in summer camp: another wristlet and a tote-style purse with pre-made handles (which I hear were much appreciated).

Pssst! Live in Atlanta? I’ve got a second week of sewing summer camp in August.

An Armful

Only one week until Christmas and I think I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m fairly certain it’s not an oncoming train, too.

My goal of makingg many of my Christmas gifts has turned out pretty nicely. There are a few things that aren’t going to be done (no way I’m going to be able to make one, much less two, kilts in a week) but I’ve gotten so much accomplished.

Here’s an armful of my sewing projects, before I started boxing and wrapping. I still can’t believe I made all of those purses! By my count, I’ve sewn around 15 purses. Granted, they didn’t happen all in one day (or week, or even one month), but I’m still pretty pleased with the results.

Somehow in all this sewing I still have avoided making a purse for me! LOL! I’m hoping to rectify that once I get done with the last of my Christmas sewing, but I’m not holding my breath.

I also made a few — OK, about a dozen — coffee cup cozies. I reverse engineered based on a cardboard sleeve from Starbucks and love how they turned out. I used Insulbrite and they keep things nice and cozy. If you want to make some yourself, then check out this great tutorial (which I found after the fact).

And I’ve got to share one more purse, another Melly & Me pattern. I think I’ve had my eye on this pattern since it came out but never added it to my collection until after we came back from Market and Sarah had stocked it at the shop.

I think it’s easily the largest purse I’ve ever sewn. To give you some perspective, it’s hanging on my size 4/5 children’s mannequin. Definitely the bag for the gal who carries everything on her shoulder. The pockets are nice and roomy, too.

The embroidery and applique were all done by hand, which took a little while. Oh, but it’s so worth it! And I think the gift recipient agrees: she immediately loaded it up with all her stuff. That is the best thanks I could ever hope to get.

Purse-o-nality

There are going to be a lot of purses under the Christmas trees of the people I know and love this holiday season. They’re lots of fun to make, don’t take a lot of fabric or time, and are easily tailored to each recipient. Plus they’re just about as useful as you can get, so no worrying about giving someone a present she’ll just end up having to dust.

I’ve made two of the black-and-white stripwork purses on the left using Autum’s great tutorial (scroll down on that page). You really can’t tell but there’s a matching key fob hanging ver the front of the bag (it’s the same wallpaper type fabric as on the purse, so it sort of blends). I actually embroidered the recipient’s name on the fabric before I made the fob, which I think makes it just a little more special. Don’t you?

The second purse over is another Melly & Me bag. I’ve waxed poetic about the patterns before, so I’ll spare you today. Just note that some lucky person is getting a little of my Japanese Sleeping Beauty fabric with that gift. It’s definitely very girly. It’s probably one of the smaller purses I’ve made, so it’s not the gift for the friend or family member who carries her entire life in her purse. *cough*cough*my BFF*cough*

The other two purses in the photograph are both from Cassie Barden’s book, The New Handmade. I’m not kidding when I say that I’m really enjoying the book and there definitely will be more of both of these bags coming down the pike. The blue (made with Erin McMorris’s Park Slope fabric) is the Flea Market Purse. I couldn’t find bookboard for the bottom insert, so I used plastic canvas instead. It’s so pretty and I can’t wait to make one for me. The patchwork bag was made with more of Melissa Averinos’s Sugar Snap fabric. This one, I think I’ll make an exact duplicate for me. It’s so soft and pretty! The buttons are actually vintage ones given to me by one of my son’s coworkers. They were a perfect match for the green in the fabric so I just had to use them.

I made eight of these cute little bags as goodie bags for Miss L’s birthday not-party and they were a huge hit. The pattern is the makeup bag from Fig Tree Quilts Easiest Accessory Bags Ever. Even making eight of them, they sewed up fairly quickly (although I did omit the handles) and it was no big deal to personalize each of them with the guests’ names. I actually think the gym bag and laundry bag patterns (included) would make great graduation presents. There’s also a purse option that’s in between the gym bag and makeup bag that I’m dying to make. You know, because a girl can never have too many purses.