Sunday, April 25, 2010


Not only do I like to sew, I like to build. Both activities are rather similar! I priced out which was more expensive, but can't remember what I concluded.

Here are some suspended shelves I made in our food storage room and our junk room. The rooms are looking so much better now!

I can't stand using the circular saw, so my husband had to cut the wood, but I did the "design" and assembly. I could have gone to Lowe's or the Home Depot and bought something nicer looking, but I'm too cheap when I have everything I need in the garage. I suppose I could also paint the shelves, but that would take TIME.

Baby Cakes

I got this idea in one of my blog feeds. Turned out so cute! Everyone was impressed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Diaper Bags & Tutorials

Here are some diaper bags I made a few months ago. After making so many, this is the one I liked the best. Plus, I have to keep this one for myself because I actually paid for the outer fabric (with my 40% off coupon, of course).

I designed this one just for Church, but now I want to use it other places, too. One outer pocket is for church papers, we can put a folder in it to keep things flat, then there are 3 water bottle holders on the other outer side. Inside is a large elastic-top pocket for diapers and wipes and then 3 more pockets for toys/crayons. How fantastic!

Don't worry -- I sewed the handles in very well considering this thing will be carrying 3 water bottles and a ton of other stuff. It's also washable -- I prewashed the fabric and the plastic canvas is easily removable (see below).

One pattern (the first I made, the Sew Christine one below) suggested putting plastic canvas in the bottom, so I tried that and it stiffens up the bottom very nicely.

I was quite clever in my inner pockets because the 2 side pockets and bottom pocket thing for the plastic canvas is one piece! It took some thinking, but I figured it out. I don't know that I'd do it again this way, but I had to do it to see if I could. Next time I'll probably just do the side pockets individually and the the canvas piece will get its own cover (then it can just be dropped in).

Maybe, just maybe, I'm done with bags for now (because I'm out of batting/heavy interfacing), and I'll get back to my unfinished Pioneer dresses (yes, there's a pink one and a purple one coming). Now you pregnant buddies know what you'll be getting for gifts, don't you? No, not Pioneer dresses...

. . .

I must have had sewing withdrawals through December... (I've done all these bags in the last 3 or 4 days.)

This is the first one. Very easy and cute. A little small. I used batting inside. I liked the handles on this one because you don't need to use interfacing. Also the inner pockets are nice because you just fold the fabric in on itself to finish them. (Two hours? Three?)

Then the second. I saved my favorite material for "last," but I don't think I like the single strap as much. I also left off the flap. The back is a large pocket. I used heavy interfacing inside. The elastic inner pockets are super cute. Definitely more complex. (Five hours?)
Here's another gal who made this one:

This the last one I just completed like 15 minutes ago. Very nice. My grandma would be proud (she loved bright colors). I did both kinds of pockets on the inside just to see how they compare. The outer back is just polka-dots. (4 hours.)

Also in the process, I made a mini one for my daughter (1-2 hours) (similar to the third).

Here are 2 more tutorials:

I have to thank Aunt Miriam for ALL the fabric. This is GREAT bag fabric! I had the interfacing, batting, and buttons on hand.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fusing Plastic Bags

So I tried fusing plastic bags to make a really big sheet of plastic for a tarp for our patio. Let's just say it's not worth my time. I think I'll just make a small bag like the one in the picture and buy a tarp.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

If you're bored, it's your own fault

Warning: This is the longest post I have EVER written, but it deserves every bit.

(And... sorry, in my preview my pictures looked FINE, but after I published they got gigantic. I'll work on that when it's not 11:21 p.m.)

I went to an amazing trunk show today. My aunt has been quilting since I was at least in junior high. She has done some truly fantastic things. She is ALWAYS quilting.

As we walked up to her house we were greeted with some very eclectic things (I wish I was a better writer. Not only did I not start out a great writer, but I have mommy brain. The pictures will have to explain.)

When we stepped into the house, it was a photographer's dream. My cousin, Michael, helped put it all together. He does an amazing job. I wish I had a nice camera and a class to know how to use it. Here's my best.

Not all these display quilts are ones Miriam has made, some were given to her and some are my cousin's.

Then she started talking. Now, I'm not a quilter, but I am a historian (well, I have a minor in history, anyway -- does that count?), so when my aunt started talking about family, I stopped taking pictures and started recording. I videoed a little at the beginning, but knew neither my batteries nor card would last. Here's the beginning.

[I will insert the video here when I can get it to work!!]

I then switched to audio. You can listen while you look at the pictures (my mom took most of these), if you want. It's actually 3 audio files pasted together, so there may be some funny breaks in there. (It's about 45 minutes long, so you may want to do some, uh, quilting while you listen.)

OK, my player won't work, but if you want to listen to the audio:

Miriam said that her mother (my grandma) would tell her, "If you're bored, it's your own fault." I started using that one on my kids after we got home. They were not amused. Miriam had originally been a crocheter, but switched to quilting in probably the early 1990s.

We thought this seemed to be a small pile that she was going to show us, but there were three more stacks in the back! I don't have photos of all the quilts, but a lot of them.

I believe it was this quilt that Miriam said that she was sad that she didn't buy more of some of the fabric. Michael told her, "Well, just buy all the fabric you see, and you won't have that problem!" (or something like that). My uncle then commented, "And that is what she has done ever since." I know that has to be at lest somewhat true because Miriam gave me BAGS of fabric a few years ago.

The camera tweaked the color on this one. The background is really black.

This one is my favorite because it is a piece of family history. It is Miriam's reproduction of my great-something grandmother's block (Margaret Condie Sharp) from the 20th ward friendship quilt now located at the DUP museum in SLC.

The Insanity Quilt

Another of my favorites!

The original quilt.

Miriam's reproduction.

Quilt of a papyrus my grandfather brought back from Egypt in the 1930s.

My uncle says this one should be called "Almost Daisies," but Miriam won't go for it.

Miriam made one of these quilts when I was in junior high. I remember taking labels off of my clothing to give to her. I also remember receiving some really nice name-brand clothing from bags people had donated to her so she could remove the labels. Back then, Girbaud jeans were very popular and in one of those bags was a green corduroy pair. I got them, but forgot about them until they were almost too small! I was able to wear them some, but oh! my chance in my life to wear something with a label!

And . . . all the quilts.