Wow, it’s been over a month since I have written a blog post. Sometimes I have “gaps” because I have not been making much or travelling. The past two months I was “getting ready” for Christmas.
Show & Tell – since all the gifts have been given, I can share now. Most of what I have done in November and December has been with my embroidery machine I bought LAST January. I got it back from the service center in late October and have enjoyed learning to use it. It is a Janome 11000 and has an 8×8 hoop along with a bunch of others. There is a mega hoop, but I still need to learn how to play with software to “split” designs, and my brain isn’t ready for that yet.
My # 1 “big gift” that I made was from a pattern I purchased from Sweet Pea Designs . In September, Sweet Pea had a stitch along in their Facebook group, and I fell in love with the design. I think this is what got me moving to get my big embroidery machine serviced. I bought the pattern while it was on special for the stitch along, and it was the FIRST thing I made when I got the machine back in October.
It is an “In the Hoop” project. All 12 blocks were made on the embroidery machine, then I used my sewing machine for making the handles, inside pockets, and putting the bag together. There is batting in each block. Picking the fabrics and thread colors was fun. I made the bag using the 6×6 block. The pattern includes 5×5 and 4×4.
This was a gift for my daughter who knits. (You should see what she made for me!!! Another post….)
She shared a photo on her knitting group on Facebook and it got some great comments. She was even asked if her “mom would make one to sell”. I said sure, for $500 and 30 day turn around! (I’m actually working on a 2nd bag now, just to time out how long it takes to make…..). We joke all the time about the cost of crafting. You get a crafted item as a gift because you are loved. I’m not “in the business” to sell things, so my price has to be “high enough to discourage”….basically saying “YOU CAN’T AFFORD ME”… That is a topic for another blog on another day!
A friend of mine, also a quilter & knitter, knew I was making this and alerted me to a fabric at our favorite quilt shop. “Knit N’ Purl” by Whistler Studios from Windham Fabrics . (If you are a knitter and are looking for some cute fabric, check the link out!) I used the green cable knit and the animals…..
Now, all that said, I used all SCRAPS from my bins for the blocks, handles, bottom of the bag. I put bosal-in-r-form in the inside of the bag. Beside the lining and pocket fabric, that was the only “new out of the package” product I used. I picked a lot of batik and tone on tone prints for the bag. There are a few other prints just to brighten things up. The marching band fabric was something to make the bag “unique” to her without putting her name on the outside. I tried to repeat fabrics on both sides of the bag but baking each block different.
Once this bag was finished, it was on to In The Hoop (ITH) zip bags – I primarily used patterns from In the Hoop by Sher. These bags are fully lined and were done in the 5×7 hoop. (Note – Sher often offers a free pattern, so take a look!)
This one went with the knitting bag! (Sorry for the upside down pix)
The next one went to my 9 year old granddaughter.
A girl can always use a place to tuck away her money or her bits & pieces like tissue or chapstick.
One of the granddaughters is a Brownie Girl Scout, and just got her “First Aid Badge”. Mom reported she was a bit uneasy during the earning of the badge, and when I saw the next pattern (from Sher’s website), I thought that this might help her feel more confident with her band aid skills. Of course, I filled it with band aides and an ace wrap! Just what every 7 year old needs. I did buy some FUN bandaids.
I have a daughter who has been encouraging me to ride my bike, and I found this sweet fabric. Of course there was a great pattern by Sher and I used it for her zip bag. The pattern called for a bike to be embroidered, but I thought the print was perfect.
This pattern was also a 5×7, but I used a bigger hoop and scaled it up to 116%, praying the whole time I didn’t screw it up; as I only had a “scrap” of this fabric. It worked well. Check out the size difference. The green is the backside of the first aid bag.
I am really pleased that I learned how to enlarge things “in the hoop”. The 5×7 hoop size zip bag is just a little small for my big phone, but by increasing the size and using the next size hoop, my phone fits in perfectly. My grandson got a phone for Christmas, and I was waiting to see how big it was before making him this – pattern by Sher too.
Of course he can use it for cords, USB’s, change, tissues or other gadgets, but I thought he would like the “techie stuff”. I scaled this design from Sher up to 116% . My phone fit easily (3.5″ x 6.5″ phone), so i knew his would too. I had a bit of fun with his Techie Stuff and used a scrap of Star Wars fabric on the inside lining. That Wookie might make him smile!
I had another pattern to try for techie stuff, which was a cord wrap, pattern by Embroidery Garden. This is a free pattern and comes in multiple sizes. I used fabric fused to felt. You can use vinyl if you have it. I used the small design, and learned to “duplicate it” in my 8×8 hoop. I was able to stitch out a bunch! I included one in his Techie Stuff bag, and kept the others for cord containment around the house. (Hubby is always complaining about the long phone cord in the car!)
I have to clean up the stabilizer on these, but they are functional and FAST to make. I have thoughts of making more. (Next time I will read the directions too…..maybe use some vinyl…..)
Overall; I am thrilled with the purchase of the used Janome 11000. I think I have learned a lot about enlarging, duplicating, reducing; repeating, skipping over sections etc. I finally used some of those colorful snaps I bought last summer. Other than my time, my costs were “minimal” making everything above. I have been digging through the fat quarters I have, and the scrap bins, the “felt stash” and the handful of zippers my friend Susan shared with me last spring. I did have to order stabilizer for the big hoop though and went for the 50 yard roll of cutaway and tearaway. I have ordered wash away too, so I am well supplied for a while.
So, that is it for now. Next post I will share the “paper dolls” I made “in the hoop” for my youngest granddaughter.
Happy stitching and Happy New Year!