Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bookmark tutorial

I needed a quick gift for a friend, and this project helps use up the scraps.

I grabbed my supplies:

  • 12 inch by 2.5 inch strip of fabric

  • 12 inch by 2.5 inch strip of 'Wonder Under' (fusible)

  • a scrap of Peltex (or Timtex, what ever that really stiff-stuff is called) - my scrap is about 2 inch wide by 5.5 inch long triangle

  • pretty threads and beads.

  • a sewing machine is handy, but you could do this all by hand if you wanted to

Fuse the Wonder Under to the back of the fabric, then cut in half, making two strips 6 by 2.5 inches.

Take one fused piece of fabric peel the paper off the fusible and fuse on to the stiff-stuff, I use a scrap of the paper from the wonder under to protect my ironing surface. Please pay attention you don't want to ruin the ironing board or iron (of course you can clean your iron - ask me about this I know well!). Make sure to let it cool!! Then peel it off.

Trim the fabric up to the edge, very close but not cutting the stiff-stuff.

Take the other piece of fabric and peel off the paper, then go back to the iron and fuse this to the other side of the stiff-stuff. This way both sides are covered with fused fabric. Remember to use a scrap sheet of the fuse paper or a teflon iron sheet. You don't want to ruin your ironing surface. Then trim the fabric away again very close to the stiff-stuff.

You end up with a fabric covered bookmark ready to embellish.

Now take care of the edges by using a satin stitch and some pretty thread. If this was done by hand a pretty yarn could be hand sewn in a blanket stitch down the sides.

These are some extras that can be used to help with fraying and the fabric pens are great to cover any tiny spots you might have missed with thread.

Add beads and its done. You can make these in any shape you like.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Holiday Purse

Yes - strange but true, I have made myself a Christmas holiday purse.

It's a basic bucket style bag/tote, big enough for a few extra items while out shopping this holiday. Inside are the simple pockets and a magnetic snap. I stitched angled strips of fabric onto a canvas foundation (sorta like easy crazy quilting), then various yarns and embroidery for the accents. The handles are made from fabric covered cotton clothesline, with a fuzzy black yarn added in between the two cords. This helped disguise the dip between two cords.

I got the strap idea from 'It's a Wrap' By Susan Breier , the clothesline is a good weight for straps and they hang nicely. I have this book and have to say it's full of fun ideas. Love the bowls, and it's a great way to use up fabric scraps.

Next I need to start on Christmas gifts. I know two guys who are getting slippers this year. I plan on taking a basic slipper pattern and adding something to the sole to make them very comfy, but more on this when I have figured that part out.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A day of Thanks!

The history of this day is really irrelevant to me. What this day means to me ..............

What I give thanks for:

  • Family - all of them!! Alive and passed on, you are who made me who I am today.

  • Good Friends, near and far away you keep me young at heart.

  • To have found true love!

  • The chance to wake everyday and start a new adventure

  • That I have so much to be thankful for

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Yummmy - The feasting will commence

Happy T'Day


Everyone is blogging about thier menu for T'day,

so I am not one to ruffle the Turkey feathers (grin)

Smoked Turkey

Cornbread Dressing
Fresh Baked Sweet Potatoes
Butternut Squash
Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
Fresh Cranberry Sauce
Home-made Rolls
Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle (sugar free)
So to that I say.................... COOK ON!! EAT ON!! GIVE THANKS!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Mess - No More

Ok, I am very tired now. The after shots are so rewarding!!

This is looking in through the door. Yes, the table was covered with all kinds of things in the before shot. I pulled everything out of the armoir and rearranged, and found homes for the items.

This is the other side of the room. A blank wall - which will be fixed soon (more on this later).

Remember the fabrics that were all over the floor, they are now neat and organized by type in the small closet. My sweet hubby made the closet so cool by installing movable shelving.

I am going to have some tea and figure the next game plan.......................

Monday, November 19, 2007

What a mess!!

Mess can not even describe the truth of this:

my studio has been taken over and I have spent the last 8 hours fighting the beast and taking back my domain.

Can it really be place of creativity? The answer is "YES" but I am still at it..... so I will post pics tomorrow and that way I 'have' to get this done today ;0)

New bag

Well, the last few days got swallowed up by sewing. I made a few 2008 planner covers and was commissioned to create a handbag. The really fun part was creating a handbag out of recycled military BDU fabric. Her name is 'Cami',


She's a beauty that 'Cami'
all dressed in her camouflage,
ready to take on the world.
Just like you she's a tuff one on the outside,

but really very feminine and girly.
She is a wash me in delicate type
and with her convertible strap
she will cross-over or hang on you shoulder.

kira bell ©2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Stitching up samples

Today is sample day - so I shall be locked in the sewing room all day. I am taking a break this morning to post and off I shall go. This is what I have gotten done so far today:

I'll post more info later, and maybe a little tutorial ;0)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Quilt Star Motif

I was asked about the quilting I used in the baby quilt. You can click on picture to get a closer look.

Well, for starters I used the same quilting as in the pattern 'Tennessee Waltz' for all but the snowball blocks. Inside the snowball blocks I used a simple star, made into a continuous line. You can see here my crude cardboard template, I scanned it to show. (you can save this, re-size and print it out, if you would like to use it).

You can easily create quilt motifs out of any simple shape. And with time, patience and practice even some complicated designs.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Babies and the Tennessee Waltz

Well, here it is.
This is the baby quilt made for a special friend. I used the pattern called Tennessee Waltz. It turned out wonderful, although this is not the first time I have used this pattern, but in these bright colors it was wonderful!! Quick easy pattern designed for beginner to intermediate quilters. The use of the snowball blocks makes this a very interesting quilt.

I used all cotton fabrics, batting, and threads.
I had a heck of a time deciding what to quilt in the snowball blocks. I ended up just mimicking the stars using a primary variegated quilting thread, which turned out great.

The backing is a cute flannel with stars and dots. I can't wait to
see pictures of the baby crawing across the quilt.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

What does this fabric have to do with Tennessee

I can't say just yet, because I am working on a special project for someone (so its a secret, sssh) but its a fun piece that's for sure.

Do you think they can dance well together? (that's a hint)

I have been stalking the mail box in anticipation for the catalogs and fabric swatches. I just know the postal carrier is starting to wonder about me. My fingers are itching to get started playing in dyes. I have a list of the dyes I must have on hand (not that I don't already have most of them) : lemon yellow MX-8G, golden yellow MX-GR, deep orange MX-2R (one of my favorites), Chinese red MX-GBA, fuchsia MX-8B, cobalt blue MX-2G, cerulean blue MX-G, turquoise MX-G, sky blue MX-R, new black MX-CWNA, & grape MX-G. I get most of these from Dharma Trading .

Now you don't have to have all of them, you really only need the 3 primary colors and you can make a world of color. I just like color and love playing to see all the variations that I can make. I only used fuchsia, turquoise, and lemon yellow (these are very bright colors) when I first started dyeing fabrics. Then once bitten by the dye bug I slowly started collecting colors.

On a crafty note, I love these flower pins . They would make great package/present bows, and the recipient could use it after unwrapping their present.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Try adding some color

From a beam of light all the colors we know are formed.
A rainbow of light - really!!

From that first box of crayons, we started playing with color. Today we pick the color of our car, what paint to use in our homes, what color clothes we wear, and the color of our hair. Whether we know it or not we make a choice on color for just about everything in our lives.

Colors can stir emotions, calm, stimulate and leave an impression. Companies use color to entice us to purchase their products. We use color to beautify ourselves and make foods more appetizing (could you imagine eating a green pancake?). We live in a colorful world.

So many people are just plain scared of color, you have always been using color and you didn't even know it. So stop being so scared of color and have fun with it in your life. Try using an unusual color, a color you never would have thought of to use - in your home, in your hair or wearing a pop of color. Sometimes you need to let go - give in and try that really wild color and you will see,
it really isn't gonna hurt after all.

The color of the object illuminated partakes of the color of that which illuminates it. - Leonardo da Vinci

Sunday, November 4, 2007

What color are you?

That was a question I was asked recently.................. what a question, at least for me!!

Hmmmmm, I guess I would have to say yellow, no pink, well maybe purple, naw blue, oh red, I just can't pick because all the colors including gray invoke all my moods and feelings. BUT if you have got to see what color you are check this out

They say I am:


You give your love and friendship unconditionally. You enjoy long, thoughtful conversations rich in philosophy and spirituality. You are very loyal and intuitive.

Find out your color at!

Boy-oh-boy have they got me all wrong.......................... I am a bowl full of delightful color, changing with every mood!!!!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A day With Barbara Randle

What fun we had today!! I got to see Barbara Randle and lots of her beautiful creations. (sorry for the blurry pic)

A whole day of awe inspiring deliciously colorful sewing fun!

She had a truck load of handbags, wall art, clothing and home decor items for us to drool over. Showed us crazy quilting techniques, how to use color, and embraced us with her southern charm.

I met some very talented people and learned new sewing tips & tricks I will use everyday. We all exchanged ideas and came away with inspiration and excitement for our next projects.

Days like these I could never get enough of. When the day was over -it was sad to go, but Barbara makes you so inspired that I could not wait to get to my sewing machine and go to work.

Oh, I wore my new headband and got lots of complements.

I like making a piece of string into something I can wear. ~Author Unknown

Friday, November 2, 2007

Adorning one's head with beauty

I wanted to make myself something special, because tomorrow my mother-in-law and I are going to see Barbara Randle at a nearby sewing shop. She has made beautiful handbags, many other wonderful things, and written two books 'Crazy Quilting with Attitude' & 'More Crazy Quilting with Attitude'. She is a lovely person and a wonderful teacher, and her eye for color is Divine! I met her a little over two years ago at a similar lecture and enjoyed it so much that I have been anticipating her next stop in our neck of the woods. So I thought I could make a headband in hand dyed fabrics and other pretty things to celebrate ;0)

I used a little less then a fat quarter of my orange crush fabric (it was a fq I snipped a piece off of for some other project). Cut a 6" x 18" strip and fused med weight stabilizer to the back. Took it to the sewing machine and went crazy. Used lots of different threads and stitches. When I got it to the way crazy looking stage I stopped.

Cut out the top of the headband from this embellished fabric and cut out a plain piece of fabric for the under side of the headband. Pinned them right sides together and stitched on each side, leaving the ends open. (the quilter in me used 1/4" seam allowances) Turned it right side out and pressed. Then folded the raw edges in on the ends (this is where I would slide in the elastic).

Cut a piece of 1/2" elastic about 4 1/2" long. I made casing for my elastic from a 1 3/4" x 8" strip of fabric. Threaded the elastic through, pinned into the folded open ends of the headband and tested the fit. Then sewed (is that a word? I guess here in the south it is) the elastic in and opening shut (at the same time).

Then add some 'purty' things I found.

Ok, here's a tutorial for ya. Its in jpg form and should print out at 8.5" x 11"., but who knows how it will print.The pattern piece should be 8 1/4" long
*so please check it out before using it*
Check the elastic, everyone's head is different. Or have fun and draft out you own headband.

A good woman is worth, if she were sold, the fairest crown that's made of purest gold - Alexandre Dumas Père

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Shopping day

Not a great day, I guess if I had unlimited funds and could shop anywhere I wanted it might be more fun. I am trying very hard to shop for two weeks, and a little more. This going to the store every other day is quickly draining any funds we have. I outlined a menu for two weeks and stuck to it. Two weeks sounds like a short time period, if you weren't limiting yourself to 'not shopping again for two weeks'. So you see I am trying to limit the 'lets run to the store' which in turn always cost $60.00 and up, and those are not items that you can even remember half the time and not always really necessary. Yep I am also tracking every dollar spent (no I don't usually do this but its a good way to see where we spend our money). Not a lovely thought but its a way to keep reality in check, well who's taking bets to see how long this lasts.

The safe way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket. ~Frank Hubbard

On the crafty side I finished my owl purse. All from recycled items. Even the hook, purse magnet, and zipper. The only new stuff on this is the thread used in the embroidery and construction. The embroidery designs are from Hatched in Africa. The owl and side flowers are from the Jacobean Jewels 4x4 set and the back butterfly is a mix of the Jacobean Jewels 4x4 and the Butterfly jewels.

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