Saturday, February 13, 2010

Another Snow Day!

Here in Raleigh, NC snow is rare. That said we have had more than our share this winter. Last night it snowed another 3 inches. Now, I know the mid-atlantic and northeasteners will laugh and roll their eyes, just as I did when I moved here from upstate New York. But!! I am not kidding when I say 3" of snow can keep you in your house for days.
The first year we lived here in Raleigh, we moved from the Poughkeepsie NY area, I was so excited to see the snow, 2" of snow!  I love the change of seasons and was so afraid that I would miss that in Raleigh. I was outside with all the locals taking pictures of the kids in the snow like I had never seen snow before! The day before there was a mad dash to the grocery store for bread and milk and I was rolling my eyes thinking how crazy that was, we were only going to get 2" of snow. Silly, silly me. The snow was hard and icy, not soft and fluffy and we were in the house for a couple of days until the snow melted enough to venture out of our development onto the main streets.
Two weeks ago, we had 6" of hard and icy snow and we were indoors for 4 days! Our development never saw a snow plow, so we had to wait until it melted enough to drive through. So, I am now in the grocery lines with everyone else at the first threat of snow!
The good news from last nights' snow, is that it is light and fluffy and the snow fairies even blew the snow off of our driveway, so I should be able to vensure out today.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Drawstring bags for US Troops

I designed a FREE drawstring bag pattern to make for our US Troops.
The ASG (American Sewing Guild) has chosen my pattern to use in their year long Charity Sewing Porject 2009-2010.  The bags will be sent to the national 501C3 non-profit charity, Operation Care Package in IL. The bags are filled  and sent monthly to our troops. The 14" Drawstring Bag will hold a one gallon size "baggie", and  filled with toiletries before they are sent to our troops. The troops use the bags for personal use, and some pass them on the children in the area where they are located.

The lightweight cotton bags can be sewn up in any color, but please keep in mind that the majority of troops are men, so masculine colors and prints are recommended.

For more information about Operation Care Package, you can visit

Julie Houchin, President of the Laramie WY chapter of ASG had a "sewing for the troops" evening recently. She wrote "We met last Monday night and worked on the bags. I was pleased that we had about 15 finished and I did take a picture of some of the members putting the cord and cords locks on.
Kathy Phillips, Irene Devin, Carole Hertz and Barb Powell, all ASG members in the Laramie, Wyoming Chapter."

Join in and make a few bags for our troops! You don't have to be a member of a sewing group to help. Download my free pattern and send the bags to the address listed on the pattern. Send me a picture of your bags or your group and I will post it on my blog.

"As You Like It" Purse ideas

This picture is all the way from Sweden where Kerstin Eklöf Persson, made this in a class at Tyger & Ting quilt shop in Burseryd, SmĂ„landsstenar in the south of Sweden. The “As You Like It” Purse has a front flap that is interchangeable and or reversible. Kerstin made 2 flaps and they are wonderful. I love the creative way that Kerstin added the colored squares to the front of one of her flaps.
Making flaps for an "As You Like It" Purse is a great way to try out a new sewing technique that you want to try. It's a small project and you can see if you like the new technique without spending a lot of time on a large project.

Thank you Kerstin for sharing your pictures and ideas.

Judy's Professional Totes

Judy from Montrose, CO has made 9 Professional Tote bags, and probably on her 10th one by now. This darling cowboy print tote was given to her daughter for Christmas.

This black, white and red one is for her grandson's girlfriend. I hope she knows that she is a lucky girl.

I love the marching turtles walking slowly across the travel strap on this one.

Several of Judy's sewing friends (the "Easy Strippers") got together and made Professional Tote bags (shown above). They all got at least the main body of the bag done in class and will finish at their next meeting. The last picture here shows a grommet in the side pocket instead of a buttonhole. I think that is a really great idea. (What some people will do not to make a buttonhole!!) I worked at a quilt shop for 11 years and it was so funny to see the looks I would get when I said that they had to make a buttonhole:) This grommet though, I think is a great variation and very "professional" looking.
If you would like to try one, follow the directions all the way up to the buttonhole, but put the grommet in instead of the buttonhole. Make sure the grommet is large enough for your cords to go through, at least 1/4" opening.
Thank you Judy for all your wonderful pictures and keep on sewing!

Separating Zipper in Professional Tote

A few months ago, Welmoed from the blog, There She Sews,, wrote me to tell me she had put a separating zipper in the top of her Professional Tote. She very kindly wrote up directions and pictures of how she did that and you can find that info here
The pictures above are one of Welmoeds Professional Tote diaper bags that she made, complete with changing mat. The separating zipper shows up nicely in the bottom picture.
Thank you, Welmoed for taking the time to write up those directions for us!

Diaper Bag

I love getting pictures of your bags that you make with my patterns. Kathy Dykstra from North Carolina made this beautiful Professional Tote for her daughter. She will use it as a diaper bag. The color combination is wonderful and the brown bottom piece looks like suede or leather. Kathy you did a beautiful job! Thank you for letting me share your pictures.