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Playing Around

I decided to take a sewing break after the big push to get all those bags done. So I’ve been dabbling with a few other hobbies the past couple weeks.

One hobby, which I’d actually love to take classes on to learn the correct techniques, is painting. But for now I just have fun with it. I created a little 12×12 canvas painting for our living room:

I took random items from around my Wife Cave to get the various circle sizes.

I’m also working on transforming an old wooden tray that I bought years ago into a craft tray. So far I have a few base coats of paint on it but haven’t decided on design yet.

In the center section I’m going to glue some fabric pin cushion balls that I made.

I’ve also worked a little on my latest embroidery rose (which I don’t appear to have a picture of), some artist trading cards, a few fun drawings, and a Zentangle drawing:

What have you been up to lately? Try anything new?

Note: if want to comment here but are unable to, you can find me on Facebook, Little Orphan Stitch, and comment or message me there to let me know.

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Bags, Bags, and More Bags

Well, I have been working hard at making bags, pouches, and more for the past couple months getting ready for a craft show at Michigan BuskerFest. It is this Saturday, and I think I’m at the point where I feel ready.

A pile of bags:

K.I.S. bags:

Medium vinyl pouches:

Wallet style vinyl pouches:

Business/ credit card size pouches:

Coin/earbud pouches:

And the newest in the line up, dispenser bags for carrying waste bags for dog walking. They are also great for parents. Why? Well, ever been in a restaurant with your little one and they have that dreaded diaper explosion…all over? Have a dispenser bag with you and you can bag up the clothes to contain the mess.

Wish us luck!

Free Motion aka “drop the dogs and go”

About a month ago my mom taught me how to free motion quilt. She always says, “just drop the dogs and go”. Unfortunately, at the time it was shortly after the thumb versus rotary cutter incident, so I wasn’t able to do much.

I’m mostly healed now, it all reattached, although I do have decreased sensation and pain around the scarring. It’s only been 4 1/2 weeks though, so I’m pretty happy.

Anyway, back to free motion. You know what? Its fun! Drop the feed dogs, put on the correct foot, and get a good grip on the piece you’re working on.

Those above are a few of the ones I’ve done in the past couple nights. And a few more from tonight:

Tips from me:

  • Have a good grip with both hands on your fabric
  • Steady, fast speed with the foot pedal and consistent speed with your hands
  • Remember stitch length is determined by how fast you move the fabric with your hands. No feed dogs!
  • Have fun and don’t worry about it.

I hope you get a chance to try it out if you haven’t tried it before. And if you tried it and didn’t like it, just try it out again and remember… have fun and don’t worry! It’s not supposed to look perfect

Prototype: Doggie Bag

A week or so ago my hubby told me he had another idea. A bag to carry a roll of plastic bags for dog walking. I’ve let the idea percolate in my brain for the week and tonight I sketched it out then started cutting and sewing.

One of the main features was to have an opening to dispense the baggies. Easily done, but I made this one a little too open. I think the next one will have a skinnier opening, and I might add some vinyl between the layers around the opening to stiffen it up.

Another feature we discussed was being able to easily clip the bag to a leash or belt loop.

I also squared the bottom corners so it stands nicer.

This holds a 4 1/2″ wide roll of baggies easily.

Now to make the next one with a couple minor changes.

If you have a dog that you walk and clean up after, do you see anything that could be improved on this design? I appreciate any feedback!

Recycling Tip

My mom makes these neat bowls made from leftover thread clippings. She’s the queen of no-waste with her art quilts, wall hangings, and items like this:

So while I sit here and make bags and pouches, I save all my thread clippings to give to her. I found that a great way to contain the threads that is also easily portable is using a large (200 count) Tic Tac container.

They can hold a lot of thread, and if you shake it up it’ll actually turn it into a loose thread ball (I’m easily amused at times).

Another bonus is you are recycling/repurposing the container instead of throwing it in a landfill somewhere. 😁

First Big Order

Even with the thumb injury, I managed to finish the order tonight! Thank you, Mom, for helping turn a lot of these right side out.

15 vinyl lined pouches and 3 coin/small pouches.

Next up is making more bags and pouches for the craft show next month. The goal is 20 vinyl pouches, 20 coin pouches (at 18 now), and 15 K.I.S bags. I just sold another K.I.S this weekend as well, pictured below.

I think my hubby will be happy when my Wife Cave is set up on the other side of the basement and I move my bag production out of the dining room. 🤣

Rotary Cutters Are Sharp

The same day I get notice of a decent sized order for vinyl lined pouches and coin pouches, my thumb met up with the rotary cutter.

My own fault for using an old rotary cutter that the blade keeps loosening up. I was cutting and it wobbled, it jumped the ruler, and hit my thumb. It all happened so fast! I think it took longer to realize what happened than it did to actually happen.

Replace old cutters! Don’t keep using them if they keep loosening up or have any other issues. I’m not joking.

I won’t show pictures of the actual injury, but look how they bandaged me up!

Luckily it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I only cut a small chunk of the top off. This was on Tuesday afternoon. I called up the owner, Gwyn, at the quilt shop I help at and asked for a ride to the clinic from someone at the store and she dropped everything and came and picked me up. I’m very blessed.

I did manage some quilting yesterday on some pouches-to-be. (Still need to be pressed again I see).

Mom has offered to help me out with the parts that I can’t do at the moment, like turning things right side out when finished.

And my best friend just dropped off a hair tie so I can keep the plastic bag closed over my hand while I shower. 😁

I have an excellent mom and a great group of friends that I am so thankful for. I don’t know what I would do without them.

Again though, replace old/bad cutters. Regularly inspect them for damage. Don’t pull a Shell and cut your fingers!