K.I.S. Bags

Did I mention addiction before? I’m sure I did. Zipper addiction! Actually, bag-making addiction made better with zippers.

The past couple days I have been playing around with my sewing machine and some fabulous Fabrics, working on the details to make these nice little bags. I am calling them K.I.S. Bags, or “Keep it Simple” Bags.

Bag #1 (shown in a previous post):

I decided it was too small for my intended purpose.

This is bag #2:

The size was just about perfect, So I made Bag #3:

Then Bag #4, which is now my purse:

The finished size is: 7″ tall by 9″ long by 3 1/2″ wide. I measured my purse after it was filled. If you are curious how much will fit in it: I have two epipens, two check books, a wallet, inhaler, small SketchBook, Ink pen, a mirror, comb, a small gift card holder, and a small bottle of Tylenol in this bag. And I could probably fit a little bit more.

They may be simple, but they have so many possible uses! Purse, toiletry bag, shaving kit, first aid kit, travel bag, sewing kit, kid’s pencil/pen bag, and more! Even emergency chocolate stash bag, according to my mom.

My husband said this would be something he thinks men would use as well as long as it was in masculine Fabrics for shaving kits and travel kits.

I’m having a blast making them.

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Humbug Bags and More

I learned something new last week. Zippers! I actually think I did a zipper once back when I was a kid in 4-H, but that’s been…longer ago than I want to admit. We’ll just say it’s been awhile. So, I needed a refresher.

I really wanted to make something fun and useable for our nephew G and my best friend’s daughter V for Easter baskets. After some discussion with my mom and our friend/owner at Sew Crazy, I decided to try making Humbug Bags.

This first one was made for our nephew.

This next one is for little miss V.

So much fun to make! I stuffed both bags with fun little things as Easter gifts.

But, as you may know from reading my blog, I love doing “crazy squares”. I decided I needed to make a humbug for myself with the outside being a crazy square.

And, again if you’re a frequent reader, you know my plan and my result are not always on the same path. I had every intention of this being a humbug bag. All the way up to the point of just needing to sew the last seam and it would be done. But as it was sitting there on the table my brain said, “hey, if we sew the seam this way instead of that way and square up the bottom corners, and put the strap here, you’ll have a different style bag!”

So… that’s what I did!

I think I’ll make another one like this, but a little bit deeper. It might make a nice little purse.

And I may be addicted to zippers now.

How about you: have you started making something, been almost done, and then made a little change that gave you a completely different result?

Split Pea Soup with Ham and Potatoes

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter holiday. We spent ours with family and friends on Sunday.

Monday rolled around and we were left with the daunting task of…what to do with leftovers. Last year we started a tradition with our neighbors across the street of doing a holiday leftover night. We heat up what we had leftover, they bring over what they had, and we see what’s left by the end of dinner and plan out the next meal.

Most of ours was gone! Except the ham. The big, delicious spiral ham.

I chopped up what was left of the ham, put it in a deep pan with garlic, water, chicken bullion, onions, a bag of dry split peas (rinsed and sorted), and then added shredded carrot and diced potatoes. Seasonings were black pepper, Garlic powder, and onion powder.

I cooked it on the stove for about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.

And I think it’s the best attempt I’ve made yet!

Ingredients:

Diced ham from Easter leftovers, about 2 cups

Bag of dry split peas, rinsed and sorted

4 small potatoes, peeled and diced

1 cup shredded carrot

1/4 cup diced onion

1 garlic clove (I used frozen Walmart ‘pop n cook’)

2 tablespoon chicken bullion (I used ‘Better than Bullion’ brand)

Add the following to your taste:

Black pepper

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Add to large pot, bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, and let it cook about an hour to 90 minutes. Stir occasionally so you don’t burn the bottom of the soup.

Note: I was worried the potatoes would cook too quickly and become mush before the peas cooked down, but they turned out great.

Rip, Rip, Rip it Out

Ever start a project, have high hopes for it, get going and realize something just isn’t right?

That’s how my needlepainted butterfly has been.

I think butterflies are one of nature’s most amazing creatures (after cats, of course!). They are delicate, graceful, and come in beautiful colors. So, I finally decided to try to needlepaint one.

My original plan was to make my butterfly in blues and purples. Somehow I ended up picking out pinks instead.

I didn’t get very far.

A month later and it still looked like this. I couldn’t work on it any more. Something just wasn’t right.

Then it dawned on me. The color! In the back of my mind I was still wanting the blues and purples.

So Sunday night I started the fun of rip, rip, ripping out the stitches.

I’ll leave the outline even though it’s pink because it won’t show once the butterfly is filled in. Next step, picking out the colors I really want to use!

The funny thing is I’m working on a different needlepainting project (a rose) that’s also in pinks and I’m loving it. I guess the subject of the work has more impact on color than I realized.

Have you ripped anything out lately? Why? What went wrong? How will you change it?

Sewing Retreat – New Project

Last weekend we had an all-day sewing retreat at a local township hall. I have had a project in my mind for a while ever since I saw the Stonehenge Gradation charm packs up at my local quilt shop. They are absolutely gorgeous Fabrics.

I love the richness of the colors and the movement in each piece. No two 5 inch pieces are the same. I got several of the charm packs, a strip set, plus a skinny roll of black strips at Christmas time. (And then ended up buying more!). I played around with a couple of ideas before deciding to make a ton of Half Square Triangles with the charm packs. I’ll end up with approximately 747 HST.

Aren’t those just absolutely gorgeous? I had quite a few of them made already before the sewing retreat so I packed everything up along with my machine and off I went.

I decided to do these an easy way where are you put two fabrics right sides together and sew along all four sides. And then you cut on the diagonal and end up with 4 half Square triangles.

If you have 5 inch charms you can sew them together like this and end up with approximately 3 inch half square triangles. They are not perfectly the same size but at this point I really didn’t care. I wasn’t aiming for a certain size.

Then I had to decide how I wanted to put them together. I laid them out in a couple different configurations.

Then I did what I do often and I just Winged It.

Then I looked at it again, grabbed the rotary cutter and a ruler, and made a slice diagonally across what I had just put together. I added some black strips between the pieces and around the block. I made another block, sliced it a couple times and added black strips between and around. Then I grabbed one of my Stonehenge strips and put them all together.

And this is what I ended up with for my first section of the quilt that I am going to make with these Gorgeous Fabrics. It’s not perfect… if the quilt police were to look at it. But I have the quilt police banned from my house anyways. 🤣

The sections are not going to be identical. I will just put the squares together until I reach a size I like, and then start cutting and adding the black. Eventually I will have a quilt top made in a stained glass type idea using gorgeous Stonehenge Fabrics.

Did you make anything this weekend? Have you gone to a retreat lately?

Challenge Accepted

The other night my mom and I were talking crazy squares. She wanted to try making some, so I was giving her some tips.

We were discussing how most of my crazy squares end up between 3″ and 6″ in size, no larger. Some even as small as 1.5″.

So that started me wondering, how big could I make one? Why didn’t I make larger squares?

Out came the fabrics. I decided to use an old jelly roll that had been sitting on the shelf for a few years now.

I managed a 14″ block before I was annoyed with it and then added the polkadot border to bring it to 18″ square.

Challenge accepted, completed, and I don’t like it. I don’t know why. I just don’t.

So, I did what any other crazy person would do. I took the rotary cutter to it.

Now I like it! It’s weird and unusual.

Some batting and backing, some decorative stitching, and I determined it done.

Or was it? Time to add beads! I love the shimmer and shine that beads add.

What have you challenged yourself with lately?

WIP- Where Was This Hiding?

I recently went through a couple of plastic totes in my Wife Cave and I found a surprise!

16 blocks of a quilt top made with a jelly roll. I started this, oh, probably three years ago at a sewing retreat. I drew the pattern up on grid paper and pieced the blocks. Then it was packed up to bring home and … forgotten.

I now have it sewn into 8 sets of 2 blocks each. Eventually I’ll have all 16 blocks sewn together, add a border, and get it quilted. Eventually.

Have you found any surprises lately? Maybe in that tote hidden in the corner of your craft area? You might want to check. Never know what surprises you’ll find!