Look What I Made!

Every now and then I have to take a break and do something other than what absolutely has to be done.  That’s especially true after I finish packing the kits for Farmer’s Wife.  While I love making the blocks, packing all the kits, at least 400 of them, sometimes takes a toll on my brain.  On a couple of occasions I made small raw-edge applique wallhangings because they can be done without much in the way of thinking.  This time, I decided to do something different…but what?

Outside view

We received the Little Wallet pattern designed by Valori Wells last week.  I took one of the patterns upstairs, sat in MY chair, and read over the instructions.  Once I got caught up on ordering more goodies this week I decided to make this little wallet because it seemed pretty quick and easy.

Inside view

It was no easy task choosing which fabrics to use.  I have wanted to make something from these Michael Miller fabrics for a while though so I decided to use them for my first little wallet.   After having made this one there are a few things that I will change on the next one.  For example, you are told to use interfacing but you’re not told what weight of interfacing to use.  I used Craft Fuse which is fairly heavy and gives a project body, something I definitely wanted in my little wallet.  I even fused a small piece to the wrong side of the outside fabric piece where the snap, or in my case Velcro and a button, will be sewn.  I like the feel of the top flap of the wallet, but there is so much fabric at the bottom of the wallet that I think I’ll use a lighter interfacing on the next one.

Speaking of too much fabric at the bottom, there are eight layers of fabric by the time you get the wallet put together as instructed.  On my next version, I think I will use just one piece of fabric for each pocket, put interfacing on the back of each, turn under a hem on the top edge of each pocket, and then layer them as instructed.  That would mean there would be only five layers of fabric and the interfacing should give them some body without adding lots of bulk.  One thing I did that wasn’t in the instructions was to sew the three pockets together on both sides with about an eighth inch seam.  This assured that they would stay together as a unit while the outside and lining were being stitched together.
Another thing I will change is the location of the opening for turning the wallet inside out.  I have learned over the years that it is difficult when the opening for turning is placed on a corner.  I think by moving the opening toward the middle of one side the corner shape will not be compromised.  I will also leave a bit larger opening as it was difficult to get all that bulk through the 1-1/2″ opening given.  With such a small opening the fabric gets very wrinkled by the time you get it pulled through.  I had to use Mary Ellen’s Best Press to help get the wrinkles out and make the fabric in the wallet nice and smooth again.
I picked a floral fabric for the outside and first pocket.  Because of this, I had to pay attention to the designs in the fabric which added to the thinking factor…but not too much.  Thankfully, before I cut my outside fabric I realized that I would end up with the flowers upside down when I folded over the flap.  Sooooo, I centered the flower for the bottom back section and made sure the flap landed in the plaid section with no floral design.  I also centered one of the flowers for the first pocket so that when I open the flap I have a nice flower to look at.  I top stitched the edges of the pockets because I think that gives the project a nice finished look.  It will make the edge of the pockets crisp and neat.
This little wallet is fairly quick and easy to make.  It doesn’t require a lot of fabric and would be a great way to get rid of some of your scraps.  There are three pocket sections so you could use it to carry your driver’s license, a credit card or two, and some cash.  Or, maybe you have a friend who likes tea.  You could make one of these and put some individually wrapped tea bags in it for a wonderful little gift.  The hardest thing you will find in making this project is deciding on which fabrics to use.  There are so many possibilities!

Cute Coin Purse!

Another new pattern that we received last week was the Fun & Flirty Coin Purse by This & That.  It comes in two sizes, small (3″x5″) and large (4″x8″).  I’ve not had a chance to make this one yet, but it’s definitely on my wanna-do list.  I’m thinking that the larger of the two could also be used for cosmetics, to keep your writing implements and a small note pad in your purse so they’re easy to find, or maybe small notions that you wouldn’t want roaming around free inside your purse.  Again, I think choosing just which fabrics to use will be the hardest part of the whole project.

Carrie Nelson's Latest!

If you enjoyed Carrie Nelson’s book Schnibbles Times Two you’ll enjoy this one just as much.  She has included fourteen great quilts here for your pleasure.  In addition to great instructions, she gives you the reason for the names of some of the quilts.  One quilt is called Hound Dog.  Any idea where that name came from?  The answer is in the book.  Of course, the cover quilt caught my attention because it’s one of my favorite patterns.  It’s easy and so much fun to make.
I love crazy quilting!  This new book by Allie Aller is a must have if you do too, or if you have wanted to learn how to do this lovely quilt style.  The author shows you how to draw your own blocks and gives you four different methods for making these blocks.  One technique uses freezer paper, one fusible applique, and another chunk piecing.  The embellishment ideas are super and plentiful.  There is a great gallery of quilts and several projects for you to try.  I’ll definitly add this book to my personal library of crazy quilting books.

Get ready for summer!

The UPS man said he felt like he’d left something in the truck when he delivered just a small box.  What he didn’t know was just how much was in that small box.  The latest issue of Fons & Porter’s Easy Quilts for Summer is here!  There are 18 sizzlin’ projects that you don’t want to miss.  They range from full sized quilts to wallhangings just perfect for gift giving, after you make one for yourself of course. 

Smokey - all grown up

There’s a quilt that uses panels from the Tuxedo Cat line of fabric, which I don’t have unfortunately, but I couldn’t help but think how great it would be to use actual photos of our own Tuxedo cats.  Like the one I took today of Smokey.  Can you believe how big he’s gotten?!  The photo of him under the rocker is one of my favorites.  He was so little and so cute then…sigh…

Smokey - The early days...

I seem to be diverging from the quilty news for some reason.  Today was one of those days where I decided to take some photos of things around me that won’t be here forever.   The blooms on our Tulip Poplar tree is one of those things.  The tree is beginning to bloom out in gorgeous pink blossoms.  I figured I’d better go ahead and take some photos to share with you before the frost got them.  Many’s the year when the tree started to bloom and I looked forward to seeing those large pink blossoms, but before they popped out the frost came.  I would wake up the next morning to black blobs on the end of the branches…very unbecoming.  The past few days, when I looked out of the door in the office upstairs, I could see the buds as they began growing.  Being on the second floor gives one a whole other perspective on a tree.  It was just so beautiful I had to share it with you.  I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I have, and am, the view.

Gorgeous up close!

Gorgeous!
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