Thursday, December 24, 2015

Sewing Just Before Christmas

"Merry Christmas Everyone!"
Are you busy in your studio before Christmas? I hope you have been, as I have been having so much fun there. The days have quieted down with the arrival of snow and I find myself, wanting to sew and sew some more. Below is one of my hand 'dye' painted textile cards with 'free motion' thread sketching. For my own Christmas cards I simply had photos made of the textile art and attached the photo to folded card stock.
I think the trick in thread sketching is to simplify. "What lines really tell the story?" In this case, I felt, that the shape of an old fashioned wooden shoeshoe was important, as well as the webbing. Notice I didn't put the webbing in the top area, or the boot harnesses, or ski poles. Did you make your own Christmas cards?

Sewing Gifts

Picking fun fabric and fussy cutting makes for some great potholders for gifts.


Okay measure twice and cut once. Obviously I didn't do that here!
Coordinating fabric makes two matching potholders but not they are not the same.

Lay the two layers of fabric right sides together. Mine were 8" square. Lay two layers of cotton batting on top. I stitched with a 3/8" seam to be sure to catch all layers. It probably would have been better to change to a walking foot but with attention, a regular foot works.

Preparing a Loop
 Some I added a loop to. Out of the scraps, I cut 1 1/2" strips, folded in the edges and stitched down the open side. The sewn strips were cut to 4" and inserted between the two fabric layers when sewing the perimeter.

A matched set because of the identical paisley background.
Leaving an opening when sewing the perimeter allows the potholder to be turned right side out. The opening was hand stitched closed and then the square was machine quilted.
This lovely fabric was purchased at
All packaged and ready for giving

From the left over scraps I cut 3/8" strips, sewed them together to form strips long enough to tie the two potholders together.

Board Game Bag:

My Scrabble Tiles Bag

 Although this top sample was sewn years ago, I wanted to show it, as the bag has been great. Three features I really like are:
  1. the satiny lining as the tiles slip out easily
  2. the double draw string as it is easy to close
  3. the front pieces is velvet so it absorbs some of the sound as you lay down the bag.
As this bag is a gift for another Scrabble Player, I wanted to incorporate those special features. I didn't take photos as I went along, but this is what I did. I put two layers of cotton together and free motion stitched them together. I used one of my hand dyed fabrics for the outside. To see what was my inspiration for this fabric, click here.
 I cut a rectangle from the two sewn layers of fabric, folded it in half lengthwise and sewed up the two sides. Then I sewed a 2" seam across the bottom side seam to create shape to the bottom of the bag. The bag was then turned right side out. Next a lining was sewn using a shiny fabric but I made it a bit longer. The lining was inserted into the outer bag and turned over the top edge of the outer bag to create a casing for the drawstring.
After sewing the edge down all around the top, I stitched around the side seam several times in a square shape. After that the stitches of the side seam were undone to create an opening for the string to go into the casing. Strings were threaded through the casing all the way around the bag and back to the original opening. This was then done on the other side with another string. Beads were added.

To keep the lining and outer bag from separating, a few hand stitches were sewn to catch them together at the bottom near the side seam.
There it is. Of course this would make a unique bag for other board game pieces.
January is around the corner and I am looking forward to more time in the studio. What are you planning?


Win Dinn, Artist said...

What lovely gifts, Eileen - you have been very busy up to and during! Wishing you a fabulous Christmas break and a stellar 2016!

Laura Leeder said...

Thanks for sharing this other creative side of you Eileen. I just love the pot holders!

Happy New Year to you!