Monday, September 27, 2010

Recycled Purse Bottom - Battling the Great Saggy Bottom

I've learned a lot from this one purse adventure.  I probably won't even use the purse that I made.  It may become a give away or gift.  However, when I made this purse, I made the mistake of using quilt batting.  I added stabilizer later but was unable to get it as stiff as I wanted.  My latest problem was when I put anything in the purse, it had a great sag in the bottom.  So I searched the Internet and read that someone once used floor tile on the bottom of the purse to stiffen it but there were no instructions.  So, I tested out a sample. 

Saggy Bottom when item added to bag
I measured the bottom of my purse roughly into a rectangle.  Measured that out on an extra floor tile I had and cut the rectangle floor tile.  Then I rounded the corners free hand.  No perfection here.  Tried it out in the bottom of the purse and made adjustment cuts where needed.  I figured to hide it, it needed a fabric sleeve to match the bottom of the purse.
Traced cut out tile on fabric back
I used scrap fabric I had and roughly traced the size of the tile bottom onto the backside of the fabric.  I folded on piece of fabric down about 1/2 inch above the trace line and sewed it down when I sewed around three sides of the template.  The other piece of fabric I left long.  When I trimmed I left about 3" on this extended piece.  
Sewed down one side of excess fabric
My goal was to make a rough envelop flap.  I turned the envelope fabric right sides out.  Now, I folded the long flap into a triangle and sewed a 1/4 from the sides.  Trimmed and added a Velcro dot.  Now I can remove the tile and wash the purse bottom envelope when needed. 
Created rough envelope
Here is my inside of the purse (lining was still just a little too big) and the before and after sag.

Inside with added purse bottom
No more saggy bottom when items added inside purse.
I'd love to hear your suggestions for how you add stiffness to a purse as well!

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Fun Evening at the Auction - 3 Bargains

Close to us is a drive in that also hosts auctions on Friday nights.  We recently started going to the auction.  What a fun thing to do.  If you don't buy anything, you can always people watch.  But, the last two times we came home, I could kick myself for not bidding on something that went so low.  Anyhow, this last adventure we ended up spending a whole $19.  

Cups and Saucers

We mainly went because there was a lot of what looked to be fancy cups and saucers.  I thought, these would be beautiful to use as cups for my bird feeders.  I've been stockpiling them in anticipation of making the bird feeders to sell and raise money for Cancer research.  That's another story someday.  So, I thought they would be selling the 18 cups as a lot.  Ended up that they sold them in pairs.  Darn.  They went for anywhere between $5-$10 a pair.  Which I initially thought was pretty expensive compared to what I had previously been spending on cups/saucer sets.   I ended up getting two sets.  I left thinking I got caught up in the biding excitement and paid too much.  I noticed an auctioneer even bidding on them so I thought I would look them up when I got home.  Turns out, each cup alone is listed on the Internet as close to $30 each.  Not sure anyone would pay that but they were antiques.  Well, I can't use these now.  I'll just put them in the mini china cupboard I have.  How exciting.

That Ugly Purse

There was also about 6 bags on the stage that I thought they would sell as a lot.  There was a lot of people looking at them.  Hubby went up to look and motioned to me, one of them was a designer purse.  They ended up selling them separately and the designer purse normally sells for $160+ went for $18.  I ended up bidding on one that was a pretty teal color.  When I got it, I threw it in the box on top of those cups I had previously won.  Hubby said, "that's an ugly purse"  I didn't examine it prior to my bidding (bad habit of mine) and I ended up winning it for $6.  Turned out it was a brand new Tignanello leather purse from QVC which they sold for about $100.  Cha-Ching. 

A new Craft may be Born

While I waited in the auditorium, hubby ventured out to see the box lots and different rooms.  He came back in and dumped a big box by my feet.  He seemed disappointed.  I peeked in and saw what I thought was small used rolls of embroidery thread.  He said he thought it was sewing thread.  He arrived just when they were auctioning it and thought the lady said thread so he bid sight unseen.  Ended up paying full $2.  He said just throw it away.  When we got home and had a chance to examine.  Here it was a box full of Pretty Punch Threads and needles and designs.  So, I have all the tools and supplies necessary to try my hand at thread punching.  Plus there was a pair of scissor snips in there.  I told him, he got the deal of the night.  He beamed.  I said even the scissors were worth more than the $2

Just goes to show you that Forrest Gump was a smart man.  "Forrest Gump: My momma always said, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Trish's Tools - Clover Desk Needle Threader

What ever happened to my 20/20 vision?  Now I need to depend on dollar store cheater glasses.  I buy them by the dozen.  You know it's getting bad when you are in the shower and things start getting blurry.  When you finally figure out that it is because you left your cheater glasses on your eyes dingy and they are steaming up!!!

But, I have found a great eye saver when I'm trying to thread hand needles to sew on my binding or buttons.  I used to get so frustrated in trying to thread the needle.  I've tried the cheater needles but I end up pulling the thread out of the cheater part a lot.  So here it is... The Clover Desk Needle Threader.  I've seen it have mixed reviews different places but I really like mine.

P.s.  my official eye appt is on Friday. 

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Two Buttons are Better than One

 Sometimes it's hard to see an idea when you are so focused looking elsewhere.  I was looking for the perfect button to me and had several options.  Then, I received a comment from Shelley that suggested maybe I could combine two buttons into one by stacking them.  Then I would have my color and size I wanted.  I thought, yeah, she's on to something.  I looked at both buttons and realized they were both shank type buttons.  One metal for the pink flower button and the white button had an all in one plastic shank.  I took the pliers to the pink flower metal shank and bent it.  Then decided to try and pull it out, success.  Now, a little glue and I have the perfect little pink button for me.  Thanks for your input!!
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Button Options - So Many Choices

I have been hunting for the "perfect" button for my pink purse that I recently made.  It has sent me on a button obsession.  I have narrowed it down to 5 options.  I'm leaning towards #4 below but it's just a little too small I think.  If only it were bigger it would be perfect to me.  Options 1 and 2 are very nice in that they both have carved designs on them. Options 3 is faceted and has a little oomph and then option 5 is clean and classic. Since I'm indecisive, I'll probably place the numbers in a bowl and pull one since they all contribute something to the bag.  Now I'm off to hunt for more buttons to add to the collection.  Have a great day!!

Click for a larger view
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Farmer's Wife Friday - Block 21 - Contrary Wife

Love the name of this week's block for me on the Farmer's Wife.  In addition, it was an easy block which is always my favorite type to complete.  I really did not plan for all the fabric to be speckled for this block but it's what was pulled from the pile of Thimbleberries fabric.  Also, I love the fall colors in the block.  Must be thinking of my favorite time of the year!  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Non Trimmed or pressed Block 21 - Contrary Wife

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Trish's Tools - Just Hanging Around

I am always looking for time saving ways to get things done.  I've tried on numerous quilts in the past to make an even hanging sleeve but for some reason, I end up having issues.  It's not very often that I need to add hanging sleeves to my quilts.  However, I just learned that the Breast Cancer Quilts needed to have hanging sleeves added to them in case they went to local hospitals to hang in honor of Breast Cancer Month.  So, last night I added the Quilters Hangup hanging sleeves to both the quilts.  I first adhered them with Lite Steam-a-Seam2 and then I hand stitched the edges just to make sure the weight of the quilt did not separate the sleeve from the quilt.  Here is the prepackaged hanging sleeve and the results on one of the quilts.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Last Butterfly

We are down to our last Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis.  We raised and released over 25 butterflies this season.  Here are a few of my favorite photos along the way.  My all time favorite photo is the monster caterpillar next to the tiny caterpillar.  No, he did not eat him.  As you can see, they love eating the milkweed leaves.   We started raising butterflies about 3 years ago.  I had hoped when I saw the Eastern Swantail butterfly on our Milkweed bush that we would have that type of butterfly, but, not this year.  Enjoy the photos!

Big and Small Caterpillars

Crystal Clear Chrysalis right before hatching.

Different Stages in the life-cycle

Stretching the wings before release.

Towards the end, it was a butterfly boom - Triplets

Clinging before take off
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Saturday, September 11, 2010


My thoughts and prayers are with all affected by 9/11. We will never forget.
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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Small Changes Sometimes Makes all the Difference

I carefully worked yesterday to open the seams to where the button catch was on the purse.  Then I made a smaller, more subtle button catch for the pink purse.  I love the difference it made.  It was such a little change.  Now I'm on the hunt for the perfect vintage pink rhinestone button!   Also, the colors on this new photo more closely match the original colors.  The first photo down below shows too much yellow.

After Button Catch Change
Before Button Catch Change

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pink Pocketbook

When I go fabric shopping, pink is not the first color I am drawn to.  I'm drawn more to the batiks and primary colors.  However, I've looked around lately and found that I have numerous fabrics with pink in them.  So, I decided it's time to use more of them.  Yesterday evening was the day I finally tackled a purse I've been wanting to try.  I learned so much working on this pattern:  Mill House Inn Tote Bag on the Moda Bakeshop site.  Great use of honey buns!

So, here's what I ended up with.  My lining needs trimmed down a little more, it's too big.  But, other than that, I think it turned out pretty good for my second purse.  I may change the button catch though.  I think it may be too much pink polka dot.  You should give the pattern a try.  Now, who to give it to?  Maybe I'll tuck it away for Christmas!

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Great Weekend - Two Quilts Completed & Photographing Quilts

Yeah!!  I completed the bindings on both Breast Cancer quilts!  I also re-added the bobbles that were removed for quilting.  Finally, I added the last of the ric rac trim to the second quilt.  I really enjoy working on these quilts but I also enjoy finishing them.  It's a sense of relief knowing I am completed.  Now, I just need to package them up and send them out.  First, I'll contact the coordinator.  I may need to add a hanging sleeve so I may have one more step to go.

Photographing Quilts

How do you photograph your quilts.  It's hard to find an area to get a good photo of my completed quilts.  I currently hang them over the entry way banister however, it adds a bow in the center when the quilt goes over the carpet floor that extends under the banister.  I've tried photographing them on the floor, but, then you get a a very large angular photo. Unfortunately, I do not have the room to create a design wall.  Looking forward to hearing your tips!

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Farmer's Wife Friday - Block 20 - Churn Dash

The one that I chose for this week was the Churn Dash Block which was block 20.  Thank goodness it was an easier one that previous ones.  I like the mid-tone green that I chose for the bars.  Luckily I got a yellow flower in each bar.  Believe me, that was not planned.  I did not fussy cut that in.  As usual, the photo below is before ironing and trimming.  Hope you all have a fantastic Friday!

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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Trish's Tools - Perfect Key Fob Pliers

I've been dabbling in making key fobs lately.  I love using some of my excess jelly roll strips and or honey bun strips to make them.  I like my key fobs floppy and soft instead of the stiff ones.  I've experimented without stabilizer and with stabilizer and I think I have it narrowed down to a light stabilizer. 

Here however is my new favorite tool that have made key fobs easier for me.  It helps me not have the dent marks when I use regular pliers.  I found them on eBay and you just search for "key fob pliers" on either Google or eBay and you'll find them.  They have a great rubber coated flat tip area to close your key fob clamps without adding the pressure divots.  I hope to add a tutorial in the future of how I make my keyfobs.  Stay tuned.

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