Tuesday, November 25, 2008

through my window

I put the finishing touches on my Doll Quilt this morning. I am really happy with the way it came out. It felt good to finally have something finished around here! I started this quilt when the leaves were still on their trees, at their peak color. Now they are gone, the trees bare, and I have this quilt a nice reminder of what I saw through my sewing room window. It's too bad I have to give it away.
I got a note on etsy today that one of my wristlets is being featured on Indie Parade Blog. I have to admit I've never seen the site, but you really must check it out. It's full of really cool things!

Isaiah and I are headed up to my in-laws today. I am so excited about cooking, baking, and spending time with family. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and safe travels.

Monday, November 24, 2008

catching up

Oh man, I love when I ask for opinions. You guys always have great ideas but it's funny because there are always a million different ideas. They really did help and I can't wait to show you when it's done. It's going to be very, very cute!

This weekend went by really fast. My sister-in-law and kids came into town Friday night. On Saturday, she and I had a day without the kids, and got to play a game of Hide and Seek all around D.C. It was hilarious. It was put on my a group call FART in D.C. We were given clues to find the "hiders" all around the city and then had to get them to sign our card. It kind of felt like a mini Amazing Race. My shins are still feeling it, a harsh reminder that I really need to get back into shape. Anyway, we had a great time and it was so fun to do something unusual.

I've listed two new Dopp Kits today. I also purchased a showcase on etsy for "Gift for Him." I'm not sure if it'll be worth the $15 that it costs, so it'll definitely be a learning experience. I've heard/read that they're not really effective marketing tools, but I figured I might as well give it a shot myself.

Well, that's all that's going on around here. I hope your week is starting off well. I'm so looking forward to Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

opinions please!

My niece's birthday is next week and she is very much into American Girl dolls. I picked up this pattern sometime over the summer with her in mind. It is part of Simplicity's line of reproduced vintage 50's patterns. I'm planning on making View A with this blue print fabric for the skirt that I found in the remnant bin at Joann's. Now I need your opinions! I can't decide on what to do for the for the top and waist. Originally I was thinking a plain white top with a red waist, but now I'm not sure. The pattern uses a blue top, but I think there's enough blue in the skirt and it's really difficult to match the color. So, should I just do the white top and red waist, or should I do a red top with a white waist. These are the options I have for the red part. What do you think??

Monday, November 17, 2008


Well I'm glad I'm not the only one with a million piles in their house. Liz left a comment saying " a creative mess is better than tidy idleness." It really stuck with me, and I don't think I could have said it better! This weekend I was able to make a good dent in them, but I'm coming to terms with the fact that there might always be a pile around. Especially with everything that is coming up in the next few weeks. John started his last round of chemo on Thursday, and is now looking at his bone marrow transplant to take place around the 10th or 11th of December. This means that most likely he'll be in hospital for Christmas, but as long as it means that he's getting better, I'm o.k. with that. Hopefully he'll be able to keep posting here so that everyone can read what's going on with him.

Anyway, I'm still working on my doll quilt. The quilting is proving to be more tricky than I thought it would be. I was intending to use free motioning quilting, but it just take so much effort and I want instant results! I'm hoping to finish it up this afternoon.

In "shop" related news, I've added this quilt and bag. I'll be adding the leather bag later in the day. I've also sent out my first newsletter, which you can also receive, if you'd like, by clicking on the right hand side. It includes a 10% off coupon of your entire order in my shop. I'm interested to find out how this newsletter helps my business. Right now I'm on a trial with constant contact, and I'd like to see if it's worth the monthly fee. I'll report back with my findings for those that are curious too.

Hope your week is starting well. I'm enjoy a nice quiet house and the bright sunlight.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Things are piling up around here.
In the kitchen.
In the sewing room.
In the bedroom.
You know it's bad when your 2 year old says "It's like a mountain." At least the bed is made, although you'd never know ;) Hopefully I'll play catch up this weekend and maybe fit time to finish my quilt up for the Doll Quilt Swap.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

October Block

I finally finished my block for October's Busy Little Quilting Bee. Julia sent out two fabrics, one army green and the other red. She requested red crosses on the green background and no introduction of other fabrics or patterns. This was tough at first. I had a pile of red scraps from the lunchbag tutorial sitting next to me and I was dying to put them in. I resisted and ended up with this block. I had taken a peek at the flickr group and noticed that another member had already done something similar to what I had in mind. So, I came up with this one, inspired by Crazymomquilt's red cross pillow. At first I wasn't all that excited about the colors and the concept, but I think Julia had a great vision that I would have never seen. I am so excited to see how her quilt is going to turn out. Everyone's blocks are looking so good and I think she's going to have the cutest quilt for her nephew. That is if she can give it up!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Rusted Root finished!

Knitting has been on my mind lately. Something to do with the cooler weather and the urge to knit Christmas gifts, which is rapidly approaching. I finally made the push to finish my Rusted Root which I think I've been knitting since July. Since then, I've started probably about 10 other knitting projects and maybe finished about 2. I've also added about 100 projects to my queue on Ravelry. John says he does not like my knitting "habit" as much as my sewing one because it seems to travel more around the house.
Anyway, I didn't have much further to go to finish the shirt, just a few more rows before adding the ribbing. I finished most of it Saturday night while watching Run, Fat boy, Run, which was hilarious. I put the finishing touches on this morning. I really am proud of myself for finally finishing something. It's comfortable and cute, although I probably could have added a few more round to the bottom. I was just wanting to finish it and getting impatient. All that is left to do is block it, and then I'll be wearing this thing everywhere. I may not take it off today. Blocking can wait.
Now to fit something quick and cute for my sister-in-law! Hope your week is starting off great!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Lunchbag Tutorial

Ok, here it is. I was trying to get this up earlier this morning, but then I realized I placed the velcro on the wrong side! So, I had to remove that and then I decided to go with snaps instead. Anyway, here it is. Enjoy!

Materials Needed:

  • Linen (or fabric of choice for outside)
  • Colored Fabric Scraps
  • PEVA Shower Curtain (or plastic/vinyl lining of choice)
  • Snaps
  • Interfacing

A few notes before starting:

-I opted to use a shower curtain from IKEA that is made from PEVA, a food safe plastic. If this is not an option for you, feel free to use whatever you see fit. Since food may come in contact with the lining, I just figured better safe than sorry when it comes to food safety.

- For this tutorial, I am using snaps as a closure. I have also used Velcro, which works well. This is going to be completely based on preference for what to use, but the directions here are for the snaps only.

- Another idea would be to add a handle on the bag for easy carrying. This could easily be done before sewing in the lining, just by adding a length of twill or belting.

-I am using a recycled linen skirt. I often use these as opposed to buying linen by the yard. I like to use linen for this project because I enjoy its likeness to a traditional paper bag.

Ok, here we go!

1. Cut from PEVA (1) 20.75” w x 13.75” rectangle

(1) 6.5”w x 4.5”h rectangle

from linen (1) 6.5”w x 4.5”h rectangle

later you will need more linen for the bag itself, the size will depend on your patchwork strip, but it needs to be at least 20.75” w

2. Sew together fabric scraps to create a pleasing patchwork pattern. The height itself doesn’t matter much, as long as it’s at least 20.75” w. In this example, my strip is about 3” h, which includes seam allowances

3. Pin the strip to a piece of linen that is 20.75”w and at least 6” h. Sew across the width, using a .25” seam allowance. Press toward patchwork piece. Repeat this for the other edge of the patchwork piece.

4. You piece will now look like this (2nd picture). Cut this piece to measure 20.75”w x 14.75” h, with the patchwork piece running horizontally. I like to have the patchwork somewhere in the middle, maybe a little more toward the top. This is totally up to you where you want it to land.

5. Apply interfacing to the bag piece and the linen rectangle you previously cut. I like to leave a 1” space along the top without interfacing.

6. Match the two 14.75” sides of the bag, sewing along the edge, stopping .25” from the bottom. Backstitch.

7. To sew on the bottom, match one long side of the bottom with the raw edge of the bag where you left a .25” seam. Using a .25” seam, sew along the edge, starting and stopping .25” from the edge. At the end, clip the bag to the seam allowance, being careful not to cut past the stitching line. Continue this around the entire bottom until it is fully closed. Trim corners.

8. Repeat this same process with the PEVA lining.

9. Turn the linen bag inside out and press if needed. Turn the top 1” to the inside, along the entire piece. Open the fold and turn raw edge to crease, pressing along the way. Fold over again, creating a cuff approximately .5” inside

10. Applying the closure: On the front (one of the “long sides”), go from corner to top and press the side. Do this on all four corners.

- On the back side, place snap .75” from top and 1” on side, for both sides.
- Determine the placement of the snaps on the front side from the ones you just places.
They will most likely be about 1” from the sides and 3.75” from top.
- The best way I find to do this (at least with the snaps) is to attach both snaps on the wrong side, then fold the top of the bag like you’re closing it and press hard on the snaps. This should leave an impression for the snap placement, and then you can proceed to attach the snaps

11. To attach the lining: Insert the lining into the bag, wrong sides together. Slip the top edge of the lining under the cuff you created in step 9. Pin horizontally through the cuff to keep from slipping, making sure not to puncture the lining that shows. Sew around the entire edge, catching the lining in the cuff. It is best to sew close to the bottom edge of the cuff inside.

Et Voila! You have your very own lunchbag. I hope these instructions are clear. Please let me know if there are any question and I’ll be happy to answer them. And don’t forget to let me know if you do make one!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Scarves and Winners

Last year, scarves were a big seller for me. Based on that, I spent most of my craft show preparation making scarves. I was quite the little factory. I did sell a few, but there are a lot left over. Just goes to show, you can never really predict what are going to big sellers. These will be going into my shop today. Luckily I already have the description written out (hooray!) so it should be a snap. This pink one is my favorite!

Now, for the giveaway. I just wanted to thank you all for stopping by, leaving comments, and those who posted about it on your blogs. I have discovered 100's of new to me blogs, many that are becoming instant favorites. I never expected this kind of response to this giveaway, but I suppose there are many other fabric addicts out there too. Without further ado the winner of the flat rate box is :

Jacquie (who has a devoted following, let me tell you!) who said

congratulations!! that's a big occasion and you, my dear, know how to celebrate. Alissa, of handmade by alissa sent me. check her out. here's my link. hope you get lots more folks coming by. i'm glad alissa helped me find you.

And because there were so many entrants, I couldn't giveaway just one prize, so two smaller packages will go out to:

Artsymomma and Kristin from KristenUnraveled

Ladies, please e-mail me your address to katiebhandbags AT gmail DOT com

Thanks for playing everyone!

Monday, November 03, 2008


Wow! You guys are amazing. I knew there would be a lot of other fabric lovers out there, but I had no idea there would be so many new friends popping over! So, "hi" to my new readers, I'm so glad to have you. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can visit this post and enter the fabric giveaway until Wednesday.

I wanted to try blogging everyday for a month, but it seems I'm already 2 days behind. Better late than never, right? We had a very busy weekend and I'm thankful for a very relaxing day today. And by "relaxing" I mean finally washing the dishes, folding laundry, and cleaning the bathroom. You get the picture. It should be fun times.

Anyway, my craft fair was on Saturday and it was less than I had hoped for. I did the same one last year and it was a raging success, so I'm not sure what happened this year. I was able to make a small profit but, I was really expecting a lot more. Anyway, I know have a lot of new things to upload to my etsy shop, like those mini wallets up there. I always have such a hard time writing descriptions for the product. It may take me a really long time to update. It's really the toughest part for me.

Today is also the last day of the EtsyCREST sale. If you search "etsycrestsale" you can find all the items from sellers participating. I'm still offering 15% off in my shop and I know there are some people with even bigger discounts.

Lastly, and congrats if you made it to the end of this page, I am working on a few tutorials this week. Mainly the lunch bag since that seemed so popular. Hopefully I'll have something to post everyday this month. It'll be a good challenge.

I hope you are all having a fabulous start to your week.