Recycled Jeans - A Book Bag

Recycled Jeans Tote Bag
My sister gave me a stack of her son's old blue jeans.  They were in pretty good shape so I thought I would take my time to decide how to repurpose them. I didn't want to cut them up willy-nilly then discover that I should have cut them differently.

I knew I was making some sort of tote bag out of the legs. I liked that the bottom hems were not frayed so I wanted to use them as the bag opening. I cut the legs off at the knees (where they were worn out) to see how tall I could make the bag. Then I left the French seams intact and cut the leg pieces next to the opposite seams and sewed the two pieces together.

I had a nice, large piece of denim fabric with two French seams running through it. I then deconstructed the back pockets and the belt loops. I reattached the pockets over the French seams.

Then I took the thigh parts of the pants and cut them into 3 1/2-inch wide strips and sewed them together to make the bag strap. Since the fabric was so thick, I just turned in each long raw edge 1/4-inch and sewed them down. I then sewed 4 more rows of stitching to give the strap a finished look.

I then squared up the main bag piece and sewed it into a tube, then sewed the bottom shut. I also added a gusset 1 1/2 inches from the corners to form a bottom.  Then I measured the bag to make a lining the same size.  I then figured out that my strap was way too long so I cut off a piece to make the bag closure.

I added a few doily details and some decorative buttons and viola!....a new bag - no pattern necessary. I really like how it turned out.


Quilts for Kids Delivery

Childrens Hospital of Wisconsin
Renee and Bonnie dropped off 135 finished quilts that our chapter made over the past few months.  These two ladies from the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin were very appreciative and happy to receive them.

Our group meets on the second Saturday of each month for a day of sewing. We have a lot of fun making them while enjoying each other's company. This was the third trip this year for delivering the quilts.


Cute Little Bullfinches

I was inspired by Svetlana's blog post to make these cute little bullfinches. She made twenty of them all at once and they were so cute I couldn't wait to make my own.

So I dug out my scrap basket and found the right sized scraps to fit the pattern pieces and before I knew it, I had a dozen of them ready to sew. It was fun to pick out the ribbons for the tail feathers as well.

After looking at the version Svetlana made, I decided to use fabric instead of felt for the beaks which is also what was used in the original instructions.

Since I started my recovery from neck surgery, these little projects are so nice. They are manageable without causing me much pain and they fill my time so I am not so bored since I can't really do much. And I am so happy with the results, I can't wait to make some more. The original instructions and pattern to make these little cuties can be found here.

I can't wait for my granddaughters to see them, I think they are going to be attracted to their bright colors.


Wonky Star Quilt - Completed

I made this quilt from a photo I found on Pinterest.  I didn't have any idea how large the quilt was in the photo but I was inspired by it enough to dig out my scraps and make my own version.

I cut 24 three-inch squares of fabric for each block all in the same color tones. Then I cut 1 three-inch square of white for the center of the star.

After I laid out each block, making sure the white square was not on the edge, I cut three-inch strips of white fabric for the points of the stars. From each strip I cut the strips at random angles and sewed them to the squares surrounding the white square.

It was fun to start each block to see how many scraps of the same color families I could pull from my stash. By the time I got to the last block, I had run out of colors and had to shop for the fabrics to make the salmon block.  For the back, I took a leftover scrap from each of the blocks and sewed them to a white strip of fabric then sewed the strips together at random. I decided the binding had to be something black and white and simple. I think it really complements the many colors in the quilt quite well.


Quilts for Kids - Christmas Holiday Quilt

Christmas Quilt
I took this beautiful set of Christmas panels from the fabrics donated to our Quilts for Kids group. Even though it didn't seem like a great candidate for a child's quilt I thought I would give it a whirl.

I cut the panel apart and arranged the 5 pieces into a logical assortment then took some measurements to build borders around each panel piece.

I added a complimentary border to it and finished it with a white backing, using the last strip of border fabric from the front as an accent.

It turned out to be a quick, cute little project that has some whimsy for the holiday season. Maybe an older child will like this one to cuddle up in.


What's on the design board?

If you're one of those wonderful people who are following my blog you know that I started this thing called "what's on the design board?" a few months back. My plan was to take a photo of whatever is on the design board on the first day of every month with the hopes that each month there would be something different on the board. I see this sort of as a way to push myself to make progress on projects. But last month I failed to post a photo as there was nothing on the design board.

Here we are starting another new month and yes, that design board is still empty. But I do have a reasonable explanation.  In fact it is a design of sorts or more like a redesign. I had cervical spine fusion the first week of October and this photo is the x-ray of the fused vertebrae in my neck or as my surgeon would call it, my progress report. He says it looks great. I'm very glad he says so.

So for November, this is as close to something on the design board as I can come.  Luckily, I'm feeling like I might just have the energy to make December's post a little more interesting. Or at least a little more colorful.