Sunday, August 24, 2014

Quick and Easy Dishtowel Potholder Tutorial

There are literally two seasons in south Florida….it’s either hurricane season or it is not. To feel any sort of seasonal change here, we pretty much have to rely on the d├ęcor in our homes.  One thing I like to do as the months go by is swap out the kitchen towels.  Simple, I know…but it is the small things that count J

I love the towel / potholder combo that hangs from my oven door handle and I have always purchased these at craft shows....you know, supporting our crafty friends.

Nothing says August like sunflowers…and this one has seen way too many Augusts!  I’m not sure how it survived last year (or the year before).

So, I picked up new materials at the dollar store and made a replacement.

There are tons of YouTube videos and online instructions for these but this is how I did it:

Carefully remove the tags from the potholder and dishtowel

Lightly press the towel in half

Mark the center of the towel with a Frixion pen (I love these pens because I can simply remove the mark with a warm iron when I am finished)

Mark the center of the potholder with the loop either above or below the line.  You'll need the loop to wrap around a button when folded in half

Thread a needle with a double-strand of sewing thread and insert just inside the potholder binding and on the center line

Hand sew a basting stitch through the towel only and when it is gathered to fit the potholder, you insert the needle and thread through the other side and pull tight...do not knot the thread, this is to just hold the towel in place while you adjust the gathers

Once you have the towel gathered and centered on the potholder, then pin it in place.  Sew in place using a straight stitch about 2.5 to 3.0 in length, removing the pins as you go

Remove the basting thread

If you like the placement and you actually plan to use your towel then I suggest sewing over it once more

Attach a cute button on the opposite flap from the loop

Finished within minutes!

Once I realized what was inside the OLD potholder, I grabbed the seam ripper....

We'll use this guy at least one more August J

I am not a tutorial writer by any means, but if you like these towels then I hope this post is somewhat helpful. 

Have a great week, my friends.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Whole Lot of Fun…

That is what has been going on around here…FUN!

Working through my list of Works or Projects in Progress… Willow Weave is a flimsy and I love it.  As a reminder, this was a sew-along hosted by Doreen from Aunt Reen’s Place.

I’m hoping to pick up the backing fabric and take it to the long arm quilter’s next weekend.  Can't decide if this will be my summer picnic quilt or a cuddle quilt...hmmm.


I moved on to the list of new projects I wanted to try...

New towels for my daughter's bathroom.

These are from the same design set from Anita Goodesign that I used to make her throw pillows for her new bed.  

Not sure why the color is so different here


I have somewhat of a rooster theme in my kitchen so I test-stitched a rooster design on flour sack material.  I love the design but will either use different colors on the white fabric or use a different color towel.

This is also from Anita Goodesign.


My best friend and I have been hanging out.  Below is a cosmetic bag like the ones I've made several times before.  For whatever reason, my machine has decided it no longer wants to create these fun and easy bags.  So, my friend made this one and I made the little tissue case to match.

The cosmetic bag is from Anita Goodesign and the tissue case is from Pickle Pie.


Speaking of Pickle Pie designs, my best friend and I made her granddaughters each a little 'back-to-school' purse in their favorite colors.  These little bags are completely made 'in the hoop' of the machine embroidery unit and are relatively fast.  I've only made two projects from Pickle Pie but they seem to be well digitized.

What fun have you been having lately?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Yes Sir, Yes Sir, Three Bags…

No, not bags full of wool.  Three more bags finished.  I have made so many from Stephanie’s Uncommonly Corduroy that I’ve become the UC bag lady.  That is ok with me J

My daughter asked for a tote just like mine.

Travels with Lou pattern using Lilly Pulitzer fabric

Then she asked for a smaller purse.

Sister Sharon pattern using fabric from my stash

I also made this one for my sister’s birthday gift.

California Girl pattern, again using Lilly Pulitzer fabric

We have been really busy this summer but I did manage some mini vacations.  My husband and I spent a couple of days in Miami, relaxing and took in a baseball game when our beloved Phillies were in town.

I just returned yesterday from a few days in Fort Walton Beach with my daughter, Mom and sister.  We always have a great time…I just wish we could do it more often.

Today I am home catching up on cleaning and laundry but will be back soon with a couple of projects just to prove I can be a bag lady and so much more J

I hope you are enjoying your summer!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Summer Organizing Series: It's a Wrap!

Many thanks to Sherri at A Quilting Life for hosting this productive and fun series.  The time it took to go through everything in my sewing room and organize it was time well spent.

Here is the finish…

Day 11: Sort and Organize Quilting Books
Day 12: Sort and Organize Patterns
Day 13: Sort and Organize Magazines

I possess very few of the above in hard copy but what I do have was placed in these handy banker’s boxes and binders.

The embroidery designs that I have on CDs are stored in this little box.

Day 14: Plan Quilt Storage

This is easy.  If it is a table runner or topper then it is kept in a drawer in my china cabinet. Larger quilts are kept in a linen closet (you really do not want to see a picture of that right now).

Day 15: Make your shopping list

The only items I needed were the bins I bought at Walmart to store stabilizers and supplies for making bags.

Day 16: Take a final review

Here we were to re-evaluate what would stay, what would go and also the lists we made on Day 2.  Well, I’m keeping everything…even those rulers that I do not know what to do with.  However, I did make a plan.  I ‘calendared’ projects to be done, leaving myself the weekends for something new.

I changed my mind about keeping zippers in the little wooden box.  I took those and other notions that I do not use very often and organized those in a large Tupperware container.

Day 17: Donate or sell items you won’t use

Nothing from me here J

Day 18: Revise your project “to do” list

I simply ‘prioritized’ my list.

Day 19: Shop for needed items


Day 20: Take an ‘after’ photo



Now I am back in business.  First up is a another project from my favorite book…

Enjoy your weekend, you know where I will be J

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Organizing: End of Week Two

Sherri, A Quilting Life, is hosting a great summer organizing series and this week’s task was to tackle our fabric.  I do not have a huge ‘stash’ like many of my blog friends so this was a fairly easy one for me.

Day 7: Fabric Management Part 1 - Gather

I brought fabric and other ‘stuff’ out and placed it on the cutting table.  Then I separated everything into groups:
  • Garment or project fabric
  • Quilting fabric - yardage
  • Quilting fabric - pre-cuts or smaller than one yard
  • Felt and wool pieces
  • Items for machine embroidery projects (towels, diapers for burp cloths, etc...)

Day 8: Fabric Management Part 2 – Inventory

This is where we decide what to keep, trash, sell or donate.  We also placed our unorganized scraps into bins and inventoried our storage options.

I had already ‘purged’ fabric I no longer wanted or needed a while ago so all I had to do for this step was collect the scraps and better organize by ‘groups’ from Day 7.

Day 9: Tackle Scrap Storage

I kept only scraps that I think I will cut into smaller, usable pieces.  Everything else went into the trash.

 Day 10: Move In Day

Everything has a spot except yardage.  I have to get clear storage bins for that fabric so in the meantime, it sits on top of the fabric cabinet.

 Pre-cuts and smaller pieces  fit inside the little cubbies.

Seasonal yardage, felt, wool, backing  and garment fabrics are stored in the bottom of the cabinet.

I look forward to having a REAL room for my sewing space one day.  I could use my son’s room but I just do not have the heart to make that change… not sure I ever will.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

More Organizing, A Gene Black Original and a Surprise from Sinta

Sherri’s Summer Organizing Series over at AQuilting Life is well under way.

Day 6: Notions

I only pulled the items that I used the most and organized those such that they can be placed in easy to reach places…I’ll save some words and just show you the finished photos for this task.

Zippers, extra rotary cutter blades

Marking tools, pins, needles and thimbles

Bottled items, alcohol & q-tips to clean the machine, tape

Everything will stack on shelves or be placed close to the sewing table

I have TONS more notions that will be organized by type and then bagged or boxed and stored in a large Tupperware container.  I’ll show you what I am talking about when the room is back in order.

I mentioned last week that I had received some mail and I’d like to share it with you know.

Do you know Gene Black?  He is an artist, quilter (sews other things as well) and weaver.  His creativity goes beyond my wildest dreams.  Oh, and he happens to live in my home state of Alabama.

When I saw some of the scarves Gene had made I knew I needed really wanted one.  I am an Auburn fan, all things blue and orange.  If anyone could understand that, it would be a fellow Alabamian.  Therefore, I emailed Gene and shared a few details of what I wanted.  Within a very short time I received this…

Gene made it so it is very light weight and I can wear it here in South Florida.  Even though college football is a fall sport, we do not enjoy that change in weather here.  THANK YOU GENE….YOU ALREADY KNOW I LOVE IT!!!


Our dear friend Sinta at a Pink Pincushion sold her home and is getting ready to move.  (How exciting… a new sewing room and all)  In her packing up she uncovered some lovely vintage aprons.  Even though I did not win one of her giveaways, she kindly sent me one anyway.  Love her to pieces!  Check out this cute pink and white apron.

Thank you so much Sinta, I am honored and I absolutely adore this treasure.

I’m still waiting for Sherri’s next assignment so check back later for more organizing progress.