I didn’t accomplish all that I had hoped to sew in June and July (but when do I ever get to sew as much as I want to, right?). What I did finish though, I really love! My major project for June was to sew myself a new bag. My sister super kindly sent me a gift certificate to Bear’s Paw for Mother’s Day, specifically so I would buy myself fabric for a bag and actually sew one instead of just complaining that I needed a new one! I already had this really cool heavier fabric so I bought lining/accent fabric to go with it.
me, texting her after the shopping trip to say “Thank you!”🙂
I chose fabrics by Carolyn Friedlander and Alison Glass and used the Sidekick Tote pattern from Noodlehead. (As a side note, although I’ve used and loved her free tutorials for years, this was the first pattern I’ve purchased from Anna Graham and it was impeccable – super easy-to-follow instructions, pattern pieces which perfectly fit with each other, and a really lovely finished product – totally worth the really reasonable price.)
I used both pocket options on the outside (rather than just one as the pattern states) and also added an inset zip to the inside to keep lip balm, hair ties, bandaids, etc. all contained. I also discovered that my vintage wooden spools make great holding places for bias tape!
Here’s the outside, with adjustable strap. I’ve mostly been wearing it long, cross-body and I love having a purse like that again.
The first time I’ve sewn a bag with a zipper like this! I used hardware a half-inch bigger than the pattern called for (because I already had it) so I made the strap a half-inch bigger too. You can see that this strains the edges of the bag just a bit but it’s working fine none-the-less.
Inside, I’m really proud of that inset zipper pocket! The zipper came out perfectly.
Here I am, showing it off during the show and share at our most recent Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild meeting. (Thanks to Elaine for the picture!)
No, my legs aren’t shaved, in case you’re wondering.
So, enough about my amazing bag. Here’s the other crazy thing I sewed recently – a name tag with super tiny hexagons! We went on vacation with Nik’s family in early July. I, knowing that I would be away from my sewing machine, decided to take on a crazy hand-sewing project. I signed up for a name tage swap for my quilt guild (which did NOT have to be hand-sewn. I just assigned that to myself!). I decided to use half-inch hexagon templates to do some English paper piecing.
My finger and a little friend to give you some perspective on how small these are.
In the end, I hand-sewed the whole blue/brown grid and then fused the letter to the front, machine quilted it to finish it off. I had a few extra (made nine too many actually) so as not to waste them, I added them to the back. I also couldn’t resist adding a hexagon flower (like Ellie’s but much smaller) to make the back really fancy.
I doubt I will ever sew with hexagons this small again but it was a fun experiment!
This is a project that I’ve been working on since January. I made much shorter versions of these a couple years ago as Christmas presents but wanted longer strings for our tree and to go all the way around our dining room. I finished the tree one months ago and I finally finished the dining room one on Wednesday. There are 134 felt light bulbs on this, making it around 45 feet long! (I know, I’m probably crazy but I did do all this hand sewing when I otherwise would have just been sitting and doing nothing with my hands.)
Christmas in July, right?
Finally, here’s a few other smaller things I sewed in June/July:
some Christmas secrets rainbow projects:
a few quilt blocks to contribute to the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild’s quilt donations for the victims of the Orlando Pulse shooting,
a couple quilt blocks to add to one of the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild Quilt Bingo prizes (coming up this fall!),
isn’t that the most adorable selvedge edge?
and a portable ironing pad (first front, then back) – basically, a really giant pot holder.
If you have made it this far in this mammoth post, then either you love me a lot or sewing a lot so thank you for reading! :) Sewing is my therapy, for sure! And yes, I know, we’re not all the way through July yet but I have one big sewing project that will all consume my sewing time for the rest of the month. Follow me on Instagram (@salmonandsouvlaki) if you want pictures of that!
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Finish it Up Friday