Recent Small Sewing Projects


During larger sewing projects, I often take a break and make quick little items, either out of need of the item itself or just for want of some instant gratification. These are a few recent projects that I especially liked.

New Grocery List Book

After our large post-it notepad ran out, I made a fancy new grocery list notebook.  The pattern is from Pretty in Patchwork Holidays by John Q. Adams.  I bought this book to read over vacation and I just LOVED it.  I’m not much of a “holiday” person, but many of the projects don’t have to be holiday specific.  There’s a “read between the lines” pillow that I’ll probably end up making, too.

Pokemon Key Chain

My older daughter specifically asked for a Pokemon key fob.  (Instructions for making key fobs found here.)  I was happy that even if she’s grown up, she’s not that grown up.  Love the little peeking Pokey faces!

Chickie Coin Purse

I know I saw chickie coin purses when searching for vacation reading materials, but I can’t remember where!  It did inspire my own coin purse though.  And I’ll probably be looking for that book again, because it was full of cute stuff.

This last one is a continuing project.  A friend of mine recently lost her husband, and I just can’t stand it for her.  She took a picture days before, when she was beside him, of the sun breaking through the clouds.  It brought her comfort to have that picture, so I am attempting to recreate it somewhat.  But instead of trying to have a literal copy of the picture, I’ve changed it to hexies/English paper piecing to “pixelize” her picture.  The plan is that from up close it makes no sense, but from a distance you’ll be able to bring it into focus.  Someday, I trust that we’ll be able to step back and see more clearly the things that just haven’t made sense here.

Hexie Pixel-Picture Progress

This is the lower left section, with nine more rows needed to mostly finish the left half.  (The larger sections will still need to be stitched together.)  The right side will bring in the sun and its reflection on the water below.  And I still don’t know what this hexie-picture will be — a wall hanging?  Small quilt?  I’m just trusting it will be what it needs to be, too.


Faux Sequins Fold Over Clutch

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Faux Sequins Clutch

I didn’t really mean to sew anything this morning.  Still, I ended up at the sewing machine and about 20 minutes later I had this nifty little fold over clutch.  I found the not-sequins fabric at Joann’s and fell in love, even though I have absolutely no occasions that require a shimmery purse.  You may see me carrying this to the gym.

“Hello, We’re Tourists” Camera Wristlets

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I couldn’t decide if I liked the wristlet better with a gray camera and a floral background

Camera Wristletor with a floral camera and a gray background

Camera Wristletsso now I have one for me, and one for a friend.  Indecision is a wonderful thing. :)

Camera Wristlets

I used the free PDF template from Ashley at Lil Blue Boo to make the camera applique.  Isn’t it the cutest!?  Thank you, Ashley!  (I reduced mine to 75% to better fit the purse.)

Now I feel a need to go be a tourist!

Graduation Gifts


Monogram Wristlets

My daughter graduates from high school in a few days, and I wanted to give a few of her closest friends a little gift to celebrate.  They’ve stood by her through everything, and as her Mom I really appreciate that.

Monogram Wristlets

Since they’re graduating and moving off in many different directions, I wanted to give them a gift that would remind them of their friends.  Each of them have a similar wristlet, but with fabrics chosen with each girls’ personality in mind.  The same, but different.

Inside Monogram Wristlets

I was able to sneak in a giraffe print, a favorite of one of the girls.  It’s inside, like her own little secret.

I used a mashup of this wristlet by Ayumi of Pink Penguin and this clutch by Anna of Noodlehead, then threw on a monogram just because.

Monogram Wristlets

What girl doesn’t like a monogrammed purse?

While I was at it, I made extra monograms for their gift bags.

Monogram Gift Bags

(The tissue paper is their school colors.)

It’s so hard to believe they’re all grown up!  I hope they’ll stay in touch with each other.  I hope they’ll make their dreams come true, even when they change their minds over and over about what those dreams might be.  I hope they’ll stay just as awesome as they are today.

Watch out world, here they come!

Mom Knows Best


Kim's Checkerboard Tote

Mom has always warned  me about the possible heartbreak involved in giving a homemade gift to someone who isn’t crafty.  After you spend hours and hours making something special just for that person, there’s the risk they’ll smile and say, “That’s pretty,” and simply not understand.  It’s not just the “thing” you gave them, you were thinking of your lucky recipient, planning something just for them and devoting a large chunk of precious  time to their gift.

I never quite understood until I made this bag.

A person who doesn’t make things might look at it and say, “That’s pretty.”  But a person who crafts or sews would look at it and, among other things, notice those 60 circles.  They’d know that meant I traced 60 circles on the back of some HeatBond, roughly cut out those sixty circles, then cut out 60 pieces of fabric, ironed those 60 pieces of HeatBond to those 60 pieces of fabric, neatly cut out those 60 traced circles on the back, ironed 60 circles onto the patchwork bag and then appliqued around them.  You got it, 60 times.

Kim's Patchwork Tote

Not to mention the 70 squares.

So you see what I mean.

The Underside

Thankfully, this purse is going to a lovely person with a high craftiness level.

She’ll completely understand.

If you want to make a checkerboard tote of your own, you’ll find the pattern in the Summer 2011 issue of Stitch magazine, designed by Ayumi Takahashi.

And: One for my Mom in pale linen and vintage sheets!

Checkerboard Tote, Vintage Linens

A phone pic of my own checkerboard tote bag in progress:

My Future Tote Bag

I love the little “windows” of fabric in the circles.  (You can see the finished bag here.)  I think I’d like to make an i-Spy baby quilt with this method.  I’ll be sharing it with you if I do!

Patchwork Wristlet Purse

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My Wristlet

Sorry I haven’t been posting much.  I’ve been making things like crazy, but they’re mostly Christmas gifts which keeps me from publishing them here.   I’ve been spending way too much time making things, really.  WAY.  I’m wearing myself out.  So I decided to give myself the weekend off, and what did I do?  Made stuff that wasn’t for Christmas.  I guess I just can’t help it, I’m going to make stuff even when I’m taking a break from making stuff.

I made a few patchwork wristlet purse from a great tutorial I found on Pink Penguin.   This was my first time sewing with zippers, but Ayumi’s tutorials are so clear and nicely illustrated that I didn’t have a bit of trouble.  Thank you, Ayumi!  The wristlets have three interior pockets to hold debit cards/ID, business cards and a Chapstick, plus are large enough to hold a phone, makeup and so on.  You can add a little tab to hook your keys right on, too.  (I’m thinking I’ll use mine a lot going to the gym!)

The wristlet at the top of the post is mine, thrown together from a mix of fabrics that made me think, “I’m going to miss that one when it’s gone.”  Funny that I ended up with some pairings of near opposites like a ninja and pirate, rose and a dandelion and a fish and a bicycle.  I’m not going to dwell on what that might say about me.  The other two wristlets are going out in the mail tomorrow to friends.  I thought about holding them until Christmas, but the very idea made me tired.  Sometimes gifts are best if they’re “just because.”


The pink purse is made from mostly vintage linens, so incredibly soft it’s hard to imagine they’re as sturdy as they are.  (If you’d like to buy some vintage fabrics of your own, these are from Whimsie Dots and Deloria Jean, both on Etsy.  They both have great selections.)


I won’t be selling these in my shop, but Ayumi does allow her patterns to be used for fundraisers.  So if you’d like a patchwork wristlet, hang in there!  There’s talk of a special fundraiser for a favorite charity of mine, and I’d love to make a stack of these to help out.  Look for more information sometime after Christmas if you’re interested!

And now back to my regular schedule of crafting before work, after work and for a big chunk of the weekend … *Yawn!*

Peony Purse

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Peony Purse

This weekend I made a peony purse for my shop.  The peonies are a little time consuming, but not difficult to make.  Cut a little stack of circles from a silky poly fabric, making each circle a little larger than the last.  I made eight circles for each flower, but you could use more more or less to your taste.  Make five snips around the circle to create the petals, being careful not to cut all the way to the center.  Then hold each petal over a candle flame to slightly sear and ruffle the edges.  (The fabric will catch on fire if you get too close!  Ask me how I know.)  I made a little X stitch in the middle of each flower to hold them together until I was ready to use them, then stitched a faux pearl through the center to secure them in place.  You can sew them onto a purse, headband, wrist cuff, hair clip, T-shirt, pillow … wherever!

Aren’t they cute?

Happy crafting!