Mini Bow Tucks Tote

Need a new spring purse or tote?  Check out Quilts Illustrated pattern for the Mini Bow Tucks Tote.  I finished mine this week and was very happy with the results.  The pattern is well-written and easy to follow.

Mini Bow Tucks Tote
Mini Bow Tucks Tote
Mini Bow Tucks Tote - Side
Mini Bow Tucks Tote - Side

Keep it Thimble!

Trick or Treat Bag – Free Pattern

Halloween is a week away and I still need to make my son’s costume. He is going as the Grim Reaper.  He has no idea what the Grim Reaper does, but he assures me he will be a “nice” one.  I am going to call him the “Grin Reaper” :).

The costume is basically a black robe with a hood.  We will paint his face to look like a skull and he has a kid’s size scythe he will be carrying (to be honest, the scythe was the selling point of the costume for him).

In the sprit of the season I wanted to remind you that I have a free pattern available for a trick or treat bag.  It’s pretty simple to make, and it makes  a nice tote back if you do it in different colors.

Trick or Treat Bag

You can download the pattern by clicking HERE.

Keep it Thimble!

Sneak Peek

It’s a busy week as I get ready for the Porch Sale on Oct 14th.  Here are a few sneak peeks – as you can see there is still a bit of work to be done!

Odds and Ends
More Odds and Ends

I also got this steam press today.  I used one of these a long time ago in a class and found it is wonderful for ironing interfacing onto fabric and saves so much time!  Since I am making things in bulk, I need to find ways to save time.

Steam Press

Keep it thimble!

Class Information – Carry All Project Tote

The first draft of Carry All Project Tote pattern is almost completed.  A few testers are lined up, so they will help me fine tune the directions.  I am teaching a class on this tote at the Whistle Stop Quilt Shop in Cary, NC on September 10.

Carry All Project Tote

Please call or visit the shop if you want to sign up.  You should be able to finish the project in class (if you do your homework beforehand!).  The shop has the supply list and the homework assignment:

  • Carry All Project Tote Class
  • Saturday, Sept 10, 9am – 1pm
  • Class Fee:  $25
  • Whistle Stop Quilt Shop, 919-387-7400
  • 3434 Kildaire Farm Rd, Suite 136, Cary, NC 27518

Carry All Project Tote

Sew many things, sew little time! Sorry, it just had to be said – there are a lot of things going on in the next few months and I need to be better about managing my sewing and designing time.  This is the year I really want to take a step forward with turning Keep It Thimble into something more than a blog – and I working over the past few months on some things that are helping in that regard.

One thing I am planning is to have three of my patterns written, tested, and published before the end of this year.   The first pattern is called “Carry All Project Tote”.  This is a working title, so if you have any title suggestions, please send them my way!

Carry All Project Tote

This tote was inspired by the popular L.L Bean tote bags, but with a twist (of course).  My version features two exterior pockets, one in front of the other, and it also has a bit of the lining that peeks out on the top to form a nice contrasting edge.  Another nice feature is that this tote is very sturdy and stiff so you can easily reach inside to get things without the bag flopping over.  The dimensions are the perfect size for a few books, sewing supplies, and other project needs.  It would also make an ideal library tote.

The pattern will be written up by the end of July and then it will be tested in August/September and ready for purchase in October – if all goes well.    That may be an optimistic schedule, but I have to start somewhere don’t I?

In other news, the group involved in the Porch Sale had a meeting yesterday.  We have expanded to about 17 vendors and should have a nice variety of things to offer.  Mark your calendars for Oct 14th and 15th.

Keep it Thimble!

Solar System Party!

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted – time gets away too quickly!   This weekend my son had a solar system birthday party.  You may recall that he had a “space” party last year at this time, but in his mind “solar system” and “space” are different somehow.

Zippered Pencil Case

For the favors this year, I made the kids zippered pencil cases.  They can use them to carry school supplies and other little treasures.  There was a bunch of rocketship and planet fabric left over from last year (since I didn’t have time to make anything except an apron).  The zippered cases are fast and easy to make and hopefully I will get a tutorial posted on them in the next few weeks.

Zipper Pull

The zipper pulls were some space themed charms from Oriental Trading Company.  They are attached to the zippers with some lanyard hooks from Wal-mart (found in the children’s craft section).  In addition to the charms, I bought a whole bunch of space things from Oriental Trading Company – it was basically like a solar system party in a box.

Solar System Party Favor

If spend about $50 on one of the value party packs (they have many different themes) you can get everything you need!  The “space” party theme included an inflatable solar system, cup/plates/napkins, 3 craft projects, 3 party favor items, and cardboard decorations of space things.  All in all a good deal and a huge hit with the elementary school crowd.

I Love You!

My son had a great time and was so happy with the favors I made for his friends.   He made me a special note with his drawing tablet to thank me!  I love the fancy lettering he used.

Keep it thimble!

Lunch Bags and Ballet Bags

Miraculously I finished both the ballet bags and lunch bags that I posted about last week!  I was pretty pleased with how both projects turned out, but also glad I didn’t have the pressure of sewing deadlines!  The next big deadline I have is getting ready for the Porch Sale in October (more details later).

Lunch Bags

Heather Bailey’s Jack and Jill pattern is very cute, but the bags were not as simple to make as I thought.   And since I was making two bags at the same time, any missteps I made were multiplied by two!   Laminated fabric was used for both the interior and exterior  – this is a medium weight fabric that is lighter than oilcloth, but sturdier than cotton.  It was very easy to work with – and I had no issues with cutting or sewing with it.  I did have a teflon foot which made the fabric slide very easily through the feeddogs.  If you don’t have a teflon foot you can also use the walking foot.

The pattern instructions were clear enough in most places, but I think she may have missed a minor step when you have to cut out the fabric for the side tabs.  Easily remedied, but it slowed me down because I spent a few minutes looking for the missing step.

Lunch Bags with Accessories

The thing that is most confusing is keeping the top and bottom oriented correctly on the top flap.  The finished flap works just like a brown paper lunch bag – you pinch in the sides and fold over the top twice.  Velcro secures the flap, so precise placement of the hook and loop strips is important.  You must also stay on your toes when sewing the lined flap to the bag body so you don’t sew it in upside down.  This is very easy to do – take it from me :).  I spent about 30 minutes ripping out stitches since I didn’t realize my mistake until three seams later!  Thanks goodness I didn’t make the same mistakes on both bags.

Once finished, I added in a plastic sandwich holder and small soup-thermos (color coordinated, of course).  The teachers loved them!

Ballet Bag for Pointe Shoes

The second project were the ballet bags from my friend April.  I plan to post a tutorial about how to make them in the near future – so stay tuned!   The cute thing about these bags was the monogram in the lower corner.  You can use the iron-transfers for the craft store – there are many styles and colors to choose from.

Pink Ballet Bag

Keep it thimble!