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Yellow Plaid Purse

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I couldn’t resist this yellow plaid fabric, what seemed like an upholstery swatch, at the thrift store. I had to do a little math to figure out how to most efficiently use it up in making this purse. It is lined with a soft blue-gray corduroy that looked like it had once been a skirt.

Velvety Flowers Purse

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When a friend of mine saw this fabric at an estate sale, she thought of me.  It is so cool, with velvety flowers and vines scrolling this sturdy creme upholstery fabric. I made this purse out of it for another friend of mine, with a fun big blue button closure.

Orange Pillows

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Here are some fun, soft orange pillows.

Part of the reason I love them is, well, how could you not love fun, soft, orange pillows? The other part is that they were made to make use of some second-hand orphan scraps. This seems to be a driving force in what I am inspired to do: the more orphan the materials, the greater my drive to make use of them.

I just had little bits of this soft, wide-wale corduroy so my idea was to feature it in the center blocks for these quilted pillow cases. I had more scraps of the orange medium-wale corduroy my Mom had found for me, so that was a good choice for framing the blocks. The big pillows have removable covers fully lined with an envelope back opening, for easy washing. Inside are brand new pillow forms that were still in the bag from a yard sale for 1$ a piece.

The small pillows are just about all I had of this leftover upholstery scrap I was attracted to initially because of the color, then by the plush feel of it. Just as the usual argument with myself began to brew (Don’t get it just cuz you like it and it is only a quarter. What can you possibly make with that? etc, etc. ), I remembered my friend offering me pillow stuffing she had left over from a project she’d done, which I had tried to decline, feeling so proud of my restraint. Since you probably know that declining orphaned materials isn’t one of my strong points, I called her back and said “Why, Yes, I’d love to take that stuffing off your hands.” It was great stuffing, too. Not the usual fluffy white, but what seemed to be recycled textiles homogenized into a fiber stuffing that was strong and dense. Probably industrial stuffing. Similar to when I tediously make my own out of my scraps, but much nicer. Loved it. Wow, am I going on and on about used stuffing? Oh boy.

Anyhoo, to sum up the pillows: #1. cheerful, bold and bright,  #2. soft and tactile,  #3. (My personal favorite) Recycled and Post-consumer!!!

And, since I still didn’t use up every scrap, I’m making a small baby blanket of the same motif, so you’ll recognize it when you see it.

Flowery Bibs

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My Mom requested a set of girl bibs as a gift to friends of hers. Finally, girly bibs! For some reason my past bib requests have mostly been androgynous. Not that I am against boy babies in flowery bibs, mind you.

Red Flowers Purse

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I really like this new purse design. Simple, nice shape, hangs well, something about it feels right. This is the prototype. I made it before the Pink Hibiscus Purse. It is an example of using a fabric I had wanted to purge from my overwhelming stash. Not because I don’t like it. I find myself having to ask “Is it your very favorite?”. I have so much fabric I love, I need to pass on some of my not-very-favorites, so fabric piles don’t take over my dining room, thus qualifying me for an episode of Hoarders. Regardless, my other voice said “Can’t you just make something out of it?”. So I did and now I just love the fabric. I know, I am hopeless. I do like the purse, though.

Blue and green purse

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This is a fun purse from a fun rummage sale fabric.

Pink Hibiscus

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This bag was made from a fantastic vintage Hawaiian dress in need of repurposing. You can see why it caught my eye at the local thrift store. And it happened to be all-clothing-for-one-dollar day. After finishing the bag I wished I’d taken a picture of the dress, to do a sort of before and after, and also to honor the dress. I might start getting pictures of my treasures in need of transforming. I love giving this fun fabric a second life!

Happy Valentine’s Day. Here’s a picture of some felt heart cookies I made for the kids last year.

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Triangles Tote

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Here is a tote I designed to make use of these fun vintage triangle scraps. I had a dozen triangles so I pieced two matching panels of 6 together with the solid red, bordered them with the brown, quilted it, and made it into a tote.

The little things

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I sure do love the “fluff” projects, like this one. The kids got these mini pen sets in their Christmas stockings and the little plastic sleeves they came in started to rip. Well, the cases will outlast the pens but I couldn’t resist making these little fabric cases with some scraps I love. They are so frivolous and cute!

Purple Tote

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January is my time to do an overhaul on my tiny and overcrowded sewing space: clean, organize, sort, purge. This usually involves dealing with my overflowing scrap bin which I am always trying to devise a better organizational plan for. Since I have a ridiculous amount of fabric I love and am inspired by, it seems silly that I don’t just toss the scraps. Well, we’ve been trough this before, the unfortunate soft spot in my heart for that which will go to waste. Truth is, I love working with scraps. I find it very relaxing and fulfilling to use up these leftovers.

Since I had a weekend with just me and my three-year-old at home, I took over the living room with my scrap sorting. It was a sight to see: piles and piles of scraps sorted by color and print. “Time to purge”, I had told myself firmly. I find that whenever I want to get rid of something, that turns into a personal challenge to make something with it. It is a strange way to work, often compelling me to work with my least favorite things instead of my most favorite. Such was the case with this purple pile of scraps. Just as one part of my mind said, “That pile of ugly purple scraps has got to go” another part said, “I challenge you to make something cool out of that hideous pile.” You see, in my aesthetic, there is a very fine line between hideous and fabulous. I scooped up that purple pile and got to work.

My Mom’s birthday was coming up and while I had had something in mind that I wanted to make for her, this bag clearly had her name on it. She loves purple and the fact that it was made from what I had wanted to toss in the garbage, makes it the perfect gift for her. Her inability to waste anything is the reason I struggle with my follow-through when I have decided it is time to purge. Have I gotten rid of that purple pile? Yes. Do I have enough projects pending that I could sew straight for the rest of my life and not finish? Yes. Is my organizing of my sewing space complete? Hardly. It served merely to conceive half-a-dozen new projects to add to the never-ending list…

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