Yoga Mat Bag

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I’ve recently taken up yoga again and decided it was about time I made a bag to carry my mat in.  After scouring the web for ideas I came across a blog by Sewaholic which I thought was a great tute with step by step photos and clear instructions.

So I used some fabric from my stash and the bag went together easily.  However, I did make a few changes:

  • I cut the body 30″ x 19″, increasing the width by 1″ after reading that some people had trouble fitting the bottom circle to the tube.
  • I wanted to give the pocket a bit more body, so I cut mine at 12″ x 6″.  Fold in half RST and stitch along both side seams.  Turn to right side, press and proceed to add velcro as per instructions.
  • For the strap, fold the fabric in half lengthwise, press.  Open up the fabric and fold each long edge to meet in the middle.  Press.  Fold lengthwise enclosing raw edges.  Pin and edge stitch along both long sides.  I always make straps this way for a sturdy, neat finish.
  • I wanted to strengthen the bottom of the bag, so I cut a second 7″ circle from lining fabric.  Place one circle on top of the other WST and sew a line of basting stitches around the edge just outside the seam allowance.  Proceed to pin this end piece to the bottom edge of the tube, easing any fullness by pulling up the basting thread.

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I am pleased with how my bag turned out, with my happy fabric purchased in Fiji – and best of all, it was put together without having to insert a long zipper!

WIP No 2

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My favourite lap stand hoop

I am so happy!  Now I can finish this WIP.  It’s been packed away for ages;  I lost the graph and just found it yesterday.  So now I can make a start on all the back stitching.

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Looking a little bit creased and rumpled from being packed away for so long, but it’ll all come out in the wash – literally!  When it’s finished I’ll swish it through some warm water and gentle shampoo, rinse, roll it in a towel to squeeze out the water and then iron dry face down on a fluffy towel.

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Cross stitching accessories

These are my necessities for cross stitching bar the needle.  Scissors, floss, needle threader and two items which may be unfamiliar.  The little dark blue plastic box contains a sponge.  I run the thread through the damp sponge to keep it flat so it doesn’t twist as I embroider.  Does anyone else do this?  Also my pink floss card winder.  Each card can hold one full skein of floss.

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Plastic boxes for holding embroidery floss cards

I have been reading some cross stitching blogs and it is interesting to see how different people store their supplies.  This is pretty much my whole collection of DMC thread, which doesn’t take up much room at all.    In addition, I have a box of unused skeins of DMC floss plus two containers of other brands, so it all easily fits into one drawer.

When I’m done stitching, I roll my cross stitch in a towel and store in a clear plastic tote; everything else fits into my little case in the top photo.

WIP No 1

Half Square Triangles

WIP – what is that?  Work in progress, to the uninitiated!

Crafters knows that term well as a way to justify all those half finished projects that tend to accumulate.

This is one of mine and what you see are half square triangles in random colours that I am sewing into strips.  Eventually, they will turn into a quilt.  Just not sure what it will look like yet!

Fun with Bias Binding

I’ve been umm-ing and arr-ing about purchasing a Simplicity Bias Tape Maker for ages, and after seeing it on special recently, decided to go ahead – and I am so pleased I did.

Apart from the fact that I find it very difficult to resist a gadget, this little machine works very well and I was delighted with perfect bias binding in a matter of minutes when I tested it out.

So of course, the next question was – what to make! I couldn’t wait to get started and luckily happened across a blog called “Made by Loulabelle”. Verity has many excellent tutorials but the one which caught my eye was the Knitting Needle Roll which had some bias binding on it – perfect! I highly recommend you visit this site – the tutorial was very easy to follow and I was so pleased with the result that I made a second one for my friend so that she could store her knitting needles as well. (So much nicer than the annoying plastic container that I had been using.)

Knitting Needle Rolls

Knitting Needle Rolls

As for the binding machine, I have seen mixed reviews but I am more than happy with my purchase. The 1″ tip is standard and is what I used for my project. It produced the narrowest binding in the photo below which has been pressed in half. Very easy to insert the strip into the tip if you cut the fabric on an angle.

Various other tips are available separately, and I tried out the 1-1/4″ tip. Unlike the narrow tip (and because I didn’t read the small print on the packet) I didn’t realise until I tested it, that this wide tip only folds the fabric in half; so you have to insert the strip into the side of the tip, which is a bit fiddly but so worth it when you think how much binding you need for a quilt, and this machine does it very quickly with a press of the button. So much easier than trying to create bias tape perfectly with the iron – gotta be worth the price just to have no more burnt fingers!

Simplicity Bias Tape Maker

Simplicity Bias Tape Maker

This post is dedicated to my friend, Maria, who was the inspiration for the Knitting Needle Roll. Thank you for providing me needles and yarn so that I could knit a scarf on the trip back home from Sydney.

They were just waiting for me to discover them

I was checking out some sewing techniques on the web yesterday and I accidentally came across some projects that were made out of selvages! Wait, surely not …. could they be those dreaded edges of fabric that we were told NEVER to use? How many have I thrown out over the years? OMG – a new world opened up as I saw what other people have been making out of these little strips; pot holders, bags, dresses even. Why didn’t I think of that …. obviously it’s the imagination thing again!

Anyway, I immediately went through my stash and here is the result .. ta dah .. my first selvage pot holder . Pretty darn cute don’t you think?

Sewing was delayed while Mischa had a cat nap

Sewing was delayed while Mischa had a cat nap

The front of the pot holder

The front of the pot holder

and the back

and the back

If you like it and want to make one of your own, here are a few tips:

* Sew strips on to any cotton fabric. Good opportunity to use those “uglies” as they won’t be seen when you stitch the layers together
* When you choose the size for your pot holder, allow an extra 1/2 to 1 inch and trim to size after quilting
* Use cotton thread and batting
* You can round off the corners if you don’t want to mitre them when applying the binding
* For safety’s sake, use insulated lining and cotton batting. I used two pieces of batting and sandwiched the insulated lining in between

I’m already thinking of other things to make now that I have discovered my hidden treasure trove. I will just have to remind myself not to cut off really narrow selvages from now on.