My sister and I decided to try to reserve Thursday evenings for crafting together as a sort of New Year’s plan.  We started last week, and it was a success for her.  I showed her the tutorial I used for my lunch bag, and she made a water bottle carrier from a canvas curtain I bought at Goodwill last week.


My project was less successful.  I added more slices in the fine line wall hanging I started a while back.  Black lines on a light background.  I’m definitely getting better at thinner lines, but I just didn’t like how it was turning out enough to keep going.  Maybe the color combo was too blah?  I also like 90 degree angles better, like I had on my first one, which was a better color combo as well – blue and white.


Anyway, I abandoned it to the scrap bin and chalked it up as technique practice.

Today we met up again.  My sister started out by making wavy lines with different decorative stitches.  The plan is to add embroidery and other embellishments between the lines.


I’d started a wall hanging on the weekend, without a strong plan in mind.  I got out my scraps and sewed a lot of strings together into blocks, and then cut the blocks repeatedly to make long striped strips.


Those then became frames around shot cotton rectangles, and then got their own black frames.  I revised them a couple of times until I got them the size and color combo I liked best.


Today I auditioned background colors and got started on filling in the connections between the blocks and making some stripes for the sides.


Not a lot of progress, but I have a clearer idea in my head of where I’m headed now.

And we’re having fun.

Wheel bags

My sister is a volunteer for the local roller derby team.  Just saying that highlights how different the two of us are.  My sister is all about derby, tattoos, blue hair dye, and zombies.  I am a librarian who quilts and knits in her spare time and would never voluntarily have needles stuck into me.  But as long as we don’t discuss anything remotely political, we get along really well now that we are adults.  Fought ferociously when we were kids, but we’ve recovered from most of that.  I’ve really enjoyed her living with us this last year and I’m going to miss her when she moves out next month.

Apparently, being a derby skater means having lots of wheels – inside wheels and outside wheels and whatever wheels.  She asked me to make her a set of bags to carry the alternates around in.  So I made up a drawstring bag to sew.

Drawstring bag - cardboard insert

I made little sleeves for cardboard inserts to slip into the bottom for stability.  She wanted them removeable so they can be washed.  Wheels pick up a lot of dirt.

I matched the insert square with square bottoms and sewed a continuous piece of fabric around the edge.  When I got back to the start, I cut it off and them sewed up the side seam.

Drawstring bag - bottom

Drawstring bag bodyI messed up on the first one and made the cuff too narrow.  I should have cut the fabric strip about five inches wider, so it is quite stubby.  I also didn’t do very well at sewing the opening for the drawstring.  I did much better on the second one, as I seamed the cuff ends and then folded over the seam allowance edges on one side where I’d left the opening to make finished edges and sewed those down.

Drawstring bag opening on cuff

The cuff is doubled – I sewed it to the inside and then folded it over and top stitched it to the outside.  Then I stitched around again about half an inch up to make the channel for the drawstring.

Adding Drawstring bag cuff

I had some black shoe laces that I used for the drawstrings, though the polka dot bag really needs a white one.  The second one, covered with orange zombies, turned out much better.  I hate the zombie fabric, but my sister loves it, of course.  The cuff is big enough to fold over, and easier to grab and carry. I’ll make a third one with a better cuff to replace the polka dot one and my son can have that one to carry things around in.  He loves little bags.

Finished drawstring bags