Medium Sized – Colorful Butterfly Tote

I guess you could say I’ve been in a sewing mood lately.  I love my new sewing room.  It may be a smaller area than I had before, but it is much lighter, brighter and definitely a more inviting area for sewing.  I know I promised pictures, but I’m not finished organizing and fixing it up yet.  Soon, very soon you will get to see my place for creating.

Meanwhile, I made another medium-sized tote bag.  This time I used a remnant of colorful butterflies.  Very pretty material and it turned out perfect.  I love the size.  It is perfect for just about everything.  This size can be used as a hand bag, book bag, shopping bag, project bag or any other type you can think of. 

 If you are interested in making it for yourself, I cut 2 – 13″ x 18″pieces of material for the front and back, an 8″ x 18″ piece for the bottom.  My handles are 5″ x 22″ folded lengthwise on both sides  to the center, then folded in half.  A second bag is made exactly the same for the lining with pockets cut (2 pieces of material for each side) 18″ x 6″deep.  I used a heavy craft interfacing for the bottom (on only one piece), and a medium weight interfacing cut 1″ wide on the handles and I cut 2 – 5 1/2″ x 18″ pieces for the pockets. As usual, if you have any questions please ask.


Learning to Sew

A while back I bought a sewing book for my granddaughter at the libraries book sale.   The book looked like it had never been used.  I wasn’t sure how much use she would get out of it, as her mom does not have a sewing machine, nor do they live close enough to me for periodic sewing times together.  I gave it to her anyway hoping to inspire the desire of learning to sew.  It worked. 

She brought the book with her to learn while staying with us this trip.  Yesterday she and I spent the day in my new sewing room making a pillow.  I am so proud of her.  She made the pillow herself.  She even drew the heart and decided how big the pillow was to be (with my help).  I’m not sure how much she will remember from this sewing session to the next, but it is a start.  When she went to bed she was still thinking of sewing and said she wants to make something else tomorrow.  Twelve seems to be a good age for learning.   The pillow is a gift for her Aunt’s birthday.  She desided on using some leftover material from a curtain I had made for her Aunt and some deep burgandy material from my stash that goes well with her Aunt’s bedroom.  You couldn’t ask for a better present!

The book is called Sew It Up! and it has nice colorful pictures of different easy project for a beginner.  There is also a CD in the back of the book that has the patterns to print out, which we did not use.

3 Cats in the Sun Beach Tote

For summer I wanted a larger size tote to carry anything.  I wanted to be able to carry a project or two, or my sunscreen, beach towel and book etc. for going to the beach with my grandkids.  I made this tote with the same three cats material I used for my granddaughters tote.  It turned out perfect!

It measures 15″H x 19″W x 7″D x 13″W (at bottom).  I lined the bag and added pockets around both sides to hold everything-pencils, pens, tissues, hand cream, measuring tape, calculator, paper, etc.  The bottom has a very heavy Pellon craft fuse to add body.  The sides are lined with a medium weight fabric facing to add body.

Butterflies and Ladybugs Summer Tote

I have been so busy this past week it is unreal.  I am getting ready for my Granddaughters visit.  They come this week-end and they will be staying with us for almost a month.  I can’t wait! 

I made both girls a summer tote – just because.  The first tote you’ve already seen, my three cats handbag/tote.  They second tote is just as adorable, if not more so.  I found a remnant on a recent trip to JoAnn’s and couldn’t resist.  I adjusted the measurements from the cat tote just a little.  I made the bottom a little wider and deeper, and I put two handles instead of just one.  The finished measurements are 16 1/2″w x 13″h x 6″d x 11 1/2″ w (across the bottom).  A perfect size for my bug.

I also decided to move my sewing room from the lower level (a finished basement) to upstairs (a bedroom).  I had the entire lower level to myself  and I had plenty of room to do whatever with.  I just didn’t have windows and needed a change.  It is a big undertaking to move everything up two flights of stairs!  Luckily my son was able to come over and give a hand for the heavy moving.  I will save the rest of the details for another post when I am finished and have pictures to show you. 

Enjoy your week-end!  Happy knitting, crocheting, sewing, reading, etc.   More on Monday.

Holly Blues

I finished the last book in the China Bayles series called Holly Blues.  This book centers around China’s husband, McQuaid’s ex-wife Sally, who sometimes thinks she is Juanita.  As usual China can’t leave the sleuthing to the police and is off to solve some unanswered questions and hopefully clear Sally from being “a person of interest” in a murder.

Susan Wittig Albert, the author, writes interesting and entertaining books.  I am looking forward to reading her first book in a new mystery series The Darling Dahlias which is due to come out in July of this year.


Susan Wittig Albert’s 2009 book in the China Bayles series Wormwood is set in a Kentucky Shaker village.  This book is filled with information about the history of the Shaker religious group, from their formation in England, their growth and success in the United States to their decline in membership and almost extinction.

China is invited to the Shaker village by a friend to help with some herbal workshops and after some urging from her family and friends she decides to go for some much needed rest.  When she meets with Martha, her friend, she is asked to do some sleuthing and of course there is more mystery and mayhem around the corner.

I did not know anything about this religious group before reading the book other than they made furniture.  It was an interesting read, but not one of my favorites.

Endangered Species

As you must know by now, I am enjoying reading Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon series.  Endangered Species is book six in this series and is set on Cumberland Island National Seashore off the coast of Georgia.   As in the other books in this series, Nevada Barr writes around the history and beauty of the area.  In this book, we learn about spawning loggerhead turtles and baby gators. 

Anna, a National Park ranger is on the island for a stint of fire detail, which is sitting around waiting for something to happen.  What happened was a plane crash that involved two deaths.  Anna soon becomes suspicious that this plane did not go down by accident, but was intentionally sabotaged.  The who and why in this book, as like her other books, is not as simple as it seems, or is it? 

Another good read by a good author.  Enjoy!