Fine Feathered Friends

feather pouch front

I made a zippered pouch.  It started as an experiment.  It’s my first reverse applique!  I had no clue as to what I was doing, just winged it… Then the feather sat next to Betty (my beautiful sewing companion) for a month.  So one night I pulled a zipper out of my drawer of supplies, looked up a tutorial I wanted to try & sewed my little heart out.  The zipper turned out to be a vintage metal zipper, that I LOVE!!  vintage zipper copyright 1963

vintage zipper

I just love the back of the package…

zipper package

zipper package again

It makes me want to dress up in heels to do my housework.  I am in love with this pouch.  I’m not even sure what I am going to use it for, but I want to see it every second of my day & let no one else touch it.  When I started this experiment, I thought I might gift this to someone, but before it was finished, I knew it was never leaving my side.

feather vintage zipper pouch top

(I thought I banished all the lady bugs!)

feather pouch open mouth

I used the Open Wide Zippered Pouch tutorial from Noodlehead which was oh so wonderful!  The resulting pouch is super easy to open up & dig around in.  Like I said before, I LOVE THIS POUCH!!!  The outside is Essex linen (don’t know the color), Kona Nightfall, the feather is a Joel Dewberry print, the lining is  Heather Ross, zipper end is Lotta Jansdotter.

feather pouch open front

This isn’t the only feathery project up my sleeve lately.  I also tried my hand at making a mug rug for a swap with my do. Good Stitches girls.  I made an enormous mug rug.  So perhaps it’s more like a place mat… I love this one also.  I am hoping my partner receives it & loves it & can overlook its enormous size.  Apparently I go big or go home.

feather mug rug

I used the free feather pattern by Anna Maria Horner.  I made the feather smaller but not small enough.  I also couldn’t find my brain & couldn’t for the life of me cut the feather sides correctly.  I cut a whole bunch wrong before I got it right.  So I have a few weirdo feather scraps to work with someday.  I did a little hand quilting on the feather & machine quilted the rest.  If I were to do it again, I would change some things, but overall I really like how it came out.


After  finishing up my 2 feather projects, I looked out my window & saw 2 pheasants hanging out in my neighbor’s yard.  How fitting.  They didn’t want to be photographed together though, so I only have 1 pheasant to show you.


Pretty {little} Pouch – Recieved

When I checked the mail today, there was a package!!!  I ran to the house, ripped open the package, & gasped!

beautiful texture covered pouchGorgeous!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new pouch!  So pretty!  My swap partner, Dashasel, did a fantastic job figuring out my tastes.  I think that must have been a challenge because sometimes it’s pretty hard for me to put into words what I like & don’t like.

texture pouch insideThe inside is even pretty!  Thank you so much for my beautiful Pretty {little} Pouch, Dashasel!!

P.S. My son has claimed the cow as his own.  He’s watching TV with it right now & mooing!  So cute!

Pretty {little} Pouch Swap – Sent

button covered curvy clutchHere is the pouch I sent off to my partner for the Pretty {little} Pouch Swap!

I used the curvy clutch pattern by Keyka Lou.  It was a really well written pattern & the result was a pretty professional looking clutch.  I probably didn’t need to put 2 magnetic snaps on.  It turned out to be pretty strong.  Next time I will make a different choice.  I learned how to sew buttons on with my sewing machine!  It was so fun!!  The inspiration for this pouch shows the buttons overlapping a bit more, but I was unable to make that happen.  I ordered the buttons from this Etsy store.

farmdale insideThe inside has a pocket & is lined with my favorite Farmdale print.

I hope my partner likes it!  Her tastes were a bit more “sweet” than mine so it was good practice in keeping an open mind.

I am looking forward to seeing which Pretty {little} Pouch was made just for me!


So it’s finally summer for me!  No more working everyday!  Yay!  I don’t have much to say…  I have been desperately trying to finish up my items for the Spicing Up The Kitchen Swap.  This swap is killing me.  I can NOT figure out what my partner will like.  I feel like nothing is good enough.  I have idea after idea & then I start things & give up half way through, thinking they aren’t what she will like.  I have never second guessed myself so much.  I’m ready to be done with it.  I received a WONDERFUL package the other day!  I will show pictures later…  I’m off to finish this last thing for this swap.  Today is the last day I have to work on it!

Oh yeah.  The reason I blogged today….  I am going to join a sampler quilt along.  Find more information here.  Spur of the moment decision.  🙂

Swim, Bike, Quilt

Too Busy

I’ve been oh so busy…but not sewing. Working. It totally messes up my normal life to get up at the crack of dawn & drag my kids to daycare.   So I haven’t had much time to sew or think about sewing.  I am so SUPER grateful that my normal life has lots of hang-around-the-house & do-what-I-want time!   I have also had a bunch of days spent at the school doing end-of-the-year things.  I have really enjoyed being able to do that this year!  Last year, around this time, my heart was getting really bad, so I didn’t have very much energy.  I was able to enjoy my time so much more this year!  🙂  I’m so happy I got my valve replaced when I did!!

So here’s some stuff I’ve been up to since I last posted.  (I have another week & a half to work.  Hopefully I will be able to post more often then!!)

swapped items for birdandbicycleMaLora of Bird and Bicycle & I set up a private swap to celebrate our May birthdays!  This is what I sent to her.  Two knit dish cloths, a bicycle bib, a  hot pad/mug rug, & a pincushion with scrap bag & pockets.  I am going to make one of these pincushions for myself soon because I LOVE how it turned out!  It seems like it would be very useful! The pattern is FREE from Sew Mama Sew!

knit dishclothsThese are the dish cloths I made.  They are both free patterns I found through Ravelry.  I’m too lazy right now to look them up for you…  Sorry!

stamped wordsThis is the back of the hot pad/mug rug.  I stamped the letters on!  It was my first attempt at something like this.  It isn’t perfect, but it’s okay.  I used Jacquard Textile Color as ink.  I put Insul-Bright inside so it can be used as a hot pad.  I was originally making a mug rug that was going to be rectangular.  It turned into this though because I didn’t plan it AT ALL.  I just grabbed, cut, & sewed fabric together until it was this.

party supplies in a bagMaLora sent me a Party in a Bag!

party in a bag contentsIt contains: a brightly colored table topper, 16 cloth napkins, cupcake toppers, 3 different lengths of paper garland (some bonus Japanese Linen) and…

garlanda fabric garland!  My kids will love having impromptu lunch parties!  I think I will start using the cloth napkins instead of paper towels.   We go through a lot of them at our house!

cupcake toppers and garlandThese are my favorite part!  How cute!  I can’t wait to make cupcakes!

zipper pouches for teachersHere are the zipper pouches I made for T’s four preschool teachers & W’s regular teacher & math teacher.  They were each filled with yummy candy & a Thank You note.  I appreciate all the hard work all those teachers did for my kids this year!  Both my kids have made great strides academically & socially this year!

my favorite pouch for teachersThis is my favorite pouch!  I gave it to W’s 3rd grade teacher.  She taught him cursive, & for that I will be forever grateful because I can read his writing now!  🙂

T's preschool graduation with teachersHere is T at his preschool graduation with all four of his teachers!  I bawled like a baby when I said good-bye to them!  T is leaving preschool with all the skills necessary to succeed in Kindergarten next year.  He can read a lot of sight words, has great rhyming & alliteration skills, follows directions very well & best of all he learned what it takes to make friends.  I am so proud of my little guy!  We will really miss preschool & Miss Jessica, Miss Wanda, Miss Erin, & Miss Maren!

May blocks for do. Good StitchesThese are the May blocks for do. Good Stitches Peace Group.  These blocks taught me how far off  my 1/4 inch seam allowance is.  I really had trouble making these the right size.  I finally got it though!  🙂  Yay me!

linen dishtowel with patchworkThis is a dish towel I made for my partner in the Spicing Up The Kitchen Swap.  It is made out of 100% Linen & some scraps.  I did some paper piecing for the curve.  I did a fancy mitered edge on the hem.  It looks amazing! I was really impressed with how well the corners turned out!  Now I want to wash it & make sure it softens up & stays together!!

plastic bag dispenserThis is also for the SUTK swap.  This is a plastic bag dispenser.  The fabric is some charms of Dream On by Urban Chiks for Moda.    I hope this is my partner’s taste.  I have changed my mind on what she will like so many times now… I really hope I have it figured out.   This is a little too “girly” for me.  Although it kind of gives me warm fuzzy feelings because it reminds me of some of the sheets we had growing up.



huge mothAt the Cub Scout Pack meeting in May a “Bug Guy” came.  He brought all kinds of gross things that the boys just loved.  He also brought meal worms for them to eat!  Eww!  The kids all got a real kick out of that!  This is a huge moth (I can’t remember the name) that is native to Minnesota.  I have lived here my whole life & have never seen a moth this big!  Amazing!  The next one isn’t so pretty…

W with giant cockroachYes.  That is a Giant Cockroach.  Yes.  My son is holding it.  Yes.  I had to touch it too.  Gross!  Most of the boys wouldn’t touch these but not my kid!  He was brave & picked it up & held it for a while.  I think I did a good job of hiding my disgust…

T with millipedeT is holding a Millipede.  That thing felt so weird to hold.  So many legs.  There was also a tarantula but I didn’t get a good picture of that.  The boys really enjoyed this special activity at the last pack meeting of this year.  I was happy when all the bugs were put away!

That’s all I have!  I hope you are all enjoying your summer so far!  I am looking forward to planning some camping trips & going to the beach soon!  Speaking of the beach, I should go order that swimsuit I had my eye on…

Pretty {little} Pouch ~Sent~

I’m all done!!  The Pretty {little} Pouch is on its way to…??

I made 2 practice pouches that taught me a LOT about pouches.  I hadn’t ever made one prior to doing this swap.  Here they are…

first practice pouchI used a pattern from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross for this one.  It turned out the right size.  I just really didn’t like using this pattern.  The inside seams just didn’t do it for me.  I wanted a fully lined pouch with no seams showing.  Also it was really difficult to line everything up, so it ended up a little wonky.  I gave this to W’s student teacher.  He loved her & will miss her very much.

second practice pouch  For the second one I used this tutorial.  It went smoothly, except that I made up my own dimensions.  I was stupidly delusional about how big this was going to end up.  I turned out to be about twice the size I thought it would be!  I love the fabrics (Joel Dewberry Aviary 2)  & like the embroidery.  (It reads “Choose happiness”) I gave this to Cassie.  She is using it as a knitting project bag & by happy accident her Nook fits in the bottom of it!  Her daughter told her it looks like a popcorn bag.  🙂  It’s true…

final pouchHere’s the final Pretty {little} Pouch.  It’s heavily influenced by this & this.

I kept trying to make my partner something just green & blue but I could NOT get inspired.  My partner had tons of Mendocino by Heather Ross (that’s the seahorse fabric) in her favorites on Flickr.
As soon as I noticed the Mendocino love in her favorites, I knew I had to do something with that.  I hope she really does like it!  I lined the pouch with the seahorse fabric & the back side has a couple of pieces of the mermaid fabric.  I didn’t want to use too much in case she really didn’t love it.  I had a lot of fun making this pouch! I almost didn’t want to send it away!  I can’t wait to see what she thinks!

back of final pouchThis is the back side.  My husband was like “uh… did you mean to make this side so plain?”  🙂

Well, yes honey, I did.

I thought the other side was a bit busy.   I’m one who needs a little calm.  So when you need a little calm, look at this side!  It’s a little weird that the fabrics wrap around the bottom & I wish I would have thought that out a little better.  I really like how the bottom turned out, but I can’t show it to you yet.  (Because my partner would figure out it’s hers!)

hand stitching on pouch

I was really nervous that this wasn’t going to turn out, but as soon as I was done sewing the boxy sides & turned it right side out, I knew it was right.  It turned out as good or better than I had expected.  I am really, really happy that I pushed myself to try some different things with this swap.  I  CAN NOT wait to see what someone made for me!  I am excitedly checking the mail everyday!  handle of pretty little pouch

Spicing Up The Kitchen Swap

inspiration mosaic for spicing up the kitchen swap

1. red zig-zags – front, 2. “Circle of Life” – DQS9 #1, 3. cathedral window block, 4. photo frames, 5. spiderweb potholders!, 6. stitching night at mikes, 7. Raw-edge applique, 8. OSBee – June block 2, 9. Scrappy Apple, 10. Home cushion, 11. Peppermint Hearts, 12. Embroidery, 13. Chandelier Flour Sack Towel, 14. NEW – Farmhouse Kitchen Essentials Towel Set – Set of 4 Kitchen Towels – Hand Stamped Cotton Towels, 15. Sunday Stash #87, 16. YIP: March 4, 2009 Three red fabrics, 17. Metro Link, 18. owl-mug-rug6, 19. Fall-Table-Runner, 20. Sketchy Birdie Family (bound), 21. arcadia lattice quilt., 22. Poppyprint – mugrug pears, 23. for my urban home goods swap partner, 24. plus potholders for kate, 25. Red & Blue Cross Pillow – Pillow Talk Swap 4, 26. Lilacs in a Blue Ball Jar, 27. mod floor pillow, 28. PTS4 Received, 29. a pillow to go with the quilt, 30. Stepping stones quilt, 31. patchwork teatowel, 32. linen tea towel / cantaloupe / pause, 33. table runner reverse side detail, 34. ampersand, 35. buckets in a row, 36. urban home goods swap reveal….

Well I joined another swap!  This one is called…

Spicing Up The Kitchen [a modern swap]

I’m hoping I get some new hand towels out of it.  You know, the kind you use to dry your hands.  Absorbent.  That’s what I ‘m looking for.  So partner, go nuts!  I mean it, have fun.  Make something you love.  Some fabric buckets for all the crap on my counters would be cool too.  But only if you want to.  What I really need is a maid…

Thank you in advance for taking the  time to make me something!

Choose Happiness

I’m not sure why, but I’ve been feeling down for the past week or so.  I’m just generally crabby, my days are getting away from me (I’m not accomplishing ANYTHING), when I wake up in the morning I just want to crawl back in bed.    I looked at the calendar yesterday & I realized it’s May.  Mother’s day is on Sunday.  My birthday is this month.  None of those things are exciting me like they normally would.  Hmm.. even my kickboxing class today wasn’t fun like normal.  (I mean it was still a great workout, just not FUN.)  I will make a conscious effort to correct that.  I have worked really hard since my heart surgery to not let depression overtake me.  I know a vast majority of people who undergo heart surgery have some difficulty with depression afterward.  I don’t want to be one of them.

I am tired of my heart problems holding me down.

I joined Pinterest.  Yup.  I did.  I kind of love it.  I am always coming across pictures I love but had no way of keeping track of them.  Now I do!  It’s pretty cool.  Go check out my pins.  (The picture above was found on Pinterest, this is the link to the site…  I still need to figure that out.  It seems like it would be pretty easy to forget to give credit to wherever you really found the picture.)

I’ve been working on my Pretty Little Pouch.  I had a flop.  I mean it was fine just not as nice as I would have liked it for the swap.  Here is a picture.

outside of practice pouch

I sent it off to W’s student teacher.  It’s her last day this week.  He loved her.  She made him love science & want to be an astronomer when he grows up.  I love her for that.

inside of pouchSome Amy Butler for the lining.

I used the Weekend-away Travel Bag pattern from Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross.  It was hard to line everything up at the end.  The pockets were dumb.  (They are at the bottom.  Not the sides.)  Otherwise I thought the pattern was good!  It was my first zipper EVER.  But I had no problems with the zipper.  That was a piece of cake.  I LOVE the linen outside, with the bright pop of green zipper & the shocking pink inside!

So I am now trying a fully lined box bag.  We shall see how that turns out.  I’m practicing some other elements on this pouch.  I am planning on giving this one to my wonderful friend Cassie.

choose happiness

Choose Happiness

I am hoping I have no difficulty with this one so I can move on to the real pouch for the swap.  I am so excited to be pushing myself to do things I want to do but just am too nervous to try usually.  I really thought that the fun of swaps would be the stuff you get.  I am quickly finding out that the challenge of it all is the real gift!