Japanese Knot Bag Pattern #2

wrote this week about a beautiful Japanese Knot Bag I created and posted the link  to the free pattern I used.  The past three days I have been able to put the smaller bag to use on a daily basis and I love it more now than I did when I first finished the bag!!!

Today I want to expand on the first posting for two reasons: (1) the assembly instructions for the first bag are difficult to follow for a beginning pattern, (2) the options for larger bag sizes are available for free and the templates show different assemblies to try.

So, before my sewing machine had a chance to cool down from the first bag project, I grabbed up some scrap fabric I had and some fleece and got started on this pattern.  The dimensions of this bag are just slightly larger than the first bag, but the set up for the bag itself is different with a sloped base versus the circle bottom of the other pattern.  It makes the piece easier to work up since you would be working with less cuts and less connections.  Both patterns do say that you can use a lining or not use a lining.  For this piece I used the lining as the inner fabric of the bag.

The bag turned out lovely and the turn work and hand sewing aspects of this pattern are so much easier to understand and work through as a beginner than the first post was.  Here is what my finished piece looks like.

Japanese Knot Bag Medium Size

It is large enough to hold a small crochet project and that works well for me during long car rides.  It will take up less foot space than my current bag and it will keep my travel project small enough I will stay focused, lol!

The pattern provided by The Chilly Dog is so comprehensive and easy to work that I didn’t make any modifications to the pattern when I put it together.  I did make the job really easy by using a cotton fabric for the outside and a pretty white fleece fabric for the interior.

Before I put away my work, I created one more Japanese Knot Bag using the pattern from here and used assembly instructions from here to create a bag that I thought had the greatest attributes from both patterns.  If you are advanced at sewing then you may be able to figure out how I put the pattern from one with the assembly from another…..for those of you who don’t know how to do that or just wanna see how I did it, check back.  I will post the third installment during the holiday break.

Happy Hooking!



I’m making Christmas Stockings!

Check out how cute this is…..

I made this stocking in under an hour!!!

It’s beautiful!!!

I hate to stop working on the other three I need, but…..

I’m off to do some holiday shopping today.

When I come back I’ll show you where I found this free pattern and talk about my learning curve.

Oh, before I forget, I finished Mom’s birthday gift! It’s super cute. Maybe a bit advanced for my skills, but I did pretty good and I’m pleased. I’ll share photos and that free pattern after the New Year.

Lots of reasons to check back frequently…sign up for my newsletter or follow me on Facebook for all the latest projects cause you won’t want to miss a single one.

What tha hexie?

After the flurry of activity over the weekend I thought the Christmas crafting rush was ending, but then I remembered my Mom’s Birthday is also the week of Christmas!!  I was fortunate enough to spend some time with her just recently and I remembered to bring her Christmas gift but I totally forgot to create something for her special day…

I knew right away what I wanted to make for her birthday.  I don’t normally gift her seasonal items for her birthday, but this pattern I found is so wonderful I can’t resist and I have some beautiful Christmas fabric left over, so it will be economical as well.

My Mom is one of my blog’s biggest fans, so I won’t say yet what I’m working on, but I will say that when I opened the free pattern I had for this specific project, there was a special tool required to complete it.  It was called a Hexie Angle.  I know now what it is and that it’s super useful for quilting crafters in creating these wonderful angles and sharp lines in the quilt work.

I watched the tutorial that came with the free pattern and realized quickly I wasn’t doing the pattern without this particular angle……..so I searched Google shopping and found what I was looking for in a set with 3 or 4 other sized Hexie Angles….for $20.  Now, I’m not saying that $20 is expensive or not.  It’s probably a great deal for someone who knows they will use these items on a regular basis.  For me……well, I’m just not sure I will need a Hexie Angle again any time soon after this particular pattern is completed.

So, I decided that if I could find a template that I could print for free, I would work this pattern and if I couldn’t, I would move on to a pattern that wouldn’t require any tools I don’t already have in my beginner sewing boxes…..

Well, I found the perfect template from a drawing that was posted on Quilting Board Forum.  I saved it to my computer and I’m going to share it here as a photo you too can download and use.  It’s the perfect size for the template needed to complete this project and it includes a smaller one for good measure.  Here’s the photo…..just click and print…..it should be perfect…

scan (1)

So, even if I do end up having to buy the plastic angles in the end, I am really proud that for this project I saved $20 in overhead expenses by searching to find what I needed online.  If you do happen to need the printable, please let me know what project you are using them on and post a picture. I love photos of all the finished items.  If you have any trouble downloading it or saving it, please let me know.


Let’s Talk Fabric Place Mats

I didn’t post yesterday because I spent a good majority of my waking hours strolling through JoAnn Fabrics.  I brought Hubs with me so I would have someone to bounce ideas off of, but he ended up holding about 14 bolts of fabric and a ticket for the cutting counter while I bounced around from accessories to buttons to yarn to him again.

My love of fabric didn’t really begin until earlier this year when I started working with my new sewing machine.  It doesn’t take long to go from an idea of something that would make life easier to finding a free pattern on the internet.  I love that people who have been sewing for years would offer their patterns and tutorials for free.  It makes life so much less frustrating when you are mostly self-taught.

So, these beautiful piles of fabric that Hubs patiently carried through the store for me all have a project for Christmas attached to them.  I have taken a few photos and will continue to as I work at completing these gifts by the end of the weekend.  I expect my crafting areas will just be a flurry of cutting, pinning, sewing and cursing…(I’m still a beginner).  In the meantime, I can share a Christmas project I worked on two weeks ago that I was able to gift early to family last week on my trip to Florida.

Placemats Christmas 2017-2.jpg

Aren’t these great?!?

I think these mix/match place mats are perfect for any Christmas table setting.  There are three sets for the family gifts and since they each have such different tastes, I was able to play with themes I knew each would like.  The set used for the picture was a mash up of child-like designs for my sister’s home.  She has two young sons who love all things Santa, all Christmas candies, anything that blinks or glows at night and hopefully their Auntie since I made these cool place mats for their Momma’s table 🙂

Here’s how I made them:

I had some nice woven place mats and that is where I got the measurement from.  Mine measured 18″ x 14″ and they seem perfect for my table setting of four.  To simplify some of the work, I bought fat quarters and after washing and ironing the squares out, I started cutting them to 18 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ and also cutting one sheet of interfacing for each place mat also cut to 18 1/2″ x 14 1/2″.

I used heat fusing interfacing at a medium thickness.  I believe some people use a thin sheet of batting or interfacing that sews into the material versus ironing in.  Since I don’t like to iron I surprise myself at the choice, but it does work together quickly and the steam heat assures a good bond.  No matter which method you choose, turn one side of your place mat right side facing away and the interfacing attaching to the back side of that fabric.

After you attach the interfacing or batting to the wrong side of one piece of your place mat, you will grab another piece of fabric and putting it right sides together with the interfacing piece you just created you will sew around the piece creating a 1/2″ seam and leaving an unsewn area along one of the long sides approximately 3-6″ wide.  This is for pulling your place mat through and showing the right sides of fabric.  Before you turn your fabric make sure to trim off excess and cut your corners so they will be nice and sharp when you turn it.

When you are done sewing around the piece, grab a chop stick or a poking stick that will not damage your fabric.  Reach inside the pocket you created with the place mats and pull the right sides out through the hole.  After you have turned the piece, make sure you use your chop stick to poke nice corners in the fabric and help sharpen the seam down the connecting sides of the fabric.

When it’s nice and straight in all the corners and around the piece you will want to give it another press with the iron.  It will make the place mat easier to work with in the sewing machine and help place your finishing stitches around the work correctly.  I make sure to tuck in the fabric that created the pocket and line it up so that the top stitch I will create around the entire piece will also seal this pocket leaving no openings around the work.  So, after you iron the piece, just work a finishing stitch around the entire edge of the piece.  I try to keep this seam at 1/4″, but I really am just learning this craft, so sometimes it’s closer to 1/2″.  Trim loose threads and the place mat is done!!!

I created the napkin rings to match as an after thought to go with the place mats.  I searched on the internet for ideas that would work up quickly and found a suggestion for using shower curtain rings….GENIUS!!! I got 24 rings for $2.00.  I cut strips of scrap fabric to 3″ x 12″ and folded them in half creating a long tube.  I ironed the fabric and sewed a seam at 1/4″.  I tried to make them inside out and turn them, but I couldn’t get a good grip on the tubes and it was a frustrating mess.  By creating the seam on the outside I had a lot of stray threads to deal with and I am not sure how long these rings will last, but they turned out adorable…..just slide the tube onto the ring and adjust it to where you like it.  Trim up the threads and the ends and it’s done.

The place mats and the rings were both a big hit.  I think everyone loves to get holiday themed items as gifts.  If you know their style, JoAnn Fabrics is sure to have some beautiful prints to choose from.  Remember if you are doing 4 place mats and you use the fat quarters as suggested above, you will need two fat quarters for each place mat or 8 fat quarters for a set of four mats.

I hope you try this pattern out for yourself.  It’s definitely a beginner pattern that is pleasing and works up pretty quickly.  If you got your fabric tomorrow you could have gifts ready by Sunday.  If you do make them, I would love to see your finished works.  If you have any questions while you are working with my instructions, leave me a message in the comments and I will help as best as I can.




Scrubbies Made from Scrubby Yarn!

As a follow-up to yesterday’s article on Tulle Kitchen Scrubbies , I wanted to share another short, quick pattern for making Scrubbies from another material that you can find in almost any craft corner of the major shopping outlets.  Red Heart came out with the Scrubby Yarn line some time ago but I had just made quite a few out of tulle, so I waited until I needed to do a restock and I grabbed a few.



Scrubbies with Red Heart YarnA few….meaning more than 2 but less than 10 (cause I always need extras) and started surfing the internet for some ideas.  I didn’t go searching for a pattern since I already had the basic measurements in mind.  Instead, I went searching for inspiration….that’s short for I took about 2 hours to scroll through my Pinterest and pin a ton of things I hope to do someday and then I came back to this really funky material and grabbed my hook to start creating something new.

When I say this is a strange material, I am not kidding.  I would describe it as a tattered thick thread and it’s admittedly a little strange to work with at first.







Scrubbie Yarn By Red HeartI picked Tropical because I loved the pop of colors, but whatever your color choice is I am sure you can find it since they have 27 different color options to pick from.

I decided to start with something basic just to get use to working with the material and see how sturdy it was going to be.  I did a variation on the pattern from yesterday. 

This pattern is super easy and works up so quickly you can make enough for a month’s supply while watching your favorite show.  When completed, you will have a nice circle scrubbie with a loop at the top that you can slide over your faucet to allow fast drying.






Here is the pattern for the scrubbies I made:


Red Heart Scrubby Yarn in Tropical

K Hook

Tapestry Needle

*Gauge is not important for this pattern.   My finished circle will be approximately 5″.  Smaller gauge needles will require more repeated rounds but will have a tighter stitch in the finished piece.


Sl st: slip stitch

Ch: chain

Dc:  double crochet

*Magic circle- If you do not know how to do a magic circle, you can chain 4 and begin Round 1 in the third chain from the hook.


Make a magic circle, ch 3

Round One:  11 dc into magic circle, sl st into top of ch 3 (12)

Round Two:  Ch 3, dc into same st, 2 dc in next st and each st around. (24). Do not fasten off.

Take a moment to measure your circle.  I prefer my scrubbie to fit in my hand, so I like mine to measure about 5″ across and for that reason I was able to stop at Round Two and begin creating the loop.

If you need to continue another round in order to increase the size of your piece, just begin with another ch3 and then dc in each st around, sl st to the top of the ch 3 and repeat until your scrubbie is as big as you would like it to be.

Now let’s make the loop.  After securing the final round with a sl st to the top of your ch 3, ch 10 and sl st back into the same st.  Secure your loop to the piece (I use a double knot to keep it in place), fasten off and weave in the ends.


Voila!  New scrubbies to use!!!  Anything to make cleaning the dishes less mundane.  Feel free to throw your finished product in the dishwasher for a quick cleaning anytime you run a load (keep it up top) or you can wash it with your towels in the machine, just throw it in a mesh bag or a pillowcase so it doesn’t get torn apart.

Hope you enjoy the pattern.   Happy Hooking!


Barefoot Sandals!!

Last week I had the opportunity to make two pairs of barefoot sandals for Panda and myself when we made a day trip to the beach!  I have been wanting to make a pair for myself for sometime now, but I haven’t really had a place that I could wear them….as cute as they are, they have to be practical and comfortable.  I’m going to share the two patterns I followed so you can make a pair for yourself too before summer is gone!

Look at how cute these are:

barefoot sandals

They stayed tied in the surf!!!


Sandy Toes!!!

Sandy Toes

When I showed Panda the ones made to look like hearts chained together she had to have them!!!  I love them too and they worked up in about 20 minutes….both patterns did!!!  I was lucky enough to find the heart and bohemian patterns for free AND they were made using worsted weight yarn (which I have plenty of).

You can find the pattern for the barefoot heart sandals here.  If you like the bohemian sandals, you can find that pattern here.  Both patterns are easy to follow and are written in US terms with tutorial photos and finished work to help you through to the end.  Go!  Don’t wait or it will be too late!!!

Happy Hooking!!!

Artist Journal Wrap

In honor of Panda and her birthday this month, I made a gift personal to her using the new sewing machine that Hubs gave to me for Mother’s Day this year.  I haven’t had a ton of time with my machine yet, but I have worked on some basic  patterns that I found free on the internet and dove right in learning the mechanics of my machine.

This particular project I had to modify from its original because the measurements I needed in order to accommodate the sketch book was larger than what was called for in the original pattern.

I did make a couple of subtle changes, but the basic pattern can be found here.  Deena Rutter has a wonderful blog full of free patterns and ideas.  Her tutorial comes with a ton of photos to help you along if you are a beginner like me and if you are an advanced sewer, you should have no problems at all putting it together.

Artist Journal 2.jpg

Like I said, I had to change a few things with the original pattern, but I followed her directions and steps to keep on track with the pattern.  I used an upholstery fabric for the inside and outside panels and the pockets were made with lightweight cotton fabric.  I did still put tacking in between the inside and outside panels for added toughness.  The pattern also called for the pen/pencil slots to be to the left side of the pocket that would hold the notebook/sketchbook.  I needed to modify it to work better for Panda who likes to write to her left side and reach right for her materials.  I also created a pocket right beside the sketchbook pocket that is large enough to hold her erasers and a small sharpener.  This way she will have all her sketch tools with her no matter where she goes.  The compact size and soft covers keep it flexible for storage and easy to carry.

I don’t know if you have a use for an Artist/Journal Wrap for yourself, but I bet someone you love would love to have their writing or drawing utensils in an easy to carry case.  Heck, make one for the kids to use when you are in the car or out to dinner.  This would be sure to keep them occupied and if it gets dirty, just take the supplies out and throw it in the wash.

The pattern took me an afternoon (or about 3 hours) to put together.  Remember though, I am a beginner, so I hit some snags…..took a few breaks to play games on my phone…..and got generally frustrated with my lack of knowledge on my new machine.  If you are a pro, I bet this could be done in no time at all.

If you do decide to create one, I hope you will share your finished product with me here or with Deena Rutter on her blog.