At the start of 2017 I promised myself a lot of new things – especially in regard to products, materials and techniques. Now I’m ready to introduce the first new product from 40 Stitches – a matchsack! Why? There are lots of reasons, but when my kids were packing for summer camp the instructions on the packing list stated ‘No plastic bags.’ The kids were to be gone for one week and, if you think about it, you realized that in this amount of time dirty and damp clothes can start to mold in a plastic bag. That’s not as likely with a fabric bag. Plus, you can wash the bag and use it over and over again – for workout clothes, for school, for shoes, to go shopping and for a lot more. That means that a matchsack is a multi-talented helper.
These matchsacks are made of 100% cotton fabric and closed with a cotton cord. And with the practical outside loops you can always shorten or replace the cord.
Take a look at the other matchsacks here!
Finally! That’s about all I can say. I was finally able to realize my vision from 14 years ago – to make a quilt that would memorialize our time in Berlin – and all the films we saw then. In those days I worked at Columbia TriStar Film GmbH at the Sony Center on Potsdamer Platz. It was a great job and I had wonderful co-workers. Plus, it was a time full of films for my husband and me. We saw many films at our neighborhood theater and also were able to attend a number of film premieres.
But how do those times turn into a quilt? It’s simple. Every film has a number of different promotional give-away products. A lot of times that includes a t-shirt. During the 5 years that I worked for CTS that became a large number of t-shirts. And we were proud to wear them. But sooner or later you stop wearing them – maybe they no longer fit, don’t look so good any more or just aren’t the style we’re looking for. So what then? Keep them!
Then the idea hit me – it’s almost too easy. A quilt! But it took me a very long time to realize my project. For various reasons – not enough time, not enough peace and quiet, too much work. But then I found this great Hollywood fabric and I knew it was time. I had the inspiration to find the time and turn my vision into reality.
While I was working I also realized that the other cities on the fabric were also in various films. And so the back of the quilt also took on form.
Now the quilt was finished but I still had to wait for my husband’s birthday. After all it was supposed to be his quilt. And finally that day came, too. Now I can finally show everyone the quilt and tell the story.
But the best thing was my husband’s reaction. Not only did he wish for a quilt (how could he not?), he said that when he saw the various t-shirts different memories of our time in Berlin kept popping up. I wore the Erin Brockovich t-shirt when we attended the Love Parade in Berlin. He and I had attended the premiere of Godzilla together. Etc., etc.
And then there’s the quiz for the back: Which cities are these and what films can you name that were set there? Do you know the answer?
I’ve heard of Christmas in July – but I never thought about July in April until now. I am using lots of my Aunt’s 4th of July fabrics to create pillows and a fun table runner and maybe a few other things. Now is a good time for me to sew them – no pressure to get them done, which helps me get them done. Isn’t that ironic? Sometimes it’s great to have as much time as you need.
What are you working on in April?
Here’s a bag made out of an old pair of jeans. It is lined and decorated with lots of lace and can hold lots of stuff! Have you upcycled a pair of jeans lately? If so, what have you made?
Santa was good to me this last Christmas and brought me some new Clover Clips. I had been wanting some for a while – at first I thought they might be useful for my Garden Quilt – but then I was shown a way to baste the hexagons without any clips. But I knew it was only a question of time and I would find something else that they would be good for.
So now that time has finally come! I’ve been making potholders from old jeans and I have to say it is much easier to clip the binding than pin it. What a time saver! And a finger saver, too! Thank you Santa!
I haven’t posted anything for a long time – but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t sewn anything for a long time. In fact just the opposite is true! I sewed a lot of presents for Christmas, embroidered several orders and am still working – at the store and at home. That’s why I’m so surprised that it’s already February!
So maybe you’d like to see one of the things I just finished. Actually this will be a Valentine’s Day present for N2. Her absolute favorite color is blue and I thought this would fit the bill. It was interesting sewing, but I don’t think that I’ll be making one again soon.
What do you think? Have you sewn felt? Or a round bag? Both are a challenge in their own right. But I’m pleased with how it turned out.
Look! My Bernina had to be repaired and now I’m working with a machine from the stone age! But actually, it’s not that bad! For regular sewing the old Pfaff has everything I need. What do you think? Were the old sewing machines better than the new ones?
While I was on vacation I did some creative things, even though I wasn’t sewing or working at the store. Here and there I visited a quilt store or a craft store and I like to look around and see if there’s a bargain or maybe even a new product. In Picking Daisies in San Luis Obispo, California I found something new – Krafttex! I wasn’t familiar with the name and had never seen this product. But the nice lady in the store took time to talk to me, showed me the product and even a piece of Krafttex that had been washed, plus she let me page through the book about Krafttex.
And so I bought some – two different colors, half a yard each.
Now I’ve actually sewn with it for the first time. Krafttex is easy to sew – but it is VERY stiff. So you need to think about what you’ll be making before you make it. Plus, the needle holes are visible, so you shouldn’t make any mistakes. But, if you take some time to plan things out, you will have a very robust end product.
I’m very happy with the new bag – the bottom is made of Krafttex, then there is some embroidery and various fabrics. Inside it has a pocket and a key ring.
I can also recommend the book ‘kraft*tex Style’ by Roxane Cerda. There are various projecs, big and small, to try.
I’ve already washed a piece of Krafttex and want to make some more projects with it, but I don’t know what just yet. In any case, there will be more projects. Maybe you want to try it, too?
On December 31st I was browsing through facebook when I came across a post that said I shouldn’t leave any sewing projects unfinished at the end of the year or they would stay unfinished! I didn’t think much of it at the time, but later it came to me that this is really unfair and not very good advice. Of course I have sewing projects that aren’t finished! I wouldn’t have any inspiration or ideas for the new year if I didn’t.
I need those projects to get me going again, force me to plan ahead, give me inspiration and keep me going.
So here’s to unfinished objects (UFO’s) – may there always be at least one in my closet!