Hang On…with me!

August 2nd, 2017

Hang On…I’m trying to catch up with my blog posts on projects I’ve attempted, sewn or completed.

In May this year (2017), I stitched up a few “Hang Ons”.

Hang On is a new Lazy Girl Designs sewing pattern, created by Joan Hawley. Hang Ons are little pouch type hanging pockets that are great for holding all sorts of things: tools to cell phones to sweet treats.¬† They make great gifts too!¬† You can hang them on door knobs, drawer pull-knobs, hooks of all types (including Command Hooks‚ĄĘ, see pictures below) and even push pins.

Here’s my first try:¬†

I chose a couple lovely metallic Asian fabrics from my stash. I used Superior Metallic Antique Gold thread to finish the edges.  Click the image to view a larger picture with more detail.

Notice, I didn’t flip the handle (as indicated by the pattern cover samples).¬† Was it on purpose–a design decision? Or was it my mistake?¬† I’ll never tell.¬† I will say that I do love how this baby turned out.¬† What do you think?

 

Hang On #2:

This is a fraternal twin sister to my first Hang On.  I used the same fabrics, swapped right sides and insides, and on this on I did flip the handle as indicated by the pattern.  Again, I used Superior Metallic Antique Gold thread to finish the edges.

Hang On #3:

For my third Hang On, I wanted to experiment with finishing the edges with couching.¬† Again, I chose fabrics from my stash and found some fun, funky yarn to use in couching the edges. If you’ve never experimented with couching fibers by machine, this is the perfect project to give it a try.¬† Click the pic to see larger image and more detail.

To couch yarns or fibers, simply stitch them on using a machine zig zag or other decorative stitch.¬† Experiment and have fun.¬† You may choose coordinating or contrasting sewing threads to use in your machine.¬† Many machines have a “couching” foot to help control placement of the fibers. However, I didn’t use one for this project. I love the soft, slubby edges that the yarn provides.

Hang On #4:

I wanted to continue experimenting with couching, so on my fourth Hang On, I also stitched the accent folds with couched yarn (in addition to finishing all the edges with couching — click image for larger picture/more detail).

This one reminds me of those beautiful mossy hanging baskets of flowers.

She’s a working girl — holding a handful of my favorite sewing tools, keeping my sewing table clean and my tools within reach. Tools shown are:¬† Point2Point Turner, Roll & Press, Superior Snippers, Awl, and Stiletto.

Hang On is a super easy and fun to sew project. It’s a perfect project for beginners or as a first project. It’s also FUN for experienced sewists — can you say instant gratification?¬† It’s also a great way to use up small pieces of fabrics from your stash.

If you don’t have the Hang On sewing pattern yet, you can get it ON SALE NOW: click here to order yours today. Save more money — sew more smiles.

NOTE:  Stiff Stuff is currently not available from the manufacturer and all our suppliers have sold out.  It is expected to be back in stock in mid to end of October 2017. Until then, I recommend substituting Soft & Stable.

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5 to 7 Layer Delicious Mexican Dip

July 31st, 2017

This is a Chapman Family Favorite — for parties, sporting event tailgate celebrations, potlucks, and any occasion.¬† It’s also super easy to make.¬† You can make it a day ahead of time too.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can re-fried beans
  • 2 – 3 ripe avocados
  • 8 – 12 oz. sour cream
  • 6 – 8 oz. your favorite salsa
  • 6 – 8 oz. your favorite cheese — grated (suggest: cheddar or colby jack)
  • *optional 1-2 green onions thinly sliced
  • *optional 1 small can sliced black olives

Find a pretty container with sides to put your dip into.¬† Sometimes I use a nice pie plate. Sometimes I use a plastic container that has a lid (especially when taking to potlucks and parties away from the house).¬† Whatever container you choose, it should have sides at least 2″ high.

First open the can of refried beans. Stir well, then spread evenly across the bottom of your pie plate or container.

Peel, remove pit and mash your avocados then spread evenly over top of the re-fried beans.

Stir sour cream then spread evenly across top of avocado layer.

Pour salsa over top of sour cream layer; use a spatula to spread out evenly.

Sprinkle grated cheese evenly over top of salsa.

*Optional: Lightly sprinkle green onion and/or black olives over top of the cheese layer.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve with your favorite brand of tortilla chips. Refrigerate any leftovers.

ENJOY!!!¬† It’s fantastic and your guests will love it. In fact, it’s so good Jared (18 y/o son) and I often finish off any leftovers for breakfast the next morning.

JUNE Bag Sewing — Sugar Skull Run Around LOVE

July 23rd, 2017

LazyGirl Run Around Bag sewing patternYep, I’m just going to be honest. I’ve neglected the SewThankful blog for way too long.

Sew…I’ll try to catch back up by going back through and adding projects I’ve completed and reviewed the last year or so.

This is the Lazy Girl Run Around Bag I sewed for myself in early June 2017.

Living in New Mexico, Day of the Dead is a big deal and over the years I have come to love the celebration. It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to reflect on and celebrate the lives of those I’ve loved and lost in this life.

SEW…I just have to say, I *loved* every second of sewing this super fun Sugar Skull Run Around Bag. She’s sleek and sweet and fun to wear. Yes, I’m done with carrying heavy “mom bags”…cuz my kids are grown or nearly grown and I’m ready to lighten the load.

I did a couple of change-ups with the zipper…notice two colors of zipper tape and a different color zipper pull? The “extended” pull is braided fabric used to make the bag with frayed/tattered soft end.

The Run Around pattern is super easy and goes together incredibly FAST. Can you say, “Instant GRATIFICATION?”

If you’re looking for a minimalist cross-body bag to carry your essentials and maybe a few small extras, *THIS is the pattern you NEED*.¬† This bag makes great gifts and uses hardly any fabric.

The Run Around Bag is a Lazy Girl Designs sewing pattern is ON SALE NOW at SewThankful: http://www.sewthankful.com/LazyGirlRunAroundBag_SewingPattern.html

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Quilted Sea Turtle Pillow — July 2017

July 19th, 2017
Scrappy Sea Turtle Pillow — original design and copyright Tracy Lee Chapman
and SewThankful Inc./SewThankful.com, July 2017.  All rights reserved.

This is the Scrappy Sea Turtle Pillow I designed and made as a gift for a very dear friend.¬†She listens without being judgmental, she encourages without being critical, but she also tells it like it is. She is the best kind of friend and she’s made a wonderful difference in my life so I wanted her to have something special to know that she’s important and cared for.¬† She adores Sea Turtles–and purple & blue are her favorite colors.

At first I was going to make this as a wall hanging. Then I decided to make it into a pillow instead so my friend can display it easily wherever she wants and it’s hug-able. Making the quilted turtle as a pillow sham (with a custom shredded gel-foam pillow insert) also keeps the quilted turtle sham easy to wash and dry.

This is my own original design, entirely from scratch. Where did I get the turtle image? I looked at many sea turtle images and sketched my own. Then I challenged myself to use only fabrics, threads and items from my own personal stash–no buying anything new.

First the turtle was outlined with a hand sewn big stitch using rayon perle from my personal stash.

I used raw edge fusible applique (using Sew Lazy Fusi-Bond http://www.sewthankful.com/Sew_Lazy_Fusi_Bond_Lite_Sew_Lazy_SLG101.html) to place the pieces of the turtle body & shell.

Microquilter Thread

 

Each piece is freemotion quilted using Superior Microquilter thread (http://www.sewthankful.com/superior-sewing-threads-microquilter.html).

Rainbows Thread

Then I added wavy quilting lines (to give the feel of water) using Superior Rainbows Thread (I used #831 Mediterranean – http://www.sewthankful.com/Superior-Thread-Rainbows.html ).

 

The scrappy binding was made from random small scraps of fabric used to make the turtle.

The finished dimensions of the pillow are approximately 27 inches x 20 inches.

I love how this sea turtle turned out. Even better, my friend was thrilled and loves it too.
Yes, a pattern is being developed…stay tuned.

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My GREAT Oregon Bicycle Adventure – July 2015

August 2nd, 2015

Sew…in May I gave myself a 50th birthday present. I absolutely love riding my bike and I’ve done a few triathlons and century (100+ mile) rides, and they were lots of fun.¬† But I’d never really done any real bicycle touring.¬† That was something I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do.¬† So, I chose to go on a self-contained (meaning camping and cooking and you carry all your own gear plus a share of the group’s common cooking gear) bicycle adventure tour in Oregon with an all-women’s group through Adventure Cycling.

I filled out the application and sent in my initial payment. The application was accepted and YAY, I was so excited!

Then reality struck. And panic. When I first decided this was what I wanted, I *thought* I would be able to use my road/racing bike (carbon frame).¬† I was wrong. See: “Sew I Needed a Bike”.

BackOfBike

OK I researched, ordered and got the bike.

So…then I needed racks, panniers, a handlebar bag, a tent, a sleeping pad, a sleeping bag, my own travel eating utensils, cup, plate, etc. OH my! The costs were really adding up. Remember the first time you thought about making a quilt and that it wouldn’t cost much because you’ll just use what you have?¬† Until you realize you need a new sewing machine, special tools, a particular fabric, special thread, etc.¬† Yeah, it’s a lot like that!¬† OK…deep breath…doing it…figured that out.

 

THEN I needed to find time to train.¬† After all, we were going to be riding approximately 50 miles a day, 4 days in a row (on fully LOADED bikes that are steel frames, not lightweight carbon). My bike–fully loaded–weighed in at over 100 pounds.¬† OK…several deep breaths…doing it…figured that out. Time flew by and I did the best I could with the time that I had but felt uncertain if I was truly ready.MAPScreenshot_2015-07-19-09-00-12

Then the finally came, I loaded up my little Ford Focus hatchback with my bike and all my gear and I pulled out of the driveway on my way to Eugene, Oregon.¬† Just a little over 1300 milesand¬† I *LOVE* a good road trip.¬† Yes, even all by myself. After being a multi-tasking mom, employee and business owner for most of the last 30 years, having that time alone on the road seemed like a dream.¬† I could listen to the music I like…or no music at all.¬† I could have complete thoughts without interruptions!¬† Imagine that.

Sew…I had 3 days to get to Eugene but didn’t make any hard/specific plan.¬† I like it that way sometimes. Just play it by ear and see what the adventure brings.

As I was driving through Salt Lake City, I noticed an In N Out Burger place just off the upcoming exit.

OMGosh…I InAndOuthaven’t been to an In N Out since I was last in California (many, many years ago)!!! So I pulled off, ordered my meal from a fresh-faced kid who was obviously happy to be working (what a treat to notice that!) and I thoroughly enjoyed a lovely burger and fresh french fries (something I RARELY eat anymore). It was wonderful. After I finished, I filled the gas tank, checked out my MapQuest route and searched for hotels, estimating how much farther I thought I’d be able to drive without becoming too tired.¬† I picked a hotel, called ahead and made a reservation (man, that was QUICK and EASY…sometimes technology is AWESOME!!!). So, I made it just past Twin Falls, ID by a little past midnight of my first day of travel.

GROOVYbusThe next day was a little easier…I pulled in to my hotel in Eugene by 4:30pm Pacific Time.¬† The extra hour from the time change gave me a little boost!

Now I had a whole day to rest and acclimate before meeting my group.  So I decided to explore a little of Eugene on my bike.

Check out the super groovy bus I found in a gorgeous park!

 

RichardsonParkCampSunday morning arrived. I packed my stuff back into my car and drove out to the designated

MarinaRichardsonPark

meeting place at Richardson Park (just outside of Eugene).

After finding the group, we set up camp and began our 2-day study of self-contained touring. We¬†learned how to pack, how to travel, how to operate the gas burner we’d be carrying to cook our food, how to read our maps and cue sheets, how the cooking responsibilities would be divided up, how the shared cooking gear would be divided up and much MORE!

blackberriesThe second day of camping we did a short (under 10 mile) shake down ride to test our gear, re-check our bikes and make sure we had everything we needed.  We also stopped along the roadside to pick and eat wild blackberries.  They were so sweet and delicious!!!

Oh yes…there will be many MORE adventures to come!

 

 

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