I’m using the blocks in this series to make a different project each month rather than saving them for a big quilt. This month, I decided to replace a 30-year-old mixer cover for my 30-year-old Kitchen Aid mixer.
My daughter had brought the cover back from a trip to Ireland and it’s still in good shape, but it’s time for a different look for that part of the kitchen counter.
I used the old cover as a three-part pattern (center and two sides). I reduced the block size to 7 inches finished and used four of them plus two end pieces to make the center of the cover.
I found two Dutch embroidered panels in my stack of hand-embroidery and used one for each side.
All I needed was a lining and some binding around the bottom to complete a new, very different cover for the old Kitchen Aid.
Whenever I’m invited to a pot luck dinner or picnic, I like to take a two-crust fruit pie. This kind of pie holds up well en route, can stand the heat and is something that a lot of people don’t make for themselves.
I like to use a carrier to protect it and have designed a pie carrier that works well. For special people, I leave the carrier with them as a hostess gift. It would also work well to carry other food items that will fit in an 11×11 inch container.
This is how I made my latest version, using a vintage embroidery pattern for the top of the lid and 3 orphan blocks for the lid lining, carrier and carrier lining. A few scraps for the side panels and tie handles along with some stiff interfacing completed the supply list:
Front and back: Cut 2 pieces 11-½ x 11-½ inches (includes ¼ inch seam) fabric
Cut 2 pieces 11-½ x 11-1/2 inches lining
Cut 2 pieces 10×10 inches of stiff fusible interfacing such as Inner-Fuse by Dritz
Sides: Cut four 3 x 11-½ inch pieces of fabric for carrier
Cut four 3 x 11-½ inch pieces for lining
` Cut four 2-½ x 10 inches of stiff fusible interfacing such as Inner-Fuse by Dritz
Tie: Cut two pieces 3-3/4 x 16 inches of fabric
Cut two pieces 3-3/4 x 16 inches of contrasting or lining fabric
Cut one piece 11-1/2 x 11-1/2 inches fabric
Cut one piece 11-½ x 11-½ inches lining
Cut one piece 10 x 10 inches of stiff fusible interfacing such as Inner-Fuse by Dritz
Cut 2 pieces 11-½ x 2-¾ inches of fabric
Cut 2 pieces 11-½ x 2-3/4 inches of lining
Cut 2 pieces 10-1/2 x 1-¾ inches of stiff fusible interfacing such as Inner-Fuse by Dritz
Binding: Cut one piece 1-½ inches x 44 inches
Velcro: Cut two sets of ¾ inch Velcro 10-½ inches long.
Attach stiffener to lining pieces by centering on the wrong side of each piece and stitching a cross to secure. Do this for the top, bottom, four sides, lid and two flaps
Sew fabric ties right sides together with lining/contrasting fabric, using ¼ inch seams. Sew two sides and across top of each set (pointing or rounding top if desired). Trim, turn, press and top stitch each side ¼ inch from edges.
Your pieces should be:
Bottom, 4 sides, lid, 2 flaps, two sewn ties
Bottom, 4 sides, lid, 2 flaps – all with stiffener sewn in place.
Sew four pieces of fabric sides, right sides together, to four edges of fabric bottom, leaving ½ inch at beginning and ending of seam.
Fold corners of sides together and sew from raw edge to ½ inch from end
Sew four pieces of lining sides, right sides together, to four edges of lining bottom, leaving ½ inch at beginning and ending of seam.
Pin corners together and sew from raw edge to ½ inch from end.
Fold corners of sides together and sew from raw edge to ½ inch from end.
Pin wrong side of lining in carrier, wrong sides together, matching corners and raw edges. Baste 1/8 inch from edge.
Pin tie handles to the outside of the carrier at the center of two sides of the carrier.
Join ends of binding with ½ inch seam and pin to top edge of outside of carrier, right sides together. Baste 1/8 inch from edge.
Stitch with ¼ inch seam around edge. Turn under ¼ inch and hand stitch binding to inside of carrier.
Sew the fabric flaps to the fabric lid on two opposite sides (flaps should be on sides that do not have flaps).
Sew the lining flaps to the lid lining on two opposite sides (flaps should be on sides that do not have flaps).
Place fabric lid and lining lid right sides together and join with a 1/2 inch seam, leaving a 3 inch opening on one side for turning. Trim, turn, press and top stitch the lid.
On the two sides that don’t have ties, measure down ½ inch from the top edge of the lining flap on the lid and draw a line. Center the matching Velcro piece with the top edge of the Velcro covering the line and stitch in place.
Measure down one inch from the top binding edge of the carrier and draw a line. Center the matching Velcro piece with the top edge of the Velcro covering the line and stitch in place.
Place an aluminum 9 inch pie pan in the bottom of the carrier and place the baked pie on top of the aluminum pan. Place lid on top of carrier and fasten with Velcro strips. Tie the two tie strips together to form a handle.
Carry by handle, but keep one hand under the pie for security.
For the past few years (since I turned 80), I’ve had some back problems which make it difficult to do any gardening. I can get down on my knees but have trouble getting back up. Then, I found the Rumford Gardener’s Kneeler/Seat on Amazon and that solved the problem. The unit can be used as a seat or, more importantly to me, a kneeler. It folds for easy storing, is shipped fully assembled and has been such a great help to me that I ordered another one to keep near the back yard. I’m sure there are other brands that are just as good, but I haven’t used them and I know this one is a good value at around $25.
I noticed that there are also pouches for tools available but they cost about half as much as the kneeler and I thought it wouldn’t be hard to make a set. These pouches are simple, easy-to-sew and work great for me. I put four hand tools that I use the most in the pockets and can carry the kneeler from place to place in the yard without difficulty.
Here is how I made the pouches:
Choose medium weight fabric – heavy canvas would be difficult to sew and turn. I found a remnant of medium weight outdoor fabric that worked perfectly. TOOL POUCHES FOR GARDEN KNEELER – two pouches
2 pieces 8 inches wide x 30 inches long of fabric for base
2 pieces 8 inches wide x 8-½ inches long of fabric for pocket
2 sets of Velcro fasteners 6-½ inches long
On top edge of pocket, turn down ¼ inch and another ¼ inch and stitch to form a ½ inch hem.
Place base right side up on surface. Pin pocket fabric right side up on base, matching pocket with bottom and sides of base fabric. Baste close to bottom and side edges to secure pocket. Stitch down the center of the pocket fabric to make two sections.
Bring top edge of base down to line up with bottom edge of base, right sides together (pocket will be on the inside). Using ½ inch seam, stitch along the sides and bottom, LEAVING OPENING ON ONE SIDE OF ABOUT 3 INCHES TO TURN.
Trim corners, turn and top stitch ¼ inch from the edges all around the base, tucking in the opening seams and securing.
Working with the back of the piece, measure from the top edge down 6-½ inches and draw a line.
Stitch one piece of Velcro with the bottom edge of the Velcro slightly covering the drawn line. Stitch the other piece of Velcro to the back top edge. Top edge will fold down to secure pouch.
Fold edge down over bars on stool with pockets on the outside.
Repeat with the other pieces of fabric and Velcro to complete two pockets with a total of 4 sections for small hand tools.
*I’m not being paid for my endorsement of this product – I just like it a lot and want to share.
This is an easy, fun block I am using the blocks in this series to make a different project each month. This month, I used four of the Flying Fan blocks – the original 12-inch block and three blocks I reduced to 7 inches (thanks to my Electric Quilt software).
The 12-inch block is part of the design element at the top of the apron and a 7-inch block was lined and is used as a pocket.
I had enough fabric left for two potholders, using the 7-inch blocks. I like to make “slipcovers” for oven mitts and pot holders (this is how I do it). I’ve been using some good-quality mitts/holders for over 20 years, laundering the “slip covers” as needed and replacing them when they become worn.
This was a good block to use in these projects and I’m looking forward to next month’s block which should be a star. I’m already thinking what I could put in the center of the star and what the new project might be.
At Christmas time last year, I had embroidered pillow cases for two friends who live out of state. I wanted to enclose the cases in something that could be mailed in a padded envelope and that might be useful after the gift was opened. I designed a flat bag with a deep pocket to hold the gift and the bag could be used to store many items throughout the year.
In this case I used some pretty Amish fabric for the outside of the bag and assorted scraps for the pocket and lining.
For Easter, I made dishtowels with an appliquéd bunny. Once again, I turned to the flat bag design for a nice gift bag, using orphan blocks for the outside of the bags.
This is an easy bag to put together, can be done in a short amount of time and makes good use of scraps, embroidered pieces or orphan blocks.
Here is how I made the bags (my example finished at 7-½ x 7-½ inches. It’s easy to change the dimensions to fit whatever item is going into the bag – flat items like books, Cds, DVDs, towels, pillow cases, etc., work best.
You will need:
A piece of focus fabric, quilt block or embroidered piece the size of the gift plus an additional 1-½ inches to width and length. (Example: gift is 7 inches square. Front piece = 8-½ inches square.
A piece of fabric for the back of the bag that is the same size as the front plus ½ inch lengthwise. (Example: Cut back fabric 8-½ inches wide by 9 inches long.)
Sew the front panel to the back with ¼ inch seam, joining at the top of the front panel.
Press the seam toward the front panel.
Cut a piece of fabric for the lining that is the exact size of the joined front/back panels. (Example: 8-½ inches wide x 17 inches long.)
Place lining and front/back panels right sides together, pinning from just below center seam on front/back panel, along side, across bottom of front/back panel and down other side to just below center seam, back-stitching on each side.
Cut ½ inch from edge just below sewing at center seam on both sides and trim corners of sewn portion.
Turn sewn portion and press.
Cut pocket fabric the width of fabric and the length doubled. (Example: 8-½ inches wide x 17 inches long).
Fold pocket fabric in half lengthwise and press. Line up fold of pocket with clipped sides and raw edges on the lower part of the front/back panels. Pin in place or baste.
Beginning at the folded edge, sew ½ inch seams down the side, across the bottom and up the other side, back stitching on each side. Trim corners and trim the clipped pocket portion on a diagonal.
Turn pocket portion and press. Top stitch 1/8 inch from edge around piece …
Update 9/20/15 – A reader let me know that there is a problem with the above link and sent me some alternate ones for the pattern itself. She said these links are intermittent but she was able to get a printout of the pattern.
The bag is designed to hold a medium sized mug about 6 inches tall x 3 inches diameter …
and has a pocket for some teabags.
There is an accompanying mug rug which folds up in back of the mug bag.
I have made four versions of the bag to use as gifts. I made this one as an Easter gift for my granddaughter.
The fabric is from scraps of an Easter dress I made for her in 2011, back before she became a sophisticated going-on-12 lady who doesn’t wear pretty lace-trimmed dresses any more.
Instead of a mug, I’m using an 8-oz jar of jelly beans in the bag and will be putting a gift card in the pocket.
For my two daughters, I’ll have the mugs filled with candy and will have gift cards in the pocket.
I made one bag/rug to have ready to give to a good friend from Chicago who visits during the summer.
In her case, I made an embroidered mug rug that shows a painter because she’s a gifted artist.
I enjoyed making these bags and rugs out of scraps, including using up a lot of small batting pieces. I included a snap and vintage button on each one. It’s a pleasant afternoon’s project with just a bit of hand sewing.
Red Brolly’s post has some beautiful bags made from her pattern by other readers.
A couple of weeks ago, my neighbor asked my daughter and me to come to her house to check out some sewing/craft supplies she was going to throw away or donate. She knew my daughter and I did a lot of sewing, needlework, quilting, crafts – and thought we might find something we could use. Naturally, we could hardly wait to go across the street and see what was in those boxes!
There were two big cartons full of sewing notions, craft supplies, miscellaneous fabric and even a pair of worn-out jeans. My daughter used the waistband from the jeans along with some of the white fabric in the box to make a great bracelet/cuff.
I was excited to use a red luncheon cloth that was a nice heavy fabric and had only a small stain on it. I made three lined bags with it, also incorporating some of the white fabric and a couple of pieced/embroidered orphan blocks.
I also made a two-piece cushion set for my vintage folding chair.
The wonderful part of this story is that we have hardly made a dent in the contents of the boxes. We have plans for the Christmas season and well beyond it.
My daughter gave me a vintage cosmetic bag that she thought I might be able to use as an idea for bags I could make to use for cosmetics, small sewing items, little gifts, etc.
The bag opened out into sections and looked fairly easy to duplicate.
It’s basically multiple bags of the same size, lined and finished with a narrow facing. One bag has a flap and serves as the base. The remainder of the bags are stitched to each other to form an accordion-like feature.
I made five bags of varying sizes and thought the idea worked out pretty well. For one bag that I particularly liked, I made a matching small gift tote of the same fabrics and will be using the two pieces to hold an anniversary gift for my younger daughter in a couple of weeks.
I’m thinking about expanding the pattern to make a larger three-section tote bag. More on this later.
I’ve made a few pieces that incorporate my TV-time embroidery panels. I made another set of cushions for my vintage folding chair. The nice thing about a folding chair is that it can also go outside very easily. I just happened to have a blue granite ware coffee pot and skillet to accompany the cushions.
One of the designs I used for embroidery on a table mat is an adaptation of a decorative painting pattern by Helan Barrick. I used to love to paint her Amish boys and girls. I adapted this one for fall.
I used another vintage embroidery pattern to stitch a scarecrow with a crow on his shoulder. I outlined the pattern in black embroidery floss and then used crayons to color the design. After using the crayons, I placed a piece of white paper on top of the panel and pressed with a hot iron to set the colors.
I made a quilt for my table mini-quilt rack with a 1930s-40s era pattern of a scarecrow and chubby birds. I especially like the way the trees are worked in this piece.
Now, it’s time to think about some small projects for the Halloween season.
Whenever my two daughters and I get together, they always pull out some kind of handwork to do – knitting, crocheting, embroidery, tatting. Since I’ve always done my piecing and quilting by machine, I rarely have something to work on. I decided to try some very simple embroidery using vintage 1930s-40s style patterns. They are easy enough for my limited skills and I like the patterns which remind me of the embroidery all of the women in my family were doing in that era. My daughter and I have a large collection of vintage patterns and I’ve been able to add patterns from some good online sites.
I embroider the panel (usually 8-½ x 8-½ inches) and then use scraps to make up something useful. I don’t want to gather a drawer full of embroidered squares, so unless it’s a seasonal pattern, I make it up quickly. Another goal of mine this year has been to eliminate bags of small scraps – smaller than 4×4 inches – and I’ve managed to do that. The only fabric I’ve bought up to this point is some good off-white fabric for embroidery and to use to assemble the scrap blocks. Here are some of the items I’ve finished this summer:
A cushion set for my vintage folding chair ….
A small wall hanging of an old kitchen stove …
A pillow with a design I adapted from an old postcard …
A wall hanging with a crow and sunflower center. I hand quilted around this design and machine quilted the remainder of the hanging.
A table pad with a Mexican theme …
I still have a stack of completed embroidered panels to use.
Here are some links to free vintage embroidery patterns: