sewing general

Sep 282017

It took me a while, but I made more fabric shag pouches and finished off the couple that were only started before. This is one of the past shags:
Fabric shag zip pouch, shag bag.
A blue pencil pouch sized job. Someone found my shop on Etsy by searching for “shag bag” which is hilarious. I’m using it. I don’t know if this is what they were looking for, or if shag bag means something else to them, but shag is a funny word and I’m going with it. Shag bag.

Fabric shag zip pouch, shag bag.
Red, small shag bag. This one was interesting because I’d only worked previously with blue theme on blue background, or theme on black background. This bag is also different because it is a double sided shag bag. The shag is on both sides and wraps on down to the bottom. It looks like some kind of fabric-Tribble-pufferfish when you stuff it full and it rounds out. Funny.

Fabric shag zip pouch, shag bag in Halloween colors.
A large, Halloween shag bag. Full-on, could-be-a-clutch purse size! I love Halloween (duh!) and had so much fun finding Halloween fabric scraps for this. I don’t know who would use it, but here it is. I love it.

Fabric shag zip pouch, shag bag in Halloween colors.
A small shag bag, in Halloween colors. I had enough bits left over from the large one to do this one, too. Seasonal fun!

Fabric shag zip pouch, shag bag.
Large, blue theme shag bag. This was a request/interest from a gal who missed out on the first one because it was too small at the opening to fit a sketchbook inside. This one fits a sketchbook fine and is off living in its new home.

These are all listed in my Etsy shop (except the last one) if you want to look at more pictures, or get one. Lots of detail photos of pockets, plus dimensions listed – which is why I’m not putting those details here.

Working on a new project (see previous post) is already producing a small nest of trimmed ends which will become new fabric bits. I think shag bags are going to be one of those things I make every few months (quarter? half year?) to manage all those bits. I might start a box to contain them – one mishap to the flat piece of cardboard I keep them sorted by color on could be detrimental my system. That and cats. You never quite know what the cats are going to do when I leave the workshop door open and unattended for more than five minutes. Yeah, I’m going to start a divider sorted box.

Sep 272017

Last night, after finally clearing the cutting board of three large projects, I went downstairs with a full 2.5 hours to myself and the self-imposed freedom to do whatever the hell I wanted. I thought I’d do the small, seasonal project which I have waiting in the wings and which could, reasonably be completed in the time I had that night.

I didn’t do that.

Instead, I found myself in a frenetic haze, pulling fabrics off the shelves as colors caught my creative eye and quickly sewing together some ideas. After a while, I realized something was off, tore them apart and redirected slightly.

Playing with fabric.
I don’t know about those gray skellies. I think they might be okay how I see them playing out. If not, I’ll do another. The greatest desire I had last night was the color combinations you see started here. There are three total combos for this blast of desire, two here; the other is in a pile beside Nome, which is what I’ve named my new machine (after having her for 1.5 years). Although, I have some longing feeling for Gretchen, my solid, reliable Pfaff mechanical machine which is gathering dust bunnies on the workshop floor. When I reorg the workshop, I’ll find a way to get her set up alongside Nome. They can share my attentions. I have plenty of sewing desire for both of them. Polyamorous projects?

Sep 192017

Halloween fabrics made into shag.
After a couple weeks of struggle with a time-limited project, I gave up. I couldn’t get it right and the clock was ticking. Defeat was admitted, pieces were salvaged and set aside for future reuse. [heavy sigh]

Another time-limited project is up next, but I couldn’t jump right into it yet. Instead I found myself in the mood to sew hundreds of tiny bits of fabric down. You really do have to be in the mood to spend hours doing this. I got another shaggy pouch done (a large blue one that is promised) and started on a large and small shaggy pouch in a Halloween theme. I did have to seek out some fabric from the stash for this, which was fun. I finished the large (seen above) off and now have one small and one medium pouch to finish. Before I can photograph them, I need to finish them all and clear my cutting board space, as that is where I take pics at the moment. I have too many things out lately. Need to finish projects and get them out of the way. I’m afraid I’m going to have to make this a goal next year; finishing partial projects and paring down some supplies. I need more space to move, do.

Aug 032017

Recall how I said I’d be working on the latest quilt over the weekend to get it done?
Remember when I explained that I had enough fabric to last decades?


When I went to bed on Friday night, I had the perfect vision of a zip pouch made of a fabric, the print of the fabric was a bit grunky, the background was a deep, sweet red. The zipper on the pouch was black. I was enamoured.

So, instead of doing what I said I would, I spent the weekend making this fabric design.

The red I wanted doesn’t exist in Kona cotton, so I took three yards the darkest hot pink that does exist and overdyed it with cherry red. It took a lot of time, but the color was perfect. Meanwhile, I drew the design, scanned, printed, exposed screens and mixed up printing inks.
Making fabric
It took another day to get the printing done, there was a lot of mess. It is excellent! Just what I envisioned.

Making fabric
This is the first layer alone, in a silver-glitter white combo.

Used my handmade fabric to make a pencil case.
Then, using my max-visibility zip pouch method (calling it a pattern seems wrong, since it can be made in any size instead of a limited pattern) I made a zip pouch from my new fabric. It is EXACTLY like I saw it and wanted it.

Used my handmade fabric to make a pencil case.
The start tab has a cheeky eyelet for hanging.

Used my handmade fabric to make a pencil case.
The interior lining is a thick, silver glitter star print.

Now I have in my possession the precise thing I saw in my head. I don’t think I can appropriately convey how happy, satisfied, and generally blissed-out this makes me. I swear I get a warm feeling in my chest when I see it and hold it. As well, I have somewhere to corral my drawing pencils for my latest drawing sketchbook. To maximize chances of success, I made two in one go; the second is listed in my Etsy shop, if this is somehow your dream, too.

After all that, I did finish the quilt; although, it is awaiting the final de-lint and de-thread session before photography.

Aaaah. Excellent.

Jun 142017

I didn’t feel like working on the quilt last night, so I pulled out one of my many unfinished projects and got it done.

This is the largest of my fabric shag pieces. Now it is a clutch, or very large zip pouch. I love this shag!

A teal lining with a little pocket for chapstick or whatever small item.

An almost full sized back pocket. I find these types of pockets useful on bags; they’re handy for flat things you get handed, like receipts, flyers, business cards, coupons, restraining orders, whatever.

Leaning for the dimensional view. It is interfaced fully so that it will hold its shape.

I put it in my Etsy shop, too. My Etsy gets used as an available item show room. I don’t worry about not selling many things; I like the idea that some of my work is able to be seen and purchased, if someone wants it. The possibility exists, and that is my level of “selling” commitment. Sort of a personal gallery.

Tangent, someone thought I was making a full size quilt when they first saw a picture of my fabric shag. My reaction was No, no way. It would be an insane amount of work and result in a shortened-life item since the shaggy bits would continue to unravel over time. That idea has stayed with me, though. I like the idea, crazy though it might be. The big pouch is fun to pet and a quilt would be even better for the tactile satisfaction. Now I am considering it.

Apr 062017

I’ve been making a number of zip pouches this year.

This is the first. Had some scraps laying about, so I turned them into a wide mouth pouch. This is a side view, with its ample bottom folded.

And open. This is another pouch that would be good for items which require a lot of visibility.

Whilst preparing for a large project of zip pouches, I made this to test out a zipper idea. It failed! That zipper edge is nasty! Anybody want a pigeon zipper pouch? It is about 3.5×5.5″ (9x14cm) or so and I’m going to throw the damned thing away because I cannot stand that failed zipper end. I mean, it is functional, but ugh!

Finally, a better zip pouch project preparation test. After reading a few different “sworn-by” suggestions on how to get the best zip pouch corners, I put them all to the test. After five variations, I found that the way I’d always done it was the best bet. Now I know. I might throw these into the Etsy shop for a very low price, since they were testers. They’re again completely functional, but some of those corners look like hot dogs wearing turtlenecks, if you know what I mean. Still, they’ll hold cards and coins and such.

Coming up soon on the crafty side – the actual large project of zip pouches! Plus, screenprinting! Exciting!

Mar 062017

I turned those previous fabric confetti pieces into a panel of shag. This will be the side of a zip pouch. It is fun to put your fingers through and to pet the wrong way.

This was the fun project I worked on this weekend. The other project was less fun, since I haven’t gotten it right yet. But I will.

Feb 272017

On Friday, I took a snow day. The roads were ice and I was cranky from overwork the whole week. I stayed home and in the morning I decided to play with the sewing machine and the scraps crammed up under my cutting board. That thing collects so many bits! Anyway, I chose the blue bits and came up with these six little blocks. They’re each about 3″sq. Don’t know what they’ll become, but for now, they exist.

I think my sewing machine might have a name. I hear the whispers sometimes.

Feb 032017

I made some Valentine’s inspired cuffs recently. I was really in desperate need of some sewing time, and this was a quick, one evening project.

I used a skull stamp I made years ago and had fun scrounging up enough bits of coordinating fabrics to at least mostly match up eight similar layouts.

These are flatter and more sleek than some of my other cuffs. I started adding beads to these, but they looked wrong so I cut them off. I left out the layer of batting, too. More streamlined.

All eight have similar arrangements, but I put red overlay on four and black on the other four. The ones with red have an almost pink look against the white parts.

I listed them in my Etsy shop since there might be other folks out there with similar tastes. They’re titled Mortal Love. Hahah.I was trying to sketch up something to carve for cards, but couldn’t bring it to life. Maybe this weekend something will coalesce.

Oct 182016

Another Scrappy Cat was not an intended project this year, but inspiration got its claws in me.
Hacker Scrappy Cat
It is in pieces still, but this will be Hacker Scrappy Cat. We were watching Mr. Robot (specifically S2 E3: This is your brain on drugs). The main character, Elliot Alderson, takes Adderall as a sleep deprivation tactic in an attempt to silence his alter ego/ schizophrenic second personality, accompanied by excessive joy and excitement. There was one scene, from which I will share a screenshot later when I’ve completed the Cat, with him wide eyed and delirious that I instantly pictured as a Scrappy Cat. Weeks later, I had an opening in my project schedule and have started it.

These Cats take so long to finish, but I enjoy making them at almost every step of the way. Turning them out is the one thing I hate. You may be thinking, don’t turn them out, stitch them seams out, but I can’t do that because I don’t like it. They don’t look right. So, I hate that one part and get it over with. The rest is good.

This Cat will have the ubiquitous black hoodie and multi-use backpack. And maybe a robot head pin, similar to the logo from the original shop in the show history. Or maybe not – that might be too close to something from the show. Inspired by is fine with me, taken from is not. I’ll sketch it up and see.

Oct 122016

Recently, I ended up with a new set of colored pencils. While I already have a surplus, I thought it would be nice to carry this set around with my daily sketchbook. However, the tin this set came in, while protecting it nicely, did not include a sharpener and tended to make small rattling noises which most people wouldn’t notice, but would irritate me. A zip pouch is the obvious answer, but when I selected an extra zip pouch from my stash, it wouldn’t do. It was your typical, unlined, flat zip pouch with no dimension, from the dollar bin.

For colored pencils, my first priority (after the basics like protection, silence, etc. are met) is access – visible and physical. I hate having to push through pencils to find the right color, then pull it out at an angle to escape the zip opening, hoping not to snag the teeth with the sharpened tip. Also, I don’t like to keep accessories like erasers and sharpeners in the same compartment with the pencils – I end up digging through all the pencils that way and they never seem to want to fit in compactly. With these things in mind, I drew up a zip pouch that would open up completely on the top for maximum reasonable visibility and ease of access. It would also have a side compartment for small accessories, be easy to open, and fit exactly the items it was meant for.

After my last zip pouch making play session back in June, I was confident I could execute my design needs and got to work immediately. I was prepared to make a number of these, since that is the best way to improve a design; make one, critique it, make another incorporating those improvements, and so on until you have the design closest to perfect that you can get. That is what I did.

Zip pouch efforts.
The first zip pouch. This is actually pretty close to the final design.
* The biggest problem was that I made the bottom too big for the number of pencils it was meant for.
* Second, I put a tab on the zipper on one end for ease of opening, but not the other. Turns out it feels better with tabs on both ends.
* The lining fabric is directional, but I cut it in one piece meaning half of the cat characters on the lining were upside down when you look inside the pouch.
Other that that, there were a couple sewing mistakes or imperfections and I thought of a way to improve one construction method.

Zip pouch efforts.
The first pouch, open. It may be too big for my desires, but I have LOTS of other art supplies that need homes and this is my new living room art-spot pouch. Those things fit well. The design works.

Zip pouch efforts.
This is the second pouch. It is almost perfect. There are only two problems.
* The side zip pocket goes down too far. You can’t tell because it is all internal, but if you had something very small, like a dime, it could slide down to the bottom of the pocket which would put it below the pencil compartment. It would be slightly more difficult to retrieve.
* I wanted an attachment option on the first zip tab so I added a swivel clip. That didn’t work and I removed it later, but you can see the shiny edges of it in the photo. It was too heavy and not suited for this design. I didn’t need it anyway, but it would be a nice option to have.

Zip pouch efforts.
The other side, where you can see the outside zip welt pocket for accessories. I love these skele-cats! And skele-mice, too, of course.

Zip pouch efforts.
Side pocket open. I lined it with a vibrant blue for fun.

Zip pouch efforts.
It opens up perfectly! It is the right size for the pencil set, I can see about half of them at a time, a small sharpener and eraser fit in the side pocket. After I removed the swivel clip, this was perfect for my needs and I could have quit at this point with the desired end product. I already had it in mind to make a few, so I kept on.

Zip pouch efforts.
The third pouch. Having satisfied my original need, I made a different size. Again, this one was almost perfect. The only flaw is minor, and shown below. Oh, this Halloween paisley!! I have such good fabric.

Zip pouch efforts.
The other side, showing the outside zip welt pocket.

Zip pouch efforts.
This opens up, wide and boxy. While this design is ideal for some things, it is not the answer to every zip pouch need I’ll have.
The attachement thing I talked about on the second pouch – while I didn’t need it for this design goal, I wanted to have it sorted for the day I do need it. I figured my press eyelets would be both tough and light enough to offer the best option. I made the first zip tab twice as big as needed to accommodate it, as well as to provide an instant tactile indication of which side of the zipper you were on. You know, in case you are getting into your colored pencil set in the dark. (!!!)

Zip pouch efforts.
Here is the imperfection – in the eyelet I installed on the start zip tab – I put it in upside down. The fat, tube part of the eyelet ends up the prettiest, but that part is on the bottom of the press dies. I forgot this when I pressed it in, but did leave myself a note for the next time I use the eyelet press. Really, you probably couldn’t tell. I showed it to Slick, who thought it was fine. Then I pointed out the pretty side and the slightly less pretty side of the eyelet so he could see what I was talking about. He grudgingly agreed that one side was slightly less pretty than the other.

Zip pouch efforts.
And this side pocket got lined with a striking red. Love that pop of color.

I did make one more zip pouch, a custom design for Slick. I’m not showing pictures of it because it was structurally perfect and there were zero design improvements. Also, I found his fabric choices dead boring, so just imagine a happy Slick, with his precisely designed and created zip pouch, and feel warm and fuzzy about it. He does, so it was a success.

There were two things I splurged on which made my project easier. First, a roll of zipper tape, 30 yards, in black, size 3, which is most accessory zippers, or pants zippers. Now I can simply cut off as much zipper as I need with nary a care. No more hunting through the stash for the size closest to my needs or making a trip to the store. I measure, cut, and pop a zip head on it. Truthfully though, I don’t even measure! I lay the zipper from the roll atop the thing I’m installing it in and that’s it. Buying zipper in bulk is WAY cheaper, too, especially since I got my roll on sale. Given how cheap and easy it is, I think this goes on my list of things I should have bought many years ago. It is a short list.
Second, a bolt of fusible interfacing. As a general sewist, I don’t use interfacing often. Usually, I would purchase a piece to fit my needs, plus the common extra to account for my human mistakes. This meant if I wanted to make a spur of the moment idea-something late at night and it needed interfacing, I was at the mercy of whatever offcuts and scraps I had from my last project. Not good. When I was in the store to buy interfacing for this very project, I saw a brand new bolt sitting there in plastic wrap and realized I could use my coupon on the whole thing. Sure, it was expensive, but it is now very possible I won’t need to buy interfacing again in my life. Plus, when I come up with some idea-something that needs interfacing and the stores are closed – IT WON’T FUCKING MATTER because I have an entire bolt of it! This won’t go on my “should have done this years ago” list, but it is a luxury worth mentioning to my past self.

On that note, when I talk about the short list of things I wish I’d known or done years ago and that I’m going to tell my past self, I am (of course) not being serious, nor am I regretful of my past. I put it this way to indicate the level of usefulness this new knowledge holds so that it can be appropriately gauged. It is easy to dismiss the impact of better tools or advancements when you’ve already enjoyed those benefits for so long that they are common, or when you don’t have them at all and therefore have no scale to consider them by.

I will probably make one more zip pouch in this style, now that a couple weeks have passed, to be sure I have my methods ingrained. I don’t need a pouch like this for anything offhand – maybe I’ll go looking around the workshop for things that need to be contained and then measure them.

Jun 152016

After I finished the latest quilt, the batik fabric, and varnishing those creatures, I didn’t feel like jumping right into another project, new or existing. A quick project, something easy and with a low mental investment was what I needed and zip pouches are the easiest thing I could think of.

I started off with trash fabrics that were being used for test stitches. I was going to line it, but my trash test fabrics are layered, like tiny quilts, so they were self-lined. Instead I did a quick zig-zag stitch to enclose the edges and left it like that.
Zip pouch
The top. This is a tan fabric with test Sashiko stitches from the shop when I had it maintenanced. The shop’s stitches are the random swirly ones, my added ones are the lines neatly arranged along the edges. Of course. Slick thinks it looks like the ubiquitous treasure map drawings and I should make more with that in mind. Something like that would be a great gift or gift housing for a geocacher, letterboxer, or pathfinder. Or, I guess, an addition to a treasure hunt clue trail.

Zip pouch
The bottom, with off-white fabric with test Sashiko stitches done by me when I got the machine back from maintenance, desperately trying to apply some logic and reason to the tension of that machine. I didn’t have much luck, as you can see. This pouch doesn’t have a purpose, but I’m sure something will turn up.

Zip pouch
The second zip pouch. This time I scrounged up a scrap of that pretty blue print you see here, and an almost perfectly matching blue for the interior lining.

If you’re thinking to yourself that scissors could fit in there, you are correct.
Zip pouch
This zip pouch is made to fit my nicest scissors, so as to minimize damage when I inevitably brush them onto the concrete floor while working. I added a larger pull tab in the corner and will probably add a grommet to it, so I can hang the pouch and keep those scissors not only protected, but much more safely out of the way.

Zip pouch
There is a layer of quilted batting inside to help with the protection.

Zip pouch
Third, a square pouch. I created this shape by boxing the sides instead of the bottoms, as I do with so many things. This fabric was a surprise in my stash. So busy, but I do like it. The two generous tabs help with getting the zipper over those shaped corners.

Zip pouch
The inside is line with a matching gray. No idea of its purpose.

Zip pouch
Fourth, a flat heart shape zip pouch. This is quite small, and lined in black although I don’t have a shot of that. It needed some special touch to it, to keep it from being too sickly sweet.

Zip pouch
Thus, some text embellishment on the back. This is my version of the Never Ending Affirmations I see all over the internet, with commandments to Dream!, Laugh!, Love!, Breathe!, etc.. Like a fucked up game of Simon Says. That saccharine, fluffy nonsense irritates me, so this is my version. Plus, this pouch is only big enough to hold a condom or two, so it is especially fitting. A loop of black ribbon serves as a zip tab on this one.

After a couple hours of this, I was sated and ready to start on my next larger project, which is inconveniently a new one. I should be working on the projects I’ve already started that are sitting on the work table, mocking me by taking up space in their various states of incompleteness. Such is the way of the world, I suppose.

Apr 142016

This quilt is a combination of a couple inspirations for me. One was that I’ve wanted to do a project based on the Pantone Color of the Year for a while. A couple years have passed by, so I decided I had to force the project into the schedule or it would never get done. This was the year. And for 2016, Pantone chose this:
Pantone colors of the year Serenity & Rose Quartz
Pantone colors of the year Serenity & Rose Quartz.
Yeah. They chose not only two colors, but pastel pink and blue. This is about the last color choice or combination I want to work with. Ugh. But, I enjoy a challenge, so I decided to do it anyway – to find a way to make it work for me.

Away! To the Evernote inspiration files for more. I’ve had this pic hanging around a short while.
Photo by Khodayar Jeiroodi on Flicker.
Photo on Flickr by user khodayar Jeiroodi.
The commentary by the photographer is in Persian, so it took me a few minutes to sort out what it was and said, which was general commentary about the site. These gravemarkers were unusual and interesting, but I didn’t want to be literal, or have that color scheme, so it waited for some other trigger to get used. This project was the trigger.

Serenity & Rose Quartz Gravestones Quilt
I decided on equilateral triangles in shades of pink and blue close to the Pantone shades, as well as the purple they would combine into. All of these are the translations into Kona Cotton solids, so the range it somewhat limited. The neutrals are grays in four shades. When I laid it out, I faced all the grays pointing downwards and all the pastel colors pointing upwards.

Serenity & Rose Quartz Gravestones Quilt
The layout was good, but the color monotony was aggressively dull to me, suffocatingly really, so I threw in that lime in the upper right corner. It helped. I could breathe again, knowing it was there.

Serenity & Rose Quartz Gravestones Quilt
The back.
A single horizontal strip of leftover triangles and the darkest gray. I did all the quilting with the Sashiko machine (OMFG what a nightmare!) which uses a single thread to do a skipped chain stitch – this means that the same color is on the front and back. . The quilting lines look much more exciting on the back this way. The thread colors all matched the pastels and grays, and are in paired lines

Serenity & Rose Quartz Gravestones Quilt
See? A quilt with only this type of stitching on a whole cloth would look good. I do have two project ideas for such a thing in my Evernote, in fact.

Serenity & Rose Quartz Gravestones Quilt
When Slick saw the More Kitties quilt he was enamored with the ideas of zippers in a quilt. When I started laying this one out, he mentioned how much he liked it. By that time I was toying with the idea of setting it afire in the back yard (see aforementioned suffocating boredom), so when he said he liked it, the pressure was off. I didn’t have to like it at all – he did! My work wouldn’t be wasted. I immediately put his claim on the quilt and he mentioned a zipper. Sure thing, a zipper is no problem at all.

Serenity & Rose Quartz Gravestones Quilt
It is only big enough to hold some lip balm and … maybe a condom? A toy mouse? A USB stick? Not much, anyway.

So, that is done! Phew! The quilting almost did me in, truly. The Sashiko machine is not adequate for a full size quilt. This is one more project done and one less thing taking up space on my worktables. My project stack and supplies are crowding me, and this finish helps.

While I don’t care for this quilt much, Slick still does. He and Nora were using it on the bed last night, which made me happier with this thing than I had been during its entire creation. Now it is his quilt and I like him, so that paints the quilt in a more positive light for me.

Mar 302016

You might remember some time ago I made a rainbow stripes quilt. The quilt was purchased by Ymabean and has brightened her den ever since. I thought that Ymabean could possibly use a dollop of brightness about now, so I made this:
Rainbow pillow, back.
A rainbow pillow. You’d think that something this small (about 22×16″) wouldn’t take long at all, that you could whip one up in a few hours, but I swear it takes so much longer than you think. At least, it does me. There is a lot of time spent pawing through the scrap box, looking for JUST the right shade of lavender to blend in its strip perfectly, more time laying out, even more time squinting at the thing to judge the values. Enjoyable, but consuming. I’d originally thought a standard 16″ square would work, but when I got to layout I thought the colors needed some more space to really be themselves. Thus, a custom size.

Rainbow pillow, front.
The back, with snaps.

Rainbow pillow, detail.
Rainbow quilting in the winter is highly advised. So say I.

Ymabean, I hope your winter/spring day was appropriately brightened!

Mar 292016

Recently, I celebrated another year of life and had a very small gathering for the event. I made up a lino cut for the invites.
Lino cut for birthday invites.
The process was something I played with this time. I wanted to see if I could get a freer, more lino-flavored expressiveness from the carving. Usually, I draw the design, scan it into PhotoShop to fix any massive errors, (but mostly to have a digital reference for the future) and print it out, transfer to the lino with a quick acetate wash and carve pretty much around the lines. This time, I drew, scanned and didn’t print; except the text – I hate fucking up text, so I printed and transferred that bit. I kept the drawing up on my screen and made a few reference marks in Sharpie to keep me aligned, then carved it mostly freehand – the same way you would look at a subject and draw it, I looked at my drawing and carved it. I’m not exactly displeased with the result – it is definitely freer, looser, more expressive in a lino fashion, but it doesn’t click for me like other carvings have. I will do this again and play around in different ways to see what I come up with.
I printed the unbacked lino onto black cards, freehand with light gray and silver Golden Acrylics. The sparkle level was good. I printed the interior text onto some amazing silver sparkle paper and pasted it inside.

Lino cut printed on black cotton.
When I was done, I had a lot of paint left over. Looking around, I found a scrap piece of crappy black cotton. It is crappy because it has a low thread count/ loose weave/ thin threads. It was clearly salvaged from a trash stack, or purchased before I found and became an adherent of Kona cottons. I squirted some textile medium into the paint and used up some of the mixture on this cotton. I didn’t have a plan, but it was fun to print onto fabric with this size of lino, instead of little pieces like I’ve done before.

After two days of drying, heat setting, and wondering what I was going to do with them, I decided they’d make decent little baggies. Birthday parties often have favor bags, so that’s where I was going with my idea. However, the cotton was low quality, as mentioned, so the domino chain of idea progression began there. The prints became patches onto better cotton, then pockets, the flat simple bags became drawstring bags, lined with double-brushed flannel, with grommets for the double drawstrings, with generous boxed bottoms.

Lino cut for birthday invites.
The front of the bag, showing printed pocket.

Because I was working late at night and tired, I made a mistake in the order of assembly (even though I wrote out the steps in order, I was sleepy and ignored my own list – at my peril!!) and the fix doubled the work I had to do in the end. Because of that, these ended up taking some effort, instead of the quick, cleverly designed bags I intended. They came out nice, though.

Lino cut for birthday invites.

Seven finished, empty bags. Now what to put in them? It would be too much candy to fill up with. I decided on sharing some of my favorite things. I put in black Sharpies, washi tape, glue, sparkly star and gear stickers, MineCraft and Star Trek toys, cat stamps, Japanese cat erasers, etc. and of course some chocolates.

Plastic beads and elastic cord = dead easy.
I like things that glow in the dark, stars and skulls, so I found a way to combine them through glow in the dark skull and star beads. Interspersed with black and a few colors I found in my stash, they made a few kiddie-summer-camp-craft type bracelets. The beads glow well. And I did trim the ends of the cords later, this shot was mid-creation.

Tiny dinosaurs for favor bags.
Being a moderate dinosaur fan, everyone got a couple tiny toy dinos. They are so small! That makes them even better, I think. And Legos. I split up a couple boxes of Legos to make little baggies for everyone to play with.

This project also spurred a bag making fit. I made a sample to start, then afterwards made a few different styles of bags since it was on my mind already. Now I have five varieties of bags around the workshop, only two have been filled yet. With the bag making finally out of my system, I got back onto my Maker schedule. One secret project is done (soon to be shared here) and next up is finishing that triangle quilt at last, before this quarter is closed. Fingers crossed that I make it!

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