Sunday, December 29, 2019

holiday gifting and swapping

I haven't been sharing much lately because all of my recent makes have been gifts.  Now that they've all been gifted, here we go...

Market Bags
First up:  2 market bags for 2 dear friends.  Pattern by Anna Graham and available in her book Handmade Style. I used Essex linen/cotton blend, Denyse Schmidt prints 💛💚💙and LEATHER!
This was my first time working with leather.  I purchased unfinished straps from a local Tandy Leather shop and dyed them myself.  The dying was much easier than I was anticipating.  
It went on smooth and even.  When I sprayed on the sealer some of that even tone disappeared.  I was disappointed at first, but actually, it just looks a little worn in now and hopefully will just improve with use and age.
I used heavy weight polyester thread and a leather needle in my Juki TL2010 to sew the handles on  v e r y  s l o w l y.  It worked beautifully!  Now I want to switch up the handles on my own market bag!

Sew Together Bags
I finally made my first Sew Together Bag at a guild sew-in.  As per usual, I don't know what took me so long.  I LOVE this pattern by Sew Demented.
I've made three more since then and another is in the works.  Fun to make and fun to give!

My mom has a kitchen towel that hangs on her cabinet.  She bought it years ago in France.  It's seen better days and she requested a new one.  Basically, a 24" diameter circle of terrycloth with a binding and hanging loop (which I oversized in case she wants to hang it over a door knob). She loved it - well, she said she did.  Hey, she's a mom!

Guild fun!
This year the Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild decided we would all make a byAnnie Easy Does It bag and have a Yankee swap with them for our holiday meeting.
First, I made the one on top.  Not gonna lie, I was a little disappointed that all the hard work of that binding is hidden on the inside of the bag.  

When I got word that we weren't supposed to use holiday fabric I made another.  This time I used AnnMaria Horner fabric and changed it up by sewing the binding on the outside of the bag.  Bottom right is the sweet bag I received in the swap.  It was made by our incoming president Jenny Draeger, @jfodraeger on Instagram.  Thanks Jenny!

The AnnArbor Modern Quilt Guild had a notions swap.  I gave an add-a-quarter ruler and gingher snips wrapped up in a Jeni Baker drawstring bag that I adjusted the size of to fit the gifts.  Unfortunately, I forgot to get a photo of it.

Here's what I received!  This was made by the super talented @emmmylizzzy.  She was inspired by Making It on NBC.  It has already found its spot on my sewing room wall!

I hope all your hand made gifts were finished in time and as well received as each of these!  


  1. You've been so busy, Karen! I admire you for taking the time to make such pretty things for friends. I think I need more friend to whom I can give my quilts! Those market bags look so professional. And I'm glad you discovered those Sew Together bags. They're really practical, aren't they? Did you find the pattern easy to follow? I made my first ST bag in 2013 and the instructions were not good! Hopefully, corrections have been made. I think it's sweet that you made the towel for your mother. That makes me really miss my own mother. That wreath is adorable. Such a nicely thought-out accessory. I'm glad it's yours. Thanks for sharing all your lovely makes. You're a very gifted sewist!

  2. Love those market bags! And, the towel for your mom is such an interesting shape. I've never seen a circle towel before. I'm sure she was sincerely appreciative! Hope your 2020 is going well!