Thursday, May 27, 2010

New TUTORIAL! Hangy Kitchen Towel and Coaster Set

I love doing these little kitchen sets as gifts. They are a fun way to brighten up your kitchen and who doesn't love a cute hand towel that can be tied in place so it won't disappear?

Here I used a summery print with pretty daisies and bumble bees on a basket weave and a cute colorful stripe. I made a matching rag quilted table centerpiece mat with this set. I also make matching placemats sometimes too.
For the kitchen towel and coaster set you will need: approx 1/3 yard each of top and backing fabric, about 1/4 yard of fusible fleece, 1 kitchen towel or hand towel to coordinate with your fabrics, 5" square of cardboard for coaster template.

I use the $2 hand towels from Wal-Mart because they are just about the right weight and come in a good selection of colors. You just don't want the towel to be too thick or it will be a pain to get the gathers to hang right.
I made my coaster template from a 5" square of cardboard that they use for packaging Moda charm packs so if you have one handy you can use that. If not you can use a manilla file folder and cut a 5" square to start with. If you have a cutting mat line the square up and cut each corner off using the diagonal of a 1" square. If not, you will want to draw a 1" square in each corner of your cardboard piece and then mark the diagonal and cut.
Very important to mark your template so that you will remember what it is when you find it laying around somewhere 6 months from now. I marked mine "coaster" so I would know not to throw it out.

Using your template cut one front, one back and one fusible fleece piece for each coaster. Fuse the fleece to the top piece. Now stack them the top and back pieces right sides together and stitch using a 1/4" seam allowance. Leave an opening for turning, about 2" will do nicely.
Turn each coaster through the opening and use a dull pencil or a closed scissor tip to push out the corners so they are all nice and pointed. Press the coaster so it lays flat and the opening seam allowance is turned in.
Stitch around the outside approx 1/8" from the outside edge. Make sure to take a couple of backstitches at the end to lock the stitching. I usually stitch another line of topstitching 1/4" from the outside edge, this is totally unnecessary but gives the coasters a nice professional look.
For the towel topper you will need to make a paper pattern that is 7" wide at the bottom and 3 1/2 " wide at the top by 6" tall. To do this draw a 7" X 6" rectangle and mark a line through the center of the 7" side. Mark 1 3/4" on each side of the center line at the top, then draw a diagonal line from the bottom corner to the marked line at the top. Cut this out and then cut one top, one backing and one fusible fleece from the pattern.

Cut off 1/2" from the bottom of the fusible fleece.
Fuse the fleece to the top piece and then turn up 1/2" on the bottom of the top and back pieces, press.
Cut a 2" X 28" strip of fabric for the ties. Fold in 1/2" on each side and press well. Fold the strip in half lengthwise and stitch close to the outside edge. Cut in half to make two ties.
Position ties 1/2" from outside edge of the top. Place top and backing pieces right sides together with the ties sandwiched in between.

NOTE: Notice how the bottom edge is turned to the inside, make sure that the bottom of both pieces are lined up evenly when you stich the top and back together.

Pin ties in place and stitch around the sides and top, using 1/2" seam allowance. Leave bottom edge open. Turn, use pencil or scissors to push the corners out.
Cut your towel in half or to whatever length you like. Loosely gather the towel in your hand and lay it out on top of the topper. Slip the gathered edge between the two pieces and even out the pleats so that the towel fits from one edge to the other in the topper. Make sure that the top of the towel is inserted about 1/2" inside the topper. Pin into place, make sure that the front and back are even so that you will catch the back in when you stitch. Stitch across the bottom 1/4" from edge, pivot and continue topstitching all the way around the topper.

All done!
Isn't this perfect for summer? And you can change them for the seasons or even make a different set for each holiday. For placemats to match I make them about 14"X10" and use the same basic instructions as the coasters, just cut the corner 2" instead of 1"

Rainbow Brite and Some Girlie Bags

Does anyone remember this little cartoon character?

Rainbow Brite and her unicorn Starlite? It was an 80s thing and I came across this little sticker set a while back, dated 1983 by Hallmark. They must have been Missy's, and I can't imagine how they escaped being stuck on the dresser drawers or the toybox or the side of my china cabinet for that matter.

Anyway, I thought of Rainbow Brite when I finished these little rag quilt hobo bags for Di's granddaughter's Morgan and Maddie. The fabrics are actually 60s peace, love and butterflies styled. But I really like the rainbow of colors in the ragging bloom, just perfect for little girls.

There is also a lot of glitter dots on the fabrics, sorry those didn't come through on the pics, but they really sparkle in the sunshine!

I think the girls will have fun with their special fun and funky 60s rainbow bags!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Whats in your (charm square raggy) wallet?

It's A Pattern GIVEAWAY!
I don't remember what inspired me to design this wallet pattern, but I suspect I had 6 charm squares and a leftover piece of a FQ laying around and I said to myself "self, that would probably make a cute wallet."

So, I made a few of them and sold some and gave some away as gifts and wrote up the pattern instructions too. I came across one of them a while back and decided to ditch my old black leather wallet that, for reals, I have been carrying since my kids were in middle school. I know this because I had pictures in there from that era. That is when I found out just how cool this wallet is and how much I love it. The reason I love it is because it has 4 credit card slots and room for cash (if you have any) and can also hold a checkbook and some change and a set of keys if you are just going to run in to the gas station or something.

Now before you rush off to my store to try to buy the pattern... WAIT! I would love to sell you the pattern, and I know that you will have so much fun making this wallet and then making them for all your friends who will want one too... But... I am feeling a need to be loved... So I have decided that it is time for a GIVEAWAY!

And just to sweeten the pot a little I am also including 6 charm squares and 1 FQ as a surprise gift! That's right, I have picked out some really nice fabrics that will make a fun wallet for you to try!

To enter please leave a comment and and include something about sewing: how long have you been sewing? what inspires you to sew? what do you like to make? favorite fabrics and colors?

Additional chances to win:

Follow my blog, leave a comment that you follow

Link my giveaway to your blog

"Tweet" this giveaway from Twitter

Enter by Sunday May 30, winner will be chosen on Monday May 31, 2010. Please be sure that your sign in info is valid so that I can contact you, or be sure to check back on May 31 to contact me if you are the winner.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Get Noticed With a Custom Business Logo Bag!

I am always hearing from my customers that they get stopped by people asking where they got their bag from. That makes me happy and it also makes me wish that I had included a big stack of Rainbow Creek business cards with their bag so they could pass them out for me ;)

Well I hope that Lacy will get stopped a lot when she is carrying her new Organo Gold Coffee bag that I designed for her. It is really, really big, so she can pack a lot of Organo Gold Coffee in there when she goes out on business. There are 12 big pockets for organizing all her important stuff!

And I had the idea to add this nice clear plastic business card pocket to keep those cards handy when somebody stops her to comment on the awesomeness of her bag!

It was a fun project and I hope she will have fun selling tons of coffee with her new bag!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Some awesome giveaways to check out today

Speaking of getting organized... well it seems that I am always speaking of getting organized ...
Anyway, this fabulous organizer giveaway at Ashley's Make It and Love It has caught my eye. It is so beautifully designed and functional too. Who doesn't love that?

Here is another cute giveaway: over at Alderwood Quilts Sue has this adorable Mary Engelbreit chair pincushion to give away. Stop by and leave a comment any time in May to enter to win.

I'll be on the lookout for more giveaways to share. And one of my own, coming soon!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Here is a sampling of the new quilt kits I have been busy working on. I have most of them listed now at my Rainbow Creek store for $16.99 and included a copy of my basic rag quilt instructions and a raggy burp cloth pattern too!

For the baby girl racing fan! This quilt kit will make an adorable snuggly rag quilt or quilt top. 12 7" squares each of Nascar pink flannel, pink gingham flannel, pink camo flannel and cotton candy pink minky dot.
A cute unisex print with "Booties and Bibs" pairs up perfectly with honeydew minky dot and lavender chenille. There are 50 6" squares in this kit.
Baby your a star! 3 shades of minky dot and a soft flannel star print in pretty pinks.
The sweetest little boy mix of minky dots and stripes and froggy flannels. This will make the cutest baby boy quilt!
On Safari! This baby jungle animal print is so cute. And check out the baby animals hidden in the lime green clouds. 50 6" squares for an adorable rag quilt.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Back to the Future...

Moda "Gypsy Rose" Hobo Style Raggy Bag, available in my Bags by doni store!

Want to make a rag quilt bag? I am now selling kits for these cute OOAK bags! This one is made with a fun assortment of Moda "the Udder Cowboy" fabrics. It come complete with pre-cut squares, batting, button and instructions. It is also available in Moda "American Primer" and some cool Michael Miller "Boho" prints.

I have seriously had big ambitions for my blogging future in the past.

Unfortunately it is easy to put your blog on the back burner when life happens.

And oh my goodness... has life been happening here lately! It is pretty much the same as after my kids were born about 3 1/2 decades ago and I kept waiting for "things to get back to normal." Then, oh, about 10 years into it I had an epiphany. THIS IS NORMAL! Yup, this is it and now the normalness seems to have multiplied itself and come back to keep me from getting too comfy or bored. In other words, not only are we no longer an empty nest, but we are full to overflowing with children and grandchildren. Chaos has descended upon me as we learn the way of life with 3 families under one roof.

So now is as good a time as any to refocus and move forward wouldn't you agree?

And since the new living arrangements have landed my office in my sewing studio I have a big reorganizing project to motivate me here!

I started out small today with K helping me pull out all the pre-cut squares I had in my bins of quilt kit fabric and we "kitted up" a bunch of very cute fabric bundles for baby quilts. They are all flannels and chenilles and minky dots and and we got 20 different sets of 50 picked out before our feet and backs gave out on us. YOWZA! That's 1000 6" squares!

I'll be posting pics of all of them here over the next few days.
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