Monday, July 27, 2015

The Marrakesh Overnighter

I finished 'The Overnighter' bag over the weekend. The new technique learnt while making this bag was the folded strap handles and the shoulder strap with slider.
I have made some changes to my blog today primarily changing the name, I felt the old name 'The Photo Collection' was no longer adequate.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Work in Progress

This week I have been working on the folded strap handles for the "Marrakesh Overnighter" bag.

Monday, July 20, 2015

In My Garden

Mammoth Sunflower
I planted a row of sunflowers from seed this year, so far only one has flowered.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Pleated Handbag

This is the third bag I have made from "The Better Bag Maker" it's the 'Osaka Pleated Handbag'. This bags skill level is Advanced beginner.
my thoughts on this bag- the purse feet are cute but not necessary if I was to make this bag again I would eliminate this step or maybe use flatter purse feet. The base is too wide for a small handbag. I like the polyester boning used on the handles. it is light and roomy. The pleats were too thick at the top seam for my machine, to get the stitching started  I used folded card board under the presser foot  at the start, since I don't have any presser foot spacers.
Also a note to self when adding the exposed zipper pocket I need to reduce the opening, in the materials list this bag calls for a 6' zipper which I purchased but when it came time to make the zipper pocket I forgot about the smaller size and had to put the project on hold until I had purchased a larger zipper for the opening I had made.
The O ring is from Bagmaker supply and the rest of the materials from Joann's  expect for the pelmet interfacing that I got from
I am currently gathering the materials for the next project in the book.
happy sewing

Friday, July 10, 2015

In My Garden

Autumn Red Daylily

We are having a wet summer the lilies are spotted with rain water, the good thing is I don't have to water each day.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Work in Progress

Cut  bag pieces for the 'Osaka Pleated Handbag' from "The Better Bag Maker". The O- ring I purchased from  Bagmaker Supply and the fabric from Jo-Anns.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

In My Garden

Red Fanal Astilbe
The  Astilbe with  Cosmos  growing beside it.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Book Review- The Better Bag Maker

Basic Bag
I purchased 'The Better Bag Maker' by Nicole Mallalieu to continue my exploration of bag making. This book has 11 projects, and comprehensive sections on techniques, tools and materials.
The projects are graded as beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate and confident. The instructions are straight forward and are accompanied by how to photographs and illustrations.
There are tip boxes scattered through the book that are just as important to follow as the step by step instructions.
All the pattern pieces are full size. The book retails for $26.95.
I made the 'basic bag' project (pictured). The instructions were easy to follow and the bag came together without any problems. I used a quilting fabric with Pellon SF101 interfacing and a calico lining. It's a large tote (measures approx. 12x13x7") that has become my favourite bag for taking to the pool and other family outings.
My favourite detail is the internal base support which prevents the sagging bag look.
a book for anyone interested in bag making.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

In my Garden

Rhododendron and Roses

There is a lot of pink in my garden this week. Rhododendron in the foreground and a pink Knockout Rose bush in the background.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Bag Making Stories


After making all the bags mentioned in this post  I had a go at designing and making one. Its a small bag (approx. 7 X 7'') with a long strap (45'') so it can be worn across the body (hands free). There is a zippered pocket at the back to keep valuables safe. For the front flap closure I used a magnetic snap and for the interfacing I used craft-fuse Pellon style  #808 .
Bag fever continues,  this week I brought a new book called "The better bag maker" I am currently reading it so expect more bag stories soon.
Have a good one!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

In My Garden

genus Paeonia
This year I placed a tomato cage to support my peony plant just as the new shoots appeared, so glad I did no more droopy flowers.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bag Fever

I have spent the past 2 weeks making bags. I started with the lined drawstring bag from 'School of Sewing' (I wrote about this book here) and kept going until I had made every bag in the book.
Let me show you my finished bags:

Lined Drawstring Bag

Essential Tote Bag

Carry all Clutch
Zipper Pouch

Pleated Purse

Have a lovely weekend!


Friday, May 08, 2015

In the Garden

With the perfect warm weather of the past week I find myself in the garden most days weeding, sowing seeds and mulching.
The Azaleas are flowering now just in time for Mother's Day this weekend.
Have a good one!

Friday, April 24, 2015

New Doll

Just finished this doll with rotating joints for the arms and a removable cape.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

beaded Cat Girl

while working on this doll yesterday I looked out my window and saw a ginger cat strolling in my garden. How appropriate.
I used seed beads for the facial features, faux fur for the front top, feet and tail tip, the rest is 100% cotton.
oh and as you can see the daffodils have bloomed, yeah for Spring.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Review- School of Sewing

my speedy pillowcase
if like me you purchase your books on Amazon then you know that every time you search for a book or buy a book Amazon will  recommended similar book for you to buy. This is how I came across 'School of Sewing' by Shea Henderson. what made me click the buy now button was that the book had a section called 'Your sewing machine " and with all the trouble I have had recently with my machine I wanted to read that section.
Am I happy with my purchase? Absolutely. I read the book cover to cover within two days. Its well written, easy to follow and included many informative photos. The first half of the book provides the reader with a ton of information on sewing machines, what each part is called, how to maintain your machine, the different types of machines available- mechanical, electronic and computerized. There is a round down of the different feet available and when to use each one. Next sewing supplies are discusses which ones are essential and which ones are nice to have. The book also covers fabric. The different types of fabric available and also how to pick a fabric, the author recommends quilting cottons for beginners. I agree. There is a section on interfacing- fusible v's sew in, woven v's non woven.  The section titled Driver's Ed talks about cutting and unsewing (using a seam ripper, threading a machine, stitch types ( straight, zigzag, etc) and hand sewing.
The section I found most interesting was Pressing 101. What I learnt was there is a difference between ironing clothes and pressing fabric during a sewing  project. Ironing can stretch the fabric especially when cut on the bias.
The second half of the book contains the projects. There are 12 projects each project introduces a new  technique or builds on a previously learnt one therefore each project increases in difficulty. The author suggests that you try each project in the order given in the book. Also each project has an extra credit step.
I liked the projects in this book because they are all useful items that can and will be used once made. There are bag and pillow projects, an apron, placemats and a quilt.
 I had a go at making the first project (pictured above) called 'Speedy Pillowcase'. yes it was quick. What took me the longest time was picking the fabric. The technique learnt in this lesson were French seams. The instructions were easy to follow and the step by stop photographs clearly presented each step. I had no problems or confusion while making this project.
Another thing I like to mention about the book is that the author has included comments from 8 of her students, how they felt , what they learnt, what went wrong while making the projects. This I feel removes some of the fear and loneliness associated with learning a new skill from a book because it shows how others how successfully learnt the skills you are trying to master and the problems they faced while learning.
My one negative would be that the book at sometimes felt like an advertisement for Janome.
'School of Sewing" is aimed at beginners but I feel that we can all learn something from this book. I know I did!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Hand stitching

well my sewing machine is still not working so it was perfect timing that I received the Lucky Bear plushie kit with issue 50 of molliemakes last week. This kit is an exercise in hand sewing using a variety of different embroidery stitches, my new favourite stitch is now the buttonhole wheel and scallop.

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Good Friend

my sewing machine jammed yesterday I cannot fix the problem so I need to take it to someone for repairs and it feels like I am losing a good friend hopefully only for a short while. however before it died I did make some thing like this cushion and doll. I was in the middle of making the dolls dress when the said incident occurred.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Made these kitties for the special people in my life. I used the kitty pattern from this book, and changed the oval tummy to a heart.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Pi Project

My number for The Pi Project.
I only heard about it day and  the deadline is this Saturday, hope my panel makes it there on time!

Friday, February 06, 2015

The Blue Dress

Have been working on a new doll this week. The dress pattern I used is the Sundress from this book.

Monday, February 02, 2015


Just wanted to let you know that the deadline to submit artwork  for Stuffed magazines August 2015 issue is fast approaching( March 15th).  So go on send that adorable doll you made in. Its awesome to see it in print.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Learning to sew

I am teaching my daughter to sew. We are making a quilt using up my fabric scraps. The goal here is to enjoy the process and learn how to sew. Its a variation of the log cabin design. So far we have made three blocks of the 30 required to complete the quilt and with the  expected snow storm I am sure we will be making many more in the next few days.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Happy New Year

we had snow early this week and freezing temperatures. Its cold and colourless outside. so I have made two cushions that will certainly add colour and a little warmth to my sofa. the fabric is from Joann's by Jules and Coco in speckles orange, zig-zag and pink floral. I used a fun pompom trim for the rectangular accent cushion and piping for the large square cushion