Sew a Gift Bag

I have a confession to make.  I have only used a sewing machine a couple of times and it was always with my aunt standing right next to me telling me what to do.  However, I was determined to sew a gift bag for a friend and my aunt wasn't available.  So, I grabbed the user manual for a Singer Quantum XL-100 that I was given to me by a lovely woman (who will go unnamed - but she knows who she is :). 

I spent about an hour setting the system up on my kitchen table, learning how to wind the bobbin, setting up my ironing board, and learning the basic information I needed to know to sew my project.  Then the work began.  I know that it took me about ten times longer to put this gift bag than it would have my aunt, but I think it turned out pretty good for my first solo project.

I apologize for the lack of fantastic photography (I'll have to develop that skill later).  However, I just LOVE this fabric and think the recipient will be please, even if there are a few not-so-straight stitched areas :).  I'm going to try another one now that I know the process and know how to do a better job on it.

If you would like to try your hand at this gift bag, you can find the pattern and tutorial at Sew4Home.

Happy Crafting,

Art Smock from Make It and Love It

Have you seen anything so cute?!  I love this art smock idea from Make It and Love It.  Ashley is so talented.  If you want to see the tutorial on how to put this smock together just go here.

This brings me to a confession.  Do any of you use OneNote?  I do.  I use it to keep track of all the craft projects I want to do when I get time (ha!).  I've added this smock to my sewing list and I have to tell you, it's number 45 on the list.  I haven't put them in the order I'm going to do them yet.  I have a feeling this one's going to be somewhere in the top ten.  Oh, how I really need to get my craft area project done.

Recipe Binder

Do you have meals that you fix every so often that you're family likes but you always need to refer to the recipe?  Do you spend too much time searching for that recipe? I used to.  Then, I made myself a recipe binder with a standardized recipe template to use with it.  It has made my life easier when searching for one of our family favorites, Tex Mex Turkey Soup.  All you need is a three-ringed binder (whatever size you want), page protectors, and dividers.  You can go as pretty or as plain as you want on this project.

I had a little fun making the spine of our binder suit my tastes.  Mmmm.....peppers.  I think decorating the binder is the best part of the whole thing :).  I still have more work to do on mine.

I like to put my recipes in a standardized form using the template above.  Having a spot to put our "family rating" on it also helps to remind me just how often I should use that dish.  We use a five-star system and I only keep recipes that rate 3 or higher.  And, if you're ambitious, you can add a picture of the dish to the top left corner.  It's amazing how just a little organization can make fixing dinner less stressful.