April 27, 2014

More Hexies

I made a bunch more hexies today. My craft room is going to be unavailable for the next week or two and I wanted to make sure that I still have a creative outlet. 

I found a bag of fabric for a quilt from a long time ago. I had started to to cut out a few squares but not sew anything together yet. I figured that was a good jumping off place. Purple, lime green and turquoise.  The plan for these hexies is to make them flowers. Depending on how many I actually make they might become a full sized quilt. I pulled some yellows for centers, a few more purples and blues and some black and white prints out of the scrap bin.

Purple, green and blue scraps

I'm going for a look similar to this. I found this hexie template which is great because you can use a rotary cutter instead of ending up with hexie claw from individually cutting out the paper templates.

I used a re-positional glue stick to baste my hexies together. This is way faster than basting them together with thread, and I haven't had an issue with the paper coming off. 

Here are the first round of hexies. There will be more, but this was what I could get done in an afternoon. 
Let me walk you through what is in my hexie kit. 


Here are the hexies that will be the petals.

Thread and Thimbles

I picked out a few different colors of thread to coordinate with my fabric. I also just found a few thimbles that had been missing, so I put them all in, since I'm not sure which one is going to be the best. 

Scissors and Needles

Any Hexie Kit must have some little scissors, these are mine. I also have several needles. I feel like I always manage to loose a few needles in the course of a hand sewing project. These are new needles, but I put them in an old needle packet I had from my grandma. It has a little piece of wool glued to the inside, which is nicer than trying to get them back into the paper holes of modern needle packets.

In the front are the hexies for petals, in the back on the left are the centers, and on the right are a few more that have been cut out, but I didn't glue the the sides down yet. 

And here is is all packed up. My mom got me this little zipper pouch years ago and it is great for portable projects. I also have a bigger one that is nice for embroidery projects, but this one is just the right size for hexies. 

April 18, 2014

Sneak Peek

I’m working on a secret dress project that I can’t show you yet. But I can show you the awesome fabric I got for it. It is a coral poplin with navy polka dots, that I found at Fabric Depot for 50% off. Also, check out Fabric Depot’s cute redesigned logo, so fun!

I felt like an idiot the other day. On Monday I was babysitting in North Portland in the evening. It wasn't going to be enough time to go home after work and then go to the place where I was babysitting, but I was going to end up with some time to kill. So I figured I would go to Knittin' Kitten and find something cool for this dress project I have planned. But they are closed on Mondays. Darn! So then I was trying to think about other fabric stores in N/NE Portland that I could go to. I thought about Bolt, but figured whatever I found there might be more than I wanted to spend. So I yelped it, and then Fabric Depot came up, and I was like "oh duh" because they are literally a mile from my work. How could I forget the largest fabric store on the west coast? (To be fair, they are the opposite direction from the way I go home, it's not like I drive past it every day and forgot)

What is your favorite fabric store?

April 17, 2014

Me Made May

I am going to do Me Made May this year. Do you know what Me Made May is? Its where you wear one (or more) items of clothing that you made yourself for the whole month of May. Doesn't that sound like a fun challenge? I will try and take some pictures of my outfits and post them here, but since my photo system has not quite been perfected (I tried to prop my camera up on a box to take a profile pic and all the pictures came out fuzzy) it won't be every day. 

Here is my pledge. If you would like to learn more about Me Made May and sign up for your own challenge, visit So Zo What Do You Know.

I, Marika, of stumptowncrafter.blogspot.com, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear one item of hand made or restyled clothing each day for the duration of May 2014

April 6, 2014


I made a duffle! (Do you spell it duffle or duffel? Spellcheck doesn't like either one, and when I googled it, similar products came up for both) 

Front pocket and strap. I love these owls, I bought them in several colorways a few years ago and have
been fussy cutting them into all kinds of projects.  

This project has been in my head for a long time. Several years at least. Once it got out of my head and onto the sewing machine it still took a long time. Months. I’m pretty sure I drafted the pattern for this over winter break. And now it is the beginning of April and it is finally finished. I was inspired to finally make a duffle because we are planning a train trip to California this summer and I wanted something cute to take along.

 Back side. I still need to wash off the chalk markings from my quilting.

I was inspired by the shape of the Amy Butler weekender bag, but I made my own pattern. I used Elizabeth Hartman’s technique for quilted panels. The thing that I am super proud of about this bag is that basically everything is recycled or used out of my stash. The only things I bought were the snap for the outside pocket and the piping cording. (I also bought a zipper, but didn't end up using it, if I make another I will use it then.)

It stands up completely on its own!

I used fabric from my scrap bin for the outside. I went through and gathered up black and white and navy prints as well as a few other shades of blue. The straps and piping were made from some leftover border fabric from a quilt a few years ago. I think I had bought extra because I wanted to make matching pillow cases, but that never happened.

The guts of the bag are scraps of batting and cut up old blue jeans, and the lining is extra from the pillowcases for the front room. (If I do this again I will use a heavier fabric for the lining, this stuff just sort of flops around, even with being tacked to the corners.

My mom gave me this awesome black and brass zipper that she had. It was really long, I had to cut off at least six inches. The zippers for the inside pockets have been kicking around my sewing stuff for years.

I am so looking forward to getting to use this on our trip this summer and for short weekend getaways in between. Now I need to plan the perfect capsule wardrobe to take with me!

April 5, 2014


Here are some day-by-day pictures of our magnolia tree in the side yard. This is one of my favorite parts of this house. The tree is right outside of our kitchen window, so over the last few weeks I have gotten to see it bloom while I drink my morning coffee. The petals are starting to drop now, I am curious to see what it will do next. Do magnolias have leaves?

We also have a ton of daffodils and some tulips in the front yard that I planted last fall. I love daffodils. And they have stayed blooming for so long!

I have been working in the garden a bunch recently. I planted a bunch of wildflower seeds in one of the raised beds last weekend and I have the rest of the beds planned. Lettuce, tomatoes, and bunch of different beans, plus more flowers. This afternoon my mom and I put down bark chips in between the beds to keep the weeds and the mud down. The yard is starting to come together!

Works in progress

This is my pile of things that are not completed. (there are more somewhere else, but these are the ones I’m focusing on) I've got a couple of quilts, some place-mats my my brought me back from Belize that need to be hemmed and some napkins. Several of these things were supposed to be quick and easy projects (napkins) But it hasn't worked out like that. My focus for the next few weeks is going to be to get through this pile. The quilts won't get completely finished, I need to buy more batting and the backing fabric and that isn't in the budget right now, but I’d like to get the tops totally done and ready to be sandwiched.

I often get to a certain point in projects where I get bored or tired of looking at the same fabric. This year I am going to work on completion. I have a lot of projects that have been forgotten and I want to either finish them, or get rid of them.

April 4, 2014

Foldover bag

Sometimes you just need a quick project so you can feel like you accomplished something. That was the case a few months ago when I was in the middle of sewing a duffle bag (I just finished it, pictures coming soon). I needed a break!

My mom gave me a bunch of old zippers that might work for the duffle and one of them had this really cool pull on it. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite long enough to be the main zipper for the duffle. I thought about using it for an inside zipper pocket but I really wanted it to be on the outside of something.

Recently I found this on Skirt as Top and really liked it. Inspired by the remix tutorial on that post and also this at A Beautiful Mess. I wanted to make one with a contrast panel.

I used a fat quarter that I got on my bachelorette scavenger hunt, and the solid blue is from a skirt that was my grandmother's. (A few years ago I got a bunch of my grandma’s awesome vintage clothes, but she was tiny. I tried to figure out ways to alter them to fit me, but I've realized I just need to suck it up and use the awesome fabric for other things.) Lining is a scrap from a quilt I made a few years ago.

This was a super quick project, I think it took less than an hour.

A few days after I finished the clutch, my husband bought us tickets to go see Colin Meloy play at the Crystal Ballroom. I was going to need something smaller than my regular purse to carry just my phone, ID and lipstick. But I wanted my hands to be free also for clapping and drink holding. So I added a quick strap. I cut a wide strip from the blue fabric (I had to piece it in one place), folded the edges in and folded in half. Then I top stitched along the edge with a fun variegated blue thread. I sewed the strap on so that the bag could still fold over and just overlapped the ends under the fold.

Voila! Perfect bag for a night out. It was just the ticket for the Colin Meloy show and will be great for future concerts as well.

If I had been planning ahead I might have wanted to figure out a way to make the strap adjustable and I might still fiddle with it, but for now it works.

Have you worked on any quick projects recently?