Sock Bag

I have always had a sock box for those lost souls (socks) searching for their mates. I guess we have fairies in the house who like to carry off just one sock to leave the other useless. I used to have a sock box to hold them, but today, I decided to make a bag.

You can make this any size. I will need to adjust the pattern to fit a regular size hanger in the future, or I can just place ties on the top and tie it to any hanger that I would like. For this pattern, I used a slightly smaller hanger; it might have been from the kids section in one of the clothing stores.

I used a newspaper for the pattern. I traced the shape that could pass as a sock. Then I traced a separate toe section and a separate heal section.
I also traced a hanger section. I might make that one differently next time, because it seemed to take longer than it should have. I cut two strips of Timtex interfacing (two inches thick and the width of the sock-this pattern was 14 inches). I liked the stiffness and it helped hold the shape of the top of the sock better than some of the softer ones. Use whatever works best for you, though.
Sew an outline on the hanger interfacing to fold over so the raw edges do not show. I used dark ink to outline the hanger so it would be visible in the photo. The line that I am sewing will give plenty of room for the hanger.

Sew the toe to the sock body.

Sew the heal to the sock body. When I got to the corner, I left the needle down and turned to finish to the end.

The Timtex is an iron on interfacing. I folded the material over so there were no raw edges and then ironed in place. Do this to the front part of the sock and the back part of the sock.

Sew along the base to secure.
Sew the hanger interfacing onto the wrong side of the back of the sock. Do not sew the top hole where the neck of the hanger will come out. Otherwise, you won’t be able to fit the hanger inside.

Turn the sock pieces right sides together and sew around the side, toe, heal, and other side. Do not sew the top closure. That will need to remain open for the socks and hanger.

This might be old school, but I still often trim the material to get rid of bulk or just help it move better. If you do this great, if not and it doesn’t affect your project, then you just saved a step.

Turn inside out and place hanger into the hanger slot. There you have it, your own sock bag for those missing socks. I tend to wait until the bag it full and then match the pairs up. Whatever is not matched, I tie a knot in them as a notice that the other pair may really be gone forever. Eventually, they turn into dog toys to chew on or fetch. Not much sewing for those quick toys. Just roll up and toss.

My Shoe Strings

My ideas are often practical and come from something that I need or want to improve. My shoe laces are often too short because of the height of my arch and because I need to wear a leg brace. My husband bought me a pair of new shoes. I didn’t have any extra long laces around the house so decided to sew my own. I found some matching fabric in the box (large flat rate priority mail box-just one because I don’t like to keep a fabric stash) of scrap fabric that will in the future be used for small projects.

I made the laces as if I was making bias tape. I cut the strips to two inches wide and extra long at 60 inches. (I cut off the extra after I threaded the shoes.) The fabric was then ironed in half (lengthwise) and then the edges were ironed in half again so there were no raw edges visible. Then I sewed a straight line down each of the sides and sewed a zigzag in the center strip of the laces to give them a little body and stiffness. I could have used a decorative stitch, but I wanted a zigzag.

After I laced and tied the shoes, I placed a knot on the edge of the laces to prevent them from slipping back through the holes and cut off the excess. Here is a photo.

You can make these as wild or as tame as you would like. I think it is a great gift for kids or anyone who wants a fun look. Also, you can make these as wide or narrow as you prefer. I like the wider ones because on days that my carpel tunnel is acting up, I can’t seem to grab anything thin or narrow.

Baby Bibs

I first got the idea to make baby bibs a very long time ago when I realized that one small round terrycloth bib would cost more than a yard of fabric. I thought the expecting parents would appreciate more bibs for about the same amount of my money. I’m rather practical, that way. Also, I was able to design many fun and interesting looks.
There are many ways to make baby bibs. I use a template traced from a bib. Usually, I sew the pieces, right sides together, batting on top, and tuck in piping, lace, or eyelets around the edges. I stitch around leaving an opening that I can turn the bib inside out and then I have the right sides out, with the piping, lace, or eyelets showing around the edges.
This batch of bibs was made from scrap fabrics from the baby quilt that I made. (Previous post) The bibs will match the quilt and it doesn’t seem as though one can have too many bibs on hand for a little one, imho.
The materials used for this project were Velcro, batting, and fabric (the leftover triangles cut from the squares of the baby quilt.)
Sew the scrap fabrics into pieces big enough for the bibs. I sewed the triangles back into squares by pinning right sides together.
Press the stitches. I like to stack the triangles together to make a bigger section to iron saving me a few presses.
Press the blocks open.
Sew the squares into strips big enough to accomodate the making of a bib or many bibs.
When working with long lengths of fabric, I often roll the pieces to make the sections smaller and less awkward to manipulate. Add a pin to hold the roll in place and keep the fabric manageable.
Trace the template onto the batting. I used a blue sharpie marker to make the outline show up better in the photos, but use something that won’t bleed through the fabric. I used a light hand and wasn’t worried about leak through.
Trace the template onto the front and back fabric. These bibs will be reversible just like the quilt. Cut out all pieces: back, batting, and top.
To reiterate, there are many ways to make bibs. I wanted to use up some of the binding strips, so I did not use the method mentioned above. Instead, I layered the bibs like I would do a quilt: bottom fabric on the bottom, batting, and then the top fabric on the top.
Pin the layers together.
These are reversible, so it won’t matter which way the bibs are worn. It isn’t obvious in the photos, but I only quilted one line across each bib. Either, I echoed the diagonal stitching or the horizontal stitching across the bib. If a lot of quilting is done, the bibs seem to become stiff. I like them to be flexible. 
Trim any excess batting or fabric from the bib edges. Then I add a step. I sewed a line around the edges at less than a quarter of an inch from the edge. It helps to keep the material in place and allows for easier placement of the binding. I trimmed again to make the edges clean and neat.
Pin the binding to the front of the bibs. Sew in place.
Fold the binding to the back and pin. Stitch in place. Remember the Velcro or other type of closure.
Sew Velcro or other closure in place on the top arms of the bib for fastening around the baby’s neck. You are finished!
I made four with the scrap fabrics. Each had a different pattern on the front and on the back. Each had a different color of binding. I already had the materials so this project didn't cost me anything other than my heart and time and the proud parents will have four more bibs.
All were different, but went with the theme of the quilt. I’ll just print out a card and tuck in some money so the parents can purchase something for the baby as well.
Most of my friends have stopped having children so I got out of the habit of having a batch of bibs on hand. The baby shower we are going to is for a grandchild of a close friend. So, now I’ll have to start making bibs again to keep on hand for the next generation of children coming our way. 

Reversible Echoing Baby Quilt using the Quilt-as-You-Go Method

Blue Side

Green Side

There are five different fabrics for each side.
The fabric selection for side one are on the left and side two are on the right. The colors “echo” into darker shades away from the triangle.

The cutting square has a tiny mark to help center the image in the triangle.
Start by centering the image on that mark and then cut out the square. The square is then cut in half to make the triangle.
I also cut out the batting squares to sandwich the layers.
Pin the triangles to each side of the batting on the same corner.
Add the first color strip to each side, the blue strip to the blue side and the green strip to the green side. When stitching, you should actually sew the strips to the triangle and quilt the batting at the same time. The stitch is securing the pieces together and securing the layers.
Press open the strips. (My pressing board is old and scorched. Yuck. I need to recover it. I can’t figure out how to get the stains out.)
Add the second set of strips to the front and back of the block. I didn’t cut out each strip prior to pinning. I trimmed each strip from the longer section when I was ready to use it so I could better determine the size that I would need. When doing two sides of the block at the same time, a little wiggle room is needed in case something doesn’t come out exactly right. Pin to the block.
Sew the second set of strips to the block. Press open. Repeat for the third and final strips. Pin, stitch, and press open. 
You should now have a finished block, front and back.
I used twelve blocks to make the baby quilt. In this project, I made 12.5 unfinished blocks, but you can make them any size you wish. You can also use more or less squares depending on how big you want the quilt. If it had been for a pet, the quilt would have used fewer blocks. If this had been for a bed, there would have been more blocks.
Make sash for hiding the seams of the blocks. The brown sashing is for the green side. The orange sashing is for the blue side. For this project, I make 1.5 inch sashing. Fold in half and press. (I do apologize about the awful pressing board.)
Pin the each sashing onto the block at the same time (front and back) so stitching will secure both to the block at the same time. Raw edges should be at the edge of the block.
Press open the sashing on each side.

Pin the sashing onto the second block and stitch to secure the blocks together. If done correctly, the folded side should be on the second block. Remember you are doing the front and the back at the same time so one stitch will save some time.

Give yourself a little wiggle room so you don’t miss the sashing on the opposite side. I checked and stitched on the side that seemed to have the narrower sashing. Even though they are technically the same size, it seemed that one side shrank a little more than the other after sewing so that was my “top” when stitching. That way, I would not miss the “bottom” sash.
Stitch the line on top of the sashing close to the edge.
Remember, I said the wider side was on the bottom. You can see that the bottom did have a bit more sash on the outside of the stitch. In parts I felt it was too much, so I added a decorative stitch to “hide” the extra material.
I stitched on both sides of the sash to secure any extra material that was outside the stitch area and to camouflage the securing stitch. I thought of doing the decorative stitch first, but wanted to see how close I could get to the edge. Next time, I’ll start with the decorative stitch and save myself a step.
I stitched three block together to form a chain. Then I added sash to those strips so I could attach the chains to the next section.
Remember that you are adding sashing to both sides at the same time.
Sew the block chains together.
Now, create a reversible binding for the edge of your quilt. I just sewed the bias strips raw edges together.
I pressed to the dark side. You should have two folded edges for the sides now. All raw edges will be hidden when attached to the quilt.
Pin binding to the quilt on the first side. I did not stitch both sides at the same time on the edge. I did one side first and then the other. You could do both sides, but with the edge, I thought it would be easier to do each side seperately.
Fold the binding over and pin to the opposite side. I used a lot of pins and was able to secure the binding to hide the first stitch line. I then used decorative stitch to camouflage the first stitch line.
Completed blue side.
Completed green side.
Notice the image of the green side is angled 90 degrees from the blue side. That was because of the way the blocks were created with the triangles in the corner. Then the arrangement of the blocks all facing the same direction created a "top" and "bottom" to each side. That can be eliminated by rotating the blocks in different directions. I liked the symmetry of the stripes so I had the blocks all face the same direction.