Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Just for my Grands!!


Nothing like a (sort of) tidy sewing table to set off my urge to stitch. 
That is likely the real reason the studio never gets a complete do-over -- as soon as I get some open space on the tables, I take a break and stitch!! 
I'm part of one of Alison's Stash Bee groups -- the awesome Hive #7 -- and during July everyone made me funky birds based on this tutorial over at Block Lotto (tutorial is HERE)!  
 
I've made quite a few of them myself and with a camping trip on the horizon with my two grandchildren, I decided to use two of my blocks to make each of them a drawstring backpack. 
I enjoy all the tutorials that are shared over at Sew Can She and it didn't take long to find one for the bags.  You can find the full tutorial HERE.
I picked a bird for each, trimmed them up, and read through the instructions. 
First step was to frame up the blocks to the size needed for the bags.
I scaled the size of the bags down to fit my grands -- my beginning rectangles were 14" by 12".
I happen to be a long-time birder myself and have studied how American birds were named at one point.  So part of creating these birds has been "naming" them!!
This one is for my granddaughter and the bird's wing has a scrap from an outfit I made for her a couple years ago.
The Bashful Catbird is for my grandson who insists he "hates" catbirds (they rob the berry bushes in his yard).  And our native gray catbird is NOT bashful at all!
I'm always thankful for my years of experience making garments -- like turning the corner with a couple diagonal stitches to help make a sharper corner when the bag is turned.
And this is a trick I learned to helped guide the seams allowances into an "opening"  when it's turned to the inside making stitching the opening closed easier after it's turned. 
I was not looking forward to making the straps but the photos in the tutorial reminded me that I might have a bias trim maker tool.  Sure enough, there it was in the bottom drawer of the sewing table -- my designated storage spot for all seldom used tools!!
Of course, the instructions have disappeared so it took a bit of experimenting to remember that cutting the end of the strips on the diagonal and using a big corsage pin to encourage the strip into the tool works quite well. 
Once it's the strip is threaded into the tool, the pressing goes well and soon I was ready to stitch!!
Here are the results of a happy afternoon in a tidier studio!!
 I packed them with small journals and pencils to use during our 3-day camping break!
They were both delighted with the results and wore them for every hike and outing that the three of us enjoyed together.
This is one of my favorite pictures -- of course I want everyone to be a birder, too!!
The instructions and photos in the tutorial for the backpack are clear and easy to follow.  I loved working out of my fabric stash to create them and they just make me smile every time I look at them.  I'll be making more of these -- there are some moms and aunts with "backpack envy"!!
 
Mary Huey
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

29 comments:

  1. Those back packs are gorgeous! Super cute!

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    1. Thanks!! They were fun to make, fun to give, and fun to see being used so enthusiastically!!

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  2. You have just taught a non-birdwatcher something. I just googled 'catbird'. There really is a species of bird that has the words 'cat' and 'bird' in its name! Wow!

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    1. There really is a catbird!! Here's a link to the Audubon page about catbirds -- https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/gray-catbird -- if you go down to the lower right corner of the page, there are links to several sound recordings -- listen to the "ratchet & mews" to understand the origin of the name!!

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  3. Yes a tidy studio is always easier to work in, isn't It? The backpacks are so cute, and I love the birds! If you are an avid birdwatcher, you should visit my blog to read my latest post, you'd enjoy it I think.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your post, Linda -- amazing numbers -- had no idea -- here's a link for the rest of you to read about the shorebird migration spectacle Linda shares this week!!

      http://linda-hubbard.blogspot.com/2015/08/dance-of-sandpipers.html

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  4. Very cute!! I love those bird blocks! How nice it is to have your grandkids sharing the same passion as yours.

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    1. Thanks, Maryse -- I managed to raise one of my three kids into a birder, hope one of these grandkids takes the same track -- I'll need drivers to take me out into the field by the time they get their licenses!?!

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  5. Oh such adorable bags for the kids....really neat hugs, Julierose

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  6. The bird blocks and bags are adorable! And, thanks for the tips about pivoting at corners and the seam allowance for openings. I just had one of those DUHHHH moment when I saw this. I love how much bloggers share their knowledge and make up all better quilters/sewers. Great picture of the future birders!

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    1. Thanks, Joanne -- glad those tips are helpful -- my parents would be happy to know the bachelors degree in clothing isn't going completely to waste?!?!

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  7. Those are so cute! I'm saving that idea for Christmas for nieces and nephews =)

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    1. Thanks, Heather! And they are fun to make -- think they will be a good home for orphan blocks, too!!

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  8. Those are just fabulous and such a great idea.

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    1. Thanks, Mom -- it was a fun project even though bags of all sorts are outside my comfort zone!!

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    1. Thanks for the visit and the compliment!!

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  10. Such cute bags - you're awesome, Grandma! Thanks for the links to the tutorials.

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    1. You are welcome, A -- hope you can use the tutorials sometime!!

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  11. Those bags are precious. I made some of those birds awhile back and never did anything with them. Maybe I should take my cue from you. :-) Have to laugh at how you always get the urge to stitch when you start cleaning up your space; that's exactly what happens to me and I never get it entirely cleaned up before I start a new project. :D

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    1. Nice to know there are kindred spirits out there, Pat!! I'm trying hard to at least keep the areas I tidied up from going under again too fast. . . . .

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    2. These are really cute. I think I will make one of these birds for my elephant parade quilt.

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  12. I love this bird block! Nice bags :)

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  13. Oh my these are just adorable!!

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  14. These are lovely Mary, perfect for your grandchildren.

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  15. Adorable blocks. Adorable backpacks. Adorable kids!

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  16. Ciao Mary sono Silvana e volevo sapere se l'attrezzo per preparare il bordino si può acquistare ed eventualmente dove. Grazie Mary
    N.B. gli zaini sono molto molto carini

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