Spooky treat bags

Today’s Crafternoon activity: small fabric totes that resemble gift bags. We used glow-in-the-dark fabric for the bag lining. Look at the corner treatment – too cute! Pinterest is a great source of project inspiration.

Making the bags took us about 1.5 hours with me cutting/fusing all the project pieces ahead of time. While grateful for the makers who freely share on YouTube, most instructions are not kid-friendly. I simply modified the construction sequence to make it easier for the littles and then recalculated the fabric requirements to make my version of the treat bag. I need to tweak the instructions a little more and then I’ll share them in a future post. There are so many awesome ways to personalize this simple gift/treat bag.

Finished size of our project? Approximately 6″ x 6″ x 3″.

Picking paint colors is HARD work!

The paint crew arrives later this week (two weeks earlier than planned) to begin our interior/exterior projects. No changes to the exterior colors, but I now have to finalize my interior color choices by Wednesday. Good grief! Keeping ceiling and trim colors the same. Topsail (SW6127), a light beachy grayish blue-green, is the color I chose for my sewing space. Think I’ll go with a satin finish this time for durability and light reflection. Still wrestling with changing the main wall color for the rest of the house. We will definitely be going with a satin finish paint for all bathrooms, laundry room, the basement stairwell & hallway, plus my sewing space. Flat finish paint will be fine for everywhere else.

After an investment in a color palette from an interior designer on Etsy and lots of playing with the online tools, I’m still no closer to choosing a new color for the walls. The color is currently Creme (SW 7556) which is a warm, creamy white. This color was deliberately chosen with the help of an interior designer when we built the house because our main living areas at the rear of the house don’t get a lot of natural daylight.

Alabaster (SW7008) was recommended by the online tools and several decorating blogs as an updated color choice, but it’s not really that much different from what’s already on the walls. I really don’t want dark gray, tan or stark white on the walls. That’s my personal preference. Also knowing we plan to sell in the next 1-2 years means I need to keep any color choices somewhat neutral. Decisions! Decisions! I’ll ask the project manager when the crew shows up.

English Paper Piecing (EPP)

Grandmother’s Flower Garden EPP (using 1″ hexies)

This is the handwork kit I took with me on our anniversary trip. Someone asked why I didn’t take a cross-stitch project. I’m aware that cross-stitch is experiencing a revival at the moment, but I literally can’t see to cross-stitch unless I use my bright floor lamp with the magnifier lens. Chalk it up to older eyes, I guess. EPP and hand embroidery are fine with just my reading glasses and decent lighting.

I didn’t have a lot of time to devote to EPP (only worked on 3 flowers), but I travel better when I pack something to keep my hands busy during periods of extended down time. The basis for my kit is the Beginning English Paper Piecing Kit from Paper Pieces. The kit covers the essentials, but you’ll want to add the items that make EPP work better for you.

Here’s what I suggest for your beginner EPP kit:

Sew-line fabric glue pen + at least 2 refills
Tacony Super Mini Shears
1″ Hexie papers from Paper Pieces
2-1/2″ squares/mini-charm pack/hexie pack in assorted colors
DecoBob 80 wt thread in Antique White or Nude (wind on bobbins)
Milliner/Straw Needles in Size 10 or 11 (Sue Daley, Bohin, Colonial Needle, Tulip are good brands)
Wonder Clips (10)
Thread conditioner
Needle threader
Travel pack of baby wipes
Small box/bag to hold your supplies

* If you prefer to thread baste, pack a 60 wt poly thread and size 7 sharp needles in lieu of a glue pen.
* If excess fabric from the basted 2-1/2″ squares bothers you, then cut your mini-charms into hexie shapes ahead of time using a clear acrylic template, 28mm rotary cutter and a 10″ Sue Daley cutting turntable.
*I have obtained satisfactory results using Coats & Clark fine thread and Quilter’s Select 60wt thread to stitch my hexies together. A vendor at the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival introduced me to DecoBob thread (Wonderfil) for sewing Lori Holt appliqué and I now use it exclusively for EPP, as well.

There are a ton of YouTube videos on how to do English Paper Piecing. As a starting point, search out Tula Pink and/or Sue Daley in videos produced by Fat Quarter Shop or Missouri Star Quilt Company. There’s a huge rabbit hole around EPP that you can explore to your heart’s content.

What will I do with all these hexie flower blocks? Appliqué them on placemats, potholders, zipper pouches, baby quilts, pillows, etc. I do not anticipate doing a complete Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt by hand.

Although, you never know…some of those Tula Pink and Jen Kingwell projects look mighty interesting.