Posts Tagged 'liesl made'

In Mon Petit Atelier


About a week ago, I cleaned my studio. I didn’t actually sew anything then, but I sorted and straightened. I took stock. Since then I’ve been fighting Resistance. Steven Pressfield talks about this foe in his book War of Art. Basically it’s that thing that keeps you from doing what you need to be doing as an artist. You resist making art due to things like fear or doubt. It’s when you actually opt to clean the bathroom to avoid sewing (or writing or painting or whatever.) This past week, I was getting a lot of other things crossed off my to-do list, but not any sewing.

Then, over the weekend, after I took the above photo, I set my laptop up down here in my studio, sandwiched right there in between my serger and sewing machine. I hoped just being in here more would inspire me. (I’m not sure if it’ll stay here though. It wasn’t my original intention to have a computer in here. We didn’t have wi-fi when I remodeled this room and I dreamed of having a place just to create, forced away from all other distractions. That’s my main worry—that it’ll be a distraction, that I’ll chose pinning over pinning, so to speak. Yet, I have a notion to turn this into more than a studio, morph it into a multipurpose haven. I’d love a comfy chair in the corner. And place to sketch and paint again. And yes, perhaps a little place for my laptop. It’s such a small space though, so I’ll just have to wait and see.)

Anyway, finally on Wednesday, I did it. You could hear the hum of the sewing machine, smell the heat of the iron. I sewed something! (Once I hem it, I’ll share photos.) I don’t mean to be cliché here, but it really is like riding a bike—a little awkward at first but soon you find your balance and are cruising along.

Part of why Resistance is so strong right now is the sheer volume of projects and ideas I have on my work table and in my head. It’s overwhelming. I don’t know where to begin. I’ve narrowed it down to a few projects that are almost near completion. I’m hoping finishing projects will be reward enough to fuel this spark and keep me burning.

Do you deal with a lot of “Resistance” in your life? How do you fight it?

And where do you create? Does the space serve more than one purpose? Out of choice or necessity?

Most nights when I go to sit down in front of the computer to type up a post, my brain goes to mush. The busy day catches up with me and my body just wants the comfy chair in the family room and my mind wants silly TV. With that said, I’m sorry for letting your comments linger in my inbox. I also have a ton of unread posts in my reader. Just like with my projects, it’s overwhelming so I avoid it altogether. I’m hoping for a little downtime to get caught up. Do know that I appreciate you visiting and commenting.

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Clothes Pin Bag.

I’m really tempted to call this a Peg-Bag but, alas, I’m not British.
Clothes Pin Bag.
A while back I noticed our clothes pin bag was looking pretty ratty. It was one I made years ago in a simple drawstring fashion. So I did a little Google search for tutorials and didn’t come up with any I liked. I even did a little window shopping for a design I liked that I could try to replicate. But nothing caught my eye. Almost all of them featured a clothes hanger somehow, something I’m not a big fan of. (Which I now realize that is more convenient because not everyone has a hook to hang their clothes pin bag on… How do you hang yours?)
So I figured I’ll just have to come up with a design on my own. For some reason I couldn’t get a teardrop shape out of my head. So one night I sat down and did some sketching and some math. I really liked it and knew it would work out perfectly… once I completed some of my already started projects. (I have a big habit of starting new projects before finishing old ones.) The other day I couldn’t take it anymore and drafted the pattern, cut the fabric and got to work.
Clothes Pin Bag.
The first one I made, the pocket wasn’t deep enough so I altered the pattern. But I’m wondering if maybe I need to make it even deeper? There are other little tweaks I need to do as well. Once I get it figured out, I’ll decide whether or not to add it to the shop or make a tutorial.
I’ve also been tossing around the idea of making it waterproof somehow, by using an oilcloth or vinyl cover (with vinyl I’ve had for ages but never knew what to do with.) What do you think?

Liesl Made Pot Holder Tutorial.

I know there are probably a million and one pot holder tutorials on the web but I wanted to share my version with you all. If you have any questions, or concerns, feel free to contact me.

To make a pair of linen and cotton pot holders you’ll need:
4 – 10″ x 10″ pieces of linen
6 – 10″ x 10″ pieces cotton batting
(or 4 pieces of the cotton and 2 pieces of thermal batting)
2 – 4 1/2″ x 8″ cotton print
2 – 5″ pieces 3/8″ cotton twill tape (or extra binding)
80+” of 2″ bias binding

Start by making a template for the pot holders. Cut an 8″ square from some paper. Round all four corners.


To start piecing together the pot holder, layer linen, cotton batting, thermal batting or another layer of cotton batting, cotton batting and linen.


Pin the template to the center of your stack.


Trace the pattern onto the linen.


Now you want to mark the center. Measure 4″ in and mark *outside* the pattern on both the top and bottom. This will help guide you with the first quilting line. I also put a pin or two down the center to help guide me but you could mark it with a water or air soluble pen or pencil.


It should look like this. Next pin the layers all together so none shift while you’re working.


Take the stack over to your sewing machine. You’ll want to lower your tension and increase your stitch length. I set my machine at a tension of 2 and stitch length of 3. You can test on the edges, outside the traced template markings to see what works best. Stitch down the center.


It helps to have a seam guide attachment for the next step but if you don’t, you can just measure 1″ and mark with a water or air soluble pen or pencil or just use pins.


Using your preferred guide method, stitch 1″ to the left of the center quilting stitch. Repeat two more times. Repeat for the opposite side of the center seam.


It should look something like this when you’re all done.

Next comes the hardest part of all–cutting out the actual pot holder. It’s rough on your hand and you’ll need sturdy scissors. You can cut each layer individually if that helps.


Now take the 4 1/2″ by 8″ cotton prints you’ve chosen and fold under and iron a 1/2″ on the long sides. Pin onto the pot holder about an 1 1/2″ from the bottom edge. Stitch along edges of the cotton.


Next stitch the twill tape about 1/8″ to the top center of the back of the pot holder as seen. You can use some of the binding by cutting two 5″ strips and folding them in half lengthwise, stitching a 1/4″ and turning inside out.

Now we are to the binding stage. Make sure your binding is *bias binding* because you have to maneuver the rounded corners. A simple google search for bias binding directions will provide plenty of info if you’re a newbie to binding. Or you can check out how I made mine for the Folded Start Trivet Tutorial.


Place the binding, right side down, to the bottom edge of the pot holder. Fold back about a 1/2″ and pin.


I don’t bother pinning my binding to the pot holder but you can, especially around the rounded corners. Stitch about 3/8″ from the edge.


Bend the binding to the curve of the rounded corners. It good to use two hands here, but I needed one for the camera. ;)


When you get to the top edge, be sure the twill tape is laying flat against the back side.


Finish up the binding by lapping the binding over the folded bit in the beginning.


Now onward to hand stitching the binding. You can machine stitch the binding if you prefer but I think this looks a lot nicer. Fold back the binding and pin. Whip/hidden stitch starting at the bottom.


When you get to the top, be sure to have your needle go through the twill tape and the linen so it’s nice and secure.

And you’re done with your potholders!

(For personal use only, please.)

Pot Holders.

Pot Holders.
I recently finished three more pairs of pot holders. (Almost done with a fourth.) One pair was a thank you gift (which I wrapped and gifted before getting pictures–just basic red ticking to match an apron she bought from me) while the other two pairs, shown in the photo, were a custom order for my cousin.
Pot Holders Detail.
I bought some thermal batting a ways back to try out because some people recommend it. Although my usual method of two layers of cotton batting works, I have noticed it’s a bit thin for the really hot jobs. Anyway, this thermal batting seems nice and thick and is supposed to deflect heat or something but it’s, well, crunchy. As in it makes a little noise when you bend it. Something that, for some reason, really irks me. Also, it’s made of poly/nylon, which also irks me. I’m going to switch to three layers of cotton batting from now on.

I took photos while making the one pair so once I get it typed up, I’ll have the tutorial to share. (Which I just realized I promised moths ago! It slipped under a massive to-do pile through the holidays.)

2 Dinos.

2 Dinos.
2 Dinos.
2 Dinos.
Finally, I can share a post with you that is something I made that isn’t food!
Two little boys in my family will be turning two and three in February. I never got around to baby quilts for them and was feeling bad about the fact that I’ve never made them anything ‘Liesl Made.’ Then for Yule my brother gave me the One-Yard Wonders book and after oohing and aahing over all the adorable stuffed animal projects, I finally decided on attempting the Steggie pattern.
I was a little nervous about making it because I don’t have much experience with such 3D projects but when I cut the pieces for the first one, I went ahead and cut a second because it looked simple enough. And it was.
The blue one is a vintage fabric while the red is a new fabric that I received accidentally but decided to keep. Both have secondhand black felt back-spike things and eyes (I was afraid of the choking hazard if a button popped off) and both are filled with bamboo fiber.
Originally the pattern calls for a little wooden pull along base with wheels but I figured not to bother my Dad with that and giving the dinos to the boys as they are. Plenty cute, right?

PS: Do you readers like the photos throughout the words better or all the photos together at the top then all the words together at the bottom. I’m thinking of changing up my regular routine if it’s easier to read this way?

Dice Bag.

Dice Bag.
One of the very first things I ever sewed was a drawstring dice bag for my brother. It was made from a pair of my old knit pants and a shoelace. It’s a sad little bag but he loves it and has gotten a lot of use out of it.
Dice Bag.
Recently, a fellow gamer gave him more dice and he needed a place to store them. This one is made from black linen, with a Harmony Art Organic cotton lining and braided string closure. I hope it gets as much use and love as the old one.

Napkin Rings

Napkin Ring
I’m pretty positive my Mom doesn’t read my blog. So I can tell you about her handmade Christmas present early. A little while ago she dropped a few hints that she doesn’t have any holiday napkin rings. Perhaps it’s because we are of the same gene pool, but we were on the same wavelength–I was already dreaming up ideas.

I had planned on making these because I think they are awfully clever but didn’t have time to get some slap bracelets. (In the future, for sure.) But I did have plenty of linen, embroidery floss and heavy weight interfacing on hand.
Napkin Ring
So I whipped (well, maybe not quite whipped because they are mostly hand stitched) these up while watching a great, classic movie. I played around with a couple different ways of sewing them then turning them inside out, but wasn’t happy with the bulk. So I just ended up creating two rings and slipping one inside the other and hand stitching around the edges. I’m happy with the way it turned out because the running stitch adds a little detail. And the monogram—perfect. I made a couple extra plain ones for guests.

It’s very much my style. So I hope Mom will like them too. If she does, I’ll offer to make her more—either more linen ones or some holiday ones using up the scraps from the Stockings.
Napkin Ring
I am also giving her two sets of napkins I made ages ago from the Purl Bee tutorial. I shoved them in my Future House Stuff box but then I realized they just aren’t my style but would suit my Mom perfectly. We’ve been using cloth napkins I made three years ago and they are still holding strong. I have no idea how many paper napkins we’ve avoided. But since they built the family room, there are more parties here and more guests, hence the need for more napkins.

And I’ve made her an ornament, like the one for the Wellness Tree to put in her stocking. Today I go with the twin to our local health food store to pick out more items for her stocking—soaps and coconut macaroons and her other favorite little treats, because every year she fills everyone else’s stocking but no one really fills hers.


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A lifestyle blog for the sewing and knitting projects, photography, homemaking adventures, gardening, inspirations and other ramblings of a 20-something artist. (more...)


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