Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bag and Patterns Giveaway

I've just come across this giveaway and wanted to share with you all.

There isn't much time though. Samantha from At home with Mrs H made a clutch bag from one of Sara's patterns from Sew Sweetness. Samantha has offered the clutch and a copy of ALL her bag patterns as part of the giveaway. I've tested all of Samantha's patterns and they are really wonderful.

This is Samantha's clutch. Isn't it cute.

If you'd like to enter go over to Sew Sweetness. One lucky winner will be chosen on Friday, March 29th at 11pm CT. Hurry!!! don't miss out on this great giveaway.

~ Maria ~

Zippy Bag

I really love how this bag came out. I finished making it this evening for the daughter of a friend. She was hit by a bus about a month ago which left one side of her face all bashed up. She stayed cheerful and optimistic through her ordeal and has come out of it looking even more beautiful than she was.

This is also the first bag I made with my new Zoje sewing machine. I didn't get much time to practice so I'm really pleased with the results.

The pattern is one of Jen Giddens. I tested this pattern back in August 2012.

I absolutely adore the green fabric and the lovely texture that all three of them have.

And just look at the strap. I'm really please with the stitching.

I had four layers of pleather, one quilting cotton and one uphlestery including fusible interfacing. My new machine just went through the layers as if it was butter.

 I also want to make a wallet for her to match the bag but that will have to wait for a while as a test bag is coming my way from Christine. Can't wait to try that one out.

Well I'm off to bed now as I've fallen asleep at the computer several times while writing this post. LOLLL
When I look at it tomorrow I'll probably find that I've written something that makes no sense at all.

I have linked up to Look What I made Wednesday at Creations by Kara.

~ Maria ~

A Festive Lunch

I try to keep this blog strictly for sewing and crafts but on occasion I'll post something different. I was so proud of this lunch that I just had to share it with you.

This is a traditional New Years lunch in my neck of the woods.
OK so it doesn't look very attractive but it really is delicious. It's fish stuffed with aromatic fresh herbs, ground walnuts, pomegranate paste and fish roe. It's baked in the oven, I took the photo before I took it out of the pan for fear it would all fall apart. LOLL

The fish is eaten with Herb Rice. The rice and fresh garlic is steamed in a non stick pan so when it's cooked you can flip it out like a cake. The bottom has some oil and water to give this crust. It came out just perfect.

Shame you can't smell the aromatic herbs. It's a gorgeous smell.

Ok that's enough about food, now I'm going to make a new post of a bag I made.

~ Maria ~

Monday, March 25, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted!

 I've just been over to Deborah's blog Simply Miss Luella, she's holding a Let's Get Acquainted link up. I've linked my potholders and I'm hoping to find new blogs through other links. Pop over and take a look and if you have a blog, link up also. It should be fun. Deborah has also made a beautiful pillow in Liberty fabrics that you really should see. Just click on the button above for the link up and the beautiful pillow.

~ Maria ~

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Follow me on Bloglovin

Follow on Bloglovin

 It seems like everyone is talking about the withdrawal of Google Reader on 1st July. I've been trying to read up on what will happen but to be honest with you I still don't understand it all.

Will I loose the followers that show up on my blog in the side bar? Will I not be able to see the blogs I follow in blogger? I've so many questions but can't seem to get answers.

Some people are like me and aren't sure but one thing is for certain and that's everyone is trying to find an alternative to Google Reader. Some of the blogs I follow are using Bloglovin so I thought I'd try it out. I've added a widget at the top right hand side of my blog and would love it if you would follow me using bloglovin. I'm also including the widget with this post. I'd hate to loose my followers and posts from the blogs I follow.

Thanks for your support.

 ~ Maria ~

WINNER of the Satchel Bag Pattern

Today's the day a winner is chosen using for the Samantha's Satchel Bag Pattern.

I want to thank Samantha from At home with Mrs H for offering the pattern for the giveaway and also to all of you for leaving a comment and joining in. I always love doing these giveaways and wish you could all win one but unfortunately there's only one. For those of you who didn't win you can still pop over to Liz and Nissa's blogs who's giveaway for the same bag pattern is still running until the 25th March and if you're still not lucky enough to be a winner there then you can pop over to Samantha's etsy shop where you can buy the pattern. Use the code ATHOMEWITHMRSH10 for 10% discount at checkout.

Ok I'm sure you're dieing to know if your the winner so here we have it.

The lucky winner is...............................

#26.  Sandra who wrote

That's a great bag - I love the addition of the adjustable sides - such a simple step, but it really makes the bag extra special!

Congratulations Sandra. I'll be emailing Samantha with your email so she can send  the pattern to you.

Thanks to all again and best of luck on the other blogs.

~ Maria ~

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Apron & Plastic Bag Holder

This apron and plastic bag holder is a gift for a friend as a small thank you for letting me sell my things in her shop. She doesn't charge me anything so the deal is if I think she wants something I'll make it for her as a thank you. Next gift will be a side board runner.

I used an old apron I had of my own as  the pattern for the apron. It's double sided and I used the same fabric on both sides.

Just ignore the threads on the floor.
The plastic bag holder was really easy and quick to make, it's basically a tube with bias around the top and bottom with elastic threaded through, a handle on the top and it's done.

~ Maria ~

Thursday, March 14, 2013


First of all a quick update on my new Zoje sewing machine. Those of you who read my original post here will know I had problems controlling the speed. Well I've practices a little, not much but I'm getting there. At least I don't want to cry when I look at it now.

I finished making 24 fabric flowers like the ones I made here but forgot to take photos before I sent them to the shop for sale.
I also finished making some potholders.

These were made using the tutorial over at Oh, Fransson.

These next ones I really love and found the tutorial over at A Spoonful of Sugar. Only difference is I made the pockets slanted rather than straight.

These last ones were the easiest of the lot and you can find the tutorial at ...and sew on. I decided to bind my pocket edges.

~ Maria ~

Bag Loving Blog Hop


If you love bags whether making them or just admiring what others make then you'll love the Bag Loving Blogs Blog Hop. Gosh that was a mouth full. LOL
The blog hop is being held by Christine at ChrisW Designs. All you have to do is link up your blog. It's a great way to find new blogs who share the same interest, get loads of new ideas and hopefully make some new friends along the way.

 Here's the instructions from ChrisW

What do you have to do? It's easy! (Please note links now require approval due to spamming :( so will be approved after all 3 steps have been carried out! Please make sure your blog has posts about BAGS!)

Step 1) Just add your blog link below by clicking on the "Click here To Enter" link and follow the easy steps to add your blog!

*Step 2) IMPORTANT! Click on the "Get the code here" link shown to grab your copy of the code and add it to your blog! Please include these instructions so that new members will know what to do! :)

*Step 3) Grab this button: (Right Click and Save) 

and pop it in your sidebar linking to your Bag Lovin Blog Hop post so that we can leave this blog hop open and people can keep finding it and hopping on! :) 

After all 3 steps have been completed, your link will be approved and added to the blog hop!

~ Maria ~

Monday, March 11, 2013

Satchel Bag Pattern Giveaway

I'm thrilled to show you Samantha's new bag pattern. It's the Satchel Bag. I tested the pattern along with a few other testers and they've done a brilliant job. Check out the other test bags over at Samantha's blog At home with Mrs H.

Another nice design by Samantha, this bag has an adjustable strap as well as a handle on the flap, inside zipper pocket and adjustable sides. Not a huge bag but surprisingly roomy due to the box shape.
Here's mine.

Where's the handle you're asking. Well as usual I used upholstery fabrics but it wasn't suited to this bag. It was way to thick to sew through all the layers which I'm sure my new Zoje could have coped with if I had had it then.

The sides are adjustable with two buttons.

Magnetic button front flap closure.

Samantha is giving us the opportunity to post a giveaway for the Satchel Bag pattern and all you have to do is leave a comment here on this blog post.
If you can't wait to see if you'll be the lucky winner then go over to Samantha's etsy shop to buy a copy of the PDF pattern and remember to use the code ATHOMEWITHMRSH10 for 10% discount at checkout. Samantha is having a bag pattern sale.

The GIVEAWAY will run until the 20th March 2013 when I will choose a winner using 

I've had a few issues with the internet lately and have found it difficult to get onto my blog so if I have the same problem on the day of the winner announcement I'll post as soon as I can. 

If you don't have a blog or on noreply please make sure you leave your email with your comment. If a winner is chosen and I can't email them I will have to choose another winner. 

Some of the other testers will also be doing a giveaway so if you want to increase your chances pop over to their blogs and leave a comment there. Liz, Nissa Made and ASG in the SLC have started their giveaways.


~ Maria ~

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Meet My New Zoje

After waiting nearly two weeks after ordering my new industrial sewing machine it finally arrived this afternoon.

I was all excited when it arrived and quickly put it in its place thinking I'd be able to sew straight away. Then after sitting and admiring it for a few minutes I just wanted to cry. Hubby had paid alot of money for this machine and I couldn't even work out how to wind the bobbin or thread it. The picture in the instruction manual was useless, or at least it was to me. I couldn't make head or tail of it plus there were no instructions for bobbin winding.

Just pushing the ON button was such a stressful experience. I eventually managed to wind the bobbin and thread the machine. Now for the sewing. I must have put my foot on the pedal down by about two millimeters and it just shot off like a Ferrari. Now I really did want to cry. I'm so used to my home sewing machine which I can control with such ease that I didn't think I'd ever be able to sew straight with this one.

After it arrived at the shop I went to have a look at it and noticed this handle on the front. I made a joke to the shopkeeper saying that must be to hold on for merry hell when you're sewing. He said no that's so when you lean forward the metal thingy, I've forgotton the name, that moves up and down when you sew doesn't poke you in the eye. Yikes!!!!!!!!!!!!

This metal bit in front of the needle must be where the thread goes I said, no he said, that's a guard so you don't sew your fingers. OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!! what have I bought. This thing is going to chew me up and spit me out.

The metal handle going across is the back stitch handle.

This lever below the table brings the presser foot up and down when pushed sideways with the knee.

This is my test piece. I started from the right. Some improvement. I don't think I'll be making any of the test bags in a hurry but it does sew through four layers of pleather as if it was slicing though butter, I've been told it can cope with eight layers.

So after all this what do I think. Well it's a wonderful machine that can cope with alot of heavy duty work but it's alot of money to invest if you're just planning on making bags for yourself. I've been selling my bags for a while now and my ordinary machine couldn't cope with the fabric thickness I was asking it to sew. Eventually I'll make good use of it but for the moment I'll have to be content to learn how to sew in a straight line and try to control the speed so I can sew something other than straight lines. LOLLL

~ Maria ~

Friday, March 8, 2013

Tea Towels

Another project I finished last night and was surprisingly quick to make. Tea towels, dish towels, dish cloths, what do you all call them? I basically want them to dry my hands on.
After finishing the spring cleaning it became obvious that my tea towels had seen better days so I bought some fabric and made 6 for myself. I bought 1m x 150cm of fabric and got two large and four small tea towels.

I really love this fabric and was thinking of buying some more to make other kitchen accessories to match. A table runner and some potholders maybe.

I folded the edges of the two large ones over twice and stitched in place but by 1am I was running out of steam so the smaller ones I used my serger and folded over once.

~ Maria ~


I finished making these place mats for four last night but the lighting was too dark so took photos this morning. After a few days heavy rain the sun shone bright and it's a beautiful cool, crisp, sunny day.

The place mats are for the same lady I made the cream ones for. These will be for her kitchen.

This is the reverse side so I guess they could be used this side too.

~ Maria ~