To Alex -

To Alex...who is far away in person, but never far from my heart. I miss you. Enjoy these snippets of everyday family life here in the states.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Feeling smug and proud.

Alex sent me a package from Taiwan a while ago that contained two Cotton Friend books. I love the books and the project offerings in spite of the fact that they’re in Chinese and I can’t read a word of what they say. Still, the abundance and clarity of the illustrations is amazing and with a bit of studying, I can figure out what to do. This particular project intrigued me right away, but at first glance, I thought it had to do with cutting away fabric and sewing another color to the backside. Thinking that sounded difficult, I put the book away until this past weekend when I got the urge to try out a new crafting technique. Oh, this is much cooler than I thought because the fabric isn’t cut away at all. Heather, you may be intrigued as well as I believe it was you who nearly painted everything in your house not too long ago. *grins*

You transfer any design you wish onto fabric… (I used the Cotton Friend pattern because I’m learning something new and I’m funny like that.)

And using a fabric marker, you color in different areas…

And then embroider around the lines of the design. Oh my gosh, that’s it? What was I afraid of? This is too stinkin’ easy and cool.

Well, now that I had this beautiful piece of embroidery, I simply had to make something with it and another letter satchel seemed like an appropriate showcase. The purple seersucker fabric comes from a 1980’s dress I rescued from a heap destined for the trash and the green is a cotton sheet found at Goodwill. Oh, I sewed the embroidery patch on fabric from an old sheet as well.

The idea of the letter satchel is from Amanda, but the design is from me falling in love with so many different projects that I’ve seen online. The offset button? Yeah, I knew I was doing that from the moment I decided to make this, but I’ll tell you something, figuring out the dimensions and curves and seams and visualizing the final product really taxes my brain. In the end, it’s still not quite right, but I think I’ve got that figured out for next time. And there will be a next time because this gave me so many new ideas for future projects.

So, what do you think? The button also came out of my stash so if the only thing I actually bought recently is the green sheet, for which I paid $3 and I only used a tiny portion, my guess is this project cost me, what, all of .25? I would say it's okay to feel both smug and proud of this project.
(Rubbing hands together) So, I wonder what my next new technique shall be.


  1. that is beautiful! really! i need to learn more embroidery stitches.
    and alex is a sweetie to send something so perfect!

  2. I love your letter pouch!!! That looks awesome. I made each of my kids one for Christmas (with Amanda's tut) and tried my hand and "winging" a smaller coupon pouch that came dangerously close to being that offset. If only I'd seen outside the rectangle I could have made it look intentionally cool like yours. ;-)
    Thanks for sharing.