Thread Button Made

A thread button made today is the start of learning a new skill for me. Although, the embroidery stitching that I have been teaching myself for temari making translates well to making a thread button.

thread button 1 front

This lovely button was made with hand dyed #5 perle cotton thread on a 1″ plastic bone ring. This was the thread that was within arms length of where I was sitting. Using a finer weight thread such as a #8 would give it a different look on the same size ring.

thread button 1 back

I decided to finish the back off to practice making a two sided button. Making a two sided thread button means it could be used for an ornament such as an earring, Christmas decoration, or key fob.  I am thinking that this weight thread would look better on a larger ring for something like a Christmas ornament.

For a first attempt, I am pleased with the results and encouraged to forge ahead making more.

 

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Temari Tote Bag #4- final version

temari tote version 4 pic 1Version 4 of the temari project tote bag was made to improve a couple design details.

The  eyelets for thread guides and buttonholes to close the pockets were good design ideas that had problems.

In the first two versions, the eyelets were too small to be easy to pass the thread through. The third version solved this problem by using larger eyelets.  And in all three of the previous versions, the eyelets were below the buttonholes. This meant reaching into pocket to get to eyelet hole, making it more difficult to  thread the thread through the holes. Although, not much of an issue with the larger eyelets in third version.

Then there were all those buttonholes. They are time consuming to make tricky to have come out looking nice on course fabric that has a loose weave like the linen.

So, the solutions to both problems was to eliminate them: no eyelets and no buttonholes.  The eyelet thread guide were replaced with V notch at the top of each pocket. The buttons were kept, as a means of securing the thread, but not for closing the pocket.

temari tote version 4 pic 2

The previous version used a heavy weight fabric which made sewing seams challenging, especially when sewing the sides to the bottom. Trying to sew the sides and base together with a heavy weight fabric was a bit of a challenge.

To make construction a little easier, a lighter weight fabric was used in this version. Lighter weight means less bulky seams. The outer fabric in this bag looks like it would be a heavy weight, but it is actually not, so it was easier to sew.

The first two bags had a tendency to slouch since, which made it a little difficult see and access the inside. So the 3rd and 4th versions have a stabilizer to back the sides of the outer bag. With a lighter weight fabric, it was essential to have the stabilizer to give shape to the bag.

Adding stabilizer did not add bulk to the seams since the stabilizer was cut slightly smaller to avoid being added to the seams.

Also,  with a stabilizer backing the fabric, pulling the thread down against the V notch does not collapse the bag sides.

Without buttonholes, the buttons now serve only to secure the thread, not to close the pockets. The pockets do not really need to be closed. Besides, having the button closures meant that the depth of the pockets was limited by the placement of the closures.

To make the outer pockets a little more accommodating, the inner bag fabric was made with a stretch sportswear fabric and elastic was used instead of twill tape for reinforcement. The fabric stretches to hold more and it also helps hold things in the pocket. The fabric was a little challenging to work with, but the results were worth the effort.

temari tote version 4 pic 4

The inner pockets are made like in the 3rd version, but decided on three large pockets instead of two large and two small like in the 3rd version. The stretch sportswear fabric was used for the inner pockets too. The hems on the top of the inner pockets have elastic inside so that it will stretch and then return to its original shape.

Another change that was made was size. The first two bags have a hexagon with 3 1/2′ sides and the third has 4 1/2″ sides. The smaller size was just a tad too small and the overall size of the third bag was to big for most of my temari projects. The obvious solution was to compromise and try a 4″ sided hexagon base. It has turned out to be a nice size.

temari tote version 4 pic 3

 

temari tote version 4 pic 5

In summary, the “improvements” are:

1. no buttonholes- means less bag construction time,

2. no eyelets- means don’t have to buy or install them and no fussing with threading thread through hole,

3. V notch replaces eyelets- easy to make,

4. stretch fabric for inner bag- helps hold thread in pockets so don’t need to have button pocket closure and stretches to accommodate larger balls of thread,

5. hexagon base with 4″ sides- this is just a different size option from previous 3 1/2″ sides, not necessarily an improvement,

6. lighter weight outer fabric- less bulk to sew in seams,

7. stabilizer in outer bag- gives bag shape so does not slouch (also in version #3), and

8. inner pockets- the addition of inner pockets means somewhere to put tools and supplies such as scissors, paper strips,  needle book, thimble, graph paper, hand warmer, etc. (also in version #3),

Another change in this bag is the type of handle. It is not necessarily an improvement, just different. Paracord was used to make a 6 strand flat braid handle and to make the drawstrings.

Unfortunately, the coordinating temari pincushion was finished before I realized that the lobster claw intended to attach it to the bag was too small for the D-rings already sewn on the handle. So, a split ring was added to connect the two.

I have been using this tote bag version for a while now and really like its features. It was worth the time to make another version to address different design details.

The temari that is seen in the pictures is the current one in progress with the thread that is being used to stitch the pattern. The finished temari will be in an upcoming post, so come back soon.

 

Ring Thimble with Plate Tutorial

This tutorial is for a ring thimble with plate. This type of thimble is often used for sashiko stitching, but can also be used for stitching temari or when stitching through thick or difficult fabric. The thimble is worn as a ring, but the plate that rests on the palm at the base of the finger is what pushes the needle. This allows greater force to be used than just the strength of fingers, making stitching easier.

temari thimble 1

You might wonder why anyone would want to make a ring thimble with plate when an adjustable metal or leather ones can be purchased inexpensively? Well, if you are like me, and allergic to various metals, then a metal one is not a good option. The leather ones are usually colored with dyes that often contain metal, so that is not a good option either for the same reason. Also, I find the soft plate of the leather still allows my palm to get sore.

I find my handmade thimbles to be much more comfortable than either the metal or the leather ones, which I did try. I even wrapped the metal one in fabric, to make it usable. But the time spent make that one useable could have been spent making a better one. These also have a slightly larger plate than the metal one, which I find easier to use.

Making your own thimble also allows you to have one with a custom fit size.

TOOLS, MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES

temari thimble 2

The tools, materials and supplies you will need are in the picture above. They include:

  • Scissors – for cutting thread and for cutting plastic and fabric
  • Thread, general purpose – one to match felt color and one matching ribbon color
  • Small needle– for stitching with the general purpose thread
  • Large needle – for stitching with the perle cotton  or embroidery thead
  • Perle cotton thread (or embroidery thread)- color that coordinates with felt color
  • Template plastic – or equivalent cut to 1/4″ wide by the circumference of your finger (where you would wear a ring) plus 1/2″
  • 3/8″ grosgrain ribbon – one at 2 1/2″ long
  • 3/8″ grosgrain ribbon – one at 2 times the length of the strip of template plastic plus 1/2″
  • A pull ring seal from a milk or other carton – this one is from an almond milk or coconut milk container
  •  Felt – a small piece that is slightly longer than the plastic strip and a little wider than the width of plastic strip plus the width of the pull seal. A polyester felt was used for this project due to an allergy to wool.

PREPARING TO SEW

temari thimble 3

L to R: seal with ring, seal with ring cut off, and seal with an edge cut off

Cut the ring off the pull seal. Next, cut a sliver off the edge of the circle so that it includes the little nub where the ring was attached.

temari thimble 4

Align the long piece of ribbon just inside the long straight edge of the piece of felt and place the seal with the cut edge near (with a small gap between) the ribbon. With a pen, trace along ribbon and around pull seal. Next, cut just outside the marked line, being more generous around the seal.

temari thimble 5

STITCHING THE PARTS

With the leftover piece of felt, lay the pull seal on the fabric with a gap (about 3/16″ to 1/4″) between the cut edge of the circle and the edge of the felt. Trace the curved edge with a pen and then connect the line up to the edge of the felt. See picture above. Cut outside the marked line.

temari thimble 6

From the remaining felt piece, cut a small circle that just fits inside the concave side of pull seal. Baste in place with a couple stitches.

temari thimble 7

Place the pull seal convex side up on top of back of felt so it fits inside circular area. Stitch pull seal to felt so that the stitches are small random stitches on the concave felt side. See pictures above.

temari thimble 8

Trim felt around the pull seal so that it is even with edge of plastic.

temari thimble 15

Take the longer piece of ribbon and fold it in half so that a 1/2″ of one end extends beyond the other end. Starting at the fold end, whip stitch down one side, insert the strip of plastic and then stitch down the other side to enclose the plastic. Don’t cut the thread yet.

If the ribbon is stiff like the metallic grosgrain that is used here, then the plastic probably is not necessary, but is recommended for a softer ribbon such as a satin or non-metallic ribbon. The metallic was used for this project as it was what was on hand at the time.

temari thimble 16

Wrap the ribbon around the finger you would use it on. I find the ring finger, next to smallest, one works best for me. Wrap so that the folded end is underneath and the cut end on top. Mark the ribbon where the overlap starts. The thread tale shows where the folded end is under the other end. Don’t make the fit snug. You want to be able to slide it on and off easily.

I had to pin the ribbon in order to take a picture.

temari thimble 17

ASSEMBLING THE PARTS

Stitch the ring closed along both sides of the overlap. When you get to the cut end, fold it under and continue sewing across the fold, then down the other side.

 

temari thimble 9

Take the short piece of ribbon, fold it in half and slide over the overlapped section of the ribbon ring. Stitch it to the top of the seal. In the picture on the right, you can see where the felt has been flipped down to show stitches that go through the pull seal. Trim the ribbon.

This ribbon connector provides more support so the felt between the ring and the plate does not get stretched and worn.

There are little holes in the edge of the plastic because I forgot this step and had to unstitch the felt backing from the pull seal, attach the ring and restitch backing.

 

temari thimble 10

Baste backing in place.

FINISHING

temari thimble 11

Wrap felt strip ends around ribbon ring and trim so the ends just meet. Stitch ends together with thread that matches felt.

temari thimble 12

Using a buttonhole stitch, stitch around the plate, around the bottom edge of ring and the top edge of the ring.

temari thimble 13Using a stab stitch, stitch across the space between the plate and bottom of the ring, then go back the other direction and with stab stitches, fill in the spaces. This stitches the plate backing to the felt and the ribbon connector.

temari thimble 14

Your custom made ring thimble with plate is ready to use.

Attention to Details: temari project tote bag version #3

temari tote v3 1

In the third version of my Temari Project Tote Bag, there were some details that needed attending to that the first and second ones did not address.

In the first version, I considered the bag to be attractive and served its functions well except that the mesh inner bag would snag pins on the ball and pull them out. Not good when it takes quite a bit of time to measure and mark for accurate pin placement. This was fixed in version #2.

In the second version, I made the bag a little larger, but it shared a feature with the first one that needed to be improved. The eyelet holes needed to be a little larger to make threading the thread through the hole easier. Also, both #1 and #2 had soft sides so the bag would slouch when the pockets were not full. The pockets in both versions were intended for thread and there was no accommodations made for needles, scissors, and paper, unless the thread pockets were used.

So, bag #3 has larger eyelet holes, stabilizer in the sides and a second set of pockets.

This version stands up on its own with the stabilizer in the sides. Unfortunatley, I discovered that the combination of stabilizer, heavy weight fabric,the inner bag fabric, inner pockets fabric and two layers of fabric for the hexagon base, made considerable thickness in the seam for sewing the base to the sides. Sewing the seam was a bit challenging. Of course, this got me to thinking of using a lighter weight fabric combined with stabilizer would be a better choice for ease of sewing. That is being dealt with in version #4 which will be in an upcoming post, if it turns out well.

Version three has two small and two large inner pockets for tools and accessories. The two larger pockets have a button and loop closure so that the pockets don’t gape open.

temari tote v3 2

The larger eyelet holes for thread dispensing is much easier for poking the thread end through. A definite plus since there is no sense in making things more difficult than necessary. It is tempting to cut out the eyelets on the first two bags and replace them with larger ones. But that would take courage as I might end up doing more damage than good.

temari tote v3 3eyelet thread hole v1

These were all details that relate to the function of the bag.

In the third version, a lovely piece of upholstery fabric was used for the outside of the bag. When cut, the fabric has a tendency to unravel on the cut edge. This fabric choice led to considering some of the aesthetic details in designing the bag.

temari tote v3 4

Not looking farther than what was on hand, I found a piece of rope that could be reused for the bag strap. Although the color of the rope could be found in the fabric, it still looked like it was a make-do choice. By taking a piece of the fabric and pulling some of the warp thread away, these could be used to weave into the braided rope to bring the fabric colors into the rope handle.

temari tote v3 5

In the picture on the left, the braided rope is on the right and the strands of warp from the fabric are on the left. On the left hand end of the rope, you can see where I experimented with weaving the warp strands into the braid using a tapestry needle.

To finish the handle, more of the same warp threads were used for whipping the rope together to form the handle. This also serves to hide where the rope ends join, making for a clean finish.

The same warp thread was used again to create braided cords for the drawstring closure on the inner bag.

temari tote v3 6By using the same material from the fabric in the handle, in the pull strings, and on the temari pincushion, it creates unity in the design.

It is attention to design details that helps create good function and pleasing aesthetics.

Three New Temari: different sizes and different purposes

Three new temari finished, each with a different function and size.

temari 77Temari #77, a very small temari (about 3/4″ in diameter) was made to be a book marker and given to another book lover as a thank you gift. The threads used for stitching this temari and for the braided cord are embroidery floss.

temari 78Temari #78, a medium sized temari ( 2″ in diameter) serves as a pincushion on one of my temari project tote bags. The decorative stitching is around the equator and on the bottom, leaving the top blank, except some small seed stitches to make sure the thread wrappings don’t move. Perle cotton threads in #5 and #8 were used for stitching. All are hand dyed except the off-white thread. When it is loaded with colorful pins, it looks like the top of a cupcake with sprinkles.

temari 79Temari #79, a large ball (about 7″ in diameter) was made just for looking at and the joy of making it. Three different sizes of thread were used to stitch this ball. A fine #8 perle cotton for the pentagons and triangles. #8 perle cotton was used for the blue diamonds. The thicker black thread and variegated threads are actually a silk/bamboo yarn. Except the black, all the decorative stitching threads are ones I have hand dyed.

Temari Pillow

This temari pillow is an accessory that was made for the Temari Project Tote Bag. This pillow goes in the bottom of the tote bag and is removable. It can be places on flat surface to rest you temari on to prevent your ball from rolling away or getting dirty.

SUPPLIES:

Top: cut one hexagon 10″ across (point to point)- same fabric (or same weight) as inner bag of the tote bag. Here, a lightweight linen was used, but could be muslin, flannel, or any fabric of similar weight.

Bottom: cut one 9″ x 9″- same fabric (or same weight) as pillow top.

Stabilizer: for pillow bottom- Pellon’s Peltex #70 Ultra firm stabilizer

  • Cut two at 7″ across (point to point)

Button: 1 at 3/4″ diameter (for temari pillow) or whatever size you like.

Click on this link for a printable pattern for the hexagons.

 

temari pillow 9

1. Stack the two stabilizer hexagons with edges aligned and then stitch them together with an over-edge zigzag stitch. An over-edge zigzag was used, but even a few hand stitches would be enough.

temari tote v.2 6

2. Lay the stabilizer hexagons on top of the back of the pillow bottom fabric. Stitch them together with a small over-edge zigzag stitch.

temari pillow 1

3. Trim fabric to 1/2″ seam allowance on all sides of hexagon. A half inch wide ruler makes this easy.

temari pillow 2

4. Place the 10″ pillow top hexagon down with right side up (this fabric is same on both sides) and then place the hexagon bottom centered on top with stabilizer facing up. Pin them together in the middle of the sides.

With the pillow top fabric(seen on bottom here) being larger than the bottom, there will be some fabric that extends to the front and back of each side seam. This is okay as it will be corner pleats.

Start the stitching at a corner and stitch to the next corner. I back stitch at both start and stop but do not go past the corners.

When starting next side seam, make sure that the excess at the corner is folded back out of the way.

temari pillow 3

5. On the last side, only stitch about an inch from each corner, leaving an opening in between. This is the gap to turn it right side out. Notice that the excess in the corner in the picture is folded away from the corner so that it does not get stitched.

temari pillow 4

6. Notice that the excess in the corner in the picture is folded away from the corner so that it does not get stitched.

temari pillow 4.5

7. Flip it over so that stabilizer side is down. Notice that the corners are not stitched. This is ironed flat then stitched down. I found that sticking a pencil in the opening made it easier to flatten it centered rather than to one side or the other.

temari pillow 5

8. Stitch the corners closed.

temari pillow 6

9. Turn right side out. Fill with bean bag filler, polystyrene beads.  With the beads, don’t over fill or it will be difficult to make a dip in the center for the temari to rest in. Polyfill stuffing could be used instead of the beads.

temari pillow 7

10. Hand stitch the opening shut.

temari pillow 8

11. Stitch a button in center with stitching going through all layers to pull the top layer down in the center to form a dip. You have just button tufted your pillow and finished it.

temari tote v.2 37

12. Here it is in situ, in the tote bag it was made for.

Temari Project Tote Bag

This linen tote bag was designed and made especially for carrying a temari project. I got tired of fishing around in the bottom of a bag for tools, supplies or a temari. Pin heads sticking out of temari often tangled in thread and would get pulled out.

temari tote 1This was a challenging project for a couple of reasons. I started this project shortly after having surgery on my elbow of dominant hand. My arm was in a full arm splint that limited motion and pain also imposed limits. So, it progressed a little slowly, but this gave me time to think about steps rather than just plow through the project. The other challenge was designing the bag to have all the features that would make it easy to use.

The handle is a four strand rope braid. The rope was purchased from a hardware store years ago. Hanging off one of the handle straps is a temari pincushion, which is detachable.

temari pincushion

Notice the buttons and the eyelet holes. They are not decorations but are functional. The button close pockets that are on the inside which hold thread. The thread is threaded out the eyelet holes and pulled on when a length is needed. To secure the thread, it is wrapped around the button, similar to a button and string envelop where I got the idea from.

temari tote 2

In the picture above, one of the pockets is unbuttoned so you can see one of the pockets is used for a needle case and a pair of scissors.

The mesh pocket liner has a drawstring closure. Opened, it reveals a temari ball waiting to be stitched.

temari tote 3

Below, the ball has been removed to show the hexagon donut shaped pillow that the temari rests on. The pillow was made of a piece of foam covered in felt.

temari tote 4The base of the bag is a hexagon, but it does not show in the picture.

temari tote 5Taken out, the donut pillow makes a nice rest so the ball does not roll off a table.

temari tote 6

 

Lap Top Work Station For Temari Making

portable temari workstation

portable temari workstation

Wishing for something better than a pillow to place in my lap as a work surface for temari, I came up with a solution that used materials found around my house. At first, it was just a lap top work surface, and then I added a removable utility belt to keep tools and supplies for current project at hand.  Originally, the ideas was to have a surface that a ball would not roll around on (or roll off onto the floor).

The temari really does not roll off until you tilt it rather dramatically. Here, one end is jacked up 6″. The secret is the fact that the pillow side of the desks are filled with little foam pellets that conform to the shape of the ball.

temari lap desk 1

The work surface is two lap desks with one turned upside down on top of the other and both inserted into a zippered bag. I tried a pillow case but it was a little big, so I made a case with a zipper. This keeps the two desks together, but to prevent them from sliding back and forth (even in the tight case I made) I had to add a couple scraps of the nonskid mat (the kind used under area rugs and can also be purchased as place mats too).

temari lap desk 2

Also, the cover means you can keep you work surface clean by removing the cover and laundering it occasionally. Personally, I prefer the white cover over the busy print so I can see what I see my temari without a distracting print.

temari lap desk 3

I did leave the pillow case on under the zippered cover so that i can keep the lap desks together while the zippered cover is being washed and to have one more layer between the old (probably not very clean) fabric and my temari.

You could just as easily use a zippered pillow case that has been cut down to size by shortening the non-zippered end and the side that does not have the zipper pull on it when the zipper is closed. I did not have one, so I made one.

The lap desks I used are very old ones that were buried and forgotten in the back of a closet. There are a couple reasons to use the lap desks instead of a pillow. Because the pillow is soft: 1.  it will fold when you pick it up and 2. it is not rigid enough to attach a cool temari utility belt to it.

When looking for a lap desk to purchase (if you don’t have a couple of them hiding in your home to repurpose), I found a search on internet was more productive if I used the term “lap desk” or “lap desk pillow” and not “lap top desk”. The rectangular, inexpensive ones work just fine. The ergonomic shaped one that are curved to fit the body would make it difficult for the tool belt to stay on.

The tool belt was a brain storm I had one night that just had to be made the next morning, so I only used what materials were on hand. I am sure it could be improved or personalized to suit your own needs, but this design at least gives you a starting point.

temari lap desk 4

Work station utility belt assembled on left and disassembled into separate parts on right.

There is quite a bit of hook and loop fastener (Velcro) used in this project. It made it easy to assemble and to adjust without having to resew anything, plus it is easy to take apart if necessary. Please note there are two kinds of Velco used: two sided called “One Wrap” and the standard kind with hook on one tape and loop on other tape. Also, reference in this post to loop side means the soft side and hook side means the rougher side.

NOTE: Remember, you might have to adjust some of the measurements to fit either your lap desk size or scissors size. The lap desks that are used in this project are 13 1/2″ x 19″ and only about 1 3/4″ deep.

MATERIALS:

For Strap

1 piece of 1 1/4″ wide stiff belt webbing at 16″ long (1 1/2′ wide will work fine too)

1 piece of 1″ wide stiff elastic (the no roll ribbed kind) at 16″ long

1 piece of 1″ wide of hook (rough) side of Velcro at 1 1/2″  long

1 piece of 1″ wide of loop (soft) side of Velcro at 4″  long

For Scissors Pocket-

1 piece of 1 1/2″ wide belt webbing at 7″ long

1 piece of 1 1/2″ wide of hook (rough) side of Velcro at 1 1/2″  long

For Pincushion-

1 piece of felt at 5 1/2″ x 6 1/2″

yarn scraps for stuffing

2 pieces of 3/4″ wide Velcro at 4 1/2″ long each

For Thread Pouch-

1 piece light weight canvas at 7″ wide x 20″ long (light weight denim, etc.)

1 piece medium weight canvas (denim, etc.- something with a bit of body to help pocket keep its shape)

3 pieces of 3/4″ wide of two sided Velcro at 3 1/2″ long each

1 pieces of 3/4″ wide two sided Velcro (or piece of loop side) at 9″ long

 temari lap desk 5

SEWING INSTRUCTIONS:

Strap-

temari lap desk 8

temari lap desk 6

  1. Stitch the 16″ piece of webbing to the 16″ piece of elastic with a 1 1/4″ overlap.
  2. Stitch the 1″ x 1 1/2″ piece of Velcro (hook side) to end of webbing.
  3. Stitch the 1″ x 4″ piece of Velcro (loop side) to end of elastic.

Scissors Pocket-

temari lap desk 7

  1. Stitch the 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ piece of Velcro (hook side) to one end of the 7″ long belt webbing.
  2. Lay on table with velcro side down, then fold up 2 1/2″ of other end and stitch along both sides to form a pocket.

Pincushion-

temari lap desk 9

  1. fold the felt in half along the short side so that the two 6 1/2″ sides are together, and pin together.
  2. Zigzag stitch along the pinned edge but stitch so that one side of the stitching goes over the edge.
  3. Flatten the felt tube so that the seam is in the center of the back. Tuck in the corners on one end so that the end is about 1 1/4″ wide (width of strap that it will attach to later) and zigzag stitch end closed.
  4. Stuff felt tube with yarn scraps, but not too tightly or it is difficult to push pins and needles in.

NOTE: I recommend trying out the pincushion first before sewing second end closed to see if it needs more or less stuffing or a different kind.

  1. Stitch other end closed.
  2. Center a piece of two sided Velcro that is 3/4″ wide by 4 1/2″ long on an end of felt tube so that the loop side is up and stitch in place- one on each end.

Thread Pouch-

temari lap desk 10

The velcro extension part (the top half):

  1. Fold the 7″ x 20″ lt. weight canvas in half (with right sides together) along the long side so that the two 7″ sides are together and pin them together.
  2. Stitch along pinned side using a 1/2″ seam allowance making a tube. Press seam open. Turn down edge of one end of tube 1″ and press with iron.
  3. Turn right side out. On the side that has edge turned under (now it should be turned in), tuck in the three pieces of 3/4″ wide velcro that are 3 1/2″ long- one on each end and one in the center, with 1/2″ tucked in and 3″ sticking out. Pin in place.
  4. Stitch close to edge and again about 1/2″ from edge to close edge and secure Velcro strips.
  5. Stitch the 3/4″ x 9″ wide Velcro (loop side) at 1 1/2 below top edge (edge with Velcro strips).
  6. Finish other edge with an over edge zigzag stitch.

Now for the pouch part (the bottom half)-

  1. On the 9″ by 12″ canvas, fold down 3/4″ on both edges to form hems (fold toward wrong side of fabric or side that will be inside) and pin each folded edge. Stitch hems with an over edge zigzag.
  2. Fold in half (with right sides or side that will be out together) on the 9″ side so that the two hemmed 1/2″ sides are together. Pin along the folded 9″ sides and then stitch with 3/8″ or 1/2″ seam allowance. Over edge stitch the stitched seam to finish edges. Turn pouch right side out.
  3. Pin the 3/4″ x 4 1/2″ two sided Velcro to the center of one of the long sides of the pouch with a  1 ” overlap, with the loop side facing out and stitch in place.

The purpose of this piece of Velcro is to prevent the pouch from sagging open so far that things fall out.

  1. Pin pouch to the extension piece so that the back of pouch is 4″ from top edge of the extension. Stitch along top of pouch and again about an 1″ – 1 1/2″ down from top edge.

Now to assemble the parts:

temari lap desk 11

Wrap strap around lap desks and secure and stick Velcro ends to together. Slide three Velcro strips under strap and wrap around and stick each to themselves.

temari lap desk 12

Wrap the Velcro tabs of each end of the pincushion around the strap and stick each to themselves. Then stick the Velcro tab on back of the scissors pocket to any part of exposed loop tape. Ta da! Your temari workstation is done.

Hope you enjoy your temari work station. I regret not taking pictures while I made this, but I was thinking about making it and it had not occurred to me at the time that it might be something other temari makers would enjoy making for themselves. But I think if you study the pictures that go along with the text, you should be able to figure it out. If you still have a question, then just ask.

Blue Plaid and Denim Tote

blue plaid and denim tote

This bag was going to be a plain plaid bag. But the addition of the denim, to reinforce the bottom and to make a pocket, along with the braided trim gave the blue tote bag more character.

I really like the blue plaid fabric and will be sad when it is all used up as I have no source for more of it. The weight of the fabric is similar to a lightweight canvas. It is the same fabric used for the crutches bag. The denim is left over from a pair jeans that I used to make a small project tote bag. And the wonderful braided trim is from my grandmother’s stash of trims that my mother gave me many years ago.

It would have been a rather plain bag without the denim and trim.

Two Upcyle Tote Bags

Carolyn, a friend I met years ago through our quilt guild, was debriding collected stuff since she is moving. So, she gave me a bunch of fabric and other things. Among the fabrics were some scraps that were just seemed to want to become a tote bag.

carolyn's scraps bag

I made the one above then gave it to her when I saw her at our quilt guild meeting as a going away gift. I will miss seeing her at the meetings, but there is always internet to stay in touch.

placemat tote

Among other things she brought over was a couple of matching placemats. One got transformed into a box and the other became this small tote. The tan fabric on the top was a scrap from a thrift store and the ribbon used on the handles was a scrap from my box of ribbons.

The box bag is almost done, but not quite, so maybe it will show up in a later post after it is completed and my frustration with it has worn off.

Even though both totes were made from fabrics from my friend’s scraps (mostly), they ended up with very different personalities.