Another lovely Christmas

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Try Something New Every Month 2016!

In 2015 Stephanie from Swoodson Says proposed the idea of TSNEM – Try Something New Every Month. She had hoped to get lots of bloggers to participate but in the end there were only three of us that did it every month, Stephanie and Rebecca and me.

I had a lot of fun thinking up techniques and projects to fit in with trying new things every month of 2015. Some things I would absolutely never revisit, while others I’m really glad to have under my belt 🙂 You can see what I tried each month here.

2016 is shaping up to be a little different. There is a Facebook group for support from other TSNEM folks, and there are also some loose categories to work within, too. I’m looking forward to another year of experimenting with new skills!

January – Quilting (I’ll try free-motion quilting!)
February – Tactile Craft: paper mache, clay, soap, candle making (perhaps I’ll attempt paper mache)
March – Painting
April – Edible Crafts (ooo, adorable bento lunches maybe?)
May – Hand Sewing
June– Heavy Craft; leather, wood burning, glass etching (wood burning!)
July – Yarn Craft; knitting, crochet, weaving (I’d still like to attempt leno weaving)
August – Printmaking: fabric or paper
September – Machine Sewing
October – Needlework: embroidery, cross-stitch, crewel, needlepoint
November – Papercraft: origami, scrapbook, calligraphy (yes! origami!)
December – Choose your own!

Small divided sewing desk basket tutorial

I was gifted some amazing Heather Ross fabric in the Instagram #getyourquilywishesgranted tag, and I was feeling rather inspired to make myself something with some of the bits given to me from the Nursery Versary line. I’ve been wanting a little divided basket for my sewing desk for sometime to hold all the little odds and ends I like to keep readily available, so I set out to make one. Since I was going through all the effort anyway I figured I could write out a little tutorial for anyone else interested.

This finished little organizer measures 5.5″L x 3″W x 2.25″H.

Take a piece of normal computer paper and measure 2.5″ squares off of the corners. I drew out the dashed 1/4″ seam lines just so my brain could understand what I was doing.

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Cut out two pieces from this pattern–an outside and a lining. I did the same for both.


Then cut 4 rectangles the same size as the flaps. These will make outside pockets.

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To finish the top edge of the pockets I like to press the edge under twice…

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Then top-stitch it down…

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Now take each piece with right-sides together and sew from corner to corner. I finished the bottom raw edge with my serger, though you could zigzag cut it, or just leave it raw.


Here’s what it looks like with all 4 pockets sewn along their bottom edges…


Flip them all up the right way and press.


Then stitch up the corners so that you create a box…



Inside out box…


Right-side out box! Press all the edges so it stands up nice. At this point I also aded a few stitches in the middle of the long pockets to separate the sides a bit.


Cut a 3.5″W x 6″L rectangle from your lining fabric…



Fold it right-sides together and stitch all the way around, all but a little bit at the end, and notch the corners.


Then flip it right-side out and top stitch all around 3 of the 4 sides.


Sew it down across the middle of your lining. I did two rows.


Then sew up the corners so it creates your inside box!


I couldn’t think of a better way to sew up the sides of the dividing panel, so I just pinched it in a straight line and hand sewed it all together.


Fit the inside lining with divider into the outside box with the pockets, fold over the edges, and clip/pin in place.


Top-stitch it down, and ta-da!

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Beautifully in use!


Please show me if you make one too!

Try Something New Every Month: Tatting

Let me start by saying: OMG TATTING IS HARD.

I received an amazing hand-me-down of tatting supplies from a friend. Inside of these vintage tins were oodles of threads and shuttles and shuttles with bobbins and all sorts of weird things I had no idea how to use. Also inside the tins were some amazing little tatted and lacy pieces…

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I started with a one-on-one lesson with my slightly tipsy aunt after a Thanksgiving dinner. While this gave me the basic idea of how to hold the thread, and how my hands should move, I didn’t actually successfully do anything during this session.

Sitting at home alone on my couch with these tutorials from Tatted Treasures I got going…a little…

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Getting to this point took me about AN HOUR. Yeesh.

In all honestly I had to put this project idea down. ‘Tis the season for having too much to do and not enough hours in the day to commit properly to such a fiddly little craft. It is definitely something I intend to pick up again in the future.

I am proud that I did complete this monthly challenge of trying something new throughout 2015!

January: Entrelac knitting

February: Knit Latvian braid

March: Calligraphy

April: Embroidery stitches

May: Foundation paper piecing

June: SELLING/BUYING A HOUSE OMG (I know this doesn’t really count, haha!)

July: Drunkard’s path quilt blocks

August: Mitre saw

September: Orange peel quilt block

October: Finish a BIG quilt

November: Drafting an EPP pattern

December: Tatting


See what other bloggers made this month: