Showing posts with label Informative. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Informative. Show all posts

17 Jul 2019

How to make bag straps with quilt batting

Apple Cider Market Tote aka Winslow Market Tote

I first saw this tote pattern in the 2018 issue of Make It! Patchwork. It was designed by Kathy Mack and was showcased on the Quilting Arts TV Episode #601. It was originally featured as the Winslow Market Tote and has since been renamed the Apple Cider Market Tote

I haven't made many bags, but I fell in love with this one as soon as I saw it. I wasn't sure, however, what fat quarters to use for it. When I finally dug through my stash, I found the perfect fabric for this tote ─ Into the Garden by Amanda Herring for Riley Blake. I bought this fat quarter bundle several years ago and loved it so much I didn't want to cut it! I also wanted to make pretty matching straps for this bag, but I wasn't sure how to make bag straps. I heard you could use quilt batting for straps and thought that this would be a great way to use up my batting scraps. After a YouTube search, I found a great tutorial for making bag straps with batting by sewing and crafting vlogger Alanda Craft. She uses fusible batting but says non-fusible works just as well. I think my straps turned out great.

Apple Cider Market Tote made by Monica Curry | Pattern Design by Kathy Mack

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(Also check out Bag Strap Making Video Tutorial by Alanda Craft

1. Cut [2] fabric strips 5" x length of the strap and [2] quilt batting strips 2½" x length of the strap.

2. Fold the fabric strip in half lengthwise and press.

3. Make a lengthwise fold to the center of the strip on both sides and press.

4. Place batting in the center of the strip.

5. Fold each side of the fabric over onto the batting and press.

6. Fold the fabric and batting in half lengthwise and press.

7. To finish off your strap, stitch along both edges using a 1/8" or 1/4" allowance (Version 1). I find the strap is a little stronger if you add three more rows of stitching equally down the center. (Version 2).

13 Mar 2019

TOP 10 favourite things in my studio . . .

Like most of you, my studio had humble beginnings but over time evolved into a creative sanctuary. As in any good studio, there are special items that keep me inspired, grounded, and working efficiently. In no special order, these are the Top 10 things in my studio I would never part with.


This framed Quilting Arts magazine cover featuring one of my art quilts helps to remind me that hard work and perseverance can pay off and that even though I've created some epic fails, I've also created some beautiful work that others can appreciate.

In 2012 my art quilt Mother Ship was selected to be published for the Quilting Arts magazine Readers Challenge. I was even more excited when I was told my art was going to be on the front cover of the magazine. The Readers Challenge was to create an art quilt interpreting the phrase "What If." Being a UFO/alien buff, I wondered "What if I saw a UFO over my house?" and I created a piece with a UFO floating over a row of suburban homes. 

If you're also fascinated by all things extraterrestrial, download my FREE UFO quilt block HERE


I used to use a TV table ironing board next to my sewing machine for small pressing jobs. However, I found it to be a real pain to move around when I didn't need it, and the legs would get caught in the electrical cords. So, I came up with a solution that works great for me. I took the legs off the ironing board and attached it to the wall with folding shelf brackets. It sits next to my sewing machine and is so convenient! When I don't need it I can fold it down out of the way and there are no legs getting tangled in the cords below.

I didn't make a tutorial for this project, but I found a helpful video on YouTube for attaching the table and brackets to the wall. If you want to give this project a try be sure to either hit a stud or use a strong screw anchor aka wall plug when attaching the folding bracket to drywall. I attached two boards to the wall and then attached the table brackets to these. There are many other options for making a folding wall table on Pinterest but I used folding brackets because I didn't want any obstructions under the table.



My husband is an intarsia artist and not long ago we put our heads together to make this sewing room decor project. I designed the pattern for the scissors and my husband put it together. You can buy the intarsia pattern for these scissors HERE


This is another combined effort by my husband and me. Again, I designed the pattern and he built it. I think it turned out so cute! I am not sure if I'll be selling this pattern, but if I do I'll be sure to let you know. We used a small nail to represent the sewing machine needle and a vintage wooden spool cut in half for the thread. How cool is that?


This pretty little lampshade is so easy to make and a great way to use up your leftover fabric strips. I had the little lamp hanging around forever and wasn't quite sure what to do with it until I saw this project on Pinterest. (CAUTION: Regular incandescent bulbs can get quite hot and cause a fire hazard with all that fabric, so I used a 9W LED bulb).



My JUKI 2010TL-Q is my pride and joy. It's a real workhorse. This Juki has a powerful motor and a long neck which makes it perfect for my free-motion machine quilting.  You could sew through at least five layers of denim like butter with this thing, not that I'd do that but it's a testament to the power of this machine. It's also pretty low maintenance and very easy to use. I designed a wrap-around pin cushion for my machine (shown here) for my post on pin cushions last year. You can download the free pattern HERE.


I think this is the coolest thing I've ever bought for my studio. It's a vintage Singer sewing machine cut in half and turned into bookends. We purchased the lamp from Prairie Pickers just outside of Winnipeg. Greg, the seller, said he had a heck of a time cutting the machine but was very proud of it when it was done. He was happy to see it going to a good home.


I desperately needed a clean, dry place to keep my quilt batting and backing and thought an old dresser would do the trick. After some searching, I bought a rickety old mid-century vintage dresser for $40. With a few coats of paint and some stain, I turned it into this stylish storage dresser. This idea has freed up a lot of space in my studio!  Update: Sold my dresser for $125! Used the $$ to buy Ikea shelving for my studio.



I came across this pin cushion project at Lovely Little Handmaids and knew I had to make one. I picked up a vintage planter at the flower shop and turned it into this adorable little pin cushion. Actually, it's so precious I'm afraid to use it in case it breaks. To keep it stable I glued stones to the bottom before adding the cushion. This gave it some needed weight and made it less tippy. You can get my tutorial for making your own vintage pot pin cushion HERE.


If you haven't guessed by now, I enjoy upcycling old stuff. I picked up this jewellery box at Goodwill for $5. It was originally stained a dark yucky brown but I saw it's potential as a box for my quilting odds and ends. As they say, it had good bones. It's the best way for me to keep all my notions in one place.

18 Dec 2018

Quilting room storage: Revamped vintage dresser

This is a great storage idea that I wanted to share. I can't afford much for storage furniture so I normally have to think outside the box to furnish my sewing room. I picked this little mid-century modern dresser at a thrift store. I desperately needed more storage for my batting, backing and those miscellaneous things that needed a home.

I forgot to take the before picture but, basically, the original was sprayed in a dark stain and had super ugly drawer handles. After combing over ideas on Pinterest, I came up with this. I really love how it turned out. And I can keep an awful lot of stuff in these drawers.

Refurbished mid-century vintage dresser - image 1

UPDATE: June 2021
Dresser was sold for $150. I paid $40 for the
original so I made a $110 profit.😀
I used that $$ to buy IKEA shelving for my studio.

4 Oct 2017

Halloween Decor 2017: Beautiful Halloween wreath

A couple of years ago I posted a Halloween floral arrangement that I made for my home. This year, I made a Halloween wreath for my front door. I turn 60 this October and I love Halloween, so I'm having a birthday/Halloween party for my big day. I wanted a pretty wreath on the door to greet my guests. I saw some beautiful wreaths on Pinterest with skulls and ghoulish stuff, but I wanted a floral wreath. Everything I used to make this wreath is from the dollar store. It cost about $15 to make which proves you don't need a lot of money to pretty up your home for Halloween.  Happy Halloween one and all!

Floral Halloween wreath by Monica Curry

25 Sept 2016

New Job: Time to brush up on my time management skills

I haven't been able to post very much these days because I have a great new part-time job. Besides loving to quilt, I'm also a floral arranger. I love my job, but I'm now juggling my time between job, blogging, sewing, and housework. It's totally doable (I have no kiddies running around), but I really have to plan my time better for my sewing. I have a Halloween table runner on the design wall and on deck is a beautiful Christmas table topper.

Here are some of my floral design creations. It's been a long time since I did any floral work, but I'm starting to get the hang of it again, and I'm learning from some very talented designers at work.

happy face floral arrangement monica curry

basket floral arrangement monica curry

floral arrangement gerbera daisy monica curry

2 Jan 2016

A new year begins: looking back, looking forward.

water lily monica curry

Well, a new year has begun. 2015 was full of positive changes, both for me personally and for our home. Personally, I overcame my lifelong battle with depression with top notch professional help and a lot of hard work. Our home has a new kitchen and our yard has a new pond. As of June 2016, we will have lived in our little house for 10 years, and we finally have it just the way we like it.

I started my quilting blog in 2015 and, after a number of changes, finally have it set up the way I like it. The setup took a lot of time away from my quilting, which is kind of ironic, but I have ideas for some great block and wall quilt designs for 2016. I can't wait to start posting them!

Happy New Year! I hope your 2016 is full of joy and love.

16 Apr 2015

My new studio desk

I'm very proud of this little desk I created from a vintage sewing machine. I think the machine is circa 20s or 30s. I got it free from a friend of a friend, and it sat in my studio gathering dust for over a year until I finally had the time to make it useful. Some may think it's sacrilegious to hack a vintage machine like this, but it makes a great desk. I'm amazed at how much I could fit into those four little drawers.

8 Apr 2015

Spirit Dancers Art Quilt

This is my art quilt Spirit Dancers. I created this piece for a local art show called Stone Age. It was the first art show I'd been in, so I was pretty excited. I think my piece was the only fabric art in the show.

I sold the piece quickly and then received a call from the gallery curator. Someone from Australia also wanted one before they flew back home. I then had to rush around to make a duplicate. I was lucky to still have some of the hand-dyed fabric I used.

Monica at the Stone Age art show with her fabric art Spirit Dancers 

9 Mar 2015

My Hat From a Life Lived: My Empty Nest

This is my art hat Empty Nest that was in the art show Hats From a Life Lived held in Fall 2014.

The show was organised by Manitoba fibre artist Colette Balcaen and the concept for the show was quite beautiful.
“When [Anastazja Urbanik] passed on at the age of 94, I received many of her hats. Now my project, Hats From a Life Lived, gives the opportunity to many artists to express an aspect of their life. The participants adapt a hat from another life to give it a new life."  Colette Balcaen 
Empty Nest was created to commemorate my journey that began 25 years ago after losing a child to an ectopic pregnancy. Prior to my miscarriage, I experienced many years of infertility, so this loss was especially tragic.

I grew up during a time when women were often defined by their ability to have children. So, the experience of infertility and subsequent miscarriage forced me to explore my place in the world as a woman without children. Over the years, I’ve learned that the power of the feminine goes beyond childbearing. I’ve embellished the “nest” of the piece to accentuate the rich life I’ve had without children. The spiral of the piece represents the feminine life force. With or without children I believe this powerful force runs through all women and is our source of strength and creativity.