Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Purses and palm trees

Summer is slow for quilting I'm discovering, so I've had a chance to work on a few projects of my own, which is really nice! I bought this amazing lizard fabric on my jaunt to the Raleigh quilt show and I decided to make myself a matching set of accessories: purse, phone cover and a Kindle case.

I used my go-to pattern for iPhone cases by Amy Friend of During Quiet Time. Super easy and makes a beautiful cover every time. I love linen and this is a great way to showcase my new fabric.

I measured an old across-the-body bag that I bought at Target ages ago and made a pattern for the purse. I even got to use up some trim/cord that I had left over from a chair project. It is all on the inside, but oh well. The lining of bags can be pretty too, right? I added a strip of wool batting in the strap for extra comfort:)

Then I set to work on my Kindle. It has been time for a new case for a while. I made the mistake of using light fabrics on the inside of my old one and they get pretty grubby looking after a lot of use. Also lost the button. I'm loving this new case. The little strip of fabric on the front makes it look more like a book or a journal and I added some little hexagons on the back. I love the look of hexagons, but don't have the patience or desire to do the paper piecing, so this is an ideal solution. My showcase fabric is on the inside and it is dark enough that it won't show dirt too easily.

And now to the palm trees. Back in April, my aunt in Florida sends me a text. With the above photo of a palm tree included. Could you make two of these, she asks? She had seen this fabric palm tree in a shop in Florida and wanted some for her house. Sounded like fun. Palm trees? Sure, why the heck not!

Step one: Fabric store! Who doesn't want to go to Sewingly Yours with their amazing selection of batiks?And this time I was armed with an iPhone, not a flip phone. This makes long distance fabric shopping a breeze! I texted pictures of fabric to my aunt and she picked the ones she liked. We narrowed it down to these:

Nine different fabrics for palm fronds and two for coconuts. Of course, when you cut out fronds, there are plenty of little scraps all over. On a side note, my daughter has been helping me cut out 1 1/2" squares from these scraps to make a nine patch quilt, yay!

My aunt said she thought the fronds were about 3 feet long and maybe 12 inches wide, so I sketched a template and cut them out. I sewed a track all around the outside of the fronds for the wire and one straight down the middle. I picked up some wire in a roll at the local hardware store. It was perfect for bending around the shapes, but not strong enough to support the frond. I managed to find enough hangers in my closets to make up for that.

I used 4" PVC pipe and cut it down to 7 1/2 feet. I wrapped one layer of batting around it and then set in with the burlap, tucking folds as I went along and sewing them all down. A couple of styrofoam balls left over from another project where perfect to stick in the top end. All the fronds with go right through that like those fake flower arrangements.

I didn't want to stick all the fronds in and ruin the ball too soon. These babies are getting shipped to Florida. So only one frond for this pic. Will follow up in the future with on-site photography:)


  1. Oh my goodness, that tree looks like it was a chore! How in the world will you ship it?

  2. YAY your palm tree is awesome! Way to rise to the challenge! And love your bag and accessories!

  3. I guessed correctly... your back of tricks, as well as your creative ingenuity, know no limits! Way to go~ love your determination in creating a terrific palm tree, looks great!

  4. simply amazing how you figured out how to do that palm tree! I know your aunt is going to love it.