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Lego Travel Bag~A Tutorial

My second Handmade Holiday idea for 2014 is this Lego on-the-go Travel Bag! This tutorial originally appeared on Today’s Creative Blog in July of 2013 as part of their Celebrate Summer Series, but it’s a great gift idea, too … says the mom who has stepped on a billion and one Legos in the middle of the night. It’s a good thing to give those little things their own special storage space!

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The Roly-Poly-Along Blog Tour & Giveaway!

It’s my turn on the Roly-Poly-Along! My friend, Rachael, from Imagine Gnats recently released her first sewing pattern, and it’s such a fun wardrobe basic for little girls! Not only do I get to share my first Roly-Poly with you today, but you also have a chance to win a Roly-Poly pattern of your own!There have been some absolutely amazing Roly-Polies sewn during the blog tour. You have to check out this one and this one and this one and, of course, the knit roly poly here! The creativity left me sitting with my mouth open wondering what I was going to do. I really love the simplicity of the pattern, though! And, if you know me, you know that I’m all about practicality and quick gratification. So, I just went with what I love, and I’m so happy that I did.Based on measurements, I cut out the size 1 for Katie. She’s tall and thin and normally wears a size 2T, and the size 1 fits beautifully!I decided to skip the side seam pockets but extend the tunic to dress length. To do that, I taped the pattern pieces together like Rachael recommends, then I drew a straight line across the center of the pattern, cut the pattern in half, added about 4″ and taped it all back together.I adore the bicycle twill that I found at Joann Fabrics for the main side, but I thought it needed a little something fun, so I drafted some elastic-top round pockets and sewed them up with fabric from the reverse side.I used metal snaps instead of buttons for the straps (mostly because they were fast and easy!)On the reverse side, I used yellow seersucker with white dots, also from Joanns.To complete the outfit, I added a pair of retro ruffled-leg bloomers. Aren’t they cute peeking out?Wait, though! That’s not all the Roly-Poly goodness you get from Fishsticks today! My amazing assistant, Leigh, is tagging along! You can check out the Roly-Poly she sewed for Missy over on her blog, Rooibos Mom.Now for the giveaway! Just leave a comment telling me who you know that would love a handmade Roly-Poly, and register your entry in the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway will run through Saturday, June 1st, and the winner will be announced on Monday, June 3rd.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Be sure to check out the rest of the Roly-Poly-Along:

5.13 Jill Made with Moxie / Stephanie The Crafty Kitty
5.14 Stephanie NeurosesGalore / Cherie you & mie
5.15 Ari Max California / Caila Caila Made
5.16 Veronica SewVery / Tara Girl like the sea
5.17 Nancy owen’s olivia / Adrianna Crafterhours
5.20 Ajaire Call ajaire / Sarah EmmylouBeeDoo
5.21 Laura Craftstorming / Jessica a little gray
5.22 Frances Miss Matatabi / Nicke kiss kiss quilt
5.23 Amy formwork design / Kat Sew Chibi
5.24 Joanne Rose & Dahlia / Amanda Kitschy Coo
5.29 Bonnie Fishsticks Designs / Maria La Inglesita
5.30 Jane Buzzmills / Kate Things for Charlie
5.31 Polly Jack & GeeGee / Molly Rose & Odin

Large Scale Crazy Quilting

Anyone who has been around me long enough, has heard me utter these words: “If it doesn’t come with an actual pattern piece, then I won’t sew it.”

Enter the Crazy Quilt Block Sewalong!

And you’re absolutely right, this is exactly the type of sewing I said I would never do!

But can I admit something? It’s actually incredibly fun! Even if you make a silly mistake like I did while trimming.

Do you see that nick in the fabric to the left of my oh-so-sharp rotary cutter? Oops. Thankfully with crazy quilting I can easily choose any number of ways to cover it up before my project is finished!


I was crossing my fingers a little by this stage. Just hoping and praying it really would look pretty after it was all trimmed off, and that I wouldn’t lose too much of my favorite fabrics on the edges, in the process.

Before trimming:


As you can tell, it was a rather big block that I’d pieced together. And seeing as I am not making a quilt (I already have 2 in the works!), I decided to trim it to the very biggest size I could. As the sides are trimmed and moved out of the way, it’s amazing to see this cute block suddenly emerge from the chaos!


Ta-da! I love it!

In fact, I loved it so much that I stayed up late making another one! This one is actually much bigger than the first. It’s probably going to be a lovely big placemat. The first is probably going to be turned into a super cute snack mat for our little girl, who makes messes of about the same proportion as a wild animal at the zoo during snack and meal times!

Well, I’m off to put my photos up onto the SewCanShe Crazy Quilt Block Sewalong Facebook. Have you put yours up yet? I can’t wait to see what new ones have been added today!

Leigh’s Crazy Quilt Block Scrap Pile

Have you ever felt like you were missing the right things to be able to play with the “cool kids”?

Well, that’s how I was feeling about my little scrap pile. I know it’s a silly feeling to have, especially at my age! But we’re sewing along with the Crazy Quilt Block Sewalong on SewCanShe, and my scrap pile was just looking a bit too skimpy to actually be transformed into anything gorgeous!

Now don’t get me wrong, my fabric stash is enormous…embarrassingly so, in fact. But I rarely sew for myself. The majority of my stash is knits, and the rest is mainly wovens for the kids. Only a tiny portion of what I own is what I’d call “adult appropriate”.

I dashed off to etsy and found a great scrap grab bag listing from Stitchin Away, bought two (I think the previous paragraph already established the fact that I have a fabric addiction), and breathed a sigh of relief…I would have some “cool” fabrics very soon!

The package took a total of ONE whole day to arrive from the time it shipped, after less than 1 processing day!! I knew the seller was in the same state, but I had no idea she only lived an hour and a half from me…SCORE!

These are the pretties I received in the expertly packed priority envelope:

I put aside a few that Missy would love me to use for dolly clothes and accessories, and added a few freshly cut strips from my stash. Aren’t the scraps so pretty all organized into rows?

Okay, I need to admit something. I really wanted a beautiful pile of strips and scrap pieces like the ones you see on SewCanShe: Week 1, to add to this post. I tried, I really did. But I simply couldn’t bring myself to rumple up all the beautifully folded pieces. Can you see them all neatly in place, below my sorry attempt at a random pile of strips?

And yes. I am about to go refold all the strips as soon as they’ve been ironed. 😉 Then I’ll be well equipped to join in this sewalong! Are you joining in too? You absolutely should!

Boutique 4 Quilters & Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day!

Did you know that today is Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day?  It is!  And, I made sure to stop by my local quilt shop, Boutique 4 Quilters, this morning to see what’s new in the store, to chat with the amazing staff and to fill my need for puppy love.
I met Anita, the owner of Boutique 4 Quilters, in Kansas City last spring at Quilt Market before we’d even made the move back to Florida.  When I saw the city on her business card, I was so excited!   I made my first stop into the shop while we were still living with friends here and felt so welcomed.  Each time I’ve been back in since, I’ve been greeted like an old friend!  I love that so much.  It’s what makes me want to head there as soon as I have a project in mind or just stop in when I need a quick break from whatever craziness is going on.  (Browsing fabric and chatting with other sewing enthusiasts is good therapy for those who love sewing!)
This shop is literally packed full of beautiful, fresh, modern fabrics.  There is a great selection of everything from batiks to novelty fabrics to patterns (so many patterns!) and, of course, you’ll find all sorts of sewing notions, too.
I simply cannot resist a sea of fat quarters.  I brought home six new ones today to add to my stack of I-Spy fabrics for a quilt that I’m hoping to finish for Charlie’s birthday next month.
I think I need some of these red and white linens, but I have to figure out a project for them first!  Any ideas? Something for my house, I think.
I mentioned that I stop in here for puppy love, too, didn’t I?  I was a little sad this morning, that I didn’t get my usual greeting from a friendly golden retriever.   Anita almost always has one of her sweet companions in the shop with her.  She was on her way out of the shop when I arrived today, though, so she let me swipe this sweet picture of Humphrey (all ready to cut your fabric for you) from the shop’s Facebook page.  I’m so glad because any blog post about Boutique 4 Quilters just wouldn’t be complete without it! Is that not the cutest face?
Of course, I realize that Visit Your Local Quilt Shop Day will likely be over by the time that you’re reading this post, but it doesn’t have to be a special day to drop in!  Just go!  And, be sure to introduce yourself and ask questions and get to know the shop owner and the staff.  It’s so nice to have a place where you can chat and feel at home and browse fabric and notions to your heart’s content!



On November 5th, my sweet friend, Sheri, passed away after a hard-fought battle with rectal cancer. I originally met Sheri online through a cloth-diaper-sewing bulletin board while I was pregnant with our fifth child, Jamie. We shared a love for homeschooling our children and, of course, for sewing. Sheri was an avid supporter of breastfeeding moms, and I will never forget what a huge encourager she was when I was struggling so much with nursing after Jamie was born. When Sheri moved to Dallas last year, I was thrilled to finally get to meet her and her family in person.

From the very beginning, Sheri candidly shared her journey with rectal cancer on her blog, I’m Sorry for Cursing. I was scrolling through her old posts a few days ago and ran across these words, “In this world, I want to have faith and trust like Ruth, and I want to live real like Naomi.” I think Sheri accomplished those goals with an incredible amount of grace. I was blessed to have had her in my life. Sheri’s journey gives me courage to walk my own with the same goals in mind.

In the early days of Fishsticks Designs, Sheri and I belonged to a small group of moms who sewed and sold together online at the Diva Designs Congo which later became Inspired. This week, Sheri’s friends from all over the country are offering sewn and knitted items, along with a selection of pdf patterns over at the Inspired store. All the proceeds from these sales will go to Sheri’s husband and her two precious little ones.

I’ve donated a Playdate Messenger Bag and a Mama & Baby Bag Set, and there’s a very nice selection of other items available, as well. Please go check it out. And take some time to scroll through Sheri’s blog, too. You just may find some courage and joy for your own journey while you’re there!

Giveaway at Create Hope Designs!

Things are taking off over at Create Hope Designs! Please be sure to take a few minutes, if you haven’t already, to check out the amazing sewing patterns available there and purchase to support China Little Flower Orphanage. While you’re over there, take a few minutes to enter Izzy & Ivy’s giveaway on the blog, too. They are giving away six(!) prizes to six different commenters: 3 winner’s choice of any 5 Izzy patterns, 1 box of Sprinkles, a box with all their favorite notions, and a finished Lucy’s Little Flower Dress in your fabric choice: Izzy & Ivy Giveaway.

The New Tags Are Here!

I am so excited about my new Mama-Made tags! My talented friend, Becca, of Night Owl’s Menagerie designed these tags just for Fishsticks Designs. Aren’t they amazing? (Becca has some other great tags in her Etsy shop, too. You should go check it out! In fact, I just got a package of some of her other tag designs for my own sewing.) You can find the new Fishsticks Designs tags here: Mama Made Tags.

I also received a package of the original Fishsticks Designs tags, so they are restocked and ready to ship, too: FD Tags.

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