r-anne-dom : a place for me (anne) to leave random blog posts.
Such as:
..knitting, sewing, and other random activities pursued
..Girl Guides of Canada : yep, Guiding Lives Here
..the 4 shops on Etsy : one features quality handmade items; the second has lots of patterns, & crafting supplies; the third is stocked with Vintage; and the fourth is guiding flowers.
Enjoy the r-anne-domness!

March 20, 2017

Tutorial: Crown Royal Coasters


Crown Royal Coasters

My nephew sent me some Crown Royal bags and asked me to make coasters.

First I carefully cut the fabric from the bags.

Next I cut a square from card stock as my "pattern".
It is 4.5 inches (11.5cm) square.

I first cut the plain fabric squares for the back of the coaster.

Here are all the plain squares.

I had some white terry cloth fabric (think towels) so I cut those into squares too, to ensure the coaster would be absorbant.
Here are the white squares.

Then I realized that my card stock pattern would not allow me to make sure the words "Crown Royal" were centred in my squares.
I needed something I could see through.
So I found a pink plastic bag and cut a 4.5 inch (11.5cm) square.

Now I could see what I was cutting.

Some of the bags were larger than others. I always got the words centred left to right, but sometimes the words were lower in the square because of the size of the bag.

Here are all the Crown Royal squares.

Now, time to stack for sewing.
The Crown Royal square and the plain square are right sides together.
Add the white square outside the plain square.

When pinning, mark where you will leave an opening.
This is to turn the coaster right side out.
My green pins mark my opening.

I started sewing at the bottom green pin.
My seam was a scant 1/4 inch seam.
And I sewed all the way 'round to the other green pin.

Trim your corners.

Turn right side out.
This is an example of one of the Crown Royal squares where the words are lower than centre.
It is because the bag was smaller than the others. 

Fold in the edges at the opening.
Pin opening.

Topstitch across the opening and all 'round the coaster.

Ta da!
All done.

March 16, 2017

Pattern Review: The Tohoku Tote

Pattern Review

The Tohoku Tote

I've had this tote pinned on Pinterest for quite some time. 
And this past January I made it!

Here is my first one.

I was SO PLEASED with how it turned out that I made 17 more!!

I had lots of this lovely tropical fabric!!
I did underestimate how much coordinating fabric I'd need but I managed.
The photos do not show the true colours and they coordinate much better than they appear.

Now, for the review.

The pattern instructions are very well written.
The pattern pieces were right on.
It was easy to follow along.
She states "I have tried to be extremely thorough in this tutorial for those of you who are new to sewing. If you are a pro, then you'll be able to skip some of it."
And although I sew a lot, I'd recommend everyone read through the entire instructions at least once.

Click here for the Tohoku Tote tutorial.

I did line my bags but I chose not to use interfacing at all. 
My bags did not need to have the structure and I am pleased with how they turned out.

I did make adjustments to how I attached the bow to the bag.
That is probably the only change I made to the instructions.
For my bows, I inserted the pieces into the small loop.
Then I sewed them into place.

Also, on some of my bags, I replaced the bow with other decorative accents.

I highly recommend this pattern for anyone looking for their next tote bag project!

Pockets. Check!
Handles. Check!
Magnet Closures. Check!

Here are my completed bags.

They were all given away as gifts.

March 13, 2017

Tutorial: Baby Blocks


Baby Blocks
Made these when my daughter was a baby. 
I was one bell short so didn't put a bell in one block. 
Every morning that block was on the floor outside her crib. 
She knew a defective toy when she saw [or didn't hear] one!

What do you need?
Scraps of fabric

I started by creating a pattern from a piece of paper.
It is 4.25 x 4.25 inches square.
(11 x 11 cm)

Cut squares with your pattern. You will need 6 squares per block.

Here are sets of squares for 3 blocks - 6 squares each.

Pin the squares right sides together.
I usually start by choosing one square and pinning 4 others around it.
Then add the last square as in the photo below.

I sew with a 1/4 inch seam. You want to start sewing 1/4 inch from the edge. Do not sew right to the edge at each corner.

Beginning with that one square that has other squares on all 4 sides.
Sew one seam, being careful NOT to sew right to the edge of the corner.
Lift your sewing foot.

 Now position your next square of fabric for the next seam.
Again, start 1/4 inch from the edge in the corner.
Sew that seam.

 Continue in this manner for those 4 seams around the main square.
Now pin the remaining seams to make your block, being sure to leave ONE SEAM OPEN.
Check now.
Did you leave one seam unpinned?
Okay, sew those seams.

Here is what the block looks like with one seam left open.

Turn the block right side out.

Now, add fibrefill into the block.

Add a bell in the centre of the fibrefill.
Make sure you can hear it.
Don't stuff too tightly around it.

Pin that last seam closed.

Either sew it with your sewing machine, close to the edge.
Or hand sew to close.

March 11, 2017

Saturday Spotlight: Red Tree Co. aka Mama Knits With Love

Saturday Spotlight

Red Tree Co.

formerly known as Mama Knits With Love

1. What is the name of your shop or business and what do you sell?

My business is as you know was Mama Knits With Love and I sell hand knit items.
I am thrilled to introduce my new name:
Red Tree Co.

Many people ask what the significance of my new name brand is...
"I love trees and how they represent roots and branching out...my favourite colour is red... and I feel that this logo symbolizes being "rooted to my community with a personal touch of me"

2. Where are you located? or where do you sell?

I live in East London and I do custom orders from home. 
I also sell my knits in The Been Garden
I also sell on etsy  - https://www.etsy.com/shop/RedTreeKnitCo

3. Do you have your own website/store or online link?

I created this page to share my love for knitting and it's become a well loved little place where I take custom orders with love and pride ♥

4. How long have you been doing your craft/art and how did you get started?

I have been knitting for 3 years!
I started knitting to help with my anxiety and  because I found it very relaxing and I just fell in love with it. I knit everyday..everywhere I go I take my knitting! I do believe that practice makes perfect...lol. Ok not perfect but knitting a lot sure helps you get better and better! 
I watched many you tube videos to teach myself in the beginning and it just came natural to me! 
I love knitting!! 
I love that other people love my knitting and that I have become Red Tree Co.. I love that it has allowed me to help financially with my families needs! I am blessed and thankful for so much overwhelming love, support and encouragement.

5. Who or what inspires you to create?

I absolutely LOVE to knit hats..and everyone loves my hats! 
I even have my own pattern I call the Switz hat ☺ 

6. Do you listen to music when you work, and if so what kind?

I often "listen" to the radio or tv shows while I knit. 
I like background noise but not too loud ☺

7. What do you like least/most about your craft?

My most favourite thing to knit is my hats!!
I also knit baby things by custom order....often sleep sacs and little baby hats ☺  I have tried to knit little Owls and animals but find them more tedious...better left to a crocheter ☺ 
I prefer to knit with bigger needles and chunky yarn!! But sometimes its a nice change to knit something more lightweight...like a new knit scarf for Spring. 
I have a new yarn and pattern I cannot wait to get done and share in The Been Garden.

8. Describe your workspace?

My workspace is most often in my kitchen...my favourite room in the house..I have my little knitting corner ☺ I can see the kids and talk to everyone around me. 
One day I hope to be able to have a "knitting room" ☺ 
I do take my knitting everywhere I go though...I like to be busy and can't sit and do nothing ☺

9. What is one of your best moments as a crafter/artist?

I love it when I get happy customer pics..those are the times that make you smile and say hey I made that. Makes it worth all the hard work!
I am so blessed to have grown into Red Tree Co. from my love of knitting, and its a continual work in progress that just keeps getting better. 
I have tons of love, support and encouragement from my family and friends and also my online and Facebook groups. It's a lot of work...you have to always be promoting yourself in a positive way...keep your name out there..and do great quality work with prices that reflect that. You want to keep people coming back..and referring you!! I have learned more than anything that you MUST have a good attitude, be kind with your clients with, communication is so important too!

10. What advice would you give to anyone thinking about starting their own craft business?

You have to be watching what people want, what is popular.what sells! You have to be willing to work with your client and make them happy without sacrificing your integrity and ethics.