My friend furoshiki

I initially thought this would be a really basic story: “Look at the cute gift I made for my friend Melanie’s birthday! The end.” But this story ended up having a cool, coincidental twist! Read on.

My lovely friend Melanie (who, by the way, was the ringleader for our 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon running group) lived in Tokyo for a few years and once told me she really loves cherry blossoms because they remind her of her time spent in Japan. I have always remembered this fact because I, too, love cherry blossoms — but I really have no reason for loving them, other than I like the way they look (sadly, I have not visited Japan) (yet) (hint hint, Tokyo Disneyland anybody?).

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I had a bit of cherry blossom fabric leftover from some other projects, so I put it to the side for Melanie and revisited it while working on her birthday project. And the zipper, which matched perfectly, came from my crazy bulk zipper stash – I’m slowly working through those and finally starting to make a dent!

In the spirit of trying new things, and also tackling my 100 No Pressure Projects List, I decided to make a bow pouch that I had seen on Pinterest some months ago. As I tend to do with all zipper pouch projects, I used a mashup of tutorials — the Little Bow Clutch Tutorial on This Big Oak Tree and my favorite zipper pouch tutorial on Make It Perfect.

And I love the way it turned out. Love, love, love.

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I lined the inside with a charcoal/black calico print I already had on hand because it seemed to flow with the floral theme. I never, ever line zipper pouches with the exact same  fabric I’ve used on the outside. Because that would be boring!

Lined

But here’s the fun (and educational) coincidence. Do you know what furoshiki is? Yeah, neither did I… according to the trusty (ha) Wikipedia, “furoshiki is a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth traditionally used to transport clothes, gifts, or other goods.” Apparently when Melanie was living in Japan, she received a baby gift that was wrapped in furoshiki and looked just like this bow pouch – so not only the cherry blossoms, but even the design, is sentimental for Melanie.

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An example of furoshiki from the Wikipedia.

So how coincidental is that? I had no clue. I just picked the bow design because I wanted to try something new and I thought it looked cute – but Melanie was destined to receive this design. It was obviously fate!

But whether it’s a bow clutch or furoshiki – there will definitely be a lot more of these bow clutches in my future.

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PS – After I wrote this post, it sat in my blog queue for awhile because I wanted to make sure Melanie approved before I posted. Between the time I wrote this and the time I posted it, Melanie brought me the most wonderful book — Furoshiki Fabric Wraps by Pixeladies. The book has beautiful photos and detailed instructions for wrapping all sorts of gifts in fabric! I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK. You can bet I will be writing about some of these wraps when I try them out. And now I’m convinced I need to buy a serger so I can serge all of my fabric and use it for furoshiki!

Furoshiki Fabric Wraps Book

 

 

 

 

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Ninety-Nine and a Half

Remember when I told you the last post was number 99, and the next post would be my hundredth blog post? Well, apparently I lied. When I published the last post, I got a pop-up thanking me for contributing my NINETY-EIGHTH post. What! How did I mess that up? I thought I had this all figured out. Apparently not. I’m fairly certain I could have gotten away with this lie and just said the next post was number 100 anyway. But I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. So here’s a mini-update I’ll call Ninety-Nine and a Half… which would make my next post the hundredth. Sigh.

Anyway, this is perfect timing because I have a mini-update. Remember the Pencil Bunting 101 tutorial from my friend Joe a few weeks ago? Well, now that school is officially in full swing, he’s sent some photos of his banners in action!

On the Sew Lindsay Sew blog: how to create pencil bunting banners for your classroom

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Sophia’s Quilt

NOTE: I’ve gotten a lot of inquiries about where to find/purchase this pattern. The pattern is out of print (I had to purchase my copy from etsy). If you’re in search of this pattern:

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This is a long overdue post to talk about a project that wrapped up a loooooong time ago! Based on my blog posts alone, you may think the mustaches and elephants quilt was my very first rag quilt. But … it wasn’t. My very first rag quilt was completed months and months prior to that when I tackled the now out-of-print Simplicity 4993. I’d had this pattern on my radar for a long time so when I discovered it was recently retired, I jumped on etsy and grabbed a brand new copy.

On the Sew Lindsay Sew blog: Simplicity 4993 Teddy Bear Quilt Continue reading

Pencil Bunting 101

If you and I know each other in real life and you’ve worked on a crafty project, chances are I’ve hounded you to write a blurb for my blog. Sometimes I beg to no avail and just write a blog for you (ah-hem, Krafty Katie). But for the FIRST TIME EVER, one of my friends has actually given in to this peer pressure.

I’d like to think this is a form of “positive peer pressure” — you know, the kind you learn about in D.A.R.E. class… kind of like this:

Positive Peer Pressure

Anyway, remember my good friend Joe? I made him a Mickey Mouse “man bag” for his birthday. Joe is a fifth grade teacher and he’s been going crazy on the Pinterest for the past week or so, preparing ideas for his classroom. When he sent me a picture of pencil bunting he made for his classroom (you know how much I love bunting), I begged him to send me a write-up and photos!

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Inspiration from up north: Jill’s denim quilt

As I write this post, I’m sitting in a sparkling sunroom surrounded by windows on three sides and admiring the majestic greatness of a northern summer. I spent this past weekend in a small town near Madison, Wisconsin, visiting my brother Jason and future sister-in-law, Sarah. We spent the weekend celebrating Jason and Sarah’s recent engagement and new house in addition to my dad’s retirement from dentistry. I also visited the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the first time!

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Wisconsin as seen via my iPhone — A new “You Are Here” Starbucks mug, the infamous
terrace chairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wisconsin Belgian Red cherry ale.

While I love my “Florida life,” spending time up north during the summer is always special. Everything feels just a little different outside of Florida – the grass is softer, the breezes cooler and the sounds reminiscent of my childhood summers in the Chicago suburbs. And of course, a change of scenery is always inspirational for a creative soul. I first realized this a few years ago when I wrote about some regional differences I noticed when visiting a fabric store in Northern Wisconsin.

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It’s Tea Time!

Here’s a fun little project I recently whipped up for my coworker Sylvie. We’ve been “cube neighbors” for six months, but she was fulfilling a temporary assignment and her last day was this week. The office will definitely be a lot lonlier without her!

Every afternoon, Sylvie likes to partake in “tea time” – aka, a trip to our friendly neighborhood Keurig machine for a cup of tea. So when I saw a tutorial for a zippered teacup pouch, I immediately knew that I had to make one for Sylvie.

Teacup Zipper Pouch

If you’re wondering what the faux “tea bag” says, here’s another fun fact: Sylvie is French and often takes the opportunity to educate our office suite about French culture (mostly because we interrogate her with silly questions). So the tea bag says, temps de thé – aka, “tea time” in French. At least, that’s what the Google told me the translation was. Maybe it actually translated to something inappropriate and Sylvie just didn’t want to tell me… let’s hope that’s not the case!

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Krafty Katie

This is my roommate, Katie (and me, and mice). We’ve lived together for five years, going on six (sans mice).

Katie & Lindsay

I’ve lived with lots of roommates over the years. I just made a list of the number of roommates I’ve had since my freshman year of college, other than Katie. EIGHTEEN. So needless to say, I’m kind of an expert when it comes to roommates. Some of them were pretty awesome. Most weren’t even close to awesome. But Katie gets bonus points for a few reasons. For one, she’s stuck with me for this long. And two, she loves crafts as much as I do. (And three, she brought the best dog ever into our house, but that’s a story for another day because today we’re talking about crafts).

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Ode to Joe (and what I sewed)

When I moved to Florida in 2006, one of the first people I met was Joe. We both participated in the Disney College Program together and spent many, many hours living it up in the Disney parks!

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Some photos from our College Program days back in 2006!

After the Disney College Program ended, I stayed in Florida – and Joe returned home to New York. But within a year or so, he was back in Florida and we’ve been able to continue our adventures ever since!

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Farewell, Florida Friend

I moved to Florida in late 2006 and didn’t know a single soul when I arrived. Sometimes when I step back and look at my “Florida Life,” I can’t believe how many wonderful relationships I’ve developed in eight years!

I met Jamie just a few months after arriving in Florida, so she’s always been a staple in my “Florida Life.” For about four years, we worked on the same team with side-by-side offices. It wasn’t unusual to find us taking a juggling break in the hallway. Yes –  actual juggling – flying objects and all… it’s a great stress reliever on a work day! As long as it’s done safely. 😉

An office selfie with Jamie… back in the day, before selfies were a “thing.”

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