Sunday, December 28, 2008

Chenille Totes & Large Purses: Part I

What are these you might ask? Well, this is my next big project I'm tackling. It's the beginning forms of 7 large purses and 19 totes in 17 different chenille, suede and upholstery fabrics.

I had cut out these pieces about four years ago or more. And then I got sidetracked with the home improvement project and they got put in a box, almost forgotten. My goal over the next few months will be to finish these bags and put them up on the web site and sewing blog.

Here are some pictures of a few of the fabrics that are coming.

This is an exceptionally rich textured chenille upholstery fabric. I've made about four totes out of this fabric over the years and this will be the last one. Ten years ago I was willing to spend $60.00 on a yard of upholstery chenille if the design caught my eye like this one did. This bag will be one of a kind with black upholstery velvet straps.

India Gold

This has been a favorite upholstery chenille fabric of mine for years. It is an in-stock fabric. I have about 5 yards of it left and have made several different items out of it: handbags, totes, wall hangings, table runners and placemats. I still have my own oversized tote made out of it. It is a somewhat stiff, low nap chenille.

Chenille Asian Calligraphy

This fabric was very difficult to photograph. It's light to medium weight chenille upholstery. It's a deep dark green with an interesting swirl of red and light gold woven design. The design is harder to see than what you see in the image. I've got about a yard and a half left and this will be the first large purse and tote made out of this fabric.

Inspiration Green/Red

As I progress on getting these bags made, I will put up more images of the fabrics.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Throw Blanket Sale!

See the 2010 Throw Blanket Sale HERE
The Throw Blanket Sale has been extended through January 31st, 2009!

NEW! Fleece and flannel throw blankets are now on sale too! Regularly $49.00 plus shipping, any fleece and flannel blanket from in-stock flannel prints is only $40.00, shipping included. (Excludes patchwork throws.)

Colors Shown:
Rose, Medium Green, Country Blue, Burgundy

I've had people tell me that my fleece and panne throw blankets are their favorite blankets, ever! From now until December 31st, you can order one of these gorgeous blankets at a great savings. A standard fleece and panne throw is 44" x 59."

Regularly, the standard fleece and panne blankets run $45.00 plus shipping. In stock panne colors are now on sale for $35, and shipping is only $3.00, no matter your location! A double size is also available at a reduced cost. Email me for prices and shipping on double sized blankets 59" x 90."

In Stock Panne Colors

Lavender, Dark Purple*, Lilac, Purple

Zebra, Brown Snakeskin, Pink Paisley, Dark Gold

Midnight Blue, Bright Yellow, Navy (more muted)

Gun Metal, Peach

Rose, Baby Yellow, Baby Blue*, Baby Green

White, Hot Pink,* Black

Sky Blue*, Baby Blue*, Country Blue

Forest Green, Deep Red

Colors not shown: Olive Green
*Limited quantities

Hurry! To guarantee delivery by December 25th, I must receive your order by December 10th.

To purchase, email me @: sprocket.trials @

I accept PAYPAL @: customerservice @

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Fabric Shopping on Black Friday

Do you know Kim of Darwin? Not only is she a fabulous sewer and knitter, she's also hysterically funny. She recently wrote this entry about shopping at Jo-Ann's on Black Friday and how crafty you have to be to get the best fabrics. I've never experienced shopping like Kim describes at Jo-Ann's! It must be a fight to the finish in a small town where there is only one store for miles. Each year on the day after Thanksgiving, Jo-Ann's has a blockbuster sale on flannel from 6 am to 12 noon. In years past, the flannel was on sale for .99 cents a yard. This year the price went up to $1.49. That's still a tremendous savings on fabric that can sell regularly for around six dollars a yard.

Since I live in a big metropolis, I have quite a few Jo-Ann's to choose from. There are two within six miles of me and another three within fifteen miles. On the day before Thanksgiving I had scoped out four stores, just to see which ones I wanted shop at on Friday. I thought I would "try" to get out the door before six am to visit as many as I could but I was up late Thanksgiving evening trying to get some sewing orders finished and in the mail. Consequently, I didn't leave the house until 7:30 am. Even so, I was able to make some great finds at the Porter Ranch store and the Reseda store on Friday.

My shopping spree.

Usually, I'm looking for interesting prints to make my oversized Christmas stockings or animal prints for fleece and flannel throw blankets. For the first time, I was shopping for baby themed flannel prints. I was shopping to build an inventory. My goal is to work next year on making some patchwork baby throw blankets. Many people have told me they are very easy to make and I thought I would see if I could tackle a patchwork blanket.

I've made a few patchwork blankets before, but I bought the patchwork fabric already made that you see in the images of this blankie.

It's a great print with different prints of blue and a chenille blended into the patchwork. Jo-Ann's has some great patchwork fabric in a few pink, green, or blue themed colors but the regular price ranges from $13 to $17 a yard. I need two yards to make a 42" x 59" throw which means just the fabric alone will push the materials cost of the blanket close to forty dollars. I have to wait until it's not on sale and use a coupon to make the price affordable.

Here is a close up of some of the baby flannel prints I will use when I start work next year on making some limited edition, patchwork baby throws.

I also wanted you show you the big roll of cotton chenille I scored a few days ago with a 50% off coupon. This is regularly priced at $12.99 a yard. I will use this fabric in making the the flannel patchwork blankets.

In the mean time, I am sewing, sewing, sewing every moment I am not writing up my coverage of the Phil Spector retrial. I am getting sewing orders about every other day, and it's been an interesting balancing act trying to get to court on time, sew orders, blog on the trial and keep my house clean. As you can probably guess, the clean house is losing. We won't be having anyone over until long after the holidays have passed and the Spector retrial has a resolution.