Sunday
Jun292014

Auction 18 - Laura Ashley Shoe Bag

Every once in a blue moon I get invited to go somewhere fancy in the dead of winter and I need to bring my shoes in a bag because I have to wear boots to and from.  But my bag is always one of those embarrassing plastic grocery bags.  After one such event - when I literally cringed as I retrieved my party shoes from a tacky plastic bag - I vowed to make myself a really pretty one.

This is that very bag.

And guess what ... I've never used it!  LOL!  (You can tell I meant to keep it because I didn't bother changing the bobbin thread from taupe to purple when I stitched the casing channel ... you can see it in the 3rd photo.)

I stitched the shoes from a Yoko Saito embroidery pattern.  (I wish I owned such a pair.)  Both the check and floral fabrics are vintage Laura Ashley and it's fully lined with a Meg Hawkey print ... she is one of my embroidery idols.  It measures 11 1/2" (when the bag is closed) x 6" (circular bottom).

This auction end July 5th at 6:00 pm MST.  Shipping is extra.  I'll send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Saturday
Jun282014

Auction 17 - Cross Stitch Bicycle Gift Tag

I made 8 other gift tags for last Christmas and this is the only one I have left.  All the others were either put on packages, sent to friends or are in my sister's box of Christmas tree decorations.

I stitched up this little cutie in aqua and red on linen and it measures 3" x 4".  The fabric is from Scrumptious (I love that thin diagonal stripe!), the sequins are hand-stitched (not glued) with embroidery knots and the backing is a very stiff paper so it holds up nicely.  It works as a gift tag, tree ornament or just a decoration (how about as a nice gift tag on a bottle of wine?).

This auction ends July 4th at 6:00 pm MST.  Shipping is extra.  I'll send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Friday
Jun272014

Auction 16 - Single Strap Tote (Blue)

Another one of my perfectly good mistakes for your consideration. ;)  This was supposed to be a music bag for my daughter ... and it does fit her music books ... but it doesn't fit the big 3-ring binder she also takes to her lessons.

It measures 11 1/2" x 14" and it's got my usual favourite details like a bit of cotton lace, a label and my favourite Atsuko Matsuyama "Hat Box" print.  Clean, simple, and super pretty.  I also used one of my all-time favourite Susan Branch prints (that I've been hoarding for about a decade ... don't worry, I've still got lots more) for the lining.

This auction ends July 3rd at 6:00 pm MST.  I am happy to ship anywhere in the world, but shipping is extra.  I'll send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Thursday
Jun262014

Auction 15 - Sewing Book

Before I introduce today's item, I'd like to address a few comments I received the other day suggesting I sell my things on eBay instead of my blog.  In response, I just want to say that I weighed my options and decided to use my blog as an auction platform for two simple but very important reasons:  to make my sale exclusive to my wonderful and lovely readers and because - call me silly - but I feel better knowing that the things I've made are going to people I'm connected with somehow.  I may not have met you or even corresponded with you before.  You may not have ever commented on my blog.  But if you visit me here and read my silly stories and enjoy my pictures and are hopefully inspired by the things I do here, then we are connected and means something to me.

Selling my things on eBay had many advantages for me.  And I considered them.  But they did not outweigh the importance of honouring my little community here.  I have no plans to turn my blog into an auction house.  But I have another 8 or 10 more items to sell.  And then I need to take a break while we move. 

I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I'm so far beyond flattered by the generosity and support you've given me over the past few weeks.  Honestly, I can't even believe my eyes sometimes.  I'm deeply grateful.  Thank you.  Thank you to every single one of you who let me know that my blog means something to you by coming here.  You don't need to participate in my auction.  You don't even need to say hi.  (And I always feel terrible when I don't reply - which is far too often, but just know that I read every single comment ... and I do reply to you in my head, if not with my keyboard.)  But I know you come here.  And I think that's lovely.  I don't take your time for granted.  I know there are many wonderful blogs out there and your choice to come here is ... very special to me.  And it makes me happy. :)  Thank you.

*     *     *     *     *

Because this little cutie holds pins, needles and scissors, I thought it was fair to call it a sewing book rather than just a needlebook.

It measures 3 1/2" x 4".  The pins and needles as shown are included.

BUT THE SCISSORS ARE NOT INCLUDED!  I need to make sure you know that.  (I was just too lazy to take new photos!  LOL!)

This auction ends July 2nd at 6:00 pm MST.  Shipping is extra and I'll send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Tuesday
Jun242014

Auction 14 - Strawberry Drawstring Bag

A drawstring bag is one of those things that you sometimes wonder what to use it for, and then all of a sudden you find the perfect thing - almost always something precious - to store in it and it becomes THE special keeper for THAT special thing ... forever.  Am I right?

I hope this strawberry drawstring keeper find a special something to hold. :)

It's fully lined, has a pleated bottom and measures

This auction ends June 25 at 6:00 pm MST.  Shipping is extra.  I'll send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Monday
Jun232014

Auction 13 - Valentine's Pencil Case

I'm looking for Tammy Edwards ... congratulations, you are the winning bidder for the Nesting Dolls Drawstring Bag!  Please email me at  - mail@prettybyhand.com with your shipping information. :)

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Here's another pencil case.  I've made so many of these and I know there are many more in my future so I don't need to hang on to this one.

It measures 4 3/4" x 8 1/2".  And I think it would be very rude not to include the 3 pretty pencils too.

This auction ends June 25 at 6:00 pm MST.  Shipping is extra.  I'll send the winning bidder a PayPal invoice.

Sunday
Jun222014

Auction 12 - Little Liberty Patchwork Purse

There's a long story behind this purse so I'll just give you the summary.

I went into my sewing room one morning with the goal of tidying up.  Within about 5 minutes I found a handful of these Liberty squares that were leftover from another project.  I set them aside.  A few minutes later I found this leather purse handle that I'd bought the first time I went to Quilt Market ... 5 years ago? ... when my girls were little and would have loved such a purse handle.  Next thing I knew I was NOT tidying up, I was making this purse.  However, my girls are too "grown up" for it now that they're 11 and 13, and all the other little girls I used to know are also grown up. 

Sorry, that was the long story.

Anyhow, I'm hoping you know someone who isn't too grown up to enjoy such a sweet little purse.

It measures 7" x 7" x 1" and the patchwork is made entirely of Liberty prints or Liberty-inspired Japanese prints.  The handle is real leather with a brass "Sunbonnet Sue" decoration.  It's also detachable so the purse - should it happen to get soiled - can be washed without ruining the leather.  They clip on and off easily, but they stay put when they're on.  I like to use a polka dot for purse linings and there's a wee pocket inside with a "handmade" label.

This auction ends June 25 at 6:00 pm MST.  Shipping is extra.  I'll send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Saturday
Jun212014

Auction 11 - Simplify Cushion Cover

This is an oldie, but a goodie.  Way back in my early blogging career, the lovely Camille was kind enough to let me blog my way through her fantastic book "Simplify".  I made every project in that book - 9 quilts and 4 cushion covers.  This is the last pillow cover I have ... it's my favourite.  The others were donated to charity or gifted to friends. You can read about it here. (Oh my goodness, what a coincidence ... I wrote that post exactly 3 years ago today!)  It's been just sitting in a corner on a dining room chair, looking pretty and not bothering anyone.  But I think it needs a new home. :)

It's a cute little quilted slip cover made with Robyn Pandolph fabrics and it fits a 12" pillow form.

This auction - for the pillow cover only - ends June 25th at 8:00 pm MST.  Shipping is not included.  I'll send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Friday
Jun202014

Auction #10 - Rainbow Dancers Pattern Test

Here's another pattern tester for your consideration.  I submitted my book proposal for "S is for Stitch" in May 2011.  My proposal was accepted a few months later.  I was on an extended holiday at the time, but my optimistic self had packed all my embroidery supplies so I was prepared. :)  I was soooo excited and I got to work right away.  This "Rainbow Dancers" sample was the first thing I made.  It was inspired by one of my daughters who had recently learned "ROYGBIV" (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) at school.  I remember spending quite a bit of time in the California sun choosing all the floss colours.

A word about framing.  I've spent a small fortune over the years on custom-framing for my needlework.  It's always worth it, but it's not always affordable.  So it was very important to me that this design would fit perfectly inside an easy-to-find and affordable 8 1/2" x 11" frame.  In fact, all the framed ideas in my book fit a standard frame size ... or the designs can be adjusted easily with a photochopy machine.  :)

I used plain white linen for the version of this pattern that ended up in the book, but I stitched this tester on a white-on-white print with pretty, subtle roses.  I hope you can see them in this photo.  I love embroidering on a white-on-white or a gentle print.  It adds a layer of interest and unique design element to your work. 

This auction ends June 25 at 8:00 pm MST.  I will ship anywhere, but shipping is not included.  I'll send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Thursday
Jun192014

Auction #9 - Pinterest Pencil Case

:)  I'm putting this up for auction because ... well ... because I made it almost 6 months ago and I've never used it.  It just sits there, looking pretty.  It is one of my most favourite things I made this year.  Honest to goodness I really did make it for myself.  But - as with most things I "make for myself" - it turns out it's the making for myself I enjoy most, not the keeping/using for myself.

I used my absolute favourite PamKittyPicnic fabric.  Oh do I love this floral.  I think I bought something like 7 yards of it ... and NOT for a quilt backing either.  So, if I ever regret letting this one go, I can always make another one.  It measures 8" x 2" x 2 3/4" and the label is leather. 

This auction ends June 25th at 6:00 pm MST.  Shipping not included.  I'll send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Wednesday
Jun182014

Auction #8 - Farmer's Wife Block Pincushion

This sweet little pincushion makes me laugh.  I made it from a Farmer's Wife Quilt block that didn't turn out right.  You can read about it here.  It measures 4 1/4" x 1" and is filled with ground walnut shells so it's nice and firm and weighty. ;)  All the fabric is Lecien's Flower Sugar. 

If you would like to bid on this pincushion, you can do so in the comments section.  This auction ends Monday, June 23 at 6:00 pm MST.   I am happy to ship anywhere, but postage is not included.  I'll send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Tuesday
Jun172014

Auction #7 - Patchwork Cushion Cover

I had a few questions yesterday about the embroidered letters on the Nesting Dolls bag.  Yes, it is a stem stitch (also called outline stitch).  It's my favourite stitch because I like how it has a rope-like texture that appears to lay on top of the fabric.  The trick for using the stem stitch is to make your stitches really small to make smooth lines.  If your stitches are too long - especially on tight curves - you will have little lines that stick out, like slivers.  So no trick really, just tiny stitches. :)

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This one makes me a little sad to let go.  I made it specially for the "music room" in our new house.  (The room is labeled "Dining Room" on the blueprints, but since it's the only place on the main floor for a piano and we don't need an eating area at the back end of the house AND a separate dining room at the front of the house, we're turning said dining room into a music room where my girls can practice piano and violin ... I was going to say whenver they liked but who are we kidding?  They usually need to be "reminded" to practice.  Where was I - I've gotten myself all turned around with these tangents.)

Oh right.  Music room.  Since I made this cushion cover, however, I changed the paint colour for that room and now my perfect cushion cover - complete with music-themed fabric - just won't coordinate very well.  So it needs to find a new home.

I put some cute little details on it like a little satin ribbon ruffle, some lace and a few of my linen tape labels.  I also added a neatly hidden zipper closure on the back.  It fits a standard 20" square pillow form. 

This auction ends June Sunday, 22 at 6:00 pm MST.  Shipping and pillow form not included.  I'll send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Monday
Jun162014

Auction #6 - Nesting Dolls Drawstring Bag

Happy Monday!

So I did more packing and purging over the weekend - pleased to report more purging than packing, yay me (I'm really sorry to keep talking about this move, but it seems to be all I do so I don't have much else to chat with you about ... I hope you don't mind.  I feel like you're all my friends and I can go on and on about my silly life and you are just sitting there politely smiling and nodding and letting me get this off my chest.  So thank you for that.

Anyhow, I keep finding little bits and bobs in cupboards long ignored and boxes forgotten ... you know ... things that I once thought were important but now are just quaint relics from my past.  So I got an idea in my head that for all the winning bids I'd could "gift" these relics to you as little surprises in your package that hopefully you will like and use.  'Cause everyone likes surprises, right?

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I made this little bag totally on a whim.  The cute decorative ribbon - which I'd bought on impulse - inspired me.  You can read about it here.

The fabric is linen and Atsuko Matsuyama (including the lining fabric) and it measures 5 3/4" x 7 1/2".

This auction ends Sunday June 22 at 6:00 pm MST.  Shipping not included.  (Nesting dolls in the photo also not included.)  I'll send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Sunday
Jun152014

Auction #5 Best Buds Pattern Tester

I stitched up this little thing last summer for the April 2014 Issue of Better Homes and Gardens "American Patchwork & Quilting" magazine.  This was going to be the one that made it into the magazine, but it ended up being a "pattern test" for me.

After I made this framed version of my daisy pattern, I started on the purse.  But I didn't plan out my fabric choices for both pieces before I started because I ended up using the same paisley print in green for the bottom fabric on the purse.  I didn't want to have both items in the magazine with the same print on the bottom so I decided to re-make the framed version as seen below. 

Fabric is "Scrumptious" by Moda.  The piece measures 7 3/4" x 8 1/2", but I designed the stitched area to fit neatly inside a 5" x 7" frame - no custom framing required. 

It's really simple, but I quite enjoyed stitching it up at my kitchen table.  It has such a light, breezy quality about it.  And I like the wonky imperfection of the blossoms.  I don't need it, but it's just too cute to throw out.  Maybe you'd like to have it in your home. :)

The auction for this "test" embroidered daisy meadow ends Saturday, June 21 at 6:00 pm MST.  Shipping is not included.  I will send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Saturday
Jun142014

Auction #4 - Stitch Zakka Kit

Ok, ok.  I know today is only Saturday and yesterday I said I'd be back on Monday, but I got a little excited about this one.  Besides, I had the moving company here this week ... the more things I can find a new home for, the better!

As I am slooooooowly working my way thru my sewing room, I realized that I could put together a kit (I don't know if I should be proud or embarrassed about that) for my Stitch Zakka project ... the Simple Sampler Tablet Case.  (But if you don't want a tablet case, this pattern converts easily into a lovely cushion. :)

"C" is for "COSMO", but it's also for my last name. ;)

(I didn't have enough of this cream/blue rose print so I replaced it with the identical purple/pink print for the lining and back.)

This kit includes:

  • 11 strips of assorted Lecien prints for the cover (9 are exactly the same as the original and 2 are near-identical, but still from the same fabric collection
  • Lecien fabrics for backing, lining, binding & tab closure
  • 11 skeins of COSMO floss (as specified in the pattern which coordinate perfectly with the fabric)
  • A package of my favourite Foxglove embroidery needles
  • Fusible fleece
  • Magnetic clasp
  • And of course, a copy of Stitch Zakka :)

I love kits ... one-stop-shopping.  This would make the perfect little summer embroidery project, don't you think?

This auction - for the kit only - closes Friday June 20th at 6:00 pm MST.  Shipping is not included.  I will send a PayPal invoice to the winning bidder.

Friday
Jun132014

Auction #3 - Single Strap Tote (Pink)

I love this bag.  I really do.  But I made it a little too narrow for its intended purpose as a music bag.  You can read about it here.  It measures 10 1/2" x 13 1/2", which is still plenty big for magazines and craft books and things.

This auction closes Thursday June 19th at 6:00 MST.  Shipping is extra, and I'll send the winning bidder a PayPal invoice.

Have a great weekend.  I'll see you next week with more auction items!

Thursday
Jun122014

Auction #2 - Rectangle Pincushion

Holy cow!  Thank you for your interest in my needlebook.  :)  Very much appreciated.

I know I just made this a few weeks ago.  But as much as I love it, I really don't need another pincushion.  I've got lots.  So here you go.  It measures 5 1/2" x 2 1/2" x 1" and is stuffed with ground walnut shells.  (Sorry, pins not included, but you can find them here.)

Bidding ends at 8:00 pm MST on Monday June 16.  (I'll ship anywhere, but postage is not included.)  And I will send the winning bidder a PayPal invoice.

Wednesday
Jun112014

Auction #1 - Linen, Pearl & Coral Needlebook

One quick thing before I start, I got a lot of requests for the pattern source of Monday's pencil case.  :)

It's just a flat version of my Round Pencil Case pattern (available both as PDF or Paper ... and it's my best seller too!).  I omitted the round ends - super easy. 

I was so happy that many of you are particularly interested in the covered zipper.  I do prefer a hidden zipper myself.  Sometimes an exposed zipper looks really cool and modern, but for the most part I like to cover mine with binding.  So thank you for asking.

*     *     *     *     *

Ok.  Auction time!

Since I got so many comments about my needlebooks, I thought I'd start with this ...

You can read about it here.  Pins and needles as shown are included. :)

To bid, go to the comments section at the end of this post.  You can enter your bid as a comment. Bidding ends at noon on Sunday June 15 MST.  (I'll ship anywhere, but postage is not included.)  I will send the winning bidder a PayPal invoice.

Monday
Jun092014

it's (totally) easy being green

Ok.  You can't really blame me for the title of this post because I had a Sesame Street LP when I was a kid ... the kind that had sing-a-long pages.  My sister and I played that thing to death.  Kermit's famous song was on that record.

(Man, do I ever love YouTube!)

Speaking of Sesame Street, I think my favourite thing about this case is the lining.  I can't remember where I found that fabric - probably my LQS.  I bought it specially to line pencil cases.  You may or may not know I have a thing for the alphabet and I love all things letter-y so this classic alphabet print is my idea of fab.u.lous.

It's a birthday gift for my daughter's friend so I was not in charge of the colour and I didn't give (much) input into the fabric selection.  Bonnie & Camille's "Scrumptious" is a favourite in my house.  Hopefully the birthday girl will love it as much as we do.

The party was supposed to be Saturday afternoon so naturally I started making it Saturday morning.  But we got a call at noon saying the birthday girl was sick and the party has been rescheduled.  And now instead of finishing just under the wire, I'm two weeks early! 

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Just a few housekeeping items:

A lot of you asked me where to find that Hexagon Flap Bag pattern.  I already packed up most of my craft books and I have no idea what it's called since it's in Japanese, but I promise to post about it after I've unpacked. 

I'll be listing a few auction items this week so check back soon.  And yes I will ship anywhere in the world, but I will wait until after the auction to calculate shipping rates. 

Friday
Jun062014

it's the making, not the having

I've said that many times.  I need to make things more than I need to have things.  This need, however, has left me with pretty little things that are now looking for good homes.  So I've been thinking of selling them. 

But here's the thing ... pricing can be tricky.  For example, I asked a few sewy friends for their opinion on what to price a particular thing.  One said $15 and the other said $68!  LOL!  So instead of guessing the market value - and to give everyone a chance instead of "first come, first served" - I thought it might be fun to have an auction.  I'm going to list each item separately and you can bid via comments on each post.  Here's a sneak preview of a few items I'm thinking of listing ... although I may panic and change my mind at the last minute on one or two of them.  ;)

 Sound like fun?  Stay tuned ...