There’s only a few things I would do differently from the instructions. First, when making the straps, I would use my preferred method of making straps (which I hate doing, BTW), as taught by the fabulous Nancy Greene of Pink Sand Beach Designs. Basically, Nancy’s method involves ironing the strap fabric in half, then fusing a strip of DecorBond on one side, and Pellon Fusible Fleece 987F on the other side, plus a strip of twill tape snuck inside the folded over strap. This combo gives a really sturdy strap, and it is soooo much easier to edgestitch the open side. Now I know just to go with what I trust and know how to do. The other thing that I would do differently is the inside zipper pouch, also using Nancy’s fab techiniques. She has taught me to create an inside zipper pouch in a manner which completely disguises all raw edges of the zipper. Plus, my metholodogy of just measuring the pieces to rotary cut worked out so well! One other tip: pin the pieces together and label when cutting. I would have gotten confused, and spent a lot of time figuring out what was what if I hadn’t.
Did you notice my recent obsession with owls heavily influenced my choice of fabric?? Apparently, the love of owls is a quilter thing, but since I’m relatively new to fabrics that aren’t sold just by Joanns, that’s fine by me. I was super-excited a couple of weeks ago to score an entire fat quarter bundle of Tula Pink’s Full Moon Forest on ebay – the line is impossible to find, and I adore the owl paisley print in this line. I think some of the line will be part of my 5″ squares to swap – I just have to work up the courage to cut into those awesome fat quarters.
Here is the Christmas tree skirt, which I talked about here. The backing fabric is just cream stars on navy from Joanns.
The “neck” of the tree skirt – oh, this was not fun to sew with all of the layers in such a tight little circle with bulky fabric/batting seams to go thru (even with the seams pressed open). I made the ties with leftover scraps of the fabric used – mostly because I didn’t have the backing fabric at that time, and didn’t want to sit around idly. So I just randomly strip pieced onto muslin. The conclusion here is that I need to go buy a fabric turner – it was hard to turn the tubes of the ties (wow, that sounds weird, huh??) inside out using my poly-carbonate straws, which are my normal turning tools (no chopsticks in this house, we eat Chinese food with forks).