Monday, April 6, 2015

Sanibel Blog Hop (and layer cake giveaway!)

Good morning! Today I get to help kick off the Sanibel blog hop. It's going to be a great week! Sanibel is a new collection by Gina Martin for Moda. Packed with luscious color and graphic patterns, it screams summer and makes me want a fruity umbrella drink!

A photo posted by Oda May (@modabakeshop) on

Once again, Gina has included some prints every quilter will want to add to their stash.

The lawn chair basket weave is cool, and these chairs are fab! I chose three of my favorite prints and made a pool bag!

 They are fast and easy to make, and a great way to show off your favorite fabrics!
 Click here to go to the tutorial!

We are giving one lucky reader a Layer Cake of Sanibel! Use the rafflecopter widget below to enter. Winner will be drawn on Sunday April 12th, and contacted via email. Please make sure I have a way to reach you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with this week! Be sure to check out the other stops on the blog hop, there are giveaways going on all week!

Monday - April 6th
Tuesday - April 7th
Wednesday - April 8th
Thursday - April 9th
Friday - April 10th
Gina Martin at Pattern and Hue

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Now go sew something!

Drawstring Backpack Tutorial

Hi all! Today I'm going to show you how to make a super easy and fun drawstring backpack! There are lots of tutorials out there, and I didn't reinvent the wheel or anything ;) but I think my version is the perfect size and weight to handle anything I need to shove in it.

I made mine using Sanibel, a new fabric line by Gina Martin for Moda.

Let's get started! Here are the supplies you will need:

a half yard of outer fabric (more if you want to add a pocket)
a half yard of lining fabric
(2) 1/4" grommets (and installation tools)
4 yards of paracord, cut into 2 equal lengths. (If you've never used paracord, when you cut it, you need to melt the ends with a lighter to stop it from fraying.)

From each of your two fabrics, you will cut (2) 15" x 18" rectangles. (If you are piecing fabric, just make sure you have (2) 15" x 18" rectangles) From your lining fabric, you also need to cut (4) 3" x 14" rectangles. When sewing, all seam allowances are 1/4". If you are adding a divided pocket, you will also need (2) 7" x 15" pieces (you could adjust this to make a deeper pocket. For example, 9" x 15") I used a print and a white. Sew them together along a 15" side. Press. Top stitch the sewn edge.

Pair up two of the 3" x 14" rectangles, right sides together. Sew around three of the sides, starting with a short edge. One of the long edges will be left open. Clip your corners, and turn right side out. I use a chopstick to poke out my corners. Iron flat, and then iron in half, lengthwise. Repeat with the other pair.

Center your folded piece to the short edge of your outer fabric rectangle. The raw edges need to line up with the bag's raw edges.You will have about an inch on each side of the folded piece. This is the top of your bag, and will become the drawstring casing. If your fabric is directional, make sure you have the print running the right direction. Pin and baste in place. Repeat with the other side.

If you're adding a pocket, let's attach it. Center it along the bottom edge of one of your outer pieces, with the stitched edge at the top. Stitch down the center to create the two pockets.

I used the print itself as a stitching guide. This pocket is deep enough for a pair of sunglasses or a small tube of sunscreen :) If you wanted, you could add pockets to both sides, but you would have to increase the size of your grommet to accommodate the extra thickness of fabric.

Place your outer pieces, right sides together, and pin. You will stitch around the two long edges and the bottom edge. Leave the edge with the tabs open. Clip corners and turn right side out. Press. This is the outside of your bag.

Take your lining pieces and place them right sides together. You will sew around the two long sides and across the bottom, BUT you will need to leave a 3 inch opening in the center of the short edge. This is for turning your bag right side out.  Clip corners but do not turn right side out.

Place your outer bag inside of the lining right sides together, and match up side seams. Pin in place, and pin all the way around the top. Stitch together, and then turn right side out through the hole in your lining. Press and sew the turning hole shut. (you can do this by hand or machine)

Now it's time for grommets. Measure in about an inch from the bottom corner. Mark the spot by circling inside one of your grommets with a pen. I use an Exacto knife to cut a small x. Push your grommet through the hole, top it with the other piece, and hammer it on.

Next we do the drawstrings! Use a safety pin and thread through one casing, and back through the opposite casing. Pull both ends through the grommet and tie a knot. Repeat with the second cord, going the opposite direction.

 All finished! Thrown in a beach towel and your favorite magazine and hit the pool!

I've made several of these - we have one in a soccer ball print for all our shin guards and soccer socks. You could coordinate these for all your kiddo's activities! (I'm still looking for a cool wrestling print to make one for the boys' headgear and shoes) Hope you enjoyed it, and if you have any questions just leave me a comment!

Friday, April 3, 2015


Today I am sharing a post with you guys that is absolutely and compleeeetly unrelated to sewing or crafting or anything really. But I'm bursting with pride and can't keep it to myself! 

Last weekend, we traveled to Topeka for the Kansas Kids Folkstyle Wrestling Tournament. Two of our sons wrestle for Kansas Thunderstruck Wrestling, and my husband coaches for them as well. It's a pretty long season, starting right after Thanksgiving and not ending until, well, last weekend!

Our oldest boy, Alex, made it through sub-districts, and then took first at districts, earning him a spot at the state championship. And I am so proud to say that he won! He had to win three matches on Saturday and a 4th on Sunday, and he did it! :) It was a huge accomplishment. He's wrestled (and lost to) most of the other boys on the medal stand, and so he went there knowing what he needed to do to win and he pulled it off!

AJ and his proud Daddy

I don't know if you know much about wrestling. I still don't, and this is his 4th year! You get points for doing certain things, and there is some strategy involved. But I can say that it takes some serious hard work and determination. And that makes it perfect for AJ, because he is the stubbornest, hard headed little man I know!! I just love watching him out there. He's been the wrestler of the year (for his age group) the past two years in his club, mostly because of his great attitude and sportsmanship.

the winners from the District 1 tournament, all three placed at State!
I've been blown away by the outpouring of support for Alex from his coaches, fellow wrestlers, their families and even opponents! Monday at school, they played "We Are the Champions" for him at the beginning of school. His teacher brought in donuts for the whole class, and then at lunch, they watched the video of his match and took this picture.

Do you see his big muscles?! lol
All those kids? That's K-6th grade at our school. Yep, that's the entire school. There's a couple you can't see but not very many! It really is a little family, and the kids are such good friends. I love living where we do!

I'd never been to a state tournament, and it didn't disappoint. They did a Parade of Champions before the final matches, with lights and music and announcers. The crowd even did the wave, which my kids thought was awesome! The kids wrestling for 1st and 2nd met up in the spotlight to be announced and shake hands. I admit it, I teared up a bit seeing my son on the jumbotron!

A word about our wrestling club: They work them hard at practice twice a week, and then there are tournaments almost every weekend. They stress sportsmanship above all else, not just from the kids but from their families too. They teach for the long term - hopefully we will have a fantastic high school team in the future, and that some of these kids might get some scholarships after that. Our coaches are amazing with the kids, and we couldn't ask for a better family than our club.

If you're interested in watching his final match of 2014-2015, I'm posting the video below - but fair warning, there is quite a bit of screaming so I'd watch it with the sound off!! I think I broke my camera's speakers at the end!


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