Things are hectic but productive around the Hip To Piece Squares home these days. Before I really get settled into thinking and doing for the holidays, I’ve got a show to get ready for!


I’ll be at the Shadow Art Fair on December 1st, in Ypsilanti, Michigan from noon until midnight. I did this show this past July, and it’s such fun one. It’s at the Corner Brewery (Beer + Arts and Craft = Ridiculous Fun) and if you live anywhere nearby, you should really stop in, say hello, and start your shopping for the season.

And if I’m not sewing, I’ve got a cat on my back. That’s just how it goes!




I think I must be riding high after being called “the bomb” by Brit the other day, but I am on a roll, people!

Hi, inside!

Let me just tell you how pleased I am with how this bag turned out. This happens to be one of the only things that I’ve ever made that turned out the exact way that I had planned it to even from the point of when I bought the fabric.

::Cue whirly sounds and fog::

Hi, inside!

I seriously stood in the store, picked out the red and cream prints for the outside and thought, “hmm…I’ve got some black fabric that would look really good with this for a tote.” Then I picked up the red polka dot print on that I used on the inside and thought, “this would look perfect with the vintage black and white gingham that I’ve also got.” Look! I’ve done all of these things on this bag, making it the first time ever that I didn’t change my mind about things 42 times before I was finished with a project. It’s a big day for me.

Hi, inside!

Could it be true?

New Goings Ons

It’s true! I’m back! I guess it was never my intention to leave this just sitting her for months and months, but I know most people know how it goes: you just get lazy. I don’t know what happened–I just seemed to lose my blogging mojo. Then, after you stop writing, it’s hard to get back into it. It seemed weird to just jump right back in where I left off at. Oh well, I think it’ll do it anyway.

I’ve been back up to my old doings–making pouches!

New Goings Ons

I got a huge wave of inspiration to start working on them the other night, and I finished them all up this morning. It was nice to get a big batch done all at once. The assembly line method works wonders.

It’s pouch time, hey hey! That’s regardless of the fact that it’s been “pouch time” since about March. I promise I’m trying to work on other things, too.

Here’s what went up in the shop tonight, though.

Simplicity Pouch

Frenchy Pouch

Floppy Button Pouch

I think I may have made the best bag that I’ve ever made this week.

Lilac Tree Tote

Not to toot my own horn or anything (that so sounded like something a grandma would say) by I’m pretty pleased with my work on this bad boy. I was sitting in the sewing room the other night, playing with my buttons and I needed to make something with them. I’ve been through the standard tree button colors a few times now, and I really didn’t want to repeat that with this. Instead I started thinking about trees in the spring, and how the purple lilacs are one of my favorites. I ended up with this.

On the Inside

I did pockets with this one. I didn’t know I could do pockets!

Just the tree

There was a bit of a tense moment during the whole process when I accidently ripped the last bit of gray fabric that I had. I had miscalculated the seam allowence when I was making the handles, and instead of carefully ripping out the stitching I sliced the whole side of the handel, wrecking it. I nearly lost it. Thank goodness JoAnn’s had the same color gray, without any mismatched dye lot issues like I was fearing.

And as usual, I’ve put this bag up in my Etsy Shop. It may have to be torn from my hands though, since apparently I’m in love with it.

Being the kind of person who likes to be a joiner, I thought I’d participate this week in showing what I’ve been working on.

Pouches In Progress

My pile of fabric that is soon to be sliced and diced to become pouches for the shop. I get on these kicks where I just have to make a lot of one certain thing. I’m feeling that way right now with the pouches. You may be seeing a lot of them in the near future. :)

Fabric Organizing

I don’t know if this counts as a project or not, but I’ve been working on re-organizing my sewing and crafts room for a good week now. This shelf is starting to show some progress, but there’s a good reason why I didn’t show a picture of the floor….or anywhere else in the room for that matter.

I’ve survived my very first craft sale this weekend! And thanks to some of the nicest people I know (Ben, Mom, Claudia, Mom and Dad Minshall, Dana, Jenny and Mike, Kristina, Meghan and Allison–you are all the best!!) I actually had vistors and a few sales to boot! I did learn a few things about this weekend though for future ventures into local craft sales that I’d like to share:

The Hip To Piece Squares Booth

1. If it’s a craft sale at the fairgrounds, then chances are it’s going to bring in the same crowd as last weekend’s gun and knife show. There will be very few people who are hip to tree tote bags and bright colored pouches. They’re looking for things that will instead show their John Deere spirit.

2. Old men really like craft sales at fairgrounds. I’ve always thought that men were crabby about going to craft shows, but it turns out, after you retire and begin making things that nobody really wants, it’s the best place to meet other old men like yourself. The old men will then meet in masses in front of your very small setup and block anyone from seeing what you have.

3. Even if there are no animals present in the “Main Arena,” the scent of years and years of pigs, cows, and horses will still be present and can possibly make your things smell like last year’s fair.

4. Old ladies wearing sweatsuits with Americana applique will not buy your things. Not at all.

5. A teeny craft sale at the fairgrounds is not an entirely bad place to start out. I got to set up my things the way I wanted to, got some feedback from women not wearing sweatsuits and even sold a few things (but most to my friends and family). Good times, I say!

Pink Zebra

I’ve decided that I love pouches. They’re wonderfully fun to make and really, you can use them for about anything. I like how this one looks sort-of
quilted, but still really quirky.

Inside The Zebra

It’s even got girly umbrellas on this inside, along with one of my new tags. (I feel like a real crafter now!)

Yellow Button Pouch

I like this one, but I reminds me of things I had growing up in the 1980’s. The purple and green combo really set me back a couple of decades. I’m not sure if I’m happy about that, or a little freaked out.

So while I’ve not been posting, I’ve been staying more busy than I’ve been in weeks. My motivation is back, and I’ve been exciting about what has been coming together at my sewing machine.
I loved the brown tree bag that I made back in January, and since I got such a good response from it, I decided to try another one. I started out with another of the brown bag/orange, yellow, and green button combination bag. I was happy with the first one, but this one exceeded what I thought I’d be able to do.

Fall Tree Bag

The sewing turned out much neater than the first and I added more buttons to this one. I think that helped it out a lot.
Just as I was finishing the brown one though, I scanned through my fabric colors and got so excited about this combination:

Spring Tree Bag

I loved how this one looks so much like a spring tree as compared to the brown tree that looks so fall-like. I’ve not been this happy with something that I’ve made in so long. I’m really thinking about making more in other colors still.
***Both are available in my Etsy Shop if anyone is interested!!! :)

Day 25

Merry Belated Christmas! I’m sorry about my slowness in posts the last week or so–I’ve been caught up in all things holiday related, as well as overly relaxing on my time off of work. I figure since I’m going back to work tomorrow, that the holiday is officialy over, and if I waited too much longer to post the rest of these, I’d really be trashed by everyone!
Here’s the final look at the advent felties:
25 Days of Felties

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them at first, but I found this little tree at Michaels for a $1.50 about a week before Christmas. It turned out to be the perfect size to hold the felties and sit on the ledge between my kitchen and living room. I’m sad to have to put it away, but I’ll look forward to having it already made for next year.