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What the heck is an Appleton dance?

by Linda Theil A labyrinth is not a maze. There are many forms of labyrinth, but every one is a path with one-way in and out; there are no dead-ends. This concept is thousands of years old, and remains popular today as a form of meditation. For information about labyrinths, see The Labyrinth Society. In the early years of this century I studied labyrinths and took several workshops on the topic. In one workshop featuring a seven-cycle labyrinth, the instructor introduced us to a form of walking meditation called The Appleton Dance discovered and copywritten in 1997 by Jon Appleton. A seven-cycle labyrinth The Appleton Dance can only be done on a seven-cycle labyrinth; it is a mode in which two people can walk holding hands while one of them is walking toward the center of the labyrinth and one is walking away from the center. Barry Hoon posted a YouTube video animation of the dance with narration by Jon Appleton. The video is titled "The Appleton Dance" . In July of 2007, I c
Recent posts

Baseball bag

  by Linda Theil I just finished my second "Starborn Crossbody" bag, a new design by Diane Spencer-Ogg. Since I previously had some difficulty stitching the final top seam, I used a lighter cotton fabric and cut the interfacing one-half inch from the edge of each pattern piece to cut down on bulk, I used a vinyl faux leather to make the D-ring attachment instead of the multi-layered fabric piece I used in the first bag, but I still had a hard time inserting it cleanly because of the bulk. In the future I would attach a wristlet, or carabiner to the zipper pull instead of adding D-rings for a strap; or I would try to find a 3/4-inch light but tough nylon webbing to hold the D-rings. The cotton I chose to use is from the "Gnome of the Brave" collection by Shelly Comiskey for Henry Glass & Co. as a gift for a baseball fan. The interior features a zip-pocket with credit-cards slots incorporated into the lining. The front of the bag has a zippered pocket with a cove

Valentine bags of kisses

by Linda Theil What is better than a bag of kisses on Valentine's Day? Three bags of kisses! I couldn't resist a tiny  fat-quarter bundle featuring pastel images of hearts, rainbows, stars, and unicorns made by Fabric Editions, Inc. I machine quilted two of the fabrics using one that was a "cheater" fabric printed to look like a pieced quilt top. I used the free  Spencer-Ogg "Cos-pod" pattern printed at 85-percent to make two, small, Hershey Kiss-filled, Valentine gifts. Each quilted fat-quarter duo was big enough to cut-out two of the single-pattern-piece pods. Both pods featured a wristlet strap and fancy zip pull; one pull was made from  a red, felt button purchased from JoAnn Fabrics. For my third Valentine, I used a brand new Spencer Ogg "Starburn Crossbody" pattern. The pouch is made from faux waxed canvas purchased from Sally Tomato . The lining is from the "Hibernation" collection by Tone Finnanger for Tilda Fabrics. Resources

Making bag charms

  AppletonDance ginko charm in faux leather and quilted cotton with Tilda brand button accent and twill ribbon attachment by Linda Theil From the Hermes pony to the Tiffany posey, bag charms are the cherry on top of every equipage confection. Create your own signature charm following this process. Choose a symbol of your own preference. Examples include: Geometric: circle, square, triangle, etc Symbol: star, penant/flag, heart, etc Natural: leaf, flower, tree, etc Animal: horse, dog, cat, etc Personal/Individual Draw your symbol and make several patterns in various sizes, none smaller than three-inches in at least one direction -- preferably larger. You can make smaller charms, but larger is easier -- at least to begin with.  Choose your materials -- preferably double-sided materials that are finished on front and back. Or sew, or glue materials wrong sides together to make a double-faced material to use for your charm. Note: Don't forget to reverse your pattern when cutting your b

Mouse pouch

"Estrella Bag" made by Linda Theil by Linda Theil I made the "Estrella Bag" by Oro Rosa Patterns with cottons from the "Hibernation" collection by Tone Finnenger for Tilda Collection with added cording on the central panel.   The bag is fully lined with and interior slip pocket, and features a magnetic snap closure I made a matching pouch with wristlet using the free Spencer-Ogg "Cos-pod" pattern and video, Resources Tilda's World, Oro Rosa, Spencer-Ogg,

Re-use promotional tote bags

by Linda Theil When I saw the brilliant logo of a new local bakery, I knew I wanted to use it to make a charming bag, so I bought one of their promotional tote bags to deconstruct. I unpicked the entire bag because I didn't know how much, if any, of the tote fabric I would want to use in my reconstruction, and I hadn't, yet, chosen a pattern for the re-build. The logo presented something of a challenge because of its six-by eight-inch vertical orientation. I could have cropped the logo to make it more square, but then I would have lost some of the unique content that makes the logo so distinctive and interesting.  I knew Noodlehead's "Sandhill Sling" had a vertical orientation, so I checked the pattern pieces to see if the logo would work with that design. The sling had only one pattern piece that would work with a feature fabric: the 8-inch wide, by 9.5-inch tall zippered pocket bottom on the front of the sling. There are many ways to make a feature-fabric work

DIY SLGs (that's Small Leather Goods to you non-influencers!)

 by Alisa I recently saw a social media ad for a Chinese company that sells kits to make DIY leather bags. They send you the leather or vegan leather pieces, and the waxed thread, needles and other items to assemble a version of a popular bag. While I was kind of intrigued by the some of the bags, I decided to start with the DIY version of Hermes' now-discontinued horse charms. I watched a couple YouTube videos on saddle stitching before jumping into the project and found it to be a lot of fun!  After having a great time making the first one I ordered a few more, gathered my faux leather suppliers and setup a kids craft day at Grandma's.  The ten- and 11-year-olds had a great time with the official kit versions and the five-year-old was a wiz at the homemade kit that I cut from vegan leather using the purchased kit as a pattern. You use two-needles on a length of waxed thread to saddle stitch; and they all picked it up so fast! Kid brains are amazing. The success of the craft