East Dakota Quilter


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Steampunk & Scrapbooking: Today is brought to you by the letter “S”

Two of my great-aunts have supported my blog and are accomplished sewers/crafters themselves. Over the years, their projects have included cross-stitch, dolls, scrapbooking, costumes, and crochet. I have received a number of gifts from them, from handmade items (like the hand warmers below, teddy bears, and dolls) to family heirlooms.

hand warmers by dorothy

(The hand warmers came with adorable paper cutouts of hands inside to indicate they were NOT beer cozies, haha.)

I wanted to show my appreciation, but what do you give someone who can make things with more skill? –especially when I didn’t want to send something that would just collect dust.

For one of the two aunts, I decided on a pillowcase, but not just any pillowcase… an embroidered steampunk pillowcase!

My aunts have attended steampunk events the past few years. Since I have no experience with steampunk and a pretty fluid concept of history, I didn’t want to make a mistake and include items from different decades/centuries that didn’t make sense together. Then it dawned on me: I could embroider an image of my aunt in the costume she made!

I present Lady Leontine:

lady leontine pillowcase by eastdakotaquilter

lady leontine by eastdakotaquilter

steampunk detail by eastdakotaquilter

The pillowcase even has French seams! I used this super simple tutorial.

The second of these two great-aunts makes incredible scrapbooks. For her, I made a scissors-themed mug rug. The block was inspired by the one in the book Patchwork 318 (see a similar block here), although I had to make my own pattern since the book is unfortunately no longer in print.

scissors block by eastdakotaquilter

Also included in the package was a cute necklace I bought at a craft fair in D.C. called Crafty Bastards. The chain is tiny, but I couldn’t resist.


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Drawstring Bags – Photographer & Knitter Gifts

Have you seen Jeni’s FREE drawstring bag tutorial on her website, InColorOrder? The bags have been popping up on Instagram for a long time. I liked them right away but couldn’t think how to use them. Then I had a few ideas!

One of my friends is a photographer. I made this bag for her.

drawstring bag by eastdakotaquilter

I bought the camera print probably over a year ago. I love photographs, but I didn’t want people to see it and expect my photos to be awesome as a result. They’re not. (Did you see that iPhone beauty above?! My camera lens has been severely damaged since July 2013.) Every time I saw the fabric, I thought “Laila’s the real photographer.” You can see her work here. I decided to use the fabric to make her something! I like the way it turned out.

drawstring bag by eastdakotaquilter

Another of my friends is a knitter. I actually don’t know her super well since she’s a friend-of-a-friend, but she has been very welcoming since I moved to D.C., where she’s been living for several years. She even invited me to join her book club. I just wanted to make a little something to say thank you, and when I saw this sheep fabric, I knew just what to make!

drawstring bag for knitting by eastdakotaquilter

inside drawstring bag by eastdakotaquilter

I was surprised how quick these were to make, especially since I sew slow. I’m excited to make more soon. You know, it’s tax day in the U.S. One of these bags could probably hold a lot of receipts! 😉