Thursday, January 19, 2012

Time to move to Word Press!

If you are a follower on my blog, then I need to ask you to move on over to my WordPress blog! This will be my last post on blogger!
So you ask me, how do I get there?

Click on this link, then click on "Blog". So far you will only see the same old text, but just wait! New text will be coming in the next couple weeks, and you don't want to miss it!!!

Here is the link:

I will give it a few days for you all to check in and move on over, then you will see what is next for Anything But Boring!

Be sure to let me know if you like to new site as well as blog!

janice pope

Monday, December 19, 2011

Re-purpose a Wool Sweater into a Purse

The Finished Purse
 I found this beautiful sweater last summer and purchased it with the idea to make a bag for my BFF bee Christmas gift exchange this year. Fortunately this sweater was already felted and ready to start the process. I trimmed off the sleeves and ribbing at the top and bottom.

I wasn't sure exactly what to do next. Fortunately, members of my Critique Group Kathy and Margaret  came to the rescue.
They had great ideas of how to
keep most of the original shape
as well as what kind of handles to use. I interfaced both the wool and the silk
 lining with Pellon SF101  cotton interfacing. It seemed to have just the right amount of body for both items.
I think this would make a great knitting bag. (I don't knit!) Anyway, the party was yesterday and Karen Comstock of Quiltricks was the gift recipient! Karen is a knitter, so I hope she will enjoy this re-purposed sweater!
Felted Wool Sweater

Sweater Front Ready to be Stitched Down

Sweater Back After Adding Ribbing
Bottom seam before adding interfacing

Hand-Dyed Silk Lining With Interfacing

Cutting Lining to Match Bag Shape
Attaching Lining to Outer Bag
Forming Bottom of Bag
Attaching Lini

If you are interested in trying this project here are a few steps to follow. You can use the  photos to the right to find the captions to match up the pictures.

 1. Find a wool sweater you would like to use. If it is not felted, wash it in HOT water and dry it in the hottest dryer temperature possible. This will help to shrink and felt the wool so it can be cut without unraveling.

2. Trim off the sleeves, a portion of the turtle neck and most of the ribbing on the bottom of the sweater.

3. If the front neck is curved, use a round or curved handle that is close to the same shape as the neckline of the sweater. This one was purchased at Joann's.

4. Cut away the side seams. Sew the front and back together at the bottom seam. Iron on interfacing.

5.  Fold down the front neckline and shoulder seam so that no raw edges are showing on the outside. Hand stitch to the interfacing.

6. For the back curve, I trimmed the neckline to a similar curve and then had to clip the curve to get it  to fold over the handle. I machine stitched leftover neck ribbing to the stretched out edge and then hand stitched it to the lining just like the front was attached.

7. Cut out lining using the purse as the pattern, allowing an inch for turning down the raw edges in finishing for later. (See picture)

8. Sew the side seams of both the purse. Cut out 2-1/2 or 3 inch squares at the bottom. Bring these two cut edges together in a straight line to stitch them to form the bottom of both sides. Repeat for the lining.

The Finished Purse!
9. Insert the lining into the sweater and pin into place. Hand stitch lining to purse top.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New patterns

Fall Market is now in the past and I realized I had not blogged at all about the new patterns released. Dottie Biery's pattern, Centennial Squares was released. I have made two of these quilts and they  turned out very well. Mary Corcoran's new pattern, 9 O'Clock Sharp is the one I am currently making in queen size for my son's upcoming wedding. Stay tuned for a finished photo. The other two patterns were made using a charm pack, some in bug fabric, some in French fabric from  French Connection in Pittsboro. French Table is a pattern for a table runner and place mats in two shapes. Prints Charming is a quilt pattern in two sizes (one charm pack, or two).  You can see all these patterns on the website, Anything But Boring.

The weekend after market Sheri and I drove to Springfield, Tennessee to vend wholesale at Choice Fabrics. It was a fun trip and I look forward to visiting with them again.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Products for Sewers and Quilters

It is such fun to try new products on the market for sewing and quilting. I found a product worth talking about at Spring Market. It is a foam product with fabric on both sides that will substitute for batting or fusible fleece in any of my patterns. I have found it especially useful for the front and back of the Two Hour Tulip Purse, as well as the Traveler's Tote. If you have not seen this product, be sure to look for it. The brand is Soft and Stable by It is easy to sew in place rather than iron on and has the advantage of maintaining its shape after fusible fleece goes limp with lots of use. I made a purse in early June and have carried it continuously and it still looks brand new....and it is not even batik. I think it gives a very professional finish to the bag. I also tried one on the Kit 'n Kaboodle bag....and though it was a little big to be wrestling it to quilt it, it turned out looking spectacular.   A competing product has also hit the market called Inn Control, which has a "plus" version that is iron on. I have not tried the iron on yet, but will as soon as I find it.  Both products come by the 1/2 yard, yard, and 2 yard cuts, 58 inches wide prepackaged. It also comes by the roll, but I have not found anyone stocking it that way yet. Be sure to try this foam based product in your next purse or bag....I would love to hear what you think.

Friday, May 6, 2011

On the road to Spring Quilt Market 2011!

Janice and Kim Jones
Wednesday May 4th, my designer friend Sandy Fitzpatrick Hissyfitz Designs  and I flew to Denver and were driven by Mary Corcoran (see the bio on my website) to her home in Laramie, Wyoming. Tonight is our first event at the quilt store in town, Quilt Essentials. Owner Mary McDonald has been remodeling the shop since I was last here in September. It is beautiful! Tonight the three of us are having a Trunk Show and Tell at the store. Tomorrow we will be doing 30 minute demos in two parts of the stores. Monday Sandy will be teaching machine quilting and that evening I will be teaching the Two Hour Tulip Purse pattern.

We stopped a one quilt store on the way from Denver to Wyoming as we had heard they carried the Tulip Purse. It is in Windsor, and is called Quilters Stash. While there, we got to visiting with another customer and learned once again what a small world it is! The store customer, who now lives in Virginia, was from this area. She said her husband was from Burlington, NC. I shared that I, too, was from Burlington. What fun to continue the questions and to discover that her husband and I had gone 12 years of school together! Her name is Kim Jones, and her husband I remember so well from school, Keith Jones. Kim and I had our photo taken and I will always remember visiting with her that day.

Next week we move to Park City, Utah, a ski resort area 30-45 minutes outside Salt Lake City, Utah. I will add more blog posts as the week goes on!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New Pattern Revenue to go to

I have finished reading the book by Rich Stearns, The Hole in our Gospel. It has been a long time since I have been moved to get off my backside and do something to change a little corner of the world. As a result of a Guideposts article, hearing Rich speak in person, adopting a little girl from Guana and reading this book, I have made the following decisions:
1. All proceeds (yes, proceeds, not profits) received by Anything But Boring for the new pattern Kit 'n Kaboodle, available at Spring Market in Salt Lake City, Utah in May 2011 will be donated to to help provide clean drinking water to communities who do not have it.
2. Even though I tithe my income from my business (that is 10%), I commit to additionally donate equal amounts that I spend on my annual pet care, which is a luxury item in this country. This is usually around $600.00 a year, including food, vet visits and flea treatments and heart worm pills.
3. I also commit to donate equal amounts that I spend on my hair cuts and color, as well as cosmetics and skin care. This should amount to about $600.00 a year, as these things are also luxuries.

It is very easy to sit in my deeply cushioned office chair, typing on my state of the art iMac in temperature regulated air listening to the birds sing outside and think, "What good can I do?" Instead I choose to do what I can, and pray for wisdom and guidance to be able to do more.

If you would like to "do" something too, here are some suggestions taken from the end of the aforementioned book:
1. Buy a world map. Use push pins to mark crisis and pray for those affected.
2. Tune into poverty. Podcasts are available at
3. Sponsor a child. Go to or do a search for "sponsor a child".
4. Form friendships. Many world cultures are just a neighborhood away in many cites now. Visit ethnic churches in your area to get to know people from other places.
5. Watch a movie. Films are a powerful and influential medium in our culture. Watch movies such as Blood Diamond to learn about child soldiers and the diamond trade; Hotel Rwanda to see courage in the face of genocide;, or Slumdog Millionaire to understand the plight of street children in India. Discussing the movies with others afterward enhances the experience. Go to for a list of other thought-provoking films.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Oh the threads!!!

I was cleaning my sewing room today getting ready to leave town for a 5 day Color Class with Hollis Chatelain. My friend Mary C. is going to use my machine to quilt on a great new quilt which will be in my pattern line soon. As I was sweeping I noticed some thread hanging out of the bottom of my sewing chair's casters. I decided to pull them out. As they kept coming out I decided to turn the chair upside down and work on all 4 casters. Oh my!! What a mess! I am sure I have pulled threads out before, but never have I put it upside down to work on it. I am shocked at how much came out of the 4 wheel casters! I thought I would take a photo and share it with you, because I am sure you wouldn't believe it either!

The bad news is that some of the threads are still stuck in all 4 wheels and I took a photo of that too. I removed all I could using a pair of jeweler's tweezers.

All of my machines are mechanical and require oil to run safely and smoothly. I am diligent about keeping them in good repair. Not my chair though! You better believe I will be careful of the "stuff" that ends up on the floor, as the wheels pick it up like a vacuum!