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    Project of the Week – Empty Pockets & New Challenge!

    By Rob, Designs by Rhonda

    Rhonda begins her instructions for this delightfully original new set as follows, “How many times did you wish you had a little pocket on something?
    You can use printed material or stitch a design on fabric and make a pocket out of it.
    Cute to add it kids clothes and adults too.”

    I thought this was a brilliant project when she first told me she was thinking about it!

    When I was getting the set prepared to put them on the DesignsBySiCK website, I was sitting in the Great Room with some family members.
    I was trying to think of uses for the pockets and the first things that came to my mind were to stitch one on a sleeper for a pacifier or maybe on a small pillow so the Tooth Fairy knew where to find the teeth and leave the coins!  Maybe one with an initial or name on it – but I had no idea how I could use it.
    But, still, I thought they were pretty creative!  So, I decided to pose the question to my family.
    I explained the project and showed pictures of Rhonda’s stitchouts and then asked if they could think of any unique way to use these pockets.
    I barely got the words out of my mouth when my  Big Biker Dude (those of you who know me, know this is what I call my husband of many, many years and father of our three grown children) says, “They would be perfect on a tablecloth.”
    “Um, a tablecloth?  Like a place to hide your green beans?” I replied with a bit of snarkiness in my voice.  (Oh yes, snarkiness is one of my finest attributes)
    But, he was not swayed, instead, he continued, “Not a whole tablecloth, just one which would fit under your sewing machine with it hanging over the edge, on either side of the machine, but not where you sit. “And  you could sew pockets onto the tablecloth on either side of where you would sit!”
    “OH!!  I see what you mean!” I said a bit more excited than I thought I should be!
    Before I could give him a hard time about it, he continued.
    “One of them could be for those tiny little scissors I can’t get my fingers in, but you refuse to allow any of us to touch. You know, the GOLDEN ones,” he said with exaggeration.
    “Oh yes, my stork scissors…  oooo….good idea,” I mumbled.
    “And BOBBINS! You could have a pocket for bobbins and when you get ready to do a project, you could fill the bobbins with the different colors and have them right there, in your handy little bobbin pocket!”
    As I began to imagine this, he went on, “Can you just imagine, having your different color bobbins all ready to just pick out of the pocket and use?  Not like when you sew now, how you can’t ever find more than one bobbin and how you have to pull all of the thread off of it and fill it before you can even begin to sew..and then how you have to pull off the thread again when you change the thread color?”
    Hey, now, this was getting a bit personal – true – but personal.
    He was relentless! “OH what is that thing you ALWAYS have in your hands  and grumbling when you are making something.  It’s tiny and pointy and sharp!  It used to have a cap.”
    “My seam ripper,” I said dryly.
    “Yeah!  That’s it, your seam ripper!  Boy, I’ll bet yours gets more miles than anyone else’s…don’t they ever get dull?  Wouldn’t it be handy to be right there in its own little seam ripper pocket?”
    “And…what about..”
    “I get it,”  I said.
    I guess he sees and hears more than I realize when my niece comes to the house every Saturday to sew and quilt with me!
    So… despite the fact that he knows me better than he should, he had me thinking immediately!
    He came up with some pretty good uses for pockets!
    What could you use a pocket for?

    SO – Here is your CHALLENGE:

    Tell us how your idea on how to use a pocket.

    Everyone who sends in an original idea (if there are identical ones, the first one to submit the idea) will win a set of their choice!

    How else could you use the pockets for fun, to be useful, whatever!  Let me know!

    You have until April 30th to submit your entries.
    We want to give you enough time to purchase a design or the set, or download if you have a membership, and actually create your idea for us to see!

    Those who submit a photo of their project will receive an extra set of their choosing!

    Please send all entries to:


    You can see the set online by clicking here.
    You can see all sets by Rhonda by clicking here.

    Empty Pockets Instructions:

    General Instructions for Applique
    Outline Stitch:
    stitch on main fabric

    Remove hoop from machine, glue or tape a piece of your applique material over   Outline Stitch.

    1st Tack Down Stitch:
    This will secure the applique material to the main fabric.

    Remove hoop from machine and carefully cut around the outside of the applique.

    ZigZag Tack Down Stitch:
    This stitch will secure the edges of the applique

    Satin Outline Stitch and Top Stitch:
    This stitch is a nice satin finishing stitch around the applique and had a top stitch to give it a more professional look.
    All designs in this set are stitched out the same.
    Please follow the general instructions with the exceptions below.
    The first 4 colors can be stitched out in the same color. Color changes are for the machines that do not have stop commands.

    Empty Pockets

    Color 1: Outline Stitch
    the top line is done in a basting stitch so that it can be easily removed.
    Take a piece of fabric that is either folded in half or hemmed.

    Place the folded or hemmed end and place on the top line.
    Make sure that the entire outline stitch is covered.
    Secure with tape or glue stick.

    Color 2: 1st tack down stitch.
    Remove hoop from machine and cut the 3 sides of fabric as you would for Applique.

    Color 3: Zig Zag Tack down Stitch
    Color 4: Satin Outline stitch and Top stitching
    Color 5: this is a little decoration to cover the ends of the satin stitch and is like a little brad or snap look. This will also keep the pocket ends more secure.



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    7 Responses to Project of the Week – Empty Pockets & New Challenge!

    1. Donna Whittle says:

      I plan to use these pockets for clothing I have that don’t already have pockets. I have allergies so am always in need of a tissue. I can make one of these pockets for each pair of pants I wear at home and always have a tissue at hand.

      [Editor’s note: LOVE this idea, Donna! I have a daughter with allergies – she might just get one of these!

    2. Jolene Ehret says:

      What a great idea Rob…. I like the one about the seam ripper. I must have 10 or more of them laying around HIDING! All in various stages of dullness. Never right there when I need one. the pockets by the machine is great too. Thanks a bunch for another delightfully creative idea…Cheers

      [Editor’s note: I forgot to offer up the Big Biker Dude…he ships easily… 😛

    3. I would use pockets for my hand sewing on the couch or to carry along on trips in the car. Use to put crayons, colored pencils, little pieces of paper for them to entertain themselves in the car, restaurant, various appts. Make a couple of pockets to keep in car for pen and paper, a little medical kit for glove box. Make one to keep dog treats in as walking the dogs or at home. Add them to a table cloth to keep silverware in place. Use several pockets on a baby blanket to keep baby entertain or to learn numbers, colors, shapes, or what you want even dry snacks.

      Editor’s note: Annye – how/where would you attach/use them for some of your wonderful ideas? For example – you mentioned sewing the onto the sofa to hold hand sewing supplies….and these are all great ideas – but would you sew them ONTO something for these uses? 🙂

    4. Robin W says:

      How about an advent calendar?

      [moderator’s note: Robin – – GREAT idea! I am putting it on the new set/idea list for Shawn, Linda and our awesome digitizers. Remember, if you see the set – REMIND ME – and you get the set for FREE!]

    5. Irene Farquharson says:

      The hospitals were calling for them to maybe pin on the hospital gowns to carry the small draining bulbs that people still have attached after surgery. For drainage.

    6. Bearington says:

      I’ve seen placemats with pockets on them to hold the silverware. Or the placemat pockets could hold the crayons & such that Annye mentions. Another use would be to make a wall organizer with the pockets. For easy identification, the pockets could have a label embroidered on it, or they could be made with clear plastic. For TV remotes that roam, maybe an antimacassar with pockets made with stretchy fabric would help corral them.

    7. Pam says:

      My suggestion would be to have a learning quilt with pockets labeled with each letter and then the child can either find the matching letter stitched also on individual cards and then put it into the appropriate pocket or you could make it more difficult by having actual small toys that would fit in the appropriate pocket on the learning quilt by matching the beginning letter of the item. The quilt could also grow with a child for several years and with a little creativity I am sure creative ways to extend the learning could be found like taking turns choosing the next letter and once the item is found to then think of a rhyming word or even a line of a poem using that letter or the word of the item in the pocket then see what fun the whole family could have on a game night together. So many variations could be made whether using letters, numbers, objects, scriptures or bible stories. The sky is the limit and pockets can hold hidden secret treasures. What treasures will your family find in your sets of pockets. Do I see an I Spy pocket quilt coming to some homes in the near future?

      The second idea was thinking back to a childhood favorite “Katy No Pocket” and her fabulous apron, my book was a hardbound weekly reader edition. This apron could be used to help teach children in so many ways from pockets to store treasures found on wilderness hikes to learning how to help clean various rooms in the house with dust rags or wood polish spray or wet or dry rags or crumpled newspaper when cleaning windows. A fun apron may help to make young ones more open to helping a busy Mom, Dad, busy grandparent or even their school or preschool teacher.

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