Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Pippa's Big Bag

This week at my quilting and patchwork class we started our next phase in bag construction.  I have made bags in the past and knew that what ever I chose it had to be something that I would use or it would be a pointless exercise!

The previous bag was our board and rotary set bag.  As my board is a double A3 one the bag had to be large enough to cope with that and the 24" ruler that I use.  I chose a white linen (hind sight say's that was a foolish colour for a bag, but then hind sight is always 20/20), the linen was folded in quarters, and I kept them together in that configuration to maintain the thickness and bulk that I wanted in order to prevent any points from poking out and stabbing anyone.

On one outer side there is a Bargello panel, which I constructed using bluey/pink batik's. They are stunning together, and all the women have commented on their vibrancy.  Me being the eternal cream bean isn't too sure when it comes to bold and bright's, but if the rest of the opinions are in favour, then I can live with it.

The other outer edge has a four patch of foundation pieced log cabin.  Now these are white and bluey hues, though nothing bright. Subtle but strong also.  The log cabin squares were a joy to put together. For some reason I really enjoyed them, and found them to be amongst one of the easiest patchwork pieces yet.  Indeed, I have enjoyed it so much that I have made several Mug Mat's to keep me busy!

Now on the inside of the bag -
Instead of using the white linen, I stumped for another panel of linen style fabric, this time in a deep Christmas Green. On this panel was a Seminole strip applied to hold the ruler, and another patch that was made using a chevron effect for the rotary ruler.

The pattern wasn't exactly clear when the zip insertion was being described, however, I followed the instructions as I read them and think that the result is the correct method. Though, I didn't have two zip's that were the correct length and correct manufacture.  Now I have found two (infact one of the same as the one sewn in place just a slightly different colour and two) the same colour just slightly shorter in length, the task of checking and double checking, measuring and re-measuring will commence and I can then put that project behind me.  That one was not one that I really enjoyed in totality.  The end result wasn't clear, we wanted an all round bag that had a centre, and then had pockets going round the out side of the bag. 

Moreover, now that I have completed several bags, (there are more that I have done, they just don't need mentioning here) the task of putting a pattern together and creating my own bag isn't as daunting as previously feared!

The bag that we started this week - some last week, but I just wasn't in the sewing mojo, was for me a simple tote type bag, but it has huge hips.  When you see the picture's you will understand.  She has a pin thin waist and large hips.  The pattern called for upholstery fabric to be used due to it's strength. Of course I didn't have the upholstery fabric that was what I wanted.  The fabric I had chosen was a fat quarter bundle that I purchased off EBid a long time ago.  They are by Moda from a lovely collection using creamy yellows and pinks, lovely florals that I wouldn't have necessarily used for my own purpose, but, I am for some reason becoming more er feminine! 

This is the finished product, even though I had to re-jig the fabric's as I'd only taken Fat Quarter's to class and the pattern called for 1/2 meter's, the end item is actually very pleasing.  I like it, as did my partner and my children!  That is all that counts really isn't it?

Because I didn't use upholstery fabric, the bag would have been very sloppy with no thick interfacing.  To avoid this and to keep the fabric very clean, I decided to use the heat'n'bond Vinyl on the outside. This added the stability that the bag required and it actually looks very dapper.  The oil cloth bag's are very 'en vogue' here right now. Kath Kidson has paved the way with her delightful floral fabric being OIL'ed and made into hand bags.  From Ikea to the World!  humble beginnings can turn out to be the best advertisements it turns out.

This project was supposed to last us a few weeks I think - actually it was to last us until the end of the term.  There I am steamed through the time and done it in two days! Oops. Well I guess that then lends me the time to get on with the bag AND the baby quilts.

I have put together two so far, used a template/pattern of my own and used a soft fleece (non-piling) for the back. Because these are so thin, they are suitable for newborn babies.  Any thicker and they would be too warm for the little ones as they have no real ability to regulate their temperature.

The top two are the green girl's quilt, which is big enough for a Cotbed. This one is backed with a lovely berry red fleece, and the bottom two are for a none gender specific recipient. I used Moda, fabric's of my own dying and other manufacturer's.  They all go together very well and suit the back which is a lovely baby blue colour.  This one went to a baby boy who had decided to come out to Mummy a few weeks early. He was 4lb odd when he came home a few weeks after being born, but is said to be doing very well, as is Mummy.

On the note of babies, both mine are now nicely tucked into their beds/cot, so the after hours mummy task's must now be completed. Packed lunches made, kitchen washed down, lounge de-toddlered, so on and so forth... any other mother know's what I mean ;-)

With this in mind, I bid you all fare well and will hopefully see you sooner than later, depending on how the bag and quilt turns out x

Take care of you and yours

J x

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

White Times on Valentines

Not White Line's in the context of the very well known song, but the stuff that is known throughout the UK to stop everything! I mean everything!

It is ridiculous   a small coating of snow on the ground and we turn into totally immobile biff's who are reliant on the odd individual who thinks that snow isn't a leave pass.

The snow didn't last all that long! It was fun watching my 11 year old boy try to sledge down a hill that was more grass than snow.  I do have a wicked sense of humour ;-)

Today is the onset of my fabric sort out.  What I do is, I go through each storage container, systematically, and then bundle fabric's into their categories. That may be colours, characters, or even fabric make up - cotton for dresses, for quilting, upholstery fabrics, jersey fabrics, voiles, nets, vintage etc....

We now have a study full of fabric stacks. My poor ever suffering partner is being slowly squeezed out of his desk and into another realm (we have no more room in the house, so that is the only place he and his pc can go!), to accommodate my fabric fetish. 

Honestly when I buy them I am doing so to make a certain item with them, however, my brain being what it is, can not carry that information along too long and by the time it either arrives here or I get home from the shop (sometimes I forget when I get into the car, not long after purchase!), it has gone clean out of my mind...

But that is ageing, or so I am told.

Hang around for the pictures!

Tomorrow I will post some up for you all to oooh and aaahhh over 

Night all

J x

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Another Snowy Day?

Another Snowy Day?

We had a huge deluge of snow a few weeks back, which knocked the schools out of service for a week, and most vehicular movement also.  I love it when the snow is here... children want to play out whereby normally they are indoors watching crud TV or playing a video game.  The environment is clear, everything seems very clean.  The quiet is one to covet, the snow acts as a dampener for the ambient noise that is normally in the background and ignored (until it goes quiet that is!)

People stop worrying about rushing everywhere; cars if they can get about do so very carefully. The normal driving speed is normally roughly 10 mph above the speed limit. What is wrong with the snow? In my eyes, nothing.  It is all good.  Everything looks beautiful, and when the thaw begins, the icicles form! And OMG if they arent one of nature’s wonders what is? I had a very close up look at one that was dangling down from our hanging baskets, and noticed something that I had never seen before, in the centre of each icicle there is a line of air bubbles, as though the icicle is indeed, a tap running that has been caught on camera.  Amazing! This is our world... or rather; this world allows us to live here. Let’s take care of it shall we? Take your time to notice the wonders that are on your very doorstep! Breathe in the cold morning air and smell how fresh it is, how clean the air can be without a million cars’s belching out fumes that can only serve to choke a very fragile environment. Tell me why we cannot treat the Earth with the same respect that we, ourselves, want to be afforded.

The snow also gives me a huge inspirational boost. I dont have the normal hum drum of cars scooting past our home, the window that I look out of whilst sewing, happens to be overviewed by the road. People walk past, some whom dont see me even lean over our wall to look down to the area that used to have a doorway! I mean how rude!  They stop leaving their homes, they stay indoors and dwell. Watch TV, Complain that they cant get out.  Snow for some reason disables people in this country. My back injury is truly vulnerable when snow and ice are visiting, however, that doesnt stop me. Someone has to pull the babies on their sledge! In fact, if I were to fall over when the snow is first laid, I have a relatively soft landing! ;-)
Well having spent the evening, making Pin Mug/Jugs, and embroidering the Mug Rug that will be sent off to my lucky counterpart as a part of the Quilting Gallery Mug Rug swap. What I was supposed to do was, make Gaia a little fluffy cover for the cushion she insists on having on top of her pillow, and Mu Mat making for the Craft Sale in Cwmcelyn at the weekend.  What happens in this room with regard to time is currently being investigated by Stephen Hawkins!
At 0100 I should be in bed, snuggled under the sheets and snoring (snurggling I dont snore!).  Now I think it is time that I sat at my trusted machine and did some work, albeit my hobby, but for the sake of a sensible sentence... lets call it work shall we?

Take care and I hope that tomorrow sees a lovely day filled with joy and plenty of haggles
J x