Friday 31 July 2009

Tutorial with loads of pics......

I was supposed to be busy with the books today, being a good little student, but my muse visited me last night and I dreamed this bag, so today I just had to make it!
I've been asked before if I'll do tutorials for my baggies. Hmm, bear with me. (Pun intended) I'm not sure I'm up to that, but I'll try.
You need three different fabrics. A plain piece, I used off white, and two patterned pieces, either matching or contrasting, according to your taste. Plenty of vliesenine, matching sewing thread and some embroidery thread, maybe a few buttons or other trimmings and some long thin scraps of wadding.
I cut two pieces 14 x 7 from the off white. (All measurements are in inches) Then I added a piece of vliesenine 14 x 3.5 along one half of each piece and ironed a crease along the length. If you want a wider opening on your bag, cut a longer strip. I got my pretty threads out and stitched a complementary design onto the stabilised side of the fabric, you could add buttons and trims at this point too.
I also cut two pieces each of the other fabrics, 3 x however long you want your straps. I dug out some wadding scraps too, I wanted nice wide comfy straps.
Next I cut the body of the bag, you can vary the size according to your taste, for a fuller or deeper bag, cut larger pieces.
I cut 21.5 x 15.
Iron vliesenine to both pieces of one of the fabrics, the bears will be on the outside of my bag, so they got the treatment.
Next I took my long thin strap pieces and stitched them right sides together and ironed the seam to one side, then ironed them wrong sides together. I tucked the wadding in between the fabrics and pinned them around it.
Then top stitched the pinned side closed. I also top stitched the other side too. You could quilt your strap if you like, I did consider a few rows of stitching along the whole length of the straps, but decided against it.
Now your four pieces of 21.5 x 15. Fold the 21.5 length in half and mark the centre, pleat toward the center, and pin until you get a nice effect which measures 14 inches. I have four nice big pleats, you may prefer more smaller pleats, or just one on each side of the center, it really is up to you, so long as the top edge finishes at the same width you made your off white pieces.
I stitched along the top edge of my fabric and also stitched into the pleats to hold them in place.
Do this to all four pieces, two innies, and two outies.
Time for that off white again. Pin it along the top edge of one of you outer pieces and stitch in place.
Now do the same for a bag inner piece, but also include the ends of one of your handle pieces. Stitch in place.
Iron the whole thing with the seams toward the patterned fabrics and top stitch 1/4 inch into the patterned fabrics, ensuring that the strap is laying over the off white, not the patterned fabric as you see below.
At this point I decided to add a pocket inside my bag.
I also added one of my little labels. You could stitch your name or what ever to the pocket and make it a large label, just do it as you would for a hand stitched quilt label, but remember to add a backing before stitching it into the bag.
I flattened out the lining as best I could and added the pocket quite low in the lining fabric.
Now lay your two bag halves right sides together, matching the lining fabrics and the outer fabrics and start pinning. If you like to have rounded corners on your bag, using a saucer or a lid or what ever, now is the time to do that bit. Pin all the way around, leaving an opening across the bottom of the lining, mine is about 6 inches across. I back stitch a little at each side of that too.
If you like to have square corners/ bottoms on your bag, now is the time to do that. I measured in 3 inches, it's up to you what size you make them, just remember to line up the bottom and side seams.
Chop off the ears!
Turn the bag to the right side through the opening you left in the lining. Slip stitch the lining closed after poking into all the corners to pop them out.
I top stitched around the top and bottom edge of the off white. At the bottom I caught in the straps, but at the top, I left the straps loose.
One cute bag all ready to go shopping, plenty of room for a diary, your coin purse and one or two small purchases, you know a reel or two of thread, some buttons, a fat quarter, maybe a zip! And you won't loose your keys, cause they have a pocket!
All I have to do now is clean up the mess before my Hunney gets home..........
The postie brought me two magazines today, Homespun and Australian P&Q are here at last, so I'm off to sit and read. I hope you enjoyed my tute, please let me know if you make a bag using it. Better point out if I missed anything or made any mistakes too! LOL
Click on the images for a slightly larger version.
1) Patterns in my sleep.
2) A fun day.
3) Inspiration.

Sunday 26 July 2009

Old photos.

And a trip along memory lane.
We were summonsed to Mothers last night, she wanted Hunney to fix something on her computer and a loan of one of my boys to help out in her yard. I took along DS Jonny as Joe is away. Here he is digging up potatoes, Mum grows them in tubs. Her yard is only small, but it sure is packed.
As well as potatoes there is some other veg too, I got told off for pinching her peas! Nothing new there. I didn't get a proper look into that little green house, but I could see that it is packed with tomato vines.
I also took a wander around the house, she had been decorating and many things were out of place, as well as one or two new things appearing. Look, pictures of me, holding my sister Kirsty! I would have been seven in this first one,
And eight in the second. There were a lot more. Well, four of us girls and a big bruv makes for a lot of school photos. Oh yes, then we started making babies of our own!
Yes, I always had wild curly red hair!
As well as memories of school and my childhood I came across lots of things I recognised as having purchased or made for mum. This little crab is the top of a loo roll holder I made many years ago, it's cross stitched and fits perfectly in her beach themed bathroom.
This doll is NOT one of my creations, a friend of Mums made this, ohh! I dunno, lots of years ago, at least thirty. The dolls name is Josephine.
A very grand lady indeed. Her dress was made from the off cuts of curtains mum had made for our then dining room.
This next piece is mine. It was a practice attempt at glass painting, using the Donna Dewberry method. (Links to you Tube)
I wasn't very good at it, and really didn't do many pieces.
Below you see a fan which I made when I went through a phase of quilling, I really enjoyed that, and still have a little go now and then. I gave it to mum just on the backing board, she has had it framed,
it looks much better in real life and it's good to see it under glass rather than gathering dust.
Another blast from the past, my baby sister Nerine started to cross stitch this Ginger jar for mum about 10 - 15 years ago, she got quite a bit of it done, then for some reason stopped, eventually the piece came to me and I finished it off.
I lost my way when back stitching the outline of the jar, but Mum loves it anyway.
I saw loads of other things which I recognised, some made or given by me, some by my sisters and brother. I think because she had decorated and things had moved I saw them with fresh eyes.
The computer caused Hunney a few problems and he gave up! We're going back to mums today to hopefully get it sorted.
1) A trip down memory lane.
2) I slept in this morning.
3) Hot sweet tea.

What's it got in it's pocketses?

It's my baby sisters birthday in just a couple of days. I bought her a pretty necklace and decided it had to go into a bag. I delved into my drawer and pulled out some fabric, as you can guess with me, I ended up making more than one bag.
DD Kay modelled for me. This wanna be deck chair is actually for her, she wanted a new bag with longer straps so it would go on her shoulder.
She also wanted pocketses, there is nothing in the pocketses, but it does have pocketses inside, three of them.
That should keep her keys, purse and cell phone handy.
Bag number two is a third Rose bag, if you remember Kay and I have matching shopping totes, well, now my mum can join in, three generations with matching bags. That's it, I don't have enough of the rose fabric left to make any more, well, maybe a tiny gift bag, but no more totes.
Mum, like my DD loves my shopping totes and has two or three already. She is also a firm believer in re using and recycling, though the fabric used in these is all new.
Last but not least, the bag that started today's rush of creativity......
Another shopping tote for my baby sister. This one is made from up cycled fabrics. LOL can you guess what the design is?
It played very nicely and I managed to centre it well, I'm rather pleased with myself for that.
Thank you Kay for modelling for me.
1) Free Models.
2) Three quick finishes.
3) DS Jonny is home for a few days.

Friday 24 July 2009

Minding my own business.

There I was last night, minding my own business, reading a few blogs, leaving a comment here and a comment there. Just basically enjoying myself.
What did I find?
Pretty stitchery, pretty quilts, some cross stitch and an evil enabler in the form of Caroline at The Contented Quilter. Her latest creation grabbed a hold of me and made my clicky finger go to Amazon and buy not one but two books!! (Caroline only talked about one book, but I'm holding her responsible for both! LOL)
So, this book and this book will be with me soon.
Thank you Caroline, I've been looking for something very similar to your quilt for a while now.
I can't have a blog post without images, so here's a peep at a piece of DD Kay's art. This is the Ramsey Swing Bridge which swings over the harbour in my home town. (I figured I'd keep it kind of nautical)

I'm trying to convince her to put more of her artwork onto her blog. (Forgive the spelling if you go to look, she's an artist, not an academic.)
Well that's me, that's all I have to say, now I'm off to be a student for an hour or so, then maybe I'll sew a little before work.
1) 92 days.
2) Evil Enablers! LOL
3) Hot sweet tea.

One Vine Done.

I have one of my shortened vines completed. I want to make another like this then it's time to start cutting and sewing some 2.5 inch squares.
DD is a little slower on her vine. We decided on matching mini quilts. I suspect we cut enough leaves to make several of these mini quilts, but I'm sure they'll be used on something.
Not much else to report to be honest, I'm back to exercising every day, I slacked off while it was very warm, but things have cooled off again, so I'm back at it. I have more homework this month and I'm working my way through it. There is lots of reading and several pieces of written work this time, I suspect I won't have much time for sewing, it's a good thing I can just pick up a vine and sew on a leaf here and there.
1) Hunneys work / study load has eased off considerably.
2) It's Friday tomorrow.
3) One vine completed.

Friday 17 July 2009

Scrappy Vines.

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post and sent wedding wishes our way. We are both really looking forward to seeing Tony's folks again and spending time away. Our wedding will make this trip extra special. I'm trying not to think of Swine Flu and really hoping that it won't get so bad that we won't be able to travel. Enough of that!
As you know I've set off on a joint venture with DD Kay. Originally we cut some very long vines, about 108 inches, but since then we had a rethink and chopped them down considerably! Now we have a bunch of 25 inch vines and a whole load of wide black strips! LOL We'll make a couple of wall hangings and see where we go from there.
Here you see the start of the first two vines. The plan is to join them together with some columns of four or nine patches set on point. The picture is a bit wishy washy, it's one of those days.
I really don't know where I saw a similar design, but I did and that's what gave me the idea. I should start making a note of these things.
As I'm sure you've guessed, one of the reasons for speeding this one along some is so that I can make a start on my Peaches and Cream. If I get a chance I'll post a quick picture of the magazine concerned and the issue numbers tomorrow. Right now it's my day off, I've set myself some homework, then my time is my own. I think I'll applique leaves onto my vine.
1) Good luck wishes.
2) Pretty cut flowers from a friend.
3) Lots of pretty scraps.

Thursday 16 July 2009

Turning Nines and trips away.

There is really nothing special about these two quilts. Very basic quilts made from what was available and what I could recycle. They really only had the minimum of planning and attention.
This first one has a pretty scrappy look as I used odds and ends of fabric which I had in stash, not all of the fabrics were fat quarters so there are one or two extra odd pieces.
This second one was at least made mostly from a fat quarter collection with the addition of a single odd piece, though that odd piece does fit in perfectly.

They were both layered with an old blanket and a chenille back. There is no fancy quilting, just a very basic stitch near the ditch affair which serves only to keep the layers together rather than compliment the pattern. These quilts were made to be used and abused.
Many of you have asked for hints and clues about what it is I want to do with my beautiful collection of' patisserie' fabrics, including Joanna from Fresh Figs! I have already mentioned it to one or two people so no harm in telling more. Some time ago Claire sent me a copy of Australian Patchwork and Quilting, it had part one of a beautiful quilt called Peaches and Cream in it. Well I fell in love with peaches and cream and had to have part two, which I eventually found. I harboured the dream of doing it from stash and despaired at ever having enough of the right colours, then I saw Patisserie and knew it would be just perfect. I kept telling myself that I couldn't afford to get all of the required fabrics all in one go, but didn't want to buy it in dibs and drabs. I happened to mention to Tony that it would make a nice birthday prezzie this year if he was stuck for ideas, well he wasn't!! In fact he was planning around an earlier hint! He asked me what was required, did some quick mental arithmetic and told me to "Go for it Sweetie, just buy it". See why I call him Hunney? So I went for it! And now it's all here and I'm itching to make a start. I want to get one or two other things out of the way first. Soon I promise.
My birthday? Not until next month. We are having a day trip to Birmingham to visit the Festival of Quilts, I'm sure I mentioned it already. Who else is going by the way? Will anyone be there on the Friday? Want to meet up? I would have loved to be able to have two days there, but it costs an arm and a leg to get off this island, the flights just were not convenient and the added expense of a hotel etc so soon before our trip to NZ (and so soon after splashing out on lots of lovely fabric), just meant it wasn't possible this year. Hunney has already promised me that we can budget for a quilt trip next year and that I will have more time to look around. To be honest having never been to anything like this before, it will make a very memorable and special 40th birthday gift.
Speaking of trips and holidays. Provided that Swine Flu doesn't close the world down, Hunney and I will be off to New Zealand in 100 days and we'll be getting married while we are there! I know I told one or two of you already, but we finally decided to go public. We have our rings and have begun to make arrangements. Nothing huge and flash, just a quiet simple affair with a few family members and a BBQ later. I'm delighted and couldn't be happier. Hunney is fit to burst and tells everyone he meets.
Still on trips away from the island, yesterday was my training day and once again I was up and gone before the lark, not getting home until after 9pm. I do find these days very interesting and inspiring though, the course facilitator Susan is a wonderful coach and knows her subject well. Once again she has given us a tree each to read and absorb as well as some homework. In spite of my worries last months homework took only a couple of hours and I'm certain that this months will take only a little longer. As I have already completed what I planned to do today that means it's time to play, I'm off to find a needle.
1) My Sweet Hunney.
2) Not so challenging homework
3) Still drooling over that 'Patisserie'.

Tuesday 14 July 2009

Ooops! I forgot.

Lurline reminded me that I hadn't shown a picture of the completed quilt yet! I also forgot to mention that I had used a pretty pink thread to quilt the leaves/hearts in the outer border. I guess I was so busy trying not to show too much that I forgot to show it off after Kay had received it. She had seen me working on it, but I wanted to try and keep some of it a surprise.
Here you go, one completed quilt. Not only did it have it's first wash already it's also had it's first sleep too.
Kay says it's wonderful, very cosy indeed.
Thank you everyone for sending birthday wises to Kay, she is tickled.
1) Birthday wishes.
2) It passed the cosy test.
3) Time to go play.

Just Some Stuff.

I have done some sewing, but to be honest not worth taking a photo of! So I've gathered together a collection of other images to show and tell about.
First up is my beautiful, gorgeous, yummy, scrummy collection of fat quarters. What you see here is the entire collection of Patisserie fabrics by Fig Tree Quilts. I've been waiting for this to arrive from the Fat Quarter Shop. Now it's here I'm itching to start up another long term project! LOL
But at the same time, I'm also reluctant to start cutting into these beautiful fabrics, so maybe I'll drool over them and fondle and stroke them a little more first. I have to say this picture does them no justice, they really do look good enough to eat when you see them for real.
Second up, now that she has received her gifts I can show you some of the items I bought for Kays 21st birthday. You may remember I mentioned that I had prepared 21 gifts. There were all manner of things from pens and pencils to jewellery, to lollipops!
I knew she would adore this pendant the moment I saw it. I was hoping to find matching earrings, but couldn't see any.

I tucked nineteen of her gifts into gift number twenty. Those pretty roses and blue totes I made last week were for a mother and daughter thing.
Last but not least, a closer look at the French Roses quilt, it's had it's inaugural wash and dried on the airer rather than in the tumbly, but you can see the shabbiness getting started.
This was gift number twenty one! Kay had ooed and awed over it several times so I just couldn't help but gift it to her.
I was really pleased with myself when I managed the pretty quilting rather than some plain old simple stuff in the borders and I'm pleased to say that Kay loves it too and loves the idea of it getting shabbier as time goes on.
Elaine has received her bags and both she and her grand daughter were thrilled with their collections. So were Elaine's daughters, neighbours and friends.......... Elaine said that she had explained to them that I'm all bagged out at the moment or she thought I might have several orders for more! Thanks Elaine! Yep, I'm all bagged out for now, but will make more some time I'm sure.
It's been a long day with an early start at work then I had to go back in this evening for a meeting. The birthday girl had to cook her own dinner. I'll take her out for lunch tomorrow. Right now we're sipping her bubbly! (She received two bottles.) So neither of us will be doing much sewing this evening. I have a day off tomorrow so I hope to get something achieved to show off.
1) Kay loves her pressies.
2) Elaine loves her bags.
3) I love Hunney.