A Study In Pink

Last quilt finished – I need to think about the next one. I just went through my batik collections and found a scrap bag (twelve 9″ strips) with “pinks.” Next I browsed the piles of individual batik cuts and came up with many more that could work with those original twelve.

Study In Pink

I still need a few more light pink fabrics – I’ll shop for them tomorrow. I also need to see what I have in daylight to get a better idea about which fabrics blend well and which should be pulled.

What am I thinking about doing with these?

Well, there’s Tula Pink’s “City Sampler” – a quilt constructed from a collection of 100 “sampler” blocks. Here’s one from Pinterest in grey/brown tones:another in a rainbow of colour

(It’s a popular quilt — there are tons of images to be found), that suggest a way for me to think about my collection of pinks.

Tula Pink’s quilt consists of 100 different blocks – I don’t intend following her directions or making the blocks she suggests, although there are a number there that might get pieced as I go along. My plan is to start creating 6 1/2″ (maybe 7″) blocks, each unique, with the fabrics I have collected above — crosses, rectangles, half-square triangles, flying geese, log cabin, bordered squares… until I accumulate 63 blocks. That will give me a 7 x 9 array which, with borders, will give me a good lap-size quilt.

So, first a quest to find 2-4 more light pink batiks, then begin constructing blocks….

Lots to look forward to.

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Sewing Tools Organizer – Finished

Here it is – just completed. A tiny bit wider than the original tools organizer but I was reluctant to make it narrower since I wasn’t sure how much width I was going to lose when I added in the zipper sides. Big-ish isn’t a problem, too small would have been.

So you can see the welted zipper opening on the front. What isn’t obvious is my name in the lower right – I chose the wrong colour embroidery thread! Instead of the lime green I should have used a golden orange (up close you can see the name, it just doesn’t hit you in the face).

New Exterior Case

The pattern (which I linked to yesterday – scroll down the blog entry) was helpful for dimensions and some overall construction suggestions, but because I wanted elements between outer and inner fabrics I couldn’t quilt the pieces and had to carefully think my way through construction. Not having the outer and lining fabrics on the sides not quilted was a bonus – it helped with zipper installation because I could apply the zipper to the outer fabric, then add the lining enclosing the zipper seams.

Applying the binding was a slow process – having to stitch through anywhere from 8-12 layers of fabric meant I needed to take my time although the machine handled the job perfectly well (with a new sharp universal 90 needle). In the end, I’m happy with how the binding turned out.

Here’s the interior:

Interior With Tool Pages From Original Organizer

The point of this project was to create a new case for the tools organizer – the original “pages” of pockets were fine – they just needed a new cover. Since the pattern has directions for making these pages, I may actually attempt one more – the cover is loose enough to accommodate another. What isn’t visible are the two pockets on the inside of the organizer covers – one zippered, one closed with some velcro.

Although I suspect many of the sewing ladies at Sew With Vision would be interested in making an organizer for themselves I have a feeling the sewing around these small round corners to apply binding is more difficult than many of them would be willing to attempt. I’ll take my organizer into the shop to show it off and ask what that the staff think.

Don’t know what’s next.

Layer Cake Quilt – Finished

Finished this morning! I quilted both the narrow inner border and wider outer border over the weekend. That left the binding for today.

After my water aerobic class I pieced the binding fabric – six 2 1/2″ strips, joined end to end. Attached the binding to the back, then folded it over the front and stitched it in place using a decorative stitch.

Quilt Top

I used the same fabric I used on the back for the binding – it blended with the many grey and beige fabrics in the pieced quilt top quite nicely. The back was completed by splicing a single width of fabric and inserting a strip constructed from leftover squares from the top, and some strips of the background fabric and from the inner border. Simple, but turned out fine.

Quilt Back

Now onto a project I’ve been meaning to take on for a while. I have a Pfaff sewing tools carry case that came with one of my previous embroidery machines – I’ve had it for years. It’s reached the point where the outer case is falling apart – the binding has worn through on all the edges. So while the inner “pages” with zippered see-through vinyl compartments are still fine, it’s time make a new outer case.

I came across a pattern for a sewing tools organizer like the one I have.

Pattern for Sewing Tools Organizer

I bought some bright batik for the outside and a muted blue for the lining. I’ve spent the evening doing the prep work – I’m not exactly following instructions – I’ve added a welted zippered pocket to the front of the case, as well as a pocket on the inside of the front, and another zippered pocket on the inside of the back. The instructions recommend quilting the outside and lining fabrics but in order to put the zippered pockets into the outside and inside of the case that wouldn’t work. So instead, I’ve used a rather stiff fusible interfacing on the back of the outside fabric and a layer of quilt batting with the lining. When it comes to sewing the elements together I will have eight layers of fabric to stitch but it looks as if my new Pfaff Creative Icon will be up to the task – I will just sew more slowly than I normally would.

 

Before / After

I have a basket of socks beside my chair all in need of repair – the heels are worn (some worn through, hopefully the holes are still small enough that a heel replacement will do). The pair below, however, is a left over from the previous batch of repairs – put aside because they needed more than a heel replaced – the back of the leg was also worn through to the point that I knew I’d have to cut it off and reknit part of the leg – a rebuild, not a repair.

I decided to work on them after I’d calculated the time it would take to rebuild the socks – about 7-8 hours compared to  25 hours to knit a new pair.

Before / After

This is the before and after – the before sock has already been set up with stitches picked up on the leg and across the instep. Next steps are to cut close to the carrying thread, pick away the extra rows to get to the stitches on the thread, pick up stitches on the leg, extend the leg, create a heel, and then the difficult/tedious part – grafting back the foot. It’s worth saving the foot beyond the instep because it still has lots of body.

It took me about 4 hours yesterday to do the prep work and rebuild the sock on the right. It’s now a wearable sock for a couple of more seasons.

Drawstring Bags – Done!

Just finished the last of the drawstring bags for Christmas gifts – eighteen here, twenty-one in all. Just in time for tomorrow’s Friday afternoon knitters get together.

Drawstring Bags – Eighteen Completed

For the most part I was able to fabricate these bags using fabric for the outside and lining, for the drawstring channels, buttons, wooden beads, from the supplies I had on hand. I did have to buy 6mm grosgrain ribbon and a few wooden beads to finish the last few but for the most part I used what I had. That doesn’t mean there was no cost associated with the bags but it feels differently (like free) when I don’t have to go out and buy specific supplies for a project.

Now back to quilting the Layer Cake Quilt. Hoping to finish it this weekend.

Seven Done – Fourteen To Go

Just finished the seventh shoe bag – fourteen to go.

Shoe Bags

Here is this year’s Christmas gift (last year I gave small zippered bags) – a drawstring bag for carrying shoes during the winter. They’re not large enough for sneakers/running shoes, but if it’s a snowy day and you’re wearing boots, then this bag is perfect for bringing along a pair of “lady’s” shoes. It’s also a great size for carrying knitting or a hand sewing project, a book, art supplies, even makeup.

I was originally given a drawstring bag by a Japanese friend and it was immediately obvious the design was better than any I’d ever made – it was lined, made with separate channels for the drawstrings, and a buttoned pocket on one side.

I was limited by the width of fabric strips I was using – I’d pulled from the 9″ scrap bags (Keepsake Quilting puts together sets of coordinating fabrics using twelve 9″ width of fabric cuts of both printed and batik fabrics) fabrics I didn’t think I’d want to use in a quilt. So the final size of each bag was limited to 8 1/2″ x 16″ (don’t forget 1/4″ seam allowances). The drawstring channels are constructed from two 2 1/2″ x 17″ strips of fabric, sewn to form a circle, turned right side out and folded – long, raw edges together – and pressed. Each channel is inserted (raw edges to the opening) between the outer bag and the lining (which is placed right side together over the stitched outer bag). The top edge is sewn with a 1/4″ seam. The lining is pulled over the bag, the bottom end serged and the lining pushed inside the bag. I used narrow grosgrain ribbon for the drawstrings, used some smallish wooden beads (with large holes) to secure the ends. The drawstrings are strung through both channels, one from each side.

The first three bags have already been gifted – they were samples to establish size and production details. They lacked front pockets – didn’t think of adding the pocket until I started cutting the scrap bag fabrics – after cutting the two 17″ pieces for the length of bag I had just the right amount left for a lined pocket!

So now back to the sewing machine to assemble another batch – it’ll probably take me one more day to finish up the twenty-one bags I need.

Layer Cake Quilt II

Just finished the central panel of the Layer Cake Quilt. I had two challenges with this quilt – the number of small pieces (408) and making the fabric I had on hand go as far as made sense in the context of this quilt design. Total number of fabric pieces in this 4 x 6 quilt – 600! Given the fiddlely work with the 1 1/2″ white squares I’m surprised that my points work as well as they do! Not 100% perfect, but close enough that when the final quilt is quilted the slight imperfections are not going to be noticeable.

Center Panel

Now I need borders. I want to introduce a contrasting colour. I have some 4 1/2″ batik strips that bring out the rusty/beige colours in the central panel,  but I think a wide border in that fabric will be too strong – I’m thinking a 1/2″ – 3/4″ border will be enough (the question is whether to piece the strip in or to create a narrow flange). The outside wide border will be the white Zen Chic fabric used in the panel itself. My problem is that I have, at the moment, just four 4 1/2″ strips of that fabric! My local shop has none left! I’ve ordered some from the Fat Quarter Shop online (they had what I needed, my other usual sources didn’t) but the fabric hasn’t yet arrived. So I’m on hold for the moment.

I guess I can fill in the waiting time by going through my fabric stash and pulling out something for my next quilt….