Sunday, January 25, 2015

Zakka Sewing Case

IMG_0146 I've been wanting to make this for years ever since I first joined Pinterest and pinned this sewing case. I put the Zakka Style book on my Amazon wishlist and a few years later it was given to me by my inlaws. Of course it went into a box when we moved and has remaining in its box in the cellar for the past 2 years.

IMG_0147 The final push was Isabel who sits next me, showing me her pinterest board with the sewing case pinned. I went home, dug the book out and brought it in for her. We then went to a fabric shop to buy some fabric for it as she didn't know what to buy. She ended up making a bag instead in the end but I couldn't leave Raystitch empty handed and decided that if Isabel wasn't going to make the sewing case then I would! They had all those lovely linen Japanese fabrics so I chose Muddy Works Mauve: perfect.

IMG_0149 Nothing I already had felt quite right. I don't buy those trendy linen fabrics much, I guess they are a little thick for my sorts of projects. So it was nice to have just the right project for it. I have avoided the project because I never have anything in my stash for it and these days it's all about stash busting. So it felt very lavish and organised to go in knowing what I was going to make and buy just the right fabric.
IMG_0150 I already had the linen from The Eternal Maker which I bought at Birmingham for no particular reason. It was a perfect fit. Very nice linen. I appreciate that after dealing with the rubbish linen from my local craft shop.
IMG_0152 I went home and immediately cut the bits out whilst watching The Apprentice. Then left it for ages...

So this Sunday I launched into action and it came together really quickly. I used the flouro binding because I lacked a leather thong and I used my John Bull printing kit because I didn't have the time to cut out anything else. I'm a bit sad about that as I have all the stuff somewhere to make a block print. Another time!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Sew Together Bag Beginings

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I was looking at Blue Elephant Stitches blog and saw these great Sew Together Bags. I decided this would be a good zip progression for me so I bought the pattern from Sew Demented. I had been looking at Flock in navy, by Micheal Miller over at M is for Make for ages. This pattern tipped me over the edge and I splashed out on a fat quarter. I know I said I wouldn't buy and fabric. Failed and it's only January.

All the other fabric is from the scrap bag. I might make a second one out of some of my Lizzy House Catnap fabric if this goes well. Now I just need to find a long zip and I am ready to go.


Here are Blue Elephant Stitches ones. I love the colours. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Jitterbug - part 4

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Today was a day of measuring and cutting. I decided to set up camp in the kitchen so I wouldn't have to crouch on the floor like I usually do. There was a nice light coming in through the windows; crisp and wintery. A lot of hot tea was consumed in a grand effort to keep warm.

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I made piles. I did sums. I cut out en masses. I got it all wrong. There were never quite enough of anything. Sigh.

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I give up with the maths in the end. I just decided to create 12 bags and fill them with enough bits. I just keep cranking them out and stuffing my Ikea plastic bags. All the half square triangles are made. All the geese are ready to trim, some are made.

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The sashing bits are done. And now it's just a case of creating all the four squares out of scraps. I hope there are enough.

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I haven't worked it out. It is probably a vain hope. But you never know. I am quite done with cutting. Maybe it's time for a small side project, so I can come back to it refreshed.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Foundation Piecing update!

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I decided to try and finish my block. It was a lovely bright day and it came together perfectly. The inspiration for all this came from wanting to make a kit that mum bought me which uses foundation piecing. I knew I wanted a mini practice before starting it. Then I saw Pink Caramel's blog and her lovely mini Goose Tracks block. Such lovely colours and I love the narrower centre. I really wanted my colour palette to be as nice as hers. Subdued and tasteful with a pink/peach mix.

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So off I went, found this excellent tutorial. I laid out the blocks at the end and decided that yes, I too wanted narrower centres.

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Ta da! I am so pleased with it. It is so perfect! Who knew foundation piecing could be so amazing? Well actually, I remember Claire telling me it was her favourite thing. Claire, you were so right!

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Here it is in context next to the excellent pin cushion that Claire bought me for my birthday which I still haven't rung up and thanked her for. It is beautiful and my block is beautiful. I am going to make the other colour ways that Pink Caramel has created as I am rubbish with colour. It's also made me love these fabrics again. They are so old. All from Sunflower fabrics years and years a go. The dash of peach though is from The village Haberdashery. It is a lovely soft Robert Kaufman Cambridge Lawn. I think this is mango. I wish I had bought more now. I really want to buy some Cookoo's Calling from there, And the flourescent sun print and the Cotton and Steel sparkle. Arrrrggh. I wish I had money!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Foundation Piecing

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I decided to have a little foundation piecing lesson. I really was not getting it from people's explanations. It just felt like gobble-de-gook. So I decided to give it a go, fully prepared to mess it up.

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I probably should have ironed my fabric, but it was just small offcuts from the scrapbag.

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Should I be cutting my threads as I go along? I also wonder if you could do it in a different order?

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Wow! It really works! I am kind of sort of amazed. But this stuff actually works.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Jitterbug part 3

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So next I made up some flying geese. I decided to use the technique that makes four geese at once as it's less wasteful than the single way. After all the wastage making the Swoon quilt, I am set on saving as much fabric as possible.  

I used this method. I've made two of the 12 sets so I need to make 10 more. 48 geese in total. I have all the measurements down pat now though so I am ready to go.

Since I had all the units though, I made up a test block and ta-da it all seems to fit.

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Now I just need to make 11 more... I've made a start. Look at all the trimming I have got to do!


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Monday, January 05, 2015

Jitterbug part 2

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Here is the block we are making on the left. It breaks down into three parts really. Making the central 4 patch, the flying geese and the half square triangles.

I suppose that step two would be to cut all the units out as per the book instructions. That's 192 half square triangles. Jeez. I can't face doing it all at once. It would kill my spirit. Plus I am a bit worried I might cut it out wrong so I thought I might make a block and make sure it all fits. So that's my step two! I have decided to try and do an hour of sewing a night in the week instead of watching TV in the evenings so sorry for the dark pictures, but it works nicely doing this in small chunks. My attention wanders after a while as it is really a very big quilt compared to what I have been used to. It's a bit overwhelming if I think too much about it.

One route would be to just cut all my 2 1/2" strips and follow the instructions but I thought I might create my hsts in a different way with the fabric in fat quarters - instead of using the Omnigrid ruler they suggest. I have decided to cut bigger squares that will allow me to create eight hsts at once!

Here's the method (see picture on the right)

Add 7/8" to your desired finished size (in my case 2 1/2") = 3 1/4
Multiply by 2 = 6 1/2
That's the measurement of your square you need to cut!
Then just sew along the dotted lines and cut the others. Done.

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Well I did that and they were a bit big so I tried a 6" version and it was perfect. I sew just inside 1/4" so that I have a sliver of room to trim them exactly to size. There's nothing worse than a square that's too small. I also ironed my seams flat in the middle as it will make some of the bulky points easier to sew, otherwise I find the fabric moves and bunches and things start to not line up. I also used a plain old pencil to mark my fabric. Sometimes simple is best.

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So I'll be cutting 25 x 6 squares in total which will give me 200 hst. Right. Got it. Here are my test ones above. Plus a few Christmas gifts from my mum! A new blade and a 2 1/2" square. I have no idea if it will be useful or not. Only one way to find out!