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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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!

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

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.

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Jitterbug part 3


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.

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


Monday, January 05, 2015

Jitterbug part 2


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.


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.


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!