Archive for the ‘Craft Projects’ Category
Turkey Tracks: April 3, 2017
April 2017 Quilty Update
It snowed all Saturday.
Didn’t amount to much, was beautiful coming down, and provided a quiet sewing day to enjoy.
We all just hunker down on these sorts of days, providing we can.
I don’t feed the turkeys unless we have packed snow on the ground–which we did up to a few days ago. (Though we have more snow coming in tomorrow, but maybe we will have rain here on the coast.) The turkeys know I’ll throw out food when it snows, so they begin to assemble early morning, and when I let Penny out, they come running and talking. They are more vocal now than ever before. Anyway, I have had a lot of feed bags this winter. I used to throw these bags away. The feed bags from the chickens too. But now everyone is making very nice bags from them–for the grocery store, for recycling, for anything that needs a bag. I have been giving mine away, but everyone is “full up” now. So, rather than throw one away, I tried to make a bag.
SUPER easy and very fun. There are MANY tutorials online. Here’s a good one: Source: Feed Bag Tote Bag
I took the bag to the garage where it is storing newspapers to recycle at the dump.
The last of the amaryllis are blooming now. The white one is from Rose Lowell (La Dolce Vita Farm). It bloomed before and I put pics up. Then it sent up a whole new stalk and bloomed three blooms again. The gift that keeps on giving…
My leader/ender project got sewn into a quilt top. More on that later as it will be a gift. I got backing/binding for it today. So my NEW leader/ender project seems to be a 10 1/2-inch log cabin block made from 1 1/2 inch strips. I forgot (AGAIN!!!) how demanding log cabin blocks can be and spent most of yesterday resewing blocks. Each section has to measure right or the whole thing goes awry.
How to set them???
It’s time to do 8 or 9 more Tula Pink blocks. What a treat! I’d probably rip through the whole book if I were not so busy with other projects as well. Pics to follow soon I’m sure.
I spent a lot of time ironing fabric yesterday–getting ready to cut for the “Bits and Pieces” quilt made with Carol Friedlander “Doe” collection fabrics. I’ve loved this quilt and this fabric for ages and ages. I first saw it at Alewives Fabric Store in Damariscotta, Maine.
I wash fabrics first because the chemicals and dyes don’t agree with me. If they didn’t, I probably wouldn’t.
The fat quarters go into making the “bits.”
I found this fabric in Friedlander’s recent collection. It’s perfect for the neutral strips. Or so I think. I like the texture.
Here’s the whole array. I’m thinking I’ll have enough for two quilts maybe…
The backing is a white/black Friedlander. It’s perfect.
So, En Provence is still in pieces and ready to be sewn together. Millifiori is getting BIG. More on that later. And the selvage star quilt is waiting patiently.
Turkey Tracks: March 14, 2017
Zipper Bag Nutty
It all started with two of these little pouches, made by Coastal Quilter Margaret Elaine Jinno for our auction fundraiser last November.
Margaret Elaine used a clear vinyl front so one could see the inside. The top has a zipper. You can see one of the ones I purchased is stuffed full of EPP templates all ready to go. The other one is too, but with a different EPP project. How did she make these anyway?
Then Tori Manzi, also a Coastal Quilter, showed some of us the craft bag she made using pet screen, which is easily located at any large hardware store. And, yes, it cuts and sews easily. I did not get a picture of Tori’s bag, but then Becca Babb-Brott (Etsy Store Sew Me A Song) made one as well and it was so nice and roomy. I had immediate bag envy. I knew I had to make one of these bigger craft bags that stored EVERYTHING. I didn’t get a picture of Becca’s bag either, but Becca sent me a tutorial on how to do it. This tutorial uses clear vinyl, but you can easily substitute the pet screen. It’s from So Sew Easy and is easy to follow: “How to Make Clear Vinyl or Project Bags.” Just google for it if this link does not come up
On the way to the So Sew Easy Tutorial, I saw a blog post on a “52 zippers project”–one a week for a year. Hmmm. Until I put the big zipper into my “Aeroplane Bag,” I had not put a zipper into anything for probably 32 years. Maybe I better take a look?
Here’s the introduction
52 zippers project: All the zips! In 2017 I have a few lofty goals. One of the bigger ones is to undertake a project I’m calling “52 zippers”: this year, every week I will sew a new zipper pouch and post about it. I have kind of the perfect storm of reasons for doing this–I have too many zippers, too many cute fabrics that I’m not using because I don’t want to cut them up, lots of fabric embellishment ideas that I want to try out but not on a whole quilt, and of course a lack of organization. My other thought is that while I know many people have mastered zipper pouches, I think it is a common thing to fear the zipper. I’ve written up a set of basic lined zipper pouch instructions, which you can download for free! As the year goes on I will be adding more modifications and techniques to add to the simple zipper pouch. Look for more handouts to come! These handouts will be free for a limited time; at the end of the project I’ll be compiling all of the handouts into a comprehensive zipper pouch pattern.
Before I knew it, I had these two pouches and had printed out instructions for how to install a “D” ring, a wrist band, and make a “dumpling bag.” Pouches lend themselves to showcasing bigger pieces of fabric, like this fabric from Anna Maria Horner.
These bags are LINED, and doesn’t my zipper look nice?
At this point I was using zippers I already had in storage.
Ok, now I had more confidence, so I went back to the So Sew Easy tutorial. I had a pale lavender zipper, and here is what emerged. I love the look of the hanging outside zipper technique.
Then, this one happened with a white zipper I had on hand. You can see it in relationship to the lavender bag in terms of size.
How fun is this!
More googling and I discovered that Sew Michelle sells COLORED pet screen in lots of colors. So this package arrived the other day.
And Zip It (Etsy store) sells all things zipper, including fobs and what are, in bunches, really reasonable zippers in many sizes and colors. So this package arrived, and I chose the colors of the zippers.
I have a real soft spot for these zipper fobs, but there are all different kinds at Zip It.
Also, it seems that there is a way with plastic zipper teeth to separate the two sides for easier sewing–which also means you can use the smaller pieces of a zipper you’ve cut off by adding a new pull–which, of course, Zip It has. You could mix and match zipper pull colors with the zipper itself, like putting a blue pull on an orange zipper.
It’s clear my go-to present these days will be zippered bags of some sort. They are just so much fun to make.
Turkey Tracks: January 21, 2017
Sew Sweetness “Aeroplane” Bag
I love this bag!!
The top is pieced in the “Becca Babb-Brott” style. Becca helped me a lot as this bag was a huge learning curve for me. I love, also, the way the charcoal shot cotton fabric looks for the bottom and the straps.
I had to put the top zipper in THREE TIMES before I got it right. Oh my!! Don’t even ask…why… Dense seamstress who has not put in zippers in probably 30 years or more. AND what I think is a kind of misdirection about how to handle the ends of the zippers in the pattern. Probably everyone else who sews in the world “got” what to do or not do according to the type of zipper one had, but not me…
I also learned with this top zipper that one has to sew a generous quarter of an inch on the first basting in of the zipper or the inner lining will not come up far enough to be caught when one does the final top stitching.
BUT, I loved the way the inside zippers and red pockets came out. Those I mastered right away.
Can’t wait to use this bag AND I can’t wait to make another one.
The pattern comes in two sizes; I did the LONG bag.
December 21, 2016
Knitting Selvage Placemats
There are TWO selvages on any width of fabric.
(Fat quarters have just one.)
One selvage can be colorful with round dots to show the different dyes, cool sayings, the name of the fabric, the name of the designer, and so forth. Indeed, fabric makers are getting quite creative with these selvages now as quilters are making all sorts of products using them, including dramatic and gorgeous quilts.
When I first started quilting over 20 years ago, we were always cautioned NOT to use the selvage as the selvage was “different” than the fabric and would not handle or wash the same way. So, we just threw them away.
The OTHER selvage is often plain, and for years I’ve thought about what might be done with those.
I’ve tried knitting old t-shirt strips. They are ok, but a bit thick. I have a small rug upstairs made from t-shirt strips. It sits under the dog bowls.
BUT, what about these OTHER selvages?
I cleaned some up, which means getting the ripping threads under control, and looped enough together to make a long, continuous strand.
Time has shown that making LOTS of long strands is better than trying to make one large ball. It’s easy enough to attach new ones. I also learned to loop the long strands together and to wrap them into a loose knot so they don’t tangle and retangle with the other long strands in the bottom of my knitting bag.Here is the first placemat, completed this week:
Not bad. I got a big crochet hook and went around the edges with a single stitch just to refine it a big.
This lone one is very cute on my dining room table actually. It needs some bright cloth napkins. Aqua maybe. Or, green. Or red. Whatever.
I could have also bound off the edge and turned the work, picked up stitches from the short side, and knitted there a bit. That would have been the start of a rug I think, where I bound off and turned the work at regular intervals. Finished panels could be joined into a bigger rug. The Mason Dixon knitters already figured that out. (See Kay Gardiner, Ann Shayne, MASON*DIXON KNITTING.) (I’m sure there are earlier blog posts here on this folks. Search on the right sidebar search button.)
But heaven knows I don’t need anymore rag rugs at the moment. You can see earlier posts about all the rag rugs made on a primitive Appalachian hand loom–using old sheets, fabric strips, etc.
There are an astonishing number of selvages in this placemat. I just pin the whole project to the design wall, loop new selvages over one of the knitting needles, and when I get a hunk of them, I clean them up. loop them up, and spend some time knitting them into the work.
Turkey Tracks: May 16, 2016
Becca’s Feed Sack Bags: Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle
Becca hit the tri-fecta with this project.
She’s Reusing, Repurposing, and Recycling Feed Bags.
The bags came from Susan McBride and Chris Richmond’s Golden Brook Farm, which is just above me on “the hill.”
Becca came to the Coastal Quilter’s Monthly All-Day Sit and Sew with feed bags in hand.
“I’m going to make bags,” she said. What? I thought. Cool…
And make bags she did:
Soon she had this one done:
And I went home with this one:
Thank you Becca!!
PS: Coastal Quilters: save your bird food bags for Becca?
Turkey Tracks: March 23, 2016
Coastal Quilters (Maine) members have been making handmade greeting cards.
We’ll use them to thank our speakers, to honor members’ birthdays, and to send a greeting for whatever reason we need.
Handmade cards are also good sellers in the fund-raising auction we hold every other year.
This card (Cosmos!) was made by Gail Galloway Nicholson. She fused the tiny pieces with Steam-A-Seam, placed them on the card, and ironed them down.
This card was made by Maggie Schwamb. She learned how to make this kind of card while visiting family. She glued a facing piece on the inside of the card to hide the stitching.
When I finish a quilt, I take some pictures of it as I keep a notebook that archives my quilts. I note down all the quilt math, the blocks used, the pantograph, etc. And I’ve gone back to that information many many times while making other quilts. I also take a few extra pictures and insert them into greeting cards.
Given the cost of greeting cards, taking some time to make some seems a good thing. Besides, it’s a lot of fun.
Turkey Tracks: December 21, 2015
Making Christmas Decorations
…and the stockings were hung by the chimney with care…
The reindeer on the mantle were made by my daughter-in-law Tami Kelly and her two daughters–at our Thanksgiving retreat at Camp St. Christopher in Seabrook, SC. (A very fun time was had by all–great family time.) The fireplace is in their house in SC.
Here’s a close-up of these reindeer:
This project uses driftwood from SC palm trees…washed up on the riverfront beach of the Edisto River.
I thought about putting one in my suitcase, but thought it would not make it.
What a fun project!!