Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Tight as a duck's ****

So I said that I hoped to blog a little more often and look! it's only been nine days!

I've been doing some work on Caleb's quilt, in fact I've nearly got a finished quilt top! (we'll ignore the fact that this quilt was supposed to be by August ALYoF goal shall we)

I didn't want all of the blocks to be uniform - I wanted to add a little wonkyness to it. Boy do I regret that decision, it involved a LOT of maths and I thought that I was doing quite well until I came to do the last seam before adding the outside sashing. As you can see in the picture above, the bottom half was a little bit smaller than the top half!

I'd originally wanted the outside sashing (or border) to be the same width all the way round but I'd have to make it wonky to make up for the above mistake.

The eagle eyed among you may have noticed that there's something missing.

Yep, there's no top or bottom border! I bought the yellow sashing fabric from Pin It and Stitch at the Festival of Quilts and I ummed and aghed over whether I should buy 0.75 metres or a whole one. Well the tight side of me won and I only bought 0.75m. Lesson learnt. I'm a whole 6" x WOF short. So I've ordered an extra half meter from their eBay shop and I'll add what's spare to my stash. Whilst I'm waiting I think I'll try and turn some of the scraps into a pieced strip for the back.

I must apologize for the awful pictures - I'm trying my best to take pictures in natural light but the Welsh weather doesn't always play ball.

When the light's good it's usually quite breezy!

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday

  WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 2 September 2013

My first bag!

It's been over a month now since I wrote my Finish-A-Long Q3 goal setting list and I can finally say that I've finished one of my goals although it doesn't actually qualify for the FAL as I hadn't started it before the quarter started.

As I stated in my FAL list my husband bought me this bag for Christmas one year and it's gotten a LOT of use since then. It's the perfect size for going shopping with the kids, carrying that extra packet of wipes, spare packet of raisins etc. It was also the perfect size for going to work - I could fit in my lunch, plenty of cans of diet coke and I sometimes even managed to carry a file or two!

But if you look at the handles you can see that it's started looking a little rough. I'd had a good look around the shops but couldn't find a similar bag in colours that I liked, soooooo there was only one thing for it, I'd have to make my own!

I already had the Lotta Jansdotter Echo print in my stash but thought that a heavier weight fabric would be better for the bottom of the bag. I happened to be in Ikea one day and saw this raspberry coloured home dec fabric and thought that it would go quite well with the Echo - I was right!

So these sat in my sewing room for a while waiting for me to get round to using them (all the while complaining that my interim handbag was far too small!) Then the day before going to Birmingham for the Festival of Quilts (yes I did go, no I'm not over it yet!) I decided I couldn't go without something me-made and needed a bag big enough to carry the fabric that I 'might' buy!

So I set Anwen up with her paints on the kitchen table and put Marged down for her nap and got going.

I'd already bought interfacing and had a zip for the inside pocket in my stash. What I didn't have was a zip long enough for the bag itself. However a rummage through an old box unearthed this:

A zip from an old fleece coat that my aunt had cut off when she threw the coat away, thinking that I might find a use for it one day, well it had now been around ten years and I'd completely forgotten about it but I found a use for it!

I also needed lining fabric. I toyed with the idea of using an old duvet cover but then remembered this shirt that my mum had found in a car boot sale.

I love the print and think that using it somewhere where I'll see it everyday is great!

So that's all the supplies ready

And where I stopped taking pictures!

I made the pattern up as I went along, using the original bag as a size guide adding an inch or two here and there.

And this is the finished article!

Lessons I learnt along the way

1. Always buy more interfacing than you think you're going to need - I had to use three offcuts of interfacing on one of my fabric panels as I didn't have a piece big enough left.

2. Think twice before making bag handles that you have to turn from inside out to right way out - I'd used interfacing in the handles to give them extra strength and they were VERY stiff to turn - took me around two hours to make the handles start to finish!

3. Follow a bag pattern at least once before trying to make a bag - The zip on my inside pocket is far from neat (although fully functional)

Evidence of messy pocket zip and misplaced topstitching (but don't you just love that lining?)

5. The weight of the chunky zip is going pull the top of the bag down so topstitch inline with the handles not an inch above.

4. Change your needle more often! I thought that the skipped stitches were down to my machine not being able to cope with the extra work. I changed to a Denim needles and not a single stitch was skipped thereafter.

One last picture that shows that one of my alterations really did work - when I made the handles longer it wasn't with the pushchair in mind - but look - it fits! (but could do with being an inch or two longer)

Despite all of the above I'm very happy with how the bag turned out and it's already gotten a LOT of use, needless to say it wasn't big enough for my fabric haul from foq, but that's a post for another day (when I can face taking pictures of my binge!)

Anwen's starting back in school tomorrow so although I'm still working five days a week I'm hoping that getting back in routine will mean that I start to blog a little more often. (Those of you that follow me on Instagram may know that I have a little news to share!)

Until then,

Catrin x