Sunday, September 30, 2007

My japanese bag

I love it.
I bought the pattern and fabric for this bag from the shop "Antique Angel" at the spring show in Malvern in 2005 or 2006.
I loved it so much I wanted to copy it faithfully, and not try to use my own fabrics.
I also bought the button, it is a japanese one, to keep with the spirit of the bag.
Usually I love bright and happy colours, but this one jumped to my attention.
Very quickly I started it, and all by hand as well.
It is finished, but I must confess I don't use it as much as I should, because I don't want to damage it.
But I do use the bag I made that appeared in a previous blog.
Have a good week.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Noah's Ark bed quilt

THis is Noah's Ark bed quilt.

You can't see the size on this photo but it covers a bed with enough to go down on each side.

It is now the property of daughter number 4, as the youngest the subject was closer to her age.

This quilt took me 2 years to make.
Of course I did other things as well, but it was a work of love.

The pattern was published in the magazine "Patchwork and Quilting" for a few months starting in April 2004, 2 animals per month in general.
The Traplet publications have made a book with this pattern, as it was so popular, the author is Lesley Brankin, she is a freelance designer.

It is entirely made using the technique or reverse paper quilting.

In short you draw a miror image of your design on paper ( I use normal copy paper, but you can use tear away paper), sew on the lines, and to add each new piece you put the fabrics right sides together, with a seam allowance.

The interest of this technique is that you get very precise sewing, and can really copy almost anything.

I quilted it with my machine and added the tails and some details by hand. I still have to do a few things I realised.

I really love this quilt, and feel that it will stay in the family for many years.

The sheeps still need mouths.

I have used some bits of fabric left over from the blocks to make a kind of piano keys border.

And the elephants also need a mouth.

I didn't put all the animals, just a selection for you to see.

I used a lot of different fabrics, mostly fat quarters.

I bought a kit for the patterned skins, like the giraffes, the zebras, etc... It was made when the pattern was first published.

I am not sure the photos give justice to the final product, for example you can't see much of the quilting.

I am a beginner on blogging.

I have done the label, but need to stitch it to the back....

It will all get finished, eventually.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Marie Claire Idees' bag

In the french magazine "Marie Claire Idees" published in June 2007, there was a model of a bag I quite liked.

What I didn't like was that it wasn't lined and you would see the seam allowances inside, so I changed the model to one that was reversible, including for the handles which have now 2 colours.

I love my new bag and use it everyday.

Explanations to make a reversible “baluchon” bag

This pattern was published in French in Marie Claire Idées in June 2007.

I changed it to make a reversible bag. I didn’t like the idea of seeing the seam allowances at the bottom.

You need:

- In fabric A
- 2 pieces of fabric 12 ½”x 24 ½” (32 cm x 62cm)
- 2 pieces 10”x1 ½” for the handles.

-In fabric B, same size pieces.

-2 pieces of woven cotton 1” wide x12” each,

-Assorted thread and sewing kit, sewing machine.

To make your pattern take a piece of cardboard 8”x 12” (20cmx30cm), trace a round shape instead of one of the corners.

Fold each long piece of fabric in 2, and copy the round shape with the straight side on the fold. Add 2” at the top, along the 12”side. Your opened piece of fabric looks almost like a half circle.
Put 2 pieces of the same fabric right sides together and sew along the line starting and stopping where your pattern piece started, leaving the top 2” free.
Do the same with the other coloured fabric but leave a gap at the bottom to turn the bag inside out.

Make the handles.
Sew 2 pieces of different colours along one long side, right sides together.
Turn right side out, and fold the fabric wrong sides together until the edge touches the edge of the fabric on the other side. This way the fabric is doubled in each colour. The 2 pieces should be the same width. Topstitch on the other side of the handles to close it, and again on the first side so they are symmetrical.
Sew the second handle the same way.

Take one part of the bag and pin the handles, right sides together, ¼” from the top corner of the bag, the handle going down. Match the fabrics so that each side of the bag has got a handle made with the same fabric.
Pin the other end of the handle to the other corner of the same side of the bag. You will have to pull the handle slightly as at that moment it is shorter than the width of the bag.

Put the other half of the bag, right sides together, inside the bag. Pin all around the top of the bag matching the two fabrics.

Sew the two halves together, starting from one side to the other. And then the other side. You will have to go down 1"3/4 on each side, just above the side seams.

Clip the top corners of the bag, and the curves at the bottom of the 2 halves.

Take the plated cotton ribbon and sew each end ¾” from the top corner of the bag, on the sides, exactly on the previous line of sewing.

Turn the bag right side out.
Mark 2 lines parallel to the top of the bag, at ¾” from the top, and 1” below, on each side of the bag.
Sew the top line, always be careful not to sew the ribbon as well.
Then the second line. The ribbon being shorter the fabric will gather when you sew, by moving the fabric and the ribbon you will get a flat portion for your machine.
Do both sides the same way.

Close the bottom of the bag with invisible stitches.

Your bag is finished, enjoy.

What a wonderful present

I am now back from my holidays, and finishing to put things in order, and do all the paperwork. Since I came back I haven't had time to do any sewing, or log on here. And I still have to hem some school trousers.

But back to more fun things.

In July, at our last meeting with my patchwork group I was given some unfinished work. A lady I haven't met had started to work on a project some time ago. She didn't want to continue as she was doing more painting than patchwork now.

And so I was given a big bag of fabric. There are all kinds of materials, a lot of small bits, some furmishing samples, etc...

There was a book from Janet Bolton.

I must say that I already have another book from her, bought by my dear husband. I have not started doing the project but I always loved it and was just waiting for the right moment, as we all do.

I also saw Janet Bolton last year at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. Her work is very nice and different. It is closer to illustrations than to traditional patchwork.

I also received the blocks that the lady had already done. Of course I will have to try to match the style she has chosen, and which is very close to the book.

It is quite liberating in a way to work in such a rustic manner. The stitches must show, it is the opposite of what I would usually try to obtain. They must not be perfect, and i used the same thread for all the bits on a block.

The blocks are not assembled together, and then quilted. It looks like each block could be an independant quilt in itself. In fact you could just do one and frame it maybe.

The backing shows on the front, and the folds appear on the corners.

It will be interesting to continue this project, a bit of a challenge in a way.
I have started on some blocks, I cheated a bit and started with my sewing machine instead of doing everything by hand.
I prepared my bits of fabric to make little kits, and took 3 blocks to be done on holidays. Of course I didn't finish the 3rd one and I decided while I was away that I would put some wadding in the middle to keep the blocks quite thick. And the wadding was at home.
I need to finish these before showing them here. But I have other things to show from my hols...