Sunday, November 25, 2012

Another drawstring bag

Yesterday we spent almost the entire day at a friend's place. It was her birthday (party) and we enjoyed it tremendously!
Since I'm in the 'making-drawstring-bags-mojo', I decided to make her one and fill it with lots of chocolate! :)
One side.... 
... and the other side...
I loved making it, and I hope my friend likes it too! :)
Over the last week I haven't been up to much... I've finished all the blocks for the Postage Stamp quilt, but I don't know when I'll start sewing them together... Since I'm in the 'small-project-mojo', perhaps I'll make a few more drawstring bags, a business card holder, potholders etc.... I have yet to decide on that.... :) Don't think I'll work on any bigger projects now, since I'll have to prepare for Christmas as well... 
Oh, I almost forgotten I have made a 'secret Christmas gift' too, but that one can't be shown until the recipient has received it - after Christmas Eve! :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Giraffes out of Africa / Recycling bag

The giraffe shopping bag is done!
The fabric is meant for curtains... When I bought it, I had in mind to make a bag. I still have fabric for one or two bags, but I don't have the same fabrics for the handles.  Ran out of the batting I used too. Checked at the shop yesterday - where I bought it - but no! Sold out and they won't get it in again! :( I'll have to find another solution though... I like this batting, because it is a bit stiff and even a tote/shopping bag gets the stiffness I like.
Well, it needs a wash! I've cross-hatched (quilted) the bag and to get the lines straight I had to use a white 'pencil' marker... Perhaps I can just wipe it off with a wet cloth... I'll have to try!
Dear girlfriend Kari taught me to sew flush zipper pockets... I know my brain is rather hard to understand sometimes; I know the best way is to practice on my own. Here is the second attempt (the opening for the zipper on the first one turned out too wide).... Only regret is that the pocket (zipper) should have been 1.5 - 2 inches further down from the top of the bag.... I'll do so when I make the other one......... Lesson learnt! :)
Does it happen that you recycle fabrics?
Last year I got new curtains for the lower ground floor. It wasn't really needed to change curtains, but since I got them from a friend I thought; why not?! I didn't really want to throw the old ones, since they are good enough to be re-used. I tried to tear them, but nothing happened! :) Good enough for shopping bags and that are something we never get enough of, isn't it?! I will definitely make a few more...
Today I'm working on the Postage Stamp Quilt again. So far today I've done 10 blocks and hope to do more before I get fed up - LOL! :)
Needed a well deserved coffee break!  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Weekend sewing

Sunday late afternoon here in the tropics.
Yesterday I worked on a shopping bag, but got a little bit bored with it when the straps didn't turn out as I had in mind.

I love making small projects, like the drawstring bags in one of my previous posts... I'm always drawn back to bigger quilts though, and yesterday morning I pulled out the going to be 'Postage Stamp Quilt' - a quilt-along we do in this wonderful group. I got inspired by Diane, whose quilt is already sent for longarm quilting!
Some of us are making the quilt using jelly rolls, while others are adding together squares. When we decided on the quilt-along, I already had one jelly roll sitting there - Evening Mist from Moda - that I had no plans for. I added one solid jelly roll; Bella Solids Natural. I love the fabrics, but the colors are a bit outside my comfort zone - perhaps I'll get used to it?! :)
Some months ago I sewed together the strips, but then I had to get going with the birthday quilts and put it all away. 
Yesterday I cut the sewn together strips into 2.5 inch segments...
....and sewn into 10.5 inch squares
I've sewn 20 blocks yesterday/today - I need 48....
I shall see tonight if I sew a few more.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Workshop with girlfriend Kari - UFO Bag

Vacation is not only lazy days 'roasting' in the sun. During girlfriend Kari and Nina's stay - in between relaxing and playing tourist (me!), we also had lots of time chatting away and finish a (UFO) bag! How I wish it had lasted longer!
I don't have much practice when it comes to making advanced bags, so this one was a challenge! The pattern is from a French magazine, all is written in French and there is no photos or drawings that shows how to! :( This magazine is certainly not for bag making newbies - like me! 
Can't remember when I started working on this bag, it must have been last year....
The bag has two rooms and one inside pocket. I had never sewn a bag with two rooms/two zippers, so I couldn't figure out at all how to do it! MIL has been into crafts all her life, but when I showed her the pattern, she just said; 'french magazines does not explain anything'! Hubby tried to help too, but we couldn't figure out how to do it - hence it became a UFO!
I wanted a solid bag and chose very stiff vliseline - I think it is what they use in shirt collars... Silly me, I didn't know it was THAT stiff! Almost impossible to sew through all layers, had to use needle size 110!
The edge around the bag was just folded in (pattern) and sewn, but since I had already used that stiff vliselin, I had to put on binding. Impossible to pin or even thread baste through all layers, but fortunate I had bought those 'wonder clips' from Clover (I think it is?), which indeed did wonders!
So far - so good! :)
Almost! Here's the two zippers/rooms and inside pocket. The fold inside the pocket is not really there, don't know how it appeared on the photo...
Rings to be added to shoulder strap...
Here's Kari in full swing and concentration! :)
A challenge to add the straps to the bag...
Almost there! I thought the bag looked a bit dull when finished.
I had some wooden beads and since Nina is into beading/macrame, she got the job to decorate the bag!  
Have you noticed the small 'thing' just below the ring on the two sides, with one bead on? That's part of the binding! LOL It was a bit tricky to get it look nice, so we decided adding a bead to it and it looks like decoration! :)
The pocket in front is my idea, not in the pattern. The pattern calls for one ring only, but I wanted the straps a little bit longer and 'of course' the fabric I had was not long enough, hence two rings on each side.
The zippers could have been done better, but no way I managed! It's all about practicing, I know! The colors/fabric is a bit outside my comfort zone, but all in all I'm more than satisfied - I love it!
VOILA! Here it is! All done!
Nina made me a beautiful macrame bracelet - LOVE IT!