Wordless Wednesday


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Collectin’


Pouches!

Today I decided to make a quick project to test out my new Janome 6260. After a quick survey of my supplies, I went with the Perfect Box Pouch by Indie House, since I was in dire need of a new makeup bag.

I wanted to use something fairly sturdy, which made me think of the Far Far Away II line — it’s such an amazing cotton/linen blend, perfect for bags. I altered the pattern a bit, because I had a rather long zipper and I needed a fairly large bag. The final project measures 12″ long x 4″ wide x 4″ deep; I chose to make it bigger so I can use it for a travel toiletry bag. I used Heather Ross’ Moon and Stars in Tangerine, and lined the bag with Kona Cotton in Coal. Take a look!:

After whipping this up, I wanted to make a smaller pouch to hold makeup brushes. I found a few examples, but no tutorials that fit exactly what I wanted — so I made one myself! This project is super simple, but I figured I’d put it out there for any sewing newbies to enjoy 🙂

–Unlined Zipper Pouch tutorial–

For this project, you’ll need:
-1 fat quarter of fabric
-1 8-inch-long coordinating zipper
-zipper foot
-coordinating thread
-iron
-seam ripper (just in case!)
-fabric marking pencil
-clear ruler
-rotary mat/cutter
-your handy dandy sewing machine

Step 1:

Cut out 2 9×9″ squares. I chose Sleeping Beauty in Dusk from Heather Ross’ newest line, Far Far Away II.

Step 2:

Finger press a crease roughly 1/2″ away from the fabric’s edge. Make sure the crease is at the “top” of the fabric, so that the design is upright. For this design, I wanted to make sure Sleeping Beauty wasn’t sleeping upside down. Iron the crease.

Step 3:

Grab your zipper and pin it carefully along the creased edge.

For this part of the project, you’ll want a zipper foot. If you have never used one before, they look like this:

and are made to allow you to sew your fabric as close as possible to the zipper, in order to make it nearly invisible (although this is *not* considered an invisible zipper)

Step 4:

Sew your zipper to your creased edge. It helps to move the zipper pull away from your sewing. I begin with the zipper closed, then open it completely about halfway through attaching the zipper. If you try to sew alongside the zipper pull, your seam will not be straight — you’ll end up with an odd little curve, so make sure you move that pull!

Now pin and sew the other piece of fabric as in steps 3 and 4:

This is what you will end up with after sewing in the zipper:

Step 5:

True up the sides and bottom of the pouch,

Switch back to the standard zigzag foot

…then pin and sew a tidy seam around each of the 3 sides. I used a 1/2″ seam, which gave me room to sew a second seam 1/8″ away, for extra sturdiness. Make sure your zipper is partially open for this step, in order to turn your pouch right side out!

Step 6:

Trim the bottom two corners to reduce bulk.

Step 7:

Press open your seams

Step 8: Turn right side out, and voila! You have a little zippered pouch!

Now go make one! They’re super quick — I think mine only took about 20 minutes from start to finish, including each step. Visit Indie House and check out her tutorial to make a boxy little pouch of your own!

Not perfect, but..

I’ve been doing a lot (a LOT) of hand piecing while saving up for a proper sewing machine. The list is as follows

1)The beginnings of a Little Folks voile pillow, which will be completed when I receive my new machine (it shipped today!). These are 1″ hexies:

2) a Little Folks hexagon quilt, which will likely reside in my living room, draped over the couch so it can be appreciated regularly (2″ hexies):

3) an Echino pillow, to match another project (more 1″ hexies)…

4) a patchwork quilt! The plan is for it to be queen sized. It’s made of 7″ squares, and it’s about 15%-20% done so far, entirely sewn by hand. It’s a mixture of Anna Maria Horner’s Good Folks, Etsuko Furuya’s Echino line, a bit of Heather Ross’ Far Far Away I (and who knows, maybe I’ll throw a bit of FFA2 in there, as well); also in the mix are lots of Kona solids (Raisin, Pomegranate, Daffodil, and Candy Green, to name a few)

I’m interrupting this post to point out how beautiful Austin can be:

…and lastly, two actual finished projects. A complete, albeit extremely imperfect, potholder (inspired, of course, by Ashley from FilmintheFridge, though hers are considerably neater):

…and a Little Folks fabric rosette, sewn to a bobby pin so that I can 1) feel a bit retro and 2) force everyone around me to appreciate Little Folks, and bring a bit more fabric appreciation into the world 🙂

I realized last week in a few conversations with coworkers that I *never* discuss sewing at work. It doesn’t really relate at all to what I do, and I work mostly with men (not that men don’t sew, but these men don’t). I had a few people ask me recently “so what are your hobbies?” and they seemed genuinely surprised when I told them I spend each weekend sewing. It made me laugh a bit, because most people (myself included, before a year or two ago) seem completely unaware of the modern quilting movement. I also noticed that I address the issue in a self-deprecating way, for some reason — my response to the hobby question is usually something along the lines of “I like to sew and quilt…yes, I’m an old woman stuck in a 24-year-old’s body, apparently, haha” which I really need to stop doing. I’m proud of myself for learning how to create useful objects that could quite possibly become treasured items. What’s wrong with making something that is both useful and beautiful? Nothing at all! That’s my new goal: to address those who ask in an informative, non-self-deprecating way.

Do you ever find yourself dismissing sewing and quilting, even though you love it?
-K

Progress!

Today, I took a break from Ezra’s quilt to work on another that’s been in progress since June. Well, that’s when I bought the fabric, anyway…I wanted to use Heather Ross’ Mendocino line in a way that would show off the fabric but also be bright and fun. It was originally supposed to be a bento box quilt, but I’ve discovered the handkerchief style and now I can’t decide!

Which layout do you prefer?

Bento Box:
IMG_4697

Handkerchief:
IMG_4712

Let me know in the comments!

-K

Achievement

Remember when I said I wanted to make hexagons?
3913126399_ea7e4428eb
Scratch that off the list.

Also, fabric giveaways!:
A Plus Quilt Shop is giving away three gorgeous charm packs
The Fabric Shopper is giving away an organic fat quarter set that I absolutely adore — so pretty and airy!
Our Cozy Nest is giving away supplies to make her newest Moda Bake Shop creations, a ribbon blanket and a ribbon block. They’re absolutely adorable, so make sure to get a comment in before it ends Sunday at midnight. The two charm packs she’s giving away are highly coveted and so beautiful!

To pre-wash or not to pre-wash?

I have done this in the past — gone through about a million pages of quilting forums (they have forums for everything these days!), trying frantically to decide if I should just start already, or if I should have the patience to pre-wash.

So. I’ve just finished browsing the internets for more info on my beloved Kona cotton. I had my iron all ready to go. I’d settled on a pattern for Ezra’s quilt. I’d planned to have some serious squares cut today. I still may, but alas! My paranoia won’t let me avoid pre-washing.

I have my reasons!

1. I’ve read in more than one instance that the chemicals used to prepare fabric for dyeing/keep insects from destroying them (I’ve heard formaldehyde, don’t know how accurate that is) eventually make fabric shopping miserable for some, because they have become so allergic that they are physically uncomfortable in fabric stores. Man! I would never, ever want to be that person.

2. Bleeding, of course, is another factor. If I’ve just finished a quilt, I don’t want to wash it only to find out that Kona cotton does bleed (it doesn’t, as far as my experience goes. I have reds and browns in the wash right now, so we’ll see for sure when they’re done). I’ve washed White and Lagoon Kona Cotton together with no issue. Bleeding is not something I’m super afraid of, but to be frank, I don’t have the money to waste at the moment. I’m sure most people can understand that!

3. Funnily enough, I’m least worried about shrinkage, which is what I hear worries most people. I can understand why it’s a concern, so I’m listing it. It’s just not something I worry a lot about, personally.

Anyway. I’m too concerned about chemicals in fabric affecting me later, somehow. I avoid putting anything into my body that doesn’t need to be there. So for me, it puts me (impatiently and reluctantly) in the pre-wash camp. Unless I’m working with precuts. In which case, I stitch away!

-K