Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

I bought a bunch more Moda scrap bags, these are leftovers from making the precut jelly rolls and whatnot. I was able to buy particular designs so I got several of each kind including ones to match the previous purchase.

I spent the evening going through them to see what I’ve got, sort into rational groups and generally play with a pile of fabrics. They are selvedge strips of varying widths, more or less all 32 inches long. Each scrap bag contains (mostly) fabrics from the same line, but occasionally others are mixed in. I have a couple ideas for projects but so far the only thing I’ve done was with some odd strips from an earlier bag. I bought more of the same so I combined them together.

bundles of multicolor strips of fabrics

The designs represented are Birdie, Nature’s Notebook, Secret Garden and Eden.

I recently bought some precut strips of quilting fabric to play with, mostly because they looked like a nice selection of designs and it would save time cutting. There are a bunch of different options, I ended up with two matching rolls of 1-1/2 inch strips. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them so I tried a small project first.

strips of precut quilting fabric in different print designs

I was a little leery of using unwashed fabric so I combined it only with other fabrics I hadn’t gotten around to washing. I picked two designs out of the strips and made a really simple design of rectangles for a laptop sleeve.

blue and green laptop sleeve

Overall, it went ok. The strips have a pinked edge that I had to watch carefully with matching edges and stitching. But the fabric has enough body to stitch nicely. I still have problems maintaining a consistent seam so things didn’t turn out quite as I intended, but I picked the sashing fabric because it was busy and would hide badly matched seams or various other small flaws. Nothing went horribly wrong in washing the quilted fabric so that was nice.

I made a envelope sleeve with a large overlap and no closure, basically something for keeping the laptop from getting scratched. The opening is on the side so I can access the power connector without removing it from my bag. A while back I bought a padded sleeve like this and discovered it’s really handy to keep the machine packed away but still plugged in.

I have many strips left so now I’ve started a larger throw size quilt. It’s intimidating to draw out a design with hundreds of tiny squares but so far it’s been going ok. I divided the fabrics into blue-green and yellow-red piles, setting the ones with a white background aside for another project. I’m doing kindof a 4-patch thing with some larger squares of other fabrics.

I may try some wider strips or squares for a specific project but I think I’m mostly going to stick with regular washed fabrics. I do a lot of regular sewing so I always have scraps to work with. The idea of buying fabric to cut up specifically for quilting still seems a little strange (although I have to say I’ve done quite a lot of it the past couple months. Nothing like a couple discount coupons to motivate.)

I have plans for several larger quilts, although I think I’m going to have them quilted by someone else. Small things are ok but bed quilts are quite a handful to baste and stitch.

I needed a new small purse, the old one recently had a shoulder strap emergency and it is really too small for the phone I have now anyway. I’ve had this handwoven fabric around intending to make some bags from it.

dark and light blue log cabin fabric purse

While I was at it, I replaced some plastic bags containing odds and ends with proper fabric ones from the scrap collection.

three small bags

Astute readers will recognize some of these fabrics from other projects.
I had a scrap of the pink and purple floral print from the quilt just the right size for a change purse, which I decided to make with a zipper mostly because I can’t find the snap setter right now. The batting is actually flannel, which I had to piece because there wasn’t enough. It’s a wonder I hadn’t thrown it out.

The little blue envelope is for, ahem, “items” that had otherwise been floating around in the bottom of my purse. I’ve been needing something a little more convenient, so here it is. The fuchsia drawstring bag contains mainly stuff that doesn’t fit in my wallet, although it’s supposed to have that tiny first-aid kit I’ve been meaning to assemble. So far I’ve found the travel-size tube of hand lotion.

Now that the gift package has been delivered, I can post these pictures. A few weeks ago I pulled some odds and ends out of the stash and made this simple square quilt for my (we hope not too) soon to be born niece. The prospect of a preemie modified my project plans a bit and instead I did some tiny hats and this little quilt.

blue and purple quilt

The two fabrics are both remnants I picked up without a particular plan. I had just enough to do this squares and rectangles pattern. It doesn’t look it in the first picture but it is indeed square. It is completely machine pieced and quilted, with fusible polyester batting which makes machine quilting really simple. All three layers are bonded together for stitching and the resin washes out after the piece is complete.

quilt closeup

It is quilted around the inside of the squares, which is a little less than the maximum distance for this batting. I actually turned the piece to stitch around, which was a big pain, because I haven’t practiced free-motion stitching and I don’t have a good presser foot for the sewing machine to do it with. The quilting projects I’ve done have all been small, mainly they are not pieced much and I do an all-over grid. The one hand quilted piece took forever for a small pillow top. I have some ideas for additional quilts but for anything larger than a baby blanket I’m going to find somebody with the proper equipment to do the quilting.

I forgot to grab my book so I had nothing to do on the flight except knit. How terrible. Ok, I did a lot of sleeping as well. Eventually we end up on campus in Grignano, outside Trieste.

All these computer people I’m staying with, they know nothing of textiles. But finally I met the biologist (and quilter) who gave me a selection of fabric and knitting shops to try. I don’t know how much shopping I will do but it is nice to see what is around. Getting it all home could well be another issue.

I could go to lectures, but the lab is small and I don’t want to get in the way of the students. Besides, I know most of what they are learning anyway. So while DH teaches people from countries some Americans have never heard of how to build wireless communications networks, I get to entertain myself. A lot of that involves poking around shops and trying to not a) get lost or b) totally butcher the Italian language. I’ve done a bit of knitting and at some point I need to hem the coat that I’ve been wearing with an ugly line of machine basting at the bottom.

If you’d like to see more of the general adventures, you can find that on my other blog. If I score some cool textiles, I’ll tell you about it here. I also will try to get some pictures of the recent garments that were finished for the trip.

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