Monday, 3 June 2013

Sewing on the Go

We've just spent a few days away with friends at a Festival.
Although lovely in part it's also hard work with kids - especially the camping bit!

The weather was fab - look at those blue skies!
And I even found time to squeeze in a little bit of sewing, with a simple starflower English Paper Piecing (EPP) project.
This is in preparation for this months Make Do and Mend session in Exeter (details here), which is EPP hexagons this month, but as I've done those before I thought I'd try something new!
I learnt the hexagons back in March at the Sewing Directory meet up with Kerry Green - great fun and there's another day coming up in September. EPP is a really simple process and much quicker than I thought, but I think a full sized quilt is a bit beyond me yet!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

A Bag for the Summer

How fantastic to see the sun out properly over the last few days - and it's set to continue this week so I've got windows open and letting the sounds of evening bird song fill the house.

At the start of the year I made a little list of projects I wanted to make and techniques I wanted to master in 2013. One of the frustrating things about learning new skills is that I always want to run before I can walk, and I prefer real projects to testers so sometimes things reach a standstill because I just don't dare ruin something by experimenting.

One of my frustrations has been accurate piecing, getting those corners or points to line up and sit nicely. I saw Katy's picture recently which got me thinking about a ton of little squares that I cut up last year so I started playing, sorting low volume and brights like this:

and then wondering what I could do with them... it was definitely time to do a little experiment and just see where it led.
I selected the low volume pile, added a few prints from more recent purchases and started sewing together into pairs (actual chain piecing!), and then into little strips. With the help of some careful cutting, a 1/4" foot, and matching up the seams, the accuracy was much improved!

Quite quickly I had a piece of patchwork fabric about 20" x 12" and just knew that this had to be a bag, so I checked my pattern downloads and found the Noodlehead Sidekick Tote which I'd bought a while back and have seen many scrummy versions of on-line. I made my fabric choices based on what I had in the stash, got some interfacing and off I went!

I did actually get it all sewn up in a day - which is really not long once you've done the school runs and a couple of chores - and I'm really pleased with the result.

Funky lining!

So I can tick off Bag from my list (although this won't be the last), and I have worked on precision piecing and zip insertion and following a pattern (!), and I have something fab and useful to show from it rather than an experiment that I keep in a box under the desk.

So what next? Bags...Fat Quarter Retreat...Travel...I know where this is you?
More soon,