Friday, September 06, 2019

Zippered Bags from Upholstery Samples

I felt moved to make some zippered bags from my upholstery sample stash.  The smaller ones, from 10 x12ish-inch pieces, I figure, will make nice gifts.  But my real objective was to conquer zipper installation and to make myself a couple of knitting project bags.  People in my knitting group have some nice zippered bags, which I know they've purchased.  When I see these bags, I secretly covet them, and then tell myself those infamous words: I can make that.

I overcame a mental hurdle when I realized that the fronts and backs of these bags do not have to be identical.  I wanted to use as much of these 10 x 12" pieces a possible, as well as to get a decent-sized bag, so I used different, but related, fabrics for each side of both the inside and the outside of the bag.  Because upholstery samples often include collections of related prints, this was easy to do.  The fabrics in these bags are not twins, but siblings, or cousins.

Another insight that came to me during this process relates to that awful paper that's stuck to the back of upholstery samples.  Sometimes you get lucky, and it will peel off easily, even in one big piece.  I realized I could live with getting most of it off, especially in the seam area.  I eventually accepted that I could live with paper residue even in the seam areas.  It's a little free stiffening.

I pieced together some heavy samples into this bag for a knitted shawl project.  It's about 10 x 14 inches and it stands up perfectly while I'm knitting, a real bonus.

 I pieced three fabrics for this oversized bag (about 20 x 16 inches) which I'm using to store a sweater project.

 Here's a peek at the pieced lining.

Some of my favorite tutorials for these bags are:

Pull-Ease!  How to Shorten any Zipper from your Stash by Blueprint
Sew Mama Sew's No-Stress Tabbed Zipper Pouch Tutorial
Jedi Craft Girl's My Favorite Zipper Pouch [tutorial] 

Happy Crafting!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Dog Star Quilt

 This quilt began with a pile of 3" dog blocks that Debra sent me so I could piece a top that she would finish and donate.

I happened to have a stack of 3" squares already cut, which was good since I also have had some wrist pain recently that I know comes from rotary cutting and knitting (all the fun activities). 

Each individual block is a 4 x 4  16-patch and 10" square finished.  I thought it would make the dogs pop more to make them the center of stars in the quilt.  I was one dog short, so one block has a red star with no dog.  The corner dogs are not "stars" as I made those before I hit on the idea of the stars. You might notice some cat fabrics sprinkled in among the light fabrics.  

As it turns out, while I've been making this quilt top, Debra found the perfect dog fabric for the border, so this one will go back to her for completion, and then it will be donated.  This part of the quilt is about 50 x 60"so the finished quilt will be about twin sized.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

20-inch Scrappy Star

 Debra sent me a link to a scrappy star block.  What sparked my attention was the ring of small squares around the center.  I decided to make a jumbo-sized version and to make it even more scrappy.  This is my finished block.

I made my center from small squares, since I had a stack of 3" squares that I already cut.  In the inspiration piece the center was made from one fabric.

The half-square triangle blocks are 5.5 inches square.  I make my HSTs by pressing one square diagonally down the middle, then pairing two squares right sides together.   I then stitch 1/4" on either side of the pressed line, and then cut and trim.  You could start with 6" squares, though I used 6/5" squares since I had some of those already cut, and also I'd rather trim to size.

I'm very happy with the results.  I can foresee making a quilt top from these big block.  After I finish my current project, of course.

Remember to compost your trimmings.  These will decompose very nicely in my garden bin.

Sweater Genesis

  A few years ago I learned to harvest yarn from old wool sweaters.  I don't do it so much anymore, with the exception of if I find...