Rubbish? Another Quilt

Sweetie quiltAnother crazy quilt.

Raw materialsThese were the main raw materials. Anyone else think plastic shiney sweet wrappers are a terrible waste but very seductive?  I collected them over Christmas and sewed them to a piece of donated fabric – not fabric I could have used for anything visible.

Close upClose up of quilting & binding.  The binding was made from strips from a pair of lace tights I tore when I put them on on New Year’s Eve. I found it quite tricky to attach the strips because of the stretchiness but at least it went around corners easily.

Sweetie paper quilt

Happy New Year to all of you! xxx

Crazy but not Victorian

Crazy quilt21st century crazy quilt – machine made

As you probably know by now, I’m very interested in historic quilting. I’ve often looked at Victorian crazy quilts and wondered whether to try a version. All the embroidery on the nineteenth century versions is a bit too ornate for my taste but I figured I could still use the principles to make a quilt.

Inside my head I saw autumn leaves in a maze. I didn’t put anything down on paper for once, just started to see where it went.

I made it from cotton scraps rather than the traditional silk and I did everything by machine. The “embroidery” is zigzag stitch using variegated silk thread.

It’s a stash bust too – I used only fabrics and threads I already had.There’s something very satisfying in making something out of nothing. You might want to take a look at  Vix’s inspiring take on this topic.

Do you like making something with just what you have already?  It would be lovely to see what you’ve made.

I have just seen Loulou’s gift decorations from coffee filters. I think you might like them.

Old Jeans Reused – How to Make the Bag (Part 2)

Finished!The finished bag!

You can see another version here.

This is how to put the bag together.  It has one or two interesting steps that I hope you’ll find useful.

For how to make the fabric look here.

You will need lining fabric, threads and a sewing machine.

The liningI used a scrap of heavyweight dress fabric (lovely gift!).  There was enough to cut 2 pieces of lining and a handle.

Cutting the Lining1. Cut the lining pieces the same size as the bag fabric except allow about an inch extra on the length so that you can make the top border (see finished bag photo).

2. Note: I have added only one handle.  If you plan to carry anything heavy you might want to have two handles.  These instructions don’t include that.

Cut the handle about 43 inches long by 3.5 inches wide. That length allows for attaching to the bag by just over an inch.

The length works well for me but if you’re much taller or shorter than 5ft 5ins you’ll want to check whether you need to adjust it.

Lining3. Sew the lining together leaving the top open.  Zigag the seams all around to secure.

Corner

4. Making a false gusset (optional but looks nice!).

At the corner, place the side seam on top of the bottom seam.

Marking5. Making sure the seams are together, mark a line across the corner, about 1.5 – 2 inches in from the point.

Sew across the line6. Sew along the line.

Cut!7. Cut the corner off, about 0.25 inches from the seam.  Zigzag to secure the seam.

8. Repeat for the other corner.

Handle9. Turn in about 0.25 inches seam allowance along the length of the handle & sew in place.

Handle10. Fold the handle in half lengthwise & sew – I used zigzag because it’s more secure.

reinforcing the handle11. Iron the handle well. Sew along the other edge. Zigzag along the length of centre of the handle.

More zigzags12. Add more rows of zigzags.  This strengthens the handle.  I don’t usually add interfacing to handles so use stitching both to decorate and reinforce.

13. Make up the jeans fabric into a bag following steps 3 – 8 above.

14. Zigzag along the top of the bag and the lining to stop fraying.

15. Insert the lining bag into the jeans bag, wrong sides together.  The top of the lining should be showing by about an inch above the top of the jeans bag.

17116. Fold over the top of the lining twice, enclosing the top of the jeans bag.  Sew in place – I zigzagged for security.

BagAttach handleFinish the ends of the handle with a zigzag stitch and attach securely to the bag on the inside at the sides. Overlap the handle and the bag by at least an inch. I avoided sewing over the side seams because of the bulk of the fabric I would have to have sewn over.

Sew the handle in place around all of the overlap and diagonally across the middle for extra strength.

And that’s it!

finished bagFinished!

xxx

Old Jeans Reused

I have a real passion for reusing textiles.  I will try to mend more or less anything: it’s a mainstay of my little business and of my life generally.  Once mending isn’t practical I go on to reusing.

I buy my jeans secondhand – most of the ones I buy look almost new – and I wear them to death.  After that I try to make something else from them. I think this bag is a big success so I thought I’d share it.

Jeans bagI’ve had a request for more pictures of Gus, so here he is.

I’m displaying my new recycled jeans bag and wearing Red Herring top from car boot sale and posher than usual Per Una jeans from the St Catherine’s Hospice shop.

Jeans bag close upClose up of jeans bag

I patched fabric scraps on to a piece of curtain lining, added part of the leg of some old jeans on top, sewed lots of zigzags in lines to hold the fabric together and then cut back the denim.

I didn’t take any photos of the process, but if anyone is interested I can easily do some more and post a tutorial.  Please let me know in the comments if you would: l love the process so don’t mind having another go.

Hope you are all having a good week. My treat of the week was bright red hair – better in reality than on the photo.  I’ve been working quite hard though, so I’m planning a relaxing trip to the charity shops tomorrow.

xxx

In My Wardrobe

Me-Made-May’13 is almost here and I have made a pledge to wear at least two of my “me-mades” or refashioned items everyday. It will be the 4th time I’ve joined in one of these challenges organised by Zoe. In preparation, I’ve been looking at what I’ve actually got…

Me Made WardrobeThese are my refashions and made by me clothes.  A few things are in the laundry pile.  There is also a couple of rescued jumpers I dyed, a drawer full of me-made knickers, some scarves, a few bags and a couple of longsleeved teeshirts.

Oh, and of course these…

me made shoesMy much loved shoes made on a course at Green Shoes last year.

not me madeAnd this is the heap of clothes I took out of the wardrobe to show off the me-mades. This time there might be more me-mades than bought things. Well, maybe.

It’s been my aim for years to try out making every type of garment.  My bra making didn’t work and my knitting is appalling – likely to grow as soon as washed.

Fairisle jumperI knitted this much loved fairisle jumper, but it grew big enough to fit a large man: and I couldn’t find one who wanted to wear a turquoise and mustard jumper.

So when I tried knitting socks, it only ended well because my lovely friend eventually took them away and did them for me.  I do mend them though.

Darned socksAnd jeans: I don’t make them but I wear them.  I know lots of you wouldn’t wear them and I can see why, but I do for part of almost every day.  I walk the dog, dig the allotment, muck out and ride in them.  I do try to add a homemade or refashioned top to go with them.

I used to buy new jeans but the manager of one of the local charity shops told me that most jeans end up going for rags because unless more or less perfect, they were very hard to sell. Since then I’ve been hunting out second hand and shortening them where necessary. I don’t need perfection.

So that’s my me-made wardrobe.  I won’t be doing outfit posts unless I’ve something new to show, but I’ll put a link to Flickr where you will be able to see my clothes and those of lots of others who’ll be joining in the challenge.

And here’s my pledge  “I, Norma, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May’13. I endeavour to wear at least 2 me-made or refashioned items each day for the duration of May 2013.”

PS. Thank you for your lovely comments on my refashioned blouse. I really appreciate them.

Toronto Skyline Quilt

Toronto QuiltA holiday souvenir

I’m inspired by Loulou’s blog to show this quilt I made a few years ago of the Toronto skyline. It’s one of my favourites – I don’t keep them all, the dog gets to sleep on them after a while.

For a look at Loulou’s wonderful photos of Toronto look here.

I made it using scraps left from other projects, charity shop clothes and my own old clothes.  For example, the binding is cotton velvet taken from the legs of very old evening trousers and I’ve used the rest of the orange wool tweed to make a skirt recently.  The columns are strip-pieced on to the wadding and backing using a sewing machine.

I started the process with these photos.

TorontoToronto from the CNN Tower.  Taken about 1990 – sorry I can’t get the photo to show up well – this was taken pre digital cameras and had to be copied to get it here.

Toronto 1990It was a hazy day and I tried to capture that in the quilt by using mainly muted colours.  I used the orange tweed to try to represent the golden bank building that was so obvious from the tower.

Toronto collageI made the collage to help me move my ideas along from the photos to the the final quilt. It helped me get the shapes into my head.  After that, I auditioned fabrics and shuffled them around until I was happy with the look.

I’ve shortened the dress in my previous post and I’ll be showing the change soon along with the “Flower Power” shirt I’ve just finished. Thanks for all the helpful comments about the dress.

Happy Monday everyone.

Stashbusting Patchwork

Stashbusting Curtains

New curtains! Following Vix’s lovely curtains here.

I sew in a small bedroom and it needed sorting out.  After a change of paint colour I decided on new curtains too.

These are made from some of my huge patchwork fabric stash.  I’ve added nothing to the stash for at least eighteen months but it’s still shamingly huge so I’m on a mission to use most of it up in the next year or so.  This is the first big patchwork stashbusting project.

The fabrics aren’t all strictly patchwork type;  there are some dressmaking leftovers too.  I cut the fabrics into six and a half inch squares using patchwork rulers and sewed them together using a quarter inch seam allowance. There are tweny-six different fabrics and one hundred and sixty squares.  The lining is made from the good parts of an old sheet; the curtain tape was left over from previous projects.  Cost £0.

I’m not sure where I’ll find time to do more stashbusting but  I’m very happy with my first patchwork stashbust.  Thanks Vix!

Patchwork close up