Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Scraptop Carrier Finished

Last night I finished my Scraptop Carrier (see previous post). I have really enjoyed making it but I had a few problems along the way.

I had real trouble making the handles. The instructions tell you to join all of the strips together in a continuous loop using diagonal seams. For some reason it took me three attempts and lots of swearing to get it right, much to Other Half's amusement. I am not sure what happened as Joan's instructions are very clear and well illustrated in the book. On reflection it is probably not a good idea to attempt detailed sewing when you are tired and have been taking strong painkillers!!

Overall I am very pleased with the way it has turned out. Below you can see the transformation from an untidy pile of scraps to fully finished bag. Thanks go to my Other Half who has patiently documented my progress with his camera.

At this point after struggling to make the handles I decided that I didn't like the colour. It is difficult to tell from this photo but the blue of the handles was much too bright for the rest of the bag. I wanted something to blend in with the patchwork panel. I then, I am ashamed to say, broke my vow to only use fabric from my stash. After much searching I was forced to admit that I didn't have anything suitable for the handles. Courtesy of my Other Half I dashed to a local fabric shop and bought a small piece of suitable fabric and I tried again! This time the handles came together quickly and easily (no swearing!).

I felt that this looked much better so I stitched on the handles and the side seams, squared the corners...

Attached the lining and button loop....

Pushed the lining into the bag, top-stitched close to the upper edge, added a button and ...

 Finally - one finished bag!!

I now have to decide what to make next. Possibly a table runner. We have a large pine table in the bay window of our living room and I have been meaning to make some sort of covering for it for quite a while. Another possibility is to tackle some smaller projects such as English Paper Piecing or making some much needed needlework accessories.

I will contemplate my stash and let you know what I decide.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

I'm Back!!!

It has been a really long time since I posted on this blog. I am not sure how to explain my absence, except to say that life just got in the way. Between my work, home life and some of my health issues I just lost my urge to update this blog.

I am in a much happier place now. Although I still have the same health issues I feel that I am dealing better with them and the creative urge has started to grow again. So from now on I resolve to post at least once a week. Let's hope that it works out that way!

I recently bought some new storage units for our spare bedroom to replace some old ones which were falling apart. Sorting through my fabric and beads gave me an idea. I have resolved to start making things using my stash, rather than buying new materials. I have already started making something.

At the end of last year I was inspired by Joan Ford's Scrap Therapy website and her book Scrap Therapy Plus One. I bought it last December with some Birthday money and found it very interesting. In it she encourages you to look through your scrap bags and make some hard decisions about your fabric stash. I have been quilting for over 20 years so I had three plastic bags of scraps stored away.

Last Christmas I started sorting through my fabric, cutting it all into a range of two inch, three and a half inch and five inch squares. Sorting through my scraps was an enjoyable experience. Over the last few years I have made 11 large quilts including christening, anniversary and leaving gifts for friends and relatives. Many of the fabric scraps hold happy memories and are associated with people I care about. Making them into a patchwork seemed like a wonderful way to use them up. I had originally intended to make a double bed sized quilt, but for a whole host of reasons that did not happen.

Three weeks ago I decided to look at the book again and unearth my plastic storage box full of my carefully stacked squares. I have always loved the Scraptop Carrier which is pictured hanging on a chest of drawers on the right side of the front cover picture.

So I decided to have a go at making that, as it would take me less time than a full sized quilt. So, that is what I have been doing for the last two weeks.

Progress has been a bit slow as pain in my lower back and leg mean that I find it difficult to sit at my sewing machine for too long. Also, trying to sew after a long, hot day at work has resulted in a lot of ripping out!! But I am getting there, slowly. OH has kindly been documenting my progress with his camera. In my next post I hope to show you what I have done so far.

So that is it for now. I really will post again as soon as I can!