If you would like more detailed instructions on assembling this quilt, read on...
Once we had picked out the sashing, the quilt came together quickly. I assembled this in a modified log cabin style by creating rectangles that were then sewn to each other in an outward spiral. I made things harder on myself by not using set measurements or having the blocks cut to a uniform size. I wanted a random effect without too many vertical or horizontal lines running across the quilt but I did have to settle for one at the bottom. All that remains to do is the border and then I can cut the backing and take it to a quilt shop for quilting!
If you would like more detailed instructions on assembling this quilt, read on...
Still slogging along on a T shirt quilt for one of my boys. Day 1 was selecting the shirts, and cutting out the logo parts I wanted used. The next day (or 3 or 5) was spent ironing on interfacing to stabilize the knit fabrics. I didn't actually do these steps - my closest friend was in town and she graciously did these steps for me. Funny that, because she doesn't really sew or craft!
OK, I'm up for the challenge to get a quilt top made in one week amidst all the other busy-ness of running a business, doing errands and all of the other day to day work of our lives.
We started on Pinterest and found a picture of a quilt in a style we both liked. We both had to like it since Karen plans to do a few of these quilts herself - if for no other reason than to tame the crazy piles of commemorative t-shirts at her house (come on, confess, you have one of these piles too!)
On the left is the look we are hoping to achieve when we are done, and on the right is the layout we finally achieved on Day 760. The next step was selecting a color for the sashing (frames) around each block. We went to several fabric stores and looked at a LOT of options and got very frustrated. How do we pull together this many colors without matching any one of them and still have a nice look?!?
Surprisingly this incredibly ugly fabric was "just right."
By the end of day 762 we had assembled the first few sections of the quilt with the sashing (yes, spellcheck, that is a word) and attached them together. We did not take into account just how much work it is to cut blocks to size from worn out shirts that are stretched and stained AND have the designs centered on each. I'm guessing 10-15 minutes to cut the 4 sides of each shirt block.
It's pretty slow going. Will we get it done??
I bet you are thinking this is going to be a post about me. Nope. Actually it is to introduce this new fabric we will be using.
This is Grace from Kona Bay. Isn't it lovely? It is available in a red/green colorway, too, but I'm very partial to blues and purples. I was at a fabric show when this was debuted, and I was asked if the print was named after me. The fun folks at Kona Bay Fabrics told me to say, "Yes, yes it is!"
So I'm pleased to introduce you to Grace. Yes it is named after me! :)
I'll have items up in the shop in this fabric soon! Oh, and you read through this and noticed that these are new products you haven't seen before? Yes, yes they are.
Just like the shoemaker whose kids went barefoot, I have not had a custom case for my needles since I made the very first prototype 6 years ago. Sure I've had an updated case since then as sizes and features were updated to the cases we make now, but I have always settled for cases that I wouldn't sell because of some flaw. I think I just had commitment issues because I couldn't find that "one" fabric I wanted for my personal case. I'm sure many of you can sympathize :)
Well, the PLT I couldn't part with made me realize that the fabric I used in that bag was the one for me. And so the Tardis fabric I thought I was going to use became my travel case.
or should I say, "Mama's got a brand new bag"?
Last week we introduced these great new bags and had a naming brainstorming session on Ravelry. The winning name was "Petite Lovely Tote" for this size and Medium Lovely Tote and Giant Lovely Tote for the next two larger sizes that have yet to be made.
Of course I had to keep one for myself...
I can't believe that I haven't posted for so long and that Mother's Day has crept up on me before I knew it - OK, who am I kidding, it flew here at hyper speed and smacked me in the face! Luckily my mom receives lots of handmade bags or knits throughout the year so I don't feel pressured to get something made for any specific day or holiday. Whew!
And that's especially good because we have been crazy busy this year with more trunk shows and new wholesale customers. And new products of course. Did everyone get a chance to see these?
We receive lots of requests for cases that hold just two sets of interchangeable needles, and for cases for just fixed circulars, or for cases to hold tips sizes 2-15. We are pleased to announce that we have developed these new cases as requested!
The new Basic line is a slimmer 2-page case that is still full size. The All Circulars Basic case (surprise!) holds all fixed circulars in 14 snap closed pockets. The Interchangeable Basic case holds 2 full sets of tips plus cables (or one full set and lots of extras in your favorite sizes). The Multi-Purpose Basic case I think is going to be one of my favorites. It has the 7 snap pockets for either fixed circulars or cables, and 13 graduated size slots that can hold dpns or hooks or tips up to 6" in length.
If you have ideas for more new products be sure to let us know!
The title to this post is very tongue-in-cheek. There is no "at long last" when it comes to these new products. I have sadly neglected posting anything for weeks now because I have been running around like a - hmmmm, I guess anything I try to say here would be considered non-PC by someone - I've been running around in circles really really fast and accomplishing lots, but feeling like I have been getting nowhere fast. And in the midst of all this frenzy I was challenged to create a bag for people who use drop spindles. No big deal - just create a new product from scratch and have samples and products ready to ship within one week. Wait....Whut??? Yep, one week. AND we did it. And the few I was able to make have been shipped. Tired? Yes. Feeling a bit proud of myself? Yes.
These are not available through my shop yet. Maybe in a few weeks. At the moment they are only available at the upcoming Ply Away retreat in the Carolina Homespun booth.
A while back I made a few bags such as this one specifically for teachers. Yesterday I received this:
"you made a circular needle case and the ultimate teacher bag for me a while ago. They are both amazing. Your teacher bag fits everything I need and its always easy for me to access. On a side note, I teach an advanced math class for 4th graders and when I started they were really into talking about my bag. It turns out a number of them had been studying the periodic table on their own. It turned into a talking piece and I ended up creating a unit focusing on the math in chemistry. It never would have happened had we not had this conversation about my bag. I know it's a big digression, but it keeps on being useful in so many predictable and unpredictable ways."
Isn't that wonderful? I just love hearing stories like this. We are such a small business that every item we make feels very personal to us and we send each one out hoping that it will be loved and cherished. Hearing stories like this lets us know we are still on the right track.
If you have a story, please share in the comments! We would love to hear from you.
So you have made a bag, now what should you use for a drawstring? You can really use just about anything, but some things are truly better than others. What you select frequently is just a matter of what you have on hand, but there are many things you can and should consider.
First, how big is the opening for inserting the drawstring? How big is the overall casing? Are you using a drawstring tool or a safety pin? What size? Make sure both the tool and the drawstring are not too big for the opening!
Most of my bags have a 1/2" to 3/4" casing, and the openings are all 1/2" or larger. This means that the ideal size drawstring is less than 1/2", so I can use any drawstring up to 3/8" wide. Pictured above are a variety of types of drawstring varying from braided cords, shoelaces, twisted cottons and ribbons. I did not include elastic or any other materials that stretch since they don't work well.
I prefer to use the rounded cords, but I'm not a fan of either the braided or twisted cords shown above. It is difficult to get a good tight knot on the ends of the braided cords - especially the heavy ones such as parachute cord. Yes, you could solve this using a cord lock, but if you are using the bag for knitting or other fiber crafts then the cord lock can tangle in your yarn! Also, the ends of braided cord will unravel unless you have access to the type of equipment that puts the plastic ends on shoelaces :)
The twisted cords knot well and are a good all-purpose cord, but the ends will really fray and the cord will untwist.
I love the smooth gliding action of satin ribbon in my bags and my strong preference is to use Satin Rattail which is available in a variety of thicknesses. Unfortunately some of my customers don't care for it because either the knot has come undone - or their cats like to chew on it! Because rattail is round rather than flat it doesn't twist inside the casing. I've tried the flat satin ribbon as an alternative but in my experience it is a bit limp. Currently I am using grosgrain ribbon for all drawstring top bags. It is a bit sturdier than satin ribbon and bags stay cinched closed. It is easy to knot and if you cut the ends at an angle and melt them a tiny bit they don't fray. The 3/8" width is perfect for most bags, though I will use the 1/4" width on smaller bags.
Oh, and what do I use to insert the drawstring? I use a bodkin. I like to joke that you shouldn't work at a fabric store if you don't know what a bodkin is!
I've been crafting my entire life, thanks to my wonderful Grandma Grace. I'm an avid needleworker and reader, who's been knitting, crocheting & sewing since the age of 9 - and I won't say how many years ago that was! Welcome to my blog where you'll find out more about the creation of our products and the people that love them!