01 April 2007

In Stitches... Lots of Stitches

Nothing like kicking off April with posts about a January project! I'm still beating my usual six-to-twelve-months-late time-frame so I'm counting these as a success. Now about those Christmas presents that I owe you... from 2003...

Although I haven't posted them, I have managed to do three projects for the In Stitches-Along and am really enjoying this book as I expected. I'm still not sure how I feel about Timtex or its bastard cousin, Peltex,* but we're trying to get friendly.

January - CD holder meant to get me organized

This was a fairly easy project but I had a devil of a time trying to make it neat and smooth like the picture. Since organization around these parts is a little hit or miss, I'm going to make my organizational sewing a little hit or miss. I'd like to make more of these for a bookshelf in my bedroom (yes, to match my Amy Butler quilt, just because I'm obsessed like that) but I think I'd do some modifications as they'll be holding scrapbooking and crafting supplies rather than CDs.

I'm not sure I have helpful advice, but I would suggest using a bone folder to crease the interfacing. You can use it with your quilt ruler to get a nice, straight edge which makes pretty corners...until you goof it up with your sewing! So, notes to self for next go-around - skip the bottom on the interfacing cube and just make a tube for the sides. Insert the lining and rather than trying to seam and turn, use bias tape binding for the top edge.

February - Love and Pampering

I think I get bonus points here for using the "challenge fabric." Over Christmas, my aunt gave the girls this black and green fabric with the challenge to "make something out of it," our family motto. They may laugh about my choice of projects, but I'm still bragging that I'm the first to ring the finished project horn.** Next up, a matching pair of slippers from the Denyse Schmidt book.
My favorite part of this one was the quilting. I may have pulled out some other patterns that require this step, just for consideration. I may even be thinking about trying the book's patchwork throw that requires a whole lot of quilting.

March - Make it Yours - or Someone Else's

While my sewing skills are improving, my ability to follow directions is not. We were supposed to embellish this pattern in some unique way and um, that hasn't happened yet. Plain jane vanilla purse here, at least for now. I'm thinking something tortoise shell on the clasp. This will be a gift so now I have I just have to not lose it before summertime. I enjoyed making this, but as others have already noted, it's huge. I feel like I'm carrying one of those long baguettes that are always falling out of carts at the grocery store or poking people in the eye. This would be an ideal pattern if it was about three inches shorter, but that's just my opinion. I'll make this one again, but I think next time I'll do a handle and use the magnet clasps rather than velcro.

Can't wait for the April assignment! Who knows, I may even do something wacky like posting it during the month of April.
While on the Amy Butler fetish report here, I should say that I saw her trunk show this week at a local fabric shop. Very cool to see some of the projects on my "to do" list, especially as they were done the "right" way rather than my wonky way. As always, her fabrics are gorgeous. It was fun to try on the various bags made out of her decorator fabric to see how they hang, if that makes sense. I've always assumed that her decorator fabric was the same as the material I have from JoAnn's, but she's referring to a softer, smoother fabric that I'd put somewhere between her quilting cotton and what I assumed the patterns called for. I resisted this time, but yeah, I'll be buying some of that for a bag in the very near future. I splurged on two patterns, the High Street Messenger Bag and the Ultimate Arts and Craft Tote. The Nappy Bag and Frenchy Bag patterns will be coming to live at my house soon, I'm sure. My name is Leslie and I'm an Amy Butler addict.
* On all these projects, I used the heaviest weight of Peltex fusible interfacing from JoAnn's in place of Timtex, just to save a few pennies. When possible, I ironed the interfacing onto the project rather than basting. I also trimmed the pieces prior to ironing, based on this tutorial.

** At one of our quilt retreats, we bought an obnoxious bicycle horn that you get to toot when you finish something. Any little bit of incentive to help keep us focused on finishing rather than starting something new!

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