Archive for May, 2012

Clean Closets Campaign

May 31, 2012

Hello everyone,

Sorry for the long absence. Life and work sometime take precedence over chatting. I’ve missed you.

Most recently I have been to Kansas City for the International Spring Quilt Market. To get a great idea of the trends you will soon see in your fabric and quilt shops go to Pokey Bolton’s blog. She reported extensively in two different posts on Spring Quilt Market and what we saw there.

Quilt market

Kansas City Quilt Market

Quilt Market is for the trade only so as one of the show organizers I am not eligible to buy other than at the wild and crazy Thursday night Sample Spree. Among other things I bought great bundles of fabric from different manufacturers with designers such as Joel Dewberry, Amy Butler, Laura Gunn, and Kaffe Fassett. The colors are so bright and so happy I couldn’t go home without a bag of new treats. Now the problem is where to put all these new treats. Right now they are just stacked on my over burdened cutting table.

fabric

Fabric Bundles Purchased at Sample Spree

For weeks my upstairs has been in disarray as I’ve been trying to clean out six closets that house all of my “stuff.” Three of the six closets are in pretty good form. I can get in there and find what I need, but the other three have become a mess and a chore to find what I want. I need to get rid of some of my sewing and crafting supplies, but it’s so hard to do.

book closet

Book and Ephemera Closet

fabric closet

Fabric Closet

studio closet

Studio Closet with some boxes removed

beads closet

Beads and Buttons Closet

After buying and hoarding and teaching and designing for 30 years I have way too much stuff! Cleaning the closets is of no avail no matter how neatly I sort and organize. There just isn’t enough room for everything I have and how could I ever use it all? Recently I’ve been buying supplies to paint and collage on canvas. I just know if I keep trying I’ll finally be pleased with something I create. I’ve cleared out a space in a guest bedroom for a painting corner, but first I have to get all those things sorted and back in the closet so there is room to paint.

paint corner

Paint on Canvas Corner

Lesley Riley suggested I offer “surprise grab boxes” to you. As I clean out and organize I am filling medium and large flat rate priority boxes with all sorts of treasures I’ve been gathering and stashing away for years. I’ve tried just about every craft imaginable so my stash consists of fabric of all types and textures, books, patterns, sewing notions, threads, old photos, fabric, fabric, and fabric, lace old and new, papers, ribbons, trims, shells, trinkets, beads, buttons, found objects, costume jewelry, ephemera, yarns, quilt blocks vintage and new, patchwork started, cut squares of fabric, etc. The list goes on and on and I continue to find treasures long forgotten. Some boxes were moved here seven years ago and I’m just now opening them.

boxes on floor

Boxes From Closet

I’d love to send a box of fun to you so all these treats can find new life. I’ll be doing this for the next week. If the interest is great enough and I still have cleaning and clearing to do, I will continue. I really do want to be able to use my studio space and some of the things I loved when I purchased them, but it’s not possible with the disarray I’m in right now.

cutting table

Mess on Cutting Table

mess

Mess on Sewing Machine Cabinet

If you are interested in a surprise box this is how it will work. I’m charging $25 per medium cram-filled flat rate priority box which includes $11 postage and $35 for the large size flat rate priority box  which includes $15 postage. I have a few of the boxes ready to mail and I haven’t made a dent in all my sewing and crafting stuff.

boxes

Priority Boxes loaded and ready to mail

Please leave a comment here with your name and stating which size you wish to purchase. You can pay through my paypal account at judym@entouch.net or send a check in the mail. Once I’ve received payment I will mail your box.

large box

Large Box Full

box full

Medium Size Box Full

box contents

Medium Flat Rate Box contents

While cleaning out closets and my studio I came across a blog which featured photos of studios. I went to Mamie Janes blog and was inspired by all the vintage shelves, boxes, and drawers she uses for storage and display in her studio. Check out her “Welcome to My Studio” post on July 14, 2011. I love all of her posts, but this one is of particular interest right now.

I am prone to clutter my living space with these kinds of things, but I tried not to use them all when we moved into this house. After seeing the “Where Bloggers Create” post I couldn’t help myself and went on a hunt in our garage. I found and dusted off shelves, printers trays, and little drawers to add to my studio. Now I have more places to put things.

shelf

Add Shelf from Garage

buttons

Jars of Buttons and Trinkets

We all would love to see pictures of your studio and how you organize it. Please share with us. And if you don’t have enough stuff to put in your studio, please let me be of assistance.

My next post will be another Play Date. Please come back for a visit then.

Until then keep stitching and enjoy life, Judy

And the Winner Is!

May 4, 2012

Sound the trumpets, ring the bells, shout from the rooftops. The winner is Nicki Lee Seavey! Congratulations Nicki. Your piece is breathtaking.

nicki

Vintage Lace Wallhanging by Nicki Lee

Don’t you all agree? Nicki’s wall hanging measures 8″ X 11″ with another 4″ of lace on the bottom. She created it on double-sided peltex. I have used peltex for the foundation for making mailable postcards, but not for anything else. This is worth a try after seeing Nicki’s good results.

Nicki's

Nicki’s Vintage Lace Challenge

She said she first laid down a piece of silk taffeta embroidered fabric and next to it some beige dupioni silk which she ironed to the peltex. On top of that she sewed on the little girl image printed on silk. The tulle with a design and the pretty scalloped trim came next. These were two of the vintage laces she received from me along with the lace motif cut to fit the corners and a piece of lace she used to make a couple of yo yos.

girl

Close-up of Girl on Silk

Nicki topped off her design with clusters of beads, polymer clay flowers, leaf trim, and hand dyed butterfly. You can see many of Nicki’s other creations by visiting her blog and etsy shop. I know she would be delighted to have you stop by.

close-up

Bead Work and Embellishments

Nicki, your little sewing drawer will go in the mail on Monday. Can’t wait to see how you use the vintage laces that fill the drawer. Thank you so much for joining my first on-line challenge and treating us to your absolutely gorgeous design.

Sewing Drawer

Laces in Sewing Drawer

Barbara Black is a talented, award-winning quilt maker who also finished a piece for the challenge. Her son married recently and she made her first attempt at a vintage lace piece to commemorate the wedding. I love the sentiment and the memory she made for the event. The ribbons are from the wedding program, the pearl buttons are from her antique button collection, and the majority of the top is covered with the laces she received in her challenge packet.

barbara

Presenting the Bride and Groom

The back is a page from the wedding program, explaining the significance of the peacock theme. Visit Barbara’s blog to see the plethora of magnificent quilts she has made over the years. Thanks, Barbara for sharing your “art” with us.

barbara

The Meaning of the Peacock

This pillow Debra Bentley made with her grandmother Lelia Mary Prentiss Good’s photo is delightful. I would love to see other things Debra has made.

grandmother

Grandmother

With the exception of the lace for the ruffle her design was made using the vintage laces she received in her packet. I like the dark fabric behind the lace so you can really see the details of lace design.  This is a good tip to remember.

pillow

Pillow made by Debra Bentley

The words Debra included, “She has the wisdom of her ancestors,” were printed below her grandmother’s photo in her high school yearbook. Isn’t that charming?

writing

From Her Yearbook

Wilma Hart also used a family photo in her challenge piece she made for her sister’s birthday gift. The photo is of their mother along with many other keepsakes. Willie stitched her laces and embellishments on layered fabric and then attached it to a 14″ X 18″ stretched canvas. Don’t you know her sister will treasure receiving this gift “from the heart?”

Willie's

Memories of Mother for My Sister

Willie tries each of the crafts I show you on my blog. She spurs me on to do the next thing because she’s waiting to give it a try. It’s great having her as a fan as I’m a fan of her in-depth photography. Ask to be her friend on Facebook, and you’ll get to see many of her artful images. I love them all.

Congratulations to all of you, my friends. Even though the deadline has come and gone for the Vintage Lace Challenge, please continue to send photos of your challenge when you complete it. I’ve heard from several of you and really would love to post your finished lace pieces, too.

Remember to send me pictures of your drawstring bags made from “false starts and rejects” as instructed in my last blog. They really are so easy to make. Give it a try and I’ll post your results here.

Please write me and tell me what you like or what you want to see or hear about. I’d love to hear what you collect. Talk to you again very soon.

Love and stitches, Judy

Play Date #5 Drawstring Bag

May 2, 2012

It’s time to play again. So get your creative energy flowing and see what you can make from those “false start and reject” patchwork pieces.

5 bags

Five Patchwork Drawstring Bags

I have been sewing since I was six years old and have been collecting things since then, too. As the years went by my collecting became a challenge to find the best deal, the next new craft idea toys and tools, the antique quilt no one wanted…you get the idea. Among that collecting is a very large plastic tub containing every piece of patchwork I have ever created that did not get used in a project. Oh, and some of that patchwork someone else created and gave to me or I bought at a Quilt Guild Show. It seems other people are able to cast out their unused patchwork, but not I.

Use It Up

Use It Up

So let’s make something with that patchwork. What do you have? Get it all out. Sort through and find some things that look like they might work together in a color scheme. Here’s what I grouped together from technique samples when I taught wearables from my “Jacket Jazz” series. The color scheme components are purples and oranges.

Purple and orange

Purple and Orange Components

Let’s Get Started

1. Start with your biggest patchwork piece. This Continuous Bias patchwork piece measures 13″ X 15″. Do I want it larger? How about that piece of Machine Grid Smocking? It fits, so I stitch it right sides together with a 1/4″ seam allowance and press it away from the main patchwork piece. I trim all the edges straight and it now measures 15″ X 17″. That’s a good size.

Side One

Side One Complete

2. Let’s see if I can create that same size with the remaining bits and pieces of patchwork and manipulations. It’s time to pull-in the lining fabric. After a few auditions I like this Kaffe Fassett sunflower cotton print. What do you think? The lining is also the binding and casing at the top of the bag.

lining

Add the Lining Fabric

3. Let’s add strips on the side to make the Seminole Patchwork 15″ wide. Another strip of fabric above that will be the piece on which the lining will turn-on to the front. I don’t want the lining to cover the Seminole Patchwork. Again I stitch right sides together and press seam away from patchwork. The piece is now 6″ tall with another 11″ to go.

first row

First Row Complete

4. Let’s introduce the lining fabric before adding another row of patchwork pieces. I cut it one and a half inches wide and stitch and flip that strip. Now there are 10″ to go for Side Two.

5. What’s next? What’s left? Let’s square-up some of those odd pieces. Now I sew 3 of them together and get a 15″ wide strip. Just what I need. I sew right sides together with larger piece, press seam to one side, trim even and contemplate again.

Second Row Complete

Second Row Complete

6. Let’s add another rest stop with a 1″ wide lining strip before adding more patchwork. Now let’s see if we can make a wider strip with the rest of the fabric manipulations. Yes, with a little piecing and adding on to those strangely cut pieces I think we have a 15″ wide piece. So it’s stitch and flip and press again. I use a steam iron and do not miss this step as it’s very important for keeping your piece flat and even.

7. One more strip of lining fabric will complete the second side of the bag to match the size of the first side.

Side 2

Side Two Complete

Oh, dear there are a few pieces left from the purple and orange patchwork. They will go in my collage card making box. Waste not, want not.

leftovers

Leftover “Leftovers”

Time out…I need to make a collage greeting cardwith the left-over “left-overs.”

collage greeting card

Thank You Collage Greeting Card

Now it’s on to the lining and pockets.

1. Place the patchwork pieces right sides together. Trim if they aren’t the same size. Use a gridded mat to make sure all four sides are even. Place on top of lining fabric which is right sides together. Cut lining 2″ taller than the patchwork.

2. Make pockets from left-over lining fabric. They can be any size you like. Very often the amount of fabric I have left from the lining dictates the size of the pockets I make. Cut two pieces for each pocket you make. Sew pocket pieces right sides together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave an opening for turning. Clip corners. Turn right side out. Press and turn the raw edge in. Center and pin pocket to right side of one of the lining pieces 4″ from top edge. Leaving top open stitch on 2 sides and bottom close to edge. Add a second pocket to the other side of the lining. If you prefer, stitch a seam in the middle of the pocket to make two smaller pockets.

3. Place lining right sides together with all edges even. Put patchwork right sides together and layered on top of the lining 2″ from top of lining. Other three edges should be even. Pin all 4 layers together. Stitch two sides and bottom together with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Leave 3/4″ free of stitching above patchwork on the lining.

leave open

Leave Seam Open

4. Turn right sides out bringing the patchwork fronts to the outside. Lining will be inside bag with 2″ extending above patchwork bag. Fold lining/casing in half onto itself.

fold casing

Fold Casing in Half

5. Fold casing down onto bag. Pin to bag. Top stitch casing through all layers. The 3/4″ on the lining that was left unstitched is where the ribbon will be inserted to make the drawstrings.

6. Choose ribbon or cording twice the width of the bag plus 4″. You need this length two times.

ribbons

Ribbons for Casing

7. Using the opening on one side of casing run ribbon through with a bodkin or safety-pin. Leave tail outside of casing on one end. Run ribbon all the way back to where you started. Pull out small amount. Hold two ends together and tie ends in a knot. Pull tightly so knot doesn’t come out.

knot

Knot in Ribbon

8. Do the same with the second ribbon starting on the opposite casing side. Put one knotted ribbon in each hand and pull. The bag closes tightly.

drawstrings

Drawstrings Pulled Tight

The drawstring bag is complete with lining and pockets and ready to fill.

lining

Lining and Pockets

Now that was simple. Want to see a few more ideas? Here are a few others I have made. Go to my etsy shop to see details for each of them.

wedge

Wonder Wedge Drawstring Bag

rayon bag

Rayon Strip Pieced Drawstring Bag

blue bag

Stripped Piece Drawstring Bag

Chinese bag

China Red and Green Bag

I hope you will make a Drawstring Bag from your left-over patchwork pieces. We all would love to see your creation. If you have any questions on the directions I have given you here, don’t hesitate to ask. I’d love to help.

So here’s another challenge. This time there is no prize or deadline. It’s just a simple challenge for you to use some of your left-over patchwork to make a drawstring bag. Then send a picture to me so I can post it on this blog.

Friday I will announce the winner of the little sewing drawer full of vintage lace. Stay tuned and keep stitching. Judy


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