Sunday, December 24, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The angelic guest

Bella aims to be the best kind of houseguest. Never intrusive, but prepared to be a good sport whatever happens. She waits quietly in her room in the morning for the family to finish using the bathroom. She has donned her new bathrobe with hand embroidered flowers over her gingham PJs that she bought especially for this Christmas holiday visiting friends in the country. She has a crick in her neck after sleeping in an unfamiliar bed with her hair wound round pieces of paper tissue and tied with ribbons, to give her otherwise straight hair some semblance of curls for tonight's party. - Now, was that the bathroom door? Yes, time to rush across the hall........ but, too late, one of the teenage girls beat her to it. Oh well, she'll just have to wait outside the door- one of the other guests popped out of her room at the same time, it would be silly to go back to her room now. And she may be an angel, but she is keeping her place in the queue, because she just has to go....

Monday, December 18, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Old St. Nick is back! He has been hiding out in the attic since January, but promises of fresh baked cookies tempted him downstairs today.
I don't usually decorate until the last week before Christmas, so that it all will be new and fresh when the holidays start. That means that a lot of my homemade creatures and decorations are hidden away for about 49 weeks a year. When I finally get the boxes down and start opening them, it is like meeting old friends again, and I find myself chatting with them, asking them where they want to sit this year and comiserating with them about having been squashed together in a dark box for months and months - quite batty, don't you think?
Never mind! I'm still a kid at heart, and who wouldn't be cheered by the sweet little faces of these cherubs? Never mind about those chubby, less than perfect hands and feet.
And what about my snow family? Covered in artificial snow and getting all tangled up in those Christmas lights - who can blame them, having to make do with those akward branches instead of hands? And still they're smiling! I must admit I have a thing abut snowmen, so they tend to turn up everywhere at this time of the year. The great thing about them is that they can stay on a bit longer as well, since snowmen aren't out of season until March or April. These two seem to think they have been hanging in there for ages already, politely hiding heir yawns, but quite ready to go to bed in their little PJs, thank you! Yes, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here, but I still have boxes to get out of the attic, some cleaning to do and a few presents to wrap. My bathroom angels are almost finished, and I only have the binding left on my Christmas table mats. Now if only I could get the rest of the quilting done on that tree skirt I'd be ready for the holidays, but there's nothing like some last-minute stress and I might get there yet... ;-)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Bathrobes for angels...

It's the Twilight Zone here...
The weather has been so bad lately that I feel I haven't seen daylight for weeks. But that doesn't stop some angels from seeing the light of day - the little light there is...
Things seemed a bit akward at first, but these bits of wire sticking through her head didn't seem to bother Bella much. Until her eyes were added, that is... Then she started looking accusingly at me, so I had to help her with her hair. Lots of pigtails with ginham ribbons in them. She seemed happy with that, until she realized that she had next to nothing on - hence the blush. I'd better get a move on with her bathrobe so she can keep her modesty intact and get her a set of wings. Because she is to become a Bathroom Angel, waiting in line to do her morning "toilette".

Well, I did say that I wouldn't make that many Christmas pressies this year, but I just had to make two of these angels to go with the Sleepy Angels I made and gave away last year. I'm proud to say I have done most of my Christmas shopping today, so now I have a pile of books and other presents to wrap. I'll do some more baking tomorrow, and then I should be all set- I think... No doubt I'll come up with something I Just Have To Do at the very last minute. We cant have Christmas without some Traditional Seasonal Stress, now can we? But that's half the fun of the Holidays, isn't it ;-)

Friday, December 08, 2006

WIP report

My sewing space is a continuous work in progress - well, my whole flat is for that matter. It seems I'm constantly tidying, sorting and getting rid of stuff in order to create a more structured living environment. Living in a small flat is a challenge in itself, if you are a craft person - where do you put all your stuff? And if you are a craft person who loves books as well, it becomes even more of a challenge - books tend to pile up everywhere! I seem to be perpetually moving things from one location to another, and current craft projects tend to spill into other rooms as I move about, do a bit of stitching in front of the TV, or iron my fabric in the kitchen. When company arrives it's a mad rush to clear the living room of all the paraphernalia of my current project(s). That sometimes leaves my sewing space looking like this. I feel quite brave to show you this, actually, as it is a sight I rarely let my friends see. I have an ambition to keep a home that is tidy enough to avoid all that panicky clearing of clutter when the doorbell rings, and I feel that I am gradually getting there. This is a question of storage, and of actually getting rid of things I don't need. But as you can see I have some way to go before getting myself properly organized. I have started by getting these great boxes from IKEA. They are great for storing all the bits and pieces that a crafter needs to have at hand, but proper labelling is essential so that I find the things I need right without going through all the boxes...
So my current project is all about finding my sewing machine under all the stuff I have piled up on my table. I have made some headway in this project by sorting through everything, so far ending up with a pile of unfinished projects at one end of the table. One challenge now is to reduce that pile before starting too many new projects.
I couldn't help myself though, once I unearthed my sewing machine under all that clutter, so this is my current and new WIP: a basket liner with pockets. If it looks familiar, it's because I have used leftovers from my Amy Butler quilt (still in progress). This is quite deliberate, I'm proud to say! The quilt will grace my sofa once it is finished, and I thought up this basket idea as a way of keeping my sewing equipment in one place when I bring it into the living room to do a bit of hand stitching, knitting or whatever in front of the TV. I have found a nice sea grass basket, which is big enough to hold a few projects, as I tend to work on more than one thing at a time, and with the new quilt and matching basket, things should look a bit more tidy when company arrives. And the process of getting more organized continues as my biggest WIP...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Present production

I have started my Christmas preparations. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not going to make a lot of presents this year - I have had to many holidays being stressed out because of all the tasks I have given myself to finish before the event only to find myself completely knackered at the end and the holidays being over before I have had a chance to enjoy them. But I have made a few presents. These two make-up purses for my cousin's daughters. They are 10 and 13 and I hope they'll enjoy affirmation that I see them as "big girls" now of the make-up wearing kind ;-) So their little twin brothers (5) wont feel left out, I have made them each a drawstring bag with their names on, stitched in "glow-in-the-dark" thread, to use for PJs and toothbrushes when going away or for toys - whatever!

We don't have a very large family, I only have two cousins, and only one who has kids, so this means that a lot of the family presents are taken care of!
I'm making a "coffee-maker cosy" for my mother (you'll see...) + a couple of angels and that about does it when it comes to making presents this year, the rest will be bought. I do intend to finish my tree skirt this year though + make some christmasy table mats for myself. There won't be an awful lot of baking - just enough to make it feel fun, and that's about it I think. For now, anyway - knowing me I'll probably think of something I 'll just have to make one of the last days before Christrmas, but so far so good ;-)
Today is a dark and stormy day and the rain is pouring down, so there is no point in going out. Much better to keep my sewing machine company - I think I'll get started on those place mats...

I 've had a look around the shops and have been doing some research online for that new camera lately, and right now a Nikon Coolpix L3 or L4 are at the top of my list. I have also been considering a HP CM525 which is on special offer, but I'm not too sure - any suggestions? I'm trying not be sidetracked by those showy (more expensive) cameras by Olympus and Minolta which come in a choice of colours (always a soft spot for colours...) - it's the colours of my photos that should matter, right? Not the colour of the camera...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bowls, boxes and more

I mentioned a while ago that I was to hold a class in making fabric bowls. The class went well, and in addition to the finished bowls I brought along I made some half finished samples to show each step of the progress. I put these away when I got home and forgot all about them, as one does... Recently they were "rediscovered" during the excavation of my sewing area and I decided to finish them. I even remembered to take a few pictures before I gave them to my friends at the quilt shop - they might bring in some more business that way - people see them at the shop and want to take a class... Crafty huh? ;-)
They are quite easy to make once you get the hang of it. I have used Fast2Fuse interfacing to make them sturdy and they are totally reversible.

We got enough time to make fabric boxes as well, and here's the one I made. Everything is from the books "Fast Fun and Easy Fabric boxes" and "Fast Fun and Easy Fabric bowls" by Linda Johansen (all my "students" have to buy their own copies of course!) I made several of these boxes last year as Christmas presents, so this year I'll have to think of something else - I have some ideas, the question is: do I have enough time? ...

I have promised myself to take things easy this year, no last minute sewing. I'm trying not to "overwhelm" my family and friends with quilted gifts, but luckily some of them really appreciate the stuff I make and to me that means they deserve it as well. I visited a friend of mine recently and found that the placemats I gave her some Christmases ago were torn to shreds - well, not literally, but they were showing a lot of wear and tear - proof that she has really used them and that they have seen a lot of spin cycles. She says she loves them, and the fact that I have spent a lot of time making them just for her. She is definitely going to get a new set this year. Wheras my mother's friend who got a tablecloth ten years ago and has never once used it because "it's too nice to be used" will not be getting another quilted gift from me! Most of the things I make are not art, they are made to be used and loved, and I'm not wasting precious quilting time on gifts for those who don't realize the time and effort that goes into these things.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

And then there was nothing...

It was veeeery quiet for a loooong time...

I'm still here, though, but have not been in a blogging mood lately. Too much to do at work and little crafting going on makes it hard to think about a topic for a blog. But I have been doing some research, visited all my favourite blogs and tried to analyze why I like them so much. So far I have been very coy about myself and my surroundings, but I have realized that the blogs I like the most are interesting because the writers share glimpses of their lives with us, and maybe it's about time I start sharing as well.

If I have anything interesting to write about, that is... I'm still doing a bit of research into digital cameras (being a Scorpio I always do lots of research... - when I don't just throw myself recklessly into something, that is - I'm such a complex person... :-P ) , I would love to take better pictures - the on e I have now doesn't cope well with close-ups.

I have done a little crafting though - just finished a small quilt for my bedroom wall. I'll take a picture when I have got it up there and the light is better Right now my sewing area needs a bit of organizing (understatement of the year...) so I can find my sewing machine and get back to crafting again. So I'm off - see you later!

Monday, October 30, 2006


I have had a great week - last Tuesday was my birthday and I spent the day with my nearest and dearest around me. It made me feel really lucky to have these people in my life and having them care enough about me to make the effort to come from near and afar to spend an evening with me. Later in the week there was the monthly get-together at the quilt shop, old and new friends of all ages sharing the same interests, being generous with their help and inspiration - crafters truly are wonderful, giving people!
On Friday my big sister generously spent an afternoon driving me around town shopping for a new hoover after the old one finally gave up the ghost the day before my party after weeks of having dust bunnies stuffed down its throat manually. On Saturday my friends gathered to celebrate my day. I made couscous salad with lamb and chocolate mousse for dessert - forgot to take pictures before the party, nothing left to photograph after.... - and we spent a great evening chatting, drinking wine and laughing so much that my stomach muscles hurt afterwards.
And now the whirlwind of a week has passed. There's still some fudge cake left, and my old camera does really not make it justice - it's sooo moist and "fudgy", almost irresistible, I must say, and it really tells a lot about my self control that there is so much left of it still... I also got to bring out that old turquoise cake platter that was always on the table at my grandmother's parties, so she kind of took part as well. The wine will keep until more company arrives, though , I was never one for drinking on my own.
The birthday celebrations also brought some cash rewards, so now I'll stop moaning about my blurry photos - I'll just have to decide which camera to buy - lucky me :-D

Sunday, October 22, 2006

More bliss

I did what I set out to do today, I finished my quilt top, and I like it! I was worried for a while because I thought all those florals might beat each other to death, mainly because everyone I have shown the fabrics to have cringed at the idea of using them all together. The more I thought about it the more I let myself believe they were right, and I put them aside for a while. But being a stubborn girl, I eventually got back on track, and I'm glad I did! This quilt makes me feel giddy and happy so who cares what "everbody else" says? I'll remind myself to trust my gut feeling in future, and not leave a project unfinished because the feedback isn't all I'd want it to be.
I pieced the other side a while ago, but that's a bit smaller, so I have to add a border to it. I'm not quite sure about that yet, but I'll have a few days to mull it over in the back of my mind while doing other things. My birthday is coming up and I have a bit of baking and cooking to do. I always use that day as an excuse to gather friends and family, and because I haven't got a lot of room, it means at least three days of parties - oh what fun!
Now I only have to decide on the menu, hm let's see, there is that raspberry torte, the fudge cake I used to make... mmm. Lets think of something else to give the old tastebuds a happy few days, something savoury for the girls' night... - I'm off to check my cook books!

Friday, October 20, 2006


I'm doing what I said I would for once... I'm spending quality time with my sewing machine! This is my WIP at the moment - the back of my Amy Butler quilt, or it might be the front...
I'm planning on making this a reversible quilt, so I can choose from day to day which side is the front. The fabrics (from the Ginger Bliss collection) have quite large patterns, so I'm making big blocks - this one is 14" square. I have all the pieces sorted and several stitched, so I hope I'll finish it on Sunday.

Tomorrow I have different plans - I am to teach a class in making fabric bowls at my local quilt shop.

I made some of these ages ago, and when I took them to my guild's show-and-tell the only responce was a polite, scattered applause. That didn't worry me at all - people have different tastes, after all - and I have been using them to keep spools, fabric pieces, etc in when stitching at guild meetings ever since. Lately people have started taking notice and asking about them, so I talked to my quilt shop friends and we decided to create a class this autumn, and would you believe it: it is full! I had to make a new bowl to remember the details, it has been so long since I made the last one, but I'm confident that I have the details down pat now and we'll have a fun day tomorrow!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Is it still hip to be square?

Well my quilt top finally is, anyway! Square, that is. This is an excercise in using curved lines and has been quite fun to work with, until this morning... I had pieced the center, but wasn't quite happy with it, so I took the four blocks apart and restitched them. Much better. But after adding the triangles it was impossible to get the piece to be square. I kept measuring and cutting and would have ended up with a tiny yellow piece if I hadn't stopped myself. I started wondering about using Melody Johnson's escape hatch finish, but I had carefully calculated that my last scrap of that lovely floral Kaffe Fasset fabric was just big enough to use for the binding and would give the perfect finishing touch, so I was not going to choose that route. Not this time, anyway.
The solution was to remove the black triangles, cut the square in the middle with straight lines and making sure it was excactly square before stitching the triangles back on. After all my "adjustments" (not mistakes...) two of the triangles were too small, so additional scraps were added, and here it is.
I should have straightened it out a bit before I took the picture, because it does actually lie flat in real life. Now I'm off to find some backing fabric, and prepare it for quilting, and then it's on to the next pile of fabrics, to finish that Amy Butler quilt:

I went on a wild internet shopping spree when I heard that her Ginger Bliss collection was discontinued, and I have gathered so much of it that I have decided to make a pieced backing as well,making it a totally reversible lap quilt. I really need to add a border or two to this, but I can't quite decide on what I'll do. I'll piece the backing first, and then see how wide a border I need before I decide. The problem is finding colours that match if I go outside her collection. I'll have to get back to you on that one, the fabric is calling me back to the sewing table...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Still here...

Now you might be wondering where I got to. I have been rather busy, but I don't have much to show for it, I'm afraid. I started that piece with curved lines and was all excited about it, as you probably gathered from the previous post, but all of a sudden the air just disappeared and I was left on the settee like a deflated balloon. No energy and no urge to do anything "crafty", so I spent days cleaning and clearing up. But that was last week, and now the gremlins have been here so the place is messy again, but I have decided not to let that bother me this weekend, because the urge to create is back! It was helped a lot by the quilters' retreat I went to last weekend with some of my friends. We rented a cabin and had a great time, drinking wine and talking into the night. During the day there were classes, and I started this fabric collage.

Now, because of my creative slump, I didn't really want to go on this trip, but I had signed up ages ago and everything was pre-paid and non-refundable, so I thought I might as well go. And of course it turned out that it was just what I needed! Spend a weekend with 200 likeminded people and lots of beautiful fabric and quilts, quilts, quilts, and inspiration is your friend again!
On the first morning with a piece of batting like a blank canvas in front of me, I nearly walked away. But after having torn strips of fabric into pieces and started moving them about for a while, something clicked and I knew what I wanted to do. After a while I started wondering if I had piled on too much, but I decided to continue. I was just trying out new techniques after all, so I kept at it. After quilting the piece I cut holes into it and placed water-soluble fabric behind them before machine stitching grids to fill the holes. Now I have some more beads to add before I wash it and I'll take some close-ups. It's not exactly great art or anything, but it is a proof to me that I can work my way out of a slump by just going through the motions of cutting fabric and quilting different patterns, and that's what matters. The last couple of days I have been aching to sew, but haven't had time to do so, so this weekend is mine. Let the dust bunnies live; I'll be spending quality time with my sewing machine!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I know what I did this weekend...

You might think I was about to come out with some interesting tidbits about a hot date or something, wouldn't you :-D Sorry, that was just a teaser - I just had to share those great paper napkins I picked up at a clearance sale a couple of days ago!

Rather, my weekend has been spent in the company of this book by Japanese quilt artist Keiko Goke. I have had the book for quite a while, but was inspired to pick it up again after seing a quilt in the recent issue of Magic Patch magazine. The quilt reminded me of one of Goke's quilts, so much so, that there was no doubt in my mind that the quilter had been inspired by her work, although the article with pattern didn't mention this... I got the book out and found several quilts I had wanted to try out.
In particular this floral quilt which isn't too big and would give an opportunity to practice curved seams. I have been thinking about making something for my bedroom wall - I have two quilts there, but need a third to get the right balance. I decided to make one in similar colours to the ones hanging there already, and before you knew it, I was immersed in fabric and having lots of fun! The great thing about this approach is that there is no real pattern - I had the general layout and that's it. The rest is made up as I go along. The instructions (if there are any) are in Japanese, a language I'm not too familiar with... But I got the general idea, and have been walking back and forth between cutting table, sewing machine and ironing board all day (I keep my ironing board in the kitchen so I'll have to get up and move about now and then), completely losing track of time. I realized at some point that the yucky feeling in my stomach was due to not having eaten since breakfast, so I had to stop to prepare a light meal. Eating the slightly burnt chicken a while later (I couldn't just leave the cutting table in the middle of a block, now, could I?) I realized that I haven't had this much fun in ages!
Oh, it's great to have that creative vibe again after a rather lazy few weeks. Well, maybe not so lazy, but I have been telling myself that I had to clean the dishes/mop the floors etc. first, and before you knew it the day was gone. That won't do! I am getting my home organized little by little, but I need to schedule some more play time for myself, and that means jumping right in, leaving the dirty dishes in the sink. They won't run away, but my inspiration might!

And I really want to try my hand at something like this as well. Those curved seams are getting easier by the minute and I'm beginning to feel confident that I'll be able to do it!

This is how far I have got today, please ignore the wobbly bit in the middle; a slight adjustment with an iron, and it should lie flat. I'm going to add black triangles or borders tomorrow, I haven't quite decided. I was thinking triangles, but as my piece so far is rectangular, I'm not sure anymore. I could add a strip of blue at the top to make it square I suppose..., hmmm ..., now what if...
Oh what fun!

Monday, September 25, 2006

No domestic goddess

So many blogs give the first impression that their creators are Wonderwomen who manage their homes, husbands and children with one steady hand while creating wonderful craft and art projects with the other. However, if you read more closely and study the pictures, you realize that most of them are more like you and me than you would think at first glance. After all, in our blogs, we get to choose what we show the world, we take pictures of what we like and omit the things we don't want to share. I loved Gemma's post "Domestic Goddess??" yesterday with the link to the article about the Non-Domestic Goddess - that's more like it! I won't even try to pretend that I am anything like a goddess, so I might start to show hints of the not so perfect surroundings here... Somebody must be on to me, because I was invited to join a Flickr-group: Art Studio Makeover the other day. The invitation reads:
"This group is for those artists who wish to redefine and reclaim their work space. Are you pulling out your hair because you can't find what you need when you need it? Are you tripping over all your STASH? Are you knee deep in stuff that used to inspire but now overwhelms? Then this is the group for you. Please post your Messes, your Inspirations, and your Solutions."
How did they know? Maybe after posting pictures of some of my mess I'll be inspired to get it all sorted... Watch this space ;-)
I have been playing with the idea of getting a cat, but have thought that it would create too much of a mess, but it seems that I manage that on my own... However, after seeing pictures like this at Tales from Pixie Wood, I feel my heart melting and thinking that I really must have one... My dream is to have a silver tiger like the Whiskas-cat, and I'm getting closer to making the decision every day...
At least I get to choose what to show you today, and that is the picture of a cake I made for a friend's 50'th birthday party last Saturday. What I don't show is the state of the kitchen afterwards... The dozens of failed attempts of writing "Still crazy after all these years" in chocolate, the scattered pieces of purple marzipan and sticky drops of icing, not to mention the pile of dirty dishes. But that's the great thing, I don't have to show you ;-) Just the Crazy Quilt Cake for my purple-loving quilter friend, who by the way loved her cake! Oh, and it was quite edible to: sponge filled with puréed strawberries and whipped cream mixed with caramel custard... Mmmm.... Fit for a Goddess!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Document folder - tutorial

A while back I mentioned that I was going to make a folder for travel documents before I went on holiday. I did, and I finished it on the eve of departure, but I realized that I have never posted about it. I took a lot of pictures while I was working on it to help remember the whole process if I wanted to make more, and that means I have the makings of a tutorial here :-) So if you want to make one, I'll walk you through it all. Here goes:You need three pieces of Fast2Fuse (a kind of stiff interfacing which is fusible on both sides. There is something called Timtex which is similar, but not fusible, so you'll have to use some fusible like Wonder Under or Bondaweb with it to attach the fabric). 2 pieces: 5 x 10" (- front and back) and 1 piece 3/4 x 10" (the spine). Butt the pieces up to each other and stitch together using a wide zig zag stitch so you end up with a piece which is 10 3/4" x 10 ". This is to make the folder easier to fold when it is finished, rather than using a whole piece.
Iron a piece of fabric to each side of the Fast2Fuse, slightly larger than the F2F, and quilt the piece. Trim edges. For the pockets you need three pieces of fabric: 9 1/2 x 15", 7 x 11" and 5 1/2 x 7". You may adapt the sizes to your needs. Iron fusible interfacing to the back of all pieces. I cut mine 1/2" smaller in both directions to get less bulk at the seams.
Fold all three pieces in half right sides together and stitch along sides and bottom, leaving an opening, clip corners and turn pieces inside out. Press. You will now have three pieces with finished sizes 9 x 7 ", 6 1/2 x 5 " and 5 x 3 ". To make them more sturdy, stitch a narrow seem along the edge on both sides and top + a seam ca 1/4" from the edge (leave the bottom edge unstitched for now).
Place the three pockets on top of each other as shown in the picture below. The two smaller ones are aligned along the bottom (tuck the seam allowances inside) and then placed 1/2" from the bottom of the largest one, and centered. Stitch the two smaller ones to the large one with a seam along the bottom edge. The bottom of the largest pocket will be aligned to the bottom edge of the cover.
The pockets should be stitched together along the bottom line only.

Align the three pocket pieces along the bottom of the cover piece and pin (measure out from the middle, so they are centered). Make sure that you have the side of the cover you want to be on the inside facing up. If you have a fabric on the outside where the direction of the pattern is important, make sure that the pockets are aligned to the bottom edge of the cover - you don't want your cats or whatever to be upside down! Find the ridges that mark the two seams in the Fast2Fuse and mark these with pins along top and bottom edges. Draw a chalk line from top to bottom along both and stitch on these lines through all the layers. This forms the spine of the folder, and also becomes a pocket for your pen.
Your folder should now look something like this. I won't pretend to be an expert when it comes to stitching zippers, but here's what I did anyway. I used a binding strip on each side to cover the edges of the zipper. Cut three strips from full width of fabric 1 1/2" wide and join them to form one long strip. For perfectly rounded corners you might want to make this a bias strip, but I was in a rush and fudged it a little, so I used strips cut on the straight of the grain and managed to make passable corners anyway... I rounded them ever so little to make this easier.
Fold a length of binding in half right sides out and pin it along the outer edge on the outside of the folder. Fold in one end about 1/4 " and cut the strip to length, letting the other end overlap by 1/2". Tuck this end inside the beginning of the strip. Stitch all the way around with a seam allowance slightly less than 1/4" making sure to ease the fabric strip around the corners so it doesn't become too stretched or too puckered.
Open the zipper ( a 22" one) and pin it around the edge on top of the binding strip, starting in the middle at the bottom.
Pin the remaining binding strip on top of the zipper, wrong side facing up, tucking one end inside the other as before. Stitch all the way around the outside edge using a 1/4" seam allowance. Now for a bit of hand stitching: Fold the edge of the last strip over so it meets the edge of the folder, then over again, so it ends up covering the seam on the inside. Pin and hand stitch to the fabric on the inside, making as neat a finish as possible. The Fast2Fuse is a bit stiff and akward to handle, and a thimble might be helpful. The binding on the outside should also be folded down and stitched to the fabric on the outside, leaving a "lip" to cover the zipper almost to the "teeth".
Then it is time to put your tickets, passport, travel insurance card, business cards, pen and whatever in your folder, zip up and you are ready to go!

I hope this made sense, but if anything is unclear, please ask and I'll try to improve my explanation. I found this folder quite handy to carry my important documents in - it was big enough so I didn't have to fold things too much, and it was easy to find in my purse (always a challenge...), but not so big that it got in the way.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Folded flowers finished fast

As a master of creating workshop-UFOs I'm proud to say that I actually finished the bag the day after the workshop - that must be a new record! I think it turned out quite well, and the rick rack along the top edge was a good finishing touch. It just goes to show that everything comes in handy sooner or later: I bought it along with some in pink and turquoise a while back. The colour was described as "soft green" and I had something more pastel in mind and was very disappointed when it arrived. I decided that returning it was too much of a hassle, and it was so cheap that it wasn't really worth bothering about so I just put it aside.

When I was gathering the materials for the workshop it came to mind again, and I dug it out again, and lo and behold - it was a perfect match for the silk and leaves fabric. So maybe it was meant to be ;-) The fabric flowers weren't too difficult to make, and I think I'll remember if I ever want to make some more. Here's a close-up - the picture is actually taken with my cell phone.

That really says something about my ancient camera, doesn't it? I couldn't get a proper close-up with my camera, but with my phone: no problem! I must start doing some research into digital cameras with a view to getting a new one. Any suggestions?

Saturday, September 09, 2006

It worked :-)

- I'm"itchin' to be stitchin' " again. The workshop today was great fun. It didn't take long to master the technique of folding the flowers, so we could concentrate on chatting and giggling, looking at all the new fabric and yarn and dreaming about new projects. Just the thing to get the creative juices flowing again. I din't finish the bag, but both sides and the handles are ready so I'll finish it up tomorrow. My back insists on a bit of rest today after a day in a chair that was too low and a table that was too high. I'll try to get a better picture of the flowers tomorrow when the light is better.

After tidying my craft table when I came home, I made delicious bacon, spring onion and cheese muffins to be eaten warm with a cup of tea. Just the ticket for the first Saturday of autumn :-)

And tomorrow the day will be spent in the company of my sewing machine...