18 August 2015

Displaying Air Plants

Several weekends ago, we went to the Peddlers' Faire in Benicia and, among other things, bought a few air plants. One of them is mounted in a tiny sea urchin, the others are loose.
How to display them? I asked among my FB friends, googled, looked on Pinterest and found this:
this tutorial.
Trying to find an old frame proved to be impossible (we hit several antique stores), so what else would work?
I wanted old looking, weathered and it finally came to me: fence slats.
One of our fences, the one enclosing the old dog run, will be going. No more outdoor dogs, so no more need for a dog run.
So, L unscrewed two of the slats and set to work and this is what he came up with:

I think I need more plants!

15 August 2015

Bendy Bags and Seam Rippers

There's been quite a lot of sewing going on over the last few weeks, just not any blogging about it - until 2 days ago, anyway.
I made my first Bendy bag a few weeks ago.
This one came together beautifully, I read the pattern carefully and worked my way through step by step, without any problems. The only problem was the sewing machine which misbehaved and was traded away.
Number Two wasn't quite so easy, operator error. I obviously didn't pay close enough attention to the instructions, but it turned out well, too.
The third one, though, ..... well, let's not go into details other than to say everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Not the pattern's fault, partially again, not paying close enough attention and partially the material. It's ............ oh, no ................. pleather. Not really that hard to work with, but not as easy as quilting cottons.
All those problems notwithstanding, I love this bag. This one is definitely mine.

One thing I haven't quite resolved in my mind (a lot of my sewing prep goes on in my head) is the issue of thread color. I like to use matching thread whenever possible. So, that's brown for the zipper and the seams, but after changing threads back and forth several times while cleaning up the seams on the inside in the first two bags, I got tired of it and just stuck with brown on this one. I wonder how anybody else making these bags handles that issue.

I can highly recommend the pattern, it's a pretty quick project and the result is just plain good and enjoyable. Love the way the leftover zipper is used as a tab. Any problems I encountered were not in any way related to the pattern. And I will definitely make more, not that I need more bags.

As I said, I ran into problems, especially with the last bag and the seam rippers and I got to be really good friends.
My husband took up wood turning last year and after making lots of pens of various kinds and moving on to bowls and hollow vessels and segmented bowls (I really need to write a blog post about his projects), he made me a couple of seam rippers which where quick projects. He has also moved from wood to stone and used a slice left over from one of my pens to embellish my newest seam ripper.
I like that they are safe, you just pull out the whole metal piece and pop it into the opening backwards, no danger of poking yourself.
So, here are my new best friends:

Pattern used: Bendy bag by Lazy Girl.
Fabrics: mostly out of my embarrassingly large stash, except for the pleather which was bought just for this project.

13 August 2015

Toddler Skirt

I bought this cute fabric last year, planning to make a two-layer skirt for my granddaughter ............. and promptly misplaced it. Didn't find it again until a couple of weeks ago.

The most difficult part of making the skirt was the cutting out. It just about did my head in. I wanted to maximize the design and wanted to center it, but that just wasn't possible. I think it worked out and everything afterward was a breeze.
I used my own tutorial and had to actually refer to it a couple of times. It's been a while since I made a granddaughter skirt. I used French seams for the side seams, folded the hem over twice and, because of the way the skirt is constructed for the casing, there is not a single raw edge to be found.
The new machine threw a wobbly yesterday and I just about panicked, but I stayed calm, called the sewing machine store and the nice mechanic talked me through an easy fix. Whew!

Fabric used: Wee Wander by Michael Miller Fabrics
Pattern: a combination of this tutorial and this tutorial.

12 August 2015

Sew Together Bag

This, finally, turned from UFO into finished. I am late to the party, as usual. There are beautiful Sew Together Bags all over the web.

This is actually my second bag, the first one is a lot more colorful and, as yet, hasn't been photographed. It'll happen. I've also made a mini bag and can't lay my hands on it at the moment.

This particular bag languished in the "to be finished" pile for months. And I have a good excuse. Sewing machine No. 1 sort of gave up its ghost. Even after servicing there were problems, stitches skipped, it seemed much less powerful than it had been. So, it was traded in for a fancier model which also developed problems. Another trade and a big learning curve. The machine and I seem to be making friends, though, and I finally buckled down and finished this bag. There wasn't much left, only the last zipper had to be sewn in.

I frequently consulted the tutorial in sew along form from the Quilt Barn. The pattern is good, but a little extra help is called for on occasion.

There are more sew together bags in the pipeline. Partially sewn, cut out, stacks of fabrics co-ordinated. They'll all be done in time. It's not an easy project and it takes some time, but the result is so worth it.

Pattern: Sew Together Bag.
Tutorial to go along with the pattern: Sew Along.