Having not managed to do much sewing myself over the summer, I have nevertheless managed to keep my students working on their various small projects and they have achieved a few finishes. I thought it was time for a roundup of what they have made since the bunting bonanza (blogged here).
First up were some threadcatchers, made from stash fabric and scraps - see this excellent tutorial.
Miriam made the two on the right and Sophie the one on the left. We used Bosal In-R foam as the interlining so they are pretty sturdy and a good size: the girls mostly use theirs as baskets for fabric scraps and small blocks, whereas I use the one I made a while ago as a fabric wastepaper basket, for all my trimmings when cutting. Having a nice tabletop receptacle has made me much tidier!
Next we tackled foundation piecing (free paper pattern here to download from Pieced by Number) to which we added a rainbow border of HSTs to enlarge the cushions to 16" square:
We also learned how to set in concealed zips (good tutorial here) which give a very professional finish, and added an external binding to finish the raw edges:
Sophie's cushion has the pink binding and Miriam's the blue. They both did a great job, though the foundation piecing wasn't the easiest for beginners because of the funny angles involved. The impact of the finished piece is great though, and they chose different quilting designs to personalise their cushions despite sharing the rainbow fabrics and background grey.
Next, and including a foundation pieced strip of flying geese, the girls made boxy pouches following a tutorial in this issue of Love Patchwork and Quilting [Sophie has my copy so the details of the tutorial will follow]:
Miriam made this one first to test the pattern, and then they each made the ones below (Sophie on the left following the rainbow theme and including a toning violet zip, and Miriam on the right with her favourite rich jewel colours picking out the colours in the main fabric):
Here are the other sides so you can see the colours used:
And here are the underneath/bottoms of the pouches - rather a shame that most of the time the bottoms won't be visible! You will see that Miriam chose to modify the pattern so that her flying geese would all point towards the zip. whereas Sophie went for a continuous rainbow of colours. It is great to be able to adjust a pattern to meet one's own aesthetic.
Lastly, we made bags: Miriam has made several bags before but this was Sophie's first. They chose different patterns, both for blocks and for construction. Miriam was making hers as a gift and went with flying geese again, pieced this time by the stitch and flip method and trimmed with the special Bloc_loc ruler to be precisely 1 1/2" x 3" finished.
From recollection, the bag finished at around 13" wide by 14" by 3" deep. I am being a bit vague because Miriam worked out the design and layout of the blocks as she went along, based on how big overall she wanted the finished bag to be. She came up with the idea to invert the central row of geese and to reverse the colour values.
We used waistband interfacing to make the straps both firm and accurate - much easier than fighting with scraps of wadding.
This bag was finished with a lining which turned inside out through a gap in the lining (the most common method) so the raw edges are all concealed. Sophie's bag was made by a different method.
Here is Sophie's bag, made to hold her baskets of fabric to bring along to our sewing sessions.
We followed a tutorial from Moda Bakeshop called Clermont Farms Quilted Tote Bag by Glen Dragone, which I printed out many years ago (2010 is the date on the pattern!) and always intended to make but never quite got around to, so I was delighted when Sophie said she would give it a go.
Here is the link: I've linked to the pdf/printer friendly version as the photos weren't loading on the link via Moda Bakeshop's website.
We wanted the bag to hold its shape and stand up well so it would accommodate two baskets full of fabric, so Sophie used a foam interlining rather than wadding offcuts. It is not too stiff however and wasn't difficult to quilt.
The construction method for this bag involves quilting through the outer pieced section, interlining and lining, so the raw edges on the inside have to be bound. The advantage is that the bound seams give extra strength and structure to the bag, but it is slightly fiddly to set in the base and manage the final binding where the panels intersect. Sophie did a great job however and you will see how neat the inside corners are in this photo.
The finished bag measures 13" x 13" x 7" deep. The squares and strips are cut from 2 1/2" wide strips so the bag is jelly roll friendly.
So that's been our summer. I hope you will agree it has been a productive one for my students, if not for me. I will have to pull my socks up to stay ahead of them this autumn!