Thursday, 21 January 2016

Quick & Easy Patchwork Bag in Batik & Friday Smile

I've been playing around trying to replicate a bag I spotted at a quilt show in Germany. I couldn't figure out exactly how to make it but managed to transform the patch work panel I prepared into this  finished product.
I don't know if it is right or wrong but it turned into a very simple effective bag construction to make from scraps.
I'm calling it the Twin Peaks Bag! A quick and easy make for gifts or charity sales.
The panel could be plain, fully patchworked and quilted to choice. Whatever!
Mine is made from left over 2 inch Batik strips.
I made a panel approximately 11 inches x 33 inches (22 strips of 2 inches before sewing quarter inch seams).
It was then lined and lightly wadded ... ( or could use Vilene interfacing)
Below, I have laid strips of paper purely to indicate the folds........
Then the Left side is taken up to the top edge, and the Right side down to bottom edge, to first produce this shape......
then it is folded across the central diagonal (bottom left to top right of the purple lining) to produce the bag shape below...

With just two diagonal seams to stitch up, the body of the bag is made.
Add a fastener and a handle and  it will be complete.
The bag can easily be sized up or down. Try it out in newspaper first to see if it is correct before making the panel to size.
TIP! An inside pocket can be added before the lining is sewn in.. just check the positioning.

               Blooming Gorgeous Bargains & Friday Smile
Adding my smile on to Annie's weekly fun as, since I posted this, I found out that Standfast & Barracks factory shop, in Lancaster, will reopen on Saturday after the flooding they suffered in December. 
I buy my Liberty fabrics there at bargain prices and I am in need of stocks to make a king size quilt for my daughter as a wedding gift. I've been longing to get cracking on it but so sad to hear that the shop had been through so much. They have also taken the opportunity to refurbish their shop so there will be a Gala Re-opening Day on Saturday... and I will be there. Yes! I am a fabric-holic!

Shopping in Morrisons last week, I spotted these roses reduced to £2.50 (for 15 blooms) I was almost dancing in the aisles. I didn't expect them to last more than a few days but almost a week later they are still glorious.
The patchwork panel on the coffee table is my latest project. I finally undid the ribbon on the jelly roll I won last year and started a French Braid quilt. I'm really enjoying making it and the first strip went together so quickly.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Liberty Christmas Tree & Weeping Windows Poppies

I know, I know.... you can call me mad but I really did think I was finished with Christmas 2015 until I spotted these little Liberty Fabric Trees on pinterest. I am obsessed with Liberty's Tana Lawn and have recently finished my 3rd quilt so I have lots of scraps which will be perfect to use up on these little beauties. I just had to have a trial run so I would have a sample to remind me to make more at the end of this year. They are so quick to make and will be ideal fund raisers, bazaar sellers etc. I think I'll use star buttons for the toppers to keep the vintage look. Must remember to save all my old cotton reels.
Click to see the full information in my November post about the 
(part of the installation which were at the Tower of London)
Only one more week left to see them in Liverpool as they will then be moved to another city after 17th January.

Over Christmas I heard an appeal on BBC Radio Merseyside requesting people to make poppies towards and installation within St George's Hall, which will follow after the Weeping Windows move on.
The appeal was a bit late, as everyone is so busy over the holidays, and the closing date was 9th January, but the ladies of our quiltiing group managed to make a small collection.
Sadly when I delivered them, with only one day to go,  only around 20 others had been handed in towards the project.
Our few included felt poppies, silk, machine and hand embroidery and even some beading. Thanks to everyone who participated and now we'll wait to see just what comes of them.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Patchwork Table Centre & Last of the Christmas Makes

Almost forgot to post pics of this table centre, which I spotted in plenty on pinterest and which is so easy to make. Last of the Christmas makes from me but I'm adding it here as it can be made from suitable fabrics to suit your home decor or table setting for a special dinner, to use all year round, not just for Christmas.
It can be made smaller or slightly larger by just changing the size of the squares.
It can also be hung on a door or wall as a wreath.

It would take bread rolls in the slots for a dinnertime table centre and at Christmas it could hold tiny gifts or wrapped chocolates. 
 It is made from twelve each, of two contrasting 6.5 inch fabric squares (it's optional if you add a border (the green) to one as I did). The squares allow quarter inch seams, so will therefore be 6" when stitched and pressed ready to assemble.
I added a square of iron on Vilene to stiffen them before they were stitched together, leaving a gap to turn them inside out before pressing. 
I stitched the openings up with invisible thread and a small zig zag stitch. 

The bottom squares could also be made in patchwork squares. Lots of options to make it to your own style.
 The completed squares are joined by machining together from the centre point of one side to 1.5 inches from the inner corner.(See diagram below)

As you can see the other corners are joined together with tiny bells which are available from Tiger stores or the Works at reasonable cost. Alternately buttons can be used or they can be tied with narrow ribbons.
 I used a battery operated night light inserted into the top of a large candle. Safer and no wax to drip on the fabric below. Large battery operated candles can be bought nowdays but I recessed a small one into a large real candle.

 I had an idea to insert a glass vase into the centre filled with tiny battery operated fairy lights and baubles but as I'd made this so late I never got around to trying it. An idea for next Christmas.