Minute Monday

A minute to read this – or minute as in teeny weeny makes, either way – here we are:

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A Harris Tweed coin purse, requested by a friend of mine, who didn’t want it big enough for cards, just a nice pocket size. Lined with a bright blue cotton which matches that thin vertical stripe left of centre – turned out very sweet!

And then some monogrammed drawstring washbags for our friends’ four children as they are all off in a big caravan for 6 weeks around Europe. They are Aussies and naturally adventurous (they’d have to be – 4 little kids!?! I feel I need to psyche up and the have cavalry on speed dial  when I take 4 kids to the park…). It made me smile that they wanted some personalised prettiness for their journey.

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The kids got to choose their own fabrics from my stash. I am always amazed at the choices children make. Emily is only 6 and chose this lovely retro Tanya Whelan print called lulu Rose from her Delilah collection (Freespirit fabrics). Size 9”x10” approx.

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Angus is 4 and liked this bunting print above from Reunion by Sweetwater for Moda. I like it too – it’ll grow with him better than the cars I thought he might have liked.

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That picture is one lying flat. You can see the channel I made for threading the cord through. I used a spring-loaded cord lock (like you get on rucksacks) rather than a traditional drawstring – I think it makes them look more substantial and the opening stays shut better.

My friend wanted them to have a waterproof lining, so I lined them in a white PUL – “polyurethane laminate” – which is a polyester knit  laminated on one side to make it waterproof. It is slightly stretchy so you have to be a bit careful sewing it. I would have liked to use my walking foot, but needed to use a teflon foot because of the shiny side.  The sewing then went OK – except I had to turn the tension dial WAY down. Then all was good! Although my friend said to just use a bit of cut up shower curtain (!!!), I am obviously far more safety aware than that – this PUL contains no lead, phlalates or BPAs so are suitable for products intended for children under 12. It also inhibits the growth of fungi, which is good for this purpose, especially because these kids will be throwing their toothbrush in there with their wee shampoos and soap apparently. It can be washed at 60 degrees, so all good. I would like to try “procare” at some point too – a foodsafe medical grade fabric with similar (but even better!) properties to PUL – and less stretch…

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I know a bad picture, but I had to give them up in a hurry. This is the four together. Charlotte’s washbag is Paula Prass’ “Par Avion” from the Flight of Fancy collection for Michael Miller, an old print, but rather lovely. I never have managed to use up the bit I have somehow. I was glad she chose it. Isla’ chose princess castles from Happy Ever After for Riley Blake. Apparently they were all very pleased with their finished bags – phew! You get no sparing of feelings from unsatisfied children…

I used steam-a-seam2 to make the monogramme appliques, and a well-washed, almost felted dark grey jersey I had lying around. Steam-a-seam 2 is the best I’ve found for reducing fray on letters. I hand- stitched them on to be sure they won’t fall off. Fingers crossed they still look good after a few washes. It’s OK though, the family are heading back to Australia in a couple of months, so I won’t know if the monograms fall apart 😉 It’d be a bit embarrassing if it happened before they lleft though… (I’m sure it’ll all be fine really!)

Ok, maybe forget I even attempted a “quick minute” Monday. in my dreams. Speaking of which… Night night all, hope summer is treating you all well and the creative juices are flowing freely! Till the next time,

Poppy xx

Fluttery quilting? Fail. Fluttery sewing – win :-)

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So. You know how I said I really wanted to quilt? Well, I’d fallen in love quite hard with a blue fabric from the Flutter collection by the Quilted Fish for Riley Blake Designs whilst we were holidaying in Cornwall earlier this year (well, you have to take in ONE fabric shop surely!). It was expensive at £16/metre, and only in fat quarters, so I thought I’d have a look online when I returned home. This is the fabric:

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It looks better in the flesh so to speak. it is lovely. Anyway as soon as we returned I looked online and not only is the collection almost impossible to find in the UK, it it dastardly difficult to find online in the states. In fact, I couldn’t find any of the blue main flowery fabric that I had so liked. But by this stage of searching, I started coveting the whole collection as a group – blue and orange are really speaking to me right now. Eeek! I’m such an addict.

So I ordered a few charm packs from the states, and they arrived, hurrah. Could barely contain excitement. Perfect for a little quilting I thought. Laid them out on my desk (not inspiring backdrop but you take inspiration where you find it!):

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…And suddenly it all wasn’t speaking to me as clearly as I’d expected. The only way I could think of re-inspiring my love for the colours was to sash the blocks in white strips to make the little squares pop, but still it just wasn’t working that well in my head. But I did love pretty much all the designs a lot:

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and the colours together are still really gorgeous in the, er, flesh (is there a better expression for this??).

Pondered. Played with squares and teaming them up in pairs.

Then decided to sack the quilting and have some zippered pouch fun. And fun it was. I loved being able to match the fun exteriors to some complementary interiors, colours that might sound weird together but were expertly designed to go well. Some zips and batting later and I had 12 cute little purses, which hold cards and coins, some of which are shown above, and some below:

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sweet aren’t they? And some more:

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This is one of my favourites, despite not being blue or orange at all! Or having a funky interior, for that matter. I’m so fickle.

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I think they are very sweet, I loved making them. But now I have 12 brand-new coin purses in my house. I’m going to have to start selling these wee things soon to help fund this sewing addiction, I mean passion. I’m thinking about end of Sept/ early October time…

I actually got out some other charm packs in my stash, thinking of doing the same thing with them, but was surprised at how difficult it was – despite being lovely as collections or big pieces of fabric, very few had even some patterns which could stand alone on a purse, let alone half the pack to be like that. I think Flutter is a rarity in that respect. The closest I got was this one, called Boho by Urban Chiks for Moda:

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It’s such a great collection! Some of those patterns could definitely be purse exterior fabrics, so I started playing. And realised they were very quirky, and might only appeal to a small number of people. Besides, even the larger patterns didn’t work as well as I thought. Yes I adore the blue with the brown flowers, but the rest? I think it’s another collection that looks better together. But by this time I was dying to do something with Boho, so started sewing 4-patches together to make a little baby blanket. Or maybe a bigger one, we’ll see. Watch this space!

Well, I have some little boy bunting to make for a lovely lady in the village who’s son is turning 2, so I’d better be off. By the way, The kindle case from my last post arrived to it’s rightful owner safely and she loved it. I got such sweet messages about it back, it made my day! Phew!

Till the next time,

Poppy xx