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Foolproof Crazy Quilt Project - Upcycled Wool Bag (Part Two)

At the end of part-one, I said I was ready to add stabilizer to the finished bag panel.  I have to confess to a few problems with that, starting with not being sure what weight to go for. I chose Vilene H250/305 to give firm support.  I think I may use fusible fleece for the lining (H630 or H640).

The directions say "Do not remove the basting stitches and cardboard until the bag panel is complete".  So as soon as it was complete I removed them.  Then got a few steps on on and read ".. remove the basting stitches and cardboard..."  This means I pressed it after removing the card instead of before and the outside edges didn't tuck under, and the stabilizer went right to the flat edge instead fixing the folded edge in place. I have chalked a line on the seam allowance to stop me getting too close.  Note to self: HIGHLIGHT INSTRUCTIONS FOR EXACTLY WHEN TO REMOVE BASTING AND CARD! 

I bought my embroidery threads locally, but couldn't get the Perle #8 in the right colours or anything at all in Perle #12, so I settled for Anchor Perle #5 instead.  I had to go on-line to buy all my silk ribbons.  I couldn't get every colour exactly like Jennifer's, but my fabrics are not the same colours either.  I did get a good selection from Crafty Ribbons here in the U.K.  They had no tulle ribbon so I bought organza ribbon instead. 

Last but not least was finding some silk chenille.  I tried stockists of the French company above but no luck.  I finally tracked some down at Stef Francis, so now I just have to wait for that to arrive.  I am looking forward to trying it, having read up on it on .Mary Corbett's Needle'n'Thread.  I am getting lots of new experiences out of this project!

The Needle Index reviewed here by Mary Corbett, available from Needle in a Haystack

The next thing was checking my hand sewing needle.  For the silk ribbons I need a chenille size 22 for the 2 mm and 4 mm, and size 20 for the 7 mm which I managed to buy locally. The book suggests milliners size three for Perle #8 and #12 which I do actually have. However, as I'm actually using Perle #5, my trusty needle index says I need a size 18 which I have bought direct from John James.  

With everything assembled I just need to follow Jennifer's directions;

  • the Pattern Diagram gives the key to the seams
  • the Stitch Map gives colour pictures of each seam design, the thread & stitches used
  • the Stitch Directory gives directions for making all the stitches used.

This was my first ever attempt at silk ribbon embroidery, and I have to say I love it!  I love the way the ribbon folds into such lovely shapes.  I quickly learnt to use my tweezers to make sure the ribbon lay up the right way and flat when pulling through.  I did treat myself to a book on Silk Ribbon Embroidery by Ann Cox a few years ago simply because it was beautiful but I did refer back to it when I decided to try and make this bag, to pick up a few extra tips.

I have to say I prefer Jennifer's description of doing the fish-bone stitch to the one in my old "100 Embroidery Stitches" book (kept from my school days!).  It seems so much easier to follow and I get the shape right, whereas I struggled before.

The seams are labelled from A to Z, ZZ and base.  I have done A, B, (awaiting chenille to do C), D and I am presently working on E.  So it may be a while before I get back with part three - 'preparing the lining' and then 'assembly'.


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