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My weekend - How to get it all totally wrong & then getting something right!


Well I was given a book for Christmas "It's quilting Cats & Dogs" by Lynette Anderson and decided to have a go at the shoulder bag that combined patchwork and embroidery. 

1. Now, I'm sorry, but I cannot enlarge tiny pattern pieces 400% on my little A4 printer from tiny templates - I get bits all over the place.  So I photocopied the page of pattern pieces, cut them into individual pieces and took them to the Library.  They have a big A3 printer there and they enlarged them 400% for me.

2. The first thing was that the centre line was no longer in the centre, and the pieces were not symmetrical.  I trimmed them and marked the new centre line.  Somehow whilst doing this I managed to cut the top half of the bag back off without noticing.  Then I missed the instruction to add 1/4" seam allowances.

3. I decided to use some more of my mum's patchwork pieces instead of doing crazy patchwork.  I have to unpick the stitching and remove them from the card templates, press them, mark the stitching line round the template and stitch them together.

4. I decided this was the time to use the Soft & Stable sample Annie had sent me, and quilted the patchwork directly onto it using my new embroidery needle, embroidery thread and walking foot!  It worked well and it looks great, the best so far. That's when I realised I had missed the top half of the back, where I'm supposed to add the embroidered flap.

I was very well behaved.  My mum would have been proud of me.  no swear words, nothing thrown!  I thought I could say my synapses had been fried by the thunderstorms this afternoon, but sadly some of these mistakes were made before the storm.

I will persevere, I will make a beautiful (if slightly smaller than envisaged) bag, and I will wear it with pride. Eventually. Next  I have to decide what I am putting on my flap as I want something personal, and I've got to work out how to fit it together now I've mucked it up.  

I'm afraid I have not found the instructions very easy to follow. For instance, "From blue floral fabric cut the following pieces.  Cut one piece for the bag back and one for the back back lining.  Cut one piece for the bag front and one for the bag front lining."  Then when you get to 'Stitching the Crazy patchwork' it says "Starting with the bag front and choosing from the assorted co-ordinating prints begin with a 5 sided piece of fabric, pinning it right side up in the centre of the firm wadding...... Continue adding fabric pieces until you have covered the area where the bag front has been marked."  What happened to the blue floral fabric bag front?

Then there's the gusset, the pattern only shows one side placed on a fold but the illustration in the instructions shows a very different shape to the one I got!  My bag seems to be narrower at the top than Lynettes too.  I blame that on the photocopier!

Okay I've got it off my chest, I'm going to have a glass of wine and browse to see what everyone else is doing!

At least the new aprons I made turned out well, and tomorrow is another day!
















Well despite the continuing storms, thunder and lightning, I had a much better day in my sewing room today, thanks to Chris's tutorial on sewing with Faux Leather (see "Sewing purses, bags & totes" channel)

Although I live in rural England, I am the proud owner of a 1963 Chevrolet C10 pick-up truck.  I have only had it 6 weeks and this weekend I wanted to make covers for the bare boards that are my sun visors.

Thanks to Chris's tips I had treated myself to a walking foot, a Teflon non-stick foot, Gutermann's upholstery thread, and leather needles.  I knew not to use pins, so I used plastic covered paper clips and foldback clips.  I also knew to use a longer stitch.  I assembled my equipment and got to work.

First I padded them with some black stuff the other half had stashed (normally used to cover speakers apparently).  Then I covered that with some rather nice red faux leather he had stashed for his Hot Rod.

The result - a lovely pair of red faux leather sun visors, now proudly adorning my yankee baby!  I will try and take a picture of them in the truck, but for now I have this.

I am really please with this, thanks again Chris! Made my weekend!


Here they are in my truck.  Taken at my dad's house on the Cliff at Mundesley-on-Sea this morning - had to be quick while the sun was shining!

 and here is one from the inside

Maybe next time I can add a strip for holding tickets, or a picture! I think they look great, and are the perfect colour.  

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Comment by Karen Pior on August 7, 2012 at 4:48am
Phew. I am so glad I am not the only one who makes all kinds of faux pax!!! Congrats on your perseverence. Cheers, Karen
Comment by Jennifer Etheridge-Robertson on August 6, 2012 at 4:43pm

Hahah I had a great laugh with the purse fiasco ! I have learned now to read the instructions at least 3 times and then run to the nearby Quilt Shop for help !! Even though I live in a very rural Texas community I am fortunate enough to have a quilt shop about 15 minutes away. The bag will be precious and please post a pic when you do have it completed.
The sunvisors for your really rad truck look awesome. More photos please when you have them installed !

Comment by Gracie on August 6, 2012 at 12:39pm

I feel your pain with the purse. I have wasted two pieces of fabric trying a new (to me) method of making bias binding. I am blaming my problems on fibro-fog and all of the hot weather we have been having. You can take pride in your visor covers; they look great!

Comment by Doris Gould on August 6, 2012 at 11:22am

loved reading your weekend story, I know ALL of us have 'been there and done that" but you put it into such fun language.  thanks for your post, you made my day !

Comment by Lori on August 6, 2012 at 10:48am

Thanks, Karen. I don't remember laughing so much after reading a post...and way to go with the visors and I love the apron with the fire truck. I will be smiling all day when I think of your weekend. Perhaps I laugh because it sounds like me.

Comment by Carol Johnson on August 6, 2012 at 9:20am

Please, Please, Please take a photo of you and your truck!  I am a vintage FORD pick-up truck enthusiast and love the nostalgia of it all!  Can't wait to see your baby...have you named it?  CAROL in China (on a FORD assignment with my dh!)


Comment by Sherry Pell on August 6, 2012 at 9:14am

wow what a beautiful idea. I have an embroidery machine and I am going to make a similar flap. thanks for sherring. you are a sweet lady.

Comment by EDITH on August 6, 2012 at 9:02am

Oh, I wish you would cover my visors for me!  I was thinking of using tiger-striped duct tape but i think your covers would look a little more suitable for a senior citizen (LOL)! 

Comment by Jill Dewar on August 6, 2012 at 8:38am

good for you  - everything worked out because you stuck to it!

Comment by Susan Campbell on August 6, 2012 at 8:26am

Spiffy!  I think it's cool that you have an old Chevy truck.  I miss having a truck.


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