Gather Your Sew-plies Sew Along Part 2

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Hi! I am finally back at it. I edited this video early last week and have been wanting to write up a post about it ever since. I am editing The Next Book, creating projects that are on the super top secret side, and moving into our apartment. It has been great, and also somewhat crazy, in a roller coaster-ish sort of way. It feels good though. Everything is settling into place and the emotional undercurrents are settling into manageable proportion. Phew.

The next installment of the Gather your Sew-plies!! Sew Along video series will be the most exciting, in my opinion. That is where I will talk about finishing the purse, making spaghetti straps, using the release clasp notion, making a thimble pocket, covering earth magnets with fabric. I love finishing these little purses, it is the best part.

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This is a Gather your Sew-plies purse that I have been embroidering and hand stitching, on-the-go. I find the small format of the Gather you Sew-plies!! purse to be quite a good surface to hand stitch. It isn’t so large that it becomes difficult to complete. I can stuff it into my back pack, (along with a fully kitted out Gather your Sew-plies!! purse, I will talk about what I pack into a purse next week as well) and easily sew wherever I am. That is  my personal goal in making these purses. I want to sew back and forth on the subway, at coffee shops, wherever. So my projects need to be quickly packable. I love working this way.

Last fall I was sewing on the subway on a return trip from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I was one of two people on the subway. A young Hispanic man and myself. He had to see what I was doing. When he caught my eye, he indicated he thought the stitchwork was neat. I told him I like to stitch graffiti. He gave me a thumbs up. It was a very interesting exchange. I love public acts of stitch education. Fiber art education.

Plus, wearing these purses reminds me of Athena, Goddess of the Hunt.

I hope you too might also sew on the go. Do your own form of fiber art, quilt art, fabric art awareness. I want young’uns to come into the creative fold. Sewing on the go is a good way to get the message out.


 

KingFisherMTesta

King Fisher Child

12×12″ Pineboard

2013

I painted this series last year. This photograph does the painting no justice. My iPhone camera is broken, sorry. I will replace it soon. Anyway, apologies aside, This painting is a favorite. There is magic in the drawing and layering, acrylic paint is fun. It pleases me. 


 

I am planning a quilt top challenge using Meadowlak. Please stay tuned and know it is on the radar for a future post. Here is some eye candy in the meantime.

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Gathering, an introspection.

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When sewing on the go, it is necessary to have a project bag. This bag, for me, serves a function. It serves as a place to embroidery reminders, occurrences, important dates, I love a project bag! It should be -just- big enough for a project, and a few choice supplies.

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The Gather your Sew-plies purse ought to contain, a thimble, a small array of hand and embroidery needles, an embroidery scissor, spool of sewing thread-I love Aurifil, each of my Gather your Sew-plies purses are kitted with it. The #12 cotton?? A gorgeous hand sewing and embroidery thread. Capital -L- Like.

And it dyes beautifully!!!

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Ok. Here is a debate that rolls around in my head. I like the Pilot Frixion Ball Erasable Black Gel Ink Pens for their immediacy, and when embroidering words onto cloth, it imparts a realistic look. But. 

Ok, wait.

The Frixion Pen can be ironed, which ‘erases’ the original mark.

BUT!!!

With cold, the mark will return. Cold as in, stored for an extended period in color storage or left on a metal tabletop over a few days time. I do not know if washing the item will have an effect in either direction, further study is needed.

But, I am using it in the meantime. It has advantages that I appreciate.

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 More to come on the Gather your Sew-plies Sew-along!!

And expect a Paris romp o photos! The graffiti? Awesome.

My hopes versus my ability.

OK. I am committed to blogging more often than I have in the recent past. I have so many projects I am progressing forward. I love every moment. This is very exciting. But, honestly, I don’t have the ability to work as quickly as I used to. I have a video in process related to the Gather your Sew-plies sew-along but I am unable to complete it. I can’t complain, because I am going to be dress shopping in Paris soon. 

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What I plan to do is ‘sew as I go’, with my Gather your Sew-plies purses in Paris. I will be working a series I am now calling, 1 in 8. I am going to Wordless Post, if you understand my meaning. Photos only. No words. But sewing, every step of the way. Embroidering.

Please join me.

This will be fun.

And in the meantime, keep coming back. I will speak with you through the comment function here on the blog. Check back. I am ready to be more present in our artistic community.

Hi!! It has taken a while!

You should see!

Blogging? I forgot how to use the software!! LOL.

So. It is a welcomed but creaky start.

Talk about chemobrain!!

In the meantime, watch this video featuring Gail Chovan:

 

Breast Cancer Awareness?

Today begins Breast Cancer Awareness month. 

This is a small work, I am stitching on currently. I am learning needle turn. I am not very good yet, but I bit off a large portion and am getting better at it, as a result. I am moving into our tiny apartment, looking for space solutions that fit our favorite activities and furniture. Now it has come down to specifics. I love space organization, so you might hear the glee in my voice as I type these words.

Anyway. Breast cancer awareness.

You may know that there is a challenge out there, in the ethers…

A Quilting Arts Readers Challenge, to be exact.  

I am going to begin a discussion on Going Flat. Much of my discussion will revolve around creating breast pockets and embroidering these small feminine works, as you see above. I hope you will join me, in discussion within the comments section of each post (check back, OK?)

OR join me in a Gather your Sew-plies, Sew a-Long!

Or both.

Please help me get back in the swing of blogging and investing in my virtual community, you! 

Let the Sew-along begin.

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Above you see a quilt sandwich, a scissor pocket and two tabs which will hold the strap in place. We will be making a quilt sandwich that is big enough to cut all of these pieces, in addition to a thimble pocket.

The pattern in Quilting Arts Holiday magazine states to cut your quilt sandwich to 6″ wide. I have made many of these purses, some that start with a quilted sandwich, some that don’t. I find that the batting in the quilted Gather your Sewplies!! purses takes up a bit of ‘room’. You may want to use flannel rather than batting for this reason-or choose to forgo batting altogether.

If you choose to use batting, I would suggest adding a half inch to the width of the pattern.

This week, your task is to piece, batt, back, baste and machine quilt a quiltlet utilizing the information I have presented in this post. 

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Here you see the start of my mini quilt. I have not added batting yet. The striped rose pattern peeking out will be the backing of this mini quilt. I have placed a rose print at what will become the center front of the purse and have used a pink floral print at the bottom of the quiltlet, this will become the flap that will securely close the purse. 

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SEW! 

I made the executive decision to forego batting in this version of the purse. What you see here is the purse body, where I brought some of the 1940’s vintage stripe to the front of the quilt sandwich. This sandwich consists of the backing, the top and several rows of machine stitching using free rayon embroidery thread. To the right are two tabs to hold the strapping, which is also pictured. The additional piece of vine fabric will be used for a zipper pocket.

This week your task is to make a quilt sandwich, a top, batting and a back, or follow my lead an create some made cloth. Next week, we will make the spaghetti straps, place the tabs, fold the pattern properly and sew it closed. Stay tuned.


 

A reminder: Here is a link to the magazine, if you don’t have a copy already. I will reference the magazine article throughout this sew-along, though I cannot post the pattern or send you a copy. You must purchase the magazine in order to sew-along with us.

Here are links to previous blog posts related to the sew-along:

The announcement

The tools you may need

Please excuse my camera and color issues. I have been away from blogging for so long that I need to catch up with myself and the technology. 

Gather your Sew-plies!! sew-along.

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I am so happy that there has been interest shown in having a Gather your Sew-plies!! sew-along. I love making and using these little purses. I find them to be incredibly useful. 

To tell you the back story, if you own a copy of Inspired to Quilt  you will find a pattern for a sewing holster. For years, I used a sewing holster, which is a finished strip of quilted fabric with pockets that could be draped around the neck. The sewing holster worked, but presented problems. If the objects stored in the pockets were not balanced, the holster would pull heavily to one side. When getting up and down, I would need to hold the holster in place. You get the idea. A few years back, I decided to work on the pattern and see if I could correct the imbalances. 

The Gather your Sew-plies purse was born. At first, this purse had several pieces, the main pouch, a scissor pocket, a thimble pocket, a flap closure, a strap tab and strap. When I started thinking about making a pattern for Quilting Arts Gifts, I decided to simplify the purse as much as possible. The Quilting Arts Holiday version of the pattern works almost like the plastic sandwich bags that have a flip top closure. This turns out to be quite sturdy manner to close the bag, leaving no open areas where your trusty sewing thimble might otherwise escape. I removed the thimble pocket entirely, though during the sew-along, I will go through the steps you need to create one. 

One of the things I like about the old pattern with the flap closure was the fact that I began covering earth magnets with cloth in order to securely close the flap closure. That is a dandy method of closure and I will talk about that during the sew-along as well.

I have come to think of my varied collection of Gather your Sew-plies purses as an art collection! I hope one day to have 30 of these bags, because it is nice to make one, but when you make 30, it definitely becomes Art. Or at least a showing of obsessive compulsive glee. I don’t know which. 

So, let’s get started. First, you will need a copy of the magazine, please use this link if you intend to purchase a copy. Using that link will help Quilting Arts track how many copies are sold through my web site. I do not make money from this. As the pattern is copyrighted, I cannot post or email a copy of the pattern to you. I can expand upon what has been published in the magazine, which is what I intend to do during the sew-along. 

Beside the magazine itself, you may need a 3/8th inch 3/8″ release clasp buckle, I have come to love these buckles, they pleasingly clip and pop open. I bought many of them, because I apparently need at least 30 of these purses. But. I must say, finding a notion or solution to finishing your purse without this buckle will be a worthy adventure. I am sure we can find some interesting ways to enable you not to purchase the release clasps, if you do not want to purchase them.

Another notion you will need is a Loop Turner . That link shows the loop turner that I use. I am not ‘married’ to this loop turner and if you know of another turner that might work better than this one, I would like to know about it. The thing that holds me back from unequivocal love is the fact that we will need upwards of 70″ of spaghetti strapping to make the straps for this purse. 70″ of bias tubing does not fit on this loop turner, so I make my loops in two pieces and join them after turning them. So post a comment if you have a better tool for the task.

Beside the above items, I bet you have all of the necessary fabrics and notions to make the purse. Because some of you may need to purchase a few items, I think we might start this along in a few weeks time. I am working on the posts related to the -along right now. I will let you know just how I plan to present the info quite soon. I am thinking several posts over the course of a week might do it, though weekly posts might be nice too. Your thoughts?

Leave some comments and help me get back into the swing of blogging! Please?

Gather your Sew-plies, Quilting Arts Holiday edition.

I am happy to have published in the Quilting Arts Holiday gifts issue, which showcases my Gather your Sew-plies purse. 

 This sewing purse is the Bee Knees, if you ask me. These purses were designed with movement in mind. The bag itself embraces a reverse pack pack styling, so, it sits at the front of your body, safe and secure, as you move around your sewing studio.

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The pattern in Quilting Arts Holiday has directions for a scissor pocket, though you need not stop there! As you can see, I have also included a tiny pocket to hold my thimble.  

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Sometimes the purses themselves become a canvas on which to stitch and embroider.

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And sometimes I include fancy bits of fabric in the lining. I have also been known to clip rounded bits of plastic from milk bottles and juice containers to tuck into the scissor pocket-which protects the fabric from being punctured by my embroidery scissors.

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See? You can even swing while ready to sew. 

All in all, I can’t live without these little functional bits of beauty. So far, I have made about 15 of these purses, each has thread, embroidery floss, some Thread Heaven  (An Amazon link, I LOVE Thread Heaven as a thread ‘conditioner’), and the pattern has evolved over time. Sometimes I make them with flaps as you see in the above photos, sometimes I make them with a fold of fabric that flips over and closes the purse (this is the pattern that Quilting Arts Holiday has published). I also like to thread string through the bias straps, which strengthens them.

I would love to have a Gather your Sew-plies sew along if you are interested!?? Please post a comment below and tell me know if you would like to do this. You will need to purchase the magazine to access the pattern, but I have many additional ideas and notions that will make this quite the fun sew-along. 

Check out these other posts on the blog hop too!

Friday, September 12, Vivika Hansen DeNegre, http://quiltingdaily.com/

Saturday, September 13, Lyric Kinard, http://lyrickinard.com/blog/

Sunday, September 14, Claude Larson, http://randomactsofpiece.blogspot.com/

Monday, September 15, Linda McLaughlin, http://notesfromstudiob.blogspot.com/ 

and Kathy Kerstetter, http://artndl.blogspot.com

Tuesday, September 16, Lori Miller, http://lorimillerdesigns.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, September 17, Melanie Testa, http://melanietesta.com/blog/,

and Liz Kettle, http://www.textileevolution.com/index.php/our-journey

Thursday, September 18, Susan Brubaker Knapp, http://wwwbluemoonriver.blogspot.com/

Friday, September 19, Lisa Chin, http://somethingcleveraboutnothing.blogspot.com/

Saturday, September 20, Sarah Ann Smith, http://www.sarahannsmith.com/weblog

Sunday, September 21, Catherine Redford, http://catherineredford.com/

 

 

Artist+Clothing=Adorn?

Gather your Sew-plies!! Purse

So here is the story.

I have been quiet on the home front of cancer. I don’t know how to frame a discussion about my experience last year, all I know is I am just beginning to land and unwind, and integrate what I have learned from being ill. But at the same time I think it is important for me to be plain with you as well as myself. Perhaps you have already noticed but I chose not to ‘reconstruct’ my body. I think having a body, healing and moving into life after cancer is enough. I am still all woman. I am just a flat chested woman.

I am being up front about this because I am exploring clothing as a form of artistic expression. This is a creative theme that I need and want  to explore, both metaphorically and physically.

Clothing my body has become an adventure. I am an artist, I have always wanted to dress ‘singularly’, uniquely. And what better way to explore artistic, healing and integrative themes about the body than to adorn myself. 

I have fallen in love with the word, Adorn. 

Adornment. 

 Suggestions? Anyone? 

for Gather your Sew-plies Purse.

This purse recipe is a lot of fun, it is a sewing/fashion accessory. Big and bold when paired with a white shirt and skinny denim jacket. I purposely made this purse in such a way that I could continue to work on it until I had perfected the design. Do you know Cat Bordhi? She is a sock knitter and a creative thinker. She wrote a book about starting the sock… ‘from the middle’. And this got me thinking. What would happen if you started a project in the middle rather than tucking in all the loose ends at the get go? So this little purse is being completed as I go. I started in the middle. Will you make one too? I would love to see how you proceed alongside me. Mini Sew Along?

I am making an add-on pattern for the Gather Your Sew-plies pattern…A thimble Cinch Sack! More on this later.

Sew Along, Podcast and fun.

 

Female Magazine Blouse

 

I have been having so much fun sewing. A few of you have said you would join me in a Sew Along. I have been looking for non-Japanese and FREE patterns. 

Dixie DIY is a GREAT web site and she has several patterns to download. Here is the link to the free Nano Iro (Japanese) patterns I mentioned before. Check out this cool, pretty tank style blouse called Sorbetto. And if you feel you need your tank top to have sleeves (huh?), here is the additional sleeve pattern for that blouse. Look at what other people have done in making this blouse. And if you want to go all out and buy a pattern, buy it. I want to choose something simple and I want to surface design some aspect of it because that is my thing. Choose what works for you and lets have some fun.

Ricë and I recorded a podcast on clothing and garments. I think it is a lot of FUN!

Comment and let me know if you are up for a sew along!

Almost every pattern

A few of you have said you would like to have a sew along, well? I think I have found a book (for myself). Remember you can sew anything you want along with us. If you want to tackle a Japanese Pattern, I bet it will be easier in a group, we could help each other decipher the directions. Cheryl, RooBeeDoo and Jeannie? Are you still in? It is fine to back out, no worries.

Me and my gal went into the city and bumbled around the Fashion District. I have never been to Mood, and oh, no. Yes. See? I just want at the knits and linen floor again. This pattern book has several pieces I would like to make and I see surface design possibilities everywhere. I wish I could read enough to figure out the publishers web site or find the authors blog.

And don’t forget to take my survey and enter your name to win a signed copy of my book.

I wonder what it would be like to go to the fashion district with the camcorder…