Wednesday, July 15, 2009

what I'm up to


Currently I'm in the middle of another creative crisis. Sometimes the idea for a project just comes to me in such a clear way that all I have to do is pluck the vision from my head and make it reality. I love those times.

This is not one of those times. I'm making a messenger bag for my sister Lori, and can't nail down a flap design I like. All I know is I wanted to try a strip pieced flap this time using some charm squares I have. That's where the vision gets cloudy. After a couple hours of sketching and perusing books and flickr, I've decided to just wing it and see if I like it, and if I don't I'll trash it and start over again.


I was attracted by the look of this stacked coin quilt in my Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts book, so now I'm trying a crooked version of the stacked coins for the bag flap. Sewing the random angles together is kinda fun. I'm just not sure yet how all that is going to come together on the flap.

I'm also trying to put together a sundress for my daughter, but that is stalled where it is because I saw all the gathering I'd have to do and was overcome with a wave of apathy. As an antidote, I ordered a gathering foot to try that out on my sewing machine. While I was at it, I ordered a ruffler for it too, so I'm excited to try that out. I've seen one on a friend's machine and I have to say I was struck with immediate ruffler envy. So when those new toys arrive, I'll be finishing that project.

Stay tuned.

12 comments:

  1. Love the colors in your stacked coin quilt...makes me want to start one of my own. Just what I need!

    Make sure to post a photo of the finished messenger bag. I bet it will be great!

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  2. I love the colors you are using for the bag - hope you are happy with the final design. I know what you mean about the picture in your head, I love it when I have a clear one, and hate the feeling of wandering aimlessly through a project.

    The dress will be so cute, but yes, that is a lot of gathering! Have you ever tried gathering by feeding cordonet through that little hole at the base of your presser foot and using a zigzag stitch over it? Then you just pull the cordonet to gather. It pulls so much easier than gathering stitches and since the cordonet is a stronger thread you don't have to worry about it popping. I do my stitching just inside the seamline so it is easy to pull out or serge over.
    Ann

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  3. sewmuchfun4...dude. that sounds like a good idea. What in the world is cordonet? like string? I guess I could look that up, huh? :-)

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  4. My comment is a little like sewmuchfun4 's
    I was ordering a walking foot and discussing other things with the sales lady. I asked the difference between a ruffler and a gatherer and she said there was little difference and that I didn't need either. She recommended I get macrame thread (not cord which is thicker) lay it down and make a long, wide zigzag stitch over it. Since this meant a loss of a sale (each foot was in the $50 range for my machine) and they didn't even sell macrame thread, I felt it was wise advice. It worked wonderfully. It's finished like cotton twine but only slightly thicker than embroidery floss. I happened to find it in Wal-Mart while looking for something else.

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  5. Sarah, I'm going to have to try that method. At the risk of sounding vastly whiny, not to mention lazy, I also hate the part where you have to make all the gathering even all the way around. That is sooo time consuming for me. Hence the big appeal of a foot that will do that for me. Also, the grand total of both kinds of attachments for my low-cost brand of machine was only $40, so I thought I'd risk it.

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  6. Larissa,
    I use metler metrosene plus cordonnet. I think Joanns has it. I may have picked mine up at the Bernina store. I use it for gathering although it is good for other things as well. I first used it years ago to gather a dust ruffle and became a believer.
    Ann

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  7. One last thing, and it is SOOOO IMPORTANT!

    I still baste my gathering to whatever I am adding it to with a sewing machine even if I plan to serge, because it is easier to arrange the gathers and if you don't, the zigzaging and gathers will unravel because of the serger blade. I like to serge after so all the zigzags and cordonnet gets lopped off or covered up. I do not like picking out stitches!
    Ann

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  8. I love the colours for your messenger bag

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  9. Hello again!
    I HAD to escape to Joann's tonight and took a look at thread while I was there. They carry Guitterman and I think the equivalent to the kind I use is the Heavy Duty/Top Stitch thread.
    OK, no more stalking for tonight!
    Ann

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  10. Ann -- thanks for all the great info! you will never wear out your welcome, don't worry. :-)

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  11. Gorgeous fabrics! It makes me want to get back to sewing...if only the couch weren't so darn comfy.

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  12. Your patchwork is divine! (And I love the bibs and burb cloths in your other post - that fabric is perfect for a little boy....

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