Sunday, March 1, 2015

Granny Square Block

Last week, Pam at Mad About Patchwork, showed the ladies of the church quilting circle how to make a Granny Square block.

I made a block from my scraps, before I forgot, and took pictures. In case you would like to make one, or a bunch, here is a guide.

Pam used 2 1/2 strips from a roll of precuts. I have been trying to remember to cut my scraps, after the completion of a project, into 2 1/2" strips, so I used some stripes from my bin.

First I cut 2 1/2" squares.

You need 1 in the first colour, 4 in the second colour, 8 in the third colour, and twelve in the fourth colour. You also need 16 - 2 1/2" by 3 1/2" rectangles, in your background colour. Mine is a pale yellow batik.

You start laying the block out, with the single square in the middle and build out from there. I forgot to take a picture of that step. (oops)

Next you sew them together in rows.
You leave the background rectangles off the middle strip.

Now you sew the rows together, matching the seam as you go along. I sewed the top 3 rows together, then the bottom three rows.
It is much easier to get everything to match if you don't press the seams until after everything is sewn. See how nicely they match.

Sew the last 2 seams and press. Now you need to trim the edges of the 3 middle rows so they all line up.

Now sew the last 4 blocks, centred on the outer edges.
A final press, and you are ready to trim. Did I mention that the block is en pointe?

The block squares to 12 1/2".

As a group block, it is great, because everyone can finish their blocks to just before it is squared up, and one person can square them, ensuring they are all the same size. Since the coloured squares are more than 1/4" from the edge, it isn't necessary to match points when you sew the blocks together.

I discovered an interesting thing, when I was sewing the block. I am sure that I don't normally sew with green, it isn't one of my favourite colours. However, all these squares came from my scrap bin, and only the centre block is purple.

I think this block is destined to be an orphan, since I don't have any more of that yellow. However, it is so pretty, I'll have to find a use for it. Tote bag, maybe.







Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Finish

I FINISHED the clutch wallet.





I need to work on the zipper pocket, for another one, but I am happy enough with this one.

Most of the fabric came from Mad About Patchwork. I went to visit Pam yesterday. She says she doesn't have those fabrics anymore, but I am sure you can find equally lovely fabrics to make the clutch. She also had the stabilizers I needed, to give it a really professional look.

I saw a definite sign that spring is on the way.  The temperatures here are still frigid, and today it is snowing again, but I saw this at the grocery store.

How can spring be far away, when the Peeps appear in the stores! These ones followed me home.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

DaGMT 2015 - Day 17

I must admit, throwing myself into my sewing room everyday to sew, is making progress in my project.

Today I made the zippered pocket and attached the card pockets to the base of the clutch.





The side flaps are stitched to the card pockets, so I needed to prop them open to show you.

The zipper pocket is sewn and ready to be attached. I need to do some marking for the stitch lines, first.


I can now see what the finished clutch will look like. I have fabric left over, so I think I will need a matching passport case.

I have found some tools to be essential in getting a good result.

My two basics, Wonder Clips, and my trusty ripper, Jack, have been an important part of this process. The clips hold thick pieces firmly together, so nothing slips. I am sure you know what the ripper is for. I also made liberal use of double sided tape, to hold things in place while I sew.

I think if I spend about one more hour on this, I will have it finished.



Monday, February 16, 2015

DaGMT 2015 - Day 16

I made the card holder pockets for my clutch wallet, today. It is amazing how long these things can take.





It looks like the picture in the pattern, so that is a good thing.

The text fabric is strings of nonsense.




I thought it would make the inside of the wallet interesting, without being overly busy.

And speaking of nonsense, Amazon sent me some craft books they thought I would be interested in.

If you enlarge the picture you will see that the third book down is Advances in Equine Respiratory Surgery. That wasn't a hobby I was planning on trying.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

DaGMT 2015 - Day 15 and Flag Day

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Maple Leaf flag. There has been a movement for awhile to make Feb. 15, a national holiday, but so far, it is celebrated in some provinces as "Family Day". Since it is -20C with a stiff breeze today, I imagine there will be a lot of families hiding in their houses.

I feel like there should be snow in that picture.

Meanwhile, I have been busy in my sewing room. I am working on the Necessary Clutch from Emmaline Bags.

There are a lot of steps, and I am trying to manage one per day. Yesterday, I made the flap.
The fabric is dark purple and the lighting isn't very good. The tough part of this is the turn lock. I am not sure I have it perfectly straight, but I guess I can live with it.

Today, I worked on the body. If you look at the fish in the middle at the bottom, you can see the turn part of the lock.

The sun was out and I adjusted the colour a bit, so you could see the purple. I used an old trick from garment sewing and trimmed the seam allowances with my pinking shears. It turned beautifully and is much easier than clipping the curves.

Here is the lining. It is a soft mauve, another word for purple.
Next up, making the pockets.

Gaston has the right idea on a cold day.

I needed to shade his face, so it could be seen in the bright sunlight. Right after I took the picture he gave me a look that said"Get out of My Sunbeam!"






Friday, February 13, 2015

DaGMT 2015 - Day 13

Or Day 4 in my case, since I got lost in the snow for a few days.

I actually got back to my sewing room yesterday.

I spent some time fusing the interfacing onto the pieces for the clutch purse I am making. How can you lose a  1.5" square of Peltex. I am sure I had it on the table, I know I had it when I started. However, when I went to fuse it to the fabric, it was gone. I am sure it will turn up, as soon as I finish the bag.

Meanwhile, I spent some more time on my cat treat bag. I went back to that, today and now it is FINISHED!





I must admit, it was way more work than I thought it would be.  I used scraps of binding, I found when doing some tidying, which saved a bit of effort.

It is far from perfect. The plastic packages are not nearly as flexible as fabric is. However, it is fun and funky and I think it works as a lunch bag.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Blast of Winter and Blast From the Past

My 20 minute sewing commitment got a bit waylaid by the fact that my partner in all things went away for a week, and left me with the pets, the house and the snow. While we had not had a very snowy winter, with many of the major storms going south of us, the day after he left, the skies opened, and it snowed every day he was gone.

I doubt that I will be sitting out in the garden for awhile.

I did do some planning. I was looking for ideas for Grandma Coco's pincushion challenge, and I came across this pattern:

I realized that I had already done a project like that.

Mine was a Cub Car for my Venturer groups leader challenge at the Cub Car Rally.  Canadian Scouts build these in the winter, when outdoor activities are somewhat restricted. I decided to make a Venturer Van, since I was the Venturer Adviser.

It has a wooden base, to hold the wheels.
You can see the graphite on the bottom, a desperate attempt to get it to roll a bit faster. I placed last, in the actual race, but second in the Beauty portion of the competition. I have a ribbon around, somewhere.

I won't be entering this in the pin cushion challenge, but it is nice to know that great minds think alike.

If you want to enter, see the link in the sidebar.