I now have a mini bin to sit on the corner of my work bench, in which to drop all those snips and threads, and it only took half an hour to complete start to finish.
My Dearest often complains about stray threads on the carpet, and I have to admit that when sewing I tend to put threads in a little heap on the nearest surface meaning to sweep them into the bin later. My threads and fabric trimmings have a tendency to creep and float, catch a lift on clothes and end up anywhere but where I put them. I’ve been meaning to find a suitable bin to put wherever I sit to sew and recently came up with a solution.
This is something I think a saw in a magazine years ago, long before Pinterest , maybe even before I had a PC, I have no idea who to credit with the original idea.
I recently emptied this container for in-wash stain remover, but it could just as easily have contained mini flapjack or millionaire’s shortbread. I rubbed the surface over with a wire scouring pad to roughen the surface, and spread the surface with PVA glue, using a finger.
Then I used fabric scraps cut with pinking shears which have been sitting in a drawer for years since mail order fabric buying relied on receiving actual samples through the post to choose from rather than choosing from virtual reality fabric in on line shops. I stuck each scrap on, slightly overlapping the one before, dabbing a little glue on the dry edge of the previous scrap to make sure the overlap stuck.
I now have a mini bin to sit on the corner of my work bench, in which to drop all those snips and threads, and it only took half an hour to complete start to finish, though probably years in the incubation of the thought.
I unpicked this sorry excuse, restitched the letterbox opening, unpicked his wobbly stitches, snipped the corners, turned it out, and top stitched round the opening with a decorative stitch.
At the end of the summer term the 12 year old brought home his textiles project to be “finished”; not that he had any intention of finishing it himself; if I hadn’t emptied out his school bag it would have been slid surreptitiously into the bin when no-one was looking. What a pig’s ear, supposedly a peg bag, if I had been his teacher I would have been ashamed to let that out of the class room. Two pieces of fabric right sides together and stitched round a letterbox opening then turned out without snipping the corners, so there’s no way it would ever lie flat to be top-stitched. Consequently the top-stitching was a mess.
Then he’d corrected some stitching after putting the back on, stitching through all three layers, goodness knows how one would get the pegs in, or out again. It had lain in a sorry heap on the kitchen counter since I found it, not wanting to throw it out and yet despairing of ever getting him to complete the task.
On Saturday he had a friend over; in half an hour of ‘idle moment’ while waiting for his friend’s mum to arrive to collect him, and before dashing out to buy shoes, I unpicked this sorry excuse, restitched the letterbox opening, unpicked his wobbly stitches, snipped the corners, turned it out, and top stitched round the opening with a decorative stitch.
On returning home with shoes, (success, managed to get a 12 year old boy to town, shoes tried on and said shoes bought, admittedly identical to the last pair just a size larger, without recourse to begging or promising fast food as an inducement), I added another decorative border and stitched the back on. The hanger needs to be wrapped with ribbon to make it look nice but, it might make a suitable gift from a small boy to an aged relative, and Christmas is coming.
I suggested he take it to show his teacher, that idea did not go down well, maybe I’ll just e-mail her the link to my site, or maybe not.
The red diagonal stripe is appliquéd onto the white, the rest of the pattern is pieced.
Another year, another challenge, as a long-standing member of my quilting group I do try to rise to the annual challenge, but a couple of years ago I was stuck for an idea, we had to use flowery fabric, and I didn’t have much time, so what to make? Thumbing through magazines looking for inspiration I came across several Union flag cushions, I’d also seen them in fancy interiors shops, I’d picked up and put down with a gasp examples at exorbitant prices. Then I saw in a magazine, a pastel shaded version, in pretty Liberty prints, and knew that I could produce something similar at a fraction of the cost.
In my stash was the red and cream, both Liberty fabric scraps, and the navy, a 1980’s Laura Ashley dress, My sister reminds me again we had one each of these too, and when she’d worn hers out I gave her mine, which clearly didn’t get worn out before it was retired to my fabric stash. I can’t find a picture of the dress but I guess if you were around in the 80’s you’d remember those dresses, huge mutton leg sleeves, drop waist, voluminous skirts,( think a newly married Princess Diana). Needless to say….. There is enough left to make something else as well, and I already have an idea.
So where to find a pattern? I could have spent hours searching the internet for a pattern but fortunately and coincidentally on Armed Forces Day there was a pull out supplement in the newspaper; an advert on the back page pictured half a union flag which was just the right size, so I traced and reversed it to create a sectional pattern to work from. The red diagonal stripe is appliquéd onto the white, the rest of the pattern is pieced.
Union flags II
Just before Christmas 2011 my stepdaughter asked me to help her make a gift for a friend who loves the Union Jack; she wanted me to help her make a cushion like mine.
Happy to encourage creativity in others I was pleased to assist, this time we bought fabrics, and I amended my technique to simplify the pattern, using more appliqué rather than piecing. The diagonals are all appliquéd on this cushion. The white fabric was lined to prevent the blue showing through.
We were very pleased with the result; I hope her friend was too.