Thursday, October 13, 2011

some pretty things

Remember this laptop cover?

in Summer totem, Loulouthi

Well, initially I had the genius idea of making it long enough to hold my battery pack and networking cords too.

Um, no. 

So before the Summit, I trimmed off the bottom (which I'd already stitched closed) and restitched the laptop cover to the proper length.  Since the bottom bit was already interfaced with fleeced and lined, it wanted to become a zip pouch.  Like so.

zip from trimmings

Isn't it cute?  My brain was still in slow-mo yesterday when I added the zipper.  It took me f.o.r.e.v.e.r to remember how to do it.  I think the looooong, padded shape will be cool for holding scissors and crochet hooks.  Score.

messy color

Hello messy colorful space.  So glad to be home!

Playful Patchwork by Koseki

My second pretty thing is taken from the pages of Suzuko Koseki's Playful Patchwork, which is a book full of intricate flower blocks all hand pieced.  Yes, hand pieced only. 

wordy from Fat Quarter Shop

I wanna work on my curves, so I set out to make the charming snowdrop block on the book's cover using one of my new text prints (cream with black letters) stashed from Fat Quarter Shop.  I love them all, but that slanted print on brown called Red Cardinal is my all-around favorite.  I'm thinking to mix it with Miscellany in a patchwork skirt.  Maybe.

adding seam allowance

Anyhoo, the templates in Playful Patchwork do not include seam allowances.  Why?  Why?  WHY?

At The Sewing Summit, Amanda Sasikirana pointed out that I could have used the double pencil trick (where you use a rubberband to attach two pencils - the width of a pencil is 1/4 inch!) to trace the curved seam allowance.  But, I didn't think of that so I only eyeballed it...

cutting curves

and cut the curves with the fabric folded in half so that they would at least be symmetrical.

cool.

I pieced my block at the machine, curves and all.  Without pins.  I really don't know what I'm doing, but pins seemed to just get in the way.  My first snowdrop shape was like pulling teeth.  Liam said he didn't think that was the kind of thing one should sew.  "Too hard," he said.  But when it was finally done I was so happy with the cute, curvy shape that I persevered. 

snowdrop block

And so... ta da!  A finished 10" block, only about 4 hours of work?  (Yes, we're crazy.)  I'm thinking to feature this in a table runner with improv piecing to match my curtains.  Fingers crossed anyways!

28 comments:

  1. Ooh, cute flowers! I have not been very brave when it comes to curves yet, but I will get there. Nice idea with long pouch!

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  2. Your block looks fab though! Definitely worth the effort!

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  3. Love the block! And am definately checking out that book.

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  4. Great block! Must check out that book! Thanks for sharing the process!

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  5. So lovely, Rachel! And what a great book, right? I need to steal it from my mom's shelf again. I've been wanting try that block, too. Maybe you'll see my copy-cat version soon. Well, not too soon if it really takes 4 and a half hours! Haha.

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  6. Pretty! The templates are probably for hand piecing (I've noticed Japanese quilt makers use hand piecing A LOT) -- in that case you trace exactly around the template to get the stitching line and the exact seam allowance isn't important (you just eyeball it) because you just stitch on the line. I suppose that the same stitch-on-the-line technique would work with a machine too. I might have to go and get this book!

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  7. Your block looks great - love all the text prints too!

    I should try some curved piecing too - I usually just applique :)

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  8. Your curved piecing looks beautiful! and I'm loving that you're calling THAT a messy space. I should post pictures of my sewing explosions some day.

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  9. the block looks beautiful Rachel! I love the flower pattern. That's definitely my style. ;)

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  10. Gorgeous block! I was going to answer your question about the lack of seam allowance but would only be saying exactly what Jen has already said!

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  11. You're a brave woman Rachel, those curves look tricky! Very pretty block!

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  12. Fabulous block! I hate that, too, when the seam allowance is not included!

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  13. Clever Girl! Darling pouch! Now whenever I snip something off I will look at it and think, "OK. I'll bet Rachel could make something lovely out of this." And as for your crazy remark, I'll just bet they called Michaelangelo crazy too.

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  14. I coveted your laptop case from the moment I saw it in your original post and nothing has changed there. lol I do love that fabric! If you think your sewing space is messy then I surely wouldn't want you to see mine! Uggghh!!! The new block is gorgeous and it looks like you did a wonderful job. You are braver than I!! Thanks for sharing.....

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  15. I love how your block turned out. It is really pretty and looks fun. I think it would look cool if you turn it into a wall hanging.

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  16. Ooh I really love that block. I've started liking the text prints like those more and more lately. Of course, I blame you quilting bloggers that are showing awesome things like this for that. LOL
    I'm NOT complaining at all though because they are so awesome. Yours is one of my favorites of all I've seen lately.

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  17. i love everything Suzuko Koseki does. such a great flower block!

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  18. Very cute flowers! If I have things without seam allowance, unless it's clothes, I just accept that the final thing will be ever so slightly scaled down (so shoot me lol)

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  19. Love your block! Thanks for sharing the book.

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  20. Very Pretty, Rachel! A runner would be so pretty and that tote on the cover is gorgeous, too! After all that work, it definitely deserves a special place to be and be admired.

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  21. I hate it when simple things take longer than they should..... Like the zipper. I had one of those days today. Maybe sleeping on it will help! Glad you won the pouch battle, it turned out super cute :)

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  22. Cute case and block! Those curves look daunting for sure. The Japanese sewing books don't generally have seam allowances on the patterns either. It's kind of a pain at times, but if does give you a lot of flexibility in terms of what seam allowance works best for you. No more pointless 1.5cm seam allowance ghat just has to be trimmed away!

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  23. Such pretty flowers! Very well done, Rachel!

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  24. i love your block. i also have this book. however have never tried anything yet. it's inspiration only so far!. have you tried any hand piecing?

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  25. Wow, the fabrics you chose for your flowers are so fun! And the text fabric really makes a fabulous background! You're getting good at the curves, friend!!

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  26. love the text fabric. it really makes the flowers sing. perfect curves too! very good work.

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