Monday, 30 April 2012

Zakka Pencil Case - Week 5

The Zakka Style Sew Along for this week was a fabric pencil case.  But I am at that age where I need reading glasses more than I need pencils so I adjusted the pattern slightly and made it into a padded glasses case.  This project was very quick - it only took one hour to make from start to finish and, as you can see, I have continued with the country style: 
In fact this project was so quick I am thinking of making one to co-ordinate with my bedroom decor (turquoise) and another for my desk at work.  This country check case I will use for the reading glasses that I keep in the lounge.

I altered the instructions by making the case shorter by 3/4" and I replaced the fusible interfacing with lightweight wadding to provide added protection for the glasses.   The finished size is 6" x 2.5" - plenty of room for my reading specs.   I loved the way the project came together so quickly.  The only thing I would do differently next time is to leave a larger gap for turning the item inside out after stitching - I only left 1" and it was extremely difficult. 

I am currently finishing off two Zakka sewing kits from last week for a friend and my sister - one in a jade colourway and the other in autumn hues.   I will post pictures once they are finished.

The quilting group on Wednesday was a great success - a lovely set of quilters with so much skill.  I shall be going back every other Wednesday.  I wasn't really sure what to take so I took my design book and worked on a pattern for a summer table topper/runner.  I may create a PDF pattern for it once I see how well it goes together but at the moment I am loving the fabrics and the patchwork.  I will post a picture of my progress another day.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Zakka Sewing Kit - Week 4

Wow, this is an excellent SAL (stitching speak for Sew Along).  The finished item is really lovely and very handy.   It measures 7" x 5" when closed which is large enough for all the travel supplies but not too big to pop into my handbag.
As you can see it is a travel kit with its own little pincushion.  I made two deviations from the pattern - firstly I used an elasticated loop instead of leather ties and secondly, on the front I appliqued two small hearts and added a patchwork strip whereas the book used a stamp.
(The linen is actually natural beige, as per the first photo in this blog but for some reason it shows as grey in most of the photos.)

I love to reuse and recycle and the elasticated loop is from a fastening on a posh box of choccies I received at Christmas.  I popped the elastic away for a rainy day and as it is absolutely pouring here today I thought 'why not?'  Hey presto - perfect.  Also the little strip on the front is from a wall quilt I am working on at present - it was only 1.5 inches wide so I halved it lengthwise and top-stitched it in place.  Red and lime green are my favourites colours this year and the strip has both.  Talking of which,  I spent the most time deciding whether to go for a country red style or a modern lime green ensemble.  After endless cups of tea and the odd muffin I went with the red country.  Here is the dilemma I was faced with - do you think I made the right choice?

I am checking out a quilting group this Wednesday evening - for the first time.  First is a word I have used a lot since starting the Zakka Sew Along - it inspired me to post my first blog here, join my first Sew Along, make my first lined, zippered pouch (see Zakka Sew Along in Reverse Order at the side) .... and now I hope to join my first quilting group.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Zakka House Pouch - Zakka Sew Along In Reverse Order

I joined the Zakka Sew Along two weeks too late and missed the first two items (week 1 was a lovely tote bag and week 2 was a little zippered pouch).  Both items look lovely so this afternoon I moved backwards through a sew-along, and completed Week 2 at the end of Week 3!!  Here is the finished zippered house pouch.

This was quite a challenge for me - although I have been quilting and appliqueing for several years I have never made a purse or bag with a lining.  I have also never inserted a zipper or attempted machine applique.  I have always hand appliqued with a rustic blanket stitch as shown on this canvas of mine:

The Zakka Sew Along house pouch has been a good project to attempt these three new skills.  It is small enough that a mistake is not too devastating, tricky enough to be a challenge and quick enough that a spare afternoon is all that is needed.  I am feeling pleased with myself - I love the little pouch.  I don't know what I will put in it yet but I can't help but smile when I look at it. 

So I've completed Week 3 followed by Week 2 on the Zakka Sew Along.  Tomorrow marks the beginning of Week 4 - a handy travel sewing organiser. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Zakka pin cushion - My first 'Sew Along' and my first blog!

I thought I would join in the fun and create some useful household items (known as Zakka). I am two weeks late to the party but decided to jump on board with the Zakka Style Sew Along for week 3. It just so happens that this is the perfect little project to join with - a pincushion that looks like a cushion! This project took me just 30 minutes to construct using scraps and oddments from my 'scrappy' box. I am so pleased with the result.  It is also lovely to be part of the online group.  The Zakka Style Sew Along group are welcoming, friendly and encouraging.  Plus there is the opportunity to win some lovely prizes. Check it out by clicking on the SewAlong button below.

So after just one hour of joining this group I have made myself a cool pincushion, learned how to post a photo of it on Flickr and made some online buddies.  Join me next week to find out how I get on with the week 4 project.