Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Tote and collection of small bags

I haven't been quilting lately.  :: gasp! ::

Instead, I have been working, rather steadily, on sewing a collection of cute little bags and a tote for one of Mr. Pirate's young cousins.

If you look closely at the picture, you'll see
a humbug bag
a tote bag

a "messenger" bag
a drawstring bag
a dumpling bag
a small notebook
a basic zippered bag

all in coordinated colors.

I've made a webpage for this collection and it is there that you will be able to see close-ups of all the items plus LOTS of verbiage and links to all the directions that I used to make them.

I'm not publishing these items on Facebook because the Mom of the young cousin is a "friend" and will see them.  To my knowledge, she doesn't know about nor read this blog.  :-)   I don't want her to be aware of them until I'm done with all the items I intend on sending to them.

But YOU, Dear Reader, *can* read about them and take advantage of the informative links on the webpage.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A new Kitchen Aid stand mixer cover

Our favorite youngest daughter has a stand mixer, the Kitchen Aid K5SS model. I offered to make her a cover for it, to protect it from dust and kitchen grime.   Now, I always have the best of intentions but I will admit that frequently, I don't always follow through in a timely manner. Definitely my bad.

 BUT .. for whatever reason, I got a bee in my bonnet today and made her the aforementioned cover. I used the tutorial and pattern at Heart of Mary blog.

Per the tutorial, it's fully reversible, so Dear Daughter will have two completely different looks to choose from, as the whimsey suits her.  

One side is a red/green/gold Christmas plaid and the other side is a red and white heart print.

I modified it slightly so that there is an external pocket to hold the user manual (which ALWAYS gets lost) and another modification in which I sewed the the seam allowances of both fabrics together (on the inside) so that there are no visible seams on either side AND the "lining" isn't loose and floppy. The bottom was finished with double fold bias tape.

The tutorial is very basic; the author, Corinne, tells you up front that there are very few pictures and the tutorial is mostly text.  If you are a beginning sewer, you may or may not have problems following the directions.  But anyone with some sewing experience will have no trouble at all.

Because there are very large expanses of flat surfaces, I was severely tempted to do some sort of machine embroidery or applique for decoration.  But, I had this brainstorm of an idea rather late in the day and knew that if I did any sort of embellishment at all, I wouldn't get the cover finished by the time she needed to leave in the evening.

As it turned out, the Christmas plaid that she chose and the hearts that I chose were much, much too busy to allow any sort of embellishment.  In the end, the fabrics themselves are the focal point. :-)

I used fusible fleece as an "interfacing" so that there would be suitable stiffness and body to the cover.  I could have also quilted the pieces .. that is an option suggested in the blog's tutorial ... but due to the time constraints, I opted not to do even a minimal amount of quilting.  I don't expect the cover to get washed often and if the fusible becomes "unfused" when it (if ever) does get washed, I can always add some quilting then.
There was one minor miscalculation on my part, for which the solution was barely noticeable.  I had offered to put an external pocket on the cover, so she could store her mixer books there.  She agreed and I proceeded with making the cover.  I was so absorbed with getting the cover done .. I was interrupted by dinner preparations and then dinner itself ... that I absolutely forgot about the pocket until the cover was completed.    In the normal course of events, I would have attached the pocket to the cover when the side seams were being sewn and the bottom of the pocket would have been enclosed by the bias binding.   Now, I was unable to use that preferred technique.

Arrrrrggghhhhh!!!   How really, *really*,  REALLY annoying.

BUT, I also really, *really*, REALLY dislike problems.  I try very hard to find solutions to problems.  And so I did with this problem.  I simply made a patch pocket that went from side seam to side seam and butted up against the bias binding on the bottom.  I hemmed the top with bias binding .. the same that I used to finish the bottom edge ... and folded under the remaining three sides.  Then, I top-stitched those folded edges.  Since the folded edges are RIGHT UP AGAINST the side seams and bias binding, unless you look very closely, you virtually can't tell this is a patch pocket.

I must admit to feeling rather smug.  :-)