Envelope Project

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Fun

What a productive day . . . in the pool swimming laps by 6 a.m.  Finished 32 laps, went home, rode 10 miles on the bike.  Finally I was ready for my "fun" time.  I'm having a problem getting the pictures published correctly, but my inspiration for this envelope was the book shown below "Good Mail Day" by Jennie Hinchcliff and Carolee Gilligan Wheeler.  I took their idea about envelopes and transformed some fabric scraps into a very nice one.  It could also double as a clutch, but I may actually try sending this one in the mail.

Here is the fabric piece quilted and then shaped into an envelope with the side satin stitched.

The finished project.  I'm thinking about adding a button on the flap and another one on the envelop body with some yarn tied around it to keep it closed.

The free motion quilting.  This was sewn from the backside as I was better able to draw the pattern with less distraction from this side.  The quilting is through all 3 layers and then satin stitched around the edges.

As soon as tax season is over I must get busy with my sketchbook project.  Here is an unfinished drawing I did in my journal sketchbook.  So far it is just pencil, but I will be adding color and words.

This is my latest project I started this evening.  I am making a postcard (I know, it's rather large right now so we'll see how it ends up).  The middle space will be painted and then rubber stamped or drawn on.  I'm just winging it as I go along.

This was my reading for the day which got me inspired to do my scrap weaved envelope.  All in all it was a very busy and successful day!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

More Scrappiness

Today's Saturday and I spent it at work.  We're closing in on our tax filing deadlines so the big push is on.  So far this year has not been too stressful.  Perhaps it's all the running and swimming I'm doing that is keeping me sane.  I ran 4 miles this morning before I headed off to the office.  Yay me!

So, after a long day at work (of which I spent some time dreaming of all things creative) I found myself with 40 minutes to spare tonight and I decided to have another go at the weaving.  It's fast, it's fun and it's enjoyable.  There's no matching, no cutting, just weaving.  I'm loving it!  Earlier in the week I made myself a little coaster that I now use at work.  It gives me joy to see it sitting on my desk.  Anyhoo, tomorrow is mine to do as I please and after a swim and a bike ride, I will be in the sewing room making some magic.  Ain't life great?!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Scrap Happy

My day job keeps me busy; my imagination keeps me sane! So today I wrote on a blue post-it-note "weave scraps in basket & make pot holders, placemats, etc." I was excited to try this idea that was festering in my head. After I got home from work and walked the doggie, this is what I accomplished.

This bowl of scraps sits by my sewing machine and I just keep adding to it with each project. I randomly pulled scraps out of the basket and did an over/under weave.

I then did some trimming to get rid of the uneven ends.

Next I got out the spray adhesive and lightly sprayed a cotton backing. (I think the adhesive was unnecessary and I only used it because I have it!!)

Next I ironed the weave to the backing. (This is not really a backing; it's more of a stabilizing item since the strips are loose at this point. The ironing would probably have not been necessary if I wasn't lazy at the beginning and had ironed the strips before I started!)

I then took the piece to the sewing machine and used a decorative stitch to stitch the strips together.

Since I was experimenting, I decided that a potholder would be the perfect size to work with. (I'm totally aware of the bad grammar in this sentence!!)

Once the decorative stitches were added I trimmed the piece to 9" x 9". I also cut a 9" x 9" piece of the fire retardant batting. I added both of these to a scrap piece of backing material. At this point, I did not cut the backing to the same size. Instead I laid the woven piece along with the batting on top of the backing and basted the three pieces together a little less than 1/4" from the edge. Once it was basted, I trimmed the entire piece to 9" x 9".

I found a scrap of fabric and cut 2 1/4" binding. (The scrap was not wide enough to cut 2 1/2" binding which would have been my preference.) I also cut another scrap of fabric for the hangar. Again I was lazy with this part and did not iron the fabric. I finger pressed both sides to the middle and then stitched the edges together. I then sewed it in the middle of one of the sides. Be sure to lay it toward the center so that the opening does not get caught in the binding. Sew binding on. I hand stitched the binding down on the back side. Then I went back to the sewing machine and did another decorative stitch to secure the binding. I sewed from the front of the potholder for this.

Although the potholder is complete at this stage, I decided that I wanted to do some free motion quilting to finish it off.

This is the backside showing the design.
So, there you have it. An idea was born at work today and once I started on it, the finished project took less than 3 hours and included hand stitching. Not bad. Although the fabrics did not look great together in the beginning, I think they turned out beautifully. I've now got my sights set on doing a quilt like this. I really like the way it turned out. Next up, I'm going to do the wash test and the heat test (of course!!). Just another way to use up some of those pesky scraps!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


This past weekend I decided that the Summertime Refreshment quilt needed "more". It wasn't quite large enough yet so I started adding borders. This is the finished product that is ready for the longarm.

And since I had a pile of scrap fabrics that needed to be put away, I decided I would throw together another scrap quilt. I'm not sure if this one is completed yet or not. I'm thinking baby quilt size so I'll look at the size of the batting for a baby quilt and I'll make the size accordingly.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summertime Refreshments

I'm on a mission to reduce my quite large stash of fabric. (Trust me, it's going to take awhile to get it to a manageable amount.) This is a pillowcase dress that I designed to use up a teensy-weensy bit of the fabric.

This is the bottom half of the dress. The color in the top picture is the correct coloring. Since I haven't been able to figure out my very expensive Bernina serger yet, I put French seams in this little dress and the armholes and hem are bound like you would a quilt. It's a very cute little dress.

I liked the colors of the little pillowcase dress so much that I decided to make a coordinating quilt to go with it. Here is a picture of the chain sewing portion of the project.

Pinwheels laid out on the design wall. Looks refreshing, huh?!

The pinwheels are all sewn together, but I am going to add at least one border to make it a nice sized lap quilt. I think I will earmark this and the little dress for one of my great nieces that I have only seen pictures of. I think that she will like it. I have no idea if the dress will fit, but it's the thought that counts, right?

And so the journey to reduce my stash has begun. (Not sure if you remember my stash, but it is several thousand yards of fabric purchased from a store that went out of business.) What will it be next week . . . more dresses or another quilt?? I'm hoping to get inspiration from this sewing creativity so I can take the plunge and get started on the Sketchbook. Right now, I'm just mulling all of the million ideas over in my head and eventually I will turn it into a concrete thesis and start banging out the pages! That's the plan anyway.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Heading North

The latest baby quilt is on its way north to Wichita today. I like the way it turned out. It's very soft and I think once it has a few washings under its belt, it will really soften up. Now it's time to concentrate on the Sketchbook.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Baby Quilt

The latest baby quilt is completed. It was longarmed on Friday and the binding was attached on Saturday. Today the binding was handsewn to the backside. Tomorrow I have to repair a couple of places where the stitches caught on the back. The repairs will be done on the Bernina. On Tuesday my niece and her husband will take it back to Wichita to give to my latest grand nephew who was born two weeks ago. What's next?? Hmmm . . .