Inchies

For a while now, I’ve been coveting inchies. Mostly on Pinterest. They’re one of those things that just grabbed me the first time I saw them. I was a bit hesitant because, while I am good at following a pattern, free form creativity isn’t always my thing. In the lull between Christmas and New Year when time seems to stop (well, certainly the obligations do for us), I picked inchies as my project. I had already ordered some Angelina fibres from thethreadstudio.com and pursued the Inchies book  (http://www.amazon.com/Inchies-Create-Miniature-Textiles-Techniques/dp/1844484831) before it had to be returned to the library. I had a whole board of inspiration on Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/electricplum2/inchie-inspiration/)and a couple of saved webpages on using Angelina fibres. So, I felt pretty prepared. 

The first step for me was to determines work process. After re-reading some of the notes I’d taken I came up with this:

1. Make a sketch of my rough design. I wanted to have some ideas about what I was trying to achieve before I started. But if you’re the super creative type, you could just wing it. 

2. Collect supplies. Not surprisingly I was able to work with the supplies I had, since I am a collector of craft supplies. I’d decided to make a Christmas themed Inchie set of 9 that could be framed.

3. Cut out squares of felt – I had to choose my colours and layout first and I used my sizzix big shot to cut out perfect squares. They were slightly larger than an inch, but really, it’s the concept I’m going for here.

4. Iron on stabiliser to the back of felt squares. I used a lightweight stabiliser which was enough to keep the felt squares firm. 

5. Neaten the edges of the squares. I decided to use a variety of methods although a lot of my inspirational pictures on Pinterest used a common method across all the squares. Marching in sewing was my method of choice although many inchies are blanket stitched by hand. 

6. Add fibres. I didn’t want to use fibres on every square and I’m still experimenting with the best look but I had a good play around with them and added them to some of the squares. 

7. Add other embellishments. This is where I added other colours of felt, beads, silk ribbon etc. 

  
8. Check the arrangement. I ended up changing my squares around 3 times until I was happy with the layout. 

  
9. Frame. I haven’t found the perfect frame yet but I’m sure I will soon. 
I love these. I think I’m addicted. I just have to work out how to make something that we have space for on our walls. 

Christmas in July 

Yes, it’s July. And yes, I’ve been making Christmas cards. I know it’s very very early but I do like to be organised and, quite frankly, you really do have to strike while the enthusiasm abounds or you might not get them made at all. Not to mention that I had time this week with one child at home resting after having his tonsils and adenoids removed.  

    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
   

A Messenger Bag

I’m travelling next week and, while we have every possible size of suitcase ever made, most of our carry-on bags are of the “things I need to keep my children entertained and cover every possible contingency on a 14 hour flight” kind. That is not what I need when I am travelling for 5 days, without kids. My husband had already laughed at me because I’m not JUST taking carry-on. But hey, I want to shop, so that means checking in a suitcase.

Anyway, because my everyday bag is of the “small as possible and only able to fit in the essentials” variety, there is no way it can also fit a book, my iPad etc. Naturally, the solution was to make a bag, in just the right size. I’ve been struggling for a while now with the fact that I don’t have a bag that will fit “stuff” in it. Files, folders, a decent sized book … So, this is a solution to those problems.

Naturally, I already had several messenger bags pinned : http://www.pinterest.com/electricplum2/bags/

When I investigated, none of them were quite right. Most were the right style but too small, and many didn’t have the features I wanted. Those features were:

  • size – at least 14″x12″, but probably a bit bigger
  • a snap close for the front flap
  • internal pockets
  • an adjustable strap

So, the bag I made has all of those things, thanks to several tutorials.

My first inspirations was this bag:

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So much so, that I bought fabric in those colours. But the bag was much smaller than I had planned. I did use the method shown in this tutorial for attaching the flap to the bag, since I decided I wanted a patterned flap with a plain bag body.

This tutorial was the right size:

Messengerbagtutorial

So I used the measurements and basic method shown in this tutorial.

I already knew how to do internal pockets thanks to this tutorial:

http://u-handbag.typepad.com/uhandblog/2007/02/zippered_inner_.html

I also really liked the fabric addition to the strap on this tutorial (but unfortunately didn’t have the length of fabric needed to do it this time):

DSC8235-2011-09-03-at-18-01-40-XL

I did use this method l to attach my plain black strap however.

Finally, this one explained how to attach the magnetic snaps:

https://www.noodle-head.com/2013/05/magnetic-snap-tutorial.html

 

So, all together, I managed to cobble together a bag. And I like it. The real test will be using it next week, but until then, it looks pretty and seems functional.

My rough workflow (so I can remember it for next time) was:

– cut out the pieces

– make internal pockets on lining fabric

– make lining into bag shape

– make outside fabric into bag shape

– make flap – remembering to attach snap to flap before completing and also attaching snap to outside of bag

– attach flap to outside of bag

– sew together lining and outside of bag

– topstitch the whole thing

– attach the straps

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A thread catcher

So, in the midst of trying to find matching fabrics for a bigger project, I came across a thread catcher on Pinterest. A thread catcher is hardly essential but it seemed to be a cute little project which I could make immediately, unlike the aforementioned bigger project.

My initial Pin was of this :
(Click image to see blog post)

 

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Unfortunately, there wasn’t a pattern or tutorial and, while I probably could have worked it out, I went hunting and found this :

 

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A quick, easy project that I had all the supplies for. Well, actually, I didn’t have any fusible fleece but I did have iron-on interfacing. I put two layers of medium weight and it’s holding up nicely.

Here’s my version :

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I’m pretty happy with it. I think I made it slightly shorter and wider but I suspect it will be just fine as it is.

Christmas gifts

This year was a very handmade Christmas. I made piles of chocolate bark :

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I made a quilted table runner with redwork Christmas embroidery

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I made several tea towels with embroidery or appliqué on them

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I made this leopard print bag (plus a small makeup pouch and a drawstring bag) for my niece

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