My favorite gift!
I didn’t plan on doing this week’s Zakka Style project but I’m glad that I did because I’m quite happy with how it turned out and will actually use it! There is a BIG incentive to complete this project and to link it up to the sew along – a nice collection of Cosmo Thread by Lecien. I was intrigued by the post by The Patchsmith who said she has threads all over the place from making this. After thinking about it for awhile and reading the directions again, I thought that starting with a large patchwork piece and cutting it into strips on the BIAS might be an answer to the loose threads. So I tried it!
I sewed some strips together, cut them into smaller pieces and then sewed the pieces together in an arrangement that I thought would give me a long run of bias.
I cut bias strips 1 1/4 inch wide from this. No frays on the edges and the front of the stripes looked great. The back, though, had all those seams.
Front of bias strips – beautiful
Back of strips – not so pretty
I joined the strips together using a bias join technique. I thought about stopping here and using the “ribbon” this way.
However, there was so much of it that I decided to go ahead and sew it all together with the wrong sides together using a simple running stitch down each edge. After that, I had only half of the length but no raw edges showing at all!
After looking around for something to be the gift to tie it onto for the photo, a wine bottle seemed perfect. My sewing space is incredibly well “stocked”! Don’t you agree?
Fabric to the right. Wine to the left.
This week’s project from the Zakka Style sew along is an Elephant bookmark. It was designed by Kat Mew. The guest blogger for the sew along is Angela from Cut to Pieces.
An Elephant Never Forgets Bookmark
I used a fabric strip set that was already sewn together. It is hard to tell this in the picture because the batik fabrics are so similar. I put the strip set right side to another piece of batik fabric, put the pattern on top, and sewed around it.
Sewing around the paper pattern
I did not use any interfacing. There were so many comments from others who made this about how hard it was to turn, I just decided not to interface it. Here is a picture of the back side right before turning. I trimmed very closely and clipped all the inside curves.
Trimmed with my beautiful Gingher scissors!
These scissors were a Christmas gift from my daughter, Lindsey. I love them! There is nothing in the word that cuts as smoothly as these. I didn’t have any trouble turning my elephant right side out but it was pretty flimsy without the interfacing so I did the next best thing – I spray starched the heck out of it – several times! This was actually quite effective and it is now pretty stiff. I then sewed an ultra suede ear on. I didn’t bother with an eye because somehow there is a star on the fabric right where the eye would be. I couldn’t have fussy cut it any more perfectly.
Marking it’s place in my Zakka Style book.
Linking to LR Stitched Zakka sew along.
This week’s project from the Zakka Style sew along is a patchwork potholder. Kim from Retro Mama designed these potholders for the book. She has also updated the instructions for putting on the binding which can be found here. This was a pretty quick and easy project to put together. The great thing about these is that they are large and thick enough to make a nice trivet for the table as well as protecting your hands from a hot dish.
I started the project by making a strip set. I had some strips that were already sewn together. Adding a strip of linen to those gave the potholder the look I wanted. After all, linen is the fun element of the Zakka Style projects!
Strips sewn, layered with Insul-Brite, batting, and backing and then trimmed into an 8 ” circle.
I layered 10″ squares of the strip set, a piece of Insul-Brite, a piece of cotton batting and then a piece of linen for the backing. A walking foot made quilting these together very easy. Once they were together I cut an 8 inch circle.
Bound edge of partial circles
2 partial circles were cut out of linen and 2 out of a cotton print (which ended up unseen on the inside). The flat edge was bound and then these were placed onto the back of the round piece and basted around the edge. Now it was ready for the binding. I have avoided binding in linen on other Zakka projects due to the fraying of the fabric. However, since this binding HAD to be cut on the bias, fraying would not be a problem so I went ahead and used it.
Binding turned to the back. Ready for hand stitching.
Unfortunately, I didn’t read the updated binding instructions and just overlapped and sewed the edge of the binding which did not give as clean a finish as doing it the other way would have. I look forward to trying it again and perfecting the binding.
I’m happy with how this turned out and will be making some more for gifts. Any sort of quilted design could be put on the front and it would be fun to try some different things to make a useful and pretty gift.
The book Zakka Syle has a pouch pattern called the Orchard Path Tweed Pouch by Amanda Jennings. I can’t call mine a tweed pouch because I opted to sew it using linen and ultra suede.
I’m really happy with how it turned out except that I was hoping it would fit my Kindle and it does not.
Kindle doesn’t quite fit.
If I had done the zipper differently, it probably would have fit. I followed the suggestions of this week’s Zakka Sew Along host(ess) Elizabeth from Don’t call me Betsy. She suggested following this zippered pouch tutorial from Kelbysews. I love the way that it went together and the finished look of the zipper.
This neat technique made the zippered opening a bit smaller. I also cut my zipper smaller than I should have which caused me to sew the pouch with a 1/2 inch seam allowance instead of a 1/4 inch. These two things made just enough difference that my Kindle would not fit in there. I may try again because this made up pretty quickly and would be even quicker after having already done one. Using ultra suede on the bottom corners and the hexies (?hexes) meant that I didn’t have to do any turning under.
Pattern pieces – note the difference?
The book has you enlarge the pouch pattern 200%. The corner pattern and the hexagons are printed real size. I found that the corner pattern did not exactly match my enlarged pouch corners. They were just a slightly different shape and size. I opted to cut off a corner of my pouch pattern and use that to cut the ultra suede. This way they were perfect!
Good luck to everyone who is sewing this project this week as part of the Zakka Style Sew Along. It’s a great one!
I started this project yesterday when I was waiting for an air conditioning service guy to arrive. I finished it today when a friend came over to sew with me. My daughter looked at it this evening and asked how long the friend was here (all day) and was surprised this is all that I had made during that time. I guess she doesn’t understand how long it takes us to chit chat and show each other what we’ve made since the last time we visited one another! And we had to have coffee…and lunch! We’re probably lucky we got anything done.
My air conditioner is now working but my internet is out. I’m posting on my husband’s computer who has a special” thingy” to hook it to the web without an internet connection. This computer is unfamiliar to me and doing weird things like centering my writing and I can’t get it to align left so I give up! Goodbye until I can use my own computer! Good luck to everyone who is making this organizer this week.
Zakka Block Quilt Finished size = 46 X 60 inches
Yippee! I got the quilt done and I LOVE it! I thought I had gotten a jump on this project by deciding the layout a few weeks ago. However, all the sewing, quilting and binding was done this week – mostly in the past 3 days. Luckily my husband was out of town and I didn’t have too many other responsibilities.
Blocks and stitching
I used a charm pack of woven japanese fabrics which are 4″ square. There were 70 squares in the package and I needed 72. I supplemented by cutting some similar fat quarters that I had. I used cream colored linen for the rest of the top and a cotton fabric for the binding and back.
Serged quilt back
I put the quilt together with my serger. The linen and the woven fabrics were a loose enough weave that they were fraying like crazy so I thought this would be a good idea. Look at how neat the back is! I’ve only used my serger for garment construction and edge finishing (150 cloth napkins for my daughter’s wedding) in the past. This project was the PERFECT project to serge because of all the straight lines and it went together very quickly this way.
Close up of binding and hand stitching
I did stitch in the ditch with thread that matches the linen along the seams on the top and bottom of the blocks. This did a good job of stabilizing the quilt. This loosely woven linen really wanted to lose it’s shape. Next I did the hand stitching with a thick pearl cotton thread. The hand stitching was definitely the most time consuming part of this project, but I’m SO happy that I did it because I love how it looks and it reminds me of sashiko stitching which seems appropriate with my japanese fabrics.
I wonder how many other Zakka Sew Along sewers are scrambling to get their quilts done today in order to link up for this weeks “prize”. Good luck everyone!
Have you been sewing along with the projects from the book Zakka Style? It’s been fun to see all of the different versions of the projects starting from the beginning of the book. The first project was a tote bag and it took some time to make up. However, since then, the projects have been very quick and relatively simple. The idea with the Zakka Sew Along is to read the guest blogger’s notes for that week’s project on Monday and make the item up and link it by the following Sunday. I’m going to be traveling some over the next few weeks so I thought I had better look ahead.
Japanese fabric charm pack
There is only one quilt in the book and it is coming up in a few weeks. I have a charm pack of Japanese woven fabrics that I’ve been saving for just the right project, and I think this is it! My squares are 4″ and the pattern in the book calls for 6″ but that does not deter me. I will just add more rows/columns to make the quilt the same size.
I made a sketch to help determine materials and sizes needed.
I’m considering sewing this together with my serger. I have never sewn a quilt together this way before but all of these fabric are rather loosely woven (especially this linen) and I think it might be a good idea.
Quilt layout on design wall
I did not get last weeks project (mini magnets) done due to travel for my husband’s birthday. However, I still feel like I’m ahead instead of behind because I’ve got this quilt all cut and ready to sew.
Happy Birthday Dear!