PIQF Inspired Project

Cross & Squares
Cross & Squares

A few days ago I talked about a project that TFQ are trying out. I think I am behind, because I didn’t get to sew anything until this past weekend.

First of all, I know some of you are thinking “what the heck, dude, don’t you have about a bajillion projects in process?” Well, yes, I have a few on my Current Projects list.  I just really like doing a one-on-one project (also group projects like Scrapitude) with (an)other quiltmaker. Also, a few blocks isn’t really a project, is it??? Mostly, I am a social animal and like to have some human contact, especially if I can talk about quiltmaking in the geeky, detailed process-oriented way that my brain loves.

Second, I looked up the pattern and found a block called Garden of Eden that I could modify in EQ7. EQ provides such an easy and quick way to look at sizes of pieces. We were able to look at the rotary cutting directions for individual pieces in order to decide what finished size to make the blocks.

Colorful Octagons
Colorful Octagons

Next, you are probably wondering, after my long dissertation on Color Stories, what my color story will be.

I don’t know exactly, but to put us on the same page, TFQ and I talked about colors of the octagons I am using for the Russian Rubix and whether those were the sorts of colors. Yes, they are the sorts of colors, but I will also use different fabrics and make it scrappy.

For the background, we will be using different cool, light greys. Again, they will be the same in each block, but, possibly different between blocks. The four squares in each block will be the same the same color, but not necessarily the same fabric.

I am not sure about the cross in the middle. I am not sure if I will use analagous colors or complimentary colors or what.

You can play along using the PIQF Crosses Rotary Cutting-5in pattern (5 inches) I created in EQ7.

High School History Art Project

The Young Man came home the other day and told me about a project/assignment he had for history. he had to write 5-10 entries in a journal of a character to be assigned on the Oregon Trail. He was assigned an 18 year old young man with $45 dollars. We brainstormed a little bit on the content and then he said he wanted to make the paper look old for extra credit.

I thought about this and suggested tea dyeing. I am not a tea dyeing kind of girl, nor do I do much with paper arts, but I thought I could make this happen. After work, on my way to the gym I asked him to let his tea bags dry out a little bit and determined to do the tea dyeing when I got home.

When I got home, he found me the ‘old looking paper’ he wanted to use. This was interesting, because it turned out to be college ruled binder paper. Huh? I wasn’t in the mood to argue and it was his project.

I spread the paper out on the kitchen counter and squeezed and rubbed the tea bags on the paper. To dry them, I microwaved the paper on high for 10-20 seconds. The effect was ok, but not as dark as the Y.M. had hoped. He did a second round with the tea bags, which made it better, but still not great.

Cinnamon 'Dyeing'
Cinnamon ‘Dyeing’

After dinner, as I was tidying up, I spied my giant bottle of cinnamon. It is the right color, so I poured some on the paper and rubbed with my fingers. The paper was really gritty, but also way more brown than the tea and not wet. The Y.M. was really happy with the effect.

Once the paper was finished, he took it and began writing the entries.

In the morning, I cut a piece of my book binding thread and, on the way to the train, I told him how to ‘bind‘ the papers together and tie them off. He didn’t take the time to make a cover, but, for the short time we had to do the extra parts of the project, I thought it looked good. I hope his teacher agrees, especially since the project smells like cinnamon.
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Jackie in Black & Grey

Jackie's Donation Blocks
Jackie’s Donation Blocks

I haven’t been able to make it to my PO Box recently and when my mom went for me, what a bonanza! Lots of fun goodies, including some blocks for the Black & Grey Teenaged Boy Donation Quilt from Jackie! WOW! What a great surprise and these blocks will really look great with the others I have.

I know I keep saying this, but I really, really need to put all the blocks out and take another picture. I need to see where I am.

This makes me think that I am continuing to make blocks for some reason that I don’t know or I haven’t decided to reveal? Perhaps these blocks are some kind of therapy?

I’ll think about it later.

Thinking About Bags

You might have read my final analysis on making the second Petrillo Bag.  I carried that bag around for several days and doing so made me think about making bags to actually carry around.

You have probably noticed that I make a lot of bags. Mostly I give them away. There are only a few (Springy bag, Jane Market totes) that I actually carry around. Part of that is that I am one person and one person only needs so many bags. Still, I do like to make them.

As I have said in the past, I carry a bunch of stuff with me to work in a bag on public transport. The bags have to be sturdy, have lots of pockets, be on the large side and relatively stain resistant. The bags I carry to work have been Timbuktu bags for the past several years. They work but they aren’t perfect. They are large enough, have enough pockets, but they look like everyone else’s bag.  Also, I am kind of over the backpack thing with my work clothes.

When I made the Petrillo Bag, I did so because I liked the shape, mostly.

In the case of making the bag, I don’t have control over the finish, but I can choose the colors and pattern. I probably have an equal, if different, amount of control over color the as I do if I bought a bag in the store.

Using the ShapeFlex plus layers of fabric plus interfacing. That is a lot of layers to go through and my backup machine wasn’t happy. I could make a better, sturdier bag if I had a tougher machine, perhaps an industrial machine or pseudo industrial machine. There is no way I am even going to consider buying an industrial machine, but I still want to make bags. I may never do it, but there is a place where you can go and rent table saws and welding things…Tech something. They have industrial machines there. Perhaps I will go and see if I can use theirs.

I worry most about setting the bag in something and not being able to get the stain out or having the stain leak through the bag. I like my bags nice and when you take public transport, it is hard to keep things nice. This is why Sheldon has ‘bus pants.’ I tried using the fusible laminating stuff on the Scrap Lab Backpack and that worked OK. It isn’t like using regular oilcloth. I suppose I could just make a new bag if the old one got stained or boring…

Do you use bags you make?

Do you worry about staining them or ruining them?

What do you carry to work?

 

Petrillo Bag #2 Put to the Test

Petrillo Bag in Action
Petrillo Bag in Action

I finished the Poppy Petrillo Bag on June 6, 2014, then immediately left town with it for a conference. I had about a gazillion things to do that day, but managed a few minutes to finish the bag. I wanted to take it with me, because my Sherpani carry-on is too heavy and the straps are not that comfortable. It helps if I don’t bring everything I own, but let’s set that aside for a moment.

As I told you the other day, I made some changes to the bag to make it better to actually use. I liked using this bag, especially with the changes. I liked the straps, the size and the weight. It still isn’t the perfect bag, but it was really a good bag. It is lightweight and it fit well under the airplane seat, it was comfortable to carry and held the right amount of stuff. I also really like the shape.

I think there are other things the bag needs. More pockets for one and at least one outside pocket for a water bottle (or soda, if you drink soda) and the conference program. Given Sara’s excellent and stylish design of the bag, I am not sure it is possible to make all the changes I require.

I am not ready to give up, however. Stay tuned.