Yep, we are all about gifts here on the blog right now. In case you hadn’t noticed. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that Christmas is coming. I just don’t believe it. It would probably help if I got some decorations up.
Still the practical part of me knows that Julie’s birthday is before Christmas and I needed to get her gifts done before the Thanksgiving frenzy arrived. So, I also made this pencil roll for Julie. I thought I made her one before but couldn’t find any evidence. She wanted one with a flap. Apparently, the one without the flap leaked writing implements. I have had this experience with mine and keep it upright in order to keep the implements where they belong.
I was really pleased to choose fabrics for this pencil roll. I found some great batiks that I had been hoarding. I also threw in some lime/icky greens. They go well with purple and will tie this piece to the Undercover Maker Mat she made. I knew she would like them.
I left the top open to turn the piece and I won’t do that again when the pencil roll has a flap. I had to carefully stitch the thing in order to make it look right on the top.
These don’t take long to make and I might make some for the officers. I don’t know if they are pen people, though, so perhaps a scissor cozy is better?
This pencil roll was made with FabMo fabric. I found the piece and it made me think of SherriD’s Renaissance Faire activities. I decided to make her a pencil roll as a thank you for participating in the Creative Prompt Project for the past year+.
If I haven’t mentioned this before, the FabMo fabrics are generally samples. They vary in size, but I can usually get only one piece of a particular design. I didn’t have enough to use for the inside, so I tried to pick some fabrics that would coordinate and give the feeling of history. The marbled fabric reminds me of the end papers in a book.
Pencil rolls usually take me about 3 hours to make. That assumes, of course, that I don’t sew the ties to the back as I am making the pencil pockets and have to rip out.
This one took me three days for a number of reasons. First, not being one to make simple requests, she wanted one that would accommodate the colored pencils she had cut in half so she could have half of her collection at her job in SF and half at home in Santa Barbara. This meant that the pocket had to be smaller, which meant adjusting the pattern and not just sewing like a demon. I mulled this over for some time and finally came upon the idea of two pockets. The green and white city fabric is used to make a pocket on both top and bottom, so there isn’t really a top. Looking at it now, I should have made those pockets a wee bit wider or the whole piece a bit smaller, but it will work.
Second, I was sick almost all of last week, the weekend and the previous Friday. No kidding and no fooling around kind of sick. Stay in bed and don’t do anything kind of sick except read and sleep kind of sick. I don’t remember being that sick in a long while. The only thing I really accomplished was cooking dinner one night, breakfast one morning, loading the dishwasher twice and reading 4 books.
Finally, I made a lot of mistakes in this project. I blame it on the illness and the mad desire not to waste all this time at home. Getting well just doesn’t seem like enough, but apparently it had to be.
Yes, that is a ribbon or tie from the Merry & Bright Jelly Roll I used for the It’s a Merry & Bright Wrap quilt. It really was the perfect length to tie up this pencil roll. It also fit with the linen feel of the fabric I used for the outside.
Yes, that grape fabric is another fabulous FabMo fabric. I only used half the piece, too, so I’ll have to think of another accessory to make for Lil Sissy with the rest.
I don’t really get a sense of the fabric until I start working with it. This backing fabric was more loosely woven than the quilting cottons I normally use. One of the good things about the FabMo fabrics is that they are generally of good quality. At least I think they are of good quality. Despite the looser weave (and I am NOT saying it was holey), I had no problem with fraying or raveling or any of the sewing. Looking at the back of the piece, I find that the leaves and grapes really look 3 dimensional.
Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Studio‘s pencil roll pattern has EXCELLENT directions. I really like this pattern and think that you should go off, as soon as you are done reading this post, and have opened a new window, and buy that pattern. I know I have waxes rhapsodic before about her pattern. I like this pencil roll pattern, because the font is the right size, and there are enough visual cues: boxes and borders, drawings, etc for me not to get lost in a mire of directions.
All that being said, I almost never pay attention to making a 12 or 24 slot pencil roll. I see what size FabMo fabrics I have and make as many slots as will fit the piecing of backing fabric I have, so I don’t have to waste or cut it. The thing is that I am probably not going to use these weird fabrics for anything else and it seems a shame to throw them away. Nobody to whom I have gifted an 11 slot pencil roll or an 8 slot pencil roll has complained, so I am going to keep doing what I am doing. One thing about making the same thing over and over (remember all of those Eco Market Totes I made?) is that I get to know the pattern and how the item goes together. This method works for me.
As I mentioned before, I find pencil rolls to be a pretty quick project. I have have the hang of them now and they put themselves together, pretty much, as long as I am paying attention.
or so I thought.
Not so with this beauty. Trying to be the good little green girl, I used a beautiful teal, feather design FabMo fabric for the outside. I talked about these fabrics before. That fabric became the bane of my existence.
It would not stay put. I tried to sew all of the pieces (back, front, flannel, pocket) together, like the directions say, and that upholstery fabric wouldn’t cooperate. It was very slidey for some reason and I would end up with an inch of flannel on the top and an inch of upholstery fabric on the bottom. I ripped the whole thing out three times. It was very frustrating.
If you don’t look too closely the piece turned out ok. That FabMo fabric looks really good, but I will pay more attention to my how my selections feel next time. This is a gift and I hope the recipient likes it. I can’t, however, send it off until I show it at CQFA on Saturday.
I am thinking of using this combination of fabrics for my next pencil roll. I will center the main part of the back around those two feathers and the teal and chocolate will be the inside and the pocket piece. I thought I would start this the first weekend in Feb, but kind of tanked and didn’t do it.
The upholstery fabric is another FabMo fabric. I already pried off the tags and removed the staples.
Dolores, a member of CQFA, faithfully arranges a retreat every year. Every year it is better and better. I had in my mind that I would make her a pencil roll as a thank you. After last week, I didn’t think I would have the time, but, I started it on Sunday, thinking that I could finish it at the retreat and she would be none the wiser.
I didn’t do any piecing on this one, which made it go very fast. I think it took me less than an hour and a half from start to finish. I may be dreaming, though, as I didn’t really time myself.
I am not sure what colors Dolores really likes. She has been working in neutrals and especially black and white, so I chose a black and white FabMo upholstery fabric for the back. The FabMo upholstery samples are a good size. I think you could make two smaller ones from one of the samples. I had a good sized strip left over that may make its way into another pencil roll that I need to piece.
I thought some red and black and white for the inside strips and the front pocket would be great. I just couldn’t do all neutrals. I had to add some color. I think it looks really nice and am pleased with how it came out.
I am concerned that I will run out of friends who need/can appreciate pencil rolls! I see some blog giveaways in my future!
I forgot to put a label on it. Either I will forget it or try to hand sew one on.
* I have no Internet at home at this time, so if I am a little slow responding to comments, I apologize! It makes it a challenge to get blog posts up as well!
TFQ is an excellent colorist. She can put fabrics together in the most amazing ways. I strive to be like her, which requires cultivating more patience and determination in my quiltmaking process. If I want to make something for her, I feel like I need to really do an excellent job of picking colors, thus the clue that she liked these fabrics gave me confidence.
Using only those black and white fabrics together was too depressing, especially in winter. I had to add the dots. They cheered it up quite a bit.
One of the things I like about some of the prints in the this [relatively] new Lonni Rossi line is the screen printed look. Note the black circle on the white fabric. It really looks like a screen print when you see it up close. It doesn’t have that icky, plasticy sticker feel, though, you find with some screen printed-like fabric.
The small rows of lines under the circle also have that screen printed look. It is much more subtle in the white/grey on black colorway.
I didn’t want a repeat of the size problem I had with my mom’s journal cover, so I ripped out the bottom stitching three times until I was satisfied with the fit. I don’t know if I got it to fit perfectly, but I didn’t have to cut the journal’s plastic cover to get the journal cover on it, so I was satisfied.
Lately, when I have started a journal cover I just start piecing until I get a piece big enough for the outside. I use this type of piecing for a warm-up or when I only have a few minutes to sew or when I need a little bit of thinking time. Usually I want to achieve a certain look. With my blue journal cover, I wanted to use a variety of blue fabrics because I liked them and wanted to see them all the time. I also wanted a calming effect.
In this case, I only had scraps of the Lonni Rossi fabrics left and needed to make the best use of them. I wanted it to have a somewhat cohesive design and, finally, but most importantly I wanted it to appeal to TFQ.
I have started to think of pencil rolls and journal covers as sets. I also love this pencil roll pattern so much that I am looking for excuses to make it. Of course, time is the issue on that front.
This is a rather large pencil roll – 18 slots, I think. When I use my pencil roll, I prefer to put pens in every other slot rather than each slot. I find it easier to get the pens out.
For the moment, this is the last gift to which I have committed to make. When I say committed I mean to myself. There is one I am thinking about making, but I need to finish the FOTY 2009 blocks first. Look for a post on that project later this week.
Remember this tote? I wrote about in a post way back in March. I ended up giving it to my mom so I get to visit with it periodically as she brings it over when she comes to visit with the Child.
The financial situation has not improved much, but my mom said in no uncertain terms that we were going to exchange gifts. We didn’t last year and she said it was really hard, so I decided to work on making some her, and a few others, some gifts.
I am not always a fan of giving homemade gifts, because I don’t want to give people things that have that homemade dorky look. I also like giving people things they will actually use and I don’t know yet know how to make iPhones or a Wii.
I have been working REALLY hard at making my fiber stuff look professional. It will never look like it was made in a factory, which I don’t want either. I press really well, poke the corners carefully and am careful about stitching, so I think they look good. In any case, I am not embarrassed to give things I make away.
I decided to make my mom a pencil roll since I thought she would use it and I had a lot of fun making Julie’s during my week away. Kathy‘s patterns (well, at least this one) are fabulous. As I mentioned in a previous post, they are very well written and easy to understand.
The most time consuming bit of this project was cutting the strips. I was kind of at a loss on fabric choices until I found the flowered fabric and the turquoise, both of which I used on the tote I made for her. Perfect! She’ll have a little set!
Stitching all the parts together after layering and turning them is also fairly time consuming. I do that topstitching very slowly after marking the lines on the pocket with a white pencil.
For the inside, Kathy says to use flannel, which I didn’t have, so I used batting and it was a little bit thick o sew through. I can’t say I would absolutely not use batting again, but it wouldn’t be my first choice. If I make another one, I’ll try a couple of layers of interfacng, though I suspect that would make the piece too stiff. We’ll see what I have in the fabric closet that might work.
Above is a picture of how the strips look sewn together before the whole thing is layered together. One thing I needed to remind myself about was to turn the strips with a strong motif around so it would show after the pocket was applied. I didn’t choose fabrics that would lend themselves to arranging the strips in a colorwash design, as Julie did with mine. I am happy with the arrangement and the idea of making his pencil roll into part of a set.
I recently bought a pencil roll pattern from Pink Chalk Studio and, after a bad pattern experience (from a different company), have a great deal of respect for Kathy’s clear instructions and helpful notes.
I wasn’t able to show this until now even though I made it during my week away, because it is a gift. I made it for Julie‘s birthday and wanted it to be a surprise.
The fabrics I used for the strips all came from TFQ’s strip box. They are, what she calls, Fresh Modern fabrics. They are not exclusively Amy Butler and Valori Wells, but are in that vein. The green is an old Marimekko fabric I bought at the Crate and Barrel outlet a long time ago. It spent some time with TFQ and was on its way back to me when I decided to do this project.
This is the small version of the pencil roll. Kathy gives directions for a 12 slot and a 24 slot. You can, with the directions, make one any size. I didn’t quite realize how big they were when I was making this one.
The pattern is really easy to follow. This is a fast project to make. The only part that takes time is the quilting/making the pockets. You have to be aware of what you are doing.
K. S. Perino is one of the participants in the CPP, so I peruse her blog periodically to check out her prompt responses. As I was doing that this morning, I saw hat she had made a pencil roll. I have seen the pattern for pencil rolls on the Pink Chalk Studio website and Julie over at High Fiber Content even made me one for my birthday last year. I really like the pencil rolls and have been contemplating expanding/adjusting the pattern a little to accommodate knitting needles.
This pencil roll is one of the best that I have seen. First, it is gorgeous. Next it is even more useful because of the little zippered pouch that the artist added (note to self: learn to put in zippers!). Finally, the little details such as the fabulous machine quilting and the little charms on the ends of the ties really make the piece.
I am thinking that one of these would be great to replace the ziploc bag in which I carry my PITT pens around.
I followed a link to Pink Chalk Studio’s blog and found these lovely pencil rolls. I would love to say I will run up and make one right away, but it probably isn’t going to happen. I love the way the stripes of color interact and will really have to think about that for inspiration. That lady is NOT me. See my profile for a pic of me.
See more on this project at Pink Chalk Studio.