Friday, August 31, 2007

Chaos and Alchemy

Chaos and Alchemy -- these are a few of my favorite things! I've been working hard to get ready for Burnham Community Day which takes place tomorrow. Each year Warp 6 does a sheep to shawl demo there and Mary Anna and I have a sales booth next door. Below is my latest batch. The Chaos colorway is on the left and Alchemy is on the right. The Chaos skeins are Merino dyed with KA. The fiber for the Alchemy skein was purchased from eBay as a Mystery Batt. The seller had thrown all kinds of luxury fibers into the picker with a wool base. Beautiful, huh?

Monday, August 6, 2007

Batik Patchwork Bag

Okay, so I decided I needed a new tote bag. I LOVE tote bags! Actually, I love any kind of container. If you can put something in it, I probably love it! Anyway, I got these nifty 4"x4" batik fabric squares on eBay, and this is what I did with them. I had 40 squares, so I divided them in half and sewed them together to make the sides. Each side is 4 fabric squares deep by 5 fabric squares wide. Then I cut two squares of unbleached muslin the same size as the patchwork sides. I cut two smaller pieces of muslin, pressed in 3 sides about 1/2" and sewed homemade bias taped to the top edge. These are the inside pockets. Next, I sewed a pocket to each larger piece of muslin. I sewed each lining side to a patchwork side, right sides facing, and then I turned them right side out. Next I sewed the two lined sides together, again, right sides facing, and turned them. To make the squared bottom, while the bag was still inside out, I measured in about 2" from each corner and sewed across, forming a triangle. I made more bias tape from a separate piece of fabric -- the same fabric I used for the edging on the pockets -- and stitched that to that raw edge at the top of the bag. To make the straps, I cut two lengths of cotton webbing to suit me. I sewed two tubes of the same fabric I used for the edging. I cut each piece about 3" wide and a little longer than the webbing pieces. Fold each piece in half and sew up the long side with the right sides together. When the tubes are turned right side out, use a safety pin to run the webbing through the tubes. Leave a little extra tubing material at each end. Turn those edges over once and then once again and stitch. Now, making sure the webbing is lying flat withing the tubes, topstitch down each sided to keep webbing from moving around. Next, attach the straps to the bag -- first sew a square and then sew an X in the square. Click on the pictures to enlarge for detail. This was a pretty simple project. Please don't ask for measurements -- I made it up as I went! Here are some pictures. One shows the bag with the sides folded in -- This is how I usually use my totes when I'm using them as a purse or if they don't have much in them. Next is the bag in square formation. This is how I use it when I'm carrying files, etc. And the other picture is the bag turned inside out so you can see the lining and the pockets. I'm still considering adding some sort of closure to the top and maybe small pockets for my cellphone and iPod. I think I'll sleep on that, though! It's late. I'm going to bed! :)