Monday, 25 July 2011

Trial and Error

I am working on a frame purse/pouch for my secret partner in a Flickr group- Pretty {Little} Pouch Swap 2.  It is an interesting and innovative group with work of a very high standard.  I have followed my partner's  preferences- I don't want to say too much for fear of giving something away.  This is my fabric pull for her.
When I do a fabric pull for a project I have a colour palette roughly in mind and just see where my eyes take me.  This was a quick one, it jelled as I was doing it.  The process can take ages with lots of getting out and putting away so I was lucky this time.   I have already worked on the purse shape and made a few mock ups in scrap fabric to check how it worked, but I hadn't got much idea on the intricacies of the design.  Apart from lots of small pieces of fabric I had no particular idea shouting at me.  So, I made a couple of tiny log cabins.  Then I found some textured, nubbly grey silk fabric for a neutral and sewed it around the pieced centre. 
This wasn't really working for me but I often hit this stage so I took my cue from heavy weave and added some running and cross stitch with perle cotton.  Hmm, still not really going anywhere.  Maybe it will become an extra goodie in the swap, I am undecided.  So back to the fabric stacks and books for inspiration.  I found it with Suzuko Koseki's Machine Made Patchwork, now known as Patchwork Style.  I was drawn to a bag with fabric squares appliqued in a grid design.  My copy is in Japanese so I had to guess with the construction and scrutinize the diagrams.  This is how one part ended up- this will form one side of the purse.  I have a sewign theme for one side and a cafe/food theme for the other!
If you like how it looks, this is how I did it.  I'll worn you it is quite a laborious process- best suited to bags, purses, pouches, cushions.   I started with a piece of heavy sew in interfacing and drew a grid in pencil.   I only used heavy as I needed structure for the purse, lightweight would be fine for a pillow and still gives and extra layer for the stitched- this makes your machine happier!  The squares are 1.25 inches across.  I pinned this on to a piece of Kaufman Essex linen bigger than my purse pattern- this piece is 9.5 inches by 6.5 inches.  The grid is formed by 2 lines of stitching throughout and I used cotton thread as there will be quite a bit of heat in the applique and polyester may melt.
I stitched a line of stitching just either side of the grid lines.  The easiest way to do this is to use the swing dial- this is the one that changes you needle position so your machine can zig zag.  I sewed all the lines with the needle to the left using the centre guide as my focus.
Then repeat with the needle to the right.  I wasn't aiming for pin point accuracy, it is the freeness in the lines that I like plus accuracy is not always my forte!
I then fussy cut fabric squares 1 inch by 1 inch.  For each fabric square, you will need a square of heat and bond lite.  Cut these just under 1 inch square so they are slightly smaller than the fabric squares.  Press the heat and bond onto the back of the fabric squares.  Arrange the squares on your linen grid.  When you are happy with it stick the squares a few at a time, they might go a bit wonky if done en masse!
Once stuck down, each square needs a border of  small zig zag all around and an X of straight sititches running thought the middle.   As you sew each X you need to start and end each line with very small securing stitches- i just sew backwards a little in a very short stitch length, sew forwards in a longer stitch and then very small stitches and backwards at the end. I used a fine weight piecing thread for this as my squares were quite small and I didn't want the stitching to be too heavy.  I am really pleased with the effect.  Tomorrow it becomes a purse!
The original idea for this is of course Suzuko's, this is just my methodology, hope it works for you!
sib blog

27 comments:

  1. Hi Kerry, I LOVE what you've ended up with! I might have to have a go at grid-lines one of these days, they look super cool...By the way, have you tried using Pritt stick glue to stick the pieces down?...I used it for Ticker tape style cushions and it was WAY quicker that cutting heat and bond up all the time.. x

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  2. I love this! Thanks for sharing your method! I will definitely give this a try.

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  3. Everytime I pop in, I come away amazed! Wow xx

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  4. OMG this blows me away it's so inventive. I love how it focus' on the fabric gems. Wish I was in this swap I may have struck lucky and got you as my partner again!

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  5. i LOVE the look of this! so so cute!

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  6. Kerry, I have a plan for this technique ...do you mind if I try it out...??? I was thinking of doing an inset strip? what do you think?

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  7. Kerry...So sorry the above post is not from the Pemaquid Art Gallery...My husband has been using my machine and it defaulted to his account...
    My account will pop up with this...hopefully..Thanks.
    Patricia B

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  8. Beautiful work, Kerry! Your wee log cabins are darling as well but I'm really REALLY loving the grid. It sounds like a lot of work but your results are absolutely stunning.

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  9. This is awesome and your explanation makes it seem doable. Thank you. I hope that bag is for me. Fingers crossed.

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  10. It's brilliant Kerry! Lucky partner, I just love it! A wonderful alternative to patchwork as each square gets it's very own special frame. A technique I will definitely try. It would be perfect for a hoop pouch! I like it that you left some squares blank as well....oooh, another thought: a mini Scrabble board!!!

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  11. That looks awesome! I think I'd go nuts having to fussy-cut so many tiny squares. >_<

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  12. This is really cool Kerry! I sometimes forget that we can make our "own" patterned fabric using our sewing machine and some imagination. :)

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  13. Wow Kerry that just looks Amazing! I was thinking those log cabins look great but youve blown me away with the grids! Cant wait to see the finished purse - Lucky partner!

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  14. This is so good! Your fabric choices are spot on. You always do such lovely work. Thanks very much for sharing it with us!!

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  15. I have to say that I've never really read your blog posts before (I'm _name_taken_ on Flickr and was brought here by the close-up photo!), but I totally admire all the thought you put into the just the construction of this pouch! I would never make test versions of projects, reason why I need one weight of interfacing versus another (unless it's for clothing), and I would definitely never bother with a different weight of thread (I didn't even think threads came in different weights!). So thanks very very much for opening my eyes to the craftsmanship side of crafting -- your swap partner is very lucky!

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  16. Thanks for the tutorial -- this looks wonderful! I definitely have to try this!

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  17. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [26 Jul 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

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  18. I'm keeping fingers and toes crossed this may find it's way to me! You have one very lucky partner Kerry it's fab!

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  19. I love this,it's so different. I will put it on my mental list of things to do (and promptly forget about it like all the others!)

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  20. What a great and fun idea! It reminds me of a sticker book I used to lay with as a child. It looks just so cute with those adorable fabrics! Your purse is going to be very pretty for sure!!

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  21. Lo e the log cabins, but the grid is very special. Lovely method makes it sound doable too. Thanks Kerry!

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  22. Great effect, the grid will make a lovely purse. But I must say that I like the log cabins very much, too.

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  23. Great way to feature all those cute prints - would make a great I-spy tote bag too! Would certainly work with words, numbers, and cute pictures!

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  24. Love the grid! I imagine you could get different patterns depending on what you draw on the interfacing -- diamonds, triangles, etc. What about using a double needle to do both lines of stitching at once?

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  25. I love the grid. I am going to have a go as I have some lovely fabric scraps that I would like to keep samples so a brilliant idea. I might incorporate some embroidery in the others squares as well. Thank you for the inspiration. Janette http://quilttherapy-janette.blogspot.co.uk/

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