Posts Tagged etui box
Yes, I have been foraging for flannel this past couple of weeks. Well, I haven’t quite resorted to flannel nighties yet but I have started amassing flannel sheets and fabric for my favourite thing of the moment which is making rag quilts. I found some vintage flannel on Ebay which came in some pretty little prints but, as it was in the U.S. the shipping cost more than the fabric so I’ll have to narrow my search to the U.K. and France in future.
After scrounging some more pieces of flannel from my friend Sandra – including a beautiful soft bolster cover which I couldn’t actually bear to cut up! – I set about the fairly mammoth task of cutting it all into 20cm squares which I did photograph but, as the weather is so pants here at the moment, I couldn’t get a good enough picture. However, I am sure you can imagine almost 300 20cm flannel squares cut by hand – a big thanks here to the inventor of the rotary cutter without whom it would not have been possible or at least not have been attempted.
I won’t bore you with the details of ‘how to make a rag quilt’ here as I followed an excellent tutorial which, if you want to make one, will be all the information you need. The only things I did differently was to use flannel for all three layers and use bigger squares. Also, having had a go at a rag quilt some time ago and almost ended up with a claw for a hand, I invested (very wisely) in a pair of Fiskars rag quilt snips which spring back open after every cut, have blunt ends to avoid snipping your stitches and make the job so much easier they are worth every penny. Also, I went a bit ‘maverick’ and each time I joined a row of squares I snipped the seams to about half an inch of the outside edges so that it wouldn’t seem such a daunting task once all the rows were joined.
Here it is after one wash. I told you the weather was grim! The amount of lint that comes off these buggers is phenomenal so, not knowing where the local launderette is, or even if there is one, I put it in an old pillow case and sewed up the end and put it in my own washing machine. You are supposed to tumble dry them too, to get the seams to go ‘fluffy’, but I haven’t got one of those so, until I go and find a launderette and case the joint to see if there is a ‘guardian of the machines’ who might object to me putting such a lint-shedding object into one of her babies, I will just keep shaking it and, with a soft toothbrush, brushing those fraying seams up.
I do like the look of the soft cosy flannel and all those fluffed up seams – it looks all comfy and cuddly – but, as a bonus, the other side looks like a regular patchwork so you can always turn it over and ring the changes.
Nine days to go until my youngest’s 18th and her quilt top is ready and waiting to be sandwiched and quilted. I waited 15 days for some cotton batting to arrive from the U.S. – it’s hard to get the good stuff here – but, when it got here yesterday, I realised that it could only be quilted up to 2 inches apart and I am going for a ‘minimalist’ approach so, after all that, I have had to order some Hobbs Polydown from the U.K. which will hopefully arrive soon so that I can handquilt 25 stars and then bind it ready for the big day. It might be a teensy bit late.
Just one block – there are 25 of these, just haven’t taken a photo of them all joined up yet.
Meanwhile I have made another soft and cosy, towelling backed throw with some gorgeous Tilda fabric and have started piecing my Union Jack so I am not being idle.
and not liking to let anything go to waste – I used the remainder of the Tilda fabric to put a roof on one of my little cartonnage house boxes.
Don’t miss my next post when I will be attempting to make my own knickers! Although not, I hasten to add, in flannel.
I just finished another custom étui box house which I am quite pleased with as it is so cheerful and the fabrics go so beautifully together.
I don’t know who Cindy is or what she did but I hope she’ll be pleased with her gift. Plus, I hope she doesn’t read my blog as it’s supposed to be a surprise.
Do you remember when I told you I had joined a Patchwork Group, mainly to improve my French but also to maybe learn some new skills? (if you don’t, it’s here )
Well, for the past two weeks I have been showing the rest of the group how to make one of my hexagonal étui boxes and, as the written instructions are in English, I have been talking them through it in French. There have been some mistakes made! Partly because they are so impatient and keep getting ahead of themselves before I have shown them properly how to do it but, partly because I have been making them for so long the things that seem obvious to me, like not leaving a seam allowance when cutting out the gussets that hold up the sides, aren’t obvious to anybody else. One poor woman had inserted them but they were so big the box sides opened almost flat. Of course, I’m sure none of it is due to my command of the French language.
In return I am being taught how to do ’boutis’ and, so far, I have been told off as my stitches aren’t small enough and the ever helpful Michelle kindly pulled all my existing stitches out and suggested I start again. The indignity of it. Although I do have trouble with tiny stitches – I don’t know why – I think I have become too reliant on the sewing machine. I can do them when they are ‘invisible’ such as on my boxes but for quilting purposes and, now boutis, I find it difficult. Anyway, I will do my homework and see if I can get them smaller and make her proud.
As far as learning more of the language goes……the first week I sat next to the ‘doyenne’ of the group who everybody calls ‘Mamie’ (gran) – can you imagine doing that in the U.K. and not getting a slap? Anyway, she is 88, originally Spanish and insisted on talking to me with a knitting needle clamped between her teeth. I hope I nodded in the right places but I doubt it. As far as I’m concerned, the most useful word(s) in French is ‘d’accord’ which sort of means, ‘o.k.’, ‘alright’, ‘oh, I see’ and other things along those lines. I use it all the time.
I just need to put it all together now!
Having a bit of a nostalgia kick at the moment. I found some gorgeous fabric featuring the whimsical characters of the English artist Mabel Lucie Attwell. I vaguely remember having some old books around of hers when I was a tiny tot. Something like this one –
God, I’m old!
Anyway, I found some fabric that has some of her little creatures on it and, although I don’t often do cutesy, I couldn’t resist the wave of nostalgia that swept over me like a tidal wave of cherubs and pixies and elves and fat-cheeked moppets, so I have made one of my étui boxes and one of my fabric tubbies from it and let that be an end to it!!
Right, I think that’s got the ‘cute’ out of my system.
Inspired by these gorgeous Japanese themed fabrics, which I found here in France, and my friend Maggie who is a Japanophile (must look up the right word for that!) I decided to make one of my Little Housekeeper étui boxes with a Japanese theme. I wanted to make a pagoda but couldn’t even begin to imagine how I would make a pagoda-shaped roof to fit one of my boxes without engaging in extremely complicated and time consuming calculations and engineering which would mean spending even more time than I already spend making one of these little houses. So, I faffed about with the fabric on the roof and used it on the bias, trying to suggest a sort of overlapping and overhanging effect.
Well, hello Blog and Happy New Year! I feel as if I’ve been away for ages but I guess it’s only a couple of weeks ago I last posted anything.
Anyway, I’ve had my parents over from the U.K. for Christmas so my visits to the computer have had to be curtailed as blogging is not the most sociable of activities – at least, it is, but not when people are actually visiting you. They were actually supposed to be here for Christmas Day, coming over on 22nd December but the snow in the South of England brought the country to its knees and their flight was cancelled. The first flight available then was on Boxing Day so, not too bad, and then they changed their return flight (otherwise they would have met themselves going back!) and were here to see in the New Year.
However, I did manage to escape to my ‘lady shed’ a few times to try out a new project. I let my mother in as she had bought some crochet work with her and, after moving yards of Christmassy fabric out of the way, discovered I have a sofa in there and she could sit down and do that while I got on with some sticking and cutting and sewing.
I have had quite a few requests for instructions to make my étui boxes and this is something that I am going to give some thought to. The design for the hexagonal box is not mine so I can’t do that but I designed the small one myself and may well get round to writing out full instructions, with photos, etc., in the next couple of weeks. I may do it as a pdf file or I may do a little kit with the card already cut – can’t make up my mind. Once I’ve written it, I’ll have to find a willing friend to make a box, following the instructions, so that they can report back to me on the clarity of my directions.
Once I sell the instructions or kits, I will expand upon my original idea and make some slightly different étui boxes. These will be in the shape of little houses, each one different. I think I’m going to call them Little Housekeepers as that sort of gets over the idea that, not only are they an ornamental item in the shape of a house but you can keep things in them too! I made one for a friend for her Christmas present – she was my guinea pig (thanks Anna!) – and she seemed to like it so off I go.
Here is my first one (or second one if you count Anna’s) and it is all black and white and has musical notes – can’t think of a name yet but it will be something musical – could be ‘The Piano House’ or ‘The Musical House’ or something along those lines, haven’t decided yet but it will come to me in a flash as most things do. Hope you like it.
Just finished ‘The Love Shack’. I designed a new gable ended roof for this one (well, o.k. my husband did all the calculations but that’s surely the easy part).
The House of Romance
Well, I promised that next time I made a hexagonal sewing box I would show you how many different bits and pieces had to be cut out so, as I’m just about to embark on making another two, I’ve laid it all out for your delectation. I also said I’d probably frighten myself and I have. Must be mad.
Bearing in mind that I’ve just spent the best part of a day, on and off, cutting out two of these, you will perhaps be amazed that I still manage to find it fun. Maybe it’s the gluey bit, I also like choosing the fabrics – not that keen on doing the teeny tiny stitches these days ‘cos it means I have to put specs on – but what I really love is seeing the finished item and imagining it being used for somebody’s sewing bits and pieces or other goodies.
Anyway, I promised I’d show you but I’m off back upstairs now to get sticky. I’ll let you see it when it’s finished – you have probably noticed there’s a tea theme going on with this one which reminds me, time to put the kettle on.
I had some great suggestions for new etui boxes from Dionne’s followers on her blog and I chose Yesim from Turkey as the winner. She suggested a box for the office with little emergency items in, such as spare tights, gum, painkillers, etc. and this gave rise to my ‘9-5 Etui Box’ . Yesim chose the ‘Baby Girl Etui Box’ as her prize as she has a relative just about to have a baby – I hope she likes it!
Some of the other suggestions, I have also made use of. I have already made tea boxes but had been meaning to make a coffee one for a while – just needed to find the right fabric which I did recently when I went to Brighton. I also wanted to make one using hand-stamped text and which might be suitable for a man.
Anyway, thanks for all the suggestions – any more gratefully received! I feel a ‘Chill Out’ one coming on with relaxing stuff like candles, herbal tea, etc.
I was a bit dubious when Dionne contacted me and asked if I could offer one of my etui boxes as a giveaway on her blog. However, I had a look and decided to go ahead as it is a really great blog, laid out really well and with some interesting topics.
If you want a chance to win one of my boxes, go and have a look at Dionne’s blog at http://notesfromdionne.blogspot.com/2009/08/baby-fever.html