Posts Tagged moda bake shop

A Flag for Friday

Probably four or five years ago I started a project and, after an enthusiastic start, I put it to one side, got involved with other things and that was that.  It was, however, still peeking at me in an accusatory fashion from underneath other things on the shelves of my cutting table so, in an effort to finish what I started I pulled it all out again.

I hadn’t done much – just the ‘brown’ triangles.

The project is a Moda bake shop ‘recipe’ by Lynne Goldsworthy (available here for free) and I liked the slightly raggedy look of the finished flag and the colours she used but, at that time, I’d never done much (if any) foundation paper piecing.  Now I have so it was a bit of a shock to remember that this is not at all like that apart from the fact that paper is involved.   In this method you cut up the fabric into squares using pinking shears (or cutter) and lay them on sheets of newspaper making sure they are overlapped by at least 1/4 inch.  In fact, the easiest way is to use charm packs which already have pinked edges.

Like so.

Then, you stitch down the pieces an 1/8 inch away from each pinked edge – which is why I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue with this project at first because it just seemed wrong to me.  However, this method is what gives it the shabby look that I had liked initially.

Zoom in for close up of top stitching along pinked edges

You separate the colours into brown, red and cream and lay each colour on sheets of newspaper which you cut to a set size then sew them down with a small stitch so, in effect, you are making a new fabric which is sort of what you do in all patchwork but this is different in that the seams are showing on top.  It feels a bit weird.    It is also a bit of a pain because, unless you use a multitude of pins, it does try to shift around under the sewing machine.  Then you remove the newspaper and cut the new ‘fabric’ into triangles for the brown fabric and different sized bands for the red and cream.

With me so far?

At this stage I was still dubious but, once I started joining it together I became more enthusiastic and am actually quite chuffed with the resulting top.

Oops! Forgot to clear those bedside tables off this time.

**** If you are not interested in more of ‘the process’ scroll down to the next set of ***** lest you be unnecessarily bored to tears.

I did find certain problems with the instructions so I did a bit of research to find out if anybody else had the same issues but couldn’t find anything so maybe it’s just me.  However, in case it helps, this is what I found.

When I joined the first quadrant together I assumed the joining seams would be 1/4 inch which is usual in patchwork.  Unfortunately, I assumed wrongly and it came out too small – luckily I checked before I joined the other three.  It seems that everything is 1/8 inch but I couldn’t find that instruction anywhere.  The top stitched seams are 1/8 inch, yes, but as they are not ‘normal’ seams I didn’t think it would follow that the joining seams would also be that small.  The instructions have you press the ‘normal’ seams open but I didn’t bother as that is a difficult thing to do with such a small seam allowance so I pressed to one side – a maverick, that’s me.  Also, because I had to undo the seams of the first quadrant and mess with edges cut on the bias after removal from the foundation paper, it started to go out of shape so I had to be careful lining it up with the other quadrants.

The instructions have you cut ten 2 inch bands from the cream ‘fabric’ you have made but, as you can see from the photo above, you actually need twelve.  Luckily I had enough cream squares left to cobble together another couple of bands.   The instructions also tell you to use 1 inch bands for this stage but she actually means 2 inch ones as there only four 1 inch bands in the design used for the narrow strips of the flag and, anyway, it is obvious from the photo that they should be the wider strips.  The pattern is free but, even so, I’m surprised it doesn’t appear to have been corrected since it was published as I’m sure I can’t be the only one – or can I??

Anyway, enough of the technical stuff.

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Still with me?

This is actually supposed to be a wall hanging but I’m not sure Mr. T wants another one (yet) and I’m not so patriotic that I’m going to hang a Union Jack in a prominent position on the wall – even if it is a stylised, scruffy version.  So, I’m thinking I’ll use it as a throw over the back of a sofa or chair or bench or something.

The fabric I used is the same as the one in the original instructions and is a Moda fabric by French General and called ‘Falalalala’.  The text in the fabric range is taken from a French song of the same name which is sung to the same tune as ‘Deck the Halls’ but with different words so there’s a bit of entente cordiale going on here – as is fitting for a Brit living in France.  You can’t say I don’t give you useless information in my posts or even fodder for pub quizzes.  Of course, this range is hard to find now as I’d abandoned the project for so long but I wanted to back it with something pretty as it won’t be hidden on the wall but visible as the reverse side of a throw.  I found a couple of the designs still available in a shop in the U.K. – more in the U.S. of course but the shipping was silly talk – and I went for the cream one with poinsettias.  A rash choice for a house full of animals you might think but, hey, I’ve already got visible pinked edges in possible danger of fraying so I’m obviously throwing caution to the wind with this project.

Mr. Tialys will be arriving home from the U.K.  in a couple of hours with the cream fabric – and some of the plain greyish brown for the binding – I didn’t want the binding to be a feature as it’s supposed to be a flag after all – so I should be able to get it together this weekend.  I’m a little worried as the instructions say you need 2.5 yards of backing fabric and I worked out I’ll only need 1.6m – mixing my metrics with my imperials is never a good thing – so I might have to add a strip of some of the fabric I have left over, we’ll see but maths was never my strong point.  I will be quilting in the ditch only as I think there’s enough visible stitching going on already.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to show you the finished throw artfully draped over the back of a sofa and adorned with a cat or two (who will be chucked off straight after the photo is taken IG style)  early next week.

What do you think?  Have you ever had doubts about a project you started some time ago?  Did you abandon it or complete it and, if you completed it, were you glad or sorry that you bothered?

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Made It, Making It, Going to Make It

tweeddressI think I told you, back in the mists of time that was 2012, I was having a dabble in a bit of dressmaking after a long time doing other things.  Well, I bought a pattern (Simplicity 2648) and some vintage tweedy stuff (it smelt and I had to wash it twice!) and I enlisted the help of my friend Sandra who is always making clothes and, anyway, has an overlocker.  I apologise for the photos but Madamoiselle Tialys the Elder is away at Uni and I had to model it myself and, as you can see, I am shy.

I was fairly pleased with how it turned out and I might even wear it in public.  I think I will use the pattern again to make another for the spring in less wintry (and smelly) fabric.  I used the rare occasion of allowing myself to be photographed to show you my gorgeous leather bag that I picked up in a flea market recently, intending to put it in my vintage shop.   Even though I don’t have that much occasion these days to carry anything resembling an ‘officey’ type bag (made up word!), it is the perfect size for an iPad, a couple of documents, a book, a wallet and a phone which came in handy when I had to go to Toulouse for an appointment the other day so perhaps I will keep it for myself after all.

Leather Satchel

I have been pondering on new things to make for my handmade shop as, although I love those  Bunny Bentos, they are a bit fiddly to make and I am getting bored with some of the other items as I’ve been making them for a few years now.  I was lucky enough to find a range of lovely Liberty Tana Lawn locally and, although the price in euros is not particularly cheap, at least there were no shipping costs.  I always feel a little guilty cutting up  Liberty fabric too small so, this time, I’ve gone in the other direction and kept it in one big piece, backed it with soft, cosy stuff, ‘quilted’ it together in a minimalist fashion and made a lap quilt, throw, baby blanket, whatever.  It’s a nice way to showcase the fabric I think and, of course, it feels lovely and buttery soft and silky on one side because of the tana lawn and cosy and cuddly on the other because of the towelling or flannel (I’m experimenting with both at the moment).

peachpaisleycuddleup (1)

 libertybirdsblanket

I’ve free motion quilted (new verb!) some bird shapes on the second blanket but I used an erasable marker to transfer the shape and, I must say, it is taking a remarkably long time to disappear so I am hoping it will go soon, or at least after I’ve washed it, because I am panicking just a bit.

I went through a phase recently of throwing those retro crochet blankets over arms of chairs and backs of sofas.  I am ashamed to admit I bought them rather than made them myself as I don’t crochet much – although I am going to re-teach myself soon – and they seem to sell for ridiculously cheap amounts of money considering the work that goes into them.  However, they are a magnet for cat hair and, as anybody with cats will know, those buggers are incredibly difficult to get rid of once they are in the weave.  I can never understand why they sell dog and cat blankets made from polar fleece either – same thing happens and those hairs are there for life, even after being put through the washing machine.    So, I started thinking lately that I might make a throw from good old cotton fabric and, rather than keep it upstairs away from all fur babies as I normally do, I will sacrifice it to my lounge and I am sure it will stand up much better to the occasional sleeping cat as, surely, the smoother cotton surface will be less attractive both to the hair and maybe even to the cat!

Relaxed CatHenry – Wearing His Superman Pants and Getting Hairs Into the Weave

I was thinking of something simple but then this caught my eye on the Moda Bake Shop site and it would be a perfect match for my colour scheme and look brilliant over the back of my leather sofa (even though it’s described as a wall hanging) so, after foraging on Ebay U.S. for the exact same fabric, I will start collecting newspapers and embark upon a paper pieced, patriotic, luxury cat blanket.

unionjackwallhanging

I could have gone for different colours but this one suits me fine and I want to follow that tutorial to the letter and I feel that having the exact same fabric will make it somehow a little easier!  Maybe I should get my Mum to send me a copy of the Daily Mail too so that I can follow it even more slavishly.  This tutorial was put on the Moda site by Lynne at Lily’s Quilts and, when I popped over to have a look at her blog I found lots of things to slaver over and also interesting things to read so I’m a new follower.

And no, I haven’t finished Madamoiselle Tialys the Younger’s 18th birthday quilt yet but the fabric for the Union Jack  is coming from the States so it will take a couple of weeks and, anyway I have 32 days, including today, to work on it – it’ll be a doddle!

By the way, on the vintage side of things, did I show you this wasp waisted beauty? She’s missing her stand but still a bit gorgeous.

I wondered whether she was original at first but, the wood underneath the base is very old and the découpage is a bit ‘off’ in some places which wouldn’t be there if it were a repro.  However, I do believe somebody has varnished it at some stage, presumably to preserve it better which is why it has that shine in my photo.  The date, as proclaimed just under the right armpit, is 1898. when they obviously didn’t eat anything or waists were sucked in to the size of my thigh with a corset.

Decoupaged French Mannequin

I’ve been a bit ‘diverse’ in this post but haven’t written anything for such a long time that I got carried away.

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‘A Little Top’ and Other Projects

I had a productive day yesterday -I must shut myself up in the workshop more often.  I have several projects on the go at the moment but they are all quite different so if I’m not in the mood for one, I can get on with the other.  Also, having spent a whole weekend clearing up and reorganising my workspace a few weeks ago, I am determined to keep it tidy and, after each session, I am putting everything back in its place like a good girl.

Here is my small sampler quilt that I started with my little sewing group – so little in fact, there are now only two of us! Was it something that I said? Who knows?  To be honest, if I said it in French I could have unwittingly upset any number of people.  Anyway, with all its imperfections such as missing points and wonky borders, this is just awaiting a bit more quilting and the binding.  I got fed up with hand quilting it, especially as I’ve backed it with cotton ticking and it’s a little on the thick side to quilt through.  I tried some free motion quilting which I have never really done on an actual project – just messed around on test quilt sandwiches – and I was getting on famously.  I was so proud of it for a first effort but, when I turned it over, the reverse side was a complete mess.  I think what I had on the reverse was what they call ‘birds’ nests’ in the trade and that is a very accurate description.  I can’t tell you how long it took me to undo it all.  Anyway, nothing daunted, I started again but my Singer, which is a little temperamental on the tension side, just wasn’t having any of it so I decided to switch to my Janome.  Unfortunately, the quilting foot I have wouldn’t fit the Janome so I ordered another one and had to wait until it arrived.  Now it’s here I’ve got to do a few more quilt sandwiches before I release myself onto the actual project.

Meanwhile, remembering the 2 year marathon that was the quilt for Mlle. Tialys the elder’s 18th birthday quilt, I decided to get started on Mlle. Tialys the younger’s one as I’ve only got 4 months until her 18th.  Hah!  This time I wanted to follow a pattern and do a plain back instead of wandering of down the design path conjured up by my brain with no idea how it was really going to end up.  Also, I’ve bought all the fabric in advance.  Very sensible.

I liked the look of this one with the pinwheels in the centres of the blocks and, as it comes from the Moda Bake Shop blog, it comes with ingredients and a recipe (as they call them) so what can go wrong?  I also like the fact that the designer hand quilted each pinwheel with cotton perle no. 8 with nice big stitches – hooray!  And, if I can get my free motion quilting  up to scratch by then, I’ll do some ‘off piste’ quilting on the rest of it. I chose the ‘Oh Deer’ by Momo for Moda as I love the animals and woodland theme together with spots and stripes and lots of bright colours.  I don’t normally do bright colours but I thought this quilt design could take it and it is also an attempt to bring the younger Mlle. Tialys into the light after her goth phase.

First pinwheel block finished – only another 24 to go.

On a different plane, I am trying to rekindle my ‘making clothes’ passion which flares up briefly now and again throughout my life.  I have been inspired by lots of different blogs like Ooobop! and by the lack of clothing in the shops that is not for the under 25s or over 70s – I talk of the rural backwater in which I live here in France – to take it up again.  The problem of course is that, being a rural backwater, there is nowhere to wear glam clothes – I have a wardrobe full of unworn ‘posh’ frocks and heels – I’ll just have to get up to Toulouse, our nearest big city,  more often just to dress up.

This ‘little top’, as my mother would call it, caught my eye in Burda Style’s August issue, especially as it says ‘Easy’ on the instructions.  I thought it would ease me gently back into the world of sewing clothes.  Of course, it is crèpe de chine and therefore very slippery and fine but I’m going to give it a go.  I bought this fabric which is soft, muted, blurry blues with a sort of painterly print on it.

I also saw this dress pattern recommended by lots of people and I bought this printed to jersey to make it in.  The  style of sleeves I make will depend on what time of year it is when  I get round to making it.

Got this length of vintage tweed fabric for a bargain price.  It has a slight stretch to it so I wonder whether the dress, with the sleeves, would look good in that for winter.  If not, it would make a nice pencil skirt.

Then I made another Bunny Bento Bag as I wanted to see whether I could get the tricky lining done any quicker.  The answer is, not really, but I really like that Liberty tana lawn against the natural linen.

What diverse projects have you got on the go?

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