Monday, February 13, 2012

A discovery....


Option 2 closeup


Over the weekend I have been doing a lot of thinking about the swaps that I'm currently in, Mouthy Stitches and For the Love of Solids (2). Oh - and not forgetting Doll Quilt Swap 12. (But the posting date for that is not till April so its not my main focus at the moment.) The main thing occupying my mind at the moment is zip pouches and solids. There are actually a lot of people taking part in both these great swaps, and keeping up with the progress pics is a full time job in itself! But it is very interesting being in both swaps at the same time, as ideas in one are informing my thoughts for the other and vice versa.

I have been playing around with ideas for a good while now for my partner in Mouthy Stitches. I was super lucky with the partner my swap mama assigned me, she is very talented and also really lovely and I SO want to make something she will love. I've been stalking her on Flickr and her blog and lots of ideas have been flitting through my head.


Pouch front trial 

First up I did a mock up using a rainbow theme and natural linen. (please forgive the crappy indoor photo). This was kind of based on some of her mosaic ideas. I have to say that while I like this myself, it turned out a bit more blocky and with less movement than the idea I had in my head.  I haven't done anything else with this as I'm waiting for some more perle cotton to arrive to hand quilt it.

Then, I was browsing in the FTLOS group and saw a great mini quilt based on the Japanese x and + block. And I decided to try it out using some of these fabrics, using this tute :

Fabric option for zip pouch

And I just love how it turned out. I had seen these blocks on blogs, but never really was that into them. Until I made this. Swoooooon. I love it! I totally understand the attraction and this is definitely on my list of blocks to make a quilt from. Total discovery for me!!!

I thought about hand quilting this - I'm still thinking about that. Some of that perle cotton that is currently in the post should be the perfect green for this block. But, being me, I was too impatient, and I dug around in my thread bag, finding a variegated red and pink thread and decided to see how that worked.

Option 2 Partner

I used fusible fleece for the first time that I got from Gone to Earth. I love the low loft but I think I kinda messed up when applying it, using an iron that was too hot and too much steam, as it wasn't as smooth as I anticipated when I was quilting it. Next time I will pay attention to the instructions!

Option 2 closeup

However, luckily, it didn't reflect on the front and I am pretty happy with how the outline quilting turned out. Not perfect, but it makes me smile, and I hope it might make my partner smile too. I added some extra linen sashing around the block so that I can give the pouch a flat bottom without hiding some of the block on the bottom of the pouch.

I know this block is quite pink - and that some people are allergic to pink! But I love bright pinks, and I think that paired with the green here, it works nicely and is fresh and pretty. But we'll see what my partner thinks. I have plenty of time to run up something else if she doesn't like either of these options.

On to FTLOS and I have been doing a LOT of thinking about this one. I don't think my partner wants a mini quilt, and I am strongly tempted to do a bag for her. The question in my mind is tote bag or messenger bag? I found a few great tutes for messenger bags recently when looking for myself, and it just struck me today that I could do one for her too. But I'm not sure if the quilting cotton would be strong enough for the exterior. Do you think it would be? I could interface it and use fusible fleece to give it structure? Do you think it would work? Because I actually have a good plan for this and think it would look really great. But I don't want to do all that work and for it to be too lightweight at the end.

Opinions on both swap ideas gratefully received!

26 comments:

pippablue said...

I am loving the x+ block! As for the bag, A messenger bag sounds great but you would need something a little heavier for the bag, what about some solid linen or cotton/linen or canvas with your cotton solids on top. I tend to really fill my bags and would definitely need a heavier weight one, but that's just me!

susan said...

As always you do something lovely. You've taken a block we have see a lot of this year and made it fresher and springlike and just perfect. I have often seen the block in darker colours and it never appealed to me like that, but yours is fab.

Kasey said...

I actually use quilting cotton All.The.Time. Messenger bags hold up just fine to adult wear and tear- I made a custom order for a friend's 23 birthday, and as she is turning 25 and still using the same bag, I have no problems using quilting cotton. I also make all of my own purses from it. My advice is just to use interfacing. Bags are another great place for fusible fleece!

Jess said...

I made a bag using quilting cotton for the exterior, but fused a layer of very light weight interfacing to both the exterior fabric and lining fabric and sandwiched a layer of cotton flannel inbetween the two interfacing layers. I gave it to my sister (who has a new baby and uses it all the time - it's her nappy bag) and its holding up incredibly well. The inner layers give it a really nice weight without being too bulky.

Karen said...

Lovely plan! I agree with Kasey on quilting cotton for a bag too. Light interfacing or batting usually helps and fusible fleece for sure. :)

shez said...

whow what a great looking block.xx

Leanne said...

I love that zip bag! I agree with the advice here on the messenger bag.

Katy Cameron said...

This looks great! I'm about to do my first quilting with the fusible fleece backing (although I've used it for bags and frame purses before)

For the bag, if you're using quilting cotton, just use more interfacing to make it sturdier, some fusible woven and then some fusible fleece should do it :o)

tarabu said...

When I make tote bags I often use quilting cotton fabric, but use an medium weight fusible interfacing in the body and strap fabric for added strength.

I think the rainbow/linen block is lovely, by the way!

Cindy said...

You're making some beautiful things, Miss Sarah! I love the scrappy boxy front of your pouch. It will be great hand stitched!

Jennifer @ Ellison Lane Quilts said...

I know nothing about interfacing or batting for a messenger bag but just wanted to say your work is lovely friend! Loving the pink!
xo

Flying Blind... said...

I believe your partner will especially like No2!

I made both my 241 and Go Anywhere with cotton/linen mix and some interfacing, but neither is likely to be ill-treated - I was thinking of using a home dec weight if making for my sister or kids, I suppose if it is quilting weight you just have to treat it nicely!

Jennie said...

I love the block! When I made a bag as a xmas present for my Mum I usedduck cloth for the main body and then a cotton block - the duck cloth is slightly heavier, but not really a canvas!

Isisjem said...

I think the pink and green combo is a fresh spring winner.

I've made a tonne of bags. I often use quilting cotton. I use a medium weight interfacing and often use Kona or Klona to eek out a print and find it works well. I guess it depends on how much structure you want. When I made reversible bags using some of my other half's Uniform (which in it's worn state is not that much heavier than quilting cotton.) I used a layer of needlepunch wadding and that's given it a nice structure.

Annabella said...

I spent a good hour on flikr this morning catching up after a two day absence for both swaps and had to confine myself to just commenting on things which could conceivably be for me otherwise I would still be there! I love your block and am excited to see what you do in the solids` swap!

Archie the wonder dog said...

Love your pouch design! I use quilting weight cotton for bags, etc. and they've always been fine and hard wearing, can't wait to see what you make!

Celtic Thistle said...

I have made loads of bags with quilting cotton and always use fusible fleece to interline. Haven't had any problems with any of them and some of them have been in use for over 2 years. So definitely the way to go for your swap!

Laura said...

I love the first block and the x block also.

Patchwork and Play said...

Love the x+ block! Those colours are so ME!! I'm sure your idea for a messenger bag will work with interfacing and bating! Go for it!

Jennie P. said...

Sorry for the stupid question but new quilter here...that fusible fleece you mentioned, is that used in the place of regular batting? I've never heard of it before but I love how warm fleece is so it would be a great option when I make a quilt for myself.

Sarah said...

Oh sweetie you dont need any suggestions or help with your pouches they're fantabulous :-) And as for the solids.... you totally rocked them last time and I have every confidence this time will be even more awesome :-)

Wendy said...

I use quilting cottons for bags all the time. My main handbag is made from quilting cottons and it's standing up just fine. I use interfacing or fusible fleece, but if you're really worried you could use both!

VickiT said...

I would think the quilter cotton will be just fine. I've used the fabrics from JoAnn's which was much thinner and they are still fine. I had made a Mother's Day tote with Dolly Mama Breast Cancer designs embroidered on it and she uses it all the time.

I used Peltex 70 which was very stiff and not something I'd recommend on something smaller like a purse but the fusible fleece would work great for the stability needed for a purse.
You might want to read some blog entries on Studio Kat's blog about her using the fusible fleece and then her info about Soft & Stable instead of the fusible fleece. She knows purses since that's what she does if you haven't heard of her. Her purse patterns are awesome.
I remembered some blog posts about the two products and testing of the Soft & Stable (which is a new bag foundation) so I found those to link you directly to them to read.
http://blog.studiokatdesigns.com/2011/09/soft-stable-presto-purse.html

http://blog.studiokatdesigns.com/2011/10/ppc4-soft-foundation.html

Customer test using the Soft & Stable bag foundation for another opinion than hers
http://blog.studiokatdesigns.com/2011/11/soft-stable-verdict-on-our-dittyroo.html
If you want another opinion you might want to email her. She's very nice and would more than likely help you with what you are wondering.
Love the block. It's awesome looking.

Kirsten N said...

Love the X and + block Sarah and it isn't really too pink either!

felicity said...

Lovely projects, Sarah!

Megan said...

I like your use of pink! In New Zealand shops (to date) I have only been able to find baby pink, but I think a strong pink can work really well.