Thursday, 26 September 2013

Gorgeous Bag !

I have been merrily working away at Beth's quilt, 18 of these blocks complete and only two more to go.
BUT I needed a break from the monotony of replica block after block. It does get boring.

So I got out the most gorgeous fabric to make myself the most gorgeous bag. Not all bags are gorgeous. Just like not all babies are gorgeous. Well I am the mummy of a new bag and it's definitely gorgeous.
Winner of the bonny bag competition.

So here is the story of Gorgeous Bag.

I need a new lunch bag for work. This one I have been using for about a year...

I still love you little bag but I have some beautiful fabric needing a bit of love and attention too.

With one exception (the second one up from the bottom) this is all Carnaby Street, from Art Gallery Fabrics. This fabric feels beautiful... lovely quality.

I am going to make the bag pretty random, with a scrappy look.
I need two pieces 16 by 12 inches and a bottom piece 16 by 5.

So the piecing is all improvisational, cutting and stitching until it grows into the size I need.

Two sides of the bag.

The base sewn to both pieces and basted to wadding.

Relatively close straightish quilting vertically on the bag.

Trim the wadding and sew up both sides.

At this stage I intended to box the corners to make it into a more bucket shape, but I thought this is a lovely bag, an everyday bag, too lovely to put my sandwiches in and squeeze into my locker.

A Tote bag 

So I made the lining out of one piece of fabric, 16 by 29 inches.

Next, the handles. I am never 100% sure what the correct way to do handles is.
I cut strips 2 inch wide and wadding 1.5 inches wide.
Make them as long as you like really. Or as short.

I wrap and iron a quarter of an inch around the wadding then stitch in place. Then iron the second piece the same and sew. 
There is probably an easier and more sensible way of doing it. I then quilted the handles and pinned one to each side of the bag... 3 inches in from each side.

Then the bit that's hard to get your head around. You put your bag inside the inside out lining.
So right sides are together and the handles are tucked up inside.

Sew just over a quarter of an inch all along the top, leaving a 5 inch or so gap. This gap allows you to pull the bag through and will be sewn over when completing the bag.

The pins here are pinning the gap that I left on the top. So at this stage I stitched a seam around the top of the bag to give a good edge.

Here it is on the line. Everywhere in the house was too dark for good photos. It's so dull and cloudy at the moment.

The pointed corners annoyed me a bit so I ended up boxing the corners slightly at this stage.

Boxing the corners 1.5 inches in from each corner gives it a slightly bucket shape with the base about 4 inches.

Its perfect. I love it.

I included a bit of selvedge for extra coolness and edge. !?

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Rifleman 444

I finished my piece for the NIPG exhibition 'Cultural Heritage"
It was all a bit last minute, where 90% was completed in the last week.
The piece is inspired by the loss of my Great Grandfather on the first day of The Battle of The Somme.
It is also inspired by the Thiepval Memorial and the Missing of The Somme. 
The tragedy of war.

Here are some closer shots...

Move him into the sun -
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields half-sown.

The opening lines of 'Futility' by Wilfred Owen

You can see in the background a rubbing of my Great Grandfather's grave in Hamel, France.

William Powers is pictured here, above centre.

I am delighted to have it finished and handed over to the exhibition coordinator.
There was some intense sewing at the end of the week.

For the poem I wrote the words out first on freezer paper. This was placed on the fabric and then free machined over and over until the depth of colour was achieved. The freezer paper was then torn away.
This was a joy to do and once I got into the rhythm of the writing I could have stitched words all day

The exhibition opens in the City Hall in Belfast on Thursday.