ScrapHappy November

Welcome once again to ScrapHappy Day!

It’s the day my friend Gun in Sweden and I host ScrapHappy, a day for showing something made from scraps.

I’ve finished the scrappy Days for Girls cushion cover!  Everything about this is scrappy: the hexie front, the batting (discarded spill kit pad*), the backing (leftover from the Anemone quilt) and binding (leftover from Gonna Teal your Heart Away) quilt.

Do you remember I wanted to tone down the pale yellow and pink hexagons in the centre?  What do you think of my Sharpie solution?  I think it helps them recede and fit in much better. By the way, the DfG table runner is still a work in progress, but maybe next month?

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of genuine scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful or useful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Either email me at the address on my Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at). If you’ve copied this list from previous posts, please use the one below as it’s the most up to date. This month, we’ve been joined by a new member – welcome, Kym!

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire,
Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette, Ann and Kym

See you next time for more scrappy loveliness.

*A spill kit pad is a 16 inch square of thick (nearly ¼ inch), heavy cotton batting, designed to absorb spills of oil and engine fuel safely. They are 100% cotton to minimise fire risk. They also, incidentally, make perfect cushion batting! They are discarded when they start to get a bit battered, at which point I’m standing there with greedy clutching paws, scrounging… 😉

Mending and amending

I don’t do sewing alterations or repairs for other people.

What I do do is help friends, and sometimes this takes the form of a bit of sewing. A friend in my tai chi class recently lost her father. She brought me one of his old shirts, and asked if it was possible to alter/tailor it so that she could wear it. She brought me a couple of her own sleeveless shirts to show what she wanted. Now, my friend is tall and sort of medium-female-sized. Her father wore XXL shirts. It wasn’t just a nip and tuck.

So, it wasn’t a mend. It was amend. I made a paper pattern for the arm-scye from one of her shirts. I removed the pockets from the front and repositioned them (you can see where they were, but it’s not too obvious, and will hopefully improve still more after washing) because their original position would fall somewhere under her armpit. I took measurements off her shirts and applied them. I created a couple of bust darts to give it some shape. (If she wants more shaping after she’s tried it, I’ll put in a couple of back darts.)

Before closing the side seams, I stitched the pockets and darts, closed and overlocked the side seams and then bound the armholes. Finally, I trimmed and hemmed the bottom of the shirt. Job done.

She’d also asked if I thought there’d be enough fabric trimmed off for a cushion cover. Sleeves use a surprisingly large amount of fabric, so I was fairly confident something could be done. I stitched the sleeves lower edge to lower edge with an embroidery stitch, lining up the stripes as much as possible. There was enough to create a 16½ inch square, which takes a standard cushion pad. I backed and bound it with an offcut of rust homespun, and used the last few scraps to create a hexie flower for the quilted front.

And then, while I was folding up the shirts she’d lent me, I noticed that one of them was looking a bit battered. It was pretty fabric, navy blue with a white sprigged print, and was clearly a well-loved but now rather the worse for wear garment. I took a closer look, and decided it was worth mending.

The shoulders are rather sun-faded and in places there were holes worn in the fabric. I hunted through my scraps and found a strip of navy with a white spot. It didn’t exactly match, but it did go with… I made a small pseudo-yoke for the top of the shoulders on the shirt back, which covered both the worst of the sun fading and the holes.

The armholes were in really bad shape, both frayed and in places detaching entirely from the rest of the shirt. I snipped off the entire armhole bindings and replaced them with new bias binding. I didn’t have navy, but felt that the white worked. The armholes will now sit a little further in on the shoulders, but they’re whole and tidy. I’ve had to add new fabric to old, so the mending won’t last forever, but I think it’ll give her another year or so of wearing enjoyment.

I hope it’ll be a nice surprise for her.

 

ScrapHappy October: A hexie cushion

Welcome once again to ScrapHappy Day!

It’s the day my friend Gun in Sweden and I host ScrapHappy, a day for showing something made from scraps.

I needed a handwork project to take on holiday with me. I had quite a bundle of hexie flowers left from the Days Gone By quilt top, so I’ve separated them into to projects: a cushion cover and a table runner. When Days Gone By is finished and goes into the prize draw, I wanted to have a second and third prize to go with it. The cushion cover will be third and the table runner second, being larger.

And here’s the finished cushion front, all the hexies stitched together. It’s not stylish or carefully considered, but it is very scrappy and cheerful. I need to tone down the pale yellow and pink ones in the middle which jump out too much, and I’ll straighten the outer edges, sandwich and quilt it. After that, I’ll add a backing in a nice colour. Next month, I hope to have the table runner top ready to show you.

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of genuine scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful or useful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Either email me at the address on my Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at). If you’ve copied this list from previous posts, please use the one below as it’s the most up to date. Joanne has asked to be removed from the list due to time constraints, and we have a new member this month, so say hello to Ann and hop over to look at her work in the galleries on her website.

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire,
Jean, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Nanette and Ann

See you next time for more scrappy loveliness.

ScrapHappy September: Days Gone By – border progress

Welcome once again to ScrapHappy Day!

It’s the day my friend Gun in Sweden and I host ScrapHappy, a day for showing something made from scraps.

Last time, I’d just begun creating the border blocks to go around the hexie centre.

Cutting, arranging and stitching these 12 inch blocks gets addictive. Cutting and arranging I can do at my Saturday morning Days for Girls sewing group, and it’s an opportunity to collect yet more DfG scraps to be incorporated (as if I needed any more, what with the 80L (20 gallon) storage tub of them I already have).

Anyway…

I got a bit carried away with the stitching bit the past few weeks, and here’s where I am now:

Two sides of the border completed, another under way, and you can see now how I intend to use it against the hexies. I need to finish the right hand side, and start the bottom border. The zig zag edge of the hexie panel will be hand stitched down onto the border squares and I’ll finally be able to release the last papers from the hexie edge. As always, you can click to enlarge the image.

Mouse has also been the delighted recipient of a scrappy project this week. On a recent fabric shopping trip, I picked up a very long skinny remainder of polar fleece, about 60cm wide by 2 metres long (24×80 inches). I had been trying to find him a Cuddlepillar, but without success. Due to the obsession greyhounds have with these plush toys, it’s virtually impossible to buy one. So I decided I’d make him some-thing he could play with in the same way. Success!  He spends hours ‘killing’ it, shaking it, dragging it about, and when he has finally vanquished it, lying on it! It’s just the long piece of polar fleece sewn into a tube and stuffed with two tragic flat old bed pillows which had been on the point of going in the dustbin, rolled into sausages. The fact that the fleece is printed with cats is purely incidental….

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of genuine scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful or useful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Either email me at the address on my Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at). If you’ve copied this list from previous posts, please use the one below as it’s the most up to date. We have two new members this month, Del and Nanette – Welcome, ladies!

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Del and Nanette

See you next time for more scrappy loveliness.

ScrapHappy August: Days Gone By

Welcome once again to ScrapHappy Day!

It’s the day my friend Gun in Sweden and I host ScrapHappy, a day for showing something made from scraps.

Last time, I’d finally completed the hexie part of the Days Gone By quilt. (It might still need some fillers on the left and right hand edges, but it’s otherwise substantially complete.) It was time to head into border country once again!

After some not entirely boring trimming work, I’d assembled 36 x 2½ inch squares which worked nicely as a 12 inch finished block. The first of many border pieces!  These will all be joined into an outer ‘frame’ onto which I will appliqué the hexie panel. I’m making an effort not to use duplicate fabrics within each block.

As you can see, I have the next one laid out ready to go, and yet another one trimmed out. It’s easy enough to take a pile of scraps, a small quilter’s ruler, a cutting mat and a rotary cutter along to the Days for Girls sessions instead of a large piece of hexie hand-stitching, and it sure does chew up the scraps nicely!

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of genuine scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful or useful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Either email me at the address on my Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at). If you’ve copied this list from previous posts, please use the one below as it’s the most up to date.

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin, Vera, Del and Nanette

See you next time for more scrappy loveliness.

Upcycling the disposable

I don’t want to use disposable masks, but I like some of their features.

They have obvious benefits, but also significant drawbacks: They contain plastics. They create so much extra rubbish that has to be dealt with, and people aren’t too careful about how they’re disposing of them. A significant proportion of them constitute hazmat, since they will contain viral matter captured from the air around the not-yet diagnosed Covid-positive, which the poor refuse collectors will be expected to deal with. And they’re an ongoing and constant expense.

I’ve written several times before about making masks. The initial version, the revised, improved version. I’m now onto version 3, and it integrates some of the good features of the disposable mask, without itself being disposable. I bought a pack of 5, and I picked them to pieces. I ended up with 5 nose wires, 5 pairs of elastic ear loops, and 5 pieces of waterproof fabric. What was left was basically paper towel, and I used it as such before it finally hit the bin.

Into my existing fitted masks I have sewn the nose wires for an even tighter fit, and the soft ear loops for more comfort than the ¼ inch strip elastic I’ve used up to now. I will integrate the waterproof fabric pieces into new masks to save having to use Scotchgard® on the outside. The fabric masks, and these components, are washable and thus will stay out of landfill much longer than the disposable masks. At some stage I’d guess the nose wire may start to rust or deteriorate, at which point it’ll be time for another pack of 5 masks to pick apart. And it leaves the surgical masks available for those who really need them.

Win-win, I reckon.

Putting a good face on things

I’ve set up a bit of a production line.

I have a nephew who lives in Melbourne, Victoria. Residents of that city are now required to wear a mask in all public places unless they obtain a medical exemption certificate. It’s not optional, not discretionary. My nephew’s been buying single-use surgical masks, using them once and throwing them out. Aside from the cost implication, the waste irks me severely. I have seen photos where a snowdrift of discarded masks has blown about. Those things contain polypropylene, they get into waterways, cause environmental damage… it’s a Bad Thing. So I offered to make him a few cloth ones that he can launder and use again. Quite apart from the cost and environmental issues, these will look a lot better!

Then I told his mother, my sister, who lives in northern New South Wales. So far, her area’s Covid-free, but she’s older, her husband’s health is not great, and the time may soon come when they are asked to wear masks too. She asked if I’d mind making some for her and my brother-in-law too. Well, sure! By this time, I have the process down to an art and can crank one out from scratch in 20 minutes, curved seams, topstitching and all.

I’ve drawn myself a new pattern. The one I had before was a bit too snug across the nose. I think it was designed for dainty Asian noses, rather than my increasingly aquiline honker. This new one also comes higher at the ear so there’s less pressure on the elastic loop around the ear, and further across the cheek. I find it quite comfortable, even after prolonged wear. I’ve also simplified the construction process; the channel for the elastic is now simply the end of the mask folded in by half an inch and stitched down. It’s thicker – but quicker!

Luckily my stash had sufficient quantities of both batik and fat quarters in quiet dark colours for the blokes, and that increasingly rare commodity – elastic! I think my sister will enjoy the patterned ones and the slightly brighter colours for hers. I use good quality quilting cotton on the outside and tightly-woven batik for the lining. I treat the outer surface with a light coating of Scotchgard® Fabric & Upholstery Protector to make it more waterproof. The stuff is safe for use on clothing, and I don’t use it on the inside, next to the skin, so there should be no problem with irritation. You’d probably need to reapply it after a couple of washes, but as they’re now telling us that masks would ideally contain a waterproof fabric on the outside (and most waterproof fabrics aren’t that breathable), this seemed like a good solution. So, 10 masks done, dusted and (almost) delivered. They are now in the tender care of Australia Post…

Now that mask-making duty is over, I can crack on with finally making my F2F blocks. Hurray!

ScrapHappy July: Sugar sprinkles 2

Welcome once again to ScrapHappy Day!

It’s the day my friend Gun in Sweden and I host ScrapHappy, a day for showing something made from scraps.

You’ve seen the first Sugar Sprinkles pillowcase quilted in my post about the Anemone quilt facing.

It was time to finish #2. First for the batting. I have a large box full of scraps of batting too large to be just thrown away. It was easy enough to piece together a panel large enough to back the pillowcase front. I had to buy another roll of batting tape to complete the job, but I find the tape is the quickest, easiest and most satisfactory way of joining straight edges of batting.

A quick squirt of basting spray (thank heavens for 505), and it was ready to start quilting. I wanted something different from the other pillowcase, which is angular and wonky. Here, despite the straight lines of the piecing, I wanted softer quilting and it wasn’t a huge jump to my old favourite: wavy lines.

Done, and I like the effect. Now to make a back and pocket for the pillow and put the whole lot together with a scrappy binding. But that’s for another day…

ScrapHappy is open to anyone using up scraps of anything – no new materials. It can be a quilt block, pincushion, bag or hat, socks or a sculpture. Anything made of genuine scraps is eligible. If your scrap collection is out of control and you’d like to turn them into something beautiful or useful instead of leaving them to collect dust in the cupboard, why not join us on the 15th of each month? Either email me at the address on my Contact Me page, or leave a comment below. You can also contact Gun via her blog to join. We welcome new members. You don’t have to worry about making a long term commitment or even join in every month, just let either of us know a day or so in advance if you’re new and you’ll have something to show, so we can add your link. Regular contributors will receive an email reminder three days before the event.

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at). If you’ve copied this list from previous posts, please use the one below as it’s the most up to date.

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline,
Sue L, Sunny, Kjerstin and Vera

See you next time for more scrappy loveliness.

Blast from the Past

It has been many, many years since I cut a pattern.

Since it was so long, I didn’t tax myself with anything complicated. Let’s wind this back a little.

The other day, I realised that the backside was out of several pairs of my summer pants, worn thin and in some cases displaying an unseemly amount of underwear. I went shopping and one of the replacements I bought was a pair of wide leg pants in lightweight crepe with a comfortable broad elasticated waist and a slit from ankle to halfway up the calf which resulted in a fun flip of the pants leg when you walk. They have rapidly become my favourite pair, still a little thin for the current wintery weather (yes, OK, 21°C/70°F is not winter as many of you know it, but it’s cold for us), but due to be worn to death in the summer. They were only available in one colour-way, navy with a small white spot.

Well, obviously I was going to try and copy them, wasn’t I? – especially as there are only 3 pattern pieces involved: front, back and waistband.

I had a pencil, eraser, ruler, roll of brown paper, tape measure and pins. That’s all you need to draft a pattern off an existing garment, unless you want to go all fancy and get one of those little spiky wheel things. It’s a bit trickier when there’s elastic involved, as it’s hard to get a garment to lie flat when the waistband keeps wanting to shrink back to its unexpanded size. But essentially you lay the garment as flat as possible and trace around it, using pins to punch an outline where you can’t flatten out a seam or disappear a sleeve, for example.

You then join everything up, add seam allowance, et voilà: a basic pattern. Add marks to ensure things will line up, indicate straight grain and how many pieces to cut, and the job is done.

Now to cut it out from the grey and white bargain-bin fabric I picked up a couple of years ago for the massive total of $6 for 3 metres. Plenty. And I’ll probably have enough to make some sort of matching top.

Watch this space!

Mend it Monday #8

An idea devised by The Snail of Happiness

Oh joy, another pair of the Husband’s work pants to repair…

I think we can justifiably call this an Heroic Repair, don’t you?  There are already two patches in place from previous incidents, and he really did a number on them this time.

However, despite biting the bullet and buying not one but three new pairs, these are still among his favourites. They’re soft, comfortable and lightweight. So pleeeeease would I mend them. Again.

Oh, very well…

OK, Heroic Mend complete.

That’s better.