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.

ScrapHappy June: Sugar sprinkles

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 don’t really enjoy improv. It’s too…. disorganised. But sometimes, what you have in front of you cries out for some serious improvisation. Later this year, it’s going to be my turn to receive F2F blocks (Footsquare Freestyle, for those who don’t follow regularly). My chosen colour theme is light and mid greys, whites and brights (except yellow, I’m not a big fan and I’m a bit picky, so I’ll be supplying my own yellow blocks!). Well, I thought I’d warm up to making my own blocks by using some of my scraps.

The F2F blocks will certainly become a quilt, and this being the case, I decided to make a quilted pillowcase (or maybe two) to go with it. And this is the first stage, the pieced front (still to be quilted).

I’ve used some fairly tiny scraps and quite a lot of scrappy grey, many of the darker pieces turned back to front to allow them to blend in. I haven’t allowed myself to get all agitated about wonky seams or strange angles. I think it works…. There’ll be another one in the pipeline at some stage. As I said, I don’t really enjoy the process, although I do like the outcome! If the blocks I receive have the same sort of colour balance (ie, more grey than colour) I’ll probably end up calling the quilt Sugar Sprinkles.

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.

Mend it Monday #7

An idea devised by The Snail of Happiness

Oh joy, not one but three pairs of the Husband’s work pants to repair…

I’ve told him that it’s probably time to consider a couple of new pairs; many of the existing ones now have multiple patches on the seat, and once they start giving out, there’s only so much you can do to resurrect them. The legs will make useful future patches.

Right, that’s my mending basket empty.

That’s better.

ScrapHappy May: not even $11!

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.

Those of you who’ve been around this blog a while will remember my scrappy quilt The $11 Rainbow, so called because that’s all it cost to make. A few months ago, the Dowager (aka my MIL), asked if I’d give it to her, as she really liked it. Despite the fact that it’s one of my favourites, I did. On the very day we were first allowed to visit each other again with a slight easing of restrictions, she came by for coffee and home made bickies. During the visit, she asked if I’d make her a cushion cover to match it. She has a memory-foam pillow in her chair, and wanted a cover that matches the quilt, also quilted and ideally with a zipper. Certainly, ma’am.

Scrappy colour selection in progress

$11R was made from my brightest scraps, bordered with an inky dark blue. She didn’t want the dark blue, though. So I made the entire front from bright scraps, shading from blue through purple, red, pink, orange and yellow. I wasn’t even going to try hiding the joins between the colour strips – for this application, life was definitely just too short!

The colours actually blend a little better in real life; that hard line down the centre doesn’t show so much

The back itself is a little more conservative in colour scheme, using some of my pretty red and green scraps in a larger size than on the front. Because this is wrapping an actual bed pillow rather than a cushion form, I needed to put the zip at one end so it could be put on like a pillowcase, instead of my preferred position across the centre back. The zipper is also a scrap, recycled from an old work jacket of the Husband’s. It was too long, so I shortened it by cutting the end off and wrapping the cut end with a strip of fabric.

What can I say? I didn’t spend a cent, let alone $11!

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 a new member, welcome Vera.

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.