Saturday, June 25, 2016

Pastel Dye Sticks, and another Tiny Quilting Finish.

Hello Dear Reader,

I had to laugh, earlier this week, on visiting Kate, of Smiles from Kate, as I found that, to my surprise, she too was camped out in her bedroom with her two pets whilst work was being carried out elsewhere in her house ..... and at that very moment I was doing exactly the same thing myself! .....  with our two "new to us" cats, while we were having our aging chimney stack removed and the gap tiled over!

The eldest of the two cats, Tom, was determined to keep an eye on proceedings, from a comfortable spot by the window, where he eventually fell asleep! Youngest cat decided to settle under our bed, for a serious kip (even though she is normally out in the garden all day) until the coast was clear!


If you you haven't seen my previous post on "Tiniest Quilting Ever" let me explain!
"DH and I have laser cut door keys that, surprisingly, get damaged when they rub against the other keys on our keyrings, and consequently they won't open our doors, so we had to think of some sort of protection for them, or keep replacing the keys (which would be really inconvenient, and not to mention very expensive!)."
Therefore we thought of making some sort of sleeve for them. After making the prototype for DH I set about making some for my keys:

A little while ago I visited Queeniepatch on her blog - Queenie's Needlework - where she was talking about the crayons she was using on her Trinity Green triangle patchwork quilt - this gave me the idea of using some crayon colour on my key protectors.

"Flying Geese" cover: I made my first key cover in the style of "flying geese" (if you don't "do" patchwork this is a technical term for a quilting pattern) which I had thought of making to use some of my scraps, but I felt the pieces really would be too small, even if I used paper piecing (another patchwork name), and there would be too many seams to turn the stitching right side out through the tiny gap. I could have used binding, of course, but again .... it would be much too fiddly with all the tiny pieces that would entail, and therefore I chose not to make the cover that way. Which was when I had a "lightbulb" moment, and decided that if I drew a grid I could colour in my "patches". You will see the finished cover on my key ring at the bottom of this post.

As the "flying geese" cover worked well I though I'd try making something similar with a different pattern, and remembered to take some pics this time!

Lemon and Lime cover: Again, I drew a grid on a scrap of Calico, using an erasable *Frixion ball pen, in order to be sure I stitched my seams exactly where I wanted them. I've had the pen for a year or so, but hadn't been brave enough to use it on any of my stitching, until now, as I was worried it might not erase properly, and would ruin my work!

Then I filled in the spaces with *Pentel Fabricfun Pastel Dye Sticks.

*Please don't think I am advertising, and I am not being reimbursed to mention these items either! I am merely reporting that they worked well for me.

Drawing with a Frixion pen
Grid draw with Frixion ball pen 
With an old scrap of fabric under my grid, and covering it with a piece of parchment paper, I pressed with a hot iron to set the dye, and, hopefully, it is now permanent and washable. (BTW - I have since washed this  key cover, and the colour has stayed in place and looks as good as new!)
Removing grid and setting crayons
Pressing with the iron also completely removed the Frixion grid.
Searching for cotton to stitch a frame to highlight the pastel pattern, I discovered this vintage cotton reel in my collection... one of many cotton reels I have "inherited" from stitching friends who have been clearing out or downsizing .... I was amazed to realise the paper on top and bottom of the reel had not been broken - meaning it had never been used before!
Vintage cotton reel in Vintage condition
In pristine condition!

Vintage cotton reel in Vintage condition
Still pristine condition - seconds before handing it to DH
I do hope it wasn't valuable, but, it was, at least, unusual with it being so old, and unused!

Well this was seconds before DH held it, and, you can probably guess ..... the first thing he did was break the paper on top! Neverthless, I liked the colour .... and at least it meant I used it, and didn't just put it back in the box of cottons for another 50 years, or whatever......

I stitch seams that won't be seen in a cream colour, not to waste my coloured threads where they won't be seen ....
Tiny stitching
Using lots of pins, even though it's tricky to get it all under the walking foot!
A useful tip I read a while ago .... when sewing tiny things leave a large seam and cut to size when you are happy with it .... so I left my scrap of wadding larger than necessary until I had finished stitching the seam.

Before turning.
Stitched with a gap of an inch to turn through.
Turning tiny stitching
I always struggle closing the gap after turning, so I don't trim the seam at the gap.
Trimming seams
Trim close to seams, being careful not to cut through
any stitches.
After turning
Even using a bodkin, it's still tricky to push corners out,  
Oh dear, I missed out a step here ..... my machine stitched outlines in the Vintage Moss Green cotton, but you can see below how it looks, after stitching. Maybe I should have gone over the stitching a couple of times .... well, that will be a lesson learnt for the next few covers.

That's two key covers for me ...... however I have about another eight to make to protect the spare keys that were supplied when we had our new patio and front doors fitted.

Finished Quilted key covers
These are my two key covers!

This is the first time I've thought of using crayons rather than patterned fabrics, and I shall definitely be experimenting again with Pastel Dye Sticks. 

Do you, or would you, use crayons with your stitching?

Thank you for visiting me today. I hope you are having a great weekend, and now I'm off to see what you are all up to!

I always love to hear from you.

Barbara xxx

Linking to Amanda Jean's Crazy Mom Quilts - Finish it up Friday, hoping Amanda doesn't mind me being a little late!


Magpie's Mumblings said...

I really enjoyed reading about how you made something so small. I simply couldn't imagine trying to sew such teeny tiny pieces so it was a huge relief to see how you actually did it. Still impressive though! I have used water color pencils occasionally - and also some fabric crayons. If I remember correctly we experimented with shaving fabric crayons and then ironing them to get a stained glass effect.

KimM said...

Loved your post. Thank you for all the pictures.....amazingly small. Well done!

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Excellent solution to a tiny problem. How well do the sleeves stay on your keys? I have used crayons and watercolor pencils on fabric in craft projects.
xx, Carol

Queeniepatch said...

I take my hat off! Working on something this tiny is an achievement indeed! I was happy to read about your work with crayons; it IS an easy way to 'fake' patchwork, isn't it?
The finished key covers look smart and apart from keeping the keys from getting damaged, the covers will reduce the noise of clattering keys and also make it easy to find the right key. I'd say you've killed THREE birds with one stone.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Great idea for protecting your keys. We don't have that problem, hubby's issue is not being able to find them because he puts them down in a different place every time he comes home!
I use felt tipped pens quite often, I've used them to colour plain aida, both as a pattern and instead of stitching a plain background. I've also used them to add some colour to back stitched flowers for cards. They are very versatile!

Amy at love made my home said...

So many great ideas in this post from making your own patterned fabric to the larger seams! I hope they protect your keys well!

Kate @ Smiles From Kate said...

Your key protectors look great Barbara, but you won't like what I'm going to say next. Erixon pen ink never disappears. As long as the fabric is at an ok temperature you won't see the lines, but if it gets very cold they will appear again, sorry.

Sheryl said...

I like your key covers and the idea of using crayons with embroidery projects is interesting - don´t know if we can buy them here - once at a patchwork class our teacher wanted to `draw´ a window on one of my tiny patchwork houses, she drew the window with a felt tip pen and made a right mess which never washed out. I agree with Kate, the frixon pens which work so well don´t completely disappear, all depends on the temperature.

Brigitte said...

Oh my, that's really tiny. But you were doing great and the key covers look really good. Thanks for the step to step instructions.

FlashinScissors said...

Ah! I had always intended to line the cases with pieces of folded card so that the "blade" of the key would sit snugly. Shame I didn't do it straight away, within a day I had lost "Lemon and Lime" but we luckily found it near our front door behind a planter. That was how come I washed the cover - it was wet and muddy from all the rain. But the plus side is I now know I definitely need to line all the covers, and they will wash up extremely well!
Perhaps that will remove the residue of the Frixion pens too, something else to check. xxx

Josie said...

Great key covers and I hope you and the felines can escape the bedroom soon. Our cat is loving the odd burst of sun but is rather annoyed by the sudden heavy rain showers! xx

FlashinScissors said...

Hi Josie,
Thank you for your comment! Funnily enough these cats are unlike any of the others we've had before, and they don't mind the rain in the slightest, really unusual, which makes me wonder if they were indoor cats before they came to us!
Barbara xx

handmade by amalia said...

Prettiest key protectors ever, Barbara. All the other keys must be feeling a bit miffed.

Benta AtSLIKstitches said...

What a great idea!