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!

Friday, June 03, 2016

Tiniest quilting ever?

Hello, Dear Reader,

Can I have a cheer for a tiny finish please?

I daresay I've mentioned how much I like sewing tiny things before?

When DH asked if I had any ideas about what he could do to protect one of the keys in his pocket .... it wasn't working properly after other keys had rubbed against it, damaging it ..... I instantly thought "aha!, my chance to make something from my scraps!"

DH doesn't often encourage my stitching you see!!!!

I pulled out calico for the backing, cotton wadding, and searched for some masculine looking fabric ..... I could have pieced something with flying geese, (maybe when I make one for me!) but I decided this had better be quick, before DH changes his mind about it!

The key used to have the red cover above! Mark I is on the right,
and Mark II on the left just before finishing. 
I knew I'd seen a link to a tutorial on Pinterest for a small sheath to carry a lipstick which attached to a keyring, and I set about finding and adapting the idea to make something suitable. In the end I couldn't make the closure work for a key! So I decided to use the same size shape without the closure - Mark I.

Mark I - I haven't quite finished this yet .... and I'm not
sure what I can use it for after my size changing,
 as it is now too small for lipstick.
Then came my Mark II version:

Mark II - Is this shadow quilting or echo?

Once all those ends were stitched in,
I simply folded the two ends together,
then stitched down each side.

Tah Dah! Mark I and Mark II finished.

Have you quilted anything really tiny lately?

Thank you for calling by today! Have a great weekend, I'm off to visit you next!

Its always great to hear from you.

Barbara xxx

Linking to Amanda Jean's Crazy Mom Quilts - Finish it up Friday!