Sunday, March 12, 2023

Happy Mail

 This week has been a mailbox week. Two of the parcels are blog worthy.

I am making some clutch bags. I have noticed that handbags seem to be shrinking and I had a request for some, all from the same pattern. So, I consulted with the future owners, and pulled fabric from my stash to get their approval. Then I ordered the hardware and straps. 

First to arrive were the straps.

I bought four colours of seatbelt strapping from Blue Calla in Toronto.  I haven't used it before, but it looks like a good choice for cross body straps.

I also bought one of her Bloom Box Sewing Kits for a Crocus Pouch. It comes with everything you need to make the bag.  I I have lots of fabric, but the fabrics in this kit were wonderful. so I treated myself.

She also gifted me with a pink and white rainbow zipper tape with four pulls. I am sure I will have fun with that.

I didn't have enough hardware in the correct sizes so I ordered that from Emmaline Bags, my favourite source for hardware.

I also bought some 3 mm double sided tape, which is great for zippers and slip pockets, as well as a set of pretty notebooks.

I like to use squared paper to keep notes and figure out projects, and these books are the right size to keep in my sewing table drawer. One for sewing and one for knitting!

I also finished another pair of socks. These are for my favourite little guy to wear in his rubber boots. I have hope that the snow will stop soon, however, there is more on the way this week.

We won't talk about the poinsettia tablecloth, except to say that it is currently protecting the table from a couple of little kits who like to lay there. If it ever stops snowing, I change it for spring flowers.

Hopefully, we will have some progress on the clutch bags this week, but it is March Break and I am on Nana duty so we will have to see.


Saturday, March 4, 2023

Project Quilting 14.5

 This week's challenge was "Sew Not A Square". Okay, I can do that. I grabbed my ruler, and some border stripe fabric and made this.

I made a couple of spring coasters. They both have flaws, but they will serve the purpose.

I keep a glass of water on my night table and somebody (some feline) managed to destroy the coaster I was using. I was reduced to using this.

Not exactly my style. It also might have some tea stains on it. The cloth ones are an upgrade.

This is the back.

I'm sure it is only a matter of time before some accident befalls them, but for now, they are pretty and have a spring feeling.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Another Bag

After making 2 zippered bags for Project Quilt, I realized remaking zippered pouches that I have made before is a good way to practice some basic bag making skills, without having to concentrate on trying to figure out the instructions for a more complicated project. My zippers are becoming tidier, my seams are nicely matched. 

So, this week, I made another Retreat Bag. The Retreat Bag is a free pattern from Emmaline Bags.  It is much like the Wide Open Pouch but it has these frames that help hold the bag open.

I discovered that I had 5 of the frames in my stash. These are the small size, Style A on Emmaline's site.

I hid some kitties on the slip pockets inside. As you can see, it stays open so you can get your contents in and out easily.

The outer fabric is one of a collection of fat quarters, I found hiding in my stash (this tidying thing has found lots of treasures.) I had forgotten what it was but after some research, discovered that it is an African batik fabric, heavier that the ones from Bali, and with simpler patterns. 

The lining was another fat quarter that seemed to match the outer fabric. The zipper was from a pack of zippers that were a bargain because I didn't get a colour choice. I wondered what I would use the colour for, but this is perfect.

I have made the large Retreat Bag before but this is my first small one. 

Today, I spent some time preparing for my next project.

The cutting table is clear.

The bin for the pieces of the project is empty. What will be next? Wait and see. My next step is to make sure I have everything I need.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Fashion Influencer?

 Last week, I made this bag for Project Quilt. You can read about it here. It was definitely a squirrel type project, design to completion in 4 days.

This morning, I saw this bag in my newsfeed. It is at the Prada show during London Fashion Week.

The trapezoid shape is a bit more accentuated, but very similar to my bag. Although the Prada bag is so boring. It doesn't have a focus cat fabric. A similar bag on the Prada website sells for $4800. 

I don't sell my bags, because people who might pay $5000 for a bag that says Prada on it, won't even pay the cost of materials for one custom made by a home-based artisan. 

I can now reveal that I had a part of a quilt that is currently hanging at QuiltCon. I never expected to say those words.

Last summer, Sam Hunter of Hunter Designs asked for blocks to make this quilt It is called " Myriad Interpretations of  Language". The instructions were to make a block of a specified size in a solid fabric, embroider a line across it in any colour, then embroider a second line that crosses the first, in another colour.  This is what resulted. I think it is gorgeous.

I'm linking to MMMQuilts DrEAMi#70.

Friday, February 24, 2023

The Socks Part

 It has been awhile since I posted some socks here. When you call your blog Arts and Socks, socks should really show up occasionally.

So, my first pair of socks for 2023 are these.

The yarn was two balls of gradient yarn. They were intended to make a matching pair of socks. However, as I knit the first sock, I discovered that some of the colours were not going to be used for my size sock. I decided to knit the second sock from the other end. So, I have fraternal twins instead of identical. I have enough left for baby socks, maybe even two pairs.

The other day, when my favourite little boy was here, he got his socks wet. I pulled out a spare pair of his socks, but the ones I had were too small for him. So I grabbed a pair of mine and they fit.

I decided that he was going to need some rubber boot socks for spring, so I cast on a pair for him, using Stephanie Pearl-McFee's marvelous book Knitting Rules.  It is a recipe book, rather than a pattern book, so I figured out a pattern for socks in his size, and finished the first one yesterday.

I didn't want to finish it until I checked with his parents to make sure it was going to fit. We all agreed that this will likely work. Only then did I graft the toe.

For comparison.

His Nana has little feet and he is going to be tall like his Daddy, I think.

The second sock is cast on and has its cuff finished. No Second Sock Syndrome allowed. ( For non-knitters, this is when the first sock is finished but the second sock doesn't get started. I had a severe case at one point, until I learned to cast on the second sock before the needles get distracted by another pretty yarn.)

I have a wall hanging that I am binding, but Mudd had other ideas, today.

The quilt is under the yellow tablecloth, because I know he lays there. He has moved in for the afternoon, so no hand sewing today. The hibiscus looks good, though.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Project Quilt 14.4 A Novel Project

 This week's Project Quilt Challenge is to make a quilted item based on a novel you have read.

I decided to choose the last book I finished. I belong to a book group, I regularly read books from sources like Canada Reads, or the Giller Prize. However, I also love a good cozy mystery. So my book is "The Windsor Knot" by S. J. Bennett.

Our unexpected and intrepid sleuth is none other that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth! There is a murder in Windsor Castle and HRM thinks the investigators may have made some assumptions that aren't true. If you are a fan of a cozy mystery, this is a very good one. I already have a hold on the next one in the series from the library.

I spent a day pondering how I could make something that would best represent the book. The one thing I decided was needed was a handbag.

Queen Elizabeth was known for her handbags. She was never seen in public without one.  I found this article about her bags.

So, how do you make a designer knockoff in a week, from stash? By creating a representative art piece.

It is a flat bottomed zippered pouch with handles. I was going to do it completely in black, but there wasn't any in my stash (I must restock), so I chose something I thought looked designer, a gold print on black.

I used a Chanel style cross hatching. And I added this dashing fellow with a collar and tie, tied into a Windsor Knot!

Because it has been reported that Her Majesty had a sense of humour, and it was in my stash, it has Muppets on the lining.

Though not intentional, I think it is fun that Fozzy is waving at the bottom. 

I also added a lime green zipper with a zipper charm.

It is a calico cat in a teacup. After all, we are at Windsor Castle.

That is two zippered pouches for Project Quilt. I think my pouches are improving with this practice. In a couple of spots it wasn't completely perfect but I kept reminding myself that it is an art piece, a creative challenge, and I don't have time to sweat the small stuff. I am rather pleased that my finished piece is fairly close to what I had envisioned. And the kitty in the teacup was a bonus!

Special thanks to Bethany for her excellent tutorial on designing your flat bottomed pouch.

And of course, what did Her Majesty keep in her handbag? Click on the picture to find out.

Friday, February 10, 2023

A New Sewist

 So, it was a delight to see this on my counter, this week

It always amazes me to see things blooming in the middle of winter, even if they are indoors. It is a grocery store orchid, in a plastic cup, next to the kitchen sink. We have had it for a number of years, and it occasionally decides to reward us with flowers. We have a second one, but it isn't very generous just now.

My favourite little boy came to visit yesterday. I decided that it was time for sewing lessons.

I think he did very well for his first try. Since he is the only one sewing, he can't compare his work to anyone else which makes him less likely to give up. Knitting will be next.

I finished my own hand sewing.

I am really out of practice. However, I will continue to turn this into something usable.

I spent some time working on my current lace shawl, though I kept having to rip back and do it over again, when I didn't count carefully enough.

As a more soothing meditative work, I went back to my sock.

The heel is turned, I'm in the home stretch. 

My found quilt has returned from the long arm quilter. now for the sleeve and the binding, then I will show you the finished piece. I also have a couple of purses to make, so today I was inventorying my supplies and wondering if I can make it all from stash. I have bobbins wound, so that is a start.

My four legged helpers were emptying the dishwasher the other day.

Emme was looking for anything that might have gotten under the lower rack. Mudd was checking that all the cup handles are pointed the same way, and that the cat mugs are right at the front. It is good that they do these quality checks. If I could just get them to dust.