Not the one romping in high-roller suites - how dumb was that? - in Las Vegas but Harry Callahan. I spent the weekend with him. Sadly, I was in Phoenix and he was in San Francisco. In another time-zone... literally.
As in, I'm-gonna-need-a-time-machine-to-get-there time zone.
I suppose I should explain it this way - a Dirty Harry movie marathon kept me company while I was busy packing patterns. More on that later. I could have watched Downton Abbey which is lovely and nice and all that but somehow, I usually seem to prefer something like Dirty Harry. I guess this means I'm officially ex-communicated from the "chick club".
Life here has been busy... Mom is good. Rosie is good. I'm good. Though I'm nursing sore fingers and very dry hands from handling paper for the past week. Between the "finishing up" stuff with the patterns to the actual packing of them, that's occupied the better part of the last week. But I'm done and they're finished and I am going to get to sew by the end of this week. I might even get to use something I made a few months ago but only just got back.
How cryptic is that? Let me explain...
Back in February, I received a very nice e-mail from Jill Mead at Quilts And More, the lovely quarterly publication from American Patchwork & Quilting. You already know that Joanna Figueroa - Ms. Fig Tree - and Camille Roskelley - Ms. ThimbleBlossoms - do a regular feature titled Scrap Lab. Half a yard of fabric and six fat quarters are sent to them and they have to pick five of the fat quarters and make something wonderful. Which they do each and every issue... pretty annoying, don't you think? So you can imagine how terrified thrilled I was to be invited to participate. Because it wouldn't be very interesting to have each of us make a [insert name of project], there is some coordination about who wants to make what. Jill asked if I I might be able to make something like a needlebook, etc. Uh, yeah. Sure.
Who knew that Kaffe Fasset would be my savior?
This was the fabric we received. It's pretty fabulous but really, does this look like me? Better still, does this look like Camille or Joanna? Whew. There's a boat. On a creek. No paddle. We're all in it. I chose to ignore the fact that they're both better swimmers than I am.
Don't get me wrong, I really like the fabric. I do. I'm just not really a purple-kind of girl. I admit it - I was hoping for some Bonnie & Camille or Fig Tree fabrics.
But I finished. I sent it in. And it was published. Quilts and More - Fall 2012. Available at your local quilt shop, the Fat Quarter Shop and even your local grocery store.
After thinking about it - and getting the okie dokie - I decided to make a sewing roll. I thought about what my "perfect sewing kit" would include... scissors, needles, pins, thread, readers, a ruler, possibly a pen... and what else? For me, I need a needle threader. And if I've got pins, I want a pincushion. So I went about figuring our how to incorporate everything I would need and want into something that would roll up.
And how was I going to use this purple Kaffe fabric to make it?
Used with permission from Quilts and More magazine. ©2012 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.
This is the outside. Big hexagons - fussy cut, of course. And a pretty polka dot tie.
One of the things I tried to keep in mind was - no special tools, no special techniques, and no special buttons/trim/etc. I wanted this to be something that work for anybody with any fabric. I hoped.
I do have one question though - when did they invent fusible pellon? That's pretty cool stuff. I have to thank a "bag lady" friend for the assist on that one. When I asked her if she had any recommendations for stabilizers or "interfacing", she suggested fusible pellon. By the way, the lower left side pulls up a bit because of the needle threader. No, I can't live without one and any remotely-useful sewing roll of mine would have one.
This is what it looks like with everything pulled out...
I used an empty - or blank - lip balm tin for the pins and I tied a scrap of fabric to the little pin-tube. I made the little mini-pincushion, and the scissors are some vintage-looking scissors from YozoCraft. (YozoCraft is showing this style as being out of stock but they are also available from a couple of different Etsy Sellers - SeasonalSupplies, Oliviasworld, Yeahshop.)
It was great fun to make and I know I will actually use it. I also learned something new and got to exercise my brain a bit trying to figure out how to do something I hadn't done in several years. So a huge thank you to the folks at American Patchwork, Jill Mead and of course, Joanna and Camille for inviting me to play along.
Two more quick things. I really do love and use the Clover needle threaders. But I don't use it all "nekkid" like it is above. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't figure out how to make it fit into the needle roll with this on it...
Years ago, my friend Judy got one of these for me at a sewing expo sort of thing. It's fabulous and as great as the needle threader is on its own, the wooden base makes it so much more stable. The base has little plastic/rubber feet and there is a groove cut in the top that is just a skosh bigger than the base of the threader. Stuck to the wood is a strip of the 3M mounting tape - just peel off the top paper and stick the threader to the base. It's perfect.
And because I would never tell you about something like this and not also let you know how to find one for yourself... www.stencilnstitch.com. They're $4.00 each and you can find them on Page 3 of the Wood Shop. One thing to mention - while the shipping isn't expensive, the shipping is as much as the base. You've probably got some friends who would love one and if they don't have a birthday in the next couple of months, Christmas is just around the corner... I'm just saying that having a few extras on hand isn't a completely bad idea.
Second thing - I will be back on Thursday or Friday to show you what's been keeping me busy this past week.