Friday, October 23, 2015

Pattern Writing, Vocabulary Terms, Diagrams & Pictures

I wanted to start this post off with asking a question. What is your favorite method of pattern writing?

I am old school. Graph paper and coloured pencils for me. I have used Quilt Wizard, EQ5, EQ6 and Quilter in the Bernina Embroidery Software. Each electronic quilt program I have used was interesting to use. The block libraries had blocks I would never have considered using before so they were neat. The one draw back I find from them is that all the quilts had to be placed in rows, sashed, on point, squares of equal size.  I don't like being limited to that. 

I recently completed my first BOM pattern. I used my graph paper and coloured pencils. I then reverse engineered the fabric requirements and the methods of construction. 

This is the first block for the Quilt. When I designed it I wanted to show how colour placement was just as important as colour selection. Each month you make two of the same block but the colours are in different positions in the block.  

This is the second block for Month 1. The same fabrics are used but when placed in a different position can really change the way a block looks.

My goal as a pattern writer is to make anyone able to make my project. My friend Jean says I used 10 words when 2 will do but I want to make sure I am clear. I like to have all the information and little tips and tricks included in a pattern. I remember from one of my high school math classes my teacher saying take it down to its smallest part and build from there. That's how I have been trying to write this pattern.

Each month we offer a tutorial and sewing day for the people taking the block of the month. I find the most frustrating part of doing another persons pattern is figuring out what they are trying to get you to do. Diagrams and pictures help but having a person who knows what to do in the same room with you makes it so much easier. I say we all speak fruit but I may be speaking apples while you speak orange or grape. The words are the same but to me the mean something entirely different.

I will share any insights I learn along the way running this BOM.

Post again Soon!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Cut Loose Press Marvelous Midi Messenger Bag

So I haven't posted in over a month! Where has my time gone. It has been a very busy few months personally speaking. My Lovely Husband had surgery to fix his deviated septum and nasal polyps, our dog Shaggy (we inherited him from my husband's grandmother who passed away 6 years ago) was ill and we lost him, and my son started Senior Kindergarten after having a very rough year of Junior Kindergarten.  Needless to say we have had a rough go this past month or so.

I am finally getting back to posting here and I hope to have a few posts ready to go over the next few weeks. I am Starting my new posting with a project from CUT LOOSE PRESS. This is a great little project, the Marvelous Midi Messenger Bag.

This bag went together easily. Supplies needed to make this bag, Main, lining, and pocket fabric, fusible fleece and decor bond. The Creative Grids Non Slip Curved Corner Cutter Ruler is a nice ruler if you do curved corners on bags, home decor projects and quilts.

Here are my fabric parts all cut up. This bag features two inside pockets, instead of centering a sew line and dividing them evenly I made one side a bit small and one bigger. I like to keep a book in my bag for those times when you have to wait so the bigger part was made to fit a standard paperback romance novel. Also included in this pattern, a cell phone pocket. I made two just because. I like extra pockets. You cut a long skinny rectangle and fold it in half. You place the fusible batting on one side of the back of the fabric and fuse to the fabric. You  then sew with fabric right sides together and leave about 2 inches open to turn and flip fabric right sides out. Clip Corners before turning it will make your points sharper. I then topped stitches along what will be the top of the pocket and the placed the pocket on the body piece and sewed them into position, make sure to catch the opening we used to turn the pocket right side out. I repeated this process for all the pockets in the bag.

For a messenger bag I usually like carry it diagonally across my body but this pattern's bag strap isn't long enough. Next time I make this bag I will make it longer. The strap itself has fusible fleece inside to give it some body. I sewed long lines along the length of the strap to reinforce the strap.

Next I sewed the body of the bag right sides together along the sides and bottom. I repeated this with the lining leaving 6 inches open along the bottom for turning later on during the final assembly. You will now have two rectangles.  Box the corners of the lining and bag body measuring 2 inches from the corner point.

 Finally I took the two flap pieces and the fusible batting for the flap. I layered them fabrics right sides together and the fleece on the outside of the pile. I took my Creative Grids ruler and using the 3 inch radius corner marked  an line on  the flap corners. I sewed the flap together on three sides (2 short and the one with the curved corners) following the draw line. I then trimmed the corners to 1/8 inch. Turn right side out and top stitch 1/8 inch around the sides.

Now all our parts are assembled. Turn your bag body right side out press out the corners so they are nice and sharp. On the back side of the bag baste stitch the flap into place. On the sides baste the bag handle make sure to keeps the bag strap straight. Insert the bag body part into the lining, matching the top edges. Pin at the side seams and centers of the body and lining, this will help keep your bag from shifting during the sewing. Start sewing on the back portion near the strap. I triple stitched over the bag handles to reinforce them. Sew all the way around the top edge. Using the whole we left in the bottom of the lining flip your bag right side out. Slip stitch the opening closed. Top stitch around the bag opening. Start on the back near the strap as we did in the previous step and triple stitch over the straps again. Your bag is now complete.

I made this bag in about 6 hours. I had a lot of fun making this and I will be teaching it at my Mom's shop JoyQuilts.