My darling mum was always a collector and saver. I inherited and willingly pick up anything she began to discard because of a move to a smaller flat. I fully intend to turn the odds and ends into something, and this shoulder bag is one such thing.
I have no clue what she intended the two different kinds of material for. Probably something else. Only thing I’m sure about is the strap surprised her.
It’s an old bicycle tube.
The top is something shiny, the beads are mostly Czech glass, the floral-print is satin.
There’s something about contrasts …
I’m not sure how much it reveals about me that I – often as not – think of titles of songs or movies when writing a title for a new post. This time it’s 10 CC.
The thing I currently do for love is basting. Usually when I sew my box of pins is all I need. To me basting is just a way to waste time sewing seams twice. Yet now I do precious little but baste.
The reason is the bedspread that popped up in two posts already. But hey – since I hand-sew my patchwork I have to baste them into correct size first. Which takes time because there are 468 of them.
Bringing me back to things we do for love: It’s for my darling Mum. She deserves all the love I pour into the work.
Do you know the feeling? You found all your patchwork material, spread it over half the living room and cut piece after piece for a specific project.
Then the minute you sigh and begin to re-fold everything to put it away you think of other patterns. Leave the mess, take up pencil and paper – in my case a standard checkered pad – and begin to draw. Come up with brilliant ideas. Or remember old and equally brilliant ideas not yet put into colours and cloth.
Lean back with sketches on the pad, smile to yourself and fetch the thick paper used for clich´s and begin to cut those. And then finally go on to cut the material for those patterns.
That’s what I did this past week. Well, not all of it, some of it. And now that I finally put all the material away to stop myself getting further ideas I have not only the 468 pieces for my Mum’s bedspread but also 2X5 for two canters, 15 pieces for one experimental pattern, 11 pieces for another experiment and finally 177 pieces for a square pattern. Because I stopped myself before I began to cut a hexagon cliche’e which would have meant countless other pieces.
Oh and did I mention I always hand-sew? Seems I have my work cut out for me very literally.
Cake, dinner, midnight.
Calculation, dedication, mass production
Chaos, disaster, moping
What have I been doing?! Well you might just ask. The answer is that Saturday my Mum came to visit to see the progress on her bedspread (see last post) and decide what should go on it now. We talked back and forth for a bit, thought a lot and finally decided to reduce the number of denim pieces and add a simple patchwork design of only squares.
A lot of them as it turned out. 468 to be precise.
We sighed a bit, then she began to cut out the squares, I began to edge them, and my daughter collected them in bundles of 10 to ease counting. All was well, we took a break for coffee / tea and cakes, another break later on to finish cooking a pot roast already simmering.
Time wore on but around 11 PM we “just” needed 80-odd squares and went on cutting to get it over with.
Minutes later disaster struck. My trusty old sewing machine decided to play up, eat material and make snares of the thread. 44 squares are un-edged, and all of them still need sewing together.
I really need the one CDM I didn’t have: Cadbury’s dairy milk.
Remember The Animals? If not, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgTSfJEf_jM
My Mum never learned how to make her own patterns, Taht never stopped her sewing and repairing scores of garments including worn blue jeans. Her sewing machine is sturdy and was only sold because she missed being able to make buttonholes easily.
She’s now 91 and recently moved to a smaller flat than before. This move prompted a clean-up, and because I bought her old sewing machine and make things out of cast-away scraps including patchwork, I also took home a bagful of jeans letftovers.
So when she talked of getting a bed spread for the guest bed I stopped her saying I’d make her one. And here’s the beginngs of it:
12 patches sewn together, 12 more cut and ready to be added. Depending on accumulated weight the restwill be either only regular calico patchwork or more Jeans pieces + calico. And I’ll be dot-quilting these pieces with some of all the buttons she gave me over the years.
So did anyone guess what animal I am? Yup, that’s right. The hoarding squirrel.
So here’s the reason I was silent online for a fortnight and a day: I kept myself busy making this little trifle. Which is less of a trifle given the fact that I started out with flat material, a lenght of cord, a needle, thread and two boxes of Czech glass beads. Yup, that’s right: Each and every single one of the beads on this bag is sewn on by hand.
I’m rather pleased with the result, I have to admit. I wanted it to look random in it’s pattern, and I followed a meandering trail traced in tailor’s chalk before I began beading.
That’s not saying I didn’t beat myself on the head a few times in the process. What was I thinking using the really small beads and tracing such a long trail? And did they really all need two stitches to fasten them securely?
The answer is I was thinking how it would end up looking. And I like it. It was worth it.
This post will have you seeing stars. Really.
I was seeing stars when I got the material for the shorts I practically finished. It was in a shop in Amsterdam, our summer hols destination, and it was just packed with fabrics I wanted. And I had to limit myself and therefore pinched close my eyes so hard it made stars shimmer inside the lids.
My daughter saw stars too, but only these.
Then I was seeing stars again when I laid out the pattern. This time they were stars of rage. What was she thinking in that shop?! I specifically asked for enough for a pair of semi-long shorts. And this is how they had to look in the end:
All I could get were the leg parts. Not the waist band, not the pockets, not the belt straps. And I really was very careful, trying several times over to somehow fit more pieces onto the star fabric.
So I was reminded again to be careful about trusting shop clerks. At least my daughter thinks her new shorts are cool.