Shawkl’s PVC Quilt Hoop

As I mentioned, I enrolled in a beginner’s crazy quilt course – Kathy at Shawkl runs it for free and I can tell already that she poured a lot of her heart and soul into the class. Anyway, I needed a quilter’s hoop, and though I have a large round one that could work, I opted to try what she uses (if you want to be like the teacher, do as the teacher does!). She has a free set of instructions, and as long as you have access to the PVC supplies and a pipe cutter, it only takes about ten minutes to put together and it’s quite cheap! And I don’t know about what car you drive, but with my back seats pulled down, the 10″ poles fit fine in my full-size sedan car.

Boy was skeptical that ½” pipe would be sturdy enough, but I trusted Kathy – you know, the creator of the device. However, Boy did suggest using the grey pipe (schedule 80) rather than white (I think white schedule 40 would have been fine, too!). He thinks I should prime and glue it, but currently I have no intention to do so. If it does get wobbly or something during work, I will consider glueing it into two parts. I want to be able to dismantle it when not in use, though.

More to follow once I get all my supplies together!

Martha’s French Boutis Bag

I finished the French boutis bag I’ve been working on all summer and have decided to gift it to my gramma who travels frequently and may need a nice place for her jewelry or such. I was going to drive through the area yesterday on my way down to Living Archaeology Weekend but now I’ve had to bail out on that fun adventure so she won’t be getting it til probably Thanksgiving rather than her birthday but better late than never! If you are anywhere near LAW, I highly recommend making the trip for a fun day out.

Here are some shots of the boutis part after completing the rolled hem. The lining fabric is behind it – I think the colors are so complimentary!

French boutis zipper pouch

I also want to point out that traditionally, you don’t use knots in French boutis. I did (obviously!) – no one will see them and it still feels uncomfortable to not use them much of the times I try.

French boutis zipper pouch

Then I had to carefully size and cut the lining, and I opted to go a little further than the directions said and used a baste stitch to secure the hem. I chose a black thread so I could easily see it to remove it once I was finished attaching it to the boutis.

French boutis zipper pouch

I skipped taking any photos until the end result, but this pattern did not come together like other bag patterns. Instead of sewing the lining to the outer fabric with the zipper wedged between them, this one calls for attaching the zipper first completely to the outer fabric, then attaching the lining using hidden stitches. This could be for many reasons, but what I learned was that I think I like this way better. It resulted in less bagginess of the liner, and though more time consuming, seemed less aggravating than my results using the machine (so yeah, this bag is 99% hand-sewn; only the little zipper tabs were machine-stitched).

French boutis zipper pouch French boutis zipper pouch French boutis zipper pouch

I stitched a little “2018” to the inside of the bag just as a remembrance. I’ve been trying to do that on many of my “first” projects. This bag turned out lovely! I am grateful to having a local embroidery guild that helps me learn new things.

French boutis zipper pouch

Peru’s Mending Kit

Soooo long ago I mentioned how I owed a post about this bag I made – one I was very proud of! – for my last trip to Peru. 

mending kit by Michelle Patterns

I used the Mending Kit pattern from Michelle patterns and made a few changes here and there to suit my needs. These photos came from after use, so please ignore any use-wear:) Her pattern is brilliant and the result is so very well constructed (I learned about sturdy interfacing options!). I definitely would recommend any of her purchases with the amount of work she put into this pattern.

mending kit by Michelle Patterns

So, the first obvious change I made was that I added a strap. I just went the quick and easy route and purchased a leather purse strap that already had clips, and then sewed two D-rings to the bag with ribbon as best I could. I could use some more experience with the mechanics here, but it suited my purpose just fine!

mending kit by Michelle Patterns

The next change I added was a hidden pocket in the flap, using a velcro closure. In here went a thin pocket tissues with extra money hidden inside. Travel guides warn against Peru’s skilled pickpocketers, and the occasional in-your-face give-me-your-money types. The first time I visited, I was trained to keep a decoy wallet so I had something to offer, but not all of my cash. I figured that if my whole bag wasn’t stolen, the secret pocket might go unnoticed in the event I was mugged, and if not, maybe they wouldn’t search the tissues. Luckily, in all my travels, I have never had a negative experience such as this! But I am also a very “aware” person when I’m out and about, so I might not only be lucky, but actually intentionally avoided by thieves. Who knows!

mending kit by Michelle Patterns

The color choices were new to me. I wanted something more… upscale? Grey was a very popular color at the time, so I found this pretty grey and yellow fabric and then matched it with the interior lining. The little ribbon tab and strap ribbon was actually a salvaged ribbon from some sort of fancy store packaging and the color matched perfectly! The mustardy velcro was something I had in a stash someone gifted me – another bonus match!

mending kit by Michelle Patterns

I did not get any good photos of the inside of this bag, but you can see the little pockets over at her site. In them, I stashed bandaids, pepto-bismol tablets (another tip from my previous trip – eat them before every meal and you don’t get sick! At least, to date, this science/superstition has always worked for me!), a copy of my passport, and a travel-sized hand sanitizer. The main pocket that these little pockets are attached to held my kindle and sometimes my passport if I was bringing the real one with me. In front of those little pockets is an expanding catch all for ticket stubs, receipts, maps, purchased trinkets, and so on.

mending kit by Michelle Patterns

I really loved using this bag, and I soooooo want to make more. In fact, I kinda promised my Peruvian family (Hola Daniella and Ivogen!) I would make them some but then reality came back and I didn’t have enough time. This is back on my priority list, though, so I hope to make some by the end of the year if I can find the right supplies. I’ll keep you posted:D