Thursday, March 17, 2011

a bit of spring crafting

I've been meaning to post about my current crafts, HOWEVER... my camera decided to poop out.  They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but I doubt I can craft an entry with 10,000+ words that will adequately express the things I've made (or that the mistakes that I've made...)

So first off, I hate making things I know that will not be used... Seeing how I've been uninspired in quilt making, I've been looking around the apartment to see what things are needed. I see some really ugly oven mitts/trivets/hot pads that are hanging in their usual place. And by ugly I mean *ugly* and old and well used. So I set off to make us some new ones.  The first one turned out pretty good...


 

I went with a simple pinwheel design and played with the different decorative stitches on my new machine.  I was quite proud of it. So it's been hanging there when the Husband came home, and I proudly showed my my creation.  He then told me it was nice in that tone that says "it's nice, but I don't like because X. But, I'm not going to say anything because I might end up with my dinner tasting like a salt mine."  I choose to ignore him.  after a day or two of looking at it, it begin to bother me as well. I couldn't put my finger on it until (!!!) I realized how weird looking it is to have the sashing fabric the same as part of the pinwheel. Then I saw what my husband saw. IT LOOKS LIKE A SWASTIKA!!!! Yeah, once I got it in my mind, I can't get it out. I can't have that hanging on my wall (actually it's still there, it's not an actual swastika, and ppl can't see it until I point it out...) The next day, I went to Joann's and luck would have it, their collegiate line of fabric is on sale. I then set out to make a new set. 



Now, instead of pseudo swastika looking pot holders, we have UT ones (go longhorns!) The Husband def likes this set better than the last. 

I then moved on to another project, quite a few weeks later because I've been wasting my time on some video games... (I won't go into specifics about my geekiness, just know that it took up *a lot* of time...) I saw some patterns for wallets on craftster.org.  (and this has all stemmed from an odd, non-biological clock related urge to make diaper bags) I've been working on patterns from that darn kat and confessions a fabricaholic.  I have yet to make one that is satisfactory... The following are three versions of the wallets and one that I made up because I got fed up trying... 


Version 1: First try, following the pattern from Confessions of a Fabricaholic. As you can see, the zipper pocket was way too small. That was mistake #1. I accidentally used the wrong piece of fabric for it. By the time I noticed, the pocket was pretty much done. So I figured I'd just leave it alone and watch out for it on my next try.  Over all, the design of the pattern is nice, but there is soooooo much bulk on the seams.  Also, this may just be my own fault, but the fusible interfacing I used was not stiff enough.  The entire wallet was just... limp.. So after taking note of my mistakes, I went to the store to get a stiffer interfacing and on to version 2...


 

Version 2: So I got some super stiff interfacing.  This, in turn, added even more bulk making it really hard to turn.  I tried turning the wallet three different times, but had to take the wallet apart each time because it was stretching the outer fabric and bulking the edges that makes it really hard to top stitch around the edges.  So I decided to bind the wallet instead of turning it.  Good stuff: the zipper pockets and the credit card pocket are well constructed. (I'm getting better at zippers!)  Bad stuff: I couldn't find a good way of attaching the flap.  I did the only thing I could... I cut open binding where I wanted to insert the tab.  That resulted in this:

 You can clearly see the raw edge and it is ugly...

 After two tries at Confessions of a Fabricaholic's pattern, I took a short breather and became a couch potato for a few days... Then I moved on to That Darn Kat's pattern.  Her construction of the CC pockets seems to add less bulk to the edges.  I replaced one of the sets of CC pockets with a zipper pocket. And here is wallet, version 3:



 Version 3: At a glance, the wallet looks fine.  However, upon closer look, this wallet is also riddled with mistakes and poor craftsmanship... Boo :(




The top stitching is not straight... and it is painfully obvious when compared to the straight quilting...


Also, there is something up with the top stitching around the zippers. I think it's because of the folding of the zippers... So after three unsuccessful attempts at making a bill sized wallet, I decided to make a folding wallet on my own design.  



Wallet 4: Overall, I feel that this wallet is okay. No major, obvious mistakes.  The stiffness is nice without adding too much bulk.  If you ignore the uncut thread ends, There are only 2 things wrong with his wallet.  First, the wallet is too wide, it needs to be about only 2/3 of the length. The second thing is this:


Notice how there are zipper teeth on this pocket but no actual zipper? Yeah... I accidentally ripped it out when I putting it all together... 


So here it is... all the things I've done recently. I feel like I've done a lot of stuff but without anything to actually show for it. It's okay though, I have a huge stash of fabrics to work with AND I just bought over 100 zippers on ebay for about $20. So lots of material to make my perfect wallet!!!! 





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