Saturday, 18 October 2014

Birthday Treats

     I've had the loveliest time preparing some birthdays gifts for Miss K and Mr M.  It gave me the chance to have a break from a big project I'm working on, but that's a story for later.  Isn't it funny how we know what we need to sew and by when, and then, all of a sudden we're a few days out from the all important date and we've procrastinated or been diverted to other things and now realise this could be a close call to get the task done.  I made the time and now there are two happy people having received some hand made gifts.  

     For Mr M, I've made a bag from a recycled coffee sack, or burlap bag.  A local cafe roasts their coffee just a few streets away from where I live.  This is the best coffee; organically grown, supporting free trade opportunities for PNG villagers and low in caffeine.  This is where I got the design idea from , with just a few tweaks and the bag was made.

The front showing the bold brand printing and the reinforced suede fabric trim
The back showing the origin of the coffee

     I included a zipped internal pocket and the strap is made form cotton webbing.  The webbing was doubled in thickness by folding the two edges into the centre and stitching through all layers with a decorative stitch that would hold the edges firmly together.   Mr M was very happy with his new bag.

     Miss K's bag grew from a project we did together while she was caring for me after recent surgery.  I need to produce an appliqué with certain criteria for a project.  Miss K helped with the colour selection.  Having similar colour tastes, I was happy to use her selection.  At the time, she expressed her liking for the design, so like any sneaky  parent, filed that information in the memory bank for later.  Well, now is that time, and I eagerly pulled out the completed appliqué block and got to work.  A tote bag seamed to be the obvious thing to make; a twelve inch square is perfect for the job.  Hitting the stash pile and scrap bin, I came out with various greens (Miss K's favourite colour), and of course, some of the colours she had first selected for the project, so I could work these into the other side of the bag somehow.  Here's how the bag progressed:

The front with border, free motion quilting and straight line quilting

Improvised cutting and piecing of the back, a little quilting as you go 

Some free motion quilting

the almost completed back panel

Cane handles providing the 'Tropical' touch

The back panel in place and the bag successfully completed
     I must say I found the temptation to keep the bag almost overwhelming.  I'm very tempted to do it all again for myself, but that will have to wait.  As I said before, there is a much bigger project happening in the bowels of the sewing room right now and I'm beginning to get very excited about that too.  I see the light at the end of the tunnel, so now I'll have to gather the might to focus and complete it.

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