Friday, April 17, 2009

In the Bag

Remember those vintage fabrics that forced me to buy them? Well, they ganged up on me and made me sew them into marginally successful patchwork blocks, and then they held a needle to my head and made me quilt and assemble them into a small knitting bag.

I say marginally successful, not because the patches didn't go together well (though you would have been amused to watch me trying to place all those triangles in the proper positions), but because my fabric selection skillz are rusty. And I was unwilling to mix new fabrics with the old ones. And the instigator (the yellow strawberry print) was basically unsuited for small patchwork in the first place.

I really needed a few darker prints among all the light backgrounds, though I didn't realize how badly I needed darker prints until after I put the first Laced Star block together. It's the one on the right in the top pic. Looks like a Color Blindness Test Chart, doesn't it?

So I started again, with a few other colors and a bit better contrast, and the second block (with the strawberries as the center star) came out much better, though it's still too washed out for my taste. I did rather like the touch of blue though, so I cut the first block into quarters and sewed strips of blue between the little blocks (the star pattern is now totally obliterated, but it wasn't very visible anyway), which made that square bigger than the Strawberry Star, so I put a blue border around it as well. It still looks like an eye chart, but maybe a bit artier eye chart.

I had already decided to put the blocks together to cover a small canvas bag (12" x 12") , so I assembled the squares, with the strawberries as the border print, and basted the whole to 2 layers of very light cotton batting (chosen because I didn't want to use a backing fabric, since it was going over canvas).

The quilting went really well, and quickly once I put a bandaid on my finger (over the spot where the back of the quiting needle kept inserting itself)(side note: I wish quilting needles were longer, but I do love the narrow eye- makes sewing through multiple layers so much easier). And the assembly went well too. I had a couple of faux leather handles that just happened to match the colors, and voila! A small , sturdy, canvas lined, hand quilted, vintage fabric knitting bag (which I am going to take to Knitter's Etc today and show off).

As I said, it's still only marginally successful: the colors aren't *quite right*, and the strawberry print is just too large to be effective with this block pattern. But all in all, I like it. And next time (of course there will be a next time), I'll vary my colors better, and maybe not be so squeamish about mixing old and new fabrics. Or I'll choose a pattern that works better with low-contrast prints (like some sort of string quilting, or a log cabin pattern). Or, maybe I'll just buy more vintage fabrics. That sounds like a plan.


Stacy said...

Nice job - it looks great!

Mary Keenan said...

I really like the bag, and I really *really* like the idea of buying more fabric ;^)

joannamauselina said...

I laughed aloud about the color blindness test. Recently everyone at my job (nurse) had to take one for reasons unknown. The blue cross on the one side cures that, and the other side looks great. Actually, both sides look great. I'm inspired.

Barb said...

AAAAh!!! So you're a quilter too! Another thing we have in common. Idol Fans, knitter, and quilter! Cute Bag. Are you sure you don't watch Dancing too?