Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Pleased as Punch!

I wonder where that expression comes from? Punch and Judy, I guess, so maybe I'm not that pleased! But I am pretty happy. You see, I sold some stuff. OK, selling stuff is always good but it's more the who than the actual selling. The Fibrecircle group rarely shows work at ATASDA, although we are all members, so we decided to take a table at the March meeting to show, and maybe sell, some of the things we make. We were completely blown away by the positive response from other members. Remember, these are people who "make stuff" themselves, and they are very textile-savvy people. So it was brilliant to get such a great reaction and, yes, to sell things to this market.

So what have I been making lately? Most of my energy (read:lethargy), post-Christmas, has gone into making a bag for the Fibrecircle challenge. We each chose four paint chip cards, sight unseen, and we had to make something larger than a postcard, using only those four colours. It's something that quilters often do, to challenge themselves, but I haven't seen it done much among textile artists.

My paint chips looked like this:
I think I was very lucky in my selection. My only reservation was that they might be difficult colours to match, so I might find it hard to get materials together. My dyeing skills are coming along apace, but I'm not yet at the point where I can dye a specific shade with 100% confidence. I scoured my whole stash, fabrics, yarns, threads of all kinds, and assembled a bundle of things in the colour range.

Strangely, the colour I thought would be hardest to match, the rusty red, was easiest! Turned out, I made my daughter a corduroy pinafore (for US readers, a jumper) in the exact colour, back when she was about ten, and I had quite a few remnants left over. This is more than twenty years ago, so I guess this means it's pretty much vintage fabric now? 

The turquoise was also fairly easy to match and, as well as a stash quilting cotton, I was able to dye some cotton fabric. The difficult shade was the green. In the interest of finishing this bag before I died of old age, I decided to hand embroider my corduroy fabric, since threads are easier to match. Hand embroidery also suited my January energy levels. I drew designs inspired by Jacobean embroidery freehand onto the cloth with chalk. Here's how it looked with the embroidery mostly done.
Once the embroidery was done, there was the usual modular assembly. I'm not sure I've talked about that specifically before, so I'll add a how-to shortly.

I interlined the bag with Shapewell interfacing and the flaps with a heavy Pellon material, like thin Timtex. The top zipper was from my extensive zipper stash, coloured to match the red fabric, but I found I needed to buy the turquoise zipper for the front pocket.

It's wasn't quite finished by the due date,because I could only buy gold D rings and I found I had only silver rivets left. That being remedied, here it is:
Isn't it purty?
Off to do some dyeing now! I have been dyeing a stack of stuff, which I'll share next time.