What Are you Making?

Now this is the question I am asked most frequently. I like answering it, but also feel quite self indulgent as I do tend to get carried away, going into details which most people really aren’t that bothered about. I just hope that my enthusiastic tone is enough to carry the listener through the tedium. In my more cynical moments, the answer to this question will be ‘a mess’, which on some level, is probably true.

But you, dearest readers, are my captive audience. So I can spill all the details and you can lap them all up (or just have a look at the pictures and move on with your life).

My big project lately has been producing a few cosmetics bags for a family member who wishes to give them as presents. I made one for my Mum last year as a Christmas gift and seemingly anyone who saw it and didn’t get one was a little bit miffed.

I had quite a lot of time on my hands when I made the first version of the bag. I’m afraid I had forgotten how long it all takes and just how many techniques are used in the construction of these things! But hopefully the recipient will be pleased. I was considering making more of these on spec to sell online, but I think they take too long and would consequently be too expensive.

I had a block design ready for these bags, and chose two different colour ways. I used foundation piecing for the outer ring, then hand appliquéd the central circle over the top, following that up with a machine zigzag to finish.

foundation pieced block, after quilting

foundation pieced block, after quilting

Following on from that I machine quilted the block – attempting to keep it as simple as possible in a futile attempt to save time. The joke is on me, as the quilting doesn’t take as long as the hand appliqué or the foundation piecing…

Next I made bias binding, applying that and the lining at the same time (I wanted the lining to conceal the quilting stitches on the inside). Turning the binding, fixing down and adding the zip was done by hand, often in front of Girls or even occasionally Celebrity Masterchef. This job did not help me kick the daytime TV – scourge of all known productivity.

second colour way with half finished binding

blue/teal/pink colour way with half finished binding

Phew! I’m on the home stretch now, I can’t wait to finish and getting these lovely little chaps sent off. What do you think? Does the end result justify the amount of work? I still don’t really know.

black/brown/red colour way complete

black/brown/red colour way complete

I’ll be updating you on some more of my current projects soon. The majority of them are through commissions from friends and family, for which I am eternally grateful. Thanks to readers, commissioners and commenters alike. You’ll be hearing from me before too long.

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