I gave a talk on Amish-Inspired Quilts yesterday at Toastmasters. I purchased fabric in Bethel, Vermont last week for this project. The research and personal experience traveling to Pennsylvania twice in the past 30 years was a fun exercise to get excited about creating these small quilts for the talk. What was most surprising to me was the timeline I discovered while surfing the internet. Just when crarzy quilting was popular with American quilters, the Amish began quilting and selling their cool, muted color pallette quilts that are still very popular today. I made a chart of 8 Authentic Amish Quilt Rules. Then I showed my quilts and how they were inspired by the Amish rules, but very different, with varigated thread and the convenience of a 21st century sewing machine.
Clothesline? July 8, 2010
When is a clothesline no longer clothesline? When it is covered with beautiful batik fabric and stitched into a bag, basket or hat. I have shared a few photos of my latest distraction from life. I started by buying Carol’s pattern, Bali Bags, Fabric Covered Clothesline Crafts Tote Bag at MQX this past April. The Hoffman Bali Pops are just perfect for this project. Because I have a lot of batiks in my fabric collection, I used some of those too. I found it very addictive. By the seventh one, I have little different technique and lots more confidence to create such beautiful and unique items.
Some hints I will share in my next “A Quilter’s Touch” cable tv show include, loosening the pressure of the presser foot, using a cording foot for creating the covered cording, and using a titanium needle. Don’t forget to buy lots of thread. The first one I made, Spumoni bag, I used varigated thread in both the top and bobbin. I used more than one spool of thread. The rest of the baskets were created with varigated thread int he bobbin and a solid Auriful thread 50/2 ply in the top of the machine. The varigated thread is in the bobbin because the outside is on the bottom during construction. I intended to make a lining with pockets, but decided against it because the coiling was so fabulous to look at . I use the bag for projects to bring somewhere, not as a pocketbook. The pattern does have directions for creating custom linings for your bag.
I did talk to the author of the pattern. She is a retired CPA who had lots of clothesline around. She started covering it with fabric. Ten years later she has taught hundreds of people to create these bags and Hoffman fabrics Bali pops are perfect for those not familiar with batik fabric or how to coordinate the strips. Each Bali Pop comes with 40, 2 1/2″ strips. You only need 30 for this project unless you make the bag larger. Carol does not use a cording foot. She uses a standard foot for the entire project. I will domonstrate how I was inspired by this pattern and how I modified it a bit. I’ll let you know when the DVD is available from HCAT.
Bali Bags July 1, 2010
I’ve been intrigued with the Bali bags for months. I purchased the clothesline and Bali pops from Hoffman to create these bags and finally had time to experiment. The Spumonit bag, on the left was my first attempt. I stongly suggest purchasing a cording foot for your machine to cover the clothesline. It took me about 2 hours to carefully piece the strips together, press the seams open and the strip in half the long way. I folded the raw edge in and the folded edge on top. I used three bobbins and a straight stitch to create the cording. Then I switched back to my regular foot (1C) and zig zag stitched the bag together. My settings were 6.0 wide and 2.0 for length. I purchases handles for the first bag. When I finished kiwiberry bag, I made handles from more clothesline. Both bags were made using 100 feet of cotton clothesline, but their shapes are so different. The third bag I made looks huge by comparison. It’s more of a magazine bin than a bag to carry. What did I do differently? I’m still making bags to figure it out……another addiction for my batik collection.