Saturday, September 19, 2015

Minimalism with Meaning -BeeSewcial September

Read all about the BeeSewcial September block assignment on Hillarys post,  here,  "Some things are better left Unsaid".  If you are not already following you should - she's amazing.

Rear View 10"x10.75"
It may not surprise you that the idea came to me while I was driving to work and contemplating what symbolism I wanted to use for my block.   My car choice is full of irony since I don't like to drive.  I will admit (as would anyone who knows me) I do however prefer the drivers seat as a symbolic role.  Not that I can't also be an effective worker bee too but taking lead is more my comfort zone.

The meaning behind the design is all about the balance of keeping focus - looking ahead in life instead of behind- but also being aware of your surroundings in a broader sense.   It's important to acknowledge how occasionally glancing back is a good and necessary thing.  

original sketch 
This one I sketched out (shocker) but because I didn't also do the quilt math, the scale ended as a closer view in order to keep within the requested block size.  I am still pleased with the result and feel that the imagery is captured.

Perceive 10.5"x10.5"
For my second block I wanted it to be about how situations are not black and white.  Time, outside influence and other factors cause a change and progression of the way we see the same thing and how it does not always remain the same.  What starts out simple can become complicated given more thought.  In turn, something that initially feels overwhelming can end up being very basic once broken down.  

Another interpretation has to do with how differently the same experience can vary between two people.  You know, when you think to yourself - "what just happened" and you wonder if it's you or if it's them. 

Here is what I said on IG: This represents the way in which we perceive and how it can distort from clean crisp well defined to jagged uncertainty or vise versa depending. This was also to emphasize the palette of black and white as a concept.

Less minimal and more abstract than the first, it is also kind of a heavy message - which led me to block #3

Be a Duck 9"x10"
It takes me a bit to warm up when I'm working on my BeeSewcials since they aren't a typical "make this pattern for me" swap block.  They are very challenging and rewarding.  Getting ideas from my head to the fabric doesn't always happen with just two (rarely in fact).    

The final one is called "Be a Duck".   It's about letting life's annoyances roll off your back - it's my newest favorite saying and I've been trying to see challenging moments this way ever since I heard it.  Like #2, it's all about how you choose to look at things.  The secondary pattern of an eye (pun intended) is a little added whimsy.   

An early version - too literal 
Here are a couple of pictures to show the evolution.  The version above was way too much like a logo and did not seem very "me". 

Minimal - not enough message
I think if I had stopped here I would have been happy with the minimalism and modern aesthetic of the block.  The whole story wasn't represented - the actual meaning - so I kept going. 

Some people are naturally a duck - I am very much not a duck and am striving to be one.   How about you?

Cat masks 
Given the BeeSewcial September palette, this post seems like the perfect place to also share pictures of the cat masks made last week for my granddaughter's 2nd birthday party.  There had been a dry spell with my quilting mojo and although they were cut and glued rather than sewn, crafting these little guys helped break the spell.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

3 in 1 Betsy Bag - zipped up!

zippered front
Do you ever start a project and hit pause for no good reason?   My 3 in 1 Betsy Bag sat in the same state as shown on my "travel handmade to be" blog post until now.  Thanks to #fridaynightsewalong for boosting me to finish.
recessed zipper top
At our August guild meeting I purchased the zipper with the intention of bringing it for show and tell last Tuesday.  Oh well, it's done in time for stuffing it full of supplies for our SBAMQG Quilt Retreat in October so that counts. 
hardware detail
The recessed zipper (my first) was a modification from the drawstring in the pattern because I knew I  couldn't stand the thought of squishing my bugs.  
Kraftex, was easy to use (also a first) and will be great for the base of more bag projects.   Because this one is so deep I used a shoe box wrapped in fabric as a support to iron out the wrinkles created when flipping the bag inside out after attaching the lining.  I also sprayed with Best Press.
folded option
The bag design cleverly folds inside itself to convert to a briefcase size with an outside zipper becoming an inside zipper.  The interior also features one entire side of divided pockets.
pretty in pink deatils

For a pop of color I used a solid pink for the lining and also added another pink pocket inside with a key clip.  Now that it's all sewn together it's near impossible to photograph so here's a shot I shared on IG when I was auditioning topstitch thread colors. 
recessed zipper parts
I was wanting to make sure change I made wasn't going to be hindered by the opening while unzipped and overestimated the space. I can trim and redo the end tabs easily.
stitching down the rings
Reinforcing the straps strength by leaving a wide turndown and lots - lots - of stitching should make it hold up.  The fussy cut on the straps was worth the effort but these are covered up.  

Excited to have it done and to add a travel handmade to my collection.  Linking to the party at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday

Started: July 6, finished Sept 6, 2015
Pattern: 3 in 1 Besty Bag by Betsy La Honta for Stash Books/C&T Publishing
Fabrics: Tokyo Trainride by Sarah Watts,  Flora& Fauna by Patty Young,  Kona solid and Kraftex in Stone. Thread: Aurifil #2325 50wt and #5014 40wt.  Interfacing: Pellon 808 and Shape-flex Hardware (need to look this up)