Friday, November 27, 2009

Patchwork and my first zipper!

I wanted to make a grocery bag as a Christmas gift, and I thought it might be fun to make it in patchwork. I am pleased with the result, but I have learned several things:
  • when working with patches, the final product comes out MUCH smaller than the sum of it's parts. I forgot about seam allowances!
  • it is hard to make all those little seams match up. Boo.
  • Interfacing is cool, but hard to put on the back of a patchwork piece. I think if I were to do this again I would interface the lining but not the patchwork - it came out a little wrinkled because it didn't lie completely flat.
So, although the final product is pretty, it's too small to put groceries in!
Then, I attempted to make a bag with my first zipper! It was easier than I thought it would be.

Last weekend I went down to Providence to spend the afternoon crafting with Carole Ann (you can see her cool stuff here). I am working on making a braided rug, and after several false starts, I think I've figured out how to work it so that it's really reversible. I'll write more about the process and post pictures soon...but I haven't had too much time to work on it since I've been thinking about/making Christmas presents! (Yes, I know...Thanksgiving was yesterday...but if I want to be done on time, I have to get started soon!)
I have been making several snowmen as gifts for my grandparents, and I'm going to make a paintbrush holder for my brother's girlfriend, who is a painting major at RISD. In my immediate family, we pick names from a hat and buy presents for just one person...and this year I got my dad, which means I have some serious thinking to do. I'd like to make him something, but he's a hard guy to give things to...any suggestions for brilliant gifts for the man who has everything? I think I will make him a set of microwaveable handwarmers...he teaches skiing in the winter, so that should be handly for the ski lift.

Happy crafting!


  1. First zipper! Woo hoo! The bags are super cute. Hope you had a great week. :)

  2. Yay! Your bag is so cute (even if it did end up tiny)! Next time you come visit, we'll talk interfacing. Hope you had a great holiday!

  3. Hi Erica, thanks for visiting. Your bags came out very cute! Even though you might not fit all your groceries in it, I'm sure you'll get plenty of use out of it. I just made a patchwork bag with a student and I agree that when we fused the heavyweight interfacing to the patchwork it tended to wrinkle. I think I'd fuse a slightly lighter interfacing or simply line it and put the heavier interfacing on the lining. (That project is here on my blog: Also, regarding the scrabble tile necklace, I have only made scrabble tile charms ( There are many scrabble products on Etsy - many of them are painted, which I haven't tried yet. I hope that helps!

  4. Nice work! Love the colors and now that you have mastering the zipper, the world of sewing is your oyster! :)


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