15 Jun

Weekend Fun

I was debating whether or not to post about our activities of the last few days. They’ve been all kinds of fun for us, but maybe not that interesting to the rest of the world. In a nutshell:

• my son finished up a fantastic four day space/science camp and shot off the rocket he made;
• we went to see my blog friend Robin and watch her son play hockey since they were on “our” island;
• the next day we went to the water park with one of my friends from waaaaaaaay back when and her family since they too were on “our” island (in two weeks we get to go to theirs!).

Then, yesterday I spent most of the day making these:

Now there’s something for an artsy-craftsy blog.

We need to carry water around just about everywhere. Quite a while ago I had admired Kathey’s tutorial at Pink Chalk Studio but more in an abstract way (although I did purchase some insulating batting for eventual water bottle carrier making). This weekend it gelled for me and I decided that the carriers would incorporate some of the details from a little bag in Japanese craft magazine too. Plus, they’d look great in re-purposed BDU fabric.

I dug around my closet o’ crafty and fabric-y goodness looking for “stuff,” and pulled out some coordinating fabrics and binding leftovers, a collection of patches — military and otherwise, fun woven ribbon (the woodland ribbon is from Nic, and the flame ribbon was bought to embellish the hand towels in our hot rod half-bath), more of the fat red ric-rac from the mushroom quilt, clasps from two unused necklace-type key chains, twill tape, vinyl coated fabric (from the sandwich wraps), two sliding fastener thingies bought years ago only because they were cheap and seemed useful, cotton cording, and a leather cord.

In short, I quilted the BDU fabric to one layer of insulating batting and one layer of regular batting, then embellished with ribbon and patches. I made the straps with ribbon sewn to twill tape for her’s and ribbon sewn to folded over fabric for his. Added the fasteners and sewed the straps to the body. Then, I sewed up the sides and added the bottom circle (pre-quilted to one layer of insulating batting). Next, I made tubes of slightly smaller dimensions out of the vinyl coated fabric and sewed on their circle bottoms (not too much fuss sewing that as the troublesome shinier side was to the inside) then slipped them into their respective outer bodies. Now the carriers are lined all nice and tidy-like. I finished the short ends of two rectangles (one for each carrier) of coordinating fabric and folded over one long end on each to make a casing. That went into the tubes, right sides facing inward, raw edges matching. As per the Japanese magazine, I sewed binding over the raw edges to finish everything off. Lastly, I threaded the cording through the casings and added the cinch-thingies to snug and un-snug the top. That “poof” on top allows the plastic loop that holds the cap onto the bottle to stick out, and also allows for easy access to the water without pulling the bottle out of the carrier to drink.

The kids tested them out today and although the vinyl fabric doesn’t seem to stop wetness very much, the carriers got overall high marks.

03 Mar

I Can Craft Japanese Too

Here’s another project to check off the list. Several years ago, Suzuko Koseki of the modern Japanese quilt aesthetic and all things crafting Japanese and Yoko Saito (queen of taupe I think) were the featured artists at the Carrefour du Patchwork in Val d’Argent, France. They had the most wonderful quilts exhibited, plus they were selling kits for tasty projects like those featured in the Japanese crafting magazines. I was inspired to make an apron similar to one of the kits, but featuring some embroidery too. Sure, I could have made the whole thing from scratch, but I opted to support the artist, and save some sanity (it’s just an apron) and bought the kit. Then I set it aside. Three years later, here it is finished!

The kid’s drawings were drawn by my daughter (a few years ago too) and embroidered by me. Mrs. Koseki gets credit for the rest of the apron, including the fun cookbook inspired linen and vintage patches. The drawing on the pocket got lost, but I’m really pleased with the contrast of scale and style that the big butterfly girl adds.

I have in the back of my head an idea to make a collection of things both practical and frivolous inspired by my kids’ drawings and then show them as a group. So far, I’ve made an art quilt, a bed quilt, another bed quilt, a softie, a gym bag, a pillow, and now an apron. On deck are a messenger/laptop bag (I’m trying custom fabric at Spoonflower for this), and a hand towel. One of these days I’ll have to dump all this stuff in a pile together and see if it makes any sense.