Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Ok, Just One More...

I bought a crazy patch kit a couple years ago that came with no directions as to what one was supposed to make with it. As I recall it cost me $10 US.
I brought the kit to France thinking I would make a crazy patch bag out of it. 

I have pulled that kit out a couple to times but I just could not cut the wine bottle Fabric into pieces. After making the three bags earlier this week I realized I could make a really nice bag using the fabric. 

So here it is:
This bag has no outside pocket so as not to disrupt the bottle pattern. Both sides of the bag has upright bottles. The fabric was cut in half and one of the other fabrics included in the kit was added to the bottom of the bag.

Just a small aside: Years ago my dad went on a business trip. He was a banker and at conferences or trips of this sort he always ended up staying at the nicest hotels. As he packed he realized that all of the suitcases were being used by one of his children. We were all teenagers and were off somewhere with the bags. He packed in the only bag he could find. When he arrived at the hotel he was asked if he needed help with this bag. "No" he said, "I think I can handle it myself". He then put a large brown paper Piggly Wiggly bag with his belongings on the counter. (Pig as we called Piggly Wiggly was a grocery store). My dad always had a sense of humor.

On our last flight to Europe I used the last of the upgrade coupons I had received when I made the highest frequent flying status due to the flights I had to make from Europe when my dad was in the late stage of cancer. 

For that upgraded flight, my husband (DH) used a wrinkled thin cotton bag for his things he wanted to keep on him after he stored his carry on. Later he told me he got some funny looks from some of the others in business class when he pulled out this meager bag. I guess they were used to seeing Coach or Louis Vuitton. He said he felt like my dad and if he was ever going to save face he, he wanted the bag I was making. Good thing he spoke up, I might have given it away. He has learned to stake a claim on things if he wants them as I make them.

I reminded him that we were back in cattle class on the trip back to the states next month and no one in the back would notice the wrinkled thin cotton bag. He was quite insistent about this bag. It is, after all, much sturdier and attractive than the wrinkled cotton bag. 

Good thing he spoke up, I might have given it away. He has learned to stake a claim on things if he wants them as I make them.

One other thing I accomplished this week was that a friend in my Patchwork club asked me to do an entry in her friendship book. 

I had a week to figure out what to do.  The recipient likes bears. I have the pattern Ted & Dog Quilt. It is a pattern made up of redwork embroidery. Block 9 was the bear you see below.
I had a small piece of linen to sew the design on and it is glued to the page in the book. 
It turned out well.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Extra Fabric

I think I have mentioned before that I belong to the American Woman’s Club in Luxembourg. The club house is about an hour drive with traffic from where I live in France. 

I head up the quilting group. 

At the last meeting I went through some of the fabric on the shelf to figure out what to do with them. Someone had donated non cotton/quilt fabric.  There was a black fabric, 100% cotton but heavy in nature in the stack. It appears to have come from Ikea. We have one in Metz and one just over the Luxembourg border in Belgium. I took the fabric home with me to see if there was something, anything, I could do with it. 

Then I thought about the bag I made a couple years ago. You can read about it here:

By strategically cutting the fabric I was able to cut 3 bags. I used the directions from my old blog post but as I do not have a edging foot for the machine I am using here in France, I used a zipper foot. One needs to be a better sewer to do that. I tested first to see if it would work:

Satisfied with the look I made the bags. Oh it is dark here by 5 pm and does not get light until after 8 am right now. I do a lot of sewing in the dark these days.

So here are the finished 3:

Here one of them is hanging:

Now what to do with the bags?

As they came from the club they will go back to the club. They are nice grocery bags and plastic bags are getting scarce as they are beginning to be phased out in some countries in Europe. I always go shopping with my own bags rather than buy them at the stores anyway. Since coming back I have noticed that many stores are now charging 5 cents for a bag even outside of grocery stores.

I am hoping the club can used them. Many times they have raffles (tombolas) at the meeting and this would be a nice thing to put whatever is won in.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Making of a Vintage Box

Last week at my patchwork club we made boxes with using Timtex as the base. We were asked to bring the fabric of our choice for both the outer and inner fabrics, matching floss for sewing it together as well as anything else that we might want to add to our box.

I decided to use some of the fabric I had bought on my trip to Provence.  This one to be exact:
I am told it dates back to the 1800s. I have 4 pieces now, two wide, two narrow strips around 3 meters long. It unpicked a seam on the original two I bought, hence now 4 pieces. For whatever use the fabric originally had, there are holes left at one of the far ends of both of the narrower pieces.  This part of the fabric can be used for small things, by cutting around the holes so using it for this box was perfect. As I was cutting into the damaged area, I had no problem taking a pair so scissors to the fabric.

I have been collecting vintage buttons, lace bits and trinkets for years. I love to find broken just about anything, be it lace, or trinkets. Being broken gives me the ability to remodel whatever it is into something useful. I don't have much of my collection here and I dare say I have added to it somewhat since moving back to France. Here is what I have to work with:
I finally made it over to my favorite second hand store here in town. I love going there. It is so much fun to walk around among beautiful vintage things. Every visit is different. It much depends on what is donated to them. I have not been to this store for over 2 years. On this visit I found they had piles of old rosaries and religious medallions, vintage jewelry and boxes of threads as well as yarns and buttons. 

Not so usual, was a bin of old sewing and fashion magazines dating from the late 1930s through the early 1950s. 

In the back of the shop is a series of shelves with vintage sheets. Most have beautiful embroidery across the tops of them. To the right, a hanging rack with vintage clothing. Beyond that are European pillow cases with initials raised work. On lower tables there are displays of doilies and table linen. There are bins below labelled as to it's contents that you can dig through. In the middle of the room are two glass cases used to display vintage lace. The laces were wrapped onto card stock with the length and price noted on each card. 

On one wall, above the vintage sewing books were purses. As I walked around the room touching and feeling the textures of the linens, I noticed that purses were the most popular items being purchased.

I love walking through this room. There is something of a zen experience to it. Prices are fair and I have all the time I want to look around and touch things. I ended up buying several rosaries and many religious medallions. One in particular was rather ghoulish to me, but it needed to be added to my collections of Pope Metals. 

See the blue one in the above picture? It is a metal of Pope John  XXIII. He was pope until 1963. He was canonized alongside Pope John Paul II on 27 April 2014. You can read about him here:  Pope_John_XXIII   

On the back of the metal it says: Ex Indumentis or Second Class Relic. 
There is encased in the back what looks like a blood stained small piece of cloth.  So what is Ex Indumentis mean anyway? I looked it up.

There are categories of Relics of Christian Saint’s: the First Class, Second Class, Third Class and Fourth Class Relics.

A First class relics is the body or a portion of the body of a Saint (bone, flesh, or hair).  According to what I have read, these are considered so precious that they are rarely entrusted to individuals, but are placed in Faith Communities.

A Second Class Relic is an item or piece of an item used by the Saint while on the body (clothing, Mass vestments, etc). Second Class Relics are considered precious and are rarely entrusted to individuals, again being placed in Faith Communities.

A Third Class Relics typically fall into 2 categories. The first category is a piece of cloth touched by the Saint. The second category cloth that has been touched by the shrine of the saint. Third Class Relic is usually a piece of cloth, Third Class Relics may be given to individuals, and may be sold.

Fourth Class Relics are virtually the same as Third Class Relics and may be sold. 

I do not believe even with what it says that it is a Second Class Relic. I remember visiting my Grandmother  years ago and finding a card on the table with a splinter of wood laminated to it. The card claimed it was part of the Jesus' cross. When I questioned it my grandmother told me to let her have her beliefs and that she knew it was not real, but that did not stop her from believing.

Sorry Grandma, what I have is a cheaply made metal someone bought and hopefully believed, like my grandmother that it was a Second Class relic. I would think that Second Class Relics would come in a classier enclosure. This has all the look of made in China. I also found this article on the web: Ex Indumentis

So enough of Pope John XXIII, what about the box? Here is the model shown at our club:
Here is my version of the box:
In Provence we made bracelets.  Here again is my bracelet:
I have a small wrist and ended up with 3 pink beads left over. One of the other women in the group gave me hers so I had a total of 6 beads to play with. I used 4 of those for the bottom of my box. The glass buttons I bought in the US several years ago. The tassel came from my favorite second hand store years ago. I bought a bag of pearls and the tassel was included in the bag with pearls attached to it much like it is for the box closure. The pearls were hard to work with as they had a very small hole. Threading them was a challenge.  I am pleased with the result. The linen is fun to work with and it was nice to use some of those glass buttons out of my collection.