Studio, Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH)

Prepping to Make Fabric Bowls, Continued

This post is an addendum to yesterday’s post Prepping to Make Fabric Bowls and contains a rare photo of Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) who usually avoids being photographed for my tierneycreates posts!

Alright, this is going to appear like major husband abuse, but somehow I convinced TTQH to work on tedious sewing the coil of batik strips and clothesline required as prep to eventually make more fabric bowls.

I set it all up on my machine, provided training, and he got to work!

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After a while, Mike the miniature schnauzer came in the room to check on him and witness the abuse:

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Mike: “What is she making you do?!?!?”

Mike gave me the “furry eye ball” for putting TTQH through such tedium!

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Mike: “I want to extract him from this room and bring him back to snuggle with me on the sofa”

TTQH finished about 12 – 15 feet of coil and then took a break for an underdetermined amount of time (though he promises to return to it in the future):

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I did take TTQH out to dinner to his favorite brewery this evening, so this makes up for the tedious task as well as upcoming tedium!


Postscript

I love real rainbows, they make me smile.

Our winter has been surprisingly mild in Central Oregon so far and last week we had rain instead of snow. We seem to always get rainbows after a rainstorm here and I took a couple photos while on a neighborhood walk.

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Studio

Prepping to Make Fabric Bowls

This is a follow up to my 12/30/17 post “Throwing Pottery” on the Sewing Machine in which I shared images from making this fabric bowl from batik strips sewn onto clothesline:

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In the post I mentioned that I do not make a lot of these baskets because the preparation to make these baskets is so time consuming.

Recently I was cleaning out old projects and found the start of a prep for another set of fabric bowls. I thought: “what the heck, let’s finish up the prep and maybe make some more bowls”.  This time I enlisted the help of Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) to help me with the prep.

Below I will share a summarized overview of the cumbersome prep and where I currently am on my journey to make more fabric baskets.

It Starts with Strips

The pattern I originally used, Bali Boxes pattern by Aunties Two, appears to have been designed/inspired by the famous (and addicting) Hoffman Bali Pops. I know not everyone reading this blog is a quilter, so let me share an image of the packages of 42 pre-cut 2.5″ color coordinated/themed batik fabric strips:

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image from eBay, photographer unknown

Did any of you who are quilters, get addicted to collecting sets of Bali Pops when they came out in the 2000s? Hoffman still makes them but for me the novelty wore off (as did the novelty of buying “jelly rolls” which are another configuration of 42 2.5″ coordinating fabric strips).

I still have 3 – 4 Bali Pops leftover from my Bali Pop days; and all the fabric baskets and bowls I have made are from Hoffman Bali Pop sets. One set actually makes a couple baskets – 2 or more depending on how deep you make each basket. I am thinking I could get 3 bowls out of a Bali Pop.

I do not know the name of the Bali Pop I am currently using (they all have cute names for their color combinations like “Green Tea” and “Citrus Grove”) but I think it had to something to do with the ocean as you can see the colors are blues and greens.

The Tedious Steps Begin

This post is not intended to discourage you from making a covered clothesline fabric bowl or basket, but I want to show that a bit of patience with tedious tasks is required to make these items via the Bali Boxes pattern method.

First you have to sew forty-two (42), 2.5″ strips which each measure 44″ long, end to end. Do the math – that is one mega long strip you are creating. Not accounting for all the 1/4″ seams you are creating sewing end to end, 42″ x 44″ = 1848 inches, or 154 feet (46.94 meters).

After that is done, you have to fold each strip in half and then fold into itself again, to create a pocket/tunnel to nestle the clothesline.

Now for the steps above, this time I enlisted (or would this be considered “abused”) TTQH. He amazingly created this ball of batik strips after much work:

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It is a large ball and tightly wound/packed. I am amazed at his patience to do this for me, especially to double fold like 140+ feet of sewn strips (I used some quick and suspicious math to subtract 42 quarter inch seams).

Creating the Coil

I am on the last part of the prep to make fabric bowls/baskets – and it is equally as tedious. I have to stitch cotton clothesline into the center of the 140+ feet of sewn strips to create the coil.

But first I had to decide what coordinating thread to use, so I put together some options:

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I let TTQH select the thread (he likes to make design choices like that) since he did all that work to create the “Ball-o-Batiks” for me. Here is the thread he selected from the options above:

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After winding coordinating bobbins (making a basket or bowl on the sewing machine used a lot of bobbin thread) I was ready to start making the coil on my sewing machine:

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I set the ball of clothesline and the “Ball-o-Batiks” on the floor side to side as I work them together through the sewing machine:

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Here is what I have finished so far, not very much but I plan to work on it at a leisurely pace:

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2 feet down, 138 feet more to go…

I will share a photo of my progress in a future post.


Postscript

In yesterday’s post, Oh Scrap!, I mentioned that I had moved the fabric scraps from their organization in color themed boxes to a large bag. Well after completing this process I also ended up re-arranging my tiny sewing room again and thought I would share a photo:

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I’ve added this photo as an update to my page tierneycreates Studio Tour, where you can see a tour of my entire studio.

Although I could use the space for something else, I always try to find a way to keep my old futon chair (it coverts to a bed for a very small person) in my studio to always have a cozy place to sit and think (about my next studio reorganization project, ha!)

Studio

Basket of Love

I wanted to share a follow up to my previous post (Dec 30) “Throwing Pottery” on the Sewing Machine.

There are additional details on the fabric basket I recently “threw” on my sewing machine: It was part of a wedding gift for a dear friend. Now that my friend has received her gift I can share the additional photos/story!

What began as this –

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Became this once five (5) little scrappy batik heart pillows were added to make it the tierneycreates Basket of Love:

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My friend has a modified “Brady Bunch” situation going on. When she wed her wonderful finance they joined their families and became a blended family of five.

So I made each family member a little scrappy fabric heart and on the back of each heart I added a pocket so they could use the hearts to share little notes of love and appreciation to each other.

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For fun I even made up five generic “sample love notes” and placed them in the pocket of each heart.

Working on this piece and sewing in general was a nice bit of healing for me as I deal with the grief of the recent loss of my beloved mother-in-law and the loss of my Sassy the Highly Opinionated Miniature Schnauzer. As you all probably know, grief comes in waves and it seems better to be sewing than just sitting around when one of these waves hits.

My friend and her fiancé are wonderful loving parents and I know their joined family and new home is likely filled with lots of love, but it made me very happy to make a gift that does more than celebrates their marriage – it celebrates their new family!


Postscript

We had a couple days of warmth (up to 61 degrees F) in Central Oregon but now a deep chill has set in. Not as bad as parts of the US where a terrible Arctic freeze/chill is leading to record lows, so I will not complain.

We have quite a bit of “hoar frost” in Central Oregon. Every time I hear the words “hoar frost” I laugh to myself. I remember when I first moved to the Pacific NW in the late 1990s and heard the term “hoar frost” for the first time. I thought my friend was saying something else completely in regards to the frost (hint: sounds like wh___). And I thought: “Wow, in the Pacific NW they really hate frost!”

In case you have not heard of “hoar frost” before, according to the Google dictionary it is:

a grayish-white crystalline deposit of frozen water vapor formed in clear still weather on vegetation, fences, etc.

Here is a tree loaded with hoar frost from my morning walk:

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I want to close this post by mentioning how much I have enjoyed reading “end-of-year” summaries by my blogging buddies. I might write up one myself when I feel ready.

Hope you all are having a Happy New Year so far!

Studio

“Throwing Pottery” on the Sewing Machine

Are you familiar with the phrase “throwing pottery”? This phrase relates to creating some type of clay vessel/bowl on a pottery wheel.

Recently I made a fabric bowl by “throwing” it on my sewing machine!

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This bowl is made from batik fabric strips wrapped around clothesline using the instructions from the Bali Boxes pattern by Aunties Two.

It measures approximately 11.5″ in diameter and is 4″ deep.

Several years ago I was really into making batik fabric bowls and boxes and had a stash of cotton clothesline and 2.5″ pre-cut batik fabric strips (like Hoffman Bali Pops). Here are a couple of my baskets from that period:

I burned out on making these baskets, however I had enough wrapped clothesline to make one more small basket and set it aside for the day I wanted to make another basket (into my “abandoned project stash”).

Well that day arrived a week ago – I was ready to “throw” a new basket!

Here is the wrapped clotheslines and the fabric for the center:

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Making the basket begins with making a coiled foundation around a Timtex (heavy interfacing) filled center fabric pouch:

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Once the base is created, it is time to “throw” the basket and angle it around the sewing machine as you add rows of covered clothesline using a zig-zag stitch:

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The piece is finished off with a binding on top to cover the ends of the wrapped clothesline:

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And now a couple images of the completed bowl (I added a little tierneycreates tag to the top under the binding):

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I am pleased with my “thrown” fabric bowl and glad I pulled the remaining wrapped clothesline out of my abandoned project stash!