Completing Something

Sadie is such a helper when it comes to whatever I am doing on this table. Here she is all over my unfinished carry all bag and sorting the bits to make my own needles and pins case.

I wanted to make one using some cloth from friends in Australia. Aujke Boonstra had some lovely eco dyed wool blanket bits that I got several years ago. Scraps from Beautiful Silks looked promising. The inspiration for this little needle book was the ones made for me by Australians who seem to have a knack for putting things together with stitch and practicality. Jude Walker was the first one who said, “You can’t put your needles in that! I will make you a proper book for them.” And she did from an old blanket. Then there is the inspiring stitchwork and patching of Nonie Sudcliffe that I bought a small sample of years ago and used on the cover of a sketchbook. Another inspiring needle case I bought from Anne Newton to give as a gift but then couldn’t part with. Mine is pitiful by comparison…..but I like it.

Here it is closed.

First page opened to show pins and tapestry needles.

Some sharper needles and smaller tapestry ones.

Pocket sewn in to the back cover.

Sadie’s approval.

The scraps of heavy cotton canvas type material is what I used to make the outside of the carry all. That was really not such a good choice as it was so heavy. Then after I sewed all the zippers in I realized they were to heavy and long. They stuck out of the ends of what I thought was the right size bag. So I added more length to keep them inside more.

Here you can see that I did not follow the step that clearly states that the bag must be pinned in the center as well as the zipper so that things come out evenly. Also note that the longer zipper I was waiting for is olive green…..not the khaki of the ones inside. My excuse is the picture looked the same color so I ordered it.

I must say that refusing to go to Walmart for ethical reasons comes at a cost. And that is constant ordering from Amazon and taking what I can see on a computer screen.

Also when I added the extra length with these new ends I thought it should be “puffy”. My solution was to use some of the white felt from the trump pincushions and place a panel between the two layers of the outer bag and fold strips in half to shove into these added end panels. Looked like a great idea until I tried to shove it all under a zipper foot for this final stage of closing the whole thing off with the new zipper.

It was an amazing amount of work for something that looks pedestrian at best, don’t you think?

So I filled up  all the pockets with bits and pieces that I might just need to have handy. Today the UPS man brought the fading marker for cloth that I learned about watching those you tubes instructions over and over. And also the really clever little “wonder clips”…..tiny plastic clips for holding wads of cloth, felt, zipper and binding  all in one place while you locate the pins. I stuffed a bunch in that cane toad case.

Remember how I wanted to make this one bigger than the pattern because then I could put a 12 inch ruler inside? By the time I shoved seams into seams it became only 11” long at best. So I am using one of my favorite folding wooden rulers bought at a market in St. Andrews near Baldessin Press north of Melbourne.

Here is everything outside the carry all.

That’s a lot of things and I can still put a pair of scissors in as soon as I get a new medium size one from Amazon. I made those canvas tabs  to add to the zipper pulls because they frankly cover the section where the zipper does not make it to the end of the pocket….something to do with making the pockets fit into the end pieces used up more length. But it is a handy little thing.

And other than finishing this carry all I started back to work on the little Australian journals. Here is a few of the pages, etc.

I love this possum, goanna, kangaroo paw and yellow tailed cockatoo. I even sketched my latest sketchbook.

And some more urban things like gelato, the pedestrian walk sign of men’s legs and the sign for the “ladies” toilet. The hot pad is what I look for at the airports for Lee. He always wants kangaroos on brown backgrounds. They are not so easy to find any more. Mostly now it is oven mitts. Who uses those??!!

Enough for now….so glad that bag is finished. If you ever try to make one read the instructions very carefully, then go on you tube to watch the many, many episodes to get to the finish. Buy practical material and zippers and keep spare sewing machine needles handy along with very strong thread for hand sewing. You might want to make sure you have a zipper foot. Without that, there is no bag.

Til later.