Monthly Archives: February, 2014

When RR’s away…

… Lynne Pusscat will play!!!

It’s Sunday morning, and I’ve just waved a fond farewell to RR, who is off back to the UK for work. I’m joining him at the end of the week, and we will visit family and friends, watch 2 rugby games, eat a lot of curry (and Fish and Chips and Chinese takeaway and Jam Doughnuts…), go and see the Lego Movie, and drink copious quantities of tea, before returning to Switzerland happy and exhausted and several pounds heavier.

Incidentally, not 5 minutes after RR had left the apartment, Mr Boy had claimed his side of the bed and is currently revelling in his new status of “Man of the House” 🙂 I don’t think he’s too distraught at the departure, do you?

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RR’s driving back, as he’ll be in the UK for 2 weeks. So I sent him off with my sewing machine, which is in need of a good service. There are no Janome dealers here in Switzerland, and the local sewing machine store wanted 300 CHF ( around $340, or £200) and 3 weeks to service my machine.  300 CHF??? Three weeks???! Dear Lordy me! So, she’s off on holiday to Bath where, for around a quarter of the price and a turnaround time of 1 day, she’s going to get a jolly good service and tune-up by a proper Janome dealer. Hooray!

In the meantime, I shall be playing with my lovely new machine.

Oh yes, a new sewing machine!

I took advantage of the January sales to invest in a lightweight sewing machine that I can take away on quilt retreats and to classes. My MC11000SE is a wonderful machine that does everything I have ever asked of her, and more, but lightweight she’s not! She weighs in at around 50lbs (23kg) – and is way too heavy for me to lift. Not a great feature when I want to take her places…

So meet my new machine – the Janome MC5200.

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What a little beauty!

At a weight of 18lb (8.5kg) she’s infinitely more portable than her big sister, but has plenty of features to keep me happy. I’ve not had a chance yet to have a proper play and explore exactly what she can do, as I’ve been busy finishing The Quilt from Hell, but now I have five blissful days free to sew, sew, sew, before I join RR in England!

So RR’s en route, the kitties are settled in their accustomed spots in my sewing room, the apartment is clean and tidy, the freezer is full of food, and I have a stack of projects in my head and a lovely cup of tea at my side. What more could I ask for?

Let playtime commence 🙂

Bag Lady Pusscat…

Just recently I’ve had a bit of a fetish for bags.

Not just the expensive, bought-in-Paris-on-the-Champs-Elysées-dahling kind of bags (though I have to admit that those are a major fetish too – just ask poor RR…) But recently, it’s also been for ones I have made with my own fair hands.

It all started back in October, at the Patchwork in the Peaks quilt retreat, when the lovely Katy of The Littlest Thistle taught us to make the Aeroplane Bag. My previous forays into bag making hadn’t been a roaring success. I’d somehow managed to cobble together a couple of tote bags in the past, but then I over-reached myself and decided to have a stab at Amy Butler’s Weekender Bag. Big mistake. Suffice to it wasn’t my finest hour, and some Very Bad Words were uttered many times over. After that, I decided bag making was not for me.

Then Katy came along and showed me that it could all be so different!

I’m not saying that No Bad Words were uttered during the process, or that I found it all plain sailing, but Katy was calm and unflappable and taught me loads. More importantly, she gave me the confidence to try bag making again.

Firstly, I made Mum a bag for Christmas. Aeroplane Mk II. With dogs on. She loved it!

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Then, Katy brought out her own bag pattern – Whole Lotta Bag. It’s a roomy messenger style bag with loads of pockets that I thought would be ideal to take along on my frequent travels. She’s currently running a sew-along over on her blog, and I’m taking part. I’m even almost up to date…

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Then last week I really went for it. Oh yeah, baby!

First of all, I used some scraps to make this itty bitty bag. It was inspired by a pattern in Jelly Roll Scraps – Twenty to Make by Carolyn Forster, which I’d picked up on my last trip to the UK – only, being me, I changed it up a little 🙂

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The red and pinky scraps are from my Broken Herringbone quilt, and the black ones are left over from a quilt I made RR 3 or 4 years ago. The lining was a remnant from Dad’s quilt. This cute little bag measures 6″ x 7″, and I think it would be perfect for an evening out. And Mimi Bubba seems to think it makes a most agreeable pillow  🙂

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Fired up by my success at making this, I decided to play around with my original Aeroplane Bag to change all the things that were really bugging me about it. Like the fact it was too floppy, the wonky topstitching, and the inexpertly-installed zip. I took the whole thing apart, added fusible fleece to stiffen the sides, and re-constructed it, paying lots of attention to the zip and the topstitching.

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Et voilà! An Aeroplane Bag to be even more proud of!

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Finally, I decided to tackle the Sugar Loaf Pouch from U-Handbag. I used the same fabric as I’d used for my Aeroplane Bag. And boy was it fiddly! But finally, after much fabric-wrestling, and liberal use of my machine’s walking foot, I ended up with this…

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Still can’t quite work our how it ended up so small (it was meant to measure 6 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ x 3 1/3″ – it actually measures 3 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ x 2″… – presumably that’s why it was so damned fiddly!) – and somehow the zebra ended up on the bottom of the bag, but all in all, I’m really pleased with it.

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So all in all, a bag-filled week, and best of all, I feel truly virtuous about my liberal use of scraps!  Fabric Fast – bring it on, baby!!!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday – why not pop on over and take a look?