The new workshops strated with a bang…

I was really excited to have the first workshop at Smilla Berlin.

I’ve come to know this place from a short internship I made there, and fell totally in love.
There isn’t a way to visit that place and not feel a completely uncontrollable urge to get creative, to sew something beautiful, to buy a whole stock of amazing fabrics, or simply to move in to live there…

That’s why when I got the opportunity to move my workshops to there, I couldn’t jump it fast enough!

The first one, last week, was an absolute blast.
It was clam and relaxing, and we manged to get some great results.

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This is the lovely Agnès, a beginner sewer, concentrating on her first project…

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And that’s the result – a reversible shoulder bag. Isn’t it just precious?

 

The workshop yesterday, being completely booked, was way more hectic, and therefore I didn’t get a chance to snap any pictures. So you’ll just have to trust me that it was just as much fun!

The upcoming workshop is on this Saturday at 11AM. There are still free spots left, so please check out the course page on Smilla’s website, and contact the shop to register and assure your participation.

More dates are coming up and I’ll be sure to update you!

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We don’t aim for a 7!

I’ve been dreading writing this post for a really long time. In a lot of ways I feel like my endless amount of blubbering couldn’t possibly do justice to this project. It all started when I went for a visit to Israel and brought my sister the blanket I made for my new niece, Hili. She really liked it and immediately started using it, but between the lines and all the compliments, she also said “You know, if you’re up for it, I have a real big project in mind for you” Oh, how big? “Well… You see…” She started mumbling.  I should have gotten suspicious right there “I have all those cute, colorful, flannel burp cloths, that Hili has already kind of grown out of.  I was thinking of making something out of them, that she could use for a longer time.  Maybe some sort of sentimental quilt, that will follow her out of the nursery years”

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The burp cloths and two solid color flannel, to cover all the bases

“Yeah, why not? That sounds like fun.” My first mistake! I started off with planning.  As soon as I did that, I realized it’s gonna be a bigger than life project, bigger than I thought.

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Very early sketches
(The color pencils are kinda hiding it, but my dog is in the background, claiming the fabric as hers)

There were a few guidelines that dictated the design:  I wanted it to be a full queen size quilt, that she will never out grow.  I wanted it to look very fun and contemporary, not a traditional quilt design.  I wanted to use as much of the original fabrics as I possibly could, leaving them as the main focus.  Most of all, I wanted it to be absolutely perfect.

And I wasn’t about to let the fact it’s my first project of this scale get in my way!

My second mistake!

Since I had a limited amount of fabric, and it was important to use it to the last thread; I moved the design to the computer.  I started to make endless, highly calculated, down to the millimeter, lists of the pieces I needed. Every cloth got its own representative graphic pattern, and the ones that were a bit bigger, got the part with the slightly larger area.

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It may seem random, but I’ve spent hours trying to avoid any repetitive pattern, yet making sure no two pieces from the same cloth would ever touch each other… Yeah, I know… I’m not sane…

And then I began cutting…

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Some fabric pieces

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and some more…

And then it was sewing time…

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Surprisingly enough, after spending so many hours planning and calculating and cutting, (So help me god, by the time I finished cutting, it was a real hazard to have any scissors in close proximity.  I would have slit my own wrist.) the assembly itself proved to be a piece of cake, about a 30-work-hours piece of cake, but still…

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I assembled the front side (AKA the insane side) on my sofa

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I marked every piece on its back, so I’d know the measurements and everything would stay according to plan. I ironed the seams open, in part to avoid any bulk, and simply because that’s how I’m used to working…

The other side of the blanket was way simpler, but had place for two appliqués that I wanted to create from mini-size patches. My third mistake!

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The cat one was easy enough (come to think of it, I should really write an instruction post about how to make a patch-work appliqué.), but the H turned out to be trickier…

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Well, here’s a riddle for you folks – What’s wrong with this H?  Why did poor Ronnie have to do it all over again?

It was midnight on the day before I went for another visit to Israel, on which I was supposed to take the finished quilt with me.  I was tired and my back hurt.  For the life of me, I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry when I found this mistake.

The next morning I called my sister (she loves me alright, but not enough to get phone calls at 1am..) and whined my eyes out about the recent discovery and how I’d never be finished with this quilt. She, empathetic-merciful-compassion soul that she is, tried to comfort me and reassure me that the project would be great enough even without the second appliqué.

She failed miserably.

My respond to her was simple, “We don’t aim for a 7!  I didn’t work so long and hard just to come out with something that is anything short of perfect!  I DON’T AIM FOR A 7!!!!”

Part of me wants to write that this was my fourth mistake, but the truth is, there are few things in my life that I’m prouder of than this statement.

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Right H attached to the back side

 

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And a cute little cat

Yeah, I guess I could’ve made a way simpler design for this quilt.  My niece wouldn’t have loved it any less, and nobody that wasn’t inside my had would had known.
I could’ve used larger and fewer pieces.  I could’ve settled for only one appliqué.  I could’ve made it a single and not a queen size blanket.  I could’ve dropped so many motives that the blanket is too big to show them all at once as it is.
Hell, I could’ve used a bought bias tape, instead of making one out of more than 150 pieces, each no longer than 6cm …

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Working on the world’s longest bias tape

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Still working…

 

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Perfect bias tape makes for perfect corners

But I didn’t. I chose not to compromise and I’m glad I didn’t.
Not because anyone would know not to call my 7 a 10…
But because no matter what I’d do next in my life, how many other projects I’d create, I’d always know that when I don’t aim for a 7, I can do pretty great.

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Pretty great, isn’t it?

And as I wrote in The Sum of Me, I’m gonna force the poor kid to use this quilt till she’s 97…

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Poor quality picture, of three very high quality nieces, using one very huge and comfy quilt…

Beginners’ fun

Last week, on only her second visit to my open workshop, Michal, a complete beginner sewer, made this adorable, practical, reversible tote, in a bit under two hours.

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Great, isn’t it?

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On the plan for this week is creating a pattern and starting a fitted skirt. I can’t wait…

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Pouching time

Like I already promised at the quilt for a baby boy post, and the Hili’s first blanket post, the diaper bags I sew for those two gift sets are worth their own post… So here it is…

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Sadly, I cannot take credit for this great pattern, but saying that, there are lots of great tutorials out there, explaining to great details exactly how to sew it.

One of them, and the one I easily used at my first attempt is on the lovely blog ‘Pretty Modern‘. You can find the tutorial here.

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It is really the easiest pouch you could make, it doesn’t require lots of fabric for it (scraps will work out just fine), it’s done quickly and is the perfect addition to any present.

You can play round with different fabrics and change the size and proportions for a different outcome every time. A true winner.

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I intended those pouches to be used as a carrier of the essential kit you carry around when you’re getting out with a baby, but basically, they can be used in so many ways and fill so many porposs.

Give it a chance, try it out. It’s a wonderful begginers’ project, and I can promise you won’t regret it.

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