Note: All photos are clickable.
Among the many articles in the last issue of Fibre & Stitch was one concerning how craftswomen in Africa turn found objects into art and Sue Bleiweiss used this idea to challenge us to see what we can do with things we find around our homes. The cut off date for this challenge is July 5, so procrastinator that I am I started looking around my home yesterday. We recycle and/or reuse/re-purpose everything we can think of. A perusal of the recycling area lead me to our stash of plastic sacks/bags. Most of those show a distinct lack of personality but the few colorful ones fairly jumped out of the bin and into my arms, notably yellow, blue, red, green and white. I’ve got a dim memory of my mom and her friends crocheting bread sacks into shopping bags. So I sliced the yellow bag into 1 inch strips, looped them together and rolled it into a ball, then attempted to crochet it. I felt like Goldilocks, all my hooks were too little or too big, none were just right, so back to the drawing board, because I really want to do something with these sacks, the colors are very pretty. So I cut them apart into single layers and voila!
Red layered on blue equals purple. Add the white sack underneath all of it and the color intensified. So I did what any stitch crazy person would do, I stitched those layers together, no stabilizer, but I quickly switched to a teflon foot. Here is the result using variegated machine embroidery thread. and lots of built-in stitches (I’m going through a phase of using those built-in stitches. I figure I paid for those I might as well use them — but honestly I think it’d been faster to just free motion stitch.)
If you try this remember to only use fairly open type stitches like a feather stitch, not a satin type stitch as that tore the plastic. The other thing I learned: I should have fused the Pellon prior to the stitching, it would have made the later stages of this project easier. You live and learn. I was so excited with the result that I immediately cut this into 1 inch squares because now I knew I’d use these for an Inchie swap over at MQ Resource. ( A great place for machine quilters to hang out).
Fusing: I cut a 12 inch square of fusible Pellon and 12 inch square of a yard sale fabric buy. Lay the fabric face down on the ironing surface, put the Pellon on top of that, lay out the inchies on the Pellon, cover with a teflon pressing sheet or baking parchment and then press with your iron set to Nylon. I held it in place over each section about 30 seconds, just long enough to tack them down. Then I turned the whole thing over, (parchment side is now on the bottom-fabric on top) and I pressed an additional 45 seconds. (times might vary depending on your iron and your pressure and the phases of the moon) The heat of the iron deepened these colors and removed some shine. (It reminds me of leather and now I want to try this with some of the brownish colored sacks)
Next step: zig zag around all those inchies.
Next: Cut them apart. This was quicker and easier than you might think thanks to my sharp little snippers.
I like how these look, but what about some recycled bling? I love the thermoseals from coffee grounds and cashew cans so I’ve got some on hand. I cut another red sack, shown here with my June Tailor Shape Plus Cut tool. (one of my favorite tools)
Here are the inchies with the cut up red sacks and the thermoseal bling.
I placed a couple of little squares of red sack on the inchie and topped that with a triangle of thermoseal bling and then fancy stitched it down with my sewing machine.
Thirty of these are for the MQ Resource swap. I’ve got 50 extra to swap if any of you want to swap with me. Let me know if you want yours with bling or without.