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Cutting Up My Kona Card.

I have been planning on cutting up my Kona card for a while now. It has been a few years since cutting up an older Kona card, and my lack of a system for that one (they were all thrown into a box) plus the addition of many new colors has made working with it an ongoing mess.

Cutting Up My Kona Card . Carolyn Friedlander

Earlier this year, I did a rough poll to see how others are organizing their color cards, and the answers were really helpful! I recapped some of those different styles and approaches in this newsletter if you’d like to see.

The systems I saw ranged wildly in terms of additional materials required, time investment to set up and resulting usability. I love being organized, and I love how being organized can help you work more efficiently, but it’s also important to weigh the options.

For me, I prefer a direction that requires the least amount of upfront time and extra materials to set up, with the most appropriate level of usability in the end. Not only am I often picking swatches to coordinate with collections and to use for projects, but I also like seeing all of the colors as a whole. Because of that, I like the idea of having a way to see all of the colors together, as well as to work with them individually. With two color cards, and I knew that I could keep one intact and I could cut the other one up. With just 1 card, it might be better to go in a different direction, maybe one like @modernhandcraft installed, which is impressive, but that would also require a lot of time and equipment to set up, as well as the physical space to put it. I’m not mad at a system that I can fold up and put away.

Instead, I was drawn toward @houseonhillroad’s approach which uses a special box to store the swatches. I think her box is one for storing embroidery floss that you could find at a craft store, but I also heard of others using tackle boxes and other things similar.

To be honest, all of this was fantasy thinking, because projects like these aren’t usually my favorite. They can be easy for me to dream about but not anything I’m quick to act on. There are too many other things I’d rather be doing and making! However, the stars aligned and I happened to find the perfect slotted container at the Dollar Store, when I was there rooting around for something else. I picked it up hoping it would be about the right size, and it turns out that it totally was! Yay! Plus, it was only $1. You can’t beat that.

Cutting Up My Kona Card . Carolyn Friedlander

There were many good tips that I learned from others. For one, I numbered the back of each of my swatches as well as their position on the uncut card. This way, I can easily find what I’m looking for AND put it back when I’m done with it.

Cutting Up My Kona Card . Carolyn Friedlander

It really helps to cut the swatches to the same size. This was made easier by the fact that the newest Kona color card has standard sizes for the colors. Because of the layouts on some of the older cards, the swatches were different sizes. Having them all the same size makes everything easier to work with, and it makes them stack up so nicely.

Cutting Up My Kona Card . Carolyn Friedlander

This new system is already paying off in terms of time, mess and general convenience. Even though it took me a few hours to cut up and number the card and swatches, I’ve easily made that up in how easy it is to work with. I would totally make myself do this again with the release of a newer color card. Now having done it, I know how much easier it has made everything. It might not have been at the top of my list before, but it will be higher on the list moving forward.

Cutting Up My Kona Card . Carolyn Friedlander

I should note that I tried punching holes into a couple of the swatches. Also while at the Dollar Store, I nabbed some book rings, and I thought it could be nice to put the colors for certain projects into their own ring while I was working with them. I quickly discovered that you’d need either a stronger hole punch, a drill and/or more physical strength than I was willing and able to put into it, so I abandoned that direction after a couple of failed attempts. If I feel inspired, I can bust out my drill and add some holes in the future. For now, all is great.

Cutting Up My Kona Card . Carolyn Friedlander

You can find a Kona color card on the google or at shops like ilovefabric and plenty of others. Just make sure to get the latest card with all 340 colors, and you’ll be set.

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Quick Thread Catcher Tutorial.

quick thread catcher tutorial . carolyn friedlander

Yesterday I mentioned that I liked traveling with a little thread catcher, and so today I’m posting a quick thread catcher tutorial. This is based on one given to me by the sweet owners of the Janie Lou quilt shop in St Louis, Missouri. What I really like about it is that it folds up nice and flat, which makes it easy to bring with me anywhere. Plus, it’s silly how quick and easy it is to put together. I’ll be making many more of these for my sewing buds…

Materials:

+ Exterior Fabric – cut to 8 1/2″ x 17 1/2″

+ Lining Fabric – cut to 8 1/2″ x 17 1/2″

+ (optional) Interfacing – cut to 8 1/2″ x 17 1/2″ applied to Exterior.

Fabric/Interfacing Note: Neither of the thread catchers shown in this tutorial are interfaced. The one that I was given (above) has a sturdier canvas on the exterior. It’s nice. The one (outlined below) in this tutorial is made from un-interfaced quilting cotton for both the exterior and lining. I was mostly curious to see how it would turn out, and it’s surprisingly structured! I’m very pleased with it and will totally do it this way again. But of course, if you like interfacing, you can always incorporate it into your project.

All seam allowances are 1/4″. While I’m using my serger in this tutorial, you can just as well use your sewing machine. All raw edges will be enclosed, except where noted below.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Fold in half (RIGHT sides TOGETHER) so that short edges are aligned. In the photo below, my short sides are at the top, and the fold is on the bottom. Do this and the following for both the exterior and lining panels.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Pin (if desired) and stitch along the sides.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Create a boxed corner by pinching side seam to bottom fold on each side.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Mark a line 1 3/4″ from pointed edge. Stitch along this line.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Turn exterior (RIGHT side OUT).

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Place lining inside exterior, aligning side seams. Pin in place (if desired). Tip: Alternate the direction of the side seams when you match them up. This will make things less-bulky.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Stitch along top edge. A serger will finish this edge as you stitch, but if you’re using a sewing machine, you can use a zigzag stitch to finish it. Or, if you want to bind it, you can totally do that too, but since the top is folded, it isn’t super critical.

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Fold the top down a couple of times, and you’re good to go!

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

I hope you enjoy yours as much as I’ve enjoyed mine!

Thread Catcher Tutorial . Carolyn Friedlander

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Traverse Bag in Gleaned.

Traverse Bag in Gleaned Fabric

Making a Traverse Bag (pattern by Noodlehead) was a long time coming. Ever since releasing the pattern earlier this year, it had been on my list. Before the hurricane, before the rush of Quilt Market and most definitely before the start of the holidays, I managed to do it. Here’s a look at my Traverse Bag in gleaned.

Traverse Bag in Gleaned Fabric

It’s always fun picking fabrics for a bag, but I know that this part can also be daunting! I knew that I wanted to use the camo print from gleaned as the main print, and so it was just a matter of figuring out what else to use, including the hardware–that needed to be picked too! Noodlehead has special hardware kits available (see here), which is exactly what I used. It made it SO easy. She finds great pieces and offers a variety of color and finish options. Win win.

As for the other fabrics, I used some of the new coordinates from my architextures collection, including one of the new text prints as the lining. There’s something about light-colored linings in bags that I’m always interested in using. Lighter linings make it much easier to see inside when you’re inevitably going to grab something, not that there are too many places for things to hide in this bag–a major pro!

Traverse Bag in Gleaned Fabric

Also on the inside, I used one of the prints from gleaned that has a special edge treatment. Special edge designs are fun to work with, and here you can see how I fussy cut it for the inside pocket.

Traverse Bag in Gleaned Fabric

I also took advantage of that in the front flap–fun stuff!

Traverse Bag in Gleaned Fabric

This bag is a thoughtfully compact bag by design. There are 2 size options in the pattern, and both are geared toward keeping things light and tight. This size is the smallest option–the mini. It’s great being able to carry all of your necessities, while keeping them organized. Plus, I like that it’s a crossbody style which means it’s hands free.

Traverse Bag in Gleaned Fabric

As far as pockets and compartments, there’s a snapped pocket on the front, a larger-zippered section with small slip pocket inside, and then even a small zippered pocket on the back. For a bag that isn’t super big, there are plenty of spaces to keep your stuff tidy.

Traverse Bag in Gleaned Fabric

The front flap is also the perfect spot to incorporate some cording. I’m always a fan of that. If you get the hardware set from Noodlehead, a strip of cording is included. How handy!

Traverse Bag in Gleaned Fabric

Traverse Bag in Gleaned FabricPattern : Traverse Bag by Noodlehead, mini size

Hardware : Here (from Noodlehead)

Fabric : Gleaned and new Architextures coordinates

(photos by Alexis Wharem of Greenprint Photography)

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