Art Gallery Fabric Patchwork Sewing
Posted in Projects on Wednesday the 28th November 2018 by Vicki Ormerod
Hello everyone! I’m super excited about today’s project. I was very inspired by the gorgeous Color Master Boxes that Minerva started carrying from Art Gallery Fabrics. I picked No. 9 Fresh Water palette and I will be sharing about my makes with this set today. This kit includes 10 fat quarter pieces, 18 x 22 inches or 45 x 55cm (which is 2.3 meters or 2.5 yards of total fabric).
As you open the box, the fabrics are beautifully displayed, begging to be sewn into gorgeous projects.
I have to share about something that might easily be missed with this project, the beauty of the box itself. The details printed on the outside of the box are so intricate.
There is a small cardboard insert (to raise the fabric) that I removed. I plan to enjoy using this box for future storage in my craft room.
There are little stitch lines along the box that look like sewn stitches.
The first project that I was inspired to make is a project with the selvedges. This might sound funny as I think more commonly people save the selvedges from fabrics, over time, to make something with after they’ve gathered them and the fabric is long gone. Cutting off the selvedges is a fun way to see the fabrics together and save the fabric names for future reference.
9" / 23cm Zipper
0.5 m Grey Linen Fabric
AGF Fat Quarter Color Master Kit (Freshwater Edition)
Hemline Swivel Clip (13mm)
I first cut the selvedges off of each fabric at a 1.5” (3.8 cm) width. The pieces are cut to 18” (45.7 cm) x 1.5” (3.8 cm).
Arranging selvedges and picking projects for them is a fun and creative process. There are no rules but I will share my approach and thought process with sewing selvedge projects.
I first like to lay out the selvedges to decide what order I would like them in. I’ve found that I enjoy “framing” the selvedges to keep in mind that the fabric on the very bottom and the very top can get lost a bit in the seams (so I like to keep my favorite selvedge pieces in the center).
I overlap each selvedge edge by 3/8” (1 cm) and sew along the selvedge on top of the seam (at around 1/4” seam allowance, 0.6cm). Selvedge edges are finished so overlapping them in this way offers a nice finished look and the edges won’t unravel.
After sewing the selvedges together, I trim off the edges to even out the fabric.
You have lots of options with what projects to make with selvedge fabric. It is now essentially a new “fabric” that you can treat as such and cut out any pattern from (that is smaller than the new selvedge fabric dimensions). You could keep the selvedges horizontal, cut the fabric in half and add a solid linen to the bottom of the fabric to make a colorblocked pouch.
I decided to get the most usage of this selvedge fabric by turning the fabric so that the selvedges run vertically. I made the pouch based on the dimensions of the selvedge fabric, as is. I had a 17” x 11” (43cm x 28cm) piece of selvedge fabric. I also decided not to cut the fabric in half (so the folded section on the bottom of the pouch will be one less seam to sew).
If you would like a general tutorial for sewing a zippered pouch (with zipper tabs) you can reference the following tutorial. Just an FYI that the dimensions of my pouch are slightly different.
I cut a small rectangle for a swivel clip tab from grey linen. I love adding a clip or key ring to pouches that I make (to clip them onto another bag). The tab dimensions are 3.5” x 1.5” (9cm x 3.8cm).
I folded this fabric in half, long ways. I then folded the edges of the tab to the center and folded this length in half again. The final length of the tab is 3/8” x 3.5” (0.9cm x 9 cm). I top stitched along both edges of the zipper tab.
I also sewed zipper tabs for this pouch. Utilizing zipper tabs, it gives a nice finish to the pouch so that the zipper is flat and doesn’t get bulky in the side seams.
I will share that I didn’t not add interfacing to the fabrics. When I make pouches like this, I will sometimes use a medium weight interfacing or a fusible fleece to stabilize the pouch. With utilizing linen for the interior, this pouch is soft and will fall over with the weight of the swivel clip.
A benefit to choosing not to interface the pouch is that the flexibility of the fabric makes it easy to place it inside other bags. A remedy to the pouch falling over is to place something inside the pouch. You can see this skein of yarn in the next photo that I enjoyed tucking inside the pouch (which may hold a new sock knitting project in the near future).
The next project that I made is a fun patchwork tray/pouch that I found via this Snappy Coinpurse Tutorial from i heart linen. You will notice a theme with my projects that I share for Minerva. I tend to enjoy changing patterns to customize them, for fun. Although this pattern is beautiful as is, I thought it would be fun to try a few changes to the pattern with this project.
AGF Fat Quarter Color Master Kit (Freshwater Edition)
Hemline Heavy Duty Snaps (Antique Brass)
I started out by printing off the template that is included in the tutorial. My first finding is that you need to select “fit to page” when you print the template (to match the 1” scale block on the page). Typically with garment patterns, you select “100% scale” before printing out the pattern not “fit to page.” As you can see from the photo, the 100% scale size template is too small, the “fit to page” template matches the intended pattern dimensions.
This finding offered a fun twist to this project (that I’ll share more about in a bit).
I followed the tutorial for the Snappy Coinpurse, with a few changes.
I first pieced four fabrics together (as mentioned in the tutorial). One aspect that I really liked about the Freshwater kit is that a solid fabric is included with the nine other prints. I love the contrast of solid fabrics paired with prints. With the patchwork block that I pieced together, I really liked that the bird is facing the tree.
I chose this next fun fabric for the interior of the pouch.
The following pic shows a view of what both fabrics will look like together in the pouch. The two blocks are 8” x 8” (20.3cm x 20.3cm).
I chose to interface the fabrics. With this tutorial utilizing metal snaps, it’s always a good idea to reinforce the fabric with interfacing (to prevent the snaps from ripping out of the fabric with usage). I decided to modify the template to cut out the center with a craft knife (to view the center area for the pouch for fussy cutting).
I normally enjoy using a rotary cutter to cut out patterns but I decided to trace around the template in this project with the fabric pen (to view the area for the pouch, prior to cutting). I then used fabric shears to cut the fabric. If you decide to center a motif on the pouch, you can move around the cutting area with this technique, prior to cutting the fabric.
The pattern calls for a 1/4” (0.6cm) seam allowance. I decided to mark the corners and curves to reverence the seam allowance on the pattern piece.
Although I do have a point turner, I’ve found that a paintbrush has been my favorite tool to push out the corners in a sewing project (after turning the pouch right side out). The paintbrush end is small yet rounded (to help gently push out the corners without poking through the fabric).
The tutorial suggests to hand sew the opening closed but I decided to top stitch (at 1/8” or 0.3 cm) around the perimeter of the pouch. This gives a nice finish and eliminates the need to hand sew the opening.
One mishap that occurred during clipping the corners (before the pouch was turned right side out) is that I cut through one of the stitched seams and into the fabric. This mishap was fixed with the added top stitching step. You can see in the next photo the area at the inside corner that was reinforced during top stitching. I did backstitch a couple of times at this location to reinforce this area.
This tutorial calls for adding metal snaps. I decided to make a little “swatch” to practice adding metal snaps with scrap fabrics prior to adding them to the actual pouch. In knitting, swatching is recommended to practice before starting a pattern. I enjoy utilizing this concept with sewing as well (practicing on a swatch of fabric first before applying a new technique to the finished item). I mimicked the project with fabric and interfacing scraps by ironing interfacing on two pieces of fabric and sewing them together in a rectangle. I cut this rectangle in half for two scrap pieces (to test adding the male and female snaps).
The snap kit includes all the tools you need (except a hammer). The kit suggests using the included punch to first pierce a hole into the fabric for the snaps. I marked a plus sign with the fabric pen to practice intentionally marking the snap in a set location. I first tried using a rubber mallet (instead of a hammer) at this step and found I needed a traditional metal hammer (the mallet didn’t punch well through the fabric).
I found that a mini hole punch (that I had on hand) helped give me more control to center the hole at the marked location. This isn’t shown in the photo but I found that punching three small holes around the center location worked well.
Through some trial and error I found that the best surface to hammer the snaps in place is a rigid surface. After failed attempts of hammering the snaps on my sewing desk, I found that the best surface for me was outside on concrete floor. I also tried hammering in the snaps on a hardwood floor (but concrete worked the best for me).
After adding the snaps to the pouch (in the suggested locations given in the tutorial), I made another change to the tutorial. I wanted to try to avoid hand sewing with this project so I machine sewed each of the four sides together by placing the edges together and top stitching at 1/8” (0.3cm). The result was quick and I didn’t feel the shortcut had a negative effect to the end project. There was no hand sewing needed with the changes that I made with this project.
After finishing this pouch, I thought a fun twist to this project would be to make a second, smaller pouch following the “100% scaled,” smaller template. I first started a patchwork square for this second project but I found that the square ended up being too big for the template. The second smaller template needs a 6.5” x 6.5” square (16.5cm x 16.5cm). I loved the framing with this patchwork block as is so much that I decided to set this one aside for a future project.
I decided to veer from the tutorial to sew a traditional, smaller, log cabin style patchwork piece. The tiny two squares in the center are 1 1/4” x 1 1/4” (3.1cm x 3.1cm).
I thought I’d twist the process a little more with this second pouch to cut out the corners and curves on the template (to quickly mark the seam allowances to reference when sewing). I used the craft knife to cut out these areas in the template. I skipped cutting out the corners on the left side (as shown in the photo) to flip the template around when marking the corners on the left side. I also cut out the center area of the template with the craft knife to reference for fussy cutting.
I enjoy finding ways to streamline steps in a sewing project, especially when making multiple versions for gifts (or for myself). Utilizing the template to mark the corner seam allowances saved me time (instead of hand measuring these locations).
I did find that with the scale being off from the suggested size, the seam allowance as shown on the template was not exactly at 1/4” (0.6cm). This wasn’t a big deal, just an FYI. I top stitched the second pouch as well.
The end result is a cute and functional, smaller pouch. As a knitter, I think this pouch would be a fun way to hold stitch markers when working on a knitting project. I will say that when items are left inside the pouch and the front is snapped closed, I’m not sure if small items (like knitting stitch markers) might fall out of this pouch. To me, the function of the pouch is more for standing up as a tiny bowl and storing the bowl flat when not in use (but I’ll experiment with this question).
Both pouches are really cute, side by side (one holding knitting stitch markers and the other holding fabric clips for sewing).
Although piecing patchwork fabrics together does take more time, the end result is so satisfying and quite enjoyable. I’m really happy with each of these three pieces and I look forward to using them together.
I decided in the end to utilize the AGF box to store the leftover fabrics and fabric scraps for future projects. I have a surprising amount of fabric left over and I look forward to making more patchwork projects with these lovely leftovers in the very near future.
I wish you all a very happy sewing day with your own sewing adventures! Let me know what you make with these beautiful fat quarter collections.
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