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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Toy Chest Etui - Finished (well...)

I have now finished the Toy Chest Etui and the tools that were in the original kit and class coverage. Here they are, out of the box.

Of course, at the end of the class, when Betsy Morgan offered the three new pieces she had developed, I went with the option to buy. So my sense of completion was modified by the three kits still sitting there, sending out faint 'make me' beeps. The beeps got louder as the desire to have them done and dusted grew. So I'm plunging in.

First, I have tidied up from completing the basic set, put all the instructions, left-over bits of fabric, thread and skirtex along with notes and templates into a folder and out of the way with other reference documents in my cupboard.

The workroom is ready for another project!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Toy Chest Etui - Waxer Box

The last of the tools/toys that accompany the basic Toy Chest Etui set is a waxer box in the form of a drum. The construction of this is much as it was for the thimble-keep completed in class, apart from the drumsticks constructed on the lid.

With the aid of the instructions, my original blog and my notes, the various tips came back to me.

The drumsticks were a bit tricky. The beads supplied didn't fit on the (toothpick) drumsticks provided, so rather than whittle toothpicks, I substituted slightly larger wooden beads with holes that fitted the toothpicks. They are not quite as cute - but a good colour, and within the realms of possibility.

The wax sits neatly in the box, protected by the clever end covers. This is, I think, one of the more ingenious of the tools for this Etui, and one I can see myself using.

My next post will display the finished Etui with its full set of basic tools.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Toy Chest magic needleholder

The needleholder in the Toy Chest Etui takes the form of a 'magic wallet' - two covers that flip from edge to edge. We practiced making one of these from skirtex in the original class. I needed some reminding, and the sample helped.

The trick was working with the lining panels first, then adding the fronts.

There was no instruction about adding flannel pieces to take the needles, so I didn't. I notice that at least one finish for this item posted to Pinterest has flannel inserted. I figure it would disrupt the "magic" flow, and needles (unlike pins in a pincushion) will go in and out of the silk. If this doesn't prove the case I will add a piece of flannel.

I have tried inserting a little video to show how the 'magic' works. Not sure how successful this will be, as I can't test it until the blog is published! If it doesn't work, and you don't know how the magic works, try watching this commercial clip.

This is not the most perfect of finishes, but it works and fits the style of the Toy Chest. I do like the 'magic' effect of flipping the covers back and forth.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Primer pin cushion

The simplest of all the tools for the Toy Chest Etui is the primer, a tiny, flat pincushion.

Although the instructions call for skirtex to be inserted in this, I didn't comply. I can't imagine sticking pins into skirtex while working, so made it soft enough to take pins. I just applied interfacing, folded the sides under and attached the back. An easy one.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Toy Chest Scissor fob and scissor case

Both the scissor fob and scissor case for the Toy Chest Etui have cords attached, and the scissor fob incorporates a tassel. I made the tassel first, then made the cord for the fob using the 'Spinster' that Betsy Morgan had recommended and sold at the workshop.

It worked, but seemed overly complicated for  a simple cord.

When I came to make the shorter cord for the scissor case, I made it by twisting the threads between my hands, attaching an end to each lined half of the case, putting two knots in the middle and cutting between the knots.

I am still not entirely comfortable with the faceless people, but am paying respect, as best I can, to Amish tradition.

Here are the scissors, in the case with the fob attached.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Toy Chest Button Box

The first tool inclusion I chose to construct for the Toy Chest Etui was the button box. This was a good choice, as the construction method is very similar to the Etui. The only difference is that the tiny button box itself is one piece of fabric and skirtex, rather than each face being joined. The lining, however, is constructed as separate tiny pieces.

The base of the button box, is therefore embroidered, while the Etui has a silk lining base.

I began with the lid, then the outer box, then folded and prepared all the bits I needed to finish.

I could then insert the lining pieces, juggle them to fit and stitch in place.

I attached the lid, as I had for the Etui, using a button-hole whipping rather than a weaving stitch.

In spite of the size, I achieved an easier closure fastening than on the Etui.

The first tool for the etui is completed!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Toy Chest Etui construction

17 months have past since I finished the embroidery for the Betsy Morgan Toy Chest Etui that I began at Beating Around the Bush 2012 - and a full two years since the class. I put off the construction because I needed clear space for the accurate cutting involved and we were in the midst of building work. Then other projects intervened. I was, however, determined that it should be finished before BATB 2014 in late September. So, with my quilt finished, the Toy Chest Etui needed attention.

The first thing that struck me as I got it out of its bag, was how much I had forgotten.  The instructions, on re-reading, were nowhere near as clear as that seemed two years ago. The array of teeny-tiny bits and pieces prompted only the vaguest of memories about what I might do with them.

I got more confident as I assembled the measuring and cutting tools and prepared the skirtex pieces. I decided to begin with the etui itself - the piece I could remember most clearly. I cut into the linen and the silk lining- but only the large pieces for the box.

 Once the scary cutting was over, I got into the swing of it. I rather like lacing - and it began to come together.

I had to practice a bit to get the hang of the joining stitch - which we had practiced thoroughly in class - again. It did, of course, come back to me - and there is a lot of chance to practice!

The pieces fit together quite well, using the techniques described.

Attaching the loop and bead to close the lid was a bit tricky as there is a small overhang from the lid. I attached the loop to the inside of the lid rather than the edge.

I made and inserted the optional lavender ravioli in the base.

It is really satisfying to have this completed - now to complete the little tools to fill it up!