Hooray for prototypes

Prototypes (aka “guinea pigs”) are often a necessary step in the design process. Personally, I find them to be extremely beneficial. Since I’m stubborn in wanting my denim pieces to be “all mine”, I avoid Googling for help or for patterns. I ponder matters, like edging a quilt or lining a reusable shopping bag, until I think I have a good idea. And then I go from there.

Sometimes I have success from start to finish, sometimes I get stuck and stay that way for ages. But I always learn what to do, or not to do.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not delusional. I’m well aware I’m not inventing something amazingly new and unique. Quilts, shopping bags, place mats, etc., already exist. I just like knowing I didn’t follow another designer’s steps.

Late last year, I began what was supposed to be a tote bag/purse of sorts, to be worn over one shoulder and rested on the opposite hip. My current purse is like that and I prefer such a style because it feels safer when I’m in the grocery store or walking through the mall. It would be more difficult for a thief to grab!

However, the design I had didn’t work out so well. My sewing machine wasn’t strong enough to go through the multiple layers of denim, batting and cotton. Until recently, the half completed bag sat on the sidelines. But now it’s done! And it’s a reusable shopping bag instead. With short handles. And wonky stitching up each side 🙂





Looks can be deceiving! This bag holds plenty of books, so it will do fine for groceries. I wouldn’t have chosen white lining though, for a shopping bag. It will be dirty in no time!

The value in what I learned will aid me in future projects. So even though this bag has it’s flaws, it served a great purpose as a prototype. Handles – check. Lining – check. Band around the top – check. Inside seams – do them differently next time!

I’m in need of a new purse, the zipper on mine is broken. With my constantly growing aversion to buying brand new items, I’m designing a purse in my mind. I can make one! Over the shoulder, snaps or flap? Pocket on the outside? Or inside. Plain denim? Or fabric sporting Winnie the Pooh?

SO many ideas. . . . . and only 2 hands and 24 hours in each day!


The tiggeriffic Tigger!

My Tigger quilt is currently 38″ x 45 1/2″. 018I don’t really want to make it much bigger. Sometimes, when I get an idea stuck in my head, there’s no dismissing it! And I envision this quilt on the smaller side.

So, I Googled the dimensions for various, smaller quilts and learned something. There’s no defined size, only general guidelines. For instance, a baby quilt can be anywhere from 36″ square to 52″ square. Honestly, the square aspect is lost on me. In my opinion, a quilt should be longer than it is wide. But that’s just me 🙂

This Tigger quilt, if I finish it off now, can be categorized 4 different ways; baby, crib, toddler and lap. This is according to the information I found online.

I have the perfect material to back it with.011

If I’m lucky, I can manage a second quilt because I do have another Tigger pillowcase 007to use again as the center. Although I am rather fond of the black and grey, I’d do the next one with blue denim, just to compare the two, and maybe keep some of the blue border from the pillowcase, which is double-sided. I have FOUR Tiggers!

** Okay, I drafted the first half of this post last night. And then I got to thinking. . . . . I may have seen another Winnie-the-Pooh sheet while I was rummaging around. . . . .and I was right!006 004

This one might be more appropriate although I’m leaning toward the other one. And both sheets are only twin size, so I will not be able to get 2 quilts from each (unless I make sure they’re small, baby quilts). . . . . shoot.

Now I must do more pondering and probably alter my plans.

Of course, I could always make the first quilt mine 🙂 and sell the second one! And the third. And the fourth.

There’s a definite dilemma with making one-of-a-kind anything. It’s easy to become attached.

But I REALLY don’t need anymore blankets. . . . . . . or do I?