Monday, August 17, 2009

A Million Kinds of Crayon Rolls

I am taking a break tomorrow to use my precious and rare (Can I still call it rare? Still novel, certainly) child-free time to learn how to make cold-process soap without having to worry about burning anyone but myself and possibly the cat with lye, but otherwise, I am on a serious crayon roll kick.

I have always been of the mindset that if you want to learn to make something very well, then you have to make a lot of it--this is obvious, of course, but it's also one of the propelling forces behind my pumpkinbear etsy shop. Otherwise, what to do with two children and twelve crayon rolls? And then, a month later, when the idea materializes for a slightly different method that might solve a small problem on said crayon rolls, what to with another twelve? I can't say that my pumpkinbear etsy shop has been especially lucrative, but it has given me a way to divulge myself of excess products while honing my craft and earning more supplies money.

And that is why I am revisiting the rainbow patchwork art roll. The ones that I made were lovely, and they were all sold or gifted away, but still, I had quibbles--the bottom pockets, the method of construction borrowed from , was too thick, really just overengineered, I think, and after several trials I decided I wasn't in love with the method of quilting/creating the pockets that the book recommends. I also wanted a slightly roomier crayon pocket, to ease the work of less-nimble little fingers, and I really wanted a top pocket to get rid of any small chance of the crayons falling out when turned upside down. Oh, and the cutting and piecing of the rainbow patchwork took freaking FOREVER.

A lot of improvements to make to a perfectly good crayon roll.

To quicken the cutting and piecing, I tried strip piecing this time--worked brilliantly. I also modeled the construction of these rainbow patchwork crayon rolls more closely on the upholstery remnant crayon rolls that I also enjoy making. Because I wanted to make the crayon roll fit the upholstery sample that I already had when making those, I got into the habit of sewing a generous crayon pocket, and because the upholstery fabric is too thick and stiff to fold over and sew, I learned to face it with a nice, unbleached linen, and to make the pockets from that fabric, and I liked the look of it.

I loosely applied those ideas to these rolls, and I like the look of them, too: Although in my upholstery remnant crayon rolls the facing and top and bottom pockets are made from the same length of fabric folded at top and bottom, these top and bottom pockets are two separate strips cut from the fabric that I strip pieced--I'd worried that it would be too tricky to get them lined up accurately with that gap in the middle, but it seems I'm not quite the novice sewer that I used to be.

My sewing machine was kicking up a fuss, however, and being just generally unhappy and unwilling to encase the pocket seams with a satin stitch as I usually do, so I just sewed a straight stitch and then pinked the raw edge: I really didn't like the look of it at first, but now I'm quite smitten, and I'm not at all worried about it raveling--it's really unlikely.

I made a few denim rainbow crayon rolls, but I'm happy, too, with the corduroy pants that I cut up to make some corduroy rainbow crayon rolls, especially this yummy corduroy:Next time, however, I'm thinking of putting the rainbow fabric on the outside of the roll, and the bottomweight fabric on the inside. And then I can fold over the top and bottom pockets in the bottomweight fabric, because it won't matter if their back sides show behind the pockets, and I could stitch in the ditch all the way up each rainbow piece, sewing the bottom pockets at the same time, and then fold over the top pocket and stitch it down...

See? I'm sensing the sewing of another twelve or so rolls after the soap is set, and I haven't even started constructing the marker rolls or colored pencil rolls that I have in mind, either.


Anonymous said...

That's ingenious...I never thought of using Etsy that way! BTW, did all your Etsy problems get resolved?

I also love the quilting method for these Crayon Rolls.

One Gal's Trash said...

Julie, Happy Belated Birthday! I have a gift for you from a giveaway way back when...a little girl collage. I would love to get it shipped if you want to email me your address.

glenna said...

Your crayon rolls are some of the best I've seen.
I have something for you on my blog. Stop by and pick it up.

Anna said...

I just got an e-mail about an artists' yardsale coming up this Friday and Saturday~ 9-5 Friday and 9-3 Saturday, 1114 Brooks Dr. Looks like fun...

KatrinkaJane said...

You're kidding me! I just got through posting last night about making a crayon roll out of denim. Nice to know it's possible. And I also recently bought a great corduroy shirt for .50 from the Habitat ReStore. :D