What can I do in 30 minutes a day? Part 1

a very paisley tote fabric selection

(Edit: I feel like my photo of “Paisley Prince Songbook” – bottom center – doesn’t do it justice. Please visit Patrick’s site or Spoonflower page (see below for links) for a better version until I have a chance to take a new photo.)

A few years back, when I still lived in Maryland, I was a member of a couple of quilt guilds. Two women that I knew from both guilds and who were good friends with each other wanted to learn/practice free-motion quilting. And so they presented each other with this challenge: to free-motion quilt 15 minutes a day. I think the challenge was supposed to include “and only 15 minutes” in order to see how much they could accomplish in that little period of time. But I know one of the women “couldn’t” stop and so at least sometimes went beyond the required time.

I had heard of this challenge before, but this was the first practical use of it I’d witnessed by people I knew other than myself. I hadn’t tried it with consistency myself, either. One of the friends, the one who sometimes went beyond the allotted time, had her finished product to show at the guild meeting. It was lovely – more so because she left in the less than ideal, perfect, beginners stitching along with the better, later, stitching.

And so, I’ve decided upon a similar challenge to myself, albeit for a bit longer time (30 minutes) each day. I’ve been wanting to start a project based on the wonderful fabric I received recently (“Paisley Prince Songbook” by Patrick aka Paisleypower). But, I’ve been in a bit of a predicament as to how to approach the project, other than to make an upgrade to my current library book tote.

I had some more involved ideas in mind, but in the end, I’ve decided to go for simple: a panel of the Prince fabric surrounded by a fabric frame of a second, monochrome gold, paisley fabric, which will also be used for the straps and other outer panels.  A third matching paisley will be used as the liner. My intention is to put in 30 minutes a day creating on this project until it is done.

The second outer fabric (pictured at upper right) – a lovely gold in color – was a recent thrift store find. Because Patrick’s fabric doesn’t have an ounce of gold in it that I can see, it’s possibly a weird choice, but it’s a monochrome and thus plainer fabric and so I think it’ll set off the main fabrics motifs in a great way. The liner fabric (upper left) was acquired by me long ago and used for a dress I once loved but is long gone. I thought it’d make a good liner as it is a softer fabric, probably rayon, but a durable version of rayon.

The size of the tote will be more or less duplicating my current library book tote (roughly 9 1/2″ wide by 13″ high by 4 1/2″ deep, but with an additional longer of strap. I was going to post a picture of it, too, but I realized that that tote is, umm, embarrassingly not clean, and so I think I’ll wait until I’ve had a chance to wash it first.

Today in my half hour, I managed to find the coordinate fabrics I already had in mind to use and iron what I found. Also, because Spoonflower recommends pre-washing their cotton fabrics, I did that for the Prince fabric (by hand) and it is now drying.

If you are interesting in purchasing “Paisley Prince Songbook,” Patrick now has two versions available at Spoonflower: small and large. Also, I recommend you visiting his website to see more about the fabric as well as his other wonderful, mostly paisley, fabrics.

Stay tuned for daily updates on my creation of a “very paisley tote.”

Published by lalalamonique

Artist and fabric designer living in the beautiful Adirondacks of NY State.

One thought on “What can I do in 30 minutes a day? Part 1

  1. Excellent article and 30 minute-a-day challenge to make a “very paisley tote.” Thanks so much for choosing my Paisley Prince Songbook fabric to use as the outer print. Thanks for posting the links to Spoonflower so people can order the 2 different sizes. The gold fabric should look great. Prince liked to sing about gold and he wore gold-colored clothes too! I’m excited to see your finished tote bag when you have finished the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

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