Pencil rolls usually take me about 3 hours to make. That assumes, of course, that I don’t sew the ties to the back as I am making the pencil pockets and have to rip out.
This one took me three days for a number of reasons. First, not being one to make simple requests, she wanted one that would accommodate the colored pencils she had cut in half so she could have half of her collection at her job in SF and half at home in Santa Barbara. This meant that the pocket had to be smaller, which meant adjusting the pattern and not just sewing like a demon. I mulled this over for some time and finally came upon the idea of two pockets. The green and white city fabric is used to make a pocket on both top and bottom, so there isn’t really a top. Looking at it now, I should have made those pockets a wee bit wider or the whole piece a bit smaller, but it will work.
Second, I was sick almost all of last week, the weekend and the previous Friday. No kidding and no fooling around kind of sick. Stay in bed and don’t do anything kind of sick except read and sleep kind of sick. I don’t remember being that sick in a long while. The only thing I really accomplished was cooking dinner one night, breakfast one morning, loading the dishwasher twice and reading 4 books.
Finally, I made a lot of mistakes in this project. I blame it on the illness and the mad desire not to waste all this time at home. Getting well just doesn’t seem like enough, but apparently it had to be.
Yes, that is a ribbon or tie from the Merry & Bright Jelly Roll I used for the It’s a Merry & Bright Wrap quilt. It really was the perfect length to tie up this pencil roll. It also fit with the linen feel of the fabric I used for the outside.
Yes, that grape fabric is another fabulous FabMo fabric. I only used half the piece, too, so I’ll have to think of another accessory to make for Lil Sissy with the rest.
I don’t really get a sense of the fabric until I start working with it. This backing fabric was more loosely woven than the quilting cottons I normally use. One of the good things about the FabMo fabrics is that they are generally of good quality. At least I think they are of good quality. Despite the looser weave (and I am NOT saying it was holey), I had no problem with fraying or raveling or any of the sewing. Looking at the back of the piece, I find that the leaves and grapes really look 3 dimensional.
Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Studio‘s pencil roll pattern has EXCELLENT directions. I really like this pattern and think that you should go off, as soon as you are done reading this post, and have opened a new window, and buy that pattern. I know I have waxes rhapsodic before about her pattern. I like this pencil roll pattern, because the font is the right size, and there are enough visual cues: boxes and borders, drawings, etc for me not to get lost in a mire of directions.
All that being said, I almost never pay attention to making a 12 or 24 slot pencil roll. I see what size FabMo fabrics I have and make as many slots as will fit the piecing of backing fabric I have, so I don’t have to waste or cut it. The thing is that I am probably not going to use these weird fabrics for anything else and it seems a shame to throw them away. Nobody to whom I have gifted an 11 slot pencil roll or an 8 slot pencil roll has complained, so I am going to keep doing what I am doing. One thing about making the same thing over and over (remember all of those Eco Market Totes I made?) is that I get to know the pattern and how the item goes together. This method works for me.