Monday, July 11, 2016

How to Sew a Spiffy Pen Quiver for your Bullet Journal*

*or any other book you like to write in! It does need to have a fairly rigid cover, though.

There's nothing worse than searching for a pen when you need to make a note. Well, except for asking for a pen to jot a note. I was at a meeting the other night--and I had my bullet journal to take notes--but no pen. Everyone else was taking notes on their phones, of course, so I didn't want to ask for anything so old school as a pen. Yeesh.

A pen quiver was past due.

It's quite easy, really.

1. Take two pieces of fabric you love.

They don't have to be different, but it is more fun if they are (and easier for a tutorial!)

 2. Measure.

A. Measure your book lengthwise.

B. Determine how much you want your quiver to overlap your cover on the back x 2.

C. Add on your seam allowance x 2.

A + B + C = length of both pieces.

You are essentially cutting the two pieces of fabric the same length and width even though the top piece will be positioned lower on the cover.  Later, you will simply fold down the extra fabric of the front piece to make a nice edge for your pen caps.

D. Determine the width you want. Add 1/2" for seam allowances.

3. Using the above measurements, cut out both pieces from your fabric.

I got carried away before I took the photo and started pressing on to a few steps ahead. 

For an 8 1/4" x 5" bullet journal, my pieces were 12 1/4" long x 3 1/2" wide.

4. Fold down the top piece where you want it to be relative to the bottom piece. Press.

I had started out thinking I would make side seams but when I pressed them together, I realised there would be far too much bulk. You don't want your pen quiver to be so thick it makes the left hand pages of your BuJo wobbly.

I folded down the top piece so that about 4" of the bottom piece remained in view.

5. Place the top piece of fabric over the bottom piece as you want them on your cover. (both right sides up). Align the bottom edges.

Turn the piece over so that the wrong sides are now facing you and fold back both pieces your allotted seam allowance (C).  Press. Sew. Cut off the corners.

6. Fold over the top piece and sew. Cut the corners.

7. Take your pinking shears and cut along both edges. I hope you can cut straighter than I can! If you don't have pinking shears it will be fine if you just cut with straight scissors.

8. Turn the piece back over and secure the top folded edge with pins.

My apologies, those pins should be lengthwise. This way they will get caught in the machine, as I soon discovered. In other words, pin the edge with the heads of the pins pointing left to right.

9. Sew both sides. I used a zig zag stitch, but you can use a straight one if you prefer.

Securing the elastic.

10. Fold over the bottom piece and mark where the elastic will go. You certainly don't have to place it as close to the edge as I did.  (I'm not sure why I did that, frankly!)

11. Sew the elastic to the fabric.

12. Place the quiver on your cover and fold over the top and bottom pieces. Stretch the elastic to the top until you have some --but not extreme-- tension. Mark.

No, I am certainly not the neatest sewer in the world. In fact, I'm pretty bad. As long as it holds, I figure we're good. That bookplate is from Tsh Oxenreider's e-course, Upstream. 

13. Remove, turn inside out and pin.

Again, please change the direction of the pin before sewing.

14. Sew the elastic to the fabric.

15. Turn your completed pen quiver right side out and slide it onto your cover.

I used an old elastic saved from some defunct pyjama pants--that's why it looks stitched. Old pyjama pants not required for this project. Just some elastic. 

Load up with your favourite pens.

And there you have it.

No more fumbling for a pen at the bottom that black hole better known as a purse.
No more embarrassing moments, whispering in the weird face phone glowing dark: "Can I borrow a pen?"

Linking up to these parties;
DIY Show Off: The Summer Edition.
That's What Che said: Monday Funday Link Party
Sand and Sisal: Inspire Me Monday

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Friday, July 1, 2016

Decluttering the Donation Station

oops, the last time I did this was in March!

I meant to do it every month-- but working over at my Mom's place this Spring: decluttering her porch and then decorating her powder room meant I haven't been doing a whole lot here at home.

I started tripping over stuff while I was doing laundry, so I figured a run to Value Village was in order.

My donation station is in my basement laundry room underneath the folding table. A great place to catch clothes I don't want anymore! 

I also took the paint cans I'd decluttered from the paint cabinet, oh, back in March, to the eco-centre!

And there we have it.
I feel like the house can breathe again.

That box contains old towels and such for the Animal Shelter. I didn't have time to get there today.

Now I can start decluttering afresh.

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