Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Tutorial Tuesday: Vinylized and Lined Patchwork Checkbook Covers

The other night I made this:

It's a checkbook cover. Do people still use checkbooks? Oh well, it could also be a wallet I suppose, or business card holder. Here are some others I made along with a sunglasses case:

 The sunglasses case started out as a checkbook cover trimmed in bias tape, which ended up looking like crap, so I trimmed and stitched it into a glasses case.

The project  was an experiment in vinylizing fragile patchwork, inspired by this:

that I got at a thrift store for $2 the week before. It looked like it was hand-sewn together a long time ago, and possibly top-stitched by machine recently. It was spectacular... from far away. Close-up, it was deteriorating in parts, sloppily stitched, and chaotic - definite piecework material, which is why I started with checkbook covers. I liked the process so much I made a new batch tonight, and took pictures along the way to show you how to make them too.

Since I knew the patchwork wouldn't hold up to lots of wear, I had protect it somehow. Years ago, I bought some HeatnBond Iron-on Flexible Vinyl  for purse-making but wasn't really happy with the results so I haven't used it since. I thought maybe I'd like it better in smaller doses so I gave it another try.. Here's how it works:

Peel the vinyl off the backing:

then stick it to the patchwork (which should be approximately 15 by 18 inches), place the backing paper over top, and iron it down.

Oooo, shiny!

Now set it aside. For the lining, iron some HeatnBond Lite to another piece of lightweight fabric.

 Peel off the backing, place your vinylized  piece vinyl-side down and your other fabric on top of it fabric-side up and iron them together like a fabric sandwich with your HeatnBond Lite as the cheese that holds it together. Now cut it down the center vertically and horizontally so you have 4 separate pieces. I flipped two so you could see the front and back:

Now, cut out pieces of vinyl (not the iron-on kind) as wide as your rectangle and 2.5 inches tall. 

Right now you're probably thinking, who the heck has random scraps of vinyl,  iron-on vinyl, HeatnBond Lite, quilt tops, etc. lying around? I'm a craft/sewing supply hoarder, what can I say? I do it for times like these.

Now, stitch around the edge (I used a zig-zag stitch) about 1/8th of an inch from the edge. Line up the inside vinyl pocket at the bottom, hold it together as you sew and make sure to stitch it to the rectangle.

 Now trim your edges close to, but not touching your stitches.

Normally I'm neurotic about straight stitches and finished edges so this was an exercise in accepting imperfection for me. They're a little oddly shaped, but functional and aesthetically interesting nonetheless. This was, after all an experiment. Since I'm running low on labels and wanted to try out some fabric paint pens I got, I simply wrote "kokoleo" on the insides.

Viola! a finished line of shiny patchwork checkbooks...


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Harriett Faulks said...

Good question. Checkbooks are slowly becoming a thing of the past now, but there are still those romantically stucked in the past who still use their good ol’ stash of checkbooks. I love the idea of vinyl in your design..and great job on the patchwork!


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