Do-It-Yourself Art Stuff Roll – And Some Colourful Inks

I am on holiday, after an extremely busy year. Indulge me while I recap. I wrote and illustrated a book, taught ten workshops at home and abroad, ran classes for kids…and did all the usual stuff a mother has to do to keep the show on the road. Last week I decided to have a rest. But I love to make things, so that’s what I decided to do with my time off.

I had some lovely canvas fabric with my company logo on it, and I thought it would look nice in a fabric wrap for my art stuff. Here it is:

I made it deep enough to flap over inside, so as not to spill in transit.
I would make it longer next time, but I like having a pocket for a tiny sketchbook, and pockets for a tiny tin of paints (it’s hiding on the left) and refill bottles of ink.

Here are some instructions: they are very basic, and assume that you have done some sewing. You can figure the dimensions out for yourself as everyone will want a different size. I didn’t measure mine but I did line up the stuff I wanted to fit in first.

I was going to leave it at just a strip of elastic but I quickly realised it wouldn’t do the trick. That’s when I had a lot of unsticking and unpicking to do – so follow my instructions and you won’t have to do that!

I must credit Debbie Shore and her clever ways with fabric for this: I bought a copy of Half Yard Heaven for my daughter Olivia, but I think I’ll end up using it a lot. This pattern is adapted from her idea for a make-up roll.

You’ll need:

  • bias binding (lots)
  • different fabric for inside, outside and pocket (I used canvas)
  • interfacing to keep the colours true (optional, if your fabrics aren’t too different)
  • wide elastic strip
  • fabric adhesive
  1. Cut fabric to size

2. Sew elastic strip to the inside of the wrap, on OUTSIDE of fabric

Sew bias binding to the top of the pocket for the inside

3. Stitch your pocket on the inside too, with channels for your kit

4. Stick the two (or three, if you’re using interfacing) layers together using spray-on adhesive

5. Cut nice rounded corners using a saucer or little bowl, touching the sides so it’s even on all four corners.

Sew the bottom edge of the pockets to the main pieces, sewing very close to the edge, but making sure not to miss any bits.

Sew bias binding around the edge all the way, making sure to keep it even and trap the raw edges nice and snugly all around.

6. Take a long length of bias binding and stitch down the middle to close it. Then fold it in half and match its centre point to the mid-point of the outside of the wrap.

Stitch: I stitched by hand so that I could hide the stitching on the inside of the elastic.

7. Fill! Admire! Enjoy!

Burn hot, burn bright…then fade away…

Have you tried Dr Ph. Martin’s Radiant Watercolor Inks? They are so intense. One tiny drop of Daffodil Yellow in a ceramic palette is enough to fill a whole crocus in loveliness…there is one problem though. That lovely crocus will be a washed-out memory after a year on your wall. The only way to keep the colours intense is to keep them in a sketchbook, or in a brown glass bottle, in a box, in a drawer.

But look at them!

I shall leave you with that beautiful page.. I can’t really follow that, as the fella says.

Thank you all…

I have to acknowledge the amazing people who contacted me with comments on tackling under-confidence in my last blog piece. Between the comments on Facebook and here on my website I have been sent a wealth of brilliant insight on how to foster self-belief in the determinedly under-confident. Those who can clearly draw fine but insist that they can’t, for a wide variety of reasons…mostly starting in childhood. It’s not something I want to address in an offhand way: I want to think carefully about what I have been told, and I want to make a kind of plan for teachers, or for you, when this problem is encountered.

Until then – get sewing!


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