Hurrah for the Pencil Roll!

I had the best day yesterday. In short, I made this:

It’s the pencil roll from Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Studio fame. I took the class at Esther’s Fabrics on Bainbridge Island, one of the neatest fabric stores ever.

I hardly know where to start. There’s so much to talk about! First, I guess, is that obviously I didn’t do a pencil roll. I knew when I first saw the pencil roll on the Pink Chalk Studio blog that I would love to make something like that for my crochet hooks. I had made a double point needle (DPN) case, which I liked, but it was anything but professional. So when Liane signed up for the class, I hemmed and hawed about taking it with her, because ferries intimidate me and it would mean being gone from home for longer than I have before. Ultimately I decided I didn’t just want to take the class, I needed to take it. I need to learn how to sew better, and what better way than from someone who clearly knows what they’re doing?

I’m extremely happy with how it turned out. In fact, I love it! I went with the brown/blue theme that I used for the DPN case so that I would have a matching set. Not really necessary, but since I already had some of the fabrics, I figured it would easy for me to accumulate the rest. Since H was out of town, I knew it would be complicated to shop properly for fabrics with my two year old, matching them to pencils, etc, so I just went with what I knew. Grabbing brown and blue at random was pretty easy πŸ™‚ I was nervous about the yellows, but in the end I think they worked well. I ended up repeating some of the ones I really loved, and I’m okay with that πŸ™‚

As a side note, I am starting to salivate at the thought of quilting. I loved the piece work for this project and can’t wait to do more!

Another side note, I’m totally going to do the 24 pocket rainbow colored version for two reasons. 1) Boo loves this case and keeps taking the crochet hooks in and out, so clearly this is a good time consuming activity. 2) He keeps dumping the pencils out of their box which sort of drives me nuts. This will work better. I’m not going to rush about accumulating fabrics though. A little bit at a time until I have them all.

Now, what else was I going to talk about? I love Esther’s. What a fantastic shop. They also happened to be having a sale so I scored some awesome oilcloth. Blue with strawberries! I have no idea what I’m going to do with it at this point, but that stuff is usually expensive and looks very useful. Waterproof, for one thing. So sale: very, very good!

The class was so much fun. It was nice and intimate — only three of us! The only other sewing classes I have taken were at Baer’s in Louisville. Baer’s classes are fairly large, and you use their machines. I thought everyone did it like this so I was surprised that I needed to bring my machine (note to self, get bag for machine!). However this ended up being such a good thing.

For starters, Kathy was able to help me adjust the tension on my machine to get more even stitches (didn’t know about that!) and where to set the needle to get a quarter inch seam. I usually totally wing it so this was all new information for me. Good to know and I wouldn’t have been able to duplicate my work if I hadn’t had my machine with me in the first place!

My classmates were awesome. I loved everyone’s combinations of fabrics. I’m not only inspired to make an actual pencil roll, I’m inspired to learn to sew real clothes because a) they might actually fit and b) LOOK AT THE FABRIC that’s out there. It’s amazing. Inspiring and amazing.

Kathy is a great teacher. Patient, knowledgeable, and frankly a genius! The pattern for this pencil roll is professional, neat, and beautiful to boot. Genius. The details floored me — I learned so much. There’s flannel on the inside as a stablizer, with iron on stabilizer for the pocket. Kathy showed us how to hide the tail ends of our thread, how to do running piecework (I can’t remember the right phrase for this), and a better way of attaching the ribbon than I did on my DPN. All things I had never done before. Unlike most things I do from other people’s patterns, I can’t think of a single thing I would change. I feel so incredibly lucky to live in this part of the country, where so many incredibly talented artists live. Lucky, lucky me!

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6 Responses to Hurrah for the Pencil Roll!

  1. Liane says:

    Wow, fabulous! I love the set thing you have going on. Bring it tomorrow to show off!

  2. kathy says:

    Wow Carrie, you’ve got me blushing. I really enjoyed teaching the class. I’m so glad you and Liane came over. I enjoyed meeting you both. You were such enthusiastic students! I totally absorbed all your positive energy. I’m looking forward to seeing your first quilt. (it’s called chain piecing)

  3. cristina says:

    they look awesome!! what a fun class…

  4. Dave says:

    I saw a rollergirl-ref with knitted knee pads this weekend in Indy and thought of you. I’ll try to find a picture for ya.

  5. DAC says:

    I’ve never left a comment on a blog before – but here goes. Love the pencil roll! And as for oilcloth uses you might consider making bags. I found simple instructions in a book called Designer Style Handbags, by Sherri Haab. The oilcloth handbag is pictured on the back cover. You might also check out for inspiration.

  6. Dacia says:

    that turned out so well!

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