Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Man of Steel Fountain Pen roll

Hubby collects fountain pens. I bet you didn't know that!  Some of them are quite nice, too.

In fact he may have persuaded me to get two of my own, for work. I get him to fill them with turquoise and pink ink. That way, when I'm editing work for the juniors, they can have pretty pink comments instead of the red pen comments of doom.  And turquoise is prettier than plain blue, don't you think?  Although if I carry on like this I'll have scented paper and sign Liz with a love heart over the "i" before you know it. Super professional. 

Anyhoo, hubby has been nagging for a pen roll for a while. So much so that he emailed me some blog tutorials the other day. Subtle he is not. But I had my own plan, because unlike standard pencils rolls, these pens need a bit more protection.  Enter the Man of Steel fountain pen roll. 

Drum roll please ....

Ta dah!

Happy pens

The flappy bits at the top and bottom fold up, so when it's all rolled up, those little pens are as snug as a bug!

Fabric: from the Man of Steel collection for Camelot Cottons

Do you wanna know how to make it?  

Here goes ...

You will need:
  • outside fabric at least 18" x 10"
  • batting at least 18" x 10"
  • lining fabric at least 18" x 10"
  • fabric for pen holder approximately 7" x 28"- I used the same fabric as the outside but you don't need to
  • ribbon or cord for ties - approximately 36"
  • scraps for binding - a WOF strip 4.5" will be more than enough

This pen roll is to fit 10 fountain pens, so you would need to adjust the size if you have more or less pens. 

First, cut fabric, batting and lining in a rectangle for a finished size of 18" x 10" and quilt as you desire. I recommend straight line quilting 1/2" apart like I did because it helps the fabric to naturally roll and gives you guidelines for when you attach the pen holder fabric later. I used a Superman fabric I got recently from Fabric.com which received the hubby seal of approval. The lining is a plain red, and the batting is 100% cotton. 

All lined up and ready for their new home

Once you have finished quilting, trim the fabric back to 18" x 10". Then measure down 2.5 inches from the top of the 18" length of your fabric at each side, and mark a line straight across the roll. You will then stitch along this line to create the fold line for the top flap.  Do the same again from the bottom. See. 

Quilting 2.5" from the top and bottom

The next stage is to create the fabric panel for the pen pouches.  Cut a piece of fabric approximately 28" long by 7" wide. Fold it right sides together along the length and stitch together with a scant seam along the long side, leaving the short ends open.  It will end up being a bit long, but this will allow you lots of leeway for your pen pouches.

Fabric band sewn right sides together, before turning right sides out.

Turn right side out and press. Topstitch each long side for added strength. Then pin one end of the panel to the side of the 10" side of the roll. It should be roughly in the middle, but measure it against a pen, remembering that the pens will sit with the fabric at the top of the pen clip.

Check the placement of the fabric against the pen, then stitch in place.

Stitch in place along the side of the roll, less than 1/4" from the side.

After this, you need to make the little pouches for each pen. As hubby's pens are all different sizes, I did this for each pen - laying them under the fabric and pinning 2" apart - which happens to be every fourth quilt line (see it was worth doing that 1/2" quilting!).  Remember at the beginning and the end to place a pin 1/4" in from the side, as the binding will be sewn there. 

All pinned up

Pin across the entire roll

Stitch down each line, securing firmly at the top and bottom. Before sewing, I marked each line with chalk, to try and make it match up with the underlying quilting. Then pop your pens back in to make sure they fit!   

Trim the extra length of the panel off at the other end. 

Trimmed end. Soooo close now. 

Nearly finished.  Cut two pieces of ribbon or tape 18" long and attach to the outside of the roll, at one short end. Sew down securely within a 1/4" of the edge. You will then need to make sure you don't catch the long end of the ribbon in your binding!

Tape sewn on the outside.

Make approx 66" of binding 2 1/4" wide, and then iron in half. That allows 56" for the binding, and 10" leeway for the final seam matching on the binding. If you don't know how to make binding, this tutorial from Crazy Mom will help. I then machine bound the binding on to the roll, first sewing it to the inside. This binding is Barcode from Timeless Treasures, which I got from Sew Me a Song.

Binding all sewn to the inside.  High fives all round.

I then folded the binding over to the outside of the roll, and machine top stitched it down. Because this will be well used, I think machine binding is preferable to hand stitching, but it's up to you,

And your pen roll is finished. Stand back and admire. Make your friends ooh and ahh at your skills.

You're a handsome devil, Superman.

Close up. Show us your best side.

What a clever pants you are!  To roll up, fold the top and bottom in along the stitching, and roll from the end without the ribbon. 

I didn't have a third hand to show you how to roll it. Can you figure it out?

Enjoy.  Let me know if you make one - I'd love to see it!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, Crazy Moms, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, TGIFF. Howdy visitors!


Kelly Young said...

still cute! and love your humor! yes- pink and turquoise are much friendlier colors. I'm sure your husband loves his Superman pen roll! :)

-Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

Megan said...

What a clever pants you are! And the man of steel fabric is perfect.

sherry said...

i love my fountain pen

hydeeannsews said...

very nice, liz! is this what you did all that night that he was watching the wee man?
someday you must send me a handwritten note in that turquoise and pink fountain ink. =)

Leonie said...

Great way to keep those pens together! and I especially love the flaps that fold over to stop them going for a walk! Thanks for linking up again - great to have you along :)

Lauren- SAHM I am said...

This is awesome- I am seriously in love with the fabric you have used. Great idea for Father's Day coming up too! -well I may be slightly ahead of myself but best to be prepared :)

Leonie said...

awesome! and so manly. love it

Hootnz said...

What a great idea :) thanks for the tutorial and I love the superman fabric!!

Jennie said...

What a truly subtle husband! It's great he shows interest - I bet he loves the finished result!

Sara said...

perfect idea for those men in our lives! bet he loves it.

Kelly Young said...

Thank you so much for sharing this at Needle and Thread Thursday, Liz!

:) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

Pomegranate Quilts said...

Phenomenal. Phenomenal. That is simply inspired. You just won YET ANOTHER prize (is it getting boring?), the Best Use of Fabric EVER.

The Sassy Quilter said...

Cool, you gotta love a super hero! Good use of fabric:)

Celtic Thistle said...

Love it!

Stella Nemeth said...

The roll is a great idea, and useful for a lot of other things as well.

Michèle-Renée Charbonneau said...

This is awesome! I used to use fountain pens -- now I want to start again. Your husband is going to love this! Great tutorial too!

Three Sheep Studio said...

I love this "pen roll".
Perfect for my son, who has many art pencils and drawing pens.
Your instructions are wonderful !
Visiting from "Sew Many Ways".

Sarah Craig said...

Liz, that is so neat! I hope your hubby is super impressed too. And thanks for sharing the tutorial! Whoop whoop!!

Edie O said...

Thanks for the great step by step tutorial. I was looking for a thank you gift for a friend who is a fountain pen aficionado and this is perfect.