Starting a Shirt

Cal Shirt Start
Cal Shirt Start

I started another shirt. The last one I made was the California shirt I entered into the San Mateo County Fair.

Like many of my quilts, I think these shirts are part of a series. The California shirt from last year is the best yet. The judges weren’t 100% happy with my entry and they were correct. I needed to finish the seams. This failure has been on my mind. A series of events made me decide to make DH a Cal shirt. He says he has enough button down casual type shirts, but he is getting this one anyway.

I had some Cal fabric that I used for various things, but I bought some more at PIQF. It turned out that when I cut out the shirt on Monday, I had enough from my previous purchase to cut the pieces.

I also decided that I would use some dark blue solid on the shirt so that motifs would stand out. I didn’t want the overall effect to be too chaotic.

The cutting went really well. I modified the pattern last time and that took a lot of time. I didn’t have to do that this time, so I was able to cut out the shirt and fuse interfacing to the front of the shirt all during Craft Night. I still need to fuse some ShapeFlex to the pocket to keep it from being floopy.



Final Tula Quilt

I wrote about the Tula quilt we were making for our friend Kelly who was moving to Scotland. We got together a few weeks ago to present the quilt. We had breakfast, chatted and made Kelly cry.

Kelly's Good-bye quilt 2017
Kelly’s Good-bye quilt 2017

Rhonda hosted the party and did the most work on finishing the quilt. Amanda and Gerre did the amazing job with the letters on the borders. Some of those pieces are tiny!

The rest of us made 2 blocks or the equivalent and did some of the quilting. The whole process was pretty fun and went smoothly.

Kelly's Good-bye quilt 2017 with peeps
Kelly’s Good-bye quilt 2017 with peeps

More Tula

Kelly's quilt
Kelly’s quilt

As I implied yesterday, I was part of a group making the Tula quilt. The group, I think, really struggled with what blocks to make. I don’t think people were reluctant to make the blocks. I think we were just having a hard time getting inspired. If there had been a theme, like stars or Flying Geese or something, it might have been easier. Still we all came through with flying colors! There was some cohesion in the blocks that were contributed, which was fabulous. Of course, the Tula fabric help make them all hang together.

Amanda and Gerre worked on the layout, but I think the block makers feeding off of each other made it easier. The large Flying Geese type panels can certainly bookend any other layout. Cheryl’s castle is a great center.

I am so pleased with how this all worked out.

All Tula All the Time

Back in the Spring, I received an email about contributing to a lovey quilt for a friend moving to Scotland. She is a Tula Pink devotee and that would be the theme. Of course I wanted to participate, but I am not a Tula devotee and I only had one Tula fabric as far as I knew.

Fat Quarter Shop Purchases
Fat Quarter Shop Purchases

I went online and bought a couple of pieces. I didn’t want to buy a lot as it isn’t really fabric I generally use. I was pleased to find a fat quarter pack of Tula solids. I knew I would use those, so I scooped them up with a couple of the more Tula-esque prints and started thinking about a design.

This was to be a modern quilt from Tula fabric and I really was at a loss about what to make. I would normally default to Sawtooth Stars for a lovey block as they are great all around and work well with fussy cutting. They didn’t seem right for this piece.

I needed to get busy as the deadline was approaching and my work travel + Grand Parlor were all coming up quickly. I decided on a modern house block a la the Clerestory quilt.

Both Tula Blocks
Both Tula Blocks

I wasn’t really excited about the house block and hadn’t started yet when I saw another member of the group working on hers at a Sew Day. She was making a Pineapple block. This made me think that a house block would be hard to fit in, so I decided that a wonky log cabin would work better. I am not a huge log cabin fan and wonky log cabins are worse. However, I could fussy cut the special motifs and work around them in a way that would really scream ‘TULA’. That is what I did. I am pretty pleased with the blocks. They didn’t come out exactly as intended, but they look nice and people seemed to like them.

BAMaQG Anchor

Christina is spearheading the drive to make a quilt for the nurse who coordinates and founded the Blankets for Babies Project at Stanford. Christina is racking up the hours in front of the sewing machine, but is still a relative newbie, thus she called on me to do some applique’ on this quilt.

Make a Splash from Moda Blog
Make a Splash from Moda Blog

The quilt, Make a Splash, is a free pattern on the Moda Blog (scroll down as once you click on the pattern an Adobe Acrobat window will open in your browser, so there is no direct link).

Anchor detail
Anchor detail

It took me awhile to get it done. With my travel and various things happening, I only got to it last Thursday. I snuck in some time after work to do a bit of applique’. I am pleased that my part is finished and I can hand it off to Christina again. Don’t get me wrong; I am always pleased to help the guild. I just have so much going on right and I felt like I was letting Christina down by not getting it finished. Now it is and I can move on to the 2,000 projects I have going.

More New Projects

Yes, I have lost my mind.

Yes, I have started another project, a small one, but another project for which I have to find time.

EPP Travel Kit - Bright and Cheerful
EPP Travel Kit – Bright and Cheerful

I am making another EPP Pouch like the one I made for Mary. I intend for this one to be much brighter and more cheerful. I also intended for it to be at the point where I could do the hand sewing while I was away, but that didn’t happen.

The photos shows my intended layouts.

Gift Grouping #2

You have seen pieces and parts of the newest Gift Grouping. This is Gift Grouping 2.0, not because it is better, but because I had to think harder of new things to put together. I still like my first group of gifts, which made me quite pleased with myself. I am also pretty happy with this newest group. I used the same basic fabric with both groups.

Gifts laid out
Gifts laid out

All of the above are in the Big Patchwork Tote from the Make It Take It book. This is the pattern I used for the Sunflower tote. It doesn’t feel like a lot, but as I write this, I am out of time and need to give the gifts to the recipient tomorrow.

Gifts laid out and labeled
Gifts laid out and labeled

You have seen reports of most of these gifts, but I have labelled them so you could relate them to a previous post.

Gifts in Big tote
Gifts in Big tote

Mug Rug

Mug Rug
Mug Rug

I have finally made a mug rug. I always thought they were dumb, but now find them to be useful. I wasn’t sure what I wanted in terms of a pattern, but thought that a cup or mug would be a fun play on words/imagery.

The piecing on the front as well as the quilting took me a couple of hours. I could have finished the whole thing in, basically, one sitting except I had to hand stitch the binding and didn’t get to it for a few days.

I did a simple web search and eventually found the set of cup patterns on the Piece By Number site. I have about 5 or 6 more from the set I could use to make more blocks, if I wanted. I wasn’t particularly looking for paper piecing, but the blocks appealed to me, so I went for it (good reason to have skill versatility).

This goes with the latest gift grouping on which I am working.






(Updated 5/24 with link to pattern)

EPP Travel Kit

EPP Travel Kit - closed
EPP Travel Kit – closed

I really like this pattern even though it gave me a few fits before I finished it.

I found this pattern somehow. It is free (for personal use only) from Zen of Making*. I wish I had thought of the name, because there is something zenlike about making and the name is cool.


The travel kit is part of a three part series, which includes a lesson on making the hexie flowers. The final piece is making a pincushion out of smaller hexies to use with the EPP Kit. I had plans to make that as well, but ran out of time.

EPP Travel Kit - open (front)
EPP Travel Kit – open (front)

This travel kit is awesome and the problem I had really had nothing to do with the pattern, but with the supplies I had on hand. I hand on hand, and wanted to use, some sew-in invisible  magnet closures. Sara of Sew Sweetness uses these in a lot of her patterns and I find I have better success with them than the models with the ‘legs’ used in this pattern.

The closure is pretty awesome. I love the way the hexie flowers stick together. Very clever.

Once I figured out how to get the sew-in magnetic closures oriented in the right direction, the assembly went pretty smoothly. There is a lot of handwork in this pattern, which I wasn’t expecting.

The open look (right, slightly above) is a little odd. I think it might be because of the scrappiness of the whole piece. I think I should have used a backing for the flap hexie flower that matched the hexie flower (the one with leaves and a turquoise center). I do kind of like the scrappy look. I think I will make one that looks like a Dia de los Muertos celebration for a different friend. I definitely want to try different colors.

EPP Travel Kit - inside view
EPP Travel Kit – inside view

Altoids tins fit nicely inside and Haley (blog owner/designer) calls for two of them for this project. I had to scrounge them up. I put a piece of felt in the bottom of each tin to make them less rattly and a little nicer.

I cut and added some 5″ squares, and an EPP book to make the kit look full and fun.






*It appears that the name of the blog has changed to Red Handled Scissors. Not sure why, but the pattern is still there.

Grand Parlor Chaos

Door Prize Gift Basket
Door Prize Gift Basket

The week is nearly upon us. My house looks like a bomb of tissue paper, decorative paper and ribbon went off in it. There are gifts and baskets everywhere. I haven’t even begun to inventory my clothes for the week yet. That will only add to the chaos.

In addition to the physical chaos, we also had some other chaos: our washer broke and is unfixable and one of the Grand Officers died so some of our precious prep time was, understandably, devoted to a rosary and a funeral.

My SILs, a friend and I spent Craft Night on Monday boxing and wrapping favors for the Ladies Luncheon. These soaps were made my my sister, owner of Wooden Heart Soaps (go buy some-they are awesome), the wallpaper from which we made the boxes was from FabMo and one of my SILs dug into her stash of gift bag ribbon for our use.

The soaps are Grapefruit Bellini scent. I wanted something that most people would like and was not too strong. Cross your fingers.

Gifts for Ladies Committee
Gifts for Ladies Committee

I also had to procure a number of thank you gifts for the people who helped with all of the events.

I decided to use handbags as the holders since they were nice and could be used later. I hope the committee likes them. If they don’t, I know they won’t say anything. 😉

One Centerpiece
One Centerpiece

Maureen designed the centerpieces and Carol took them and designed a tableau around Maureen’s work. The plate holder will be clear or white (I can’t remember); the one in the picture is just a sample. Carol designed the waves and put together enough for all the tables. She did a wonderful job, especially using the lace doily to add a bit of finish to work.

After organizing my clothes, I think I will be done. We’ll see whatever other crises fate throws in our way.

Sunflower Big Tote

Sunflower Tote
Sunflower Tote

I have decided that I like that Big Tote pattern from the Make It Take It book.

This will be the carrier for the other gifts, such as the cloth napkins I talked about earlier this week, DH will present to the NDGW Grand President. This is the first one I made with just two fabrics. No mosaic piecing. The bold print works very well, but I think smaller prints would look better using the mosaic piecing method I used for the second one I made.

There are some things I would like to try, e.g. pockets. In my mind pockets are essential. This isn’t a huge tote, so I envision it being used as a handy bag to put a few things in when you weren’t planning on buying anything.

Kaffe print inside
Kaffe print inside

I couldn’t resist adding a little of my own personality to the inside.

You can see some of the other gifts inside the bag.

Key Ring

Key chain
Key chain

This is so small and I used a scrap that I didn’t even put the used fabric on my spreadsheet. I am sure I will get 10 inches by 2 inches at some point.

I never thought I would make a key chain. Buying the hardware is the stumbling block for me, but since I was at Fabric Depot and saw them I bought two sets of the hardware.

It will make a good addition to my gift grouping.

Sunflower Napkins

Sunflower Napkins
Sunflower Napkins

These are also for the Grand President of the Native Daughters. The napkins will be placed in the bag I will show you later this week. Same fabric.

They go with her theme, which is sunflowers and with the dessert plates we got for her as a gift last year.

I put the label on as many people do not use cloth napkins at home and I wasn’t sure she would know what they are. I would hate to see someone wearing one on his/her head. 😉

Sunflower Napkins - full
Sunflower Napkins – full

I generally use 2 quarter yards – fat quarters – to make my napkins. I like generous napkins that cover my whole lap. I think I made these square.

Normally, I do a decorative stitch on the edge, but I wasn’t up for that with this project. I just sewed two lines of straight stitching and I think it looks fine.

They are done and I am pleased. Napkins are a great way to use up fabric, by the way.

California Pillow

California Pillow
California Pillow

I finally made the pillow I intended to make from the panel Mrs. K sent me.

I feel like such a slacker. This panel has been hanging around since …. I don’t know…. months? I do keep sewing, so I can’t be that much of a slacker, right?

We do not have to raise money this year at Grand Parlor, so I made this pillow for one of our friends who does not get support from his Parlor to attend Grand Parlor. He is running for Grand 3rd VP and needs all the help he can get.

California Pillow back
California Pillow back

Yes, I pulled out some Pointillist Palette fabric, after being inspired by my SIL. I can’t hoard it. I have to get the 4th Pointillist Palette quilt done and use this great fabric. Since I had it out to use for Kelly’s Color My Quilt piece, I decided this pillow would work as another effort at using it.

The back is pretty plain, but I do like that blue. I wish I had written down what it was (usually I write the brand and color on the selvedge) as I could look for more. I didn’t so, it will be a mystery.

New Pincushion – Wonderclip Holder

Can a person ever have too many pincushions? This is the thought running through my mind as I decided what else to make for my second group of gifts.

Mary's Pincushion/Wonderclip caddy
Mary’s Pincushion/Wonderclip caddy

You might remember the Pincushion / Wonderclip Holders I made for the guild officers. I really like this pattern and decided to make another one to go with my gift grouping.

It is a useful item and I have a lot of Beanie Baby pellets to work through. It is a quick project, which is an added incentive to include it in the gift grouping.

Mary's Pincushion/Wonderclip caddy - back
Mary’s Pincushion/Wonderclip caddy – back

I decided to continue with the selvedge back. It is interesting to look at and I have a surplus of selvedges.