Undercover Maker Mat Finished

Undercover Maker Mat finished
Undercover Maker Mat finished

Hooray! The Undercover Maker Mat is complete!

My plan is to use this mat at Retreats and Sew Days. I tend to put the tools I am using on the right side of the machine so they are easily at hand and don’t interfere with the fabric ‘products’ on the left. This works relatively well, but at Retreats, things can get knocked off the table or I don’t really have space to put tools in their usual location.  It won’t really work at home because I have a cabinet even though I could use it since I don’t have a lot of space on the right side of my cabinet.

Undercover Maker Mat with portable table finished
Undercover Maker Mat with portable table finished

I didn’t adjust the size at all, though I thought about it. The size of the mat, as you can see, fits my machine pretty exactly. I decided that my portable table didn’t need a mat underneath it. I also didn’t want a giant thing. It is usually better for me to make adjustments after I have made the project according to the pattern at least once.

I think that this item will be a good gift as well.

Undercover Maker Mat Continues

I spent some time away sewing this past week with Friend Julie. I didn’t get to sew as much as I thought I would because I had some social and professional obligations to conduct as well. Still, I made progress and that is a good thing.

As mentioned the other day, I started the Undercover Maker Mat along with the sew-a-long going on @Lillyellasworld. Julie worked on it, too, and spurred me along. I always feel discombobulated when I sew somewhere else, but I got myself together and started working on the pockets.

Undercover Maker Mat fabric tryouts
Undercover Maker Mat fabric tryouts

I had dome some work on them, but hadn’t finished the big pocket piece. I threw in a bunch of fabrics, so I would have some options if what I thought would work didn’t end up working. That was a good idea as I had to play around with fabrics until I got a combination I liked. My first group of fabrics is shown above. Somehow I found it to be too light or too much of the Michael Miller London Portfolio fabric. I also wasn’t sure about the turquoise binding.

Test group of fabric for Undercover Maker Mat
Test group of fabric for Undercover Maker Mat

I decided on the above combination. It has a good amount of London Portfolio, but some dots and Martha Negley as well. I did not make the foundation pieced center. I forgot to make it at home and don’t really like foundation piecing anyway, so it was easy to decide to fussy cut instead.

Kathleen's Undercover Maker Mat
Kathleen’s Undercover Maker Mat

I was surprised that Kathleen knew the pattern, but she had made one and was using it for her longarm head. I shouldn’t be surprised She knows and makes all of the most popular modern patterns. She used some really nice fabrics.

 

 

Undercover Maker Mat Begins

As mentioned the other day, Nicole over at Lillyella’s World is leading a Sew-a-long making the Undercover Maker Mat. I’ll be heading out for a few days of sewing next week, so I wanted to get a few of the fiddly bits done and lessen the amount of stuff I needed to bring.

Undercover Maker Mat small pocket
Undercover Maker Mat small pocket

I started making the selvedege pockets. I am not sure I wanted to use selvedges, but the pockets on the sample look really cute. I thought I would try it out. I can always cut some fabric and use that if I decide I don’t like it.

I am still on the fence about selvedges. They can be pretty and fun, but I don’t see myself making a selvedge quilt or using them in a large way. Small touches, yes.

For the small pocket, I tried to pick selvedges that I really liked or meant something to me. I also wanted a little bit of color. I don’t know what I will get when I sew the pocket into the whole piece.

Undercover Maker Mat large pocket
Undercover Maker Mat large pocket

For the large pocket, I followed the directions and put the selvedges on the diagonal.

Now both pockets are on the design wall and I am looking at them. I want to make sure I like them both.

The other thing is the size. I think I need to make mine a little bigger, because my machine is 19 inches wide. I think it would better just slightly bigger. I am thinking about how to do that.

Finished: Thanksgiving Tablemat

Finished: Thanksgiving tablemat
Finished: Thanksgiving tablemat

Last week was a week of finishes and I am just getting around to reporting on them. I am finally finished with the Thanksgiving tablemat. I bought the fabric in August of 2015 as I came back from dropping the YM off for his freshman year at college. I started working on it sometime around the end of 2016, worked on it at the retreat in 2017 and finally finished it a few days ago. It is 23 x 24 inches and fits perfectly (whew!) on my coffee table.

This is the final piece in Thanksgiving decorations. I may make more, but for now I am finished and I am glad to cross this project off my To Do list.

Thanksgiving Tablemap Progress

Sheesh, October already!

Thanksgiving Tablemap Retreat Progress
Thanksgiving Tablemap Retreat Progress

The last time I wrote about this project was after last year’s Retreat. I can’t believe I have done nothing on this project since then. Well, I really can believe it, because I don’t like to quilt. The Retreat is the only time I seem to be able to tolerate it.

I has some problems as mentioned yesterday, but got the binding most of the way on, so the end is in sight.

I don’t have my binding tool, but there are YouTube videos and other tutorials on joining the binding, so I had some hope I would be able to accomplish that at the Retreat, too.

I have high hopes that this will be on the coffee table for Thanksgiving, if not before.

Blue Cat Pet Bed

Blue Cat Pet Bed
Blue Cat Pet Bed

It has been awhile since I made a pet bed, but the schnibble bag was getting too full.

The fabric is one of the last I got from Amanda, *I think*. I had to trim the gusset a little as I thought it was too long and made a long tunnel in the opening, which makes getting the schnibbles into the pet bed, without much on the floor, difficult.

I thought I had a lot of schnibbles, but the bed isn’t even half full. Refer to my post on having less time to sew. 😉

Finished: Sewing Machine Mat

Sewing Machine Mat from above
Sewing Machine Mat from above

I finished my sewing machine mat Friday evening after work. I got off a little early for the holiday weekend, which was nice and had some time to sew before the DH got home from Grand Parlor**

I had very little left to do, but it just seemed like something was always grabbing my attention away from sewing. There is a lot of house stuff going on and it just has to be dealt with step by step.

Sewing Machine Mat from front
Sewing Machine Mat from front

There were a couple of things I did differently. Vanessa of Crafty Gemini called for the threadcatcher to be held on to the mat by a loop (see an image on her site). I thought that design looked weird-I didn’t want stuff hanging off of the mat I was making, so I used sew-in magnets. I used two on the threadcatcher. It will not hold up to heavy garbage, but the threadcatcher is named “threadcatcher” and not garbage can for a reason. Since I had my giant stack (ooops purchase!) of sew-in magnets out, I used a set for the pincushion as well. The pattern calls for a snap.

The snap and the loop work fine! I just wanted a little different look.

I also made mine a little wider to accommodate a machine with a larger throat. The pattern was really good about mentioning this type of adjustment.

Sewing Machine Mat - threadcatcher detail
Sewing Machine Mat – threadcatcher detail

I think the project came out very well, but I am not a huge fan of this particular pattern. I think the threadcatcher is too big and somewhat unnecessary. Most of us have a garbage can by our sewing machine. I also think the pink cushion is extraneous. How many pincushions do you have?

However!

This is a great piece to have on a retreat where you may not have all of your pincushions or a garbage can nearby.

I found a pattern in Issue 35 of Love of Patchwork & Quilting magazine. I am going to make one of those as well – sometime – just to compare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

**I had to leave early to go back to work.

CG Sewing Table Mat

As mentioned back in April, I am a member of the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club. I made a couple of the projects, but haven’t been able to keep up the pace since the beginning of April. After getting the Octagon Nine Patch ready for the quilter, I decided to work on a club project.

Crafty Gemini Sewing Machine Mat
Crafty Gemini Sewing Machine Mat

For reasons you will find out later, this project not going to be part of the set. I chose the ice cream cone fabric, because it is super fun.

As you can see, I am part way through the project. I cut the mat slightly larger than the pattern called for to accommodate larger machines.I have bound the vinyl pocket and basted it to the main fabric, but have gotten no further.

Crafty Gemini Sewing Machine Mat detail (in process)
Crafty Gemini Sewing Machine Mat detail (in process)

Crafty Gemini projects are known for zippers and vinyl. This project only has vinyl and I have an idea in my mind to make several of them for gifts. I saw another similar project in Issue 35 of Love of Patchwork & Quilting magazine. It looks very similar with a few differences. I am thinking of making that one to compare the two projects. Stay tuned to see if I do it. I have a lot of plans for gifts.

Tooly McToolston

Tooly Easel Stand
Tooly Easel Stand

OK. This pattern is not called Tooly McToolston. That is, however, the way I think about it for some reason.

Mary's Gifts
Mary’s Gifts

I am still working on various gifts. This latest item in the group is part of the group I posted a week or so ago.

I like the idea of this easel because it would make my tools available quickly when I was at a retreat or workshop or generally away from my workroom.

This is a gift, but the issue for me is that I already have a box for my tools when they are in transit. The other thing is my box doesn’t make the tools available right away. I have to dig around to get at them. I don’t know. I am on the fence. I like the idea. Clearly I am not linking this change.

Good thing it isn’t for me, because it makes a great gift. I didn’t have much trouble making it. There was one part I didn’t get, but It wasn’t problematic enough to affect the outcome of the overall pattern.

Tooly McToolston in process
Tooly McToolston in process

I found it was really important to label all the pieces. The pocket pieces are very similar, so labeling them helped me keep them in order. You can see the green Post-it notes in the photo above.

Tooly Closed
Tooly Closed

I think this might be a great gift to make for people. I already have the pattern. I already have the a big piece of mat board left. It doesn’t take very long and is useful.

In terms of my new gift grouping, I am not sure if I will put this in another One Hour Basket or if I will make something else. I do like the Big and Little Patchwork Totes from the Make It, Take It book.

Tooly Tool Easel pattern by Sew Together products. $5 No affiliation.

Julie’s Gift

Julie's Birthday Gifts
Julie’s Birthday Gifts

Don’t you love this photo? We went out to lunch for Julie’s birthday and I took this in the restaurant.

Friend Julie‘s birthday is December 1 and generally it sneaks up on me, but this year I was prepared! I got a jump on it. In the frenzy of fabric pressing before Thanksgiving, I found some fabric I had bought to make napkins. I picked out some purples to go on the back and started some napkins. I also decided that Julie needed a One Hour Basket, so I made one of those as well.

I bought her some books and things as well, but I do like to make things for people who appreciate them. Also, I feel like I am sewing in place, so a couple of finishes was great.

Final Napkins

Thanksgiving is next Thursday in the US.

Is the pie crust made?

No.

Pie filling?

No.

Rooms tidied of their pieces and piles?

Sort of.

Napkins - final
Napkins – final
Napkins - final
Napkins – final

 

 

However! The napkins for Thanksgiving are done! As I mentioned last time, one got eaten so I went and bought another pack. The dusky purple was an inspired choice. All of the motifs turned out really well on that background.

Even the Pennsylvania Dutch style turkeys is appealing.

Thanksgiving Tablerunners

Pumpkin/gourd tablerunner
Pumpkin/gourd tablerunner

The tablerunners are ready for their first outing in a couple of weeks. I have no illusions about finishing the tablemat, but I am pleased with my efforts thus far.

The first one I finished is shown on the left. I really like this one and kind of wish I had bought more of these panels, so all of the runners could match. I didn’t and I am not making more.

Tablerunners #2 & 3
Tablerunners #2 & 3

I did very simple quilting, for the most part, though the quilting ended up being much more complicated on the alternate design just because of the fabric motifs. I did a lot of outline quilting of the leaves and such, so it took more time.

I think, depending, that I will plan to take the tablemat to the next quilt retreat. I get a lot of blocks made at retreats, but quilting is also a good task for a retreat.

 

BAM Retreat Projects

As discussed a couple of days ago, I went on the BAM Retreat. I didn’t just have boatloads of fun and eat until I was sick, I also made some valuable progress.

The Thanksgiving tablerunners have been hanging over my head. Thanksgiving is now 1.5 months away and the hanging became more like the Sword of Damocles than an item on my to do list. I am pleased to say that the two remaining have been quilted. I still need to make and apply the binding, but the quilting part is done. I didn’t get to the tablemat, but I am pleased with my progress.

One thing I did on the pumpkin tablerunner was use Aurifloss (12 wt thread). I used it in the machine with 50 wt Aurifil in the bobbin. There was more breakage than I normally experience with Aurifil. I really like the effect and was pleased that the 50 wt did not show through to the top. I didn’t have to adjust the tension.

I also made a few blocks for the Tula Pink City Sampler/ Tale of Two Cities project. The blocks were a good break from quilting, which I needed after I completed the quilting on the first tablerunner. Julie joined the #100blocks100days challenge on Instagram and, while I have not joined, it is inspiring me to work on them. Also, she is now ahead of me on making blocks! I need to get myself in gear. Michelle S was a good support for this project at the retreat.

I also FINALLY started the Valori Wells Little Cell Phone Wallet pattern. I really, REALLY need something to carry my phone and hotel key when I am wearing dresses with no pockets. REALLY. Since the project was small, it seemed like a good time to work on it. I had some trouble with the directions, which should be no surprise. I did get a good working sample by the time I left the retreat. It isn’t one that I will use for various reasons. I’ll write more about this pattern in another post.

While my descriptions might not seem like a lot, I was busy and working hard the whole time. I am pleased with my progress and will be really pleased when I can finish these various projects and cross them off my list.

Thanksgiving Tablerunner

Thanksgiving Tablerunner
Thanksgiving Tablerunner

I finished the first tablerunner and was able to show it at the BAMQG meeting on Saturday. I am pleased with how it came out. I can’t wait to use it.

I did the (minimal) piecing and I did all the quilting. It was mostly straight line quilting or quilting with an applique’ foot. No free motion quilting on this one.

I didn’t put a label on this one, so I embroidered my name and the date and that will have to do.