Gift Post #10: Alison’s Bag

As you know, members of my guild make bags and then the rest of the members bring small gifts/goodies with which to fill them. This time we had a new position for which to make a bag. The Member-At-Large position was somewhat undefined, so there was some discussion about whether the job that had been done was bag worthy. I felt bad not giving a bag to a board member when, despite her work, everyone else on the board was getting a bag.

Allison's 2018 Bag
Allison’s 2018 Bag

As a result, I pulled fabrics and made a Jane Market Tote. The hardest part of these bags is the cutting. I always forget how many pieces I need to cut. I take responsibility, because I have such trouble understanding patterns. I’d love a system where cutting was uniformly described across all patterns. If wishes were horses…. Still, once cut, this bag goes together easily.

I add interfacing to the outside pieces, which makes the bag pretty crisp, though still foldable.  I also set the straps in the top seam rather than sewing them to the outside. This means that three seams cover the straps and provide security.

Green Strips Donation Blocks

Green Strips Donation Quilt
Green Strips Donation Quilt

I am making good progress on the quilt from the scrap strips.

I finished the blocks as I worked on the All Rolled Up Tote and was able to start setting them together. It turned out that I came up two blocks short. Fortunately, I had partial blocks made of strips, so I just finished them up and everything was fine.

I decided to use some Kona Cream for the background. After cutting it up, I thought some green would have been better, but I am sticking with my plan. I don’t want a bunch of rectangles laying around. Even with the Cream, which has a distinct yellow cast to it, I think the quilt will be suitable for a boy or a girl.

More New Donation Blocks

A few days ago, I wrote about some new strip donation blocks I was working on. I have made a few more as I have worked on other projects. I think they are looking good.

Mrs. K was interested and pointed out some challenges with my previous post. I know she didn’t do it intentionally, but I was glad to be reminded that I am not one of those people who hides information so I can sell a kit.

Strip donation blocks
Strip donation blocks

Each block is 4.5″ x 8.5″ unfinished. I sew them  with whatever strips I have, trying to keep the bias straight since I am not using  a foundation. Once I have a large enough piece, I trim it with my Creative Grids 4.5 x 8.5″ ruler. This is a ruler I use all the time. I keep it on my cutting table for quick cuts, because it fits my hand really well, but is also useful for cutting 2.5″ squares and other sizes I am Hunting and Gathering.

My plan is to alternate them with plain blocks. I will make enough for 5 rows of five blocks, which I think is a total of 20 blocks. I’ll have to actually draw a picture to be sure.

This is an exercise in scrap clearance and workings towards my goal of using 100 yards of fabric (net).

 

Bonnie Hunter has a pattern using the same technique, but with foundations and set a different way. Having a real plan might be better for some of you than my random way of working.

New Year New Donation Blocks

Strip blocks
Strip blocks

I am not sure what exactly made me think of it, but part of it was contemplating my scrap pile. After cutting a bunch of squares with the Accuquilt, I still had a lot of strips. Also, as I have said, a block Alison showed me inspired me. Instead of making the regular 16 patches, I have been making these strip blocks. I want to use up scraps and I have a lot of strips left.

I decided to start with my green scrap drawer. It is closest to my sewing machine.

So far I have three blocks done. I’d like to make the blocks for the entire quilt green, but I don’t know if I will have enough strips/scraps to do that. I’ll see and will be flexible.

Pet Bed Testing

Pet Bed Testing
Pet Bed Testing

I have never seen a pet bed in actual use. I was thrilled to see BAM mascot (in my mind anyway), Cricket, trying one out the other day.

As you can see, they fit a smallish, but not tiny, dog very well. I think Cricket is on the small side, but could be considered a small-medium dog.

Check out the pattern and make some pet beds for your local shelter.

Spiky 16 Patch n.4

Spiky 16 Patch n.4 (quilt n.3)
Spiky 16 Patch n.4 (quilt n.3)

I didn’t have any time to sew at the end of the week and was kind of busy as well. I did manage to finish another Spiky 16 patch donation block.

I might be getting a little tired of these blocks in this color scheme. I know! Crazy, right? I’d kind of like to see a version with more colors. That means making a stash of HRTs in different colors as well.

BAM Swap Gift

BAM Winter Extravaganza Gift by Mary
BAM Winter Extravaganza Gift by Mary

I also received a gift at the guild Winter Extravaganza. I was so pleased to get a gift from Mary! She went above and beyond by making me a very cool portfolio, a little basket and a pincushion.

As soon as I opened the package, my mind started whirling about how I would use all of them.

Mary's Little Basket in use
Mary’s Little Basket in use

I have already put the little basket to use as I worked on the back for the MetroScape quilt back. It is now designated for selvedges, though I have already filled it up.

I am thinking that the portfolio will be put to good use for English Paper Piecing fabrics and papers. I use my first Sew Together bag for needles, pins, thread, scissors, etc, but I don’t really have a good place for the papers and the fabrics I have prepared. This might do the trick.

I laughed when I saw the pincushion. As you may remember, I have made this style of pincushion for others in the guild. I never made one for myself, so Mary did it for me!

Spiky 16 Patch n.3

Spiky 16 Patch n.3 for quilt n.3
Spiky 16 Patch n.3 for quilt n.3

I finished another Spiky 16 patch over the weekend, so my collection is growing. I need to start thinking about how I will set these blocks. I could do another quilt like either n.1 or n.2. I am trying to think of something different. Something different might be a small addition like Mrs. K added to her corners.

On point settings are kind of a hassle, but so effective. I have two more blocks to make before I have to decide.

Resources:

BAM Swap Bag

I signed up for the BAM swap and received Lindsay. I don’t know her very well. I talked to her briefly at a recent meeting as she rummaged through a stack of donation blocks I had recently donated. You know I love it when people use my blocks. 😉 It is such a great feeling of collaboration.

I kind of like doing the swaps,though this one was hard. I kind of gave up on the theme, though Rhonda, the organizer is pretty lax about sticking to the theme. I have to learn to be more like her.

Classmate Bag by Terry Atkinson
Classmate Bag by Terry Atkinson

I went through my patterns after I saw that Lindsay requested a bag. I have a lot of bag patterns and need to start plowing through them. I came up with the Classmate Bag by Terry Atkinson. It is not a large tote sized bag, but I thought it would be useful for going to class.

I have heard good things about Atkinson designs patterns and the company certainly has a lot of patterns out. I can’t remember ever making something from their line.

This bag went together pretty well, especially when I was able to concentrate after Thanksgiving.

Classmate Bag for Lindsay - BAM Swap
Classmate Bag for Lindsay – BAM Swap

The problem I always have for these types of swaps is fabric. I don’t buy a lot of the lines that modern quilters seem to swarm over. I chose some leftover Tula Pink fabric from a project for which I made a block for Kelly.

It looks pretty good on the outside, I think. I am surprised to see how well the pattern of the fabric matches up. That was a happy accident.

Classmate Bag for Lindsay -open - BAM Swap
Classmate Bag for Lindsay -open – BAM Swap

This was a good enough pattern to make me think that I might make this bag again for another friend. Stay tuned.

November Donation Blocks

I made a few more donation blocks in November. Between working on the Spiky 16 Patches and traveling a bit, I didn’t get as many done as I would have liked. However, I am taking the positive route and thinking that every little bit helps.

Even though I try, I still seem to end up with a majority of blue donation blocks. I’ll have to see about changing that. Or not. 😉

Spiky 16 Patch, quilt 3, block 2

Spiky 16 Patch block 2, quilt 3
Spiky 16 Patch block 2, quilt 3

I have been working a little at a time on these blocks. Thanksgiving took up a lot of time last week and I didn’t get much time to sew until Friday.

As mentioned the other day, I had to make some right facing HRTs. I made a few so I could finish this block.

I want these blocks to, at least, have the appearance of being scrappy, so I can’t make many of the individual units without getting too much duplication. I am pleased with this one.

Resources:

Cyndi’s Work

Cyndi's quilt
Cyndi’s quilt

Cyndi is a member of my local guild whose work I really like. She has a similar color sense to me.

I saw her starting this quilt a few months ago and was excited by the color scheme. The finished piece turned out better than I could have imagined. It really looks like a quilt that could be used and cuddled on the couch. It is a pattern called ‘A’s Strips’ by Amy Cowan and Opal Cocke of Here2There Designs. Amy also produces the Creative Mom podcast.

Cyndi's MassDrop donation quilt
Cyndi’s MassDrop donation quilt

At last year’s Retreat, we got a nice donation of top quality fabric from MassDrop. Some of the fabric was difficult to use because of the designs,but people powered through and made donation quilts. Cyndi recently finished another one using a great design.

It’s really fun to see what others are making.

Spiky 16 Patch…Again

Spiky 16 Patch block 1, quilt 3
Spiky 16 Patch block 1, quilt 3

I am getting started again on a third Spiky 16 Patch donation quilt.

It is easy just to keep making 16 patches. They are pretty rote, but I have a lot of the prep done for more spiky 16 patches and the units don’t help anyone laying around the workroom. I made the first block with no problems. The first block is always the hurdle. Now I feel like I can zoom through the process.

The stack of the 16 patches and the half rectangle triangles made a good start.

As you can see the rectangles point in different directions I am a bit short of the ones that point to the right (on the bottom row). I had to make a few to finish this block. I will need to make more to finish the rest of the quilt as well. It is a little confusing to know which way to cut the fabric to get the triangles to point in the right direction. I think it is with the print fabric on top. I want to dig out the Split Recs ruler directions to see if that particular piece of information is clearly noted. If it is clear, then I won’t have to try and remember. Small details like that disappear when there is space between projects.

Resources:

Color My Quilt: Nicole

Color My Quilt: Nicole - November 2018
Color My Quilt: Nicole – November 2018

I did my piece at almost the last minute, but not quite.

Nicole asked for a dark, kind of Moon and Stars theme. I used scraps and this was what i came up with. I didn’t have the dark batiks in the example. Others might and mine will provide a bit of night-shiny brightness to the quilt. I hope…

 

October Donation Blocks

I was able to up my donation block production in October a little bit, which makes me really happy. I did forget to bring the blocks for the past couple of months to the meeting, however, so I will, with any luck, have a huge pile to bring in November.

I am working through some of the 2.5 inch squares I cut with the Accuquilt at Craft Night a few weeks ago. Going through one color scrap pile limits my options, though. Design challenge, right?