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