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.
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.
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.
I really can’t believe this quilt is finished. It has been in process so long- at least since 2015. Three years! I wonder if that is an average for me? I really want to get to the point of starting a project, working on it and finishing it without stopping. Of course, that may not work for me as letting projects marinate seems to be part of my process.
I really am in love with this quilt. I love the border. I was really inspired when I made it.
I finally finished the Tool Tote. Now I can just stare at it wondering, a little, what I was thinking.
Looking at in this photo, it looks great, but I am not sure about actually using it. The Tupperware box I have used forever works fine for tools and is hard. How would I fit this thing into my travel system? On the other hand, it has handles and handles are always a good thing.
I was almost finished the other day, but I put the zipper tabs on and they just looked terrible. Using Soft & Stable in a zipper tab is a dumb idea. I wouldn’t have known it was a dumb idea unless I had done it, though.
The photo of the zipper tab makes the thing look fine. It isn’t fine, though; it didn’t stay together and on the back the top hem was popping out and looking awful. I also went around the whole thing 3-4 times and couldn’t quite match up the stitching as the whole bag was attached to the zipper tab. The whole thing was a mess.
I ripped off the Soft & Stable zipper tabs and made some new ones with ShapeFlex instead. It worked like a charm and the zipper tabs look a lot better. I changed the fabric used and that helped make the tabs look better as well.
If you make this bag, definitely make it with fabric for the zipper tabs matching the outside pocket.
I had big plans to make a bunch of these, because of the Big Mouth design. I really like the way it opens up all the way, so you can see all of your stuff. It was a hassle to make and I didn’t think the directions were great. They were very chatty and friendly, but not very useful. I think I might be ruined by the Crafty Gemini style of learning. I do know that if I make more I will get better at making them.
As I said, I am not sure what to do with it. I could get another set of tools and fill the thing and keep it with my guild stuff. Not sure if really need that.
Finally, I can show you the third and final Sew Together Bag. My SIL n.3’s birthday is today and I already gave her the bag. She is not a quiltmaker, but I am sure she will use it for something.
I am really pleased with how this one came out. I think it looks really great. I am tempted to keep it. I won’t, though.
With this STB, I have made a total of 7 Sew Together Bags. I am not sure I will make any more, though there is talk in the guild about making more for gifts. And the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club has a project that looks suspiciously like the Sew Together Bag. Sigh.
FYI: To see the All Rolled Up Tote, you can take a peek on the Organizer Club site or on Craftsy, as it is the design of someone who is not the Crafty Gemini and available there for purchase. If you want the video tutorial, Crafty Gemini is your best hope. I haven’t made it yet, so I can’t give you anymore details.
Anyway, I am taking a break from Sew Together Bags for awhile. I may be completely done. We’ll see.
I really like the yellow binding on this one. SIL #4 likes yellow so I distinguished this one from the other Cal version with yellow binding and more yellow fabric.
I included another fussy cut pincushion as well as a variety of blue and gold zippers.
As a reminder, I used the Quilt Barn Sew Along Tutorials to clarify points around making these bags. These posts are critical to my success with this project.
For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to make 3 Sew Together Bags at once. At a point towards the end of the process on the first 2018 bag, I concentrated on finishing one at a time.
I know I decided to make one for my SIL because she had some random carrier for her supplies at Craft Night and didn’t have the supplies she needed. I don’t mind lending supplies or thread or whatever. However, I thought a Sew Together Bag would be great for her. It just took me forever to finish it.
The outside is Cal fabric, because I knew she would like it and because I have a ton of it.
Otherwise I used various blues I thought she would like with some yellow accents. Blue is the main color on this one. I also chose a variety of zipper colors to add interest.
I fussy cut the Cal fabric for the pincushion, of which I was proud. Even though her birthday is today, I gave the bag to her yesterday.
Yes, amazingly enough, I finally finished En Provence a week or so ago. I am so pleased with the finished product. I am sad that I will give it away, but it will go to a good home who will love it very well.
One thing I like about this pattern is that the edges are finished. By that I mean my hard sewn units are not cut off as you see in many quilts with weird edges. I like it that my stars have all of their points.
Also, I want to make another one. 😉 I am not sure when, but I do plan to make another one. If I select a color scheme I can start any time and use leaders and enders to get all of the units made. I haven’t done any sewing yet, as I haven’t selected a color scheme. I really like this color scheme, but want to do something different. How would it be if I reversed the darks and lights?
The back turned out to be very funny. Birds and lobsters? What was I thinking? It is definitely a good conversation starter, that is for sure.
I started this on January 10, 2017. You can see all the posts by clicking on the tag. 14ish months isn’t bad, especially when I know I took a long hiatus somewhere in the middle. Also, made most of this quilt using the leaders and enders technique.
I needed to rest at the beginning of March, but knew I had a pillow swap to finish by the April meeting. My recipient’s color preferences were listed as:
Green (lime, pickle)
I wanted to be sure my design was modern, fit the desires of the recipient and wasn’t too difficult to piece. I immediately thought of the Alison Glass fabrics I used for the Triple Star. Except for the white, I thought those fabrics would fit well with the desired color scheme.
I had a pillow I thought was made by my pal Amanda stuck in my mind. I asked her about it and she suggested Pinterest. I immediately found the design for which I was looking – the X Plus O block. Once I had the name, I found a lot of examples and spent a happy hour laying on the couch and looking at them.I also found an example that I thought would be good inspiration.
Before I could really sew again, I worked on the design using EQ8. I was able to play with the size and get the elements right.
After I could sew again, I went back to working on my Sew Together Bag project. In the middle of that project, I needed a break, but didn’t want to reset my machine for piecing. I knew that if I did, I would have three more UFOs and another year would pass before I could give the gifts. Cutting was a good idea, so I cut out all of the pieces.
One of the helpful parts of EQ8 is the ability to print out rotary cutting directions. I found a bug in the process of doing this, which I reported to the Electric Quilt Company. It turned out not to be a bug; they don’t consider a lozenge shape to rotary cuttable. I was able to figure out the size to cut a square as I plan to use the flippy corners method or the Simple Folded Corners Ruler.
I also used the Spoonflower zipper installation instructions. I acually watched the video and found it to be really helpful. I am pleased with how my pillow’s zipper closure came out, though I had to redo it a couple of times. I think the problem was the zipper foot I used. I used the flat snap on zipper foot. I didn’t feel like I could get as close to the zipper as I like. As a result I didn’t catch the seam allowance, which makes a closed up area around the zipper. I should have used the tall, skinny foot. I am used to it. I didn’t use it because I was sick of installing feet and resetting settings on my machine. I paid the price.
We exchanged yesterday and everyone did a wonderful job. I am behind Christina, but you can see my pillow over my head.
Frankly, I never thought I could make something like this. This is another pattern from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club. It is one of the bonus patterns. I think it would make a great gift.
I did, though, and while I struggled with some parts, it wasn’t as hard as I thought.
I feel like I am becoming a zipper expert. I can certainly get my zipper foot on and off the machine (screwdriver is involved) with lightening speed. I can now shorten zippers with confidence (remember my fit about the zipper shortening with the Sweet Harmony bag?). I have put in 16 zippers, I think, in the last month. WHEW!
I am trying to think what I can put in this bag.
I reversed the pockets by accident, so the vinyl pocket is on the wrong side. It isn’t so wrong that I felt I had to rip it out, but I will get a zipper pull to help pull the zipper away from the spine.
The fabric for the outside and the inside slip pocket are both from the Cosmo Cricket line. I made the first Stepping Stone quilt out of that fabric. I am out of the typewriter key fabric in black, which is a shame, but I will use another black that works. I used the stripe on the inside, because it works so well in my handbag (purchased, by Pixie Mood). I’ll use it again in other projects in this club.
I thought I had mentioned the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club, but I can’t find a mention of it.
Angela is helping with a bag project on which I am working and she pointed me to the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club. I looked at it, watched the video of the bags the club would be making and thought about it. Finally, I joined. The club’s early bird special came with 2 free bonus projects, but I didn’t do anything until I saw an IG post by Angela and how much she had done! Then I was embarrassed, so I got busy.
The first non-bonus project is the Roadtrip Bag. This one is made to clip onto a later project. I am trying to make the various projects coordinate. I originally thought I would put a rainbow stripe in each one like RockBaby Scissors does on many of her projects. I didn’t do it. I am just going with black, grey and white. I will be using some of the same fabrics for each of the projects.
I think this could be used for a small-ish project. It would definitely be a good gift.
The sampler was on my list and I decided it was a good day to make it into a pillow. The pillowcovers I made 5 years ago are starting to fray at the edges. I am surprised they have lasted this long.
The zipper installation went a lot better. I used the regular zipper foot and not the flat snap-on version I used on Friday. The regular zipper foot is a pain to get on and off, but is a lot easier to line up with the zipper itself and the stitching.
Everything wasn’t all peaches and roses. I still need practice. The zipper isn’t centered between the stitching, but I was able to catch the seam allowance on the first try, which was a problem last time. I like this method. It looks much more professional than the flap method.
Anyway, I am pleased with the way this pillow came out and am planning on working on another pillow with my 2017 Merit Hexies.