Thanks for the Zipper Pouch

Zipper Pouch from Angela
Zipper Pouch from Angela

I was pleased and very surprised to receive this belated Christmas gift from Angela. It meant a lot to get it on a random date in March instead of with the onslaught of other Christmas gifts. I am not sure what I did to merit such kindness, but I love this pouch and am very appreciative.

She made the Trixie Zipper Pouch from one of the Crafty Gemini  most recent bag club. I am not a member and making it never crossed my mind. Still, I am so pleased to have received it

You will notice how well she knows me when you see the fabric. That is a Philip Jacobs print and I love the way she fussy cut it so the flower is the star of the pouch.

Trixie Pouch open
Trixie Pouch open

Angela also said she adjusted the size of the netting on the inside so that spools of Aurifil thread would fit. This is so great, because I can fill it with Aurifil I may use on a project (e.g. the Tarts Come to Tea uses a lot of different threads) without hauling my giant thread box with me.

And, yes, the fabulous Angela put a spool of thread in there for me as well.

Also, look at those stripes!!! Aren’t they awesome? Great use of fabric and the light fabric makes it easy for me to see inside the pouch.

Zipper Pouch from Angela- zipper pull detail
Zipper Pouch from Angela- zipper pull detail

Angela also changed the zipper pulls. I know there are tutorials out there to do that, but I have never tried it and am really impressed with the attention to detail. I found video tutorial by Crafty Gemini that includes changing a zipper  pull, but also has other tips for zippers such as resizing them.

Classmates Tote Gift

Gerre's Classmates Tote
Gerre’s Classmates Tote

I decided to make another Classmates tote for my friend’s birthday. I didn’t mail it until Monday, so I hope she has it by now and the surprise won’t be ruined.

This one went a lot more smoothly than the first one. I learned different things this time, such as color placement. I am thinking I will make one to contain all of my random suitcase flotsam. I meant to see if it all would fit before I sent off the bag, but didn’t do it.

Gerre's Classmates Tote- open
Gerre’s Classmates Tote- open

I went through the pattern and marked the cutting chart up so I would know what I was cutting, which would help me with color/ fabric placement. My plan worked very well.

One thing that sent me over the edge in liking this project is the number of pockets. I knew as I was making it that I would get a lot of pockets, but I found, once I put the whole thing together, that there were even more pockets than I thought. This turned out to be because when I put the pockets I had made separately on the lining, additional pockets were created. The bonus pocket behind the center zippered pocket could hold a 6×6 inch ruler! Or nearly.

Gerre's Classmates Tote- outside cover, open
Gerre’s Classmates Tote- outside cover, open

I am pretty thrilled with how this one came out. I worked really hard and did my best work. The one thing I would change is the binding. It looks great on the inside, but doesn’t go very well with the ice cream fabric. I am not sure what I would use. I might need to change the linking to go better with the outside. I wanted to make sure the piece was cheerful, which is why I chose the lining fabric. I also wanted to use the ice cream fabric so this bag would go with the sewing machine mat and other items I have made for her. I thought it would be segregated enough to not matter, but I didn’t thinking about the binding and how that would united the outside with the lining.

Gerre's Classmates Tote- partially open
Gerre’s Classmates Tote- partially open

I think I would also change the handle a bit. I think it would be good to add a little padding to it. I am not sure my machine could make it through an additional layer of padding.

I am pleased with how the lobster clip and ring line up. That was a concern on the first one and this effort came out perfectly.

Journal Cover Gift

Gerre's Journal Cover
Gerre’s Journal Cover

My friend had a birthday yesterday. I have been telling her – well strongly suggesting that writing in a journal would help her work out some issues. Thus, this is my “put your money where your mouth is” gift to her.

I rummaged through my white scrap bin to make this journal cover. I was going for cheerful and light to counteract the grey weather we have been having. I really tried hard to get that castle fabric (upper left) on the front, but didn’t quite make it.

Gerre's Journal Cover with front cover open
Gerre’s Journal Cover with front cover open

Since I have been making Gerre a few things recently with the ice cream fabric, I wanted to include some in this journal cover as well. I put it on the inside as it didn’t go very well with my light and cheerful look.

Gerre's Journal Cover with back cover open
Gerre’s Journal Cover with back cover open

I haven’t made a journal cover in a while. The last one was dark blue and made in 2017. I have been sing a different kind of journal that doesn’t work with these covers, thus I haven’t needed a new one. I still like these Miquelrius journals. They have great paper and ink dries on it quickly. I am just more enamored with the Leuchtturm journals at the moment. I like hte rounded edges and the colors. The Leuchtturm journals also fit in my handbag, which is an added bonus.

Gerre's Journal Cover back cover
Gerre’s Journal Cover back cover

I had fun putting this cover together. I used a number of scraps from the EPP half hexie project and even some scraps from the City Sampler.

I had a hard time sewing it as there were so many seams along the edge, so I ripped the last seams out a couple of times. It isn’t perfect, but I hope she won’t notice. That edge is tricky.

I did get a nice compliment from Angela who has used the journal cover tutorial to make covers for other types of journals.  She said it was her favorite journal cover tutorial. 🙂

Gerre's Journal Cover -whole cover, open and face down
Gerre’s Journal Cover -whole cover, open and face down

Quilty Birthday

2019 Birthday Gifts
2019 Birthday Gifts

No, my birthday is not in February, but I didn’t have a chance to show off my gifts until now. I am not trying to make anyone jealous.

It was a pretty big quilty birthday, which is not always the case. I got a new cutting mat. I have smaller cutting mats that go with me when I travel or participate in Sew Day. The mat I use in my workroom, however, is the one I got when I started making quilts more than 30 years ago! It was time for an upgrade and I am using and loving the new one. It does make a difference.

I received some new Tula dots. I’ll have to figure out something fabulous to make with them.

Charm square project tote
Charm square project tote

I also got a number of new project totes, which is great! I really like putting my projects in totes and keeping everything together. This little tote (right) fits charm squares. Not sure how I will use it, but will figure something out.

I haven’t tried everything out, but am slowly working my way through all the new stuff. I am so fortunate to have such great friends. It was so nice get things related to my passion.

Maureen’s Pincushion

Maureen's pincushion
Maureen’s pincushion

In order to add a gift to Maureen’s bag, I made her a pincushion. Unlike the bag, the pincushion went together very smoothly. I had some of the pieces and parts from my last round of pincushion making on the cutting table. They weren’t crappy, just unused.

I picked out some other scraps from the unsorted pile on my cutting table and came up with a great selection. I am pleased with how it looks and don’t think it looks thrown together or disjointed at all.

Maureen's pincushion-with clips
Maureen’s pincushion-with clips

I saved time by not using selvages for the back. I just used a piece of the batik. As usual, I filled it with a combination of wool roving and Beanie Baby pellets.

I hope she likes it.

Maureen’s Bag

Maureen is stepping down from her role as Supreme Leader of CQFA. I decided that we needed to give her a gift, so I organized the bag gift that I do at BAM.

Maureen's Jane Market Tote
Maureen’s Jane Market Tote

I got started on it kind of late, so the bag I made is a simple Jane Market Tote. I thought I had some African Fabric, which Maureen would have liked, but I have been cleaning out my fabric bins and that must have gone to a better home in a recent purge.

The project didn’t go super smoothly. I had to rip out the whole thing once I had sewn the outside and lining together and done the topstitching. Sigh. Somehow the linking was way too large and was sagging on the inside. I couldn’t live with it, so I ripped it all out. I had to trim the lining and then sew it all back together. It wasn’t terrible, but not ideal either. I think I must have turned the lining the wrong way when I boxed the corners. Hopefully, I will remember to check next time!

The members will bring notes and gifts with which to fill the bag.

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.

Gift Post #9: Juggling Balls

Three juggling balls
Three juggling balls
Juggling Balls in the drawstring bag
Juggling Balls in the drawstring bag

You have seen a few posts about these juggling balls in the past few weeks. Well, I finally finished them. I didn’t get them done in time to give them to my niece for Christmas, but oh well. I am still pretty pleased with the way they came out and I am thinking about making another set.

As previously mentioned, I got the idea for the balls from All Points Patchwork, a comprehensive guide on English paper piecing. I wrote a review about it recently.

Juggling Balls drawstring bag
Juggling Balls drawstring bag

I didn’t want to just hand over 3 balls, so I looked for a bag to make in which they could be stored. Quickly, I remembered the drawstring bag by Jeni Baker of In Color Order. I found the tutorial, but after working through it a little I found some missing information. After some investigation I was forwarded to another version of the tutorial. In fairness, Baker sells a pattern for this drawstring bag with several size variations. I believe I bought it at one point, but wasn’t able to put my hands on the pattern quickly. The size (approx 10.5″ x 8.5″) in the tutorial was fine for my purposes. Perhaps a little big, but fine.

Juggling Balls drawstring bag-3/4 view
Juggling Balls drawstring bag-3/4 view

I had a bunch of the mini-charm packs of Prairie by Moda, which is what I used to make the juggling balls. I used more of them to make the bag with a Barbara Jones peach dot print for the accent and the lining. I am not sure I would make patchwork again for the bag, though if I had some orphan blocks I might use them. It would be quicker and more elegant to use two or three fabrics. Still, what I made is kind of cheerful.

Gifts for Me – 2018

I got a lot of nice quilting gifts for Christmas. I know that seems like a long time ago, but I have been posting like crazy on other topics. I never know what is of the most interest to you. Gifts to me seem trivial compared to what I am making and other quiltmaking thoughts I have. Thus, this is the first chance I have gotten to sit down and show you what great family and friends I have.

Christmas 2018 gifts for me
Christmas 2018 gifts for me

Mostly the family gave me books. I have some good ideas for using the Quick Curve Ruler from the two books I received.

I really need more bookshelves. I am working on updating my database so it includes all of my books, but things take time.

The book on the upper right hand corner is a book called Ode to Color and I am hoping to use that for creativity posts on Fridays. I haven’t done anything about it yet.

Gifts from Julie-2018
Gifts from Julie-2018

Due to my crazy travel schedule, Friend Julie and I didn’t get together until almost the New Year to exchange gifts. She bought some of these gifts right under my nose!

I am really appreciative that my friends and family respect and support this crazy passion of mine.

Gift Post #8: Pillowcases

Shark Pillowcases
Shark Pillowcases

I started out making these for the YM. Then I decided that I would give them to my cousin (he is a few years older than the YM and more like a nephew) instead. I don’t usually get an acknowledgement of gifts I send, so I have no idea whether or not he liked them. *I* like them and that is what is important to me.

I put the cuff on the wrong way on one of the pillowcases. I had no idea there was a right way and a wrong way on that shark fabric, so he probably won’t notice.

The Friday Creativity posts will return soon.

Gift Post #7, Apron n.5

Dee's Apron - Christmas 2018
Dee’s Apron – Christmas 2018

This is the last apron I made from the marathon of cutting I did at Sew Day way back in August.

It took me time to make them all, but repetition is good for projects like this.

SIL #1 is also a Cal fan and a Cal graduate who attends football games regularly. She got the last of my Cal fabric.

Dee's Apron, front - Christmas 2018
Dee’s Apron, front – Christmas 2018

I learned that the pattern prevents the maker from laying out directional fabric in a certain orientation, but I am ok with the logo being on the diagonal when it is worn.

The front looks good and I hope it won’t show the dirt.

Gift Post #6: Apron n.4

May's Apron - Christmas 2018
May’s Apron – Christmas 2018

I was pleased to finish the last apron well in advance of Christmas. I didn’t work on any of them in a particular order. I picked one up and went to work finishing it and they were all done in time for Christmas.

May's Apron, reverse - Christmas 2018
May’s Apron, reverse – Christmas 2018

The flowers on this one are really vibrant and I hope SIL #3 likes it. The reverse side is more her style.

Gift Post #5: Apron n.3

Beth's apron - urban chic
Beth’s apron – urban chic

This is the urban chic + Football crazy version of the Flapper Apron. It is for DH’s youngest sister and I know she will love the Cal side. The urban chic side was hard to choose, so I picked something that I liked and thought had a good chance of being on target. I bought the Marsha Derst fabric in Portland at Pioneer Quilts.

I am not sure which side will be the front. I wear an apron often when I am working in the kitchen and I tend to always wear the same side as the outside.

Beth's apron - Cal side
Beth’s apron – Cal side

I have to say that I was annoyed with this pattern when I first started finishing up this project, but as I finished them up, I started thinking of making two more – one for another friend and another for myself.

One thing about this pattern is challenges with directional fabric. I couldn’t make the fabric line up properly to be read horizontally while it was being worn. It can still be read, so I am not too worried, but it would have been nice. Perhaps the slightly off kilter nature of it will look edgy?

Gift Post #4: Apron n.2

Steph's Apron- front
Steph’s Apron- front

After Thanksgiving, I worked on the group of aprons I wanted to give to my SILs as gifts. Since some of my SILs read here, I couldn’t post until after Christmas. I was also working hard to get to a 100 yards used and each of these aprons is 2 yards.

I fumbled around quite a bit on the first one in this group.  I had already finished one a few months ago, which I posted about a few days ago. I finally got the hang of the process, put all the small pieces together and was, eventually, able to zoom along.

Steph's Apron- back
Steph’s Apron- back

The pattern says “finish the neck as desired,” which is about as useful as ‘quilt as desired’ in quilt patterns. I ended up folding the neck by hand and trying to match both sides so the other side wouldn’t peek through. I decided to double top stitch around the neck and the outside to make sure the raw edges, even inside, were sewed down.

I wasn’t sure what fabrics to choose for this apron as I don’t know very well what motifs this SIL likes. Brown and turquoise go together and who doesn’t like butterflies? This is an apron, not a dress, so I am not going to worry too much. I am pleased with how this one came out.