Gift Post #2: Sewing Machine Mat

Sewing Machine Mat from above
Sewing Machine Mat from above

You might remember this mat from back in May?

I gave it to Gerre for Christmas so she can use it for retreats. I sent it to her the week before I went to Portland. I made her wait until Christmas to open it, though I really had no control. She told me she really likes it and that makes me happy.

Sadly, the photo (above) is the best photo I have of the mat. I’ll try and take a better one when I see it at Sew Day.

Gift Post #1: Apron n.1

SIL #2 Apron
SIL #2 Apron

I made this apron back in September. I couldn’t show it because it was a gift for one of my SILs.

I cut 5 aprons out at Sew Day. You know I love to cut things out on Sew Day. I cut it out in August and thought it would be hard to get them sewn for Christmas. Over Labor Day, instead of making the binding and sleeve for the Aqua-Red Sampler, I finished one of the aprons.

SIL #2 Apron - Cal Side
SIL #2 Apron – Cal Side

I was so pleased that I got one done. One down four to go.

I used the Flapper Apron pattern I bought in Portland with Amanda. I like this bias pattern and the fact that a person can make it with one yard of fabric. I make mine with a yard and a quarter, because a yard and a quarter folds into a square and it is always good to have a little extra. 😉

All of them will be two sided. These fabrics don’t necessarily go together, but it is hard to find something that goes with Cal fabric. I decided to make a two sided apron that had two personalities. When wearing it people won’t really see the other side from the front. Of course, other people will see the other fabric on the ties.

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!

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.

Russian Rubix’s New Home

Markus, Lukas and Anja with Russian Rubix
Markus, Lukas and Anja with Russian Rubix

A month or so ago, I sent the Russian Rubix off with a friend who sent it to Austria from Zurich. It is better to send packages from within the EU, but beggars can’t be choosers. It is much less expensive to send quilts within Europe. Whenever I find a willing friend, I ask them to send quilts. When I can, I bring quilts with me on trips. Fabric is heavy, so neither option is ideal.

Markus is my ‘ehemalige Papa’, a very good friend who took good care of me when I lived in Austria. We have been friends and in touch since then. I last went to visit in 2016 and realized my Austrian friends needed some quilts.

Monika with Russian Rubix
Monika with Russian Rubix

I didn’t know his wife Monika when I lived there, but I got to know her in 2016 and like her very much. She made me feel very welcome when I last visited.

I didn’t really get to talk to them about the quilt, but will soon. They seemed very appreciative.

Finished: Sealife Quilt-let

Finished: Sealife quilt-let
Finished: Sealife quilt-let

I finished the binding on the Sealife Quilt-let the other night. I still haven’t embroidered my name on the back, but will work on that this evening.

Now I just need someone to take this piece and the BAMaQG Color Round Robin to Austria for me. Or mail it from an EU country. It is much less expensive to do it that way.

Gift Post 2018: Sew Together Bag n.3

SIL n.3's Sew Together Bag
SIL n.3’s Sew Together Bag

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.

Sew Together Bag for SIL #3
Sew Together Bag for SIL #3

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.

Beth's Sew Together Bag
Beth’s Sew Together Bag

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.

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.

Gift Post 2018: Sew Together Bag

SIL's Birthday Sew Together Bag in process
SIL’s Birthday Sew Together Bag in process

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.

SIL #2's Sew Together Bag - outside
SIL #2’s Sew Together Bag – outside

The outside is Cal fabric, because I knew she would like it and because I have a ton of it.

SIL #2's Sew Together Bag - inside, zippers closed
SIL #2’s Sew Together Bag – inside, zippers closed

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.

SIL #2's Sew Together Bag - inside, zippers open
SIL #2’s Sew Together Bag – inside, zippers open

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.

En Provence Quilt Finished

En Provence Finished
En Provence Finished

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?

En Provence back
En Provence back

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.

BAM Pillow Swap

BAMaQG Pillow Swap entry
BAMaQG Pillow Swap entry

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)
  • magenta
  • orange
  • white

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.

Maria's BAM Pillow Swap in process
Maria’s BAM Pillow Swap in process

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.

BAM Pillow Swap Recipients
BAM Pillow Swap Recipients

We exchanged yesterday and everyone did a wonderful job. I am behind Christina, but you can see my pillow over my head.

Ruth’s Hand Quilt

Ruth's Hand Quilt
Ruth’s Hand Quilt

My mother-in-law died on Sunday. It wasn’t unexpected, but it is nonetheless very, very sad. I feel a huge loss.

I am writing about the Hand Quilt, because I never made another quilt for my mother-in-law. I meant to; I just never did.

The hand quilt is a quilt that my sister-in-law and I made for my parents-in-law (SIL made for her parents) in 1992. We got hand tracings from all of the siblings, spouses and kids. We transferred the handprints to fabric and then machine appliqued the hands to the background. I don’t remember how it got quilted, but it did.

I always wanted to make another one to make sure we got all of the kids, but I never did. I suppose I still could, but I would have to make one for each family and I just don’t think I have that much machine applique’ in me. You never know, though. 😉

Finished: Hansel and Gretel Set

ColorPlay and the Creative Spark will return soon!

Finished set of Hansel & Gretel
Finished set of Hansel & Gretel

Yay! This set is finished! A little more than a year after I got it, it is finished, signed, sealed and sent off.

The quilt in this set was probably the easiest part. I did a pillowcase binding and then sunk the threads. It is a pretty basic quilt, but the small amount of quilting I did on it looks nice, I think.

Finished quilt of Hansel & Gretel
Finished quilt of Hansel & Gretel

I don’t think I will make this brand of panel dolls again. The good thing is that everything is all on one panel. The bad is that the seam allowances are really small and the seams tend to blow out after play. My little niece plays with these dolls, a purpose for which they are intended, and I don’t want her to be disappointed. I have another pattern – not a panel – with lots of zippers and buttons so she can learn to dress herself (we had a doll when I was a kid with the same concept called Dressy Bessy). I hope to get started on that doll soon-ish.

 

EPP Travel Pouch

Gerre's EPP Travel Pouch
Gerre’s EPP Travel Pouch

I finished the EPP Travel Pouch I am giving to Gerre for her birthday. I like the way it came out. I probably should have used more orange and pink to really suit her tastes, but I just loved that ice cream print and had to use it. I really hope she likes it.

The two times I have made this bag, I have thought it would be a quick project. There is so much handwork that it turns out to take longer than I expect the handwork to be relaxing, but it takes a big needle to push the thread through the many layers.

EPP Travel Pouch Open
EPP Travel Pouch Open

The other thing is that the directions are somewhat confusing. I made notes on them this time so, if I make this again, I won’t make some of the same mistakes again. The only thing that bugs me is that the piece does not have a handle. I really think it should have a handle. I am not sure where or how I would add a handle, but I’ll have to think about that.

EPP Pouch: Open with sewing  items
EPP Pouch: Open with sewing items

Still, this project comes out well and has some clever elements.

I finished the inside of the Altoids tins to make them into little sewing kits and storage kits. I’ll have to figure out a decoration for the top next time. I wasn’t up for that challenge this time.

EPP Travel Pouch Open & Filled
EPP Travel Pouch Open & Filled

Cowl

Cowl
Cowl

Keeping my YM warm is a theme since Thanksgiving. We saw him last weekend and the question was why he was wearing two shortsleeve t-shirts rather than a longsleeve. Answer: out of clean laundry. Sigh.

To that end, I made him a cowl. I had some leftover yarn after making him the hat, so I decided to make him a cowl after realizing I didn’t have enough yarn for another hat.

It didn’t come out as well as I had hoped. It looks good but was too large so kind of flapped around his neck (when I saw it in the wild). I think I needed to cast on fewer stitches to start. Next time – there is always more yarn.