Jun 29, 2009

another finish............

but I swear it is the last one unless I want to make some as gifts. I will make that qualifying statement. 5 Tag Along Totes for me should be enough, LOL.

I had been eyeing some of this purple fabric on the shelf for some time. I had used it on a donation quilt from abandoned blocks some time ago and had plenty of it. Well, yesterday afternoon I cut into it when I thought I found some compatible fabric in the stash. The green bits are the backing on my bargello quilt and I used more for an inner pocket. The lavender (lilac?) small print was in my 30's repro's batch.

Initially I thought that the large print would be the purse cover but at the last minute I changed my mind---like, right after I quilted the body of the purse and made the angled cut from it to form the pocket liner. I cut a few different pieces for binding and straps and off I went. Most of it was done by bedtime last night. I just had to finish putting in the zipper placket, attach the straps and the edge finish.

Pam uses an elastic band sewn to the cover of the wallet and I DID try that on one of mine. The subsequent one I sewed to the wrong side---scrap that idea. I found some buttons from my stash that went with the last two anyway and this is a good place to use them. I sewed it on "backwards" on the purple WW because I like the color best from this side

I was asked by a commenter about the pattern source when I posted #4 Tag Along Tote. I was negligent in not reposting the links, I'm sorry about that but the commenter is also on "no-reply blogger status" so I could not answer them directly. Atkinson Designs Tag Along Tote and Lazy Girl Designs Wonder Wallet will get you to the pattern sites.

While I am still on this subject:
About two weeks ago I was at the local Dollar General getting some grocery items. The clerk asked me what I was making and at first, I was a little puzzled till it occured to me she wondered what I was doing with the food items on my list. I explained my odd look to her question by relating that I had been sewing like crazy lately and the purse and wallet I was using that day were some of my creations. The two women behind me in line naturally heard all this and I got "how much would you charge for one of those?" and "I'd like to have something like that for my (fill-in-the-blank). HUH???? For the 2nd time in two minutes I was startled. But my response was something to the effect of " I donate quilts to kids but I don't do things to sell". What I really meant was "lady, you wouldn't want to pay for my time, let alone materials".

As I continued on to my next stop, I thought about what I had already put into my project ---about a total of a yard of fabric at up to 10 bucks, batting scraps, zipper about 2 bucks, thread. It takes me the better part of a day to sew it up. Oh, don't even go there!! Later when I got home I saw that the patterns are copyright protected. I would not have allowed to make either of them for re-sale in the first place. NOT that I wanted to. Some will allow you to make up to a certain number but that is not what was on the pattern jacket. So if I am asked again, I have the ready answer-- I can't and I won't but I can tell you where to find the patterns so you can make your own. Bet you anything they wouldn't want one near as bad!

So what is next? Well, I have some friendship blocks to work on for the Fab Retreat but I think I will wait on that till I get back from a weekend trip to IL. Most of my family will be "home" for Christmas in July though DJ is not going with me. I am driving up to TN to my brother's home and then on up to IL with him, his daughter and foster daughter. Departure plans are a little up in the air right now so I need to pack for 5-6 days. I did 4 loads of laundry this morning so could start packing that suitcase.

Today's goal is to cut out my version of "Strip Twist" The pattern is from G. E. Quilt Designs and I bought it and the fabrics from Connecting Threads as a kit. (See below) This is the project we chose for the FAB retreat--well, to be honest, I don't know if we chose, or I chose. They put me in charge of that and the friendship block part but 3 of us signed off on it so that's a quorum if there are 5, right? Since I am mailing my clothes and such onto Pam's house ahead of the trip, I want to pack up my kit with that stuff. (I plan to travel light with one carry on since I have two connecting flights to get to her place)

I don't think I am going to do my version like she shows in the pattern though I admit the piecing idea is rather clever. I want all the light parts the same and the centers a uniform color so I got a little extra yardage for the quilt. However many blocks I can squeeze out is how big the quilt will be. I love this fabric line--kind of a fall thing going with plaids, dandelion seeds, falling leaves, leaf strips, circles and fronds, acorns and leaves and wind and leaves. Should be fun however I make it as I will be sewing with my buds.

Tomorrow one of the Belles is riding up to Boaz with me to deliver the commissioned t-shirt tops and Lois has one of her own to take to Susan. I imagine we will go to Mill Street Deli (a reuben is calling my name, LOL--they make a good one!) I also plan to take my Viking in for servicing while we are up that way.

So a bit of running around and being out of pocket is coming up for me. I doubt I will post again till after my trip. Let me wish my US readers a safe 4th of July and the Canadian ones, a happy Canada Day! Anyone else, have a great day in whatever you chose to do..........

Jun 27, 2009


2 finishes in one day--that has to be a record! Tag Along Tote and matching Wonder Wallet.

No more sewing from this girl today..............

Happy Dancin'

Woohoo! I am done with the 2nd t-shirt quilt. Happy, happy dancing --appropriate since Snoopy shows up in two blocks. I am done two days ahead of the "schedule" I had set for myself. Even better!

The replacement fabric arrived on Thursday around noon. I had to have something to keep me busy that morning so I cut out another Tag Along Tote and a matching Wonder Wallet out of neat pink print (actually it will match my hot iron cover, LOL.) I got that project moved a long a little further but then set it aside to cut out the sashing bits for the quilt. I pieced the three blocks that combined smaller sections into one larger block on Thursday evening but the plan was to hit the ground running on the piecing on Friday.

So here it is Saturday--- all I had left to do is join the two halves of the quilt and apply the top and bottom borders. The top border proved to be a little problematic but you make them fit by hook or by crook, right? All my snapped horizontal measurements were right on the money and so was the size of the border so it had to work---and it is fine. Huge sigh of relief there.

The red gingham you see around two blocks is part of a dress top while the blue around the block in between is part of a little pair of pants that might have gone with the cheerleader outfit with the big R. The embroidered bits are from two pillow cases while the third piece says "Be My Valentine" was the pinafore section of the dress with the gingham. There is also a pocket of a scrub top by the R. Two shirts were duplicates of her sister's though one is a different colorway. Her picture is printed (as was her sister's too) on a sweatshirt though I cropped one a little closer than the other. No other frames and shadows on this one either and a darker background than what I would normally have used but it works. Susan didn't have the blocks in front of her when she pulled the fabric off her shelves so I think she did well.

Well, timer going off in the kitchen so that means lunch is ready-----I'm going to finish up the tote after lunch. Just needs the zipper placket, straps attached and edge binding. Piece of cake!

Jun 24, 2009

WIP Weds

Wednesday finds me working on the 2nd of the two commissioned t-shirt quilts. Monday evening I started sorting through the large container that had been dropped off at the quilt shop. I don't know how long the things had been in there but it was musty smelling and needed to be laundered, big time. Some of the things are stained but I have to use them, regardless. Just obviously used and well loved, I guess. Since they were not removed from the container, then that must be okay with the one who requested the quilts be made. I have worked around it the best I can.

There was also a pile of non-usable materials in there---scraps of shirts with no printing on them that filled a plastic grocery sack. Weirder still to me was the other things that the container held---old receiving blankets, booties, a sweater vest, little night caps, pillow cases, etc. What was I supposed to do with that stuff??? Is the mother wanting something way different from what I am making? I thought mixing pieced blocks with t-shirts would look pretty schizoid. It all just struck me as a typical case of a non-quilter wanting a quilt made but from all non-traditional items. I did not want to proceed with the 2nd one till I knew that the first one was going to be okay. If I had to attach booties or little baby pants to a square of fabric, then you don't want my services.

Anyway, I found a way to use some of the materials in an inventive way but called Susan at the shop yesterday. The blue background fabric we had initially picked out for this actually looks more periwinkle to lavender. Since she had set aside the bolt, I asked them to take a look and see what they thought. She and Joan made another selection that is on its way in the mail. In the meantime I spent my Tuesday whacking up shirts, applying the interfacing and then cutting to size. By bedtime last night I had the sections spread out in my preliminary design.

I guess the true pictures of my WIP is what you see in the shot with the computer screen, LOL. My notepad scribbles are there to verify the cut sizes of each vertical row. I know the width and the length of the column but need to evenly space the sashing around the block and between them so that's where the calculator comes in handy. I have 3 of the 4 rows entered into EQ6 already. Naturally, things have been moved around since I laid them out last night. My design wall is the computer screen and the desk top at the moment. Once I am done I will tally up what sizes of sashing I need to cut so I can make more efficient use of my time once the fabric arrives.

If it doesn't come today, then I am thinking about cutting out another Take Along Tote and matching Wonder Wallet. Yeah, number 4 but I keep looking at two different pieces of yardages on the shelf and just might use the pink stuff. Make that a PIM (project in mind) rather than a WIP! I have friendship blocks to do for the FAB retreat but that would involve dragging out more varied fabrics, swapping out machines, etc---it can wait till I have all the guidelines in.

I'll close with a picture I took yesterday of that silly Skyler. DJ was doing the laundry and I think that this is his handkerchief drawer. He stayed in there and napped for almost 2 hours.

Today's silliness was brought on by a bleach bottle. DJ was filling a spray bottle with bleach water and some spilled on the kitchen counter in the process. Bleach smell to Skyler is like catnip to most cats. He goes bonkers and even will start attacking his own body. Catnip barely effects him. The towel that DJ had wiped his hands on? He attacked it. Sillier still? He was rolling around in the sink basin like a pig in mud. I don't get what there might be about bleach fumes that make him so whacky!

Well, back to the design process for me--------

Jun 22, 2009

Monday meeting

I cannot get used to the quilt group meeting on Monday! This is only a temporary thing for the months of June and July while the church allows the Fellowship Hall to be used by the ARC camp Tuesday through Friday. I will be messed up all week on what day it is, LOL. There were just a few of us there as well so no doubt I am not the only one with the Tuesday mind set.

I brought my machine along today and got the 1st of two commissioned quilts finished up. I had left off yesterday with the center seam to join the two vertical halves and the top and bottom borders to apply. After lunch I got the binding put on my Cheese and Cracker top so it will be ready for hand finishing at my leisure. It can be seen HERE

Lois had a few quilt tops to pin---two cool scrappy ones and a planned Square within Square that she pronounced as being "boring to make" and one that took little thought. We suggested that sometimes that is exactly what you might need! I was busy working on the t-shirt quilt so pics of her work will wait till she is ready to turn them in.

Jane has been busy doing some binding finishing as well on 3 donation quilts. This quilt is one that she did the "honors" on. Aline pieced it using the Habitat challenge fabric that the Belles used last year. She quilted it as well. The pattern is Ami Simms' Twisted Sister. DJ got pressed into quilt holder duties when I got home as I was bound and determined to get my quilt stuff finished before I went home.

I had a couple of errands to run while I was on my way home. The bank time and temp marquees read 91-92 degrees at about 3-3:30 p.m.--- I believe it! Scorching hot out there when the heat index is factored in.

And here is Skyler. Actually he is about in the same spot where he was when I left this morning, LOL. DJ said that he was pretty much sacked out while I was gone though in a different locale(s). He reported that Skyler would raise up his head when he heard something, apparently thinking I might be home. When I didn't materialize he was right back to cat napping. Since he was playing under the sheet this morning, I didn't get the bed made. The game resumed when I got home, running and wanting to play.

What's next? Tomorrow I will be moving onto the 2nd commissioned quilt as I have a goal to have it complete by mid or late next week if possible. I have not really even looked in the container of clothing to see what I have to work with though I had DJ haul it out of the bedroom and into the sewing room once I cleaned up my sewing mess from her sister's top. I will deliver both tops to the long arm gal and probably take my Viking in for servicing when I make the trip. The people who do that are about 8 miles north of the quilt shop. Both are a good 50-60 miles north of here---definitely combine the errands!

That's about it for this note---hope you have had a good day and thanks for stopping by!

Jun 17, 2009

WIP Weds

I'm at it again, prepping t-shirt sections for a commission quilt, one of two for two sisters. Some of the shirts in the container were already whacked up as if someone has started to make the quilt though I had to trim them down and cut interfacing sections too. I'm at the fusing stage.
Unlike some of the others I have done in the past year or so, this will not have frames and shadows added. I considered doing the shadow part but there are too many black or dark shirts in the mix to have that contrast show up. The mother who requested the finished quilt wants pink sashing on this batch so I'll float the designs on the background.

And, here is what I just finished last evening, another of the Nancy Halvorsen's "Be Attitudes" monthly quilt-lets. Just in time for Father's Day. (Not sure why that won't click bigger but oh well!)

Nothing much else to report. It is hot than hot outside and humid too but what do you expect for summer in the South? I have been getting up earlier than usual to try to beat the heat and get my walking in. 67 degrees at 5:30 in the morning is not exactly what I would call cool, LOL.

Thanks for stopping by--------

Jun 14, 2009

more tag alongs

Well, first a mini-repeat. I did make a Wonder Wallet from some of the leftovers from the tag along tote project. The cover fabric and pocket 2 of the WW was the same fabric I used for the pockets of the bag while pocket 4 of the wallet was the fabric for the bag lining. All of the fabrics are an old Ro Gregg print fat quarter pack I had on hand---properly antiqued. While I love the colors, it looks more fall like to me but a more neutral color palette in comparison to the now 2 other bags I have made. Oh, Pam suggested sewing in a band of elastic as a closer instead of a velcro tab plus lining all the pockets with interfacing on half of the cover and the pockets---gives it a bit more body.

In contrast, here is the summery version using a novelty print in fun bright colors. I just finished this TAT and WW yesterday evening. I had a slight detour Friday evening when I discovered that I cut the wrong end off the quilted up section and shorted myself about 2 inches of the focus cover fabric and had to start all over and quilt up another piece. Fortunately I had purchased a yard of the beach ball fabric and used something else for the lining. Live and learn, huh? The blue from the pocket is a leftover from the FAB "Summer in Winter" challenge placemats that I made for Norma. The green dot is from my stash as well---wish I had more of it as it is a nice clear green!

I did a little something different with the straps on the bag this time, other than reversing the color order of the focus fabric and the accent. (I miscut the angled cuts and that's how part happened) They are good bit shorter and like the fall colored one, sew in to the bag exterior before binding rather than tied on after binding. Because they got a good bit shorter I did not make a knot at the center to corral the straps. Instead I sewed the straps together at the center and then covered them with encased fabric strap "thing" like you might find on your luggage or my Janome Jem carrying case, LOL. What the heck is that thing called anyway?? I also put a zipper in this one. I like how it is recessed down a bit though I did make the zipper flaps the same color as the top binding. Terry calls for that band to be the same color as the bag but I like the zip of the same color as the pocket binding myself. Make it your own, right??

I keep eyeing two other pieces of yardage in my stash a possible bags but alas, I must move on. I really intended to applique the "Be Respectful" block a week ago till I got off on this tangent. That won't take long to get the quiltlet appliqued and quilted---binding can wait for handwork in the evening etc. I seriously need to get started on those memory quilts. Sewing time will be shortened with a trip to IL over 4th of July weekend and my long planned trip to OR is only 51 days away. Both trips will be here before I know it! I want those giant bins out of here and spending money for the trip. Fabric Depot is calling all the FABS though I don't need a thing.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend where you are----

Jun 11, 2009

two finishes

Two Tag Along Totes finished up today. I did a few things differently on the 2nd go round shown on the left in that the straps are sewn inside and I put in a zipper and used the contrast color for the binding at the top as well.

The 1st one I made featuring the bright cat fabrics (which I was reminded were a gift from my pal Cher--how could that have slipped my mind?) was made pretty much according to the directions. The only change I made was to slip a small loop of bright lime green rattail into the binding and attach a button so it would close the contents off a bit.

I am going to cut out another one. Round 2 has an autumnal feel to the fabric colors and I have a small bit of beach ball novelty fabric that might work up well for a more summery feel. But first, I'll make a matching Wonder Wallet from TAT #2 fabrics. Haven't tried that pattern yet but have had it in my collection for a while.

Having fun-------

Jun 10, 2009

WIP Weds....... edition whatever, LOL

In my last post I was grumbling about binding. Guess what is on tap for today---at least a little bit of it? Yep, no escaping it!

A couple of the FABS and I were thinking about making a Tag Along Tote designed by Terry Atkinson. I decided to dive right in today, try it and sort of "troubleshoot" the pattern for the group. Terry's pattern are usually well thought out and straight forward but inevitably there will be a little part that takes some re-reading to get it straight in your head, particularly if you are a visual, hands-on learner like me. It helps if one of us has had a little experience or can answer any questions someone may have if there is a stumbling block.

I had been given some really cute cat fabric fat quarters recently and I thought that these would be a good choice since the pattern calls for three fats. BUT take a look at the picture below----my cats are all sideways and resting on the job!

Every last piece in the group is a directional print so it looks like you could use those BUT if you want your motifs upright, cut your 21 inches vertically by the stated width. Since I didn't actually know what way this would end up being turned in the end, I didn't know. Actually my lining is a nice turquoise cat print and was supposed to be included in the small outside pocket as well. I would have done so if I had enough fabric for them to be upright. Lime green substitution instead! IIWII, LOL. I wanted something small to haul on the walking trail so I could keep my cell phone and ID on my person rather then stowing my big purse in the car. Sideways cats or not, it will work for that.

I used Terry's tutorial for adding a bonus pocket to the interior found on her blog HERE. No problems there but I wish I had made the pen pocket just a bit wider and also moved the whole thing down a little bit---maybe an inch from what I now know is the eventual side seam. I had centered it on the section.

My only other suggestion is that since most of the bag, other than pocket and strap sewing, will involve sewing on quilted fabric, use your walking foot if you are not fortunate enough to have a dual feed built into your machine.

All that remains to be done is to finish the binding at the top and sew down the straps. I will cut out another one so I can sew with the others. Maybe just make one in all one color to use up some yardage but I want a zipper on the next one. I think it will work just fine for some upcoming trips, one involving airplanes, if I do that. Pink or purple?? More cats?? Something I have been saving for who knows what? HMMMMM

Jun 6, 2009

Saturday check-in

I have been busy working on something for a friend who reads my blog so cannot show the output of those endeavors so I am afraid that there may not be much quilt-y content for this check-in post. Shown in Skyler "helping" me sew binding. Fortunately I only had one more seam to go when he jumped on the pile. I think he is at loose ends this morning and none of his toys are interesting him.

Binding, ugh! Boring but necessary to complete the job, right? I don't mind seaming it as much as the pressing part. The pink is for my Cheese and Cracker qilt shown in my last post. There is also 2 colors of blue here for the donation quilts from Joy. I took a better look at things and discovered that there are three tops to pin and three to be bound. I got lucky and had some binding already prepped that will work for one of them. I will press this mound of "spaghetti"after lunch and tackle binding those Wrap 'Em quilts to get them moved along. The group meets next week so no doubt there will be a few volunteers for the hand finishing part.

About the only other quilty thing I have done in the past week is a bit more on my Santa redwork block yesterday. I did prep the fabric base for the next "Be Attitudes" block, be respectful with a Father's Day theme. The motifs are all fused down and ready for machine applique. I was holding off on that part till I swapped out machines---need Eric the Red (my Viking 500) for the binding part anyway.

Here is what is next on the agenda-- those memory quilts I mentioned in my previous post. The bottom container in particular is taking up a big chunk of my space in the bedroom to the point where I have to stack my clothes hamper atop the whole mess. Surely the mama who saved her daughters' clothes for these quilts threw a few things out along the way but who knows what exactly awaits me? Guess I will find out soon enough and come up with a plan.

It has been a fairly quiet week. DJ is still trying to work the former kudzu patch to put in grass seed. It was quite hot early in the week so that old red dirt compacts and is hard to break up. It has been cloudy and a bit cooler with a small bit of rain the last two days so he was able to advance his efforts. Muddy but easier to plant. The poor guy can hardly keep up with the mowing though. My hosta plant is blooming with small purple flowers and the gardenia is beginning to flower. The angel's trumpets are out which means the tiger lilies and the Rose of Sharon bush will be coming out next. We have seen a baby rabbit hopping around outside on several occasions but no further appearance of the pair of geese and their 5 goslings that were running along the back part of the lot. Isn't nature grand?

Guess that's it for this post----hope you are having a wonderful weekend at your home.