Jun 28, 2013

Friday check-in

The quilting on the MOCK TRIP AROUND THE WORLD I showed Skyler laying on yesterday has been finished.  I topped off the evening my making and then sewing on the binding.  Hand finishing remains.  I had thought about trying to do it on the machine with the help of my new best friend for quilting, Mr. Glue Stick but I really do not have the right shade thread to match it.

Just three of us made the trip over to Ashville House Quilt Shop yesterday.  The weather forecast sounded as though it would be more problematic on Friday (today) so Jane asked if we could move it up.  That meant that a few of the gals could not make it---doctor's appointments, sick grandchild, etc.

The roads we take to get over there are all two lane and parts are fairly hilly, winding and climbing up and then coasting back down.  Not something you would want necessarily be traveling on. It was sprinkling just a bit but looked more north of where we were heading.  I offered to drive since it is, more than likely, my turn to do so. 

  Pat the owner said it was probably a good thing we had come on Thursday instead of the day prior as it was really hectic.  Beverly, Jane and I were the first to arrive.  It wasn't long before we had 3 pals from the Jacksonville Piecemaker's group come in. Then two friends from the Friendship Quilters walked in---not surprising really since Ashville is just north of there 20 some miles.  Not long after that another friend from Oxford walked in with another woman, I assume a fellow quilter. It was a bit like old home week, probably because of the 30% off sale.

I was looking for a neutral from my HO HO HO project a hair darker than what I will use in the blocks.  Actually I found one and the shop owner pointed out the one on the end which actually should work better than my secondary choice.  The two charm packs, the gorgeous black print and the tone on tone right next to it are all Kathy Schmitz "Round Robin" (Moda)    Go to Moda Fabrics, Round Robin and click on the green scissors to see the pdf file for the line.  No I don't know what I might do with it but I love the fabric and the folk arty feel of it.  Carol of Just Let Me Quilt had a cute Tammy bag done up using this which you can find HERE.  There was only about a yard left of the dark so I will need to be creative with it, when I am ready to play with it.

I did have some pictures to show you from Bama Belles the other day------we kind of broke up the meeting early around lunch time with everyone scattering to the 4 corners.  Pretty laid back day.   So in no particular order.

This was the finished needle roll that I was helping Bev with that last meeting.  It has the Bev touches of embellishments and of course, she embroidered her name on the machine.  The zipper barely shows up in there!   I also showed her a few basic hand embroidery stitches to get her started on another project.

This was Lois' recently completed top.  I think she said that this is called Merry Go Round Nine Patch.  The snowball fabrics were some of the Debbie Mumm challenge fabrics that I just passed out two weeks ago.  She plans to trim off those pointy edges.   The girls were preparing to pin it.

This is a sweet quilt that Aline turned in.

 And this was her "Tons of Black" Challenge Stack and Whack Fans

This is Donna's Chevron quilt that she has been working on.  It MAY get another border though.  She let me get a picture of it anyway though

And sew it goes----all the unsewing is done on the project I took apart so I think I will swap out machines and get started back on HO HO HO item(s)  figuring I have a month to get this done!  I'll get back to quilting those 8 quilts other quilts once the deadline stuff is done (3 are mine, 5 others in the group or friends of the group)

Jun 27, 2013

a little quilting

I got a little quilting done on this Mock Trip Around the World pro bono quilt yesterday. Top. was completed 11-27-12 and shown HERE. Year is half over and I still need to turn one in for credit at Friendship Quilters.  Before I got deep into the HO HO HO hope I thought it best to quilt one or two first and then hit the dedicated sewing as August 2nd will be here before I know it!

This morning I spread it out on the cutting/pressing table to see just how many zig zaggy, in the ditch lines I have to go.  It took Skyler less that a minute to see what I was doing and hop up there to rest on the quilt---on the pin side, no less!   Obviously giving it his kitty stamp of approval, in spite of the impediments to comfort.

I must say, the wastebasket does not normally sit atop the table.  The box fan has been to augment the cross ventilation and augment the a/c. When I am set up to quilt in here, there is very little room to get around the table and forward table.  The large blue tote of Christmas fabric, with HO HO HO stuff atop it that you see to the extreme right is scooted over from has become its usual spot to where the wastebasket sits.  A quilter does what a quilter must do to get the job done, right?

I will get this finished some time today but am going to the Ashville Quilt Shop with the quilting pals in about an hour.  I had hoped that the binding was already seamed but alas, it still needs stitching and pressing.  I could get started on the 2nd quilt I pulled and binding them both at the same time, I guess.  We'll see. 

And sew it goes----------

Jun 24, 2013

this and that---"Put Your Stamp On It" Blog Hop

First off, there is another blog hop happening on Wednesday the 26th which will run till the following Wednesday, July 3rd.  I am not participating this round but here is the schedule for the gals that will be.

Well, I can't find the schedule as I am trying to write this up.  Thearica of pigtales and quilts is the cheerleader but she says on her blog that she has been out of town.  If she is back home by now, she apparently has not had a chance to post the schedule.  I'll edit this area when I get the list.   I am curious to see how the group has interpreted the theme as the stamp was supposed to be about "You".


Wednesday, June 26

Life in the Scrapatch
Pig Tales and Quilts
The Thimblemouse
Just Let Me Quilt
Words & Stitches
In Stitches And Seams

Thursday, June 27

Life @ Ruffhaven 

Charlottes Creations
Feathered Nest Studio 
Moose Stash Quilting
Jane's Quilting

Friday, June 28
Robin's Fabric Nest
In The Sewing Basket
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
Just Quilt It
AnnieOak Designs
Buzzing and Bumbling
kris loves fabric
Cherry's Prairie Primitives
Hanging On By A Thread

Monday, July 1

Quilt Matters
Patchouli Moon
The Slow Quilter
A Loose Thread
Janes Fabrics and Quilts
Selina Quilts
Debby Kratovil Quilts
Dancing Thru Threads
Sew Many Yarns

Tuesday, July 2

Sew and Sow Farm  
Scraps of Life

Katie and Kwilts    
Em's Scrap Bag 

How ART you?
A Stitch in Time

Wednesday, July 3

More Stars in Comanche
Dachsies With Moxie

13 Woodhouse Road
Heikes quilt
Traveling Quilter

Jackie’s Art Quilts
What About Rheema?
From This to That
Sew We Quilt 


Moving on----

There has not been much sewing going on around here this past weekend but actually more like some re-designing, etc.  The need to make this trial block in some leftover fabric sort of proves my point from the "pattern post"  Would it kill you to say what size a block should finish???  The pattern came free with a kit so in a way, I got what I paid for, LOL.  Still it is irritating.

 Why did it matter to me??  Well, I am not crazy about piecing square in a square blocks like this.  I think it can be pieced another way what is far easier in the end and uses no more fabric for the end result.  I also think I can eliminate a few extra seams.  Therefore, I needed to know what size so I could draw MY idea in my quilting software.  BTW, the answer was 12 inch finished.  I cannot tell you what this is going to be (not that fabric though)  as it will be one of my entries in the HO HO HO blog hop.

And then there is this---
I started something and  I want to go a different way with it. Again, with the quilting software to see if my idea would work. I ran it by a couple of my quilting buddies---which one do you like?  Out came the seam ripper to un-sew.  I am going a different route but can selvage most of the pieces of fabric in a slightly different manner.    HO HO HO so this is the last you will see of this stuff for awhile though it looks like I caught a small hint. 

I am done with that and in fact, just finished pressing the pieces to get things ready to sew again.  I don't know if sewing is going to be happening today as we have had intermittent thunder and lightning.  The machine is unplugged for the immediate future.  I can cut though.

Of course, Skyler is no where to be seen since about 10:00 a.m.  First clap of thunder, wind or rain and he finds shelter under the bed.  No amount of coaxing will convince him to come out as the next wave comes calling.  It has mainly been sound and fury but only about a half inch of measurable rainfall, according to our gauge.  The cloud cover is keeping the temps down and we are getting by okay with box fans in the windows.  That's okay till the rain starts, I guess.

Tomorrow is Bama Belles day as well.  I think I am just going to take my embroidery as the girls had wanted me to show them how to do a simple outlining stitch.  We were going to do it last time but ran out of time.  Still, I have things to pack up and haul out to the car or park by the door to haul out, weather permitting. 

Our evening meal will take a bit of extra prep work.  I want to try a different meatball recipe for spaghetti and meatballs than what I normally use.  I had to make lunch today too when my original plan was to run out for a couple Arby's beef and cheddars since I had a coupon. Not going when it is pouring down rain!  I fixed chicken quesadillas instead---which was better, LOL.  With being meeting day tomorrow, I will not have to cook in the evening with leftovers available so that is a little consolation. 

The day is just getting away from me already!  And sew it goes-----

Jun 21, 2013

Patterns, pattern writing----my thoughts

Some background:
My friend Norma and I often chat on the weekends via instant messenger, her being way up there in BC and me down here in Alabama.   We surf, we share links of patterns, blogs, tutorials of things we might be interested in making--been doing this since 2006.  We have more ideas than time but it is fun to look and comment.  Sometimes Cher, Pat and Pam join in but primarily it is Norma and I who really get revved up about this project or that, filing it away in that "someday" file.  We tease each other about who is the instigator, which of us in the bad influence over the other.

Sometimes we actually settle on a pattern, pick out our fabric, set up a time and sew "together" over the miles, again with the help of IM and  "check your email".   Other times we work individually sewing during the week and send progress reports.  This recent purse pattern was one that she suggested, that she already owned.  She wanted to make it and I thought it was cute, a bit intriguing with the snap closure.  Who can't use another purse in your own choice of fabrics??  I got the pattern too, figuring she would join in at some point. 

Well, this time it evolved differently.  She wanted me ( or Pam) to go first as she was not understanding the pattern.  We both thought Pam should be the "guinea pig" as she makes a lot of purses and has a lot of general sewing background.  In the end I was the "test pilot" for this pattern.  I have a background in garment sewing, learning from my mom but when quilting came along, clothing, purses, craft projects, more or less, fell by the wayside.  Who has time for that when a pile of quilts await?? 

I am between blog hops and had a few days I could spare and decided to try out the pattern.  I found most of the fabric on my shelf, added a tad more of one since I only had a fat quarter and got started earlier in the week.  It did not take long to see why Norma wanted someone else (Pam or I) to try it first and give suggestions. What would you change or do differently??  There were a few things that had us both going " HUH?  I don't follow"--- her in the reading and me, in the follow through. This is all documented in recent posts.

Norma in reading my post commented---
"I really think pattern designers should be doing more testing before putting their patterns out on the market. In fact, there should be a "this pattern was tested on real live quilters" designation that pattern designers could earn if their patterns were indeed tested on people like us. This would definitely help in the decision on whether or not to buy the pattern. Are any pattern designers out there listening? Obvious things like how to treat directional fabric should be included in patterns-- I know when I was in home-ec in high school the patterns we were using to make clothing definitely included comments on how to deal with directional prints. I am thrilled you are my test pilot on this bag!"

Thought provoking, I thought.  Something like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval then?  Some emails flew back and forth.  Some points I am going to include here, actually.

Later she told me via chat---

"when we used to have horses, there was a saying that it cost the same to keep an ugly horse as it did to keep a pretty horse - and who wants an ugly head hanging over that barn door!  
Well something similar can be said for quilt patterns.  It costs the same to buy a well written quilt pattern as it does a poorly written pattern so why waste your money on a poorly written pattern!  The cost of fabric and other materials can not be dismissed these days.  If I am going to spend the money on the supplies to make a quilt, I as the quilter, want some assurances that the pattern is written to a certain standard.  Perhaps we need to start the FAB stamp of approval.  Atkinson getting 5 stars and others....."

Good points, my friend.  Honestly, I am not really picking on this particular set of designers.  Neither is Norma.  It is not the first time, or the last, that something is going to have me confused. No one wants to waste their time or their money on a "bad" product.   As I said, I am a quilter.  I understand quilting.  I am a student of quilting, not home dec and purse making.  I can do a passable job, I understand construction and what something should look like in the end.  It is a process, like a recipe, that depends on your doing the preceding steps correctly before you continue on to the next. 

For the sake of discussion and taking into account my sewing past experiences, what makes for a good pattern and why are some "bad" or seemingly incomplete? Is it just me having problems comprehending or it is them??  Probably a combination of both?

My theory:

1) Some design but cannot sew in a practical manner.   They are artists, not sewists, perhaps lacking the basic sewing skills that some of us learned at our mama's knee, in 4-H or high school home ec.  Some, I know, farm the actual making whatever it is out to someone else to do the grunt work. (Look at the magazine credits sometime or on the downloadable patterns---it is enlightening)   Then that person brings their own sewing skills into the process and makes it work.  They have a picture for the pattern jacket or the magazine article.

2)  Now we know that we are going to get a good pattern with Atkinson Designs. She would most deservedly get the Quilter Seal of Approval. We know that these were actually tested by real, live quilters.  We see them sewing on her blog.  Any pitfall has been addressed down to which direction to press the seams.  Thorough,well thought through and it shows.  I may not agree with how she does long sashing rows, but that is about the only thing I ever change. 

3) Some people are not pattern writers, technical writers.   I'm not but sometimes I have to try to write a hand out for the Belles.  It is far easier to DO something step by step than write down those steps.  You have to think out every blessed step, like a recipe. Leave out one sentence or assume that they know more than they do and you will have someone going "HUH? I don't follow".

Recently I walked Bev through the process of making a needle roll like mine, giving the girls a handout I had written. One of the girls was taking pictures and scribbling notes in the margins. Was it bad directions or her pictures will supplement the reading?  Don't know but she must have felt it was needed to cement the steps in her mind.  This leads into my next point. 

4) Lack of clear diagrams or graphics.  Which is the right or the wrong side of the fabric in that picture, for example.  A lot of it has to do with how I learn, how our brains are wired.  I daresay many of us are visual learners. Read, yes but pictures help--- what should it look like at this point.  Does it match what I am holding in my hands?  If it doesn't, then where did I go wrong?

5)  Looking at this a little further, where do we go when we need help, when we don't understand?

  • A local friend/quilter who we feel knows more than we do?  Uh, I am usually the person someone asks, not answers, LOL. The "go- to" gal. Of course, I don't know everything and it is possible that they might have the answer.   I miss having my mom close by and my dear friend Joy who left us a few years back.  These two are and were, respectively, MY go-to gals.
  • Reference books in my quilting library---I love you Quilter's Complete Guide. 
  • Maybe a magazine article on the subject if I can lay hands on it 
  • Oh yeah, the internet! Google any topic and you find PDF files.  You tube videos.   Sewing/quilting forums.  Feedback in blog comments.  In our case it was "every pilot needs a co-pilot" and she came up with some links to bail me out for that final step.
  • Mostly though, think about how spoiled we are by quilting tutorials!  Less head scratching. BUT how do traditionally written paper patterns that fold into those plastic envelopes compete with that and NOT end up being a book instead??  Bless those who share and are only a click away.
  • email the designer--most have a website and a "contact us" means or an email listed on the pattern.

I guess what it all boils down to, it is not WHAT you know or share but how well you can communicate it.   It may make perfect sense in your brain but will it be understandable to someone else?  As a pattern user, we each bring our own skill set to any task we undertake.  We each have a certain level of confidence or discomfiture in undertaking new things.  In that case there is bound to be a little stumble along the way, some frustrations and "I am not following this".  Perception becomes one's version of reality and it colors our execution of the task at hand.

OR that is what I think and to quote my friend, a lefthanded quilter "But then again, it’s probably just me."   See if anyone reads this or agrees with my theories.   

Jun 20, 2013

Snap Happier and accessories

I spent a good part of Wednesday sewing accessories to go with my new Snap Happier purse.  Of course, I have pictures to share! Lots of them, LOL.   I thought was done last evening but by 8:30 this morning I had whipped up a Wonder Wallet, just in case something else I tried does not work out as I hope.  Before I put the fabric up, I thought "why not?"

The overview, glamour shot.  Left upper, Wonder Wallet.  Left lower, banking envelope rendered in cloth.  Center zip bag.  Right upper, Koin Keeper wallet from This & That.  Purse:  Snap Happier purse  (pattern also has a larger tote version)  At center, a zipped pouch that finished at about 6 inches square.   Would you believe me if I told you that I used up practically the all the cute Michael Miller "Michelle Meow" fabric?  Just scraps left.

I started off yesterday morning thinking zipped pouch.  After all, I had picked up two pink 7 inch zippers along with the longer tan one used to make an interior zipped pocket for the purse.  Might as well, right?   This way I could re-purpose the "wrong" bag exterior too.

I didn't have directions, flying by the seat of my pants.  However, something must have stuck with me from all those Atkinson Designs tagalong totes I have made or maybe it was how you do the zippers in a Lazy Girl Design purse.  Who knows?    Basically I knew what it should look like when it was done----the teeth of the zipper tape encased in the main fabric and lining.  I over cut the lining and the old bag bits were backed with fusible fleece. 

Trimmed down and ready to apply the backing.

 All finished!

Next, I was going to move on to a wallet of some sort, thinking the Koin Keeper and/or Wonder Wallet.  Then it came to me.  Bank envelope!  DJ always gives me cash for the groceries and in a bank envelope.  How about one in cloth??  Two layers of fabric right sides together.  Might work----do it like faced appliqued shapes?

Stitching around my template  er, bank envelope opened up

 Turned, loaded---one end has velcro and the other is partially fused with stitch witchery.  Coins go in that flap behind the currency.  My guess is that your bank uses roughly the same thing in your drive up area??

But I also added a little velcro bit to the folded edge so the same velcro loop would close the deal if it were folded.  My plan is to try it and see how it works for the grocery monies.

Then I moved on to pocket tissue holders.  This will sound gross but who has not been caught in a public restroom that has no toilet paper, someone stole it or there is inattentive staff.   Carrying this is a must!

I messed up the first attempt---tab too short, cats upside down, trimmed off too much, didn't need to double seam the side seams----well, take my word for it just wrong.  This was much better!  Hooray for Google for finding the inspiration for this one.  Love the trim and button idea.  Inspiration site:  http://mmmcrafts.blogspot.com/2008/06/make-kleenex-holder.html

After supper,  I moved on to the Koin Keeper wallet.  I have not made one of these before so it was slow going but I like the end result.  Three card pockets on the left though that top one is blending in with the background fabric.  There is a zipped pocket for coins on the right plus those sections were sort of free floating so it forms a pocket behind them.  I would NOT try to top stitch those edges though---rough sledding though I had switched to my older Singer as it handles more layers better.  (Brother gets pissy about just 4 layers sometimes).

All closed up

My only gripe would be that they tell you to stop and start at an inopportune spot.   It made getting the seam allowances tucked back in a little more difficult.  My new best friend, Mr. Glue Stick, to the rescue till I could seam it.  I used that thing a lot on all this recent sewing, that and the Frixion pen.  

Which brings up to this morning----Wonder Wallet and sewing before I even had breakfast!  I have made quite a few of these in the recent past, like ones to match each of my Tagalong totes and the Carol's convertible.  Still, it is like a review each time.  I interface all the pieces but trim cut the folded sections at least 1/4 inch all around using the folded pocket measurement.  The pattern says just the cover piece and even then optionally.  It gives the pockets a bit more body.  Pam got me started on that

Interior, it lays flat, trust me!

Folded up, exterior   (I had to seam the fabric to get this squeezed out.)

Pam also got me started with adding a bit of elastic to what will be come the top flap.  With as much wear as these things get Velcro would wear out though I could add a pretty button or a flower if I want!  I might, I might not, LOL.

So there you have it----I am done with this little endeavor and ready to move into my summery purse.  I think I will take the rest of the day off some sewing, clean out the machines before I get ready for the next project, put away any fusibles and fabrics.  Most importantly, vacuum up the floor in here!  I have picked up the biggest messes and thread nests already as I worked.   I have cat who will eat string in a heartbeat!  

Next up, my projects for HO HO HO blog hop.  Carol our head cheerleader gave us a tenative schedule and I'm up on August 2nd.  That will be here before you know it!   THX for stopping by!

Jun 18, 2013

Final Day Tammy Bag Blog Hop---EDITED with S.H. bag notes

Today's blog hop participants---last day of the cute Tammy bags.  Meanwhile I am working on a different bag and accessories.  I'll post more on that later, today or tomorrow, as I have some links to share and some more insight into my project, thank to my co-pilot Norma.  Think of it as an adjunct to yesterday's post, LOL.  Round 2.  Hey you might as well learn from my mistakes, right?

June 18th (Tuesday)
Our fearless leader,  Mdm Samm

 Thursday June 20th    updating to reduce a following picture heavy post

Here are some pictures of how things stand with the bag early Tuesday morning---before the re-do of the exterior of the Scrap Happier bag.   As my friend, the Left Handed Quilter commented to me, she just knew I would not leave it like it was.  She was right!

This is the lining of the bag using the pocket as indicated in the pattern.  Only they told you to cut it from the exterior fabric NOT the contrasting lining.  That confused me a bit----was there supposed to be an exterior pocket all long?   It needs one!~  OR I was supposed to use the contrasting fabric to make this interior fabric.  The grouping on the cutting instructions did not make it clear, at least not to me.  Snap hook added to corral my keys--my idea.

 Next step I did was to add a zipper pocket.  I said in my last post that I was considering it and the instructions from my Carol's Convertible Tote worked perfectly for this.  That one has both an interior pocket, shorter one and an exterior one.   One of the pictures down below will show what this looks like from the back side.   The messed up exterior gave me an idea of just how much room I had to spare in squaring up the bag bottom.  I knew it would work with about an inch or two to spare.

 And as I said, this is what it should sort of look like but I fixed the snafu with the directional print.  I would go on to deal with the casing and measuring tape later in the day. 

Okay, you can see the pocket deal leaning up against the wall.  I was supposed to cut this all in one long piece and just fold it up.  That was fine but I had a directional print.  I split the yardage and added a quarter inch to each half and seamed it to get back to the length as instructed in the pattern. Since I was re-doing it and could, I also added an exterior pocket. No, not the one I initially cut and didn't use.  Instead I fussy cut it, matching up where I wanted it to land with the fabric that plaid and cat figures.  I am not sure how well the pictures shows it though seeing as I sort of camouflaged it, LOL.

 I also had to take apart the metal carpenters tape measure. to get at the tape.  DJ was scared that I would cut myself, put my eye out or be otherwise injured when this unrolled itself.  Stand back as when it starts to unroll, it does go flying.  My friend Pat said her friend uses metal aluminum blind slats so those might be less dangerous.  My co-pilot Norma were chatting about this on Monday evening and being the helpful, supportive friend that she is found a link about this.  I could not figure out what you held on to if the tape was still rolled in the container.  http://justanotherhangup.blogspot.ca/2012/01/snappy-bag-tutorial.html     It stays on the reel but you ditch the case!   DUH. 

Pretty cute ruffled clutch bag that I might try a little later, in that post??

The pattern said to cut 4 pieces of measuring table and the length varied if you were making the purse or the larger tote.  Okay, I got that but then proceeded to confuse me by saying you might only one or two and the wider expanses would need more.  Why would I cut 4 if possibly another number was right???  

 Of course, on my first attempt with two layers it would not work.  MOSTLY BECAUSE THE NUMBERS WERE SUPPOSED TO FACE THE INTERIOR OF THE BAG-----OOOPS!   This picture is WRONG----If I could draw a big 'ol red circle with a line on it, I would.   It would have worked if I turned the tape OVER.

Below is the RIGHT WAY 

However, I think it would have been a whole lot easier to have just planned for a opening in the side seam of the casing than try to un-sew it after the fact.  I am far sighted now and I can't see as well to rip those small stitches out plus I had zig zagged the seam to reinforce it.  UGH.   I am not crazy about how they had us to the cuff thing in the first place.  The stitching on the interior did not line up as well I would have liked and rambles all over the interior  I would re-think that!

Another helpful link that Norma found was this one http://sewforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=128919   If you scroll down a bit from there she has prepared her notes in a downloadable pdf file.  It fleshed out what the pattern was NOT telling me, or more specifically.

Another helpful link that Norma found was this one http://sewforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=128919   If you scroll down a bit from there she has prepared her notes in a downloadable pdf file.  It fleshed out what the pattern was NOT telling me, or more specifically.

BUT Boy Howdy, does this thing snap now!  You better grab what you need in there quick as it will start closing up on you.   Maybe once it is loaded it won't be quite so peppy???

Next notes will be mainly about the accessories I made to do with this bag and the glamour shots.  Stay tuned!

Jun 17, 2013

a little creativity this past weekend

Finish up with one hat and start another though a slightly different style to use up the rest of the skein.

Actually this morning I am sort of in a holding pattern.  I had run an errand on Saturday and once I loaded the car with the grocery items, the car would not start, just groaned a bit.  Battery light came on, etc.  I called DJ to come get me and give him time to see what to do next.  Of course, it is Saturday, the garage we use is closed.  I told the store manager that the car might have to set a bit.  At least it was out of the way of the prime parking spots at the side of the building.

We stopped to see if our neighbor Robert had any jumper cables.  He and Robert went back in Robert's truck, jumped it and DJ went off to Auto Zone with the now running vehicle, looking to replace the approximately 5 year old battery.  They plug it in---battery is fine and so is the alternator/generator (whatever the other part of the electrical system things is)  Odd?  It took a jump to get it there.  DJ drives it home.   No go.  He puts it on the charger, no go again.  Yesterday he buys some jumper cables so we won't have to pester the neighbor again.  He tries to jump it this morning so we can get it into the garage.  No go again.  The garage is sending out the tow truck.  Consensus theory with DJ, Robert and Robbie, Robert's son and across the lane neighbor is that it "sounds like the starter/solenoid."

Long story short---I don't want to get started with something and then have to leave to drive in with DJ.  So far we have been waiting about 90 minutes for the tow truck to come.  We just DID get the windshield washer mechanism fixed last week to the tune of 160 bucks not counting what he had invested in it trying to fix it ourselves.  He doesn't think the two things are connected.  Neither do I but an odd coincidence.  SIGH  Thank heavens, we have more than one car on days like this.

This is as far as I have gotten with the Snap  Happier purse.  I could be further along but I was distracted.  The green pin dot (left from the Spool Flowers project) is my lining.  At this point I need to box up the sides of it to match the cat exterior.  The green stripe is actually folded over and I THINK it goes over the cat exterior to form the casing there.  The handles pull up from inside the bag.  Then I am to cut lengths of the measuring tape to insert some how.  I am not understanding the directions on the first three instruction readings.  That is not unusual though as it normally takes me going through it sentence by sentence to follow just what I need to do.

I have already discovered TWO things.  My cat fabric is directional.  I should not have cut one long piece and folded it up for the exterior body of the purse.  It looks fine from this side but the poor kitties are upside down on the back.  I should have halved the length and added a quarter inch in length to both halves for seam allowance to seam the fabric to ensure that they were upright.  I did not have enough fusible fleece to start over and this is the prototype anyway.

The 2nd thing----either I did something wrong or I just hate the way they said to do the handles.  I tried it---too many seams required, who needs the padding anyway. I figured out how wide I need to cut them to sew them like I do the tabs on my Button Ups, only so they finish at about 1 inch in width ( 3 1/2 inches as it turns out)

Oh, one more thing-----I think it needed some exterior pockets.  I am used to digging my cell phone and sunglasses/readers out of an exterior pockets but it is too late for that.  It could also use another pocket on the interior.  Actually it is not too late to do that plus I could add a flap to the top of it even since the sides are not seamed yet.  For the checkbook, comb and extra pens, maybe?  Yep, that's what I am going to do.   Make it a little narrow in height maybe and add the flap at approximately the same distance from the top edge.  It was my idea to add the key fob thingie--- easy to track down the keys when they fall to the bottom of the purse,  just reel it in.  I put one in my version of Carol's Convertible Purse and love it!  That is also why I used the exterior color rather than the stripe or green dot so I can spot it right away!

Then I will still be puzzling about the measuring tape or emailing the designer---again.  It calls for an inch tape and I could only find a 3/4 inch one so I had asked where I should make the adjustments for the casing----divide the distance for the seaming lines or cut it smaller to start with.  I was told to divide the difference. 

I will want to make one or two wonder wallets to go with or possibly try a new to me pattern that I had misplaced for some time This & That Koin Keeper  .  (It was hiding out with another purse I have wanted to do for far longer.)  I will have to get a zipper for that one though but I would still like to try the pattern at some point.  Normally I have two wallets, one for MY money and one for the grocery/household fund money.  It helps if they look different when I am digging around in the purse, LOL.  My friend Pam got me started on that idea! 

And sew it goes-----Norma wanted me to be the pattern tester before she tried it so just doing my "job".  Meanwhile go see what the day 4 Tammy Bag ladies came up with.  Links in the previous post. 

Day 4 Tammy Bag Blog Hop

Here is today's list of participants, with an addition from the list I intially posted, turns out.  Remember, you can always check the overview on the Pinterest page as well .

June 17th (Monday)
Cherry      oops, she is on for tomorrow instead of today

Jun 15, 2013

Quilts and new projects

 I promised you pictures from our recent quilt meeting and I DO have them. This is what I cut out last night for a new summer purse.  Yeah, doesn't look like much now, does it.  It is destined to be a Scrap Happier small purse (scroll to the bottom) that will require me to cut up a metal carpenters power tape.  This is the pattern that Norma wanted me to try-----first!   When I was talking about this at group the other day, Pat said she has a friend who does something like this but uses old aluminum slat venetian blinds.  Sounds like that would work too!

I have to take the pressing board off the table to get at the cutting surface below it.  Obviously I did NOT press this and maybe should have.  I hate to iron in the first place and the room had finally cooled off that I was not wanting to stand over a steamy iron.  That's today with adhering interfacing and fusible fleece. Of course,  I should be sewing on something else entirely or even machine quilting but I am going to play this weekend. Then I can get busy on the" I SHOULD's" What's another day or two when it has waited this long!


We had a good meeting on Tuesday.  Several of the girls had their machines fired up.  Some were pinning , some doing hand work.  A couple were busy cutting.  Teresa for example was getting 9 yards of black tamed into manageable chunks as she is going to try a "Night and Day" quilt for one of her kids for Christmas.  It was easier to do at the church than at home.  I was walking Bev through the process of making her version of the needle roll and showing the others as we went.  Instead of the grosgrain ribbon I had suggested and some couldn't find they were making self ties which worked out just as well.  Valera was doing hand work but taking some photos as Bev went along to go with the words I had typed up.  Between us I guess we had a tutorial!  

My other "job" was to get some pictures taken for quilt documentation purposes.  Ellen the head of Wrap Them in Love uses the images on the gallery pages but lets us donate our quilts locally but I have to keep up the "which went where" and send her a disk.

When Jane and I got from a quick lunch run, Shawnee was at the meeting site to share her batik "Trash to Treasures" pineapple log cabin.  I am not sure if Gyleen X. Fitzgerald was at the Lick Skillet Guild for a program or they had someone else present the class using her source material but they did have a class/workshop on this.  Shawnee's daughter is getting married next month and this is her wedding quilt.

Lois had 12 quilts to turn in and in some cases you may think you are seeing double--- or triple even.  First two Pineapple Blossom.  (Quiltville pattern using squares flipped back to make the hst's---see her website.  The original pattern is Trudie Hughes if you make 2 more rounds and sew conventionally.  Flying Geese in the Cabin from More Template-Free Quiltmaking)

 The next three are "Road to Ireland" from M'liss Rae Hawley's Fat Quarter Quilts.  There is a similar block in Quilter's Cache called Mock Logs but which came first? who knows?  This started off life as a larger quilt.  Her mom saw it, liked the pattern and Lois made her one in her preferred colors.  The original became three donation quilts.  One without borders, two with different colored borders.  I probably should have taken pictures of the backs as she had a large flower shape quilted into one of them while another had embroidered blocks----a cool motif which alternated with Sunbonnet Sues.  I don't think it will show necessarily from the top or the re-sized pictures.

Snowballs and Scrappy Nine patches on this one

She couldn't tell me much about this one other than she had seen the pattern in a magazine.  I think I just called it "Snowball wanna-be's, double sashed"  on the document.  She said that the blue was curtain fabric someone had given her.

 Scrappy Twister

 This one is a GE Designs quilt and one of the more recent additions to the Strip quilt line----Strip Stacks.  Lois went scrappy instead of jelly roll though.  I should tell you too, that I got this one upside down when I hung it.   She worked hard to get those birds in the border flying in an upright position and then I didn't pay attention to where the label was when I hung it.  LOL.  My arms were tired from hanging these above my head and I have a sore left elbow area  (pulled muscle??)  for a week or so now.  I didn't bother to reverse it once the picture was taken.

 BQ 1  Maple Island Quilts

 I'll mess up the name on this one as I often do but I think it is 4 patch zig zag from Quilter's World.  I love the pink background!

This is a vestibule or evening star variation.  Probably called Scrappy 4 Patches and Stars or some such thing.  I did know the pattern source at one time.  Book or magazine, LOL. 

Bev had three quilts to turn in but I think she took them home with her to finish the labels and clip threads.  Next time. 

Hope you enjoyed the mini quilt show------now I am off to sew!

Jun 14, 2013

Day 3 Tammy Bag Blog Hop

 First off, Happy Birthday to my mom, the Flag Day Birthday girl.  We've got them out at my house, LOL.

Second, thanks to all you who dropped by yesterday and shared comments or just came by to look!   Appreciate the time you spent with me.

Won't you please stop and see what today's ladies did with the Tammy Bag pattern?  

June 14th (Friday)

Jan (another person, same name as above)

Third,  I'll post those promised quilt meeting pictures later in the day if I have a chance.  If not then, on Saturday.

Jun 12, 2013

Day 2 Tammy Bag Blog Hop---my day!

It is my day to share what I have been working on recently!  Mdm Samm of sew we quilt graciously provided the group of 50 signer-uppers with a pattern of her own design.  Here is what she said about the inspiration behind the design. 

 "I called it the Tammy after watching some old movies with Sandra Dee and Debbie Reynolds playing the role of Tammy.   In the 50's gingham was in its popularity as a fabric that screamed SUMMER.  And you know how much I have a love affair with Riley Blake Designs GINGHAM   ohhhh they will be our sponsors...."   Later she announced that Corrado Cutlery will also sponsor, adding DOVO scissors to the giveaway opportunity.

So there is the story, in part, about the name and her fabric choices.  Isn't that a lovely picture?  She also spoke about making one in aqua colors to match her powder room and using laminate fabric for a cosmetic bag.  Also a great idea.  No doubt the blog hop participants will have some other great ideas beyond fabric choices!   Today's participants are listed down below and the whole list in a prior list.  Want the pattern but no participating this round?  She does offer the pattern on her craftsy site if you to make your own.

Me?  I went with a small project bag as Mdm Samm first suggested.  I grabbed a table cloth from my buffet and headed into the local park to borrow a picnic table and attempt to get some outdoor shots.

front of the bag showing the scissors pockets

back of the bag showing the thread pockets 

bag packed with the accessories I made

contents !

First, I must thank my friend Bev for the little kanzashi flower and the happy face button.  It might look a little silly on Hoffman fabric but I think it adds a touch of whimsy---it makes ME smile!   She was so kind to let me borrow her Clover flower makers recently so I could decide if I wanted to order my own---and which ones.

As you can see I made a matching needle case and thread catcher.  I also made a Victorian thumb cushion and a tomato pin cushion packed with rosemary using a pattern I have had for umpteen years from Just Jennifer.  I don't know how well the rosy pink fabric shows up in the pictures but it is small tone on tone dot from Lakeside Fabrics, as I recall.  I have to admit that I annihilated an existing pincushion to get the rosemary from it though.

 FYI, my friend Brenda made the hexagon flower that I still need to stitch down. It was left over from a large Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt she had made.  I had talked to her about my wanting to make just one rosette for a Farmer's Wife Sampler I started last year.  I didn't know what size hexie to start with to fit on a 6 inch finished background. She just handed me this one---with those little plastic pieces with the hole in the middle?   Who makes those, do you know??   Don't take them out till you stitch it all down, she said!  I think it will make a lovely addition to my quilt and I thank her as well. 

I enjoyed making the bag though I must say that adding a clasp like this was an all new experience!  I have made garments and I have quilted since 1988 but crafty items and purses, not so much.  My mom has always been my "go-to" gal for sewing questions. Running up nearly 700 miles to have her look at something I do/did not understand is not possible.  Carol of Just Let Me Quilt and cheerleader extraordinaire had to talk me down, via email recently.  LOL

I will admit to having some troubles with the corners where the stitching holes seemed to be smaller in the rectangular frame.  However, this was totally operator error, not the pattern.  I was stuffing things up with a knitting needle and even resorted to a dab of hot glue (shhhhh!  I don't think that was quite what I should have been doing!)   In retrospect, I think I probably should have gotten the fusible fleece OUT of the seam allowances to reduce some of the bulk, cut it a quarter inch smaller all around then then I would not have had a double layer to shove up in that slot.  I did cut some of it away in the open area where you turn the bag inside out and the stitching seemed to go a little easier.   I also learned a bit on the first side I stitched. 

I mentioned in a previous post that I had an anecdote to share about staging the photos.  As I said, I was at our local park so definitely a public area.  I was playing with this camera setting and that all around the dial, standing up, sitting down, posing Tammy at another angle. The nearby BMX bike racing area and the basketball court were hopping but no one around me in the pavilion.  Then along the walking trail that passes in front of the pavilion came a girl who looked to be her teens along with two little girls maybe about 6 and 8, possibly her sisters.   "OOOH, that's really pretty", the oldest one said.  "Is that for sale?"  I thanked her but told her " no, it is a sewing bag for me. I need to add some pictures to my blog"  Then one of the little girls, pushing her bike and walking behind the other two said  "that's pretty!  Can I have it?" and she picks it up. Acts like she IS taking it or at least inspecting it more closely.  I told her it probably would make a pretty purse but I was sorry, no, honey.   The oldest girl said that the one who grabbed it "just loves purses".   Maybe that blue flower and button caught her eye too??    You could fasten a chain, maybe a tiny swivel hook on the top of the frame, could you not?

Well enough about me!  Won't you please hop over and see what the others who share the day made with their pattern and show them some bloggy love?  THX for stopping by--------

Linda J   <<<<That's ME>>>>