Finished Projects · UFO

Full Production

I am starting to suspect that January and February are my most productive season. Either that or I’m starting to actually hit that “slowing down” period of life I’m always talking about!

Baby quilt top is finished!! The bearded man block turned out better than expected. I’m glad I changed it! I ordered the backing for the quilt online. This will be my first attempt to quilt with minky … we’ll see how that goes!! We’ll also see how it holds up as a child’s blanket. I know it won’t keep that soft furry feel forever, but I don’t know how well it wears. Baby quilts are perfect guinea pig quilts, in my opinion. Hopefully the parents allow the children to use that quilt to death, which in turn allows me to see how durable certain fabrics or quilting techniques are.

I’ve also FINALLY started quilting my Tula quilt!!! The plan is to quilt all the sashing and border, then bind it, then work on quilting each square. I figure I can pick one row per month as a starting goal and see how far I get. My UFO commitment is to get one quilt half-quilted. I’m really hoping that it will be the Tula quilt (to date, I’m almost finished the horizontal sashing quilting), but I will switch gears as soon as that backing shows up in the mail. That baby is coming early March, which could mean mid-late February if it’s early. Priorities people!

I also have another priority for February, but at may wait until my vacation at the end of that month. And I won’t be talking about it right away because IT’S A SECRET PROJECT! Maybe that will be my week for re-visiting the sewing room and some of the changes I’ve made?

~M

Non-Quilt Projects · Quilt Designs · UFO

Warp Speed Baby Quilt

I don’t know what lit the fire under me … but I like it!

First up – the curtains. They … did not go according to plan. For future reference, if you ever ask someone to make sheers for you and they charge you handsomely for it, PAY THE MONEY. These things are beyond terrible to work with!!At this point, you can see I have two different lengths and I’m not entirely convinced the hem is straight. I’m sick to death of trying to get them right and I only have 2 more panels to get it right with, so this project is on hold. What I have for now is good enough … especially since we are back in lockdown here in Ontario!! No one is going to see them because no one is supposed to be in my house. They obscure the view from the back yard, so they are fulfilling the required purpose. I am DONE with them for now!

Wonky curtains

With that little nightmare fading behind me, I switched focus to the baby quilt. Again … lockdown, so am I ever glad I already bought the items I needed to work on this!!!! I will probably need to acquire a backing soon, but I can procrastinate on that for a few weeks.

Block 1: the dog block

This is the original pattern by Kelli Fannin created for Riley Blake Designs to go with the Fisher Price fabric they released. I’m not taking too many liberties with this pattern, but I think the dog block can do with some tweaking, don’t you?

There! That looks much better! 😀 Since this quilt is staying in the family, I feel that I can take a could make it look a little more personal without causing any confusion. I’m also planning on altering the bald man (column 2, row 2). Baby’s father (my brother) likes to keep a hair-free dome coupled with a big bushy beard! I haven’t looked at that block yet, but if I can modify it to look more like family … then yay!! Baby’s mother already looks somewhat like the blonde bob-hair lady (column 1, row 1), so the man block should be the only other change I need to make. I’m super excited to flex my design muscles a little bit!!

Completed so far

My UFO class goal for Jan 16 was to have all the fabrics picked out and the dog block done. Since I’m already well past that part, who wants to take bets on how far I can get in another week? Maybe … even … a whole quilt top?? I’m not committing to that, but … wouldn’t that be amazing???

~M

Binding · Finished Projects · UFO

Moar Powarrrrrr!

Well … The miracle actually happened.

As of last week, it’s finished! From top to bottom, start to finish, DONE! I can’t believe it myself! There is a teeny tiny amount to do left – weave in the thread ends and attach the label – but I’m counting this quilt as a 2021 finish!

After the previous week’s blitz, I only had the Tree of Life block to do. As we all know, that’s a special block for me, so I did a little extra quilting on it. Do you see the little leaves? I got very excited about that part. In fact, I’m still excited about it! I think it’s a perfect way to finish the block quilting portion of this quilt.

Up next was the sashing. I actually had several ideas about the sashing as I was working on it and had settled on fake cursive or waves. I thought waves would be more fitting, but would take longer. After I finished all the blocks and spread it on the bed to roll it, I realized that the quilting looked very busy because each block had completely different quilting designs. I thought that making the sashing busy too may detract from the blocks, so at the last second I decided to go with a simple X pattern on each strip. I used chalk and a ruler to mark the lines, then free-motion stitched the lines. I learned a couple of lessons about this design. First – I like it for sampler quilts! Very simple and clean looking. Second – 16” blocks are too big to quilt that design with a ruler. The first row didn’t look super straight and I got a similar look using the free-motion foot instead. Plus less cumbersome with no ruler and it went faster. Third – If I want those lines to look super straight and crisp in the future, I can only use the ruler on smaller focal blocks. I wanted to use it on the Amish Barns quilt when I finished it, but we’ll have to see. It may be easier to do the larger blocks if I’m only quilting a lap size. Fighting a queen size quilt through the machine while sewing with a ruler is hard!

With the sashing finished, all I had left was the outer border! This one I had picked out from the moment the quilt was finished and I stuck with it. I used the Taj ruler to put a simple design around the border. It will keep everything stitched down, it didn’t take too much time, and it looks neat and clean. Win win win!

Time to put away the quilting feet and rulers!! Whooo!!! Of course, we’re not quite finished, but OH SO CLOSE. First to trim the quilt. I took this opportunity to also measure the quilt dimensions at this point. When I pulled out the binding the night before, I was terrified that I didn’t have enough fabric to do the binding! Measuring the quilt first told me that I had more than enough to get it on. I may even have a fat eighth left over. And when I got the binding on, I cut off a spare 3 inches. How is that for perfect measurement!!

Binding was finished the night before UFO club. I tossed the quilt on the spare bed, took a picture, and sent everything off for my completion check-mark. I’m planning on weaving in the ends and putting on the label when I’m in Sudbury for a few days in November (more on that another day). My FIL may be dropping in this week, though, so I need to find a good place to hide it in the meantime!!

~M

Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) · Quilt Designs · UFO

Ahead Of Schedule!

Sometimes I surprise myself at how much I can get done! I have expectations that X project will take so long, but if I really get in the zone, it feels like I can cut the time in half! Not really, but … it feels that way!

My original UFO class goal was 6 blocks this month, 6 blocks next month, bound and ready for Christmas. I’m on track to have all 12 blocks done by the end of this week! And if I manage that, why not just have the quilt bound and finished so I can move on to other things?

The last few quilt blocks are relatively simple. Inspiration hits different ways I guess. I did try a modified version of the feather. It works okay, but not nice enough that I would try again. I’ll save it for focal quilting in blank spaces.

I did run into one snag while quilting the birds-in-the-air block. I guess I had a piece of scrap on the table that stuck to the back, then got quilted in!! This gave me a chance to use the duckbill scissors that my mum gave me for my birthday this year. I cut the fabric close to the seam, then shredded the fabric and pulled it out. It worked like a charm and I didn’t have to rip out any quilting! Whoop!!

The label is finished (but not printed), the sashing quilting has been figured out, and the binding is picked out. Can I get the whole quilt finished before my UFO class??? Probably not, but that would be nothing short of miraculous!

~M

Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) · Quilt Designs · UFO

Better Some Than None

I have been so uninspired to work on my Christmas Fig quilt that I had to make it my UFO homework just to get it started. To be fair, there have been other more fun projects waving at me for distractions. Such as …

Sewing strips

A bargello quilt!!! I got this jello role bundle from Troll Brothers this summer specifically to make a bargello quilt. I wanted something I didn’t need to spend a lot of time coordinating together and this fabric is so cute! I’ll explain more about how bargellos work in the future, but basically you sew all these strips together lengthwise, then sew the last and first strip together to make it a tube, then cut the tube different widths to make the bargello pattern. Since this will make a fairly small panel, I got some coordinating fabric to use for borders/binding, so I should get at least a lap size out of it!

Retreat video on the sewing machine

But enough about distractions (or, at least, enough on that for today). This weekend was Crazy Quilter’s Zoom retreat, so I thought it best to get started on my UFO goal before I’m forced to cough up money. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a bit of incentive!

Quilting Ideas from July

My goal for the month of September was to get 2 blocks (out of 20 total) quilted. As per usual, I started at the center of the quilt as I find that to be the most challenging part to do. The first block, despite now looking easy, took forever!! I had my handy-dandy quilt design chart pinned up to my easel design board to help, but I wanted to try a couple of modifications to the bow-tie block to see if I could get a different pattern quilted in. Each attempt was a failure, so after ripping out 2 rows, I just stuck to the stitch-in-the-ditch idea I had originally sketched. While I do intend to do quite a bit of stitch in the ditch, I have some original design ideas as well. And for at least one of the blocks so far, I barely followed my original sketch and came up with a quilting look that I LOVE! That seems to be the way for me. I just have to get started, then the ideas will begin to flow. 🙂

All in all, I managed to get 5 blocks done this weekend. I was hoping for at least 6, but when I stopped to make supper I came into the kitchen to discover Chaos reigned supreme! Husband cannot be trusted to entertain himself, apparently. Trouble ensues whenever I do that. By the time dinner was made and a sense of order had been restored, my only thought was movie night on the couch. At least I got a sweet reward for my pain … and 5 blocks really is better than no blocks at all!

The sweet (and VERY sticky) reward!

~M

Block-of-the-Month · Quilt Designs · UFO

Regressing To Crawling

Well, how else should one baste a quilt in a new house??

I’m still short a table (Husband is working on other projects and I hate to distract him just to dig out a table), so the best option for basting the Christmas Fig quilt was to lay it out on the floor and roll around with pins. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, doesn’t it? Surprisingly, it went very well! I wasn’t even sore from bending over like I usually am when I baste. My legs, on the other hand, complained loudly (I tend to sit cross-legged). Still, I took the odd break to stretch out and made it through. It helped that the Crazy Quilter Zoom retreat was this weekend! It made the job easier by being a distraction. 🙂

Zoomin’ and bastin’

The only issue I had was the batting. I bought batting months ago for this project and had it sitting on the shelf for usage. After finishing all the piecing, I carted everything downstairs in a laundry basket, laid out my backing, and opened up the batting … only to remember that I cut out the Brothers Bear baby quilt batting from this piece. I might have enough to proceed, but it would be very close and require a lot of cutting and piecing of the batting. Since the stores are open again, it was much simpler to just run over to Fabricland and buy batting. I need more and why not start rebuilding my supply? Plus – the Pellon 93% cotton batting I usually use was on super sale! Time to load up for the next few quilts! We won’t talk about the fabric that also made its way into the basket …

My father-in-law is spending a few days at our house during the week to give Husband a hand with his projects, so the quilting will not commence until the weekend. I am very excited to get going on it, though!! The first two blocks under the needle are the purple squares and the blue bow tie blocks in the dead centre of the quilt. I once again utilized my iPad to sketch out my quilting patterns. We’ll see how many squares turn out the way I sketch them. Sometimes I get inspired mid-quilt. 🙂

~M

Non-Quilt Projects · Quilt Designs · UFO

Summer Projects

Now that the stores have finally re-opened, I’ve been running around collecting fabrics and assorted goods. Let’s take a look at what the summer holds!

1. Christmas Fig

I got fabric to finish this quilt!!! Finally!
However … they did not have any of the same colour left available (surprising that such an ugly colour was that popular, but it is what it is). I was concerned that would be an issue, so instead of just bringing along a sample of the background fabric, I brought an orphan block made up of little fabric pieces from the quilt. Orphan blocks are blocks that go unused or scraps that are put together to form a one-off block that aren’t used in the quilt. I’m starting to amass a collection of orphan blocks for a scrap quilt down the road. 🙂 Using the orphan block, I pulled a fabric colour that I think looks very well with the quilt! It makes the ugly background look nice and adds a cohesive look to all the fabrics. I’m glad they ran out! This quilt looks even nicer than I imagined! I managed to get a trip down to the Fibre Chick to pick out backing and binding. This quilt is going to be so beautiful when complete! I think my father-in-law will love it.

I cut out all the sashing and put the quilt top together in the span of a couple of days. I took a picture from earlier and made marks on it to arrange the blocks so there weren’t touching fabrics or too much purple in one section. It really helped for reference when putting it together. I got so excited to get the flimsy made!!!! Now to get it basted and quilted. 🙂

I promise the diagram makes sense to me!

2. 6.5” panel quilts

While I was at the Fibre Chick, she gave me the suggested assembly instructions for the 6.5” panel squares quilt. I decided to pick out a background, binding, and sashing fabric for the Amish panel of 6.5” squares. I may be giving that quilt to someone for Christmas. That’s not as sure thing and I’m not even 100% certain which person would be getting it, so I’ll say no more on the matter at present. It was a good opportunity to pick up what I need for it! I believe I also got sashing for the calendar 6.5” squares. I may need more for binding fabric when I get there, but I intend to use some rough poly fabric for the back as I intend it to be my first hung quilt!! I have a special idea in mind for that one. 🙂

Ready to rock!

3. Tula Pink

We are half-way through the Tula Pink blocks! 50 blocks made so far, another 10 to be done in the next 2 weeks, and we’re at 60% completion! To that end, I decided to pick up sashing at Fabricland. I knew going into this that I wanted grey for my sashing to make the colours pop. I’m using white, black, and dark grey/charcoal in the blocks, so it had to be something that would keep the dark blocks from disappearing. After comparing to several different shades at the store, I settled on this iron grey colour. It’s a warm-toned grey, which is unusual of itself. It’s also just light enough not to blend into the dark blocks, yet still dark enough to make the hot colours pop. I cannot wait to see it come together! I will be adding the sashing to the left-hand side as I go and adding a sashing to a finished block when strip-piecing this month’s blocks. I picked out the fabrics for this month, by the way – predominantly purple with some blue. Next month, we’ll be back to random fabric pulls from stash. I love this project so much!!!

4. Niece gifts

Since I already got the nephew Christmas present out of the way (a digger for his next-year sandbox), I might as well get the girls’ presents done too.

When I made the Peter Pan quilts last year, I had one fabric left over that I had no idea what to do with. It was a long panel-type fabric, but the panel was only half width-of-fabric and repeated the same design on the other side. I guess it would be a good border fabric, but who makes borders that are 21” wide?? I folded it up and put it back with absolutely no idea what to do with it … until Fibre Chick’s summer sew-along a couple of weeks ago. That fabric would be PERFECT for travel pillows!! And I even had a left-over pillow from making the Star Trek pillows, so I can get this wrapped up in a day!

Since I was using a fabric that was printed to a certain width, I decided to cut down on the amount of pillow case cuff to get more of the graphic in. It did work, but I quickly found out that the case cuff is supposed to be a specific width in order to make it easier to sew the pillowcase together. Whoops. Now I know for the future. Everything is finished except sewing the thread ends into the seams. That won’t take long, though, so I’ll just leave it until I go to wrap them for Christmas. At least now I can put the serger away to make room for free-motion quilting!

5. Bag projects

I needs some bags for storing things, like my fabric pill shaver and the video game controllers. I decided to dig into my stash to make up some bags from my “ugly” fabrics because WHY NOT. The bag pattern I use has two fabrics on the outside (top and bottom), so the mask fabrics will be bottom fabrics with the blue as a top. The Mountie hat will be a bottom fabric with the province names as a top. The yellow chintz I’m trying to use up will be the liner for one or more bag. Finally, the bunny fabric is something I found at Fabricland. I FELL IN LOVE!!!! I want to make some sort of bag with it … maybe a fold-up shopping bag to keep in my purse? It would be better than the polyester one I have. It does for damp things, but it’s ugly and I want bunnies. 😀

I think that’s more than enough to be getting on with in the near future, don’t you?

~M

Finished Projects · Non-Quilt Projects · UFO

The One With All The Work

Oooooooh wow … this bag took a lot. It’s beautiful and worth it, but wowwy. I think it took almost 40 hrs in total to complete. That’s more than I work in a week at my paying job! Thank goodness I was on vacation last week or I never would have been able to finish it. It probably shouldn’t take 40 hrs, by the way … but I find that the first time I make a pattern, I have to devote 5-10% more time to it to account for mistakes, getting lost on the next step, and just generally not being sure of the full process. Let’s learn together!!

Step 1: Do all the cutting.
Unlike making a quilt, you can’t just cut as you go. Actually, I don’t think you’re supposed to cut as you go with quilts, but it’s definitely an option and I find it makes the quilting process easier in some cases. If you’re tight on fabric, definitely cut it out beforehand so you can figure out what you need to do to meet the pattern if you don’t have enough fabric. When making bags, though, you absolutely have to cut before you sew. Simple totes like the Tiki Tote I did for SisterN are an exception to the rule. My first time-consuming mistake was attempting to cut out only what I needed for the first step. After floundering for an hour in confusion, I sat down to cut out everything.
Cutting out and taping together the paper pattern pieces: 1hr.
Cutting out all the fabric and interfacing – 4 hrs. I was already angry at the bag at this point. 😀 Luckily, it looks SO CUTE.

What I started with

Step 2: Make the piping.
Piping is when you have a fabric cord around the edge of your project. You’ll most often see piping in cushions and on bags. It gives your project a very professional finish. I considered doing a piping on the pillow I made my dad for Christmas, but I was intimidated by the process and already under the gun to finish projects (I may still have had delusions of grandeur that I would complete the bags on time). There are two wonderful videos attached to the bag pattern. You can find them on YouTube under Andrie Designs – Crating and Attaching Piping. The process was actually a lot more straight forward than I expected. Making bias strips is easy due to all my practice with making bindings for quilts, but I had to make the strips on the fabric’s diagonal instead of with/across the grain like I usually do. This allows the fabric to give more easily, similar to how a tee-shirt stretches. If you’re curious, watch the first video on creating piping. She explains and demonstrates how bias works.

I should have cut a 1/2 meter to make my bias strips out of, but I had no idea how much fabric I would need and decided that more is better than not enough … so I did a full 44” instead. 😀 As you may imagine, HUGE overkill. I now have enough binding strips to do another bag and enough excess piping to do a small cushion or wallet … hmmmmmm …
Piping creation: 2-3 hrs. This is adding up already, isn’t it? And we aren’t even ready to start piecing yet!!

Step 3: Fuse all the things.
Remember I mentioned cutting all the fabric and interfacing? This is where I got to learn more about interfacing and stabilizers. They are roughly the same thing – they get attached to the back of the fabric to provide rigidity. The main difference is that interfacing helps the fabric to keep from fraying after it’s cut. Stabilizers … well, stabilize or stiffen the project. You can think of it as the difference when buying one of the reusable fabric grocery bags that you can roll up into a ball and one of the stand-up reusable grocery bags that you probably use for your heavy products. Those ones are usually stiff due to a vinyl exterior, but the concept should help you visualize the difference.

There’s also sub-categories of these interfaces. There’s fusible and non-fusible (fusible has a thin layer of glue that bonds to the back of the fabric when you apply heat with your iron, the other just gets attached by stitching in). There’s webbing, batting, and light interfacing. I’m not doing a deep-dive on the differences. For this bag, I needed a light-to-medium interfacing (keeps fabric from fraying), fusible batting (exactly like quilt batting except you can iron it on to the fabric instead of using basting spray or pins like I usually do), and a heavy stabilizer to give structure. I used Pelion Deco-Bond which is one of the heaviest interfacing I have. It also happened to be what I had in a drawer. It probably should have been a little more rigid, but I used what I had since the stores are all closed.
Fusing layers: 1-2 hrs. At least we get to move on to the sewing!!

The first panel was the most exciting panel to work on (in my opinion) because it highlighted the absolutely adorable Tula Pink skunk fabric I had ordered especially for this project. I LOVE it. It’s the perfect pattern for black-and-white projects. Since it is a Tula fabric, I think no one is surprised that there is still some colour in it, but just little pops that add to the design. I had chosen a mottled coloured fabrics for the piping from my stash. The colours matched perfectly and I think it added to the bag. Husband thinks I should have stuck with a black piping as he thinks it pulled focus a bit. I also took a survey at my UFO club and they told me the coloured piping “made the bag”. Let me know your opinion in the comments! I won’t re-place the piping, but it helps for me to know on future projects that I intend to give/sell.

Bright piping (how is this the only picture I took of the piping process??)

This panel also introduces a new concept – zipper tape!! There are two options for buying zippers. You can buy lengths from your local fabric store (16”, 22”. 8”, etc.) or you can buy a roll of zipper tape and a handful of zippers to go with it. The advantage to the individual zippers is mostly a range of colour. You can buy zipper tape in many colours, but if you only use them occasionally in your projects, it makes more fiscal sense to buy the individual ones in the colour you need at the time. The advantage to zipper tape is that you get a massive supply of zipper length and don’t need to worry about making a mistake if you cut it too short – you can just cut more! You can also mix-and-match the zipper colours. Since I was using gold rings for the handles, I went with yellow zippers on the black zipper tape. I could have done black zippers to have everything blend in, but it should surprise no one at this point that I would find that too boring to bother with, 😀 The one challenge to zipper tape is that you have to insert the zipper into the zipper teeth. That can be difficult to do. There are lots of hacks online for doing it. My hack was using a very old coat with a broken zipper last winter as my new good coat was stuck at my parents’ house 2 hrs away during a lockdown. I made do with re-zipping the coat each time I got in and out of the car/house/bending down to scoop dog bombs. I got VERY good at threading zippers into the teeth, so doing this part was no challenge. I also got an extra zipper and 20” of tape just in case I made a mistake and needed a second zipper. Smart on me, as I cut the zipper 1” too short on the first pocket. I still have some zipper tape to save and use on a future project!!! Maybe a matching wallet??

The final thing I’ll warble on about regarding the bag is the inner section. I wanted to make this bag big enough for SisterD to transport her laptop in when she starts going back to work after COVID. That requirement dictated the bag pattern I used. I know what model of laptop she has (and her work just issued the new device to her, so she’ll have it for at least 4-5 years), so I could make sure the bag would accommodate the laptop. Issue is, when you put a laptop in a bag, you really do need it to be in a separate section from all your other bag-things or it becomes very hard to fish up, say, your building ID to get into the office. The bag pattern only had one big pocket on the inside, so I included a divider to keep things separate. I also built two fabric pockets into the divider for tucking the power cord & mouse into in an effort to keep the main pocket as clear as possible. This was relatively easy to accomplish. When cutting the liner fabric, I added an extra 1” to the side pieces. I then cut them in half and stitched the divider in between them. One thing I did not do is make the divider go all the way up to the zipper. I feel like this adds too much weight and makes it harder to look for things/get things in/out of the bag, so it’s about 3/4 the hight of the pattern liner. I will be asking my sister to give me feedback on whether this was helpful or if things kept moving between the two sides. It’s a free bag – she can be a guinea pig!

Bag sewing together: 2-12hr days, give or take. Multiple rip-outs and forgotten pattern pieces are included here.

Yeah. On the first day, I literally got up in the morning, had breakfast, and vanished into the sewing room until much later at night than I should have been up. The next couple of days, I spaced in meals and naps. It’s a vacation, for crying out loud – I’m supposed to be taking a break!!! Was it worth it?

FINISHED!

Uh, YEAH … I think it was!! I may be biased (and sleep and energy deprived), but I think this looks stunning! After I finished it, I switched thread and made another mug mat to go with SisterN’s tote. I decided the one I made during the sewing challenges wasn’t good enough to give as a gift, especially considering all the work that went into SisterD’s bag and mat. If this seems like an unfair demonstration of giving, rest assured that SisterN is getting the major time-sink gift next Christmas. I had that picked out before I even started the bags. I intend to start it in October – I want to give myself loads of time to get that one done this year!!

For July/August, we don’t have to pick UFOs if we’re too busy. We didn’t pay into the kitty for the summer months, which works out for me. New house does not have central air and the sewing room is WAY too hot to spend large amounts of time in during heat waves. I intend to work on the two 6” feature block quilts I started in April/May whenever we have cool days. If I’m lucky, I’ll have them both pieced and the flimsies ready for quilting by September. If not, that’s okay too. I still have the Tula monthly quilt blocks to do and the Christmas Fig quilt to assemble when the stores re-open, so if that’s all I manage during my summer, I’ll be happy with that!!

Summer goals

~M

Finished Projects · Free Motion Quilting (FMQ) · Non-Quilt Projects · UFO

Baggin’ It

My June UFO commitment is to get caught up on the presents I was trying to get made for Christmas and ran out of time to do. With all the lockdowns, I didn’t bother picking it back up. That’s subject to change, though. We’re supposed to come out of lockdown at the start of June . First thing I intend to do is go visit my family. My sisters were both supposed to get bags (not that they know that), but the niece quilts took priority. Now I get to finish them!!!

I was supposed to finish the one I started in December for SisterD, but of course … I got distracted. I blame my father-in-law. If I hadn’t finished his quilt (mostly), I wouldn’t have all these pretty scraps just BEGGING to be made into a tote bag. That means SisterN is getting her bag finished first.

Okay, maybe it’s partially my fault. I’ve been re-watching episodes of the Midnight Quilt Show with Angela Walters on my lunch break. I like watching them for inspiration, especially the quilting designs. I’ve already got 2 more quilts planned with fabrics I bought when I first started quilting. Like I need more projects!! One of her episodes was about making a quilted bag. The template was offered for free on Craftsy which became Bluprint which has become Craftsy again … It changed hands a couple of times, hence the re-branding. With those changes, the pattern directions are no longer available on the site. I almost couldn’t find this pattern, but I finally stumbled across a PDF shared on the internet with the pattern! Who hoo!
http://static-sympoz.s3.amazonaws.com/email/2019/Member%20Patterns/April%202019/Sew/Tiki%20Tote%20Pattern.pdf

While I have a decent amount of scraps, I don’t have enough to make it totally out of 2.5 strips, so I took all the extra strips and just mix them all up with the standard strips. It gives the strip-units a less-braidy look, but I like the way it’s turned out!

I was so excited to have the exterior done within a couple of days. I’d go in with the intent to do one braid unit and SURPRISE get sucked in to finish 3 or 4. Next step – put the braids together. Because this is a bag and it may not see the most gentle use, I decided to serge the panels together for more rigidity. Yes, it makes the seams a little little bulkier, but it’s a bag. That doesn’t really matter. After serging the units and the top border, I attached some batting and started on the quilting!!

This bag is really busy and the fabric on it is sooo beautiful, so I didn’t want to do too much more than stitching the batting to the fabric. I still wanted to practice a bit, though, so I decided to do some free-motion stitching in the odd strip. I think this looks pretty good! And the ribbon candy design is definitely getting better with practice. I think it like it best on narrow strips – I struggle making it look good on wider strips.

The pattern calls for a pieced liner. This teenie tiny pile of strips is all I have left (YAY almost no scraps!!!), so I’m going to use a single piece of fabric as the liner. Since I’ve got just enough to also make the straps out of the liner fabric, I will use it there as well.

All that remains of the Crystal Waters bundle

All in all – this is a pretty quick little tote sew. It looks super cute, it’s a good way to use up fat quarter bundles, and who doesn’t like a tote bag!! 😀 Next up: the SisterD work tote.

~M

Block-of-the-Month · UFO

May UFO project

Sorry – got distracted with my new June UFO commitments and forgot to post what I finished last month. 😀

One of my UFO goals is to get my class-based blocks from past years finished up. My last class from FibreChick was interrupted by the pandemic. I got all the remaining blocks, but I haven’t gotten around to making any additional ones.

Normally, I would make the remaining 6, but I picked up a panel over the holidays to make these blocks with again. I like the layout she designed for the 6.5 squares and thought it would be perfect for this Amish barn-quilt panel. And getting the first 6 blocks made is my May-month UFO.

6.5” block panel

I used the monthly retreat hosted by the Crazy Quilter to get to work on the new blocks. I may have had the Courthouse steps made before the retreat weekend, but most of the blocks were created during the retreat.

One thing I’d forgotten about is how much I intensely dis-like the drunkard’s path blocks. As far as I’m concerned, they take too much time to make. And I got extra frustrated because I made all the blocks I need to complete it … then realized I forgot a whole circle block. GAHHHH!!! But finally, at the end, I had all the blocks made and May UFO is done!

I am switching gears a little bit for June. Don’t worry – I intend to have both these flimsies finished by summer’s end! Maybe even have one quilted?? We’ll have to see …

~M