Quilting Fun New and Old projects and Stashbusting

Hello to everyone who regularly reads my posts. I’ve been busy with travel and planning travel, and I promise an update soon on my recent trip. I have managed to get back into my sewing room and want to share a bit of what has been “under my needle”.

I did a project in February, start to finish. If you followed me for long you know some projects will “linger” a bit. This project was called a MONDO Bag. The pattern is by Quiltsmart. The pattern (and some 2 1/2″ squares) was a thank you gift my dear friend Nancy gave me. It was just what I needed to boost my behind back into the sewing room.

I studied the pattern, then took out the squares, and considered them all, and also dug out my box of 2 1/2″ squares, and pulled out some more. I think the pattern called for almost 200 squares. I decided on bright cheery colors. The basics of the pattern require you to “fuse” your squares onto pre printed fusible interfacing. The printed interfacing has a grid plus lots of other information.

I used glass head pins to pin my pieces in place so they didn’t “move” while I was artfully arranging them. I was trying to make sure that I didn’t have the same piece in the next panel. Once you fuse the pieces to the interfacing you do the stitching of the seams. You can see how the panels decrease in size once the stitching is done.

Fused and stitched

This was the fun phase of construction. Once all my panels were designed, pressed, and stitched, I really had to study the directions again. I even emailed a friend who “taught” this bag at a guild sit & sew for advice. And, to make certain I understood, I resorted to You Tube, where I found the actual company, Quiltsmart, with videos along with others.

I got the outer bag panels assembled, and to my dismay I had “matching” pieces touching. Sigh…..

Assembly of the outer bag

Next up was the lining, pockets the handles and a key strap. The vote went to the bright fabric for this project. I decided to go with much wider handles that finished at about 2 1/2 ” wide. I hate to turn tubes, so I made them the way I would normally make a bag handle, putting some fusible fleece inside the handle, and top stitching. I also did two pockets inside. One is in a contrasting color.

Pockets on an angle
Finished Mondo Bag

So, all in all I enjoyed making this bag, and when I took it to my quilt bee in February, it inspired several friends to dig out their patterns and to work on theirs. I used fusible fleece inside of mine, as I had a bolt of it. Quick reminder was to change to a heavy duty needle (a 16 or 18) for the top stitching. It makes it so much easier!

I am counting fabric in & out of my sewing space and I will count this as 3 yards out, along with 1/2 yard in for those gifted squares.

My next project has become a “vintage” project, gathering dust on the shelf. I took a class called  Usin’ Fusin’ to Express Yourself!  in 2016 with Michelle Scott, The Pieceful Quilter after she lectured at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild. I wrote about that class here https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2016/06/08/another-fun-speaker-and-class/

At the end of the class, this is what I brought home –

Mary's underwater project OWQG class
circa 2016

I promptly “rolled it up” onto a cardboard tube wrapped in muslin and forgot about it because I was super busy with other projects.

Well….last week, I was finishing up some guild fabrics for Second Time Around and I tripped over a piece of pebbles fabric. Inspiration struck me and I need that 1/8th of a yard strip and pulled this project back out. I bought the piece of pebbles fabric and pushed aside what I was doing and added it to my panel from 2016.

Hidden away inside the panel roll was a packet of beachy buttons I had purchased at a show way back then. And, in amongst the goodies I received from Trish’s sewing room were packages of trims that got incorporated into the panel. I spent the last few days working on it and it is FINISHED and hanging in my living room. It took me 6 years to get around to finishing it, but only 3 or 4 days to actually finish it.


One thing I learned from Michelle Scott was that JUDGES hate messy quilt backs, and her trick was to “hide” all the messiness of the construction/quilting by “adding” another layer to the quilt after “most” of the quilting is finished. Well, adding all those couching threads and embellishments is messy work and I did just that. I finished the back with the same fabric as I had used when I made the sky. It was absolutely amazing to me that when I opened my bin of blues that fabric was there and had enough left to finish this project and squeeze out a binding too. Had to dig in stash for the contrasting piping color for the binding. So, for this project, 1/8 yard in, and 2 yards out!

Carole Carter has a “stashbuster” challenge going on at her blog this year – https://frommycarolinahome.com/2022/03/04/stashbusters-challenge-march/

I am working on blocks for a QOV for the Queen Bees, and counting my 10″ squares as ONE yard. The blocks are done, and ready to go for our March bee.

March Fabric IN = 3/4 yard
March Fabric OUT = 6
March Total = 5 1/4
Year to Date = 7 out

NOTE – I “inherited” a whole lot of stuff from a friend in assisted living who passed away (Trish’s trims) early in February and am still sifting through it all. From the standpoint of fabric, most never entered my sewing room upstairs in my garage. 98% is in boxes, waiting to be delivered to a Mennonite group next week. I have 2 smaller totes that I took up to my sewing room and have not sorted through them yet. Once I do, I will add to my “IN” fabric .

Are you working on any new projects or keeping up with something that has been aging for a while? What about keeping track of “fabric in and fabric out” ? It certainly feels good to get a UFO off the list!


13 thoughts on “Quilting Fun New and Old projects and Stashbusting

  1. this sounds so familiar, I was (not so bad anymore) really bad for purchasing fabric and trim etc, too much in and not as muh out. Over the years I have finished a few, but still lots to go. One is a 2 inch square quilt, cant remember what it is called, you choose colours as if the sun/any light source was shining in from one corner, so light/bright at one corner, getting darker as you go down and out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • πŸ™‚ I took a class like that, kind of made you think of the artist (Thomas Kinkade) with all the light coming in from behind. I think they called it a “water color” quilt. I had about 50 different fabrics all cut into 2″ squares….and silly me, pinned them to the WRONG side of the fusible and by the time I realized it, I was so frustrated! All the squares went into my stash and I never made it. I just did a quick google search for water color quilt and pretty sure that is it. At this point, I am sharing trims with friends, as I have “inherited” way too much from older friends. I’m boycotting shopping for my 4th year unless something is an absolute necessity. Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog!

      Liked by 1 person

    • The squares were the easy part, because some came from Nancy and the rest from my 2 1/2 ” bin. The directions on patterns like this always baffle my brain which is why I reached out to Cheryl McC. for help and you tube. Cheryl has a supply of the printed interfacing, as she recently taught a class at a guild sit & sew. She does break through the challenges.


    • Thanks for your comment Kathy. My sister in law said some projects just need a time out. Honestly, I was taking so many classes, I wasn’t finishing ANYTHING, so I am continuing to work through these older projects. I have one rod in my living room that I switch out on a regular basis, and I have determined this is either my summer quilt or my “dreaming of summer” in the dead of winter quilt. (I really need to make a label and decide which it will be) πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’m not much for doing “artsy” quilts, but this was honestly a lot of fun while I was finishing it up. It won’t win any prizes, but it was fun playing with trims and stuff that came to me from my friend who recently passed away. Her box of trims was amazing, and when I look at the results, I think of how much fun she would have using them too. My “art” is similar to a kindergarten child”s work, but it was fun! πŸ™‚


  2. Pingback: Tulips in the Field | Stitching Grandma

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