Traveling sewing kit

I am leaving in less than 36 hours for a trip to California, and a cruise to Alaska. My bags are packed, twice now…and I think I have the essentials.

One thing I enjoy while traveling is working on English Paper Piecing. Bonnie Hunter, Quiltville.blogspot.com, does this when she travels to teaching locations around the world. I started the year I went to Nevada when my Lil sister was recovering from knee surgery. The only time I sit and hand stitch is when I travel. (ūüźą in lap at home preventing hand stitching).

Anyway, I sorted out my never ending Double Diamonds project, and got things kitted and organized and all set to travel…..or so I thought. Today I attended a lovely gathering of the Material Girls Quilt bee, and Irene, our hostess, shared a hand sewing kit given to her as a gift by a dear friend.

Her friend used some wonderful Tula Link fabric.

There is a place to keep needles stored on the green wool, pockets for scissors and the awesome Vivilux light, and even a zip pocket and a holder for her Aurifil thread. I loved the idea and got permission to to get a couple of pictures.

After dinner tonight I decided to go PLAY for a bit in my sewing room. I got out 2 fat quarters and a scrap of contrasting fabric and some batting and got busy cutting, sewing, quilting and creating.

I made my travel sewing kit with 3 pockets, and also used a bit of wool for the needles and pins.

Travel fabric for the outside.

Transportation (blue) fabric inside. I fussy cut the fabric for the pockets.

Wide open it is about 8″x 20″.

On the left I have a spool of thread being held on with a tab and a button with elastic. Below is a pocket with 3 sections. In the center is the wool pin holder (with a bit of batting behind it). Below the pins is a larger pocket. On the right is another pocket with the opening on the side towards the center.

I managed to load an Altoid tin with bobbins (for lots of thread variety), another spool of Aurifil thread and my new lighted Needle threader in the pocket sections.

The center pocket has those clover clips that are like spare hands, my Vivilux LED light and a floss container. ( I fly with this, and use the cutter on the floss for my thread.)

This side opening pocket has my Double Diamonds directions along with a 1qt zip bag full of pieces and parts for 1 Double Diamond EPP block.

Now I am really packed and ready to go! Thanks Irene for sharing your kit and inspiring me to make one for myself.

A little bit of stitching

I spent 10 days away from home since my last post.¬† I went to visit my daughter and 3 of the grands, and got to enjoy the fun of a certain youngster’s birthday party.¬† Have you ever been to one of those “bounce” places?¬†¬† WOW !!¬† Six kids from age 5-10, 3 adults to monitor among 300 or more other kids. My only “job” was to keep my eyes on the 5 year old, and I lost sight of her in the first 30 seconds.¬† When I spotted one of the bigger kids, then I spotted the 5 year old, and fortunately they stayed together for the better part of the hour.¬† Heart stopping moment, that lasted for only a few seconds.¬† That didn’t happen again, but golly!!!¬† (This grandma almost got fired!)

While I travel, I play with my English paper piecing project.¬† I managed to get a couple of my diamonds together.¬† I also realized looking at the photo below that I need to get two more pieces attached to the diamond in the second row on the right end.¬† ūüôā

EPP on the wall with houses

Every once in a while, I dig the diamonds out of the giant ziplock and give them a press and put them on the wall.  19 are complete.  I have LOTS more to go, so I need to take more trips.

Do you see the houses on the left side of the photo?¬† I took a class called LIBERATED HOUSES at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild a week ago with Barb Vedder and made these funky little houses.¬† I used scraps and enjoyed the process.¬† If your guild is looking for an energetic and fun speaker, I highly recommend her.¬† Check out her website for more info – Barb’s website

I took 5 or 6 bins of scraps to share with the class and the guild members had a great time !

My liberated houses

Here are a couple of blocks made by others in the class….

OWQG Liberated House block made by a member

3 favorites made by an OWQG member

This was a fun class and a great way to play in the scrap bin!

Speaking of funky houses – I visited the San Antonio Arboretum¬† Botanical Garden in February, and spotted these 2 in the new Children’s area.

Funky houses at San Antonio Arboretum

Off kilter house

I’ve played with my embroidery machine a little in the last week too, making 2 t-shirts for the youngest granddaughter. She just turned 2 and I had fun watching the wild antics of at least 10 kids under 5 at a birthday party last weekend.

Unicorn applique tshirt

Dino Shirt for 2 year old!

One project for the week was working on our Senior Quilts for church. I chair this project every year, and this year, we only have one graduate.¬† (What a change from the 10-15 in previous years).¬† Last Saturday we laid out the pattern, and then marked the rows, stacked it all up and I brought 1/2 of the rows home. Another quilter is working on the “other half”.¬† I had a Material Girls quilt bee on Wednesday, and took my half for the bee.¬† I used Bessie – my Featherweight to stitch the blocks.¬† I have my rows completed, and just need to give them a good press.¬† When the other quilter gets her half finished we will “join the rows” together!

Bottom half of Senior Quilt 2018

Don’t forget today is the day for the next step in From My Carolina Home’s mystery Quilt.¬† Go check out the block post and get your directions for Scrap Dance Square Dance !¬† Coming Down The Middle Step

I’ll be working on my pieces tonight!¬† I am all caught up with the last step!¬† Photo’s to come!

Busy times and little stitching

Oh, it has been almost a month since I have put up a blog post. Busy times! My big sister, Cathi, came to visit for a few days! We had some fun visiting with the youngest grandchild and her mother during her time here.  Right after she departed, I hopped a plane (or 3) for a trip to Texas.

I spent two wonderful weeks in Texas with the grandchildren and their parents and have had SO much fun! ¬†My 8 year old grandson was watching me as I was basting hexi’s , and wanted to do a “little sewing too”.

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Little hands

He did all the basting stitches,

basting stitches

and then joined all the hexi’s together.

whip stitching

check out his “whip stitches. ¬†I’d say he is doing a pretty good job for his first time out! ¬†He sure does have the concept down pat!

He worked on that hexi flower for 2 solid hours and got it done! ¬†I asked him what he thought he wanted to do with it once it was all stitched together. He was uncertain, so I helped my self to a slightly worn kitchen towel from the drawer. ¬†It had a few worn spots that we “covered” with the flower. ¬†I helped with the “stitching down” to the hand towel , because his mom was due home “any minute” and he wanted to surprise her! ¬†He told his mom that he made “something old new again“. ¬†She appreciates re-purposing things! ¬†I think he did a great job! ¬†Surprising what you can do with a few bits of fabric that some people might just throw away.

flower fun

The youngest of the grands in Texas¬† is 4, and she wanted to “sew” also. ¬†She picked out some hexi’s that I had already basted, and artfully arranged them into a flower.

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Then she decided that Grandma should make her a bag. ¬†Luckily, my daughter had a partial “fat quarter” in her sewing box, and I managed to put together this little bag – completed in an hour or so, under the constant supervision of said 4 year old! ¬†(After it was done, she told me she wants me to teach her how to make a pair of shoes…….curious child)/

little tote

I did get a few more than this done in between working on the children’s sewing — I think I managed to get 4 double diamonds assembled. ¬†Only managed 1 photo, but sometime soon I will put them all back up on the design wall again! ¬†(Right after MITTENS is finished…….still a WIP on the wall!)

Double Diamonds

While visiting in San Antonio, I visited Las Colchas Quilt Shop. ¬†Worthy of a visit if you find yourself in downtown San Antonio. ¬†Small shop, but packed full of lovely items. ¬†I brought¬†home a few fat quarters as a reminder of my trip. ¬†Of course, we did lots of eating of wonderful regional foods! ¬†Time spent in San Antonio is fun; and one place we visited downtown was called The Pearl. ¬†It is the best “urban renewal” effort I have seen in a long time. ¬†I put up a bunch of photo’s in an album on FLICKR –¬†The Pearl¬†.(https://www.flickr.com/photos/92296158@N02/albums/72157672440816744 ) It is an old brewery location and there must be 6 or 8 city blocks that have been redeveloped along the San Antonio River. Free parking and pecan trees were a bonus. ¬†We stopped in at La Gloria for chips, salsa and guacamole; and at Bakery Lorraine for a cookie. The pecan trees were all over the place and the grands loaded up a bag full of the wonderful nuts. They were quite the Urban scavengers! ¬† We enjoyed doing a little shopping and a nice walk along the river too. ¬†We poked into the lobby and bar of the Hotel Emma! ¬†What a great ¬†building. ¬†The remnants of the brewery were embraced in the wonderful lobby and bar area. If I had a million dollars and an opportunity, I would move into one of the new condo’s at The Pearl.

I spent 2 solid days on my return home, working on the never ending stack of donated fabric for the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Second Time Around table. Thank goodness for the 4 ladies that came on Monday and Tuesday to help me dig through and sort, measure, iron, fold and price some of the items.

The rest of this week is dedicated to my time at Sit & Sew Camp, being held in a nearby church facility. ¬†The members of several quilt bees, associated with Ocean Waves Quilt Guild are gathering to “sew together” on their own projects. We meet from 8:30 – 3:30 and visit, and sew, and laugh and catch up. So nice to spend the time with lovely women who ¬†are so talented.

Today I worked on “pumpkin blocks” and some more “leaf blocks”. ¬†I am hoping to have enough ready to make 3 Autumn Jubilee Table Runners. ¬†Thanks Carole – From My Carolina Home¬†for the great patterns and layouts. ¬†I missed the last 3 weeks of Autumn Jubilee on Carole’s blog, so I am making up for lost time. ¬†Today I made a batch of pumpkins

Pumpkin prep

They will go along nicely with those Autumn leaves I have been working on!

Maple leaves

I spent my last 2 evenings gathering fabric and getting ready to go. ¬†I made a kit of the fabrics for the pumpkins, plus I cut more squares for Autumn leaves. ¬†I am going to add a few greens, reds and a little more brown to the collection of leaves. ¬†So, more 2.5″ and 3″ squares. At the Sit & Sew this morning I stitched and trimmed up a stack of half square triangles, so I am ready for “leaf assembly ” tomorrow morning! ¬†Hope to have some “assembly” that looks like a table runner by the end of the fun on Thursday! ¬†I’m sure I would be more productive at home, but it is great fun to gather together to sew.

Happy stitching!