A new mystery quilt – Scrap Dance Pachanga

Are you “dancing” along with the new mystery quilt? Every January, Carole Carter, – the blogger who inspires many of us with her posts on From My Carolina Home, starts a new Scrap Dance Mystery Quilt. This year, it is Scrap Dance Pachanga . Do dance your way over to her blog when you finish reading here and check out the fun. When you get to Carole’s blog, be sure and take a minute to watch the dance video!

I was inspired to grab some bright scraps out of the bin, and get busy cutting for the “throw” size today. Check out the bright colors I pulled for this project. MOST of the fabric for this project was scraps with the exception of one fat quarter and the background fabric. These fabrics don’t quite say “salsa music” but they are in the bright fabrics that Carole talks about.

Brights for Pachanga

Before I started to cut, I printed out the PDF with the cutting information. You can chose from table topper to king size and make something that is useful in your life. I’ve done king size for all but one of the Scrap Dance mystery quilt series, but this time, I am going with a throw. One thing I do is put a bit of paper over the columns for the sizes I am NOT doing.

Scrap Dance Pachanga

This keeps me focusing on just the column with the sizes I need to cut. I really like that Carole has you do all the cutting at once, because now I am “ready to sew” when the next step comes out in two weeks. (I covered the specific instructions for quantity because this “is” a mystery, but you can download the PDF on Carole’s blog.)

There is a variety of sizes that were cut to get ready for the ‘next step’.

More bright colors for Scrap Dance Pachanga

Bright stripes, lime greens nd blues, turquoise, hot pink look like fun.

Cutting brights for SD Pachanga

Throw in a little yellow and orange and more stripes to mix things up.

Step One cutting

I make sure to mark my sizes so I know which is what in each stack. This basket from the Dollar Tree store has 2.5″, 3.5″, 4″ and 5″ scrappy squares. When I cut scraps for a project like this, I try to cut the “biggest piece” possible from the fabric, then work my way to the smallest pieces. So, you will see lots of that purple stripe in the 4″ group but there are a few in the 3.5″ group and a couple in the 2.5″ group too. Once they are all cut, I group them in bundles of tens, with my little clover clips and keep the “size tag” with them. Everything ends up in a big basket, along with the background fabric. I blurred out the quantity, as it is a ‘mystery’ of course, and if you want to dance along, go download the instructions for cutting.

In Carole’s blog post, she talks about what kind of background fabric choice you might want to make and why different colors might work. I have a large container of “neutrals” and I chose bright white.

Background fabric for Pachanga
Background fabric

I chose this particular piece of background fabric because I like the “not so straight” lined pattern it has as a “white on white” fabric. It has a “modern feel” and I think it will look fine with those bright scrappy pieces. I had plenty ( 5 yards) of it, and when I cut it from yardage, I started with the largest size, and working my way down to the smallest needed. I sometimes use the Robert Kaufmann app on my phone to figure out “how many pieces” I can get out of a strip of a particular size, but you could also use a calculator for that. For example, I need a certain amount of 5″ squares, and I wanted to know how many “strips” to cut, and the app helps me figure it out. Sometimes you cut a strip, get the number of pieces you need and have a “bit left”. With those bits, I then cut them down into the next “smaller” size and try to eliminate any waste or excessive scraps.

Note….I did the cutting of the background fabrics “after dinner/wine”…duh….and my first cut was a wide strip…did it just fine…but my sub cut…my brain failed…and suddenly I had rectangles instead of squares. I stopped….recut the needed strip, got the pieces I was after, and took those “ooops rectangles” and cut them down into some of the smaller bits I needed. Another reminder to pay close attention, especially after a glass of wine! It did take me a moment or two to realize what I had done wrong!

I will probably use this same white fabric if there is a sashing or inner border, but for now, the uncut yardage will go back in my stash, and I can pull it out later. I got this yardage last February at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria Virginia using a gift card, and I’d rather store it in the stash bin while I work through the mystery. For now, just the pieces on the cut list are in my bright basket, and I am ready for the 4th Friday in January for the 2nd step of Scrap Dance Pachanga!

Are you dancing along? Dig in and go cut some of those scraps! Do share your fabric choices on the Friends of From My Carolina Home Facebook group too. Use the link on Carole’s blog post and join. Be sure to answer the screening questions.

More Fall Fun with Machine Embroidery

Last post I shared my fun with the Acorn Table Runner I was working on. I got it finished Friday afternoon, and it is presently “on the table”.

What a fun project!

Table setting with Acorn Table Runner
Acorn Table Runner

The pattern from Sweet Pea Designs gives great directions. I think it looks cute with all those vintage candles around it on the table. The lighting in the sewing room was a little better right after I finished it.

acorn table runner finished
Acorn Table Runner

I used the 150 mm block, just a bit larger than the 6×6, with pellon fusible fleece instead of batting. I also used cut away stabilizer in the project, which is left in the block when it was sew into the project. The runner lays really flat on the table. It is not as thick as warm and natural batting. Because the applique pattern has all that stitching, when I joined the blocks and added the backing according to the instructions, I only top stitched around the edges and in the ditch around the blocks. The fusible side of the batting was against the stabilizer. (No taking that cut away off!!)

My next FUN Fall Project is my #AutumnJubilee2020 wall hanging. You might remember those blocks I made earlier in the month –https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2020/10/14/trees-and-leaves-autumn-jubilee-2020/

The instructions for finishing up the wall hanging came out on a few days ago on https://frommycarolinahome.com/2020/10/26/autumn-jubilee-embroidered-mini-quilt-finish/ . I wanted to finish my Acorn Table Runner before I went on to the ‘next’ thing. So, once I did, I worked on the #AutumnJubilee2020 mini quilt. Not quite finished, still needs binding and hanging sleeve, but darn close. First thing I had to do is decide on block size, and I went with an 8×8 block. (I used much larger fabric and did a lot of trimming).

Trimming the squares
Made sure the embroidery was somewhat centered

Oh; while I am at it….DO YOU SEE that new grey FISKARS rotary mat??? I am so happy that it has arrived. Honestly, (no, I am not getting paid by FISKARS) – they have the BEST warranty of anybody in the quilting notions world!!! Do you remember THIS picture with the yellow cutting surface ?

Acorn Table Runner
WORN OUT FISKARS CUTTING MAT

That yellow Fiskars rotating cutting mat is something I bought around 2009/2010. I have cut/trimmed thousands of half square triangles on that rotating mat. I wore the lines off, and I wore off half the surface. I took a photo and filed a “warranty claim” on the FISKARS website, and in less than 2 weeks, they shipped me a brand spanking shiny new mat!! Absolutely no questions asked! (I did notice the new grey one has some cautionary wording about not cutting in the same place all the time. OOOPS….most of the blocks I trimmed were fairly small and ended near the center of the mat.)

Back to the embroidery – I played around with the sashing strips and arrangements of my #AutumnJubilee2020 mini quilt/wall hanging blocks and this is what I came up with.

Falling Leaves wall hanging
Embroidery pattern by Sew Sweetly.com

The blocks are 8″, the sashing & borders were cut at 2″. I did some quilting in the sashing. I might do a little “in the blocks” with a very neutral thread, but I am not sure yet what I might do. A quilted leaf or two in and around perhaps.

falling leaves bottom half
Falling Leaves wall hanging
Finishes up around 38″ long and 11″ wide approximately.

So, maybe a bit more quilting in the actual blocks, and then on to binding. I will use the leaf fabric for the binding with a pop of color for the flange. (Always use my favorite Susie’s Magic Binding which is totally done by machine. )

Finishing up Falling Leaves Mini Quilt/Wall hanging won’t take too long. i am almost ready for the final step in the #AutumnJubilee2020 Quilt Along. The instruction for finishing the row quilt just came out on the From My Carolina Home blog . Finishing up these small projects make it easier to tackle one that will take a little bit longer. (I’m well known for making tops and leaving them hang around waiting on borders!)

Our leaves are being blown off the trees before they have had a chance to turn their usual pretty colors. How are you spending these blustery Autumn days?

Autumn Jubilee Tote bag

I’ve been following along with the From My Carolina Home #AutumnJubilee2020 this month, and this week was time to finish the tote bag in the sew along. Directions for the finish can be found on the blog here – https://frommycarolinahome.com/2020/10/18/autumn-jubilee-sew-along-finishing-the-bag/

When I read through the instructions, I decided for I did not want to do a Velcro closure on my bag, so I ordered some “magnetic” purse closures on Amazon. I was “waiting” for that delivery on Tuesday so I could finish this project. (Note...local friends…I have extra magnetic closures if you need them….they came in a pack of 20 and it will take me that many years to use them.)

I showed details on my chosen fabrics and progress recently on a post – https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2020/10/06/stars-and-strips-autumn-jubilee/

Stitching is completed
Strip set sewn together and quilted with deco stitch

I waited a while to come up with my “panel” for embellishment. I was supposed to insert it before quilting, but I could not decide on the fabric for a few days. I chose the linen multi color block fabric that is in the middle of the strip set for my panel and got the embroidery done a couple of weeks ago.

Panel for inset on bag
In hind site I should have stabilized better because I had a lot of pulling of the linen fabric with the embroidery.

Yesterday I sat down to follow those “bag finishing instructions” (linked at the top of the page).

I had to first add fusible fleece to the back of my embroidered piece and then insert it in the strip set. Once it was in, I decided it needed quilting. I did some straight line quilting using the same thread as the ‘fancy stitches” on the strips, using Superior Threads Fantastico “CASHMERE” thread. (My all time favorite color!) The quilting and the fusible fleece helped make the wrinkles around the edges of my embroidery disappear.

panel inserted and quilted
Panel inserted and quilted

Once that was done it was time to trim up the piece. I just could not bring myself to cutting it down to the “pattern size”, so I squared it up, trimmed and measured and went with a bigger size bag. I ended up with about 16 1/4″ by 44″.

IMG_20201020_162449746
The fusible fleece and boxed corners help the bag to stand up nicely

I dug into my Autumn Jubilee bin of fabric and chose my bag lining and handle fabric.

As I was deciding on which fabrics to use, I decided that the bag NEEDED pockets inside. I had enough fabric of either color to make pockets. I used the fabric that was left after making straps and made two pockets for inside.

pocket for the lining
The pockets are attached to the lining before the lining is inserted into the bag.

I added the magnetic closure to the lining before putting the lining in the bag. I put a small square of fusible fleece behind the lining fabric where the magnet prongs go through the fabric to keep it from pulling out.

Inside the bag magnetic closure
small disk is the magnetic closure, one above each pocket
IMG_20201020_171901327
Bag finished and ready to be used
IMG_20201020_172019675
Ready to be used

I was very happy with this project and my modifications along the way. One thing I would have changed is the width of the straps and the method for doing them. These straps are about 1 1/4″ wide finished, which is ok for a bag this size, but I like a thicker strap. I know the idea was to use those 2 1/2″ strips from jelly rolls, but I cut from yardage and could have done bigger. They do have fusible fleece inside the handles, so they are going to be comfortable to hold. You might remember my story of the puny strap bag last year https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2019/06/09/taking-care-of-some-odds-and-ends/

I am dashing off to an outdoor quilt bee and will be taking this bag for show & tell. This evening I am going to practice on muslin for hem-stitching / rolled hem for a scarf. Wish me luck, and tell me your tips!

What is on your sewing table today?

Stars and Strips Autumn Jubilee

Last post I talked about the construction of my star units for the #AutumnJubilee2020 Quilt Along being run on the blog From My Carolina Home. (There are links throughout the post or choose the button on the side of this blog to access the page)

On my last post I shared how I make half square triangles. These units are often found, in varying sizes, in many quilt patterns. There are as many ways to create them as there are patterns. I happened to find a method that I really like, but you might be doing yours using another method. Do tell what your favorite method is, and if you use a special ruler or tool when making it.

Now, on to the updates. My two star rows for the Quilt Along are completed.

Two Star Rows
Rows 1 and 5 are ready

I choose a little darker leaf print for the sashing, but I think it blends nicely with the other scrappy background fabrics I used. The sashing went on fairly quickly.

The pattern for the stars is at https://frommycarolinahome.com/2020/10/02/autumn-jubilee-quilt-along-week-1/

Oh, did I mention that Carole has LOTS of sponsors and prizes on each post during the Autumn Jubilee 2020? Don’t miss out!!

The instructions for the next “project” that I wanted to work on were posted on Sunday. https://frommycarolinahome.com/2020/10/04/autumn-jubilee-sew-along/

I had a fairly easy time choosing fabrics for this sew along.

lined up to stitch
Strips all lined up

I opened my bountiful tote of Autumn Jubilee fabrics, and my “other” tote of fall fabrics and pulled out these pieces. Not all my pieces came from yardage, so I had to join a couple to get the length I needed.

It didn’t take much time to get them all stitched together.

Stitching is completed
Can you find the “join” ?

I don’t often see purple in Autumn fabrics, but I really liked the two in this project, and that helped me pull in the fabric on the outside rows.

Carole suggested using the built in stitches on our sewing machines to “quilt” along the seam line. I chose one of the “long” stitches on my Janome 8900 which looks a bit like a leaf. I used Superior Fantastico thread, in my favorite “CASHMERE” color.

Fun leaf stitches
Top Stitching

I decided to use fusible fleece for the batting as I have a whole bolt. I like that it didn’t need pinned while I did all this top stitching. I also found after I did the first row that I was tired of pushing the foot pedal of my machine, so I unplugged it. It was great to use just the “start/stop” button and only focus on guiding the fabric straight. This rather long stitch does a lot of back and forth so it is time consuming.

Next up is deciding on the inset panel and how I am going to embellish it. I have a piece of fabric set out, and I am thinking about what to machine embroider on it. I may switch colors as the contrast feels a little ‘stark’ to me.

Strip piecing for bag

I might look for a deeper gold or a green. The background fabric will determine the thread colors for the embroidery. Too dark of fabric and the embroidery will disappear. I am going to think about it a bit and see what I stumble over in my bins.

There are other projects beside quilting in the Autumn Jubilee posts. I’m looking forward to seeing what else Carole has planned. One project she posted over the weekend was a wool hand stitching project. I decided to limit what I was doing so I don’t get overwhelmed. I know from previous years there are lots of fun activities ahead.

I’ve enjoyed Carole’s patterns and posts for over 5 years. She has so much variety and I’m sure you will find something you like. If you comment on her blog, tell her I sent you . Be sure to follow to get notified when there is a new blog post, and share your projects inspired by her blog on the Friends of the From My Carolina Home Blog on Facebook, where I am one of the moderators. The friends on that group share their photos of projects inspired by the blog. I find it helpful to look through the photos when I am looking for alternative color, value, saturation on these quilt/sew-alongs.

What are you working on?

Labels for old projects and Autumn Jubilee

As I was changing out a table runner this summer, I remembered that the project didn’t have a label on it. If I make something I usually put some sort of label on it to remind me later of “when” I made it and “what” I referred to it by on my blog posts, in my photo collections etc. I was also moving a wall hanging his summer and when I looked at the back of it I discovered it was lacking a label. I made a mental note to “make labels” and immediately carried on doing other things.

While I was out in my sewing room, working on the never ending scrap clean up (oh…do I have a mess…..) I took a break from cutting things up and grabbed a piece of fabric and made a couple of labels on my embroidery machine.

I have to tell you I haven’t totally figured out the Janome 11000 that I have been using now for a solid year. I can’t figure out how to get more than one line of text on the screen, so I sat down at the computer to work it out. I am using the software called Embrilliance, in EXPRESS MODE, which is FREE.

I’m learning more and more all the time about how to use it. When I started with this set of labels, I found a “frame” built in to the software options. I tripped over it while poking around in the program, and can’t tell you where I found it. (Don’t you just hate when you find something cool and can’t repeat it!) Anyway, I had this green and yellow variegated thread already on the machine, and thought it would make a fun stitch out.

Variegated thread frame
fun with variegated thread
Blue bird label with frame
Finished label

I am having a little “bobbin thread” issue, with the bobbin thread showing on top with this blue thread for the words, but I’m not going to sweat the little stuff…the label is finished, stitched on.

My Little bluebird

I use the same method all the time when making a label to have a nice “finished” edge. I mentioned before that I learned the technique from Pat Sloan https://www.patsloan.com/ when she taught how to make a nice ‘circle’ for an applique project.

Essentially, you lay a piece of fusible pellon over your label, with the glue side facing the RIGHT side of your label. You stitch all around the edges, then cut a slit in the pellon and turn it “right side out. You smooth the edge where the pellon is stitched to your fabric with your finger tip and you have a nice finished edge. I iron the label to the project, then hand stitch around the edges. Most of the time two edges are enclosed in the binding, but since this was adhered after the project was made, I had to hand stitch all the way around. The beauty of the fusing is it holds your label in place while you stitch; no pins! Also, it is an extra security to keeping your label on the project. Not quite so easy to remove, depending on the type of pellon you choose to use.

circles on bluebird
Circles for applique
Close up blue bird
Lots of circles with this machine applique project

The circle turning method was used on the wall hanging the label went on. So, after 5 years of hanging around with no label, it is “FINISHED”. I did this project in a class with Pat Sloan and wrote about it several times https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2015/11/12/wild-and-free-and-bluebirds/ while it was “in progress”.

The second label I made was for my FIRE AND ICE table runner. I used the same green fabric, but switched to bright orange thread to complement the “fire’ on the runner. It’s a funny name for a project, but the ice blue and the bright oranges were the inspiration for the name.

Fire and Ice label
label ready to stitch on

I had pins in it all around because I thought I would bring it in the house, pin to the back of the runner and hand stitch on last night. I decided to wait, and get the runner out of the closet and bring it to the sewing room to press on first. I hate to battle pins! And, I think the edge will be much sharper and crisper when I press it on first.

Note, this time I had NO problem with the bobbin thread peaking through. Sometimes those machines can be a bit finicky.

Batik table runner Fire and Ice
Fire and Ice table runner
Back of the table runner
Back of the runner

To see more about this runner, look for my previous post – https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2018/08/27/fire-and-ice-batik-table-runner/

It’s been fun looking back on older projects, and getting the labels done.

Batik placemats
2018 batik placemats

I just love the different bright colors in batiks. Some can feel really dark, so they have to be used “sparingly” I think.

More placemat fun
Placemats in 2018

I can’t remember if I made 12 or more of these placemats back in 2018. I think I had given them all away to my daughters. When I was looking for a piece of fabric to use for the 2 labels I tripped over a basket of “partially made” placemats. That basket has been sitting around since 2018, so I must have thought about making more. I need a dozen for my “summer” table. I think they will all be a bit different from these I made early on. Something else to go out and work on I think. I really have to get rid of these baskets of partial projects in my next “effort” in my never ending clean up.

I am lucky to have the space, but the “clutter” is bogging me down. I am trying to spend a few hours every day this week to clear up and clean up a bit. I am on a self imposed deadline. Next week starts “Autumn Jubilee on the FROM MY CAROLINA HOME ” blog, and I always look forward to working with fall colors. Carole Carter did a Facebook Live Chat on the Friends of From My Carolina Home page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/591941124470566 ) last week and gave us a hint at what she has planned for October. She mentioned we might want to get a small “leaf” print, at least 1/2 yard in fall colors. I was able to pick up a piece this week that I hope will work. When the shop was unrolling it from the bolt, I realized it was the “end of the bolt” and took what was left. I got about 1 3/4 yard, so I will have plenty.

fabric for Autumn Jubilee 2020
Small print leaves for Autumn Jubilee

Since Carole has been doing Autumn Jubilee, I have kept a container with fall fabrics, and her patterns. It was always my “go box” when I had a quilt bee. I worked on bits and pieces for fall projects for years, and have made plenty of table runners and placemats. This week I took the bin out, sorted things, refolded and assessed what I had on hand. I have another similar sized tote with fall colors that were not “specifically” for Autumn Jubilee. I know I have used up my favorites over the years. Next blog post will be a compilation of my Autumn Jubilee projects from previous years, while I wait for the 2020 edition. I heard there will be opportunity for “machine embroidery” to be included, and I am excited to start something new. Meanwhile, I best get busy cutting up scraps and finishing up another old project left lying around.

What is happening in your sewing room this week?

 

Carolina Hurricane Quilts and Scraps

I mentioned in a post in late September ( Carolina Hurricane Quilts )  about the Carolina Hurricane Quilts project being spearheaded by Carole  Carter on her blog – From My Carolina Home  

I made a few blocks right after that post, and gathered up supplies and made up “kits” to make more blocks.  I have a few scraps and squares and leftover half-square triangles, so it was quick to assemble those kits.  I usually don’t “save’ 4.5″ blocks, but I had LOTS of 5” squares in my Scrap storage system.  More about that in a minute…..

My wonderful bee – the Queen Bee’s took on the challenge of making blocks during our bee gathering last Tuesday.  They came armed with scraps and sewed for about 3 hours.

Queen Bees Carolina Hurricane Blocks

During the bee gathering I snapped some photos and sent them off to Carole!  It was fun to get a group photo.  Here are a couple of pictures of the members, hard at work.

Sharon Oct 2018

Marta and Nancy Oct 2018

(Sorry for the blur ladies….)

Tracy and Mary Oct 2018

(Imagine…I am actually there in a photo….that usually never happens.  Thanks Marta!)

I came home from the bee with a stack of blocks, and still a handful of the kits I made for myself.  I didn’t seem to get as much sewing done there as I had planned, so I spent the week working on more blocks.  My method for working on these has been to make “2 at a time”.  I use those  great little foam core design boards to lay out 2 blocks and move them to the iron and back to the machine, and I can “keep the angles” right fairly easily.  Look back at my blog here – Foam Core Design Boards to get info on the boards and how to construct them.

I keep making blocks, as my hand is continuing to improve following surgery.  Carole asked me if I wanted to put the blocks together into a top, and at the time, I wasn’t sure if I could manage. I think I have about 20  blocks done, and the bee had about 15 done, with more promised.  I planned to “send” them to Carole the 2nd week of November. My Queen Bees who are still making blocks are planning to bring them to me the first Monday of November.  We have such a great variety of fabrics in these blocks.  This afternoon, when the light is better I will put them all up on the design wall for a photo.  Now I am wondering if I am “able” to assemble them.  I will have to get specifics from Carole on size if I decide to do the assembly. (She reads my blog, so I am sure she will write! )

During this bee, it was fun to chat with my “bee mates”, and to learn which ones are following along with Carole on her “Autumn Jubilee 2018”, and who have enjoyed making her mystery quilts. I love that they found her through my blog posts.  I also love that Carole linked to my blog post last week.  The day she did that, I had 82 new visitors.  So, if you are a new reader, and came to find my blog because of Carole, I thank you for reading and coming back for another visit. Be sure to “follow” in your favorite method.  I love reading everyone’s comments too.

At my “next Queen Bee” gathering, I plan to work with one member  and help her come up with a plan for controlling & managing her scraps.  Bonnie Hunter   is one of my FAVORITE well known quilters and in her blog post today she talks about having “variety” in your scrappy quilts and about how to achieve that variety.  (Every January I tend to “clean up” my sewing room and cut my scraps into predetermined sizes. )  Thanks to the lessons I have learned from other bloggers, like Bonnie, and others, such as Joan Ford who has written books about working with scraps too.  I attribute my “scrap storage system” to the inspiration I have found on Bonnie’s blog.  My sizes I save, and my method for storage are unique to me, as it must be for everyone.  I will, no doubt, write about my methods in a future post.  If your curious, you can check out this post- Scrap Storage Containment System

My sister-in-law, Carolyn, wrote about her method on her blog here  One Block Wonder Woman and Scrap Overload .  If you are a “scrappy quilter” how do you “contain” the chaos of scraps?

The Safelight Project 2018

If you are a regular reader, you know I follow a blog written by Carole Carter called From My Carolina Home on WordPress.  Last Christmas, members of the Queen Bees participated in making Christmas cards for a project Carole had underway. These cards made their way to North Carolina and to  residents of a domestic violence  woman’s shelter. If you missed that post or are a new reader, you can check out our cardmaking here – Busy December Days

Carole has a new project underway called The Safelight Project 2018.  You can read the details about it on – From My Carolina Home blog

I decided I would participate again, and make the sunglasses cases and make-up bags she asked for.  I printed out the PDF instructions for making the make-up bag and the sunglasses case from Carole’s blog post.  I also went back and re-read her previous posts that she has linked for really thorough instructions and photo’s.

This is a FAT QUARTER FRIENDLY project.

It takes 2 Fat Quarters (FQ), some batting, and a little sew-in hook/loop fastener (aka Velcro or similar brand).  I have LOTS of fat quarters, plenty of batting scraps and velcro type products on hand.  I pulled out my bin(s) of FQ and spent more time selecting fabrics than I did making the first bag!

Safelight Project fabric choices

Fat Quarter pairs for Safelight project

I grabbed my batting “scraps” and my fusible tape and got busy too!

Batting and seam Tape by Pellon

I just opened my 2nd package of this Pellon EK150 Batting & Seam Tape.  I paid about $14.69 for 30 YARDS of this tape at Walmart . com recently.  The last package lasted me 3 or 4 years.  All you need to do to use it is to have a straight edge on both pieces you want to join, butt the edges together and press this on.  For a small project like this that I will do heavy quilting on, that fussy gap the arrow is pointing to won’t matter. If I was joining the pieces for a quilt, I would fuse a layer on both sides of the join to ensure there would be no shifting.  I love this stuff, and I use it on lots of small projects, like placemats, table runners, small quilts when I come up short with a bit of batting. No WASTE.  (I have a BIG tote full of batting “cut-off” pieces from quilts!) (I also love the lime green box which makes it “visable” in my cluttered sewing room…..my friend Nancy KNOWS how I lost the last roll…hiding in plain sight!)

I dug out my bag of hook and loop tape –

Velcro "STASH"

and I was set to go.

I stitched up the first make-up bag in about 20 minutes, including quilting.  I used a “swirly” stitch on my Janome for it.

Bag set for Project Safelight

It went together so easily, I thought this would be a great project to take with me to the Queen Bees gathering this week. Since I had it started, I wanted to keep going!  I packed it all up and took it along with me on Tuesday.  I did the quilting on the sunglasses case with my Singer Featherweight at the bee.  I put in a heavy duty needle (#16) for sewing the hook & loop tape.  My history with sewing that stuff is NOT good, and the secret is the #16 needle. The Featherweight powered through nicely. As you can see from the photo of the sunglasses case, it has a nice stitch for quilting too.

Of course, at a bee, I get to visiting and talking and never get as much done as expected.  So, I did more sewing last night at home. I set up an “assembly line” sewing arrangement and now have things moving along.

Assembly line sewing

Batting ready to go

I still have some corners to trim and pieces to turn and quilting to do!  It is a quick project, and doing more than one set is easy when you are doing the same step on multiple pieces. I’m please with the outcome so far, and once they are finished they will be easy to mail in a big envelope.

Do check out Carole’s post, The Safelight Project 2018 and see if you can help in one way or the other.  She has a big project, and her wonderful blog post is also full of PRIZES for participants.  The cause is so worthy too.  These bags will go to incoming residents on what must be one of the worst days of their life, when someone they love and trusted has hurt them physically and broken that trust.  The hope is to provide a positive caring message that they are worthy and valued women, and other women care deeply about the situation they are currently in. Won’t you help too as you are able?

Autumn Jubilee and more model railroad display work

If you have read my blog for a period of time, you know that I enjoy following posts by Carole – From My Carolina Home

Carole has been writing and sharing mystery quilts – of which I have done a couple; and last fall she did a sew along, and in December she did one as well.  Her projects are easy to work with, as you do the steps in small “chunks”.  This month, she is running her annual “Autumn Jubilee” on the blog, and there is another sew along.  The pattern this time is called Stars on Autumn Lane.  So far, it is looking like an easy project to make. I love that she gives out multiple sizes, so you can make a table topper, a lap quilt or a twin.  I told her in a comment I was GLAD she did not give out the KING SIZE info, or I would make one!  You see, when I get started with one of Carole’s patterns, I have SEW MUCH FUN, and want to “keep making” the units.

Do you remember my leaves and pumpkins from last year?  Well, you may remember I made THREE table runners doing that project, and those were Carole’s patterns!  And last month, I blogged about the place mats I was working on – Still playing with Autumn Jubilee 2016

Anyway, it is NOT too late to get started and sew along!  So, go visit Carole’s blog for the cutting instructions –Stars on Autumn Lane cutting instructions

and visit today’s post for the first block assembly – Block A – Stars on Autumn Lane

Now, you know me, I like to sew along!!  I have not even gotten started!!!!  I do have my box of Autumn Jubilee fabrics and stuff from “last years project”; so once I have some time, I can get busy.

You see, I haven’t been in my sewing room in over a week, because I have been helping the hubby get ready to display a model railroad set up at the Apple Scrapple Festival this weekend in Bridgeville DE. The display will feature HO model trains and we are promoting the DelMarVa Model Railroad Club open house season coming up in November through January.

He has had me painting and adding various elements to the scenery.  We loaded the SUV last night with 8 boxes of scenery, two boxes of trains, a table, 2 folding chairs, 2 bar stools, a box of brochures, a raffle ticket box and donation box, 2 great raffle prizes, box cars to sell, and much more that I can’t even think about right now.  Once we get the train display all set up tonight, I will get a few pictures!  In the meantime, here is a sneak peak of some of the scenery I have been playing around with —

Back of the School House

The school house is mounted to foam core board, and I have added a gravel parking lot and a green space between the building and what will be the edge of the train tracks.

20171009_200642

Added lots of green to “plastic model trees” to give them a more realistic look.

Weighting down the foam core board

Along side of the railroad track, I have some greenery going in next to the foam core board to “soften the edges”.   This piece of foam core was painted to give the appearance of concrete; for sidewalks and parking lots; then glued down to the layout.  The paint cans are to hold it down until dried.  Then the buildings will be placed after we transport to the set up location.  These buildings in the photo are not in position and have since been painted to give them a less “plastic” look.

This is “just a peek” at what I have been up to all week!  If you are in the area, be sure to stop by the Apple Scrapple Festival in Bridgeville DE on Saturday and look for us in the Woodbridge Middle School Cafeteria!  (Listen for the train whistle!)http://www.applescrapple.com/

Autumn Jubilee Quilt Along with Carole

REVISED **

Like I NEED another project…………..but I just can’t resist a “scrappy project”.   Yesterday morning, Carole – From My Carolina Home on WordPress posted her Autumn Jubilee Quilt Along .   Of course,  I was hooked as soon as I read her blog post!  If you comment on her blog post you might win a prize!  Carole has Aurifil Thread as a sponsor!

I went out to my sewing room over the garage, and I diverted my time from Mittens!  ( I swore I wasn’t going to let anything interrupt me…..)

I pulled out the bins from the cabinet that hold my “scrap storage system” .  (Thanks Bonnie Hunter  and Joan Ford ); collected some already cut 3″ and 2.5″ squares in the Autumn colors.  I even had the neutrals, already cut, in those sizes.

(note – Bonnie and Joan have similar approaches; both have books and blogs.  My system is a combination of both, which I have previously written about.  Links at the bottom of the post to both Bonnie & Joan, and my previous post about scrap storage.)

I laid out a block; dug in my scrap baskets (sorted by color) for pieces to use for the stems, and got busy.  While I was digging in the scrap basket, I pulled some other pieces that could be cut into squares and starched, ironed and cut them too.

Autumn Jubilee block

I got these blocks together before dinner.  They all need squared up to 6″.    

**Carole just sent me a note –  the blocks finish as 6 inches, at this stage you square them to 6-1/2 inches to allow seam allowance.

Leaf blocks for Autumn Jubilee

I went “back out to the garage” after dinner. (The dishwasher was running and I left dishes in the sink, but hey, I was on a mission and dinner really interrupts my flow……)

I decided I wanted more blocks.  Carole said –  “If you want to make all the projects in the quilt along, you’ll need 24. “

So, I got busy!   Since I pretty much pulled out of my scrap storage box all of the colors, I dug into the scrap bags for the oranges, golds and browns.  I did a little more starching, pressing and cutting.  While I was at it, I cut some other sizes to go into my scrap storage boxes; things that were too small for this project, like 1.5 & 2″ strips and squares. (I always cut the biggest size I want first, in this case 3″, then I cut the remaining into the next usable size).

I built a few more stems, sewed some more half square triangles (HST)  and looked at the clock. It was nearly 10:30 pm.  ( I swear I was only going out for half an hour!)  Time flies when you are having fun!  I brought my small cutting mat and trimming tools into the house with me and will do a little squaring up of the HST’s this morning.

HST for Autumn Jubilee Quiltalong

I think these will give a bit more variety to the leaves.  I might have to dig in my boxes again for greens for another round……. I really don’t know how many I will get made.  At least another 6.

I don’t know what the project will turn into.  That is part of the fun of the Quilt Along that Carole does.  Next block won’t come out until next Friday, and I am leaving for Texas at the crack of dawn the next morning, but I will at least have a start. It will be nearly Halloween when I get home, and I won’t be able to keep up, but I will follow along while I am away.   I think these alone will make cute place mats or a nice fall table runner (which I need), or 4 together for a table topper.  I will have to “wait and see” for now.

What are you working on?

NOTE:  NO YARDAGE WAS USED IN THIS PROJECT……all scraps!   

Bonnie Hunter – Scrap Users System –  http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/06/scrap-users-system.html

Joan Ford  – http://hummingbird-highway.com/do-you-need-scraptherapy/

My scrap storage posts –  https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2015/10/18/scrap-storage-containment-system/

Linking up today – Show off Saturday

 

 

Project updates – Mystery quilts and trains

This past Friday, commonly called BLACK Friday I got to sew!  No shopping for me, except for a few grocery items late in the afternoon.  It was an “exciting” day for me because it was the day that PART  # 1, for the Bonnie Hunter / Quiltville Winter Mystery Quilt 2015 Allietare,  was released.  If you missed it; go directly to Bonnie’s blog – Allietare, Part 1  .  If you want to see what others have accomplished over just 1 weekend – check out the “LINK UP” that Bonnie is running on her blog post today – Clue 1 Link Up Party!

Like many other QUILTVILLIANS, I was up early, printing out that set of “clues” for Part 1, and getting my sewing groove on.  I decided I would try the Easy Angle ruler suggested in the directions for making the half square triangle units.  I struggled to get my perfect seam allowance so the units would measure out precisely as indicated in the “clues”.  My Janome 8900 has a 1/4″ setting, and a 1/4″ foot, and generally that is my standard “seam allowance” on everything I do.  But, Bonnie is very specific in the instructions about the FINISHED size of the unit, and making sure you adjust your seam allowance to ensure it is perfect.  I ended up taking off my 1/4″ foot, using a standard foot, and moving my needle over as FAR to the right as it would go.  I did end up with better finished units and other than a few that got “chewed up” while chain piecing, or “chewed up” by the silly foot on my OLISO iron, I did well. Love that iron, but it catches the edges on the little things.

I dedicated the day to my project and I worked from “before breakfast” until it was time to stop for dinner.  ( I did venture into the house & kitchen to put on a nice pot of turkey soup. Epicurious.com has a great recipe for Turkey Noodle Soup with Tomatoes….5 star in my view) (Thanks darling daughter for the recipe idea).  

I was able to get 60 units finished, and a big pile stitched and ready to trim.  Because my skills with the easy angle are not expert, I did find that I needed to trim more than just the dog ears.Ready to stitch Chain piecing

ready to trim

As you can see in that basket on the left, I have LOTS & LOTS more trimming to do.  That will be my project today.  I love using my Clover Wonder clips for grouping into stacks of ten, for easy counting.

Today, Bonnie Hunter posted on Facebook a link that I wanted to share with you.  You might remember last spring I did a set of wonderful “marking pins” for keeping my rows and columns organized, while moving between the design wall & the sewing machine.  I totally failed to credit the blog where I found the instructions that worked for me.   Nancy’s Marking Pins tutorial .  Do you remember my pins?large group of pins

So, I must thank Nancy for her clear directions!  I remember that I had been searching for several months for a method to make my pins and her blog was a winner.  I saw the link to her blog today on Facebook, and knew I better extend my thanks!  In fact, I am going back to those previous blog posts later today and inserting her link there too!!

Friday was also the day that Carole released the final instructions for the Christmas Table Topper – Quilt Along she designed and I have been working on.  In case you missed it, check here for Part 4 – From My Carolina Home blog .  All I was able to do was get the directions printed out.

Not much has been happening in my quilting room over the weekend, sadly.  I have spent the weekend with the hubby at his model railroad club open house, selling raffle tickets, welcoming visitors etc. It is a lot of fun to see the kid’s (young and old) enjoy the displays.    There was a lot of activity, and we did have the best weekend in over 5 years! If you love model trains, enjoy looking at displays; there are 3 more weekends when the club will be open to the public.  Details here – DelMarVa Model Railroad Club  .  I did take some great pictures to share if you are unable to visit .  Parkersburg yard

You can find more here – DelMarVa Model Railroad Club photos

Speaking of trains, I want to tell you about a different kind of train – Meal Train.  There was a death recently of a member of my church, who was also my friend. His family lives very close by and I took a meal to them the day after he passed away.  My pastor asked if I could coordinate meals, and offered some suggested websites that make it very efficient.  I signed up and started notifying church members via Facebook, and the response and function of the website has been great.  If you ever have the occasion to help in your community,   Meal Train  is a great tool.  The website suggests it is useful for ” organizing meals for a friend after a birth, surgery, or illness”.  And, at times when you can do little else to help, it is a wonderful way to ensure a bereaved family has a hot meal and they don’t have to worry about cooking.

I hope you had a wonderful week of Thanksgiving, if you are in the USA.  Our holiday is sometimes full of over-indulging, but it is also a wonderful time to catch up with friends and family too.  I have lots of trimming to do, and some catch up work on that Christmas Table topper! I hope you have a chance to spend time with your family and friends, and enjoy some time at your hobbies too.