Small projects

I took a break from long term projects and did something “small”.   I decided Friday afternoon to make another Chubby Charmer Bag.

There is, of course, a story to go along.  All month I have been sorting through, pricing and boxing up “Second Time Around” items in preparation for our quilt show in July. Check out the website for details on the show –  https://www.oceanwavesquiltguild.org/quilt-show   (If you are in the mid-Atlantic area in July, plan on coming – over 220 quilts are registered, and LOTS of vendors!)

My co-chair and I have been ruthless in “re-homing” things that we just can’t figure out a way to sell or that don’t stand up to the quality of product we want to sell.  So, among the box of things to go to a donation drop-off was a bundle of upholstery samples.  I didn’t want to give away my box, so I was tossing things from the box into a bag in my trunk.  As one hand put those upholstery samples in the bag, my other hand reached in and took them back out.  The fabric was kind of fun, great textures and weight.

I gave the “book of samples” to my hubby to cut off the rivets holding the book together. With the aid of his air tools and cutting blade and 10 minutes of high velocity spinning of the cutting wheel, he had the rivet head cut. Dang, those rivets got HOT in the process.  After they cooled a little, we pulled the book apart and I had a great little stack of fabric.  I got out my 60 mm rotary cutter and ruler and proceeded to cut them into 5″ squares.  Each piece in this small book of fabric had a label on one end and holes for the rivets and pins to pass through on the other end.  5″ squares was the perfect size.  Of course, this kind of fabric likes to ravel, and I had to handle them very carefully.

I arranged the pieces to make ready for sewing.  There are no duplicate fabrics, but some very similar to each other, either in texture or style.

Ready to assemble

I used fusible fleece on the back of the squares and quilted each panel. In the photo above only the panel on the left is quilted.

New Chubby charmer bag

The pattern calls for fusible fleece on the back side of the lining too, but I didn’t have enough on hand so I used Pellon Craft fuse on the lining and on the pockets.  I dug through my stash looking for a piece of fabric large enough to make the lining and pockets.  I found a tan with flowers scattered over it.  I didn’t want flowers on the handles, so I found another complementary fabric for it.  This second photo shows a bit of the lining.  I think the choices of fabrics all worked well together. I love the textures of the fabrics that make up the outside of the bag.

Side 2 of Chubby charmer

A small project gives me a chance to get something FINISHED! These bags will hold a quilt for show and tell!  Or lots of goodies when traveling, shopping, etc.

Pair of chubby charmer bags

So, now I have made 2 of these bags.  The blue one was done with charm squares as the pattern intended, and was made exactly to the directions of the pattern by Peggy Sturges. (Pattern ps024 Chubby Charmer – Quilts Illustrated)  (Note; pattern is available on Amazon, just type Chubby Charmer in the search box).

Meanwhile, many long term, big projects await my attention.  Sashing the blocks for my Talkin’ Turkey project is going well.  I have 5 rows sashed, 2 rows sewn together, and one lonely row awaits sashing. That is my project for this rainy afternoon.

1 row to go

Note – Talkin’ Turkey is a pattern by Bonnie Hunter, and can be found in her book “String Fling”. Check out her website/blog – www.quiltville.blogspot.com for more info.

What are you working on?

 

I love the 3rd Friday!

I look forward to the 3rd Friday of the month.  I “book” time in my calendar especially for the release of the “next step” in the Scrap Dance Mystery Two Step quilt by Carole – From My Carolina Home  .  Carole writes such great instructions, and today was the day for Step 5 of our mystery.  I love the way she breaks down the instructions into “Two Steps” !  It’s not to late to sew along!  Check out the blog post from today-use the button on my page or the link above.

I am making the twin size, (I think….) and this afternoon before dinner, and after dinner I got all 12 blocks constructed.  Of course, in the photo they are randomly placed, and this is not the final arrangement as there are 2 more months to go on the mystery!

Scrap dance two step Part 5

This is a pure SCRAP project, and I pulled from my “already cut” items in my Scrap Storage System!  (I am an avid follower of Bonnie Hunter and have been cutting the scraps for a couple of years and storing them in containers waiting for the “right” projects.)

Speaking of Bonnie Hunter, I played a bit with my Talkin’ Turkey quilt that I started in her class in Dover DE last September.  I have started the sashing of the blocks, and have 2 rows sashed.  The first row is stitched together, and I still have some joining of blocks on the 2nd row. I like the way the sashing puts a little 9 patch between the blocks.  More to follow on that project.

Sashing done on a few blocks Talkin' Turkey

There are 30 blocks total to sash and join.  I have all the sashing made, but need to spend some time attaching it to the blocks etc.

I had to take the Talkin’ Turkey “off the wall” earlier in the week to lay out a quilt during my quilt bee with the Material Girls.  Our guild is making a quilt top for the outgoing president, and we all did a string block and signed the blocks.  The president of the guild is in my Material Girls bee, so we had to “keep her from looking” while we worked on the quilt.  I put her to work on “Second Time Around” fabrics, ironing and trimming and folding and pricing donations for the quilt show. She and a few other other ladies did an AMAZING amount of work while the rest of us focused on the president’s quilt top assembly.  Of course, since we were at my house, I had to flit from person to person, making sure my “Second Time Around” helpers were on task and answering questions.  I did manage to sew 3 rows of the President’s quilt, so I can safely say I wasn’t goofing off the whole time.  I tasked one member of our bee to take a wide assortment of 4.5″ squares, and to “bundle” them into groups of compatible colors.  She was amazing and got 99% of them into bundles that we will sell at the quilt show.  (I just knew she was the right woman for the job, and she was committed to NOT leaving the job unfinished!)

Working on bundles

I’ve had 3 days this week of working on 2nd Time Around in preparation for our quilt show in July. Today I tackled all those “non fabric” items that have been donated.  I ended up with 3 shoe boxes sorted & filled with various rick rac, hem tape and packaged binding.  Any of the packages that were already opened went into a box for donation to a charity our guild supports in Tanzania, Africa,  Sifa Threads .  I am boxing up notions, thread, zippers, seam rippers, and LOTS of rick race & prepackaged binding.  A member of our bee & guild will have her son take a suitcase full of sewing supplies to Tanzania when he returns later in the year. We are inspired by the Sifa Threads mission to teach young women to sew and at completion of the course, they earn a sewing machine of their own to take home. Hopefully they will find a way to earn a living for their families through the training and equipment provided.

Last week I was able to work on quilting my Pet Mosaic quilt – “MITTENS”.  I was inspired at a sit & sew the end of April to get it layered up and quilted.  I ordered a wide backing from Marshall Dry Goods . com and it arrived early in the week. I did a lot of “thread painting” on his (Mittens) ears, and general quilting of his fur.  I still have a lot to do, but on Monday, I turned in my entry for the quilt show.  He is coming along nicely, and I think if I have just “one more day” to work on the quilting, I will be able to knock it out.

Thread painting the ear

Quilting Mittens

I am working on my Janome 8900 doing free motion quilting, trying to capture the way the fur on this cat grows. (The squares in the quilt are 2″ to give you an idea of the scale).

I hope you are working on something fun, and have fun things to look forward to as well.  I find it so important in my well being to only do those things that bring me joy.  Not always possible, but I am striving to do away with the things that stress me (like those stinkin’ wisdom teeth)  and focus on the fun.

Happy Scrappy Quilting!

Binding containment

I knew it was going to be one of those weeks, but golly, I need a day of rest!  I had 3 mornings where ladies came to work on Second Time Around fabrics; and while they helped press, trim, measure, fold and price fabrics, I was able to sort through the stuff that was “not fabric”.  I sorted out thread spools; separating the old wooden spools from the modern plastic. I tossed the really yucky old thread, set aside other threads to be donated, sorted boxes of embellishments, lace; rickrack and seam binding. I feel like I made some headway, but come Friday afternoon, I could not see any empty flat surface in my sewing space.  I gathered up the boxes I was sorting into, and stacked them all up, and now I can see my cutting table, and my big work table again!  I needed my “space” to work on Senior Quilts.

Two days this week I worked on our Senior Quilt project at church, and we managed to get 5 quilts tied.  We use crochet cotton, and tie at the intersections of the 8.5″ squares.

Pinning Senior Quilts

Senior quilt for Eagle Scout

I brought home 4 to bind, and I have a 3 day sit & sew camp this week, so that should go fairly easy!  Now that the work table is cleared off, I hope to get them trimmed this afternoon. 

3 quilts overloaded my bag

I have made the binding for 2 of the quilts; and of course, I use my favorite method, Susie’s Magic Binding  .  I love this binding as it is all stitched on by machine, which is great on quilts that will get heavy use.  Making it does take the “extra step” but it goes quickly. 

 I was inspired to “change methods” for storing the binding by a Facebook post I read today.  Usually I roll it onto a cardboard tube, then stand that tube on my thread rack on the back of my machine. These quilts take about 320″ of binding.

Susies Magic Binding Dakota quilt

 I read all kinds of methods, and tripped over one I which inspired me.  Anne Sidell – Confessions of a Serial Quilter posted about a method she uses – How to Tame your Binding  – on her blog.  I modified because I discovered her method and my machine were not compatible.  My adaptation was to use the empty “cone” from Superior Thread to store the binding.  The cone will fit on my thread rack, and I will run the binding up and over the thread stand guide of the machine.  (I will post a photo when I am at that step)

2 spools of binding

I’ve got 2 spools loaded with binding for 2 senior quilts.  This afternoon, I will layout the other 2 quilts, select the fabrics for the binding and get it made, and “wound” on the spools.  I think I will store each spool with the quilt in a ziplock bag to keep the fraying on the edges done until I can get it attached this week.  I KNEW there was a reason I didn’t throw those empty cones away.  Note, I tried to roll the binding on neatly, but it got to be too thick of a spool, so I “layered” it up and down the spindle as I wrapped.  Hard to make it look as pretty as the ones that Anne Sidell did using her method.  

How do you “wrangle” your binding???

 

 

Gardens,Quilt show and Talkin’ Turkey

I spent 3 days in the garden this past week, working on 9 months of weeds! Yes, it is true, I gave up sewing time for working in the garden.  I made multiple trips to our compost pile in back in our woods to empty the trailer of the debris.  I still have “many” days worth of work in the yard.  I decided that I like quilting better than gardening.  I should be outside right now with a tool and a bucket working on some of that stuff, but then, who would write my blog post, or read yours?  Seriously, I have had to force myself to “schedule” yard work time on my google calendar!  But at least now, I can see the remaining tulips blooming, and know that the hostas are emerging from their winter sleep, and the sad looking azaleas will bloom once more.  The sedum have all been dead headed, and I started to split them for transplant in to other areas of the garden.

If you know a trick to rid my flowerbeds of the “mums gone wild”, let me know. Backstory – I planted several pots of “mums” one fall and they have turned into weeds, taking over the beds.  I have dug and dug and dug until I am crazy.  They never bloomed again after that first fall, and I just want them “out” of the garden.  The other thing I want out is the lighting system and soaker hose system, until at least I get the weeding done.  Over the years the lights have been damaged and the hose has felt the edge of the shovel when I was attacking some wild thing that sprung up.  Perhaps it was a great idea “way back when” but not today.   I’ve been ruthless removing sections, as I come to them, and will put the hubby back to work “laying fresh hose” once I have the mulch down.

More work to be done

There is still more weeding and mulching to be done!!  And, I have some time “blocked out” on my calendar!  

Meanwhile, between all the garden work, I went and picked up “more” donations for the quilt guild “Second Time Around”. Two trips, and two vehicles, and just when I saw light at the end of the tunnel, I have more “stuff’ to weed though.  I have had several workdays this month and lots of great helpers getting things pressed and trimmed and folded and priced to resell at the quilt guild and at our quilt show in July.  Gosh – if you are on the East coast in July you should plan a visit – details here – Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show – in Lewes Delaware.  Last show we had over 200 quilts on display, and lots of vendors.  Of course, you can stop and say hi to me at the Second Time Around tables and get some great bargains!!

I did get a couple of opportunities to work on my Talkin’ Turkey project since my post about making those Flying Geese. This quilt pattern, is by Bonnie Hunter, in her String Fling Book.  By Friday of last week – I had a few blocks on the wall. — Do you recognize those flying geese from my last post?

Talking Turkey 19 to go

(Do you see the blocks all stacked up under the ones pinned to the wall?  Those are 4.5″ squares that were donated, and they are being sorted into “pretty stacks” for sale at the Second Time Around Table at the show!)

I got a bit of time on both Saturday and Sunday evening to sew, and I did LOTS of assembly!    There are 21 blocks up on the wall now, and lots of pieces “ready to sew” for the last 9.  I have all the units prepped and pinned on the blocks, and when I get an extra hour, I can zip right through them.  

21 done Talkin Turkey

Of course, at this point my brain has moved on to “other things”, like the next step in the assembly process.  (There are LOTS more steps to go in this project, with multiple pieced borders.  I saw a “finished” Talkin’ Turkey for sale on Etsy for $1200…… ) Anyway, I had to count out how many more neutral  and red squares I will have to cut, and check if I have the next neutral sashing cut yet or not.  I won’t start that step until all the blocks are assembled and I have a chance to really “arrange them” on my design wall so I get a nice balance of the “scrappy”.  I have several blocks that have “bright bits” that I want to spread out; like stripes in the center of the nine patch or polka dots (both black and white) that do jump out at me.  So, a bit of “design layout will be in order, and I will have to “clear my wall” to make room for the entire project. It is very satisfying to see it come to this point.  

A busy week ahead for me with a Quilt show meeting, 3 mornings with 2nd Time Around helpers coming over, an all day quilt bee and two days where I have ladies coming up to church to help “tie” quilts for our graduates.  (Hmmmm….when will that garden work happen or any more of my own sewing happen…..)

I hope you are having fun with your projects!

A quieter week

I’ve had a couple of quiet days, and time to play a bit more with my Brother PE500 embroidery machine.   I made a few more bibs for the littlest grandchild and delivered them on Thursday when I went to babysit.  As I worked on these I was reminded how important it is (to me) to have an organized filing system.  I say this because I was having trouble “finding” the design that I was looking for.

When I download designs from a website, I try to print out the “color change sheet” at the same time. My intention is to always name the file something that is “close” to what it was called by the designer, and to include any “file code” names as part of the name. I have an embroidery download folder on my computer, and many, many, sub folders. I  break those sub folders down by “type”; for example, Holidays-Valentines Day/Christmas/Easter/St Patrick’s Day; or Animals; Food; Verses etc.  I place the color change sheet in a 3 ring binder in a similar way, using page dividers.  I am up to 4 – three ring binders!

Well – wouldn’t you know, I have a HEARTS folder and a Valentines folder.  Many of the HEARTS are NOT specific to Valentines day.  Darn if the file I was searching for didn’t land in the HEARTS folder, not the Valentines Day Folder.  I wasted a good deal of “stitching time” looking for the file.  (Like 3 days wasted….)

At one point, I gave up and I started with a St Patrick’s Day design, while I “looked” for the elusive Valentine/Heart file.  I did a little stitching and searching.  Finally I selected an alternate Valentine design and set it up to run.  Well in my haste, I had not “removed” the St Patrick’s Day design from the machine before I started the stitch out on the 2nd design.  1/2 way through the first color, I realised it was stitching out my St Patrick’s Day design all over again.  Well, you decide if you like it in pinks and purples instead of the greens!

February Bib Fun for Addy

I decided to just keep on stitching and while it was busy stitching; get the fabric prepped for an alternate Valentine!  So, 3 new bibs completed and that will be it for a while.  The littlest grandchild will be a year old next month and has quite a collection of “StitchingGrandma” bibs.  (Somewhere in the bib process in the last couple of weeks, I lost the great “Bandana” pattern, so she got traditional shaped bibs.  Clean up was in order at the end of this project; and again, the lost pattern was found and stored away properly!)

I took the new Singer Featherweight 221 for a spin on Wednesday.  My quilt bee – Material Girls – had an all day sit & sew; and that new little machine had a great debut.  Tuesday night we got her oiled up (must be 90 oiling / lube  points). She is clean as a whistle.  Had a few challenges “winding” a bobbin, and had to engage the hubby to help.  Got 3 bobbins ready with his help and determined what was causing the trouble.  He adjusted the belt a tad and it worked much better.  (Nice to have a guy with a mechanical mind helping out).

Today, the LED light I ordered arrived (Thank you EBay!).  I installed it and am pleased with the brightness and lower temperature.  The Ebay seller I purchased from had a few photo’s showing the difference in temperature on the light- from 172 degrees on the incandescent  bulb to 74 degrees with the LED bulb.  That will save an accidental burn on a wrist!  The difference in the light was significant – from 139 lumens to 205 lumens.  Hubby said the bulbs look similar to automotive tail lights. He thinks that the new bulb will last a long time, and because it is LED, will be less likely to break due to the handling of the machine transport case.  I will be ordering 2 belts soon, just to have one on hand and to replace the current belt which is at it’s limit of adjustment.   All in all, I am most pleased with this little machine, which was made in January of 1948. She stitches well and should be a fun travel machine!

I have assembled a tote ready to “travel” with the Autumn Jubilee project material.  I can just “grab & go” to a sit and sew, and not have to “think” about what project I am going to take to work on, or worry over what to assemble ahead of time.  (One of the Bee members said this is how she operates and the only time the project gets worked on is at a bee)  I did manage to get 6 more blocks made on Wednesday using the Autumn Jubilee pattern.  I have lots of pieces cut and ready to assemble. My intention is to make 6 – 8 placemats with the lovely leaf pattern. Once I get a “few” more leaves made I can start building the placemats.  At this rate, it will be August before I can set the table; but the timing will be just about right for this project.  I like the idea of “no stress” on which project to take.  The fun of a going to a sit & sew or quilters bee is the company.  I like being able to dedicate a whole day (or 2 or 3) and not have any other tasks taking me away from the fun!  (Note – the Autumn Jubilee project is from a pattern by Carole – From My Carolina Home)

I worked on my Talkin’ Turkey blocks again Wednesday night and again this afternoon.  I have 4 left to add the corner string blocks to. They are “pinned” and ready to stitch.  The Talkin’ Turkey pattern is by Bonnie Hunter and can be found in the String Fling Book. Bonnie Hunter’s blog

I will need to  square up the blocks next.  I am thinking about how I am going to tackle the  “next round” which will include a LOT of flying geese (8 per block x 30 blocks= 240 flying geese units.)  The pattern by Bonnie Hunter suggests you use the Easy Angle and Companion Angle ruler for the Flying Geese or your “favorite method” .

I plan to use my new Square in a Square tool/method –OPTION 3…by Jodi Barrows.  Using the Square in a Square tool by Jodi Barrows,  flying geese will be done with strips and squares; and if I do the math right; it is done with 120 squares and LOTS of strips!! I just have to sit down with Bonnie Hunters pattern and find the “finished unit size) and then check my Square in a Square book and the chart and figure out what size squares and strips I need to start!  More to follow! I like the “methodical” building of units for a big quilt.  240 Flying Geese doesn’t scare me after I did that quilt last winter with 1400+ half square triangles.  I will be making about 4 “test units” just to make sure I have them sized properly before I begin!

Check out the video on you – tube if you have never seen this ruler or method.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekwRp8_cGU     and    www.squareinasquare.com 

What fun things are you working on??   What is your favorite method for flying geese ?  Do you have any “new tools” or “toys” ??  Do tell………………

A package delivered

I mailed a package off last week and have been WAITING for it to be delivered and OPENED.  I sent 2 gifts in the box; one for my son-in-law who must WAIT for Christmas. The other was for my daughter, and I gave her “permission” to open on arrival!  (Selfish me wanted to post photo’s and blog about it!). Seriously, it was something she could use NOW for her holiday table.  (That’s my story anyway!)

You remember the Autumn Jubilee pumpkin/autumn leaves table runners I have been making ?    I asked her if she was interested in one, and she said yes.  Then, she tossed a design idea at me.  She asked for a “double sided” table runner. A “two season, I don’t want to store a bunch of stuff” request.  I thought that seemed like a good idea (and this is why I consult her frequently).   I  played around with the pumpkins and leaves and came up with this for the Autumn Jubilee side —

Autumn Jubilee Table Runner Number 3

I picked that border fabric on the Autumn side because I thought it had a more “modern” feel….not too “country” looking.

The “flip side”  is for Christmas —

Reverse side of Autumn Jubilee tablerunner

I believe the table runner finished out at  17″ x 51″

Three star table runner

It looks much better on her dining table than on my little workshop table.

Double sided table runner
I used the same fabric and star pattern for this table runner as I did for her Christmas Pillow covers I made last year.  I wrote a detailed post about them here – Star Pillows .

Thanks to all the great people who blog and write patterns and share them.  The Autumn Jubilee is inspired by Carole  on her blog- From My Carolina Home .  The Star Pillow is from a pattern by Melissa Mortenson http://www.polkadotchair.com/2014/02/patchwork-quilted-pillows.html/

The soft gold binding in my “Susie’s Magic Binding” was inspired by my hubby! I was struggling to find a binding that would work for both sides; and he suggested the soft gold that is prevalent in the star and on the background fabric.  Of course it worked well on the Autumn Jubilee side too!  (I’ve written previous posts about Susie’s Magic Binding  https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2015/11/20/binding-and-other-projects/  if you want more info.)

I quilted using a walking foot and did variable widths of straight line quilting. I used Superior Thread 40 weight – CASHMERE – Fantastico 5035  .  Nobody is paying me to say this – I LOVE THAT THREAD.  I just opened my second spool.  That is, the 2nd  2000 yard spool!  The colors in this variegated thread blend with so many things. I highly recommend it. It was my bobbin thread as well.   The transitions in the colors are subtle, and it really is a pleasure to use that thread.  Anyway, with the quilting being rather dense, I think it gives “weight” to the runner and helps it lay flat on the table. (Even in the last photo, after it had been folded up for several days in the mail.)

I am very pleased with the outcome of this project.  Of course, I have more “pumpkin/leaf & star  parts” available, so I may make myself a Christmas runner at some point. I still have some more placemats to work on as well…but those are for autumn and Christmas is coming!

What are you working on ??  Any secret projects you can reveal yet?  Happy Stitching!  Don’t let the deadlines spoil your joy!

 

Update — Linked up to Oh Scrap!!   The Oh Scrap  button is also on the side of my blog!

A little fun!

I managed to sneak into my sewing room and have a little fun.  Thanks for putting up with my rant the other day.

I added another finish to the stack with 1 more placemat 12″ x 21″.  I like that size a bit better. I like the finish too, so I will probably make some more similar. Quite likely the borders/backing/binding will all be slightly different.  I have enough leaves sewn together to make 8 total.

Placemat Autumn Jubilee

Today, I showed this runner as a flimsy at my Material Girls Bee, along with the previous runner.  I  was able to work on it this evening and now have another finished table runner

2nd Table Runner

This runner is just a bit bigger (14×48)than the last one (15×42).  I added an extra row to fit my table a bit better. I didn’t use as wide a border either; so that it isn’t “in the way” if I put placemats on the table.  Did some matchstick quilting with variegated thread (Cashmere by Superior Threads).  I used that same thread in the stitching in the border. It is one of 300 stitches on my machine, and up close it looks like leaves.  The binding is the same fabric as the backing.  If you “zoom in” you can see I used Susie’s Magic binding on both the placemat and the runner.

Tomorrow morning is another “work day” with the guild stuff, but I hope I can play a bit in the afternoon and finish up 2 more placemats.

Note – the Autumn Jubilee pattern for both of these projects was inspired by Carole Carter – From My Carolina Home

What are you working on in your crafty space??