Another small project done

I decided to replace a very worn out small handbag that I have been using daily for at least 3 years. The bag is tattered on the corners, and has gone through the washer and dryer many times. I bought it for travel use at the local Eddie Bauer Outlet, on a whim, for less than $10. I’ve gotten more than my money’s worth out of it for certain.

With a trip coming up this weekend, I decided I could “MAKE” a new bag, but make it slightly LONGER than the original bag. One thing about the original I love was the outside pocket on the back that my big fat cell phone could slide into. I loved the 3 zipper pockets, but I know my sewing talents don’t go that far, and I am thrilled I got one zipper in, and made it work.

I’ve made quite a few things like this, only smaller, in the embroidery hoop. I’m limited on the length though, so I took the skills I learned from machine embroidery and came up with this bag.

New bag
front of the bag

I finally used one of those lace zippers I had on hand. (More than a year ago, my friend Nancy & I split an Amazon order). The zipper goes across the top. I made the bag substantially longer so my bigger wallet would fit in. I bought the wallet, handmade, from one of the ladies at the Assisted living facility where I used to volunteer and I just love it. I was always jamming it in the old bag.

Again, while making this project, I dug into the “leftover half square triangles” that I have sitting in a basket.

I decided that the pocket on the back of this bag could be divided, and my phone will fit on either side, and still have room for a pen or a mask or my ear buds.

pockets on the back

I ended up using the same woven strap from the old bag, as it is in pretty good shape. I can always make a fabric strap later if I choose. With so much white on the bag, I imagine it will be in the washer on a regular basis. The rings are “key ring overlap” style, so taking off the strap and replacing it should be easy.

When I was working on this, I was thinking “proto-type” for a bag done using some wonderful vinyl that I have. It looks and feels like suede, but I wanted to be sure I had worked out the process…when to attach the zipper, where to leave the opening for turning, how to attach the bits for the handle, how I wanted the pocket to work etc.

Overall, without a pattern I am quite pleased with the outcome.

I used Pellon 973 Fusible fleece on the back side of the main fabric, nothing on the back of the lining.

fusible fleece for the bag

Turning the bag thru the opening on the side of the lining was fairly easy, as the Pellon fleece is very soft and easy to work with. There are no “raw edges” on the bag to be bothersome. I quilted thru the outside bag fabric using one of the special stitches on my Janome 8900, and I think that helps give it some character too. It will certainly keep the fleece from shifting when it gets washed. (All the white means it will need washing on a regular basis!!)

close up of the quilting
Close up of the stitching

I still want to make another bag using the wonderful vinyl product, and have to “think through” the process of adding all those extra zipper pockets etc. But for now, my new purse kind of matches my sister’s bag I made yesterday.

The picture below is my old bag on top of the new one, and you can see how much bigger I made it.

Replacing the old bag

So, there you have it, a one day project! (Really just an afternoon of creating and having fun!)

What are you working on this week?? Any suggestions for adding multiple zippers in outside pockets?? I’m sure I can figure it out, but will spend my evening hunting through videos on you-tube looking at suggestions!

Another finish!!

I spent my afternoon on Sunday finishing up the bag for my sister. Yesterday’s post was about using the scraps. I have to report that this one used scraps in the finish too.

Where yesterday’s post left off, the outer part of the bag was quilted. Adding the boxed corners, using a 2″ square felt right. It makes the bag “wider” and will accommodate more than just her tablet. Not knowing the size of her device, I went for bigger.

2" box corner
Before the lining goes in.

I made nice wide handles and used the same Bosal In-R-Form in them.

Handles attached
handles attached

I like using the Bosal In-R-Form for bags as they have good shape.

I decided to put two pockets inside with the lining, one of which is divided. It is big enough to hold my cell phone and the other pockets might be useful for cords, power devices etc. I also added magnetic closure at the top as I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

Inside pockets Anne's bag
Pockets are so important

The bag came together fairly easily, and I wish now that I had made MY bag in this fashion!!

Finished bag

It turns out to be a very room bag. I put my tablet down inside and there is plenty of room to toss in a paperback book or a deck of cards, along with your wallet and other necessities. If she decides it is “too big” for her tablet, then she can use it as a tote bag or a big purse.

Plenty of room
Plenty of room for chargers and your wallet and other girly stuff.

This was fun to make for my sister and I told her if she doesn’t find it useful, then to pass it on to someone else!

The only yardage use in this project was 1/2 yard from my stash for the handles and the lining. Everything else was from the scrap storage. (The pocket fabric was leftover from my bag lining from yesterday!)

Do you enjoy sewing bags?? I learn something every time I make them. Yesterday’s lessons were to slow down and think the plan through. It was a good lesson for today, as it all came together nicely.

Using up some scraps

Last week I posted about my class project, the To the Nines pattern, where I had a “fat seam allowance”. Those discarded blocks have been turned into something useful! I decided to use them as the basis for my new “tablet sleeve” for my upcoming cruise. Hubby thinks the cover / added keyboard give it protection, but I wanted to make a cover / sleeve for the device.

Since I only had 4 orphan/discarded blocks, I knew I would have to make a few more. The tablet is about 8 x 12 and I was using 2.5″ squares. I ended up with 8 squares x 5 squares for the front of the bag, and the same for the back. I quilted it using Bosal In-R-Form for the batting.

Here is the result –

leftover 9 patches

I used a light fabric for the lining.

Snug fit

It is a fairly snug fit with my tablet. It isn’t going to fall out. There is some extra space along the top. Originally I was going to roll the top edge down to make a cuff, but then I decided the cord needed to go in too.

My husband suggested I add a velcro closure and handles, which I did AFTER the sleeve was made. Now, I guess it is a bag not a sleeve!

Handles added

Boy adding the velcro and handles after the bag / sleeve was already made was a pain in the neck!! Lesson to self….think the project all the way through before rushing through the creative process. I probably should have unstitched the top edge of the bag where the lining joins the outside and opened up the side seam….but that would have been too easy. Instead I fought with the narrow opening and my open arm on the sewing machine. I got it done…but I should have thought that through better.

Anyway, I think the colors of the bag go nicely with my lavender tablet.

new tablet
Lavender Tablet with keyboard

I showed my sister the bag I was making and it reminded her of the bag I made for her Kindle years ago. She gave the kindle away to one of the grandkids but still has the little bag. She has a tablet she will be bringing on our trip in a week, and I asked her if it had a sleeve or a bag. It does not, so I offered to make her one. When she sent me a photo of it, it looks like it is the same one I have and similar size. She asked for it to open on the long side like the Kindle bag. She also liked the short handles.

I went to work on her bag, last night after dinner, and pulled some left over half square triangles, and this is what the front panel of the bag will look like.

starting another sleeve

Those half square triangles were the abundance from Addison’s Quilt I made 5 years ago ! (I could have made two quilts with all those leftover blocks!)

I decided to “start bigger” with this bag, box the corners, and add a pocket inside for the charging cables and other “stuff” she might want to carry with it. Her device has the same detachable keyboard, but without having exact measurements, I am erring on the side of caution for size. My bag/sleeve could have been a bit bigger in hindsight.

I started by making two panels for the front and back of the project then stitched them together at what will be the bottom of the bag, then quilted it onto the Bosal In-R-Form. I used the same serpentine stitch with my walking foot for both bags. At the center bottom seam, I did straight stitch in the ditch and 1/4″ on either side of the seam.

my sister's tablet case in progress

When the sides are stitched together it will look something like this —

another tablet case

Of course, there will be handles, and lining and the bottom will be boxed . I think I will add a magnet purse style closure on the bag. It seems that magnetics and electronics aren’t a problem anymore, as the keyboard to my tablet attaches “magnetically”. (My husband loves that connection concept).

I hope to finish this second bag up today. I’ve picked out a print turquoise to go inside for the lining and the handles. She doesn’t want long handles, just something to slip over her arm, not her shoulder.

95% percent scraps used for both bags, just a little additional fabric from the stash for silly things like straps and pockets and lining. Between them both I only used one package of the In-R-Form that I had on hand. Very convenient.

I will take the bag for her tablet with me on my flight to California next Sunday. There simply is not enough time to mail it and ensure she has it before she travels to the port.

Tablet vs phone
Size matters!

I took a picture of my phone next to the tablet to show her how it would be so much easier to see.

Honestly she had forgotten she had it, so yesterday she charged it up and her daughter helped her get some things connected and running. I’m really glad she is bringing her tablet, and my mission is to help her learn to use it, to use her phone as a hot spot, and get all her a favorite websites loaded. She has a serious vision issue due to her stroke last year, and the size of the screen on the phone has been making things challenging for her this year. I hope using it daily on the cruise will reinforce the simplicity of using it when she is at home.

That’s it for today! Are you working with scraps? Have you ever gone full steam ahead like me, only to realize later how you “should have” done something differently?

Linking up to Oh Scrap – Quilting is More fun than housework!

Butterflies dancing across the quilt

I decided to use the inspiration of the butterfly landing on my Scrap Dance Pachanga quilt when I was taking photos recently. I took the quilt back out to the sewing room and knew exactly which fabric I would use. Perhaps you remember the senior quilt I made and posted about here – https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2021/03/31/senior-quilts-circa-2021/ .

I pulled a few “leftover” blocks out of the fabric storage bin, and applied Heat & Bond Light to the back. I simply cut the butterflies out with scissors and fused them to the quilt.

Prepping for fusible applique

If you are wondering why, do go back and read about the SAGA of this quilt I shared a few days ago. https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2021/08/17/scrap-dance-pachanga-saga/

I carefully placed the first seven around the quilt, trying to make them look as though they were “pre planned” instead of an effort to hide those problems left over from the SAGA.

Thinking about how many

Once those were balanced around the quilt and stitched down, I decided that MORE were necessary to make them seem “like an intentional design choice.” (Those words came from the One Block Wonder Woman, and I think she is right!) In all, there are 13 scattered around the quilt, dancing the Pachanga!

more butterflies

I used a creamy yellow thread, designed for the embroidery machine to blanket stitch them all down.

various size butterflies

I am a little fond of the smaller groupings of butterflies. Those small ones near the top border would have disappeared if they weren’t grouped I think.

When I took the quilt back outside to take a couple more pictures, there were 3 butterflies flitting around but I didn’t manage to catch one land on the quilt this time !

butterflies doing the Scrap Dance Pachanga

I’m quite pleased that Mother nature helped me solve my quilt troubles and the quilt is now “restored” and completely finished. This one is so full of memories and I will enjoy using it!

Scrap Dance Pachanga pattern was a “mystery quilt along” by Carole Carter, From My Carolina Home.

Now, I think it is time to clean off my desk in the sewing room again before I dig out another UFO to work on.

What’s on your agenda this week??

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?

Time for Autumn Jubilee

Autumn is arriving around the USA. We are having periods of rain and much cooler temperatures in Delaware. Harvest decorations are going up, and I see pumpkins for sale at the local farm stands along with potted mums.

I got out my fall wreath and put it on the door last week. I purchased this handmade wreath at a fall festival in 2017 and I just love it. I added the little Halloween bat last fall.

Fall wreath

I inventoried my fall placemats and table runners. Turns out I have 15 fall placemats. (If you followed my blog for any period of time, you KNOW that I’ve had an ongoing bin of “Autumn” and I take it to my quilt bee when I don’t have a project to work on and I can pick up and carry on with these.)

Autumn Jubilee on the table
Autumn Jubilee placemats and table runner

Autumn Jubilee on the blog https://frommycarolinahome.com// is something I follow each year. Carole writes great quilt patterns that are easy to follow and shares fall recipes, decorating, wool projects and much more. There are going to be different projects and it looks like starting today a “quilt along”. I’m excited to get started.

If you follow along with Autumn Jubilee on Carole’s blog, be sure to enter to win some of those great prizes. She has some BIG sponsors and they have been generous! Use the link above or the button on the side of my blog. If you follow Carole, let her know how you found her page! She reads ALL the comments, and usually replies to each one, except during Autumn Jubilee when the volume is just too much. Join in on the conversations on the Facebook group she has linked too, where I am one of the moderators. And most of all…..share your photo’s of Autumn Jubilee inspired projects and tag the blogs. ūüôā

Do let me know what your favorite part of Autumn is?

Senior Quilt 2020 (A peak)

Every year I coordinate a project for my church which involves making quilts for our graduating high school seniors.

I started my quilting journey in 2008 when the Pastor handed me a ziplock bag full of 8.5″ squares, gave me some basic instructions and sent me on my way. (I was NOT a quilter, and had only “bound” quilted panels with the help of You Tube and Google).

One thing led to another and at the end of that Spring, I had made 5 quilt tops, and learned to layer and tie the quilts too.  Then Pastor John retired and I was asked to coordinate for the coming year.

Thankfully, with the guidance of an experienced quilter, Kristin S.,¬† I learned all about cutting and chain piecing and much much more.¬† My first official quilt shop class didn’t come until 4 years later.

Over the years we have made a lot of those “senior quilts” with a team of willing volunteers.¬† One year we had as many as 15 students graduating.¬† The next year, I took a year “off” from coordinating and Kristin stepped up to manage everything that year. (Burnt out?¬† Probably).¬† Sometimes you need a new perspective, and new energy and new leadership.

This year, is quite different, with just ONE senior.¬† When I gathered together with my quilt making volunteers in February, we had a great time selecting fabric from “accumulated stash”.¬† One church member had donated her entire sewing room of fabric and we had a lot to choose from.¬† A feature fabric was chosen, and the quilters chose companion fabrics, picked out two blocks that they wanted to make.¬† This was the first year we didn’t do a basic 8.5″ block for our quilt.¬† One graduate, and lots of sewers, and big ideas.¬† A little work on EQ8 and we had a pattern.¬† (I was tickled to get to use those skills I learned in my January class).

Fabric selection

More fabric choices

In the process of working with the fabrics, I discovered that one of the colors was bleeding all over my ironing table as I was steaming the fabric. I stopped what I was doing, took the strips into the kitchen and soaked them in Retayne and rinsed them clear.

Bleeding blue

I was thankful I had a small bottle of Retayne that came in January with an order, and was amazed how it worked. The picture above is just after I put the strips in a glass bowl of warm water.¬† The picture below is after the recommended soaking time and after I rinsed with clear water.¬† I threw a color catcher in the bowl for “good luck”.

After the soaking

Thankfully they were only strips, not pieced into the blocks with the white fabric adjacent.¬† Did you know that your salad spinner is a great place to wash and “spin” pre-cuts and small pieces like fat quarters.¬† This experience has made me a big believer in pre-washing.¬† I put the larger piece of yardage in the washer and did a similar process with the Retayne too.

We got together two more times to cut and sew as a group.¬† ¬†And, as anyone who has ever worked on a group project, sometimes there are other problems.¬† Working with the “same 1/4” can cause construction challenges, so I made sure to mark with tape and a seam guide everyone’s machine. Several people worked on making half square triangles and others cut various fabric units.¬† ¬†Our feature fabric got cut the wrong size for the pattern and in desperation to replace it, I went in a frantic search online. I finally found it for sale on ETSY and bought all they had, just in case.¬† A little recutting and reconstructing, and all was well again. The “miss-cut” will get used somewhere else along the line and working together, we adapted and overcame the challenge.

Quilters working at Reformation

Then in mid March, the concern about COVID-19 stopped us from meeting and sewing together. Our last group sewing day was a very productive day.  Luckily most of the blocks were either finished or near completion.  I finished up the last few blocks and one willing quilter took the blocks, and a photo of the layout, and put the top together.  Thanks to Judy M.G. for that big job! She did that in between making masks for the local nursing home and her family, while waiting on the outcome of her own COVID-19 test results. (Negative thank goodness!)

 

When I got the assembled top back from Judy M.G.,¬† I added the borders, the embroidery blocks and photo of the church.¬† Using our best “social distancing (across the width of three banquet tables), two of us got together in the empty church fellowship hall to layer and tie the quilt.

Tying the Senior Quilt 2020

Usually we have 4 or 5 people doing this, and can tie a quilt in an hour, but in order to “be safe” we had to limit how many and stay on “opposite” sides of the banquet table.¬† It took the two of us nearly 3 hours.¬† But, we got it done!

I brought it back home, and did some machine quilting on the borders to anchor them, trimmed the quilt and got the binding on.

Big wide white borders

The quilt is ready, 2 weeks ahead of my “scheduled deadline”.¬† (Yes, that is Susie’s Magic Binding that I always do, completely by machine!)

verses on the quilt

There are 3 verses on the quilt this year. Again, we only had one quilt to make, and thought this would make it extra special.  This students parents picked the verses back in January.  Many thanks to Designs by JuJu embroidery company for their wonderful ministry , making these digitized verses available for free.

And now, we have to wait again.¬† Ordinarily it would have been out in church on Palm Sunday, Easter Sunday and the remaining Sunday’s in April for the members of the congregation to sign and write messages of love and inspiration. Just as soon as we are able to gather again for services, we will have the quilt out to have the members sign.¬† I hope they fill those big wide white borders with wonderful messages.

Our time line has turned upside down, but we are going to make certain our one graduate knows how special she is and that she is loved by her church family.

Presentation normally would have happened in mid May, but that timeline is a bit fractured too.  Our Pastor will work with the family and determine an appropriate time to present the quilt.

The service where this is done is always very moving.¬† Parents wrap the quilt around the shoulders of the student, just like they did when they were young. Prayers are said asking God to guide the young graduate in the coming years, and to help them know that the church family is always with them as they go off to college and start new lives.¬† The quilt has a photo on it of the church, and the parents picked a verse that they felt was important to be remembered. It is our hope that the student will always feel wrapped in the loving arms of Christ, and when they may need a boost of faith, they can wrap up in the quilt which is covered in prayer and messages of inspiration.¬† Many prayers get sent heavenward during the creation of the quilt, and I always want the graduate to know that their church wraps them in God’s love as they go onward in life.

Once our graduate has a chance to see the quilt I will post more photo’s so you can really see it.¬† The quilters who have gathered together every year to work on this ministry vary from year to year and new quilters have joined in this year. All together there was Judy M.G.; Judy S., Kristin S., MaryLu W., Karolyn H., and Lydia P. and myself working on this project.¬† It was fun to do something very different than any quilt we had done in previous years.

Do you do a special project or have a tradition at your church for graduates to honor them as they move ahead in life?

Catching up on The Twist

Many who read my blog know that I follow a blog by Carole, called¬†From My Carolina Home¬† .¬† Carole creates fun patterns and is running a “mystery” quilt this winter/spring.¬† The pattern is called The Twist, A Scrap Dance Mystery.¬† You can find the link to the pattern on Carole’s blog above, using the buttons on the right had side of the screen.¬† It’s NOT too late to start. Because of the “stay at home” order many of us are complying with, Carole decided to “speed things up” on the mystery, so hurry over and get the pattern.

You might remember back in January I started with some squares (sizes in the pattern at the above blog) –

Fun with  4.5inch squares

in two different sizes –

5 inch squares

In steps 2 , 3 we did some sewing, and now I have this –(and a bunch more!)

variety of 4 patches Scrap Dance TWIST

and then came my favorite blocks to make – Step 4 had Half Square Triangles —

Squaring things up

In the picture above you see my stack to square up on the left, and the one lonely trimmed one on the right.  Using the June Tailor Perfect Half Square Quarter Square triangle ruler, I trimmed them quite easily and quickly.

Step 3 Scrap Dance Twist

Everything is “back in the box” until the next clue, on the 3rd Friday of the month! That’s April 17, and I am ready!

Steps 1-4 Twist Mystery quilt

Don’t miss out on this fun project!¬† Hurry over to Carole’s blog and get busy with your scraps!¬† She provides PDF’s that you can print and take to the sewing room for easy reference. I tuck my printed copy in the plastic bin with the project so I can keep track.¬† ¬†I use those handy little clips to keep units together in bunches of 10 when I need to keep track of the count.¬† How do you stay organized?

People are posting their finished units on the Friends of From My Carolina Home blog Facebook page too.¬† If you follow Carole’s blog, join in and follow on Facebook to see all the variety of fabrics people are using!

What are you doing for fun in your sewing room?

No yardage was used for this project except for background fabrics, and there are a variety of white on whites used.

 

A week of finishes and fun

I’ve had a fairly busy week. ¬†Mid-week I was going to post something and then FLICKR had an outage while they did a platform migration; so I had to patiently wait…..in order to share my photos on the blog post. The downtime was much longer than I anticipated!

Wrapping up the never ending placemat project ¬†—¬†The final batch of batik placemats has binding on them! ¬†Happy to get them finished! ¬†Now; what to do with them???? ¬†(Started these last summer, and they turned out to be a fun project for free motion quilting practice) Time to put the basket of batik strips away for a while. Total made – 18.

Finally finished

I attended a “sit & sew” on Thursday and Friday and got something “finished” during that dedicated sewing time. ¬†Funny thing is; I honestly didn’t know what I was going to work on until it came time to load the car on Thursday morning to leave. I walked into my sewing room; saw my 2 unfinished Cardinal blocks on the design wall and made a fast decision. ¬†Another started these LAST year….had 1 completed and 2 unfinished.

My 3rd bird is not finished; but I have big plans for it on Tuesday at my Queen Bees gathering!

Two Cardinals

The bird on the right is “last year’s” model. ¬†The one on the left is the one I finished on Thursday.

When I was leaving to go to the sit & sew, I forgot to grab the finished one to bring as a “reminder” of how I did the quilting etc. I also failed to bring all the thread colors I might need. ¬†I was “saved by my friend Cheryl” who had an array of choices and shared!

It wasn’t until I sat these 2 together to take this photo that I realised what I had done differently to the bird. ¬†Bird on the right (Bird 1) is really standing out. ¬†He has an extra layer of wool batting JUST under the bird portion and bird on the right is just one layer of batting. ¬†Other than “fabric choices” for borders; bird on the right also has more quilting surrounding him and in the borders. ¬†Bird on the right was quilted on my Janome 8900; bird on the left (Bird #2) on my Singer Featherweight. ¬†Bird # 3 is also being quilted with the Singer Featherweight. When I started to quilt Bird #3, I had Bird 1 & 2 nearby so I could “remember” what I was supposed to do.

Bird # 3 will fly into the blog after Queen Bees! ¬†The quilting is about half complete and then I need to put it together into an envelope style pillow. These take about an 18″ pillow form with the borders I added. ¬† ¬†The pattern I used came from¬†Mom and Pop Quilt Shop

I am headed over to the assisted living facility where my friend June lives this morning. This will be my 3rd trip in a week. She has been inspired to begin sewing again; and I have been “on call” for sewing assistance.

Hubby did some “tension” adjustments and general maintenance to one of her machines this week, repairing some broken latches on the bobbin access door and getting it “sewing right”. He inserted a nice LED bayonet style bulb that I had ordered, and it “lights up” the sewing area so much better than the old bulb. (Another back story….June’s machine was having serious tension trouble and I spent 3 hours trying to get things right last Saturday. Her hubby tried too; and in the processes the light bulb went out and removing it was a mess! ¬†Those old bulbs rust in their housings and break between the brass and the bulb when you try to remove them. So; ordering new LED bulbs from E-bay was an absolute necessity. I got great price and service and from http://singer-featherweights-revived.com/index.html. ¬†The store name on EBAY is “old times sew in stuff”. ¬†The machine is not a featherweight but takes the same size bayonet ¬†bulb. ) Thank goodness she had a 2nd machine to sew on, so I could bring the other one home to get fixed.

Anyway; June is making some gifts for her daughter in law and is on “deadline” for an anniversary mid June, and so I am providing “tech/sewing” support. ¬† ūüėČ ¬†She is finally feeling well enough to WANT to sew; and that is good news and makes me want to help her get going. She saw a pattern in a magazine for a sunflower mug rug 2 months ago. After she first showed it to me, ¬†I assembled a container of her fabrics from my sewing room.

Well, like sewers and quilters everywhere, she has “grown the project” into something more and now she is making 4 placemats! ¬†(Sound familiar??) I am taking “more” background fabric and batting today so she has enough! ¬†(Originally I took her enough supplies for the “one” mug rug).

Helping June with a project

When I left her on Tuesday, this is how far we had gotten. One placemat ready to turn, and one sunflower ready to stitch down. Since then; she decided that the sunflower needs to be “removable” ; so I picked up some “sew on velcro” and will add it to the placemat and the flower. Will certainly make it “easier to wash”. And like anyone who has sewn, she has “re-invented the sunflower” as she progressed. Needless to say; it is FUN watching her making sewing and design decisions again! ¬†She has been “out of the game” for nearly 2 years and I am ready and willing to get her busy again. ¬†She needs a lot more help these days; but who doesn’t at their mid 80’s? ¬†I just love that she is inspired again!

Last weekend, after I spent time with June, I convinced the hubby to take a bike ride. We have such beautiful state parks; and there is one nearby with great tree covered trails and bridges where you can stop and enjoy the water view too.

Hubby rides

I might have not told him “exactly” how far it was to make the whole loop!

Nice ride at the State park

I did treat him to a nice dinner later, at the beach!

Reward for the ride

It was nice to get to the beach “one last time” before the start of the summer season. Memorial Day is the official start and the roads and beaches will be jammed. ¬†We enjoyed a quiet evening before the crowds take over.

Full moon on the rise

                       Summer season has begun in Rehoboth Beach!  

We buzzed the neighborhood across the road once during the week together on our bikes, ¬†so he could make more bike adjustments. ¬†(And to help work off the tacos….wasn’t enough exercise….)

Short ride after dinner

On  Wednesday night I rode with the #LIFECYCLE Community Bike Ride.

Wednesday night Community ride with Lifecycle

This month, in spite of that “road rash back on May 7th”; I have gotten 42 miles in.

Last night there was a “glow ride” in Milford. This was sponsored by #LIFECYCLE .

What is a glow ride? ¬†Check out the story about the glow ride from the local news ¬†and see what the “glow” is all about !!!) –¬†https://youtu.be/PjzY_6Ya-uw

I did one glow ride last year, but I didn’t want to fight the holiday weekend beach traffic to get home afterwards. ¬†Instead, we made a short trip to pick up some new “glow lights” for my bike and hubby installed them after dinner. They look so cool! And I am ready for the next Wednesday evening ride!

Adding wheel lights

The “still” photo below gives you a general idea –

Wheel lights

It is hard to explain how cool they look, so I have linked a video I filmed in our driveway –¬†Wheel lights in motion

I think when I suggested these lights he thought I was nuts; but after he took a spin around the driveway; he saw how much FUN it was. ¬†Next week is a rather long ride and I now need to work on getting the “right” combination of headlights on the bike! ¬†More about that later.

Go out and have some fun!

After dinner update — Look what we accomplished today – I think they look pretty darn good!

Sunflower placemats

She needs to “quilt” or “top stitch” the place mats and¬† tack the backing on the sunflowers.¬† The sunflowers will be removable from the place mat for washing.

More small projects and storms

BUSY WEEK !!  Monday was Ocean Waves Quilt Guild meeting, so that meant an afternoon of loading containers in the SUV, and a 7 am departure to unload and set up for sales before the meeting began, then pack up, store some boxes and bring the empty containers home.  (We sold 85% of the fabric we took to the meeting!)  I am grateful to be able to store at the church where we meet, and only have to bring home empty containers and new donations.

As the week has unfolded, we have had rain coming down in bucket loads. We got most of our unloading and reloading done between rain showers. Our area on the mid-Atlantic coast has been beaten with a Nor’easter storm. ¬†Amazing amounts of rain in some areas, with flash floods. ¬†Fortunately, I am not on a waterway, or a known flood zone. ¬†I have a friend whose parked car flooded in a shopping center lot, where she had parked to carpool for the day. ¬†While that particular storm raged for a short time, I was miles away stitching at Embroidery Club. A couple of the husbands called their wives at the club to report on the rains. Yet where we were, 30 miles away, the skies were just grey and gloomy. ¬†Early in the week the discussion about Hurricane Florence in the news made us wonder if it was going to come this far North. ¬†This morning, the maps look like North Carolina is going to take the worst of the weather. ¬†We will be lucky in that case. We are already so saturated after nearly 2 weeks of rain! ¬†I can not imagine having to pick and choose what to pack up and take with me in the event of evacuation. We are fortunate!

On Tuesday afternoon, while the rain came down, we were busy stitching.  I took 2 projects with me to work on at the Embroidery Club.  I purchased a design from Embroidery Library and one from Oh My Crafty Supplies.  I stitched both designs out on cream colored craft felt.

Crafty Christmas Sewing Machine

Crafty Christmas Sewing Machine ¬†–¬†Embroidery Library X14180 ¬†-3.86″ x 3.19″

Embroidery Library calls this design a “stuffie”, done “in the hoop”. ¬†I chose to use my applique scissors and cut out after the stitch-out. ¬†I will try again cutting the shape first, using the dieline template and see which look I like better. ¬†It was suggested to me not to use a Water Soluble Topper (WSS) on top of the felt, as it would be too hard to remove, pull stitches or cause problem with the felt. ¬†I used a tweezers to remove most of it, and lightly misted the remaining, blotting with a paper towel. ¬†I had to use tweezers to stuff the filling in. ¬†The stitch out left an opening on the bottom for filling and I used my regular sewing machine and matching thread to stitch it closed .

The key fob below is the perfect thing to hold onto my flash drive full of embroidery designs!

Sewing machine key fob

ITH Sewing Machine Key Fob Embroidery Design¬†by Oh My Crafty Supplies Sketch design¬†2.9″ x 3.8″
This stitchout did not give you “placement lines” or “dielines” for placements, so I ran the first color “twice”. ¬†First run to create a dieline on my stabilizer, then the second run tacked down the felt with those read stitches on the stabilizer. Right before the final outline stitch, I placed a piece of felt on the back of the hoop so I could have a nice finished backing. ¬†Rather than use a snap, I used my sewing machine to close the loop around the keyring. ¬†Thoughts – ¬†I felt the “fill” on the 2nd one (blue machine) was too thin. ¬†I should have gone back in and run the fill a 2nd time. ¬†I posted this picture on the Facebook group for Oh My Crafty Supplies and someone said the “SKETCH” design was why the stitching was so light. ¬†Hindsight! ¬†I am going to try this stitchout on a different fabric and see if I like it better. ¬†I haven’t removed the WSS on this one yet, so you still see “shiny bits”. ¬†This one I also “trimmed” after the stitchout. ¬†It is small, only 4628 stitches, so I think I will try again. ¬†LEARNING CURVE….

I’ve been working on my batik placemats. ¬†There are 18 of them and more in the works! ¬†I took about 6 and used a different backing fabric. ¬†I decided to not do free motion quilting on this group, instead, switched out to my walking foot. ¬†I have 4 done and 2 to go. ¬†I do a much better job with the walking foot I think!

Walking foot quilting Batik placemats

Batol placemats quilted with walking foot

quilting detail batik placemats

here is a peak at the back!

back of placemats

I love the way this worked out. ¬†I did measure out those triangles and mark the front with a chalk where the points of the triangles were to land. ¬†I decided to do all the ones with this backing in the same manner, so they look like a set! ¬†(I like them better than the ones I did the free motion quilting on…..) ¬†Somebody (more than 1) will get placemats for Christmas, I just have know idea who that will be quite yet! ¬†We use placemats everyday, throw them in the washer etc, but there are too many here to keep. ¬†I just love making them. ¬†

It’s a busy week with meetings, and I am off to the 3rd one of the week in a few minutes. Hoping for time to have a little fun later today! ¬†Stay safe, stay dry! ¬†

note – Embroidery is done on my Brother PE500, which has a 4×4 capability. ¬†Quilting was done on my Janome 8900.