Autumn Jubilee 2022 Cornucopia progress, quilt label and bowl cozies

I’m working towards finishing another Autumn Jubilee project that I started in October. (If you are new here, the directions for this project came from the blog From My Carolina Home. ) The Cornucopia project was meant to be down as a wool project, but as I previously explained , I went with cotton. (If you haven’t read that post, go take a look).

I decided that my Cornucopia needed some quilting, so that was done, just casually outlining the cornucopia to the edge of the fabric. Nothing fancy. I decided the piece was due for some trimming and I squared it up to 18.5×18.5. I dug out more matching fabric and cut a piece about 19″ wide. I cut two pieces out of that about 12″ x 19″ each and hemmed one edge. I overlapped those two pieces for an “envelope style backing” for a throw pillow. I made sure to double tack where the two edges overlap, and trimmed and turned it right side out and gave it a good pressing.

Of course, it’s bigger than most of my other sofa pillows, so a quick order on Amazon and I have 18″ pillow inserts arriving today.

UPDATE — Pillow inserts arrived…..looks happier stuffed!!

Cornucopia is stuffed
18 inch pillow insert from Amazon arrived

Other projects — I mentioned previously I needed to make a label for my “2 Season Quilt”, and I had that stitching on my embroidery machine while I was quilting the cornucopia. I used medium weight cutaway stabilizer in my hoop, tack down a piece of batting, and then float the label fabric, tacking it down with a basting stitch. I find having that piece of batting really gives some “teeth” to the embroidery.

Quilt label Autumn Jubilee 2022
Still need to trim the jump threads

When I design my labels, I use the free version of Embrilliance software. This label has 1/2 inch lettering and was done in my 8×8 hooped. I resized wording slightly smaller on the embroidery machine screen, then pulled in 2 different 4 x 4 hoop designs. I had to resize the designs slightly smaller to make everything fit in the 8×8 field. Those adjustments were done on the screen on the embroidery machine.

Once I trim all the jump threads on the label, I take a piece of lightweight fusible Pellon 911F, and with the glue side facing the pretty side of the label stitch around the edge, then slit the Pellon and turn the label out. Before turning the label I trim the seam to 1/4″, and go a bit closer with the stabilizer and batting that are in the back of the label. That keeps it less bulky in the seams. I also trim the corners.

I did trim with a rotary cutter and ruler in the 6th photo, but before turning, I took out my small scissors and trimmed away all the batting and stabilizer excess in the seam allowance, taking care to not trim the the label and pellon. I run my finger around the seam on the inside, poking the corners out and kind of rolling the edge of the seam in my fingers. Then off to the ironing board to affix it to the back of the quilt.

I put a pressing cloth over the label and really press for a good bit of time. Because there are 3 layers above the pellon (label, stabilizer & batting), it takes a bit of time for the heat to affix the label. Once it is fairly secure, I am ready to stitch it by hand to the quilt. The whole point of the pellon is to have a nice edge, without having to fold under etc. In the spots where it is peaking out along the edge, I will nudge it under with my needle when hand sewing the label down. The glue dots hold it fairly snug to the back of the quilt, so removal of the label would not be very easy.

Ready to stitch to the quilt
Ready to hand stitch to the “Christmas side” of the quilt

I just love my Janome 11000 embroidery machine. I know I’ve said that before. I bought it used about 4 years ago, and have learned so much about formatting layouts on the machine screen, and it is just a workhorse. If you are ever in the “used market” and find this model, you won’t regret buying it.

Other projects I worked on recently were BOWL COZIES. My sister Cathi was visiting this summer and used the one I have and asked me for some. Funny story – in October I made her two bowl cozies, and I also made her two plate cozies…..and mailed them to her. A plate cozy is made in a similar fashion, just a bigger square of fabric/batting and less of a dart. I found a You Tube video with directions if you want to give it a try..

Plate cozy
Plate Cozy – quilting in a spiral in the center to keep it flat
Plate cozy
Plate cozy – quilting in the center in a spiral to help keep it flat

When I got home from my trip in November, she mentioned the package never arrived…sure enough, it was delivered…to her OLD address. I hope those people who live there now are enjoying her birthday gift! I was rushing to get it shipped, while my brain was already on my cruise. I pulled the wrong address off my phone when I typed the shipping label. SIGH! (It’s only been a year since she moved!!)

Anyway, I got busy and made more, but this time, I made 4 bowl cozies. Of course, because I was using fat quarters for the first sets, I didn’t have any more of the same fabric. This batch came from yardage, but I’m not certain how much of it was left. Someday I might make her some of those plate cozies too, but not this week!

Bowl cozy
Fits my cereal bowls just right
4 bright cozies
4 bowl cozies

When I made the these 4, I cut the fabric a bit larger than most patterns call for. I think I used 11.5″ squares making this set of 4. I did a little tack stitch in the center to keep them from pulling apart in the center. The quilting was done “before the pieces were sewn together and I noticed with mine that it likes to pull apart when washing. The tack stitch solved that. On the previous set I did a bit more elaborate quilting. But, when you are in a rush, necessity is the mother of invention. I managed to get all four of these made, assembly line style, rather than one at a time. So, if making cozies for gifts, that’s my pro tip. Also, I included a note, reminding her to use them like pot holders to hold the bowl and to NOT cook the cozy in the microwave. Even though I used all cotton everything…I don’t want to be responsible for a house fire!

The package arrived and the bowl fit! My sister sent me this photo with one of her bowls in it. I’m glad I upsized from the typical 10″ square. Who knew they made square bowls?

Sister's bowl fits
The cozy fits the square bowl

What are you working on in your sewing room? Are you distracted by holiday cooking and Christmas decorating this weekend?

Are you deep into the latest Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt? I am following along, watching and saving the clues. I can’t do it because I have TOO many UFO’s, on hangers, waiting for borders and quilting. And way to many other projects in baskets and boxes and bins to start something else new.

Watch for my next installment of “finishing up Autumn Jubilee“, and maybe finishing up binding on another project or two. (My 2nd cutting table is absolutely buried in stuff and the only way to make headway cleaning it up is to grab the stuff I can finish quickly and get them out of the way!)

I know most of the people who follow my page are here for the quilting, but I am still working through the photos from my Canada and Colonial America Cruise, and the next travel post is coming soon, with highlights from Sydney and Halifax on Nova Scotia.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

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Autumn Jubilee update

Last week, I shared with you my 1st project for #AutumnJubilee2022 . This week, the next step in the Autumn Jubilee Wool Stitch Along, was to “embellish your wool Cornucopia”. Go take a look at Carole’s post when you finish here, and see how fantastic her project is coming along. As you may remember, I deviated from the Wool & all that hand stitching. When I read today’s post, I got inspired to get busy, and do the machine applique stitching on my fusible applique pieces.

Before I could start the machine applique stitching, I needed to do a couple of things. I layered up my project with a piece of Warm and Natural Quilt batting and a piece of Pellon 806, stitch and tear stabilizer, behind my background fabric and batting. I will confess to using some 505 spray to keep everything in position until I could get a few safety pins in place. You may ask why do all that before applique stitching, and the answer is, I like the stitches to have something to “bite into”. I could use just batting, but putting the stabilizer behind the batting keeps me from getting all that batting fluff in my machine. Of course, some will get in there with each puncture of the needle, but my feed dogs will be clean.

I pulled out threads that I thought might work well, and started with an Aurifil tan, a 50 wt cotton for around the cornucopia and other light colored items.

Nice tan Aurifil for applique stitching
Aurifil 5011, 50 weight cotton.

I also used some Coats & Clark variegated thread, which is also a 50 weight quilting cotton. This was used around many of the leaves and pumpkin.

coats and clark thread for some applique stitching
Coats and Clark quilting thread

As I stitched, I decided that I needed a dark red and a green, and pulled those from my wall of embroidery threads. Using a blanket stitch, (#42 on my Janome 8900) I was soon finished. (I did take a short break this afternoon for an eye appointment, and was SO happy that they didn’t dilate my eyes, and I could get back to stitching!)

Applique stitching finished
Machine applique complete

After reading Carole’s post today about embellishing her Cornucopia, and her suggestion to maybe do a little embroidery, I decided that I would do just that.

Early this month, I downloaded a cute embroidery design from Sew Sweetly, and thought it would work nicely on this project. If you are looking for cute Fall designs, the ones sold by Sew Sweetly stitch out very well. You might remember I used some of Sew Sweetly designs in a 2020 project during Autumn Jubilee 2020.

I decided to add the embroidery design on an angle on the left corner of the project, using the same thread colors that I had previously stitched with in the machine applique. The exception is the gold for the leaf. I couldn’t use the Coats & Clark in my embroidery machine, so I pulled a deep gold for one part of the embroidery. Note, I started with a 5×7 design, and resized it by reducing it to 80 % and rotating it in the machine. In the photo below, you can see the basting stitch that my machine does (black thread); which really helps me with the placement.

Adding machine embroidery

I think the final stitching looks pretty darn good. Note – the machine embroidery was done on my Janome 11000. This time I used the 6×8 magnetic hoop, and just hooped a piece of tear away stabilizer. I did a basting stitch in my hoop to hold the project in place, showing me the “field” that it would stitch in. Once the stitching was finished that stabilizer that was hooped easily tore away. There is still a piece on the entire back of the project that will be carefully removed once the project is closer to finished.

So here is how it looks at the end of Monday – and oh, dinner was late because I was just having such fun!

Hello Fall Cornucopia

I’ve pretty well decided it will be a wall hanging. I think I might want to do a bit of embellishing stitching on the leaves, acorns, and pumpkin so that Pellon will stay on the back until I know I am ready to quilt. I’m kind of waiting for the “next” from Carole at From My Carolina Home, just in case she has another brilliant idea. When I cut the background piece, I cut it at 18×21, so I do have some room to play a little bit more. It’s a nice size for a small wall hanging.

Are you stitching along with #AutumnJubilee2022? ? ? Go take a look at Carole’s blog and keep your eye on her wide variety of projects! She will be covering everything from quilting, cooking, sewing, stamping gardening along with the wool applique, and there are lots of giveaways. When you follow, tell her I sent you!

Happy Stitching!

Already enjoying the Autumn Jubilee Quilt Along

Friday last week the #AutumnJubilee2022 quilt along started. The quilt along is run on Carole Carter’s blog From My Carolina Home. If you would like to participate in this quilt along, the “first step” is to hop over to her blog, and check out the instructions – https://frommycarolinahome.com/2022/10/07/autumn-jubilee-quilt-along-begins/ . It’s helpful to subscribe and follow Carole’s blog if you don’t want to miss anything. I don’t post sizes or amounts of what I am cutting, as the pattern belongs to Carole. Go check it out after you see what I am up to.

The first thing I did on Friday is pull my bin of Autumn Jubilee fabrics.

Autumn Jubilee bin at the ready
It must be time to update the label

I’ve obviously been following along with Carole & Autumn Jubilee for a few years! Time to update the label. I keep all the fun fall fabrics I acquire in this bin, adding to it when I find a fat quarter that meets the criteria. I used to take the bin to all of my quilt bees and work on projects like table runners and placemats all year long. I have made at least 3 table runners and 18 placemats, and a fall quilt out of that container.

Here is what was hiding inside to work with for this year’s quilt along.

What is in the Autumn Jubilee bin
Contents of the Autumn Jubilee container

Inside the container, are also some small baskets, with squares already cut in useful sizes, left from previous years, or put there as I was trimming down scraps and found them to be appropriate colors for fall.

All ready to use

There is even leftover binding ready to use on a placemat and bits and pieces for leaves and stems if the pattern called for it. Often times I will cut up scraps in fall colors to these very useful sizes.

Scrap opportunities

I even keep a basket of autumn colored scraps in the tote with the squares and folded fabric. This gives me the opportunity to have a real mix, lots of choices and some continuity year to year, when a fabric will “reappear” in something new.

I printed out the pattern PDF file that Carole thoughtfully included on her post, and got busy, pulling, cutting, stitching and making ready the first of the units for the quilt along.

Half Square triangles colors
My favorite quilt unit

I love making half square triangle (HST) units. Years ago, I purchased the June Tailor Perfect Half Square / Quarter Square ruler. This helps me to mark and trim and always have the “perfect” unit.

June Tailor perfect Half Square Triangles
the block on the left needs trimmed, the one on the right is finished.

The ruler has great markings and uses slots for your pencil and your rotary cutter. If your curious about HOW to use this tool, check this video – https://youtu.be/gexINKyOzl4 on You Tube.

If you are in the market to buy one, shop around, as the prices vary considerably, running around $22 on Amazon and as high as $30+ at some national quilting retailers. Hopefully your local quilt shop has it in stock. A quick google search will give you an idea where the best prices are. I’ve gotten at least 10 years worth of use out of this particular ruler. And, I have made several thousand HST’s in that time frame.

I recently treated this ruler and several of my other rulers with a shot of ODIF GRIPPY non-slip coating spray on the back. You can buy it at local quilt & sewing stores and online. Previously I had used those little sand dots and followed Bonnie Hunter’s suggestion for NEXCARE Medical tape. When I sprayed my ruler, I left the tape on where it was between a couple of slots. After the spray dried, in less than a minute, I peeled the tape off the ruler. The result of the spray is your ruler has a slightly frosted look, but it is still very transparent. One of my friends introduced me to this spray at a quilt bee, and a little goes a very long way. I have sprayed nearly every ruler I own and it’s like magic. I tripped over a you tube video where another quilter shows demo of how “grippy” her ruler is – https://youtu.be/tWnFtD2H9lk .

Well, my units are all trimmed, and I have a little more cutting to do before next week. Hopefully you are following along with #AutumnJubilee2022 and enjoying the variety of projects Carole is sharing. I loved the book list last week and the recipe she shared today, and can’t wait to see what is coming next.

I love sharing my methods and tools and tips that others have shared with me. Do you have a favorite unit or tool for making a particular unit? I’d love to hear about it and why it goes to the top of the list. (We quilters love a gadget, don’t we?)

Linking up this week to OH SCRAP – Quilting is more fun that housework.

1st project for #AutumnJubilee2022

My friend, Carole Carter, runs Autumn Jubilee on her blog From My Carolina Home. I may have mentioned once or a hundred times. 🙂 HEY, it’s fun and I don’t want you to miss out! Anyway, the first project was posted on Monday and it was for a Wool Stitch Along. Kudo’s to Carole for rounding up sponsors for the posts. If you like wool…her sponsor,  One Of The Flock, has some beautiful things in their shop online.

I contemplated going out and making a purchase to participate in this first project, but as the day went along, I just could not justify in my mind making the trip and the buying wool for hand applique. I am just not loving hand work (note two hand surgeries in last 5 years and cortisone shot just a month ago); so I decided I would give the project a whirl with cotton, doing fusible applique (thank you Heat n’Bond light) and doing some machine stitching instead of hand stitching.

I got busy, printed out the pattern pieces and set to work with my reliable felt pen, tracing the pattern bits onto the Heat n’ Bond.

Heat N Bond Light
Tracing on the Heat n’ Bond

Next up, I dug into my scrap drawers for fabrics that might make a good Cornucopia and for the various vegetables and leaves. I found some excellent pieces to use for the leaves, and I added probably more than the pattern called for, but I just “wanted to”. Initially, I used the leaf pattern but then I picked out some leaves on a scrap I had and fussy cut them out.

Cornucopia Autumn Jubilee
#AutumnJubilee2022

My background fabric is 18″ wide. I made it fairly large so I can decide as this month progresses what I might want to do with the project. Pillow? Table Topper? Wall hanging? Too soon to tell. I did reserve the other half of the yard for a backing of some sort.

I figure some stitching will be in order in the next couple of days. I have another wall hanging, hanging around, that needs the stitching finished on it, and both projects call out for my “cashmere” thread from Superior Threads. (Fantastico #5035 Cashmere Cone). May be time to get another spool on order. Looking at Superior Threads website, I began to drool over all the new colors that might work. Oh…I need to get to a big quilt show and shop in person!!!! Maybe the Hampton Roads show in February. I keep a spreadsheet with all my Superior threads, by type, color and number. There are a couple that are on my list for replacement soon, but others that I picked up “just because” and they languish on the shelf. I wonder if anyone else does that?

I’ll update the progress when I make some! What are you working on this week? Are you “stitching along” with the #AutumnJubilee2022 this month? Lots of other fun things to do as well, so do check it out.

Crumb quilt #1

Last month I shared some of my scrap quilting efforts. Primarily, I play with scraps because I can’t bear to waste anything. In the last year or two Pat Sloan was talking about scraps and “crumb quilt blocks”. She was SO organized and orderly, making blocks from the leftover bits and pieces of the current project; storing in her baskets and roll around cart. Oh if only I had that tidy mindset! Working with scraps seems to generate MORE scraps. If you missed out on that whole conversation it might be fun to look back at her blog – https://blog.patsloan.com/2021/03/what-is-your-scrap-quilt-iq.html . Pat does a daily you-tube video along with writing a blog post daily….again I say…if only I had that mindset.

Anyway, I dug into one of my scrap baskets and started sewing crumb blocks with no apparent rhyme or reason. Just grab the next piece out of the bin, and sew. Most of what I grabbed out of the bin were leftover blocks, the reject blocks that didn’t measure up, odd bits and pieces cut away from the borders and sashing of quilts and stuff that came into the donation boxes that I couldn’t figure out how to clean up and sell back at the guild meetings. Anything that was just “too big” to put in the dog bed filling bin went into these blocks. You will see some bow tie blocks and spool blocks that went back and forth to multiple guild meetings before I gave up and determined nobody would buy them. I’m sure some of what I had collected were test blocks from projects and other peoples “oops” blocks. Some of these crumb blocks have a color family, others are not. Random piecing…stitch, press, square, stitch, press etc. Working with scraps seems to generate MORE scraps. I just sewed hunks and chunks together to make these blocks. When I got to around 9″ I stopped and squared the block to 8.5″.

Last blog post I think I showed you this –

crumb block sashing

I managed to sash all 100+ blocks that were in my crumb blocks container. Too many for my design wall all at once.

While I was going through all the blocks trying to find the right balance, I noticed I had a series of blocks with a pink triangle and a lot of white space. I decided to do a little “machine embroidery” embellishment on those blank spaces. Here are a few –

a favorite machine embroidery Crumb block
Crumb block Opportunity to embroider

Those two blocks will probably appear in Crumb Quilt # 2 or #3.

Meanwhile….. Since I had over 100 of these blocks, I did a bit of sorting and pulled out all the ones with the red sashing and all the ones with the darker green and blue sashing. They went back into the box. I had to put my thinking cap on for how to put these very different blocks together and I went “SHOPPING” for just the right fabric. I bought enough fabric (6 yards) to sash at least 2 Crumb quilts. I bought 3 yards of two different fabrics. One for the darker blocks and one for the brighter blocks.

Once I sorted out which blocks I wanted, I had to decide on how wide to make the sashing with the blocks I had chosen. I wanted the blocks to float a little, so I went with a wider sashing. It also meant that I needed to remove a bunch of blocks or I would have a massive quilt. I put about 10 more blocks back in the box. Here is the result – a great size for a picnic or a twin bed!

Crumb quilt  # 1

This nice tone on tone green did the job. I think it helps unify the quilt with so many funny blocks. I used 24 of the 100+ crumb blocks for this project.

Can you spot all the blocks with machine embroidery? Here are a couple of close ups —

Flowers for the fun of it  Crumb Quilt #1
Line art machine embroidery Crumb quilt #1
Embroidery embellishment crumb quilt #1

Notes about this quilt – the crumb blocks were 8.5″ before I added a round of sashing (various colors). All that sashing came from my 2, 2 1/2 and 3″ strip bin. I needed width of fabric to go around the blocks. Once they were sashed, I trimmed all the blocks down to 11″. (Weird number but it was working). Green sashing and cornerstone blocks are all 3 1/2″. The corner stone blocks all came from my “Bonnie Hunter Scrap Storage” bins. Bonnie refers to her system as “Scrap User’s System” . I have to rethink how I refer to my bins…..Stop Storing and Start USING!

What do you do with your scraps?? Time to start using, not storing I think! I have to say, I’ve never met a scrap I didn’t like!

Tiny projects

June was a time for a couple of TINY Projects. Sweet Pea designs had a fun “stained glass” project for the June Keep it Simple sew along. They call it a Stained Glass Key Hanger. The link will take you to the pattern, which is till available on the website. (Do go subscribe to the group on Facebook, that way you get the discount code for the monthly projects.)

Of course, the more I saw completed on the Facebook group, the more I wanted to make it. My friend June was having a birthday, and I thought it would make a fun gift for her. I decided to NOT make it a key hanger, rather just a small wall hanging, for her door, or wall next to her entry at the assisted living. She likes to change out the decor by the season. I started the project when I went to our Embroidery Club meeting in early June. Since it is done in 2 halves, it was a perfect project. Stitch time according to the machine and actual time of course are quite different. Depending on the chosen size of course the times are increased. I estimate that each half of the panel takes about 2 1/2 hours because of all the trimming of the pieces. So, 5 hours total at the embroidery machine, but I did it over the course of a couple of days.

I did the 5×7 stitch out on my Janome 11000, as the pattern did not offer an 8×8 choice. I dug in the scrap drawers and pulled fabric that I thought would be fun for June.

Wall hanging for June
Tiny wall hanging for June

The finished size (before the hanging sleeve) is about 6 1/2 wide and 9 3/4 high. I did an “envelope style” back rather that the one indicated in the pattern.

Back of Junes wall hanging.
Backside of June’s wall hanging

I had fun with this “in the hoop” pattern, and decided I needed to make one for myself too.

My wall hanging
My second wall hanging

I did the back the same way.

back of my wall hanging

I did that because turning out with small pieces like this is tough. I used a medium weight cutaway stabilizer. There is batting in there as well, and it gets rather “stiff”. The directions called for you to use two pieces and leave an opening for turning, and then slip stich it closed. Lazy or easier….not sure, but it worked so well for the first one, I decided to do it on the second as well.

When I gifted the first one to June, I gave her my wall hanger with the wooden dowel. It is a 12″ hanger. I ordered a couple of new ones, and ended up with “all wrought iron” hanger. Somehow, June’s looked ok on the wooden dowel but the all wrought iron hanger with mine looks silly. So, back to shopping on Amazon and Ebay. I ordered an 8″ and a 6″ hanger form each of those places for these little projects. When they come, I will swap out June’s to a smaller hanger.

I did a little “video” tour of the quilts I have in my living room. I am enjoying putting some on the wall and over the back of chairs. Have a look! (Yes, that first wall is the archway between dining room & living room, with the grandkids heights marked in pencil right on the way! 😉 )

I am really enjoying these small projects done in the hoop. Yes, there is some sewing as well, but what I like is that I can have a finished project rather quickly. What I love about these in the hoop applique projects is I can really dig in the scrap drawers and not cut into any yardage. Everything in both projects, including the batting and backing came from scraps. I still have 6-8 LARGE quilts in the sewing room that are “all but done”….waiting on borders and quilting. Someday………..

What’s under your needle?

Secret projects have been gifted

December is the month where I sew for gifts that can’t be shown on the blog until they have been gifted.

I’ve been sewing this month….a lot! I’ll share a few pictures now that the gifts have been opened.

A pair of table toppers, made using Moda Christmas fabric on the front and a heavier cotton twill fabric on the back. It gives the topper a little more weight, plus it makes it reversible for “after Christmas” if the recipient chooses. The pattern came from Carole Carter on her blog “From My Carolina Home“. She has several free patterns and this is the Hexagon Table topper.

Christmas table topper
Hexagon shaped table topper

I varied a bit from the pattern with the strip widths and chose not to do the really narrow strip. They were quilted in the ditch except that last round was done with two rows of wavy line stitching.

Aprons – One for the son-in-law, one for my daughter, and one for the granddaughter –

Dad sized apron for son in law
Dad apron
Vintage apron style on the dress form
Vintage style apron
Kid sized apron
child apron

After the aprons came the pajama pants making. This year each grandchild got TWO pairs of pajama pants. I ordered coordinating long sleeve tshirts to go with the pajama pants. The paw print pair is fleece, the rest are cotton flannel. Some of the flannel prints GLOW in the dark.

My grandson seemed to really like the pajama pants from last year, and he was one of the first to put on those “gaming fabric” pajamas on Christmas. I prewashed and preshrank all the fabrics for the pajamas and the aprons. I washed with color catchers and one of those dark colors had a lot of “excessive” dye, so I gave both mom’s a few color catchers, and ordered them each a box on Amazon for “future washing”. It’s so hard to say which color ran because I prewashed together, but this is what the color catchers looked like after fabric was washed.

prewashing dark fabrics
Color catchers did the job

I was apprehensive about sewing with the fleece, but it was actually easier! No seams to worry about overcasting and raveling in the wash. I use a stitch on my Janome 8900 that is like an overcasting stitch –

Overcast stitch for my flannel projects
overcast stitch

It seems to give a nice finish to the inside of the pajamas.

Overcast stitching
overcast stitch

I had a lot of fun shopping “pre-black Friday” with my friend Nancy. We hit a 60% off on flannel & fleece at JoAnn Fabrics and were able to find things to suit each kid, ages 5 – 9 – 11- 13. The apron fabric for the son-in law (Star wars) and one daughter (Harry Potter) were perfect. They really seemed to like it. The vintage style apron for my daughter was a royal pain in the neck, calling for 1/4″ wide double fold bias binding tape. I used the 1/4″ on the pockets and around the bottom of the skirt, but had to get 1/2″ for the front of the apron and straps. Oh, by the way….the brand at Hobby Lobby is only 3 yards in the pack, and the Wright’s brand at JoAnn’s is 4 yards…..just an FYI. My friend Nancy listened to me moan as I was making that vintage style apron…and suggested I shred the pattern!!!! I zipped right through the rest of the projects, but I have to say, I am very glad I did that vintage apron first, or it might still be on the cutting table. I pressed myself to finish, so I could get on with the rest of the Christmas sewing.

Now that the gifts are given, I need to get back in my sewing room and clean up the cutting table. I have the oddest amounts of left over fleece and flannel and will be looking for clever ways to use the bits up. Any helpful suggestions appreciated!

Hopefully your Christmas projects were received with smiles too.

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!