Monday, November 26, 2012

Mors Bags for Anne!

A fellow volunteer I met at Chicago's Rally to Restore Sanity in October 2010 saw the blog post about my Chicago Modern Quilt Guild's food drive for the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the 225 cloth grocery bags we made. Anne G remarked that she could use a new cloth grocery bag. Anne, these are for you! Happy-Shopping-With-No-Plastic-Bags!

Friday, November 23, 2012


Jen's Bag
 Some guildsters came over to play bags, and working together - with a completed project at the end of the day - is a great way to roll.  We all made the WOW bag, a neat tote that expands and become a duffel bag.  This clever pattern is one I bought from the Jinny Beyer website and made in her fabrics - see it here.  Here's the one I made for CMQG's secretary Emily, who just turned 25. 

Natalie's Bag

Sarah's Bag from Fat Quarters

Inside of Sarah's Duffel, with gusseted pockets

Outside of Sarah's Duffel

Melissa's Bag with its fancy pockets
 Guild member Erika volunteered to help the CMQG organize and unify its approach to social media.  Although we have yet to put her 7-page plan into action, we are appreciative and will implement many of her suggestions soon.  As a thank you, I asked her to give me a yard of a fabric she cherishes.  And here's the result.  I can't wait to give it to her.  But not until December 9!

Erika's Duffel

Erika's Tote with a little matching tiny tote
 If you want to know more about the WOW bag and the pattern, contact The Dusty Attic at  The creator of this pattern is Mary Beth Scarborough. 

A Very Mo Thanksgiving

Ben, Jack, Grandpa John, Natalie. Nikki, Brandon, Sam, Ryan in back

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Evolution of Pattern Following

Look at these cute little bags from the Runaround Bag pattern by Lazy Girl Designs. They have a lined interior, a back pocket, a zip closure, and are 7" x 9". As the pattern says, "A great little purse to runaround with."  I saw one made by guildster Sara Hochhauser in a terrific fly fishing fabric.  At a fabric swap during the fall retreat of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild I got this fabulous black and red Oriental fabric from guildster Debbie Bookman and decided to use it for the trial run for this pattern.  Except for the strap being a bit too short, I do like this.

The black pocket on the back needs something - some quilting? something. Using a great fabric with green trees and a coarsely woven fabric (on loan from Eileen), I created two more, trying to figure out where the feature fabric should go and what should be plain, and missed the mark on both. The bags are nice. But not great. The straight-line quilting on the green bags helps a lot to make the bag interesting. Of course it does. I'm a quilter. I like texture. Of course I know this. But somehow I forget something this basic when making a new pattern.
So - using my handy-dandy,never-ending supply of scraps - I began doing some improvisational foundation piecing to create the bag front. And then another improvisation piece for the pocket. And I love the result. This bag is the keeper! When I returned the rest of Eileen's fabrics to her, I gave her her choice of bags - she chose the one with the quilting. Still need to create some nify zipper pulls for these. Guess Eileen will have to do her own.

This pattern is fat-quarter friendly and just needs 2. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Repurposing T-Shirts

  Not just yet...


Monday, November 5, 2012

An Equal-Opportunity Direction Follower

This past weekend I followed the directions of fellow Chicago Modern Quilt Guildster Erika and made a scarf of t-shirts. Today's project was a drawstring bag with directions provided by CMQGster Sarah S. This nifty bag is about 8" wide by 10" tall and has a boxed bottom. I love the generous spirit of quilters!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sewing Weekend

 I had some specific goals for this past weekend.  Some of them I met - some still need work.  Friday I visited the Fiber Arts Show at the Chicago Botanic Gardens with two of my favorite people, Wayne and Eileen.

Properly inspired, I began to wade my way through a list.  With Erika M's hot directions in hand and after raiding my t-shirts, I made a t-shirt scarf.  This is long - 110" and colorful.  Can't wait for it to get cold. 
The snake of many colors is a sample pack from Jinny Beyer - 150 bits that  are 2.25" x 3.75".  I've made some wall hangings but am thinking jacket with this set.
I meant to free-motion some table covers for my living room - binding is even ready.   And I have some fabric from Eileen and am ready to try making Sarah S's drawstring bags.  Maybe I'll get to these this week...

Crap.  Just realized the jazz shirt logo on the t-shirt scarf is upside down.  So it goes...