Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Running Around with Saturated Colors

Runaround Bags - 7" x 9"

One side has a zipper, and there's even a little pocket on the inside. The other side has a nice deep pocket. The strap is long enough so that the bag can be worn across the body. And it can be knotted to make it shorted. These Marcia Derse fabrics are so lovely to work with. I think I know what I'm doing the rest of today... Here's where to get this little bag pattern.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Little RunArounds with Marcia Derse

Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy

Gotta leave the house.  Gotta try to not get hair gel on the keyboard.  Gotta remember to do the other eye.  All the gottas.  But all I really want to do is play with these fabrics.  They are so special I am even going to try to bit of FMQ!  But later...  Gotta get out of here...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Attention Deficit Disorder Quilting

  • Head up to studio to clean, organize, put away, prepare for making zippered bags and little runaround puses.
  •  Work on John's jeans belt loop.  Fire up my only non-computered sewing machine, my Daisy Husqvarna.  Cannot be beat for sewing through multiple layers of denim and Boy Scout badges and purse straps.
  • Decide to do a blog post of this workhorse sewing machine.
  • Locate fabrics for project but decide some of them are too big and that I really should use my scraps
  • Decide to include scrap basket/bins in this post and stop to admire what beautiful scraps I have
  • Stop to google the latest purse pattern I'm obsessing about and get lost in a purse rabbit hole
  •  Find sample of tension/thread testing sheet and decide to turn it into a mug rug.
  • Must photo the mug rug
  • Sort my zipper stock by size and color.
  • Fondle some of my red, black, and white fabrics and resist the temptation to make a little sample of what I think I want to do.
  • Decide that that idea is actually a good one. 
  • Resists the temptation to photo those fabrics and include them in this entry.
  • Feels a sense of maturity and purpose, even though the rest of today is obviously a play day.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The End of a Great Fabric

When I see something at a great sale price. I overbuy.  This gold wavy on brown fabric was one of those sales - I think I bought six yards of it.  And then of course the more I use it, the more I love it.  Well, it's gone.  There is just enough - maybe - to bind this charity quilt for Teen Living. 

And here's the quilt it's going on. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Modern Quilting Advice from Coltrane

"I want to progress, but I don't want to go so far out that I can't see what others are doing." John Coltrane (September 1960) I joke with the family about fulfilling their quilting needs. Grandsons have laughed out loud at me. So when John said he had a quilting need, I was all over it. He's donating this t-shirt wall hanging to the Brookfield Jazz Society. And as I was working on it, I realized Coltrane's wisdom.

All my bags are packed

and ready for the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild meeting yesterday and a little demo talk on different bag/purse interfacings.  I used, with her permission, a chart that Sara Lawson created for her Purse Palooza 2012.  Currently she's in the middle of Purse Palooza 2013 - so much fun! 

I haven't mentioned lately how much I love my Chicago Modern Quilt Guild.  Our Fall charity is Teen Living, and the quilts are starting to come in! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Too Rich? Too Thin? Too Much Quilting?


There's something soothing to me about laying in rows and rows of quilting, knowing that I'm making a quilt that will hold up to years of use.

Back to soothing... 

Monday, October 14, 2013

All Retreat Projects, Great and Small

 I promised myself I could keep making bags and things with straps the past two weeks IF and only IF at the retreat I would work on the Trips Around the World for Teen Living, our fall charity outreach.  So I did keep myself promise and made three quilt tops - minus the borders.  I'll do those at home this week (although I don't want to minimize this step - it's pretty time-consuming).Several   Chicago Modern Quilt Guild retreatants were pretty busy with their own charity projects.  A special shoutout to Paula Z, who took one of my kits and completely put it together, including those pesky borders, and to Peta M, who took home the top and the binding.  She will longarm this top and bind it and it's ready to go.
Once I finished my three tops, then I played with my little runaround bags and made five but gave two away.

Our lovely vice-president Sarah S made me a little birthday present out of some fabric that right now is totally hot. I love this bag - and love that little leather zipper pull.  Hmmm...

A special word about the Debbies - wow, do they have fabulous design and color and fabric sense.  Both worked on projects that are fabulous.

This one is Debbie Pine's at the beginning of its creation. The design, the colors, the fabrics - I love this. The one below is Debbie Bookman's. Ditto, ditto, ditto. Both of these quilts are made from Marcia Derse fabrics. I love these, but these too are hot right now, difficult to find, and going out of production. Let the quest begin!

Debbie Bookman is moving to Florida.  I'd be sad except I think she'll come home for retreats!

Yeah, that's how much fun we have...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Aeroplane Bag for Cristina

Do you have people in your life you cannot say no to?  Cristina is one of those people in my life.  She began sewing with me when she was in 7th grade.  And now she's graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Fine Arts - she's a painter.

She's going to spend the winter in Lake Tahoe before getting herself back into school.  So I offered to make her an Aeroplane Bag, figuring I've done four and could just knock this one out.  Except she gave me a piece of leather her father brought back from Uruguay.  Leather?  Leather!

Okay.  I gave it a go.  And guess what?  It turned out!  I did have to make some modifications with the pattern.  For instance, you can't iron fusible interfacing onto leather, which is how you normally affix the extra-heavy interfacing that gives the bag its shop.  Instead I just sewed it onto the leather.

 In hindsight perhaps I should have tackled the leather straps like I do with cotton.  However, I did some practice runs, increased the needle size to 100, and forged ahead. 

Luckily Cristina found a fabulous batik for the top of the bag.  Joining the leather bottom to the top of the bag worked well, and I even managed to sew through the handle parts.   Inserting the zipper was business as usual so that went well.
 Because this project has a boxed bottom I had to get creative with this step to keep from sewing through two thicknesses of leather and two thicknesses of the extra-stiff interfacing.  This part sort of worked but my math was off - no surprise there.  But somehow it all worked. 
The lining of this bag is from a dress project that Cristina did when she was a senior in high school.  And the pockets are from a recent quilt of mine.

The zipper tabs are made from leather, and those look the roughest.  But they work.  And I think with time after the bag is broken in, they will be fine.  And if they are, then maybe we need to visit a shoemaker.

I won't do a leather project again.  But I am most proud of the one mechanical machine I have and what a great job it did sewing through all these thicknesses.   Check out the side of this blog for index entries about Cristina - she's an extraordinary girl! 

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Dot Dash Dot Bag in the Mail

For over 10 years I taught English at Hyde Park High Scool and had some fabulous students.  Bridgette Wiltz, Class of 1990, is one of those people.  She was in my Freshman Honors class and was an eager bright student with perfect attendance.  She's made a career in the military, gotten her degree, and has been a wise steward of her talents and money.  Bridgette is a daily spiritual coach - and I love her for that.  We reconnected through Facebook six years ago.  I marvel at the encouragement she's given me over the past few years.  (The fabrics in these last two bags are the final bits of each one of these.  The bottom of this bag is from a bit of fabric that Wayne gave me a few years ago.)  Bridgette, here's to you - and make sure you bling out the bag with zipper pulls!  And then take a picture as proof and hand it in.  That's an assignment! 

Now, what to do with the final bag...

Friday, October 4, 2013

N - 1 = The State of Things

If N represents what I need to finish these two bags, then N - 1 is what I have.  I need the rectangular slides to make the adjustable straps.  So it goes.  More often than not, N - 1 = my state of things.  Got my hot little coupon in my hot little hands.  Off to Joann's...

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Zippers and parts for two more Dot Dash Dot bags

Two more Runarounds

The backs of these Runarounds