Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Special People

I have so many quality people in my life. One of them is Sue Ryan, the first treasurer of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild. Her current employer is my former employer - The Chicago Public Schools. Sue is a kindergarten teacher who has a wonderful sense of whimsy and color and a love affair with fish. Here is her back-to-school present - a shark pencil case. And here's the link to the tutorial from Patchwork Posse. Notice my shark's top fin is backwards - chalk it up to dyslexia. Sue will understand.
Another person is my husband's sister Terry who is 79 this month. Here is an Arabesque bag for her - a free download from Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness. Sara is hosting her Purse Palooza 2014 in October, and I'm excited about being a guest blogger for this event. I'll be blogging about the Runaround Bag on October 15. Sometimes I get so excited about something I've made that I forget to photo and document it. Last night we had John's cousin Marian for dinner. It was her 80th birthday. Using a pair of John's old jeans, I made her a shopping bag, which she loved. Three special people who deserve special gifts!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Perils and Joys of Baby Quilts

Baby Quilts are fun for several reasons.  Their size is perfect, and I can easily do my own quilting.  And the whole design and color process allows me to be creative.  However, because of their size, I use straight pins for basting.  Each one of my baby quilts has several bits of blood - that's just the way I roll.  Since I wash the quilt after quilting, it doesn't affect the quilt - just my arms and legs.  As I have told my grandsons, quilting is a sport, complete with injuries.  On a rainy day like today, baby quilts tease thought - especially about the passage of time.  How can my oldest grandson be a sophomore in college?  How can my NYC niece be having her second baby (oh boy oh boy another baby quilt!!!)?  Working on baby quilts is joyful.  Two of my friends are about to be grandmothers.  One is expecting her 5th and 6th grandchildren in September.  One is becoming a first-time grandmother in October.  Their joy makes me relive those wonderful days when John's kids were having their babies.  It's a sweet time of life.  Working on baby quilts keeps life in perspective, especially after my dad's death and my mom's steady decline.  Might be time to watch Lion King and sing along with all those wonderful songs.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mama's Got a Brand New Bag - or two...

This past weekend I worked on two new bag patterns. This first one is A Cute Bag by WonderWoman. It has a zipper and a deep curved pocket on both sides of the bag. The middle section is deep, has two interior pockets, and a snap closure. The strap is substantial and adjustable. I made the almost fatal error of putting both D-ring straps on the same side of the bag. Bu I stepped away from the bag for 24 hours and figured out a work-around. I also didn't take into account the directionality of the outer zippers, but it's ok. This is indeed an aptly-named pattern, and I'll do another one of these.
Here's the other project - Grids and Grommets by Indygo Junction.  I bought this pattern last year at QuiltCon.  What appeals to me most is the grid pattern of the fabric.   The installation of the grommets was a bit tricky, perhaps because I went rogue on the directions.  Instead of a double layer of fleece batting, I used Soft and Stable, and it worked brilliantly.  The bag stands on its own nicely. 
I like the interior of the bag, too, with its pockets. There is a bottom insert of a double layer of Peltex in a fabric envelope. It's always great fun to try something new. My fun news is that I have been asked to participate in Purse Palooza 2014.  Sara Lawson is the organizer and host of this purse blow-out.  On October 15 I'll be blogging about the RunAround Bag by LazyGirl Designs.  Here's the link to the pattern. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

We Can Eat Dinner Again!

We have a small house which has one table at which to eat - the dining room table. That table becomes the office table and the laundry table as well as the dining room table. Daily we use placemats. After announcing to John that I would make new placemats because we couldn't find anything we wanted in the stores and throwing away the old placemats, I began this 16-placemat project. I did four of them two months ago. And now four more are complete. That dinner party for 16 will just have to wait a few more weeks. This particular set of four are my Debbie Bookman Memorial Placemats - she was the one to turn me on to the fabric in the center of these mats and may have even given me this fabric. Deb is moving to Florida where she will be a part of their Modern Quilt scene! And speaking of guildsters current CMQG president Sarah S has been particularly tender with me in the past few weeks. She gave me a new bag pattern - "A Cute Bag" by Wonder Woman Quilts. And I cannot wait to start this bag. However, I do have projects with a deadline. I have been critical of bloggers who say they can't post what they are working on. And here I go: I can't post what I am working on for a few more months. But work is going on.