Saturday, November 28, 2015

Getting Ready for Studio Guests

This quilt is too big for the design wall, so it's on the floor as I connect the various blocks and rows.  But I'm short of background fabric and must wait for the rest to come in.  Don't get me started on the math issues I had, which account for the middle row being wider than the others.   I am hoping it won't be THAT noticeable.  
The design wall holds several pieces that I want hung on the walls of the staircase coming up to the studio.   That's something John and I can't handle so handymen are coming over Tuesday to do this. 

Another Sew Powerful purse using some special metallic fabrics.  I think I'll do one or two more from these fabrics before putting them away for a few days.  So far I have made 4, have 2 more prepped, and want to have a dozen by 2/1/2016.
My Oliso iron has been acting goofy, like it gets too hot and needs to be unplugged for a while.  Which is very inconvenient for quilters.  And I love my Oliso.  But I fired up my old Rowenta, which created a huge problem:   I kept forgetting to turn it up (something you don't have to do with an Oliso - it automatically pops up).  To avoid burning down the house, I decided it was time for a new Oliso, which just happened to be on sale for a terrific price at Joann's.  My old Oliso will now be my travel iron. 
I love having playdates with my quilty friends, whether we are doing parallel play or working on the same projects.  I love that I must pick up and clean and make way for guests.  Now, what healthy lunch can I made.  Preferably something without turkey...

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Two Items Leaving the Studio

My super-duper extra-special sister will be 63 soon, and I am giving her her choice of bags.  She has agreed to test this one out and see how the vinyl on the bottom works - she thinks the vinyl is a good idea!  And the wedding quilt for my cousin Kathy's daughter Amber is finished.  It's double sided (see below), and I'm hoping at least one of the sides will be something Amber and Derek like.  It's always difficult creating for someone you don't know well.  On the label I included my Grandma Eloise White, my Aunt Jean White, and my mom Joanne White.  These three were the ones who taught me and encouraged me to sew.  I also felt the presence of my Uncle Leonard, Amber's grandfather and my dad's younger brother who died in 2003.  And really, it's all about generations of family. 
One side, with Marcia Derse fabrics.  Special thanks to T and F Quilting for their basket weave quilting. 

The reverse side, with several shades of grey and black batiks

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Today in the Studio

 I finished two more of these purses for Sew Powerful.  And now that I get how the pattern works, I am getting fonder of it and the variations that can be achieved with different fabrics.  What is so clever about this purse are the three pockets - one on the front flap of the purse, another pocket under the flap (see the pen sticking out?) and then the actual purse interior.  While I have already identified fabrics for the next set of purses, I need to put these away for a few days.
 I had a ton of red/black/grey leftovers from the project on the design wall and decided to use them to test a product that is new to me - iron-on vinyl.  It is just on the bottom of the bag, the part that's on the floor.  I made one bag for Chandra's daughter using this product, but I need to know how it wears. 

I have plans to enter my elliptical drunkard's path into QuiltCon2016 and the 2016 International Quilt Festival, but the only picture I have of it is not a great one. So I need to carefully take down what's on the design wall in order to hang this quilt and work on a good photograph.  I know this doesn't sound like much.  But it will take a good hour to do this.
This quilt needs binding.  I picked it up from T and F Quilting Studio Monday.  The bride - my White cousin's daughter - was married in October, and I am eager to get this in the mail before too much longer. 

And then?  I want to put together the quilt that's been carefully and systematically removed from the design wall, start a couple more bags, work on a couple of big quilts - wait, you already know this part of the story.  Sorry...

Monday, November 16, 2015

Sew Powerful  Just go there. 
Two more in process

Saturday, November 14, 2015

So Fiddly...But Perhaps Worth It

 This cross-body purse has 10 pattern pieces.  And I didn't have a finished product in front of me.  So it's been a frustrating day of sewing.  QFF Wayne told me about the Sew Powerful Purse Project.  This organization solicits purses made from this pattern that "are used in local schools and clinics in Lusaka, Zambia as part of Menstration Hygiene Management (MHM) programs. This simple gift – combined with re-usable sanitary pads and health information can make a tremendous difference in the lives of adolescent girls...  Our ministry partners work hard to educate and inform the girls in their community so that they stay in school and grow in confidence and self-esteem. It really is sew powerful!"  I do love making purses, and he thought this would be right up my alley.  But after downloading the pattern and seeing the degree of difficulty and fiddliness, I thought perhaps I could send one of my own purses.  But this organization is pretty specific and wants only this pattern.  So I wanted to make at least one and see whether I want to do more - or strongarm any of my guildsters - into doing more of these.

There's a long front flap that covers the entire purse.  This front flap has a small pouch on the out side.  Lift up the big flap, and there's another pocket.  You can see my pin cushion tucked into this pocket.  And then there's the interior of the purse.  There's a long strap securely attached.  I may have to make one more of these before I make a final judgment.  And I'm not even going to mention the number of seams that had to be unsewed.  Perhaps it might be easier to donate money to this organization...

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Whole Lot of Sewin' Goin' On...

Using scraps for a tote bag, I am testing out some vinyl covered fabric.  I used this vinyl previously but gave the bag away and I need to see how this product actually wears.

The pattern for this bag is the one I'm using for the bag above.  I made this bag before but created by own color palette.  And clearly this was before I discovered my deep and abiding love for Soft and Stable.  So this kit will allow me to make the bag properly.  Besides the kit was on sale.  Magic words...
This is a free download pattern for a cross-body purse.  Go to Sew Powerful.  This organization's goal is to provide purses for young African girls so that they don't have to miss a week of school each month.  What a great idea!  However, this purse pattern looks fiddly.  So I want to do one before I start to strongarm some of my fellow guildsters.  Here's a better picture of the final product.

Two totes from one set of sale fabric.  I made some modifications on the left one, including a too-short purse zipper, side pockets, and zipper tabs.  I like these bags, but the size is wrong - just a bit too small for what I was intending to make.

This kit is calling out to me gently.  Maybe Saturday...

Meanwhile I am sashiko-ing this quilt of Marcia Derse fabrics on the front and a fabulous Art Gallery backing AND - wait it get even better - wool batting.  Can you tell from the picture below that about 3/4's of the quilt has been quilted?

And of course the Molly Market tote.  I definitely want to crank a couple of these out.

The backing fabric came in for what's on the design wall.
And of course key wristlets.  

I blog for many reasons.  The prime one is usually just to get out of my head what I need to without annoying my husband.  He's good for listening but only for so long.  A great secondary reason is that I have a record of what I have done over the years.  But the most immediate reason today is that when I am in a frenetic sewing stage, getting projects down on e-paper helps me priortize and calms me down.

Much better.  We are heading to my aunt Marjorie Long's funeral.  She's the reason I went to college and into teaching.  What a great role model.  John and I would run into her at the Goodman Theatre until she stopped going, maybe 6 years ago.  And I just had a flashback of her reupholstering her furniture.  Like my parents' deaths, Marge's was peaceful.  I hope her children are as at peace as my sibs and I are.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Today's Observations About Totes, Duffels, Kits

I bought a kit to make this Cargo Duffle, designed by Noodlehead.  The kit came with some Robert Kaufman canvas.  In fact, it came with too much.  The black and white diamond fabric was the suggested lining.  However, I am going to make a second bag out of this.  This fabric is too pretty to use as a living.  And I'm not sure I'll follow the Noodlehead pattern again.  I like the Satchel shown here on the cover of Stitch - the one I made is in the background.  It's a bit larger and has some features, like hidden outer pockets,  that I like.  I tried to use the suggested snaps for the feature pockets, and that didn't go so well.  I wound up using magnets and hiding them with an additional tab.  The next bag will also have black fabric and not feature fabric for the bottom gusset.  This bag finishes nicely except...all seam allowances are visible on the interior and need to be covered with bias tape.  The suggested handle - at the bottom of this picture - just didn't feel right to me, so I went rogue and used the kind of handle I know works with a bag like this.  What started this particular bag is fellow guildster Debbie Pine.  She did a Sew Sweetness Tudor Bag using this fabric.  Luckily, Debbie is comfortable with my shameless copying of her fabric choices!   So, just to recap:  the next bag will be a bit bigger, have a dark bottom, pockets on the outside but not with snaps or flaps, pockets on the inside, and handles like I like to make.