Saturday, June 30, 2018

End of June Checklist

 Make a Farewell Purse for Dorothy - check.  She's on her way to Florida.  I found this Zippy Purse pattern by Jen Fox Studios.  I'm sure I will make this one again.

 Play with the roll of Kraft-Tex that Sarah and Holly found at QuiltCon 2018 - check.  I like this little tote.  But it's too little.  I'm not sure I like Kraft-Tex, a paper product meant to wear like leather.  At this point I think I'd rather work with more cork.  The beauty of both products that is the edges can remain unfinished. 

  Speaking of which, here's a little zippered pouch made from cork.  It's not lined and went together in less than 30 minutes.  I think I like it.  I need to play with it more.  Under it is a little zip pouch made from the lining of a bag I tried to make with cork.  Between the cork and the Soft and Stable, it just didn't work.  And it's one of my favorite patterns - the Hey Mercedes bag by Sara Lawson. Ive made is several times - look here.  As I deconstructed it, it dawned on me that the lining zip pockets could make a nice little pouch.  And it did!

The last item on my checklist was to reorganize the studio and put things away so that I can devote July to Sew Powerful purses, the menstrual hygiene education program in Zambia.  I'm pleased - and luckily this horribly hot weather has helped - to say that I've gotten started.  My goal is to do 20 purses in July.  So far it's just Jury Duty and a couple of doctor appointments on the schedule.  The picture above shows all the parts necessary for just 2 purses - this pattern isn't an easy one.  But this project is so worthwhile.  Below are 7 purses already finished and just waiting to be mailed.  Look out, July!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

An End Date

 These two Tudors are complete.  I am going to hang onto the multi-colored one for a while.  The other is for my Quilty Melissa.  I love the size of these bags.  In both, in addition to simple inner pockets, there is a sleeve for a water bottle.  Melissa's bag has some faux textured leather on the bottom and lower sides.  It was easier to work with than I anticipated, and I still under Soft and Stable, a foam interfacing, under it.
And here's my new rule:  For every completed new project, I have to do a UFO.  Because - seriously - we all have an end/expiration date.  (Relax - everything is fine - just a reality check).  I found these blue blocks from the Janet Clare line Aubade. I made them at the winter retreat last January.  After putting them on the design wall, I was pretty uninspired.  So then I thought about the disappearing 9-patch.  I sewed 9 blocks together and then center cut them into four blocks.   When I put them together (sew below), meh...

   So then I began to think about separating the blocks, giving them some space to breathe, and putting them on point.  And look!  Now I have some space to do some hand-quilting in the big empty blocks.  I will tuck this away until next winter.  Now?  I can go back to another tote back or two.

 I have a new product that Holly and Sarah got for me at the last QuiltCon - it's a paper fabric for bags and totes.  It is sturdy, can be washed and distressed, and is pretty intriguing.  I can't decide whether to to use Soft and Stable with it as well.  I do know I'm doing another Tudor.  But I am not finished with the faux leather and might start another one - see below.  Or maybe I'll just work on both at once...  And then back to another get the idea...and period purses...

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Perfect Quilting Weather

I know what you're thinking:  "Hey, didn't she use that same title for a blog post in the deep midwinter?"  Why, yes.  Yes, I did.  What I love about quilting is that it is an all-weather sport.  Here's the body of niece Molly's quilt. 

It started out like this, and this arrangement was just so uninspiring and static.  These blocks needed, like so many other quilt blocks, some room to breathe and for the design to emerge.  The sashing give this design a 3-d effect, and offsetting the columns also helped.

This is the finished quilt top, ready for the long-arming.  It is 88" x 110"  Her parents are coming for a visit Labor Day, and I am hoping this quilt will make it back with them!
On to the next exciting projects.  On the design wall are ALL the parts for two Tudor bags .  I like this pattern a lot - it's the size of a shopping bag.  Exterior zippered pocket.  Pockets on the inside.  Water bottle holder.  Great straps.  All the hard prep work is  done.  Now,  I just need time to sew.  At least it's perfect sewing weather!