Friday, March 29, 2013

An Adventure in Tote Bags

At the last ECMQG meeting, Marcy talked about bags.  She brought bags of all shapes and sizes, and since I've been on something of a bag kick lately, I thought I would try out some of the things I learned from her.

Unlike my attempt with the Wonky Scrap Basket, this time I followed instructions (I have a problem with that sometimes) and used both interfacing and headliner foam.  I had much better results.

The bag has double pockets on the outside and I used Pellon 808 fusible interfacing to stiffen the pockets.

It has a double pocket on one side of the lining...

And a zipper pocket on the other.  I had to have Marcy show me how to do the zipper pocket again.  I know I've done them before, but I couldn't remember how.  My recent attempts have been less than wonderful.

I know this sounds silly, but I really like the handles.  The polka dots make me smile.

The only problem I had was sewing the corners at the bottom.  My machine really didn't like 10 layers of fabric, 6 layers of Pellon and 2 layers of foam.  But four or five attempts and two broken needles later, I finally had the thing stitched down. 

And I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. 

Thanks, Marcy, for the inspiration.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Super Fun Play Day

You would think that now that I'm not working I would be a more diligent blogger, but honestly, I'm just too BUSY!  Yesterday, I had a super fun day.  My friend Marcy invited me to her home to play with her long arm quilting machine. 

It.  Was.  A.  BLAST!

When I arrived she had a practice "quilt sandwich" already set up on her machine for me to play with.  After she showed me what is going to be her beautiful new studio, she introduced me to the machine.  It was easier (and more fun) than I thought it would be.

You can FMQ from the front of the machine, or use the pantograph designs from the back.  Like on your home sewing machine, FMQ requires a lot more thinking and planning.  I liked the pantograph for that reason.  You follow this little laser light along the paper design to guide the machine, which stitches the design on your quilt.  Complete with your mistakes - LOL.  But it is very cool.  And if I had more practice, and better hand-eye coordination (something I've struggled with since elementary school) I would have gotten better results.

After I practiced for awhile, we loaded my quilt onto the machine.  First the back... 

And then the batting and the quilt top.  Then I went to work play.  It was really, really fun. 

I really had to concentrate, though, to follow the design.  A moment's inattention = messed up quilting. 

No, I didn't unpick any.

Would you look at how cool this is???  It would have been fun to actually be able to divide my attention and watch the design take shape.  But alas, I certainly don't have those skills.

Marcy was an incredible hostess, and even fed me a delicious lunch of salad and sandwiches.  Yummm.  I honestly didn't realize how hungry I was until she suggested we stop for lunch.

After just a couple of hours, I came home with a completely quilted quilt!  How cool is that??

Certainly not perfect, but not too bad either.  Marcy says the mess-ups won't show after the quilt is washed.  I hope she's right.

I almost missed the light, but here's the  FINISHED front...

And the back...

Now all it needs is binding and I'll have a quilt. 

It was a really fun way to spend the day.  Thank you, Marcy!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Let the {Charm} Madness Begin

You know the saying "A day late and a dollar short?"  Well, in my case it's "A week late and a dollar short."  I was supposed to post this last Sunday, but I seem to be a bit behind, lately.

I'm one of the participants in the Charm Madness Blog Hop hosted by the ladies at Sew Lux.  Ever wonder what to do with those cute little squares?  Well, here's your answer.  There have already been a bunch of wonderful projects posted, and there are a bunch more to come.

Here's the list of those that have already been posted:
Tuesday 3/19 - Jennie at Clover & Violet
Wednesday, 3/20 - Jess at Sew Crafty Jess
Thursday, 3/21 - Rhonda at Quilter in the Gap
Friday, 3/22 - Jenelle at Echinops &Aster
Sunday, 3/24 - Week 1 Giveaway Post

And here are the ones yet to come:
Tuesday, 3/26 - Lori at Lori H Designs
Wednesday, 3/27 - Kelsey at Kelsey Sews
Thursday, 3/28 - Lindsay at CraftBuds/LindsaySews
Friday - 3/29 - Jennifer at That Girl, ThatQuilt
Saturday, 3/30 - Stacey at The Tilted Quilt
Sunday, 3/31 - Week 2 Giveaway Post

Monday, 4/1 - Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts 
Tuesday, 4/2 - Wendi at prsd4tim2
Wednesday, 4/3 - Elizabeth at Don't Call Me Betsy
Thursday, 4/4 - Ginny at Fish Creek Studio
Saturday, 4/6 - Leona at Leona's Quilting Adventure
Sunday, 4/7 - Week 3 Giveaway Post

Be sure to have a look around.  

And did I mention there are PRIZES???  Well, just so you know, there are PRIZES.

Three Ways to Win Prizes

  • Enter the three weekly giveaway drawings on Sundays during the blog hop at the Sew Lux blog.
  • Link up your own charm project -  Linky post will be open for entries between 3/23 – 4/6.
  • Enter the Grand Prize Winner Giveaway by counting the total number of charms used in all the blog hop tutorials.  Complete the entry form on 4/7 or 4/8.
All entry posts for prizes will be on the Sew Lux blog

So let's get hoppin' and make up for lost time.  Be sure to head back here on Tuesday, April 2nd for my contribution to the hop.  I'm planning something fun that I hope you will like.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Catching Up!

Hello again!  There's been a fair amount of activity around the prsd4tim2 studio, even though I haven't recorded anything here.  Now that Leona has received her mug rug, I can show it here.  Leona is a "fabric collector" and quilter extraordinaire, and she was my partner for the Rugs with Friends swap this time.  I decided to use some of my selvage stash in her mug rug.  The idea is a peek into the window of a fabric store, with all the bolts sitting on the shelf, just waiting to be purchased.  I thought it was a little "blah" in this version, so I added a little gold "chain" and a button peg above the sign, but sadly forgot to take a photo of the finished product, so you'll just have to imagine...

Then, I'm playing along in the Wish List Swap.  My partner wanted a fairly unique item, so I can't show it until she receives it, but I created this little table runner as the accessory.  The fabric is from the DS Quilts collection at JoAnn's.  I love making wonky stars - they're tons of fun as long as I remember to have the triangle cover the corners.  Sadly, since Priscilla's little mishap with the pin a few weeks ago, she doesn't like FMQ, so this is pretty simple straight line and echo quilting. 

I've got a good start on some pillows for my partner in the Modernista Swap.  Just have to put these together.  These were inspired by the Double Hexagon Tutorial on Kerri's blog and by the Jawbreaker pattern by Jaybird Quilts.  My partner wanted some colors I don't generally collect, but then I remembered I have the leftovers of a FQ bundle of Prince Charming by Tula Pink, which I think hope is perfect. 

And I've finally gotten around to working on my granny square quilt.  I started it last spring (May?) during the Granny Square QAL, but didn't finish enough blocks.  Then last October, I had the ladies in the Sew Fun Bee make some more blocks.  And there it sat.  And sat.  And sat.

But my friend Marcy has offered to let me play with her long arm to do the quilting, so I had to get the top made.  I'm really jazzed by getting to try a long arm! Anyway, here's the layout.  The top and back are now done (sorry, no photo yet) and just waiting to be quilted.   We're getting together next Wednesday, and I hope to remember to take lots of pictures.  Can't wait.

For relaxation, I've made a couple more flowers for my GMFG.  I think I need 4 or 5 more to finish.

Krista has been making me half flowers for the edges and I received a bunch just the other day.  I love the way they make it look so finished!  It's almost done!

Along with the half flowers, Krista sent me (look at all the cool Christmas stamps on the box!) a whole bunch of fabric she inherited from someone.  It will make wonderful quilt backs and other things.  It really was like Christmas when I opened the box.  So fun.

Anyway, I've been needing a new ironing board cover (and new ironing board too I thought).  Desperately.  The old store-bought one was stained and had holes where even the foam underneath was gone.  Can you see it?  Even though this cover is only a year old, it has apparently been abused.  Or maybe they just don't make them like they used to.

So I went to Walmart and brought home a new ironing board.  (Of course I had to clean the sewing room to make the exchange, so the process took - um, a few hours.)  Anyway, I got it set up, and realized that my 1970s ironing board is way sturdier than the new one I bought, and for the kind of use I give the thing, sturdier is better, even if it isn't totally flat any more.  So the new ironing board goes back to Walmart.

But I really did need a new cover.  So what to do?  Going back to Walmart was out of the question, as once a day year is really more often than I care to go, and the sewing room was clean, but everything was out of order so it needed to be finished sooner rather than later.

So I dug in the big box of fabric Krista sent and found fabric long enough to fit the ironing board.  I cut the old nasty one apart and laid it on top, cut around it, found a scrap of quilt batting and some bias tape (labeled TG&Y with a price tag of 96-cents!) and sewed up a new cover.  Honestly it was easy peasy.  And free!  Way better, don't you think?  I may never buy an ironing board cover again.

So that's what's been going on around here.  What have you been up to?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Happy International Quilting Day

Today is International Quilting Day.  I had such big plans for today, but honestly, the most quilty thing I did all day was go to JoAnn's and buy $3.42 worth of rick rack for a project I'm working on.  There are many things on the to-do-list, but the husband was home, and since he leaves again tomorrow, it seemed as if spending time with him was the better choice. So, tomorrow, I'm planning to be back at the sewing machine.

This promises to be a great week as I hope to hang out with Leona as she heads to the Florida Panhandle on a business trip, and Marcy, for my first experience with a long-arm quilting machine.  I have a couple quilts, a couple of pillows, a table runner, some napkins, and a whole bunch of bags and totes on the agenda for this week.  Hopefully I will be able to accomplish a lot this week.

It seems that I am happiest when I have a needle of some sort in my hand.  I love to see a project come together.  I love to play with colors and fabrics and textures.  I love the feeling of accomplishment when I finally complete a project.  So, I'm off to make my list for next week.

Meanwhile, I hope you spent some quality quilty time on this International Quilting Day. 

And if you are "sew" inclined, leave me a comment and tell me what you are working on, or what it is about quilting that brings you joy.  I'd love to hear.

And I'm linking up with Sew Cal Gal's International Quilting Day linky party.  Come sew with us.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Selvage Zipper Pouch

In addition to hexies, I've been on a bit of a selvage kick lately.  I cleaned the sewing room recently and put all the selvages I've saved in one place (now there's a tricky bit of organization!) and discovered that when they are all together, there is a HUGE BAG full of them.  So I got them out for a special project the other day that I can't show anyone yet...  But the idea of them just sitting there was bugging me, so I decided I would use them in this little pouch. 

Selvages on the front...  Selvages on the back...  I was very free with them, you see!

It's slightly oversized - it measures 8" x 8", so someone should be able to fit some serious stuff in there.  And I used my spoonflower print for the lining with a little scrappy split pocket inside.  And I put the zipper in so that it would open all the way.

So, all in all, a quick and easy little project.  I'm pretty happy with the results.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wonky Scrappy Scrap Basket

So we all know that I'm a sucker for swaps, and despite my best intentions, one weekend several  of my favorite swaps were having sign ups, and apparently I have NO self control, because I signed up for all of them.  What was I thinking??? 

One of them was the Modern Scrappy Bits swap.  This time we could make our partner whatever they wanted, and my partner wanted a fabric basket.  I've been on a hexagon kick lately - maybe it has something to do with that Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt that's been absorbing most of my waking moments for the last several months - but I decided to do a fabric basket with a scrappy hexagon top.  These hexies are machine sewn, and even the Y-seams aren't so tricky once you do a few, especially on a decent-sized hexie (still not going to try them on the GMFG - the hexies are too small and I think the Y-seams would make me nuts!)

While I was at the ECMQG meeting on Saturday, Marcy did a bag and pouch demo - oh my does she create beautiful bags! - and she talked about using headliner foam as a substantial backing for bags and totes.  Well, what the hey!, thought I...  I'll give it a try.

It was my first time working with it and it's a little wonky, but still, I like the idea that it stands up by itself.  This basket is 18" high, and doesn't sag or buckle.  I like that a lot.  So, there are probably things I would do differently next time, but overall, I'm pretty pleased with it as a first try.

So there you have it - my Wonky Scrappy Scrap Basket

Saturday, March 9, 2013

13 in 2013 - Jelly Roll Race = Finish #2

Being home full-time has it's advantages.  The other day I was walking by the sewing machine and there sat this poor half-quilted quilt.  Not being pressed for time (do I have to change the name of my blog???) I decided to just sit down and finish-it-already.

This is a jelly roll race so the top took me all of 30 minutes to piece.  I decided it was too small, so I added borders to each end - and was so surprised to discover that it was too big to hang on the fence without trailing in the dirt, so you'll just have to imagine that the top is the same as the bottom.

I tried a little clamshell quilting on the end border ala Angela Walters book.  It was easy and went pretty quick, which I like, but my thread kept fraying, which was a nightmare!  I played with the tension, checked the bobbin, changed the needle - all to no avail.  But I got it finished.  Finally.

So there it is.  Finish #2 for 2013.  And it's only the 9th of the month!

Making progress.

EDIT:  I've linked up with Shana and Michell and A Lovely Year of Finishes on Flickr.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Madrona Road

I finished my Madrona Road quilt just in time for the "Reveal" at the ECMQG meeting on Saturday.  This not-working thing has its advantages.  The pattern is Heximetry by Ali Winston.  I added scrappy MR borders, but I have to admit that I liked the clean lines in the original pattern.  Still, I'm not displeased with it.

I got carried away cutting 3-inch squares for the border, but they were perfect to widen the back just enough.  I like the effect.

I echo quilted the hexagon shapes throughout.  And I didn't realize until I took the photo that I forgot to remove my water soluble pen markings.  I need to do that.  Please pretend they aren't there, OK?


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

13 in 2013 - March Goal {and a Recap}

I am feeling pretty good that I managed one completed quilt so far this year (not counting Swoon) - the first from my list of 13 finishes in 2013.  But apparently I'm too late to enter it in the contest for A Lovely Year of Finishes on Flickr.  Oops.  Oh, well.  The finished quilt should be reward enough, shouldn't it.

My Jelly Roll Race is my goal for March.  It is about half quilted, so it should be a do-able goal for the month.  Now that I am a victim of the economy and not working I have a lot more time to finish projects.

I'm also working on my Madrona Road Challenge quilt.  I recently joined the Emerald Coast Modern Quilt Guild (see this post) and apparently they didn't get their fabric in time to do the national challenge, so our deadline is this Saturday.  I didn't get the fabric Michael Miller distributed, but I had already purchased a FQ bundle from my favorite little fabric shoppe (yup!  Westwood Acres) and so I decided to join in.  The pattern is "Heximetry" from Ali Winston (a2w) and Ali originally made it as a baby gift for my sweet little grandson Britton.  It's a really fun pattern to make and even the Y-seams aren't that tricky.  I added a scrappy border to make it just a little larger, and it's coming along nicely.  My Madrona Road yardage got here just in time, so quilting on this little guy is

 And I've got one more row to add to my GMFG, and then the half-flowers for the sides, and I think it will be done.  I'm debating sending it out and having it quilted.  What do you think?

And finally, here's a peek at what I was doing on Saturday.  My Little Apples quilt went on a road trip to the Emerald Coast Quilt Show.  He wasn't made as a show quilt, so I didn't have any expectations, but it was fun to see him hanging there with such beautiful masterpieces.  Sadly, I got there after most of the festivities were over, and they canceled my demos because most everyone had gone home, but it was a nice quilt show.  I enjoyed looking at all the lovely quilts and checking out the various vendors (and I was very proud that I didn't buy anything - it probably helped that I had just gone to A&E before I left for Destin.)

So that's what's been going on in this neck of the woods.

What's on your list?