Monday, October 30, 2023

My 100 day Dance with Scraps (Progress Update)

My friend Sarah kicked off a 100 day project on September 23. Wanting a low pressure way to join in the fun, my goal was to sort through all my bags of scraps and sew them together to make blocks, throw them out, or put them aside for a very specific project. Whatever happens, my mindset is 100 day of play - sewing and playing with fabric without a goal in mind. (This is my first post)

First, I am happy to report that I threw away some scraps that were too small or too ugly. This is a hard step but it is done! All the rest are condensed down and reasonably sorted. Still a daunting task - pictured above is only some of them - but now they are visible.

Second, I trimmed all this random bits of white/cream solid fabric into 1.5" strips with the intent of making scrappy log cabins. There won't be enough to make a quilt but I hope to put the block to use on a future quilt back.

Third, I made some fall placemats. Two done and one more underway. The binding is scrappy and just a single layer (cut at 1.25" wide) and secured with a zig-zag stitch. I kitted together other scraps for other seasonal placemats too. 

I made some project bags to gift using my tutorial from a few years ago swapping mesh for the vinyl.

My next scrappy project is to make a large open tote bag to carry my gear to guild meetings. My dance with scraps continues!

I'll be linking up with Anne Marie at One Monthly Goal.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, October 27, 2023

Quilts at the Fair

One of the highlights from a recent trip to the NC State fair was the quilts! This is the quilt Refractions sewn by members of my guild Triangle MQG which hung in QuiltCon 2023 in Atlanta. I was one of three designers for the quilt (Robin, top row left, and Charles, top row right) were the other two. (I'm kneeling in the bottom row, 2nd from right.)

Our quilt won a 2nd place (red) ribbon at the fair in the group category. Based on how the quilts are displayed, it is impossible to view the quilts by category so I've no idea what the blue ribbon quilt looked like. Top prize money too - our 2nd place finish earned up about $10!

Since I chose to not enter any of my own quilts, I did take the opportunity to grab a selfie.

The rest of our time at the fair was spent sampling food - we tried a bit of everything. We didn't go on any of the rides but did enjoy watching them spin by.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

The Beginning of a Bag

In my last guild meeting, a friend showed off this beautiful bag made of cork. I only saw it from a distance but that was enough for me to decide that I. MUST. MAKE. THAT. BAG.

I've made lots of bags but never a true purse. My friend, on the other hand, makes and sells bags plus teaches courses in making them. But with confidence in my own skills, I ordered the pattern - Hiraeth bag. The pattern is well written and has video content for every step. My confidence level grows even more so I order the bag hardware.

The bag has rivets! I've never done rivets but they certainly make a bag look more professional so I am game. But I need a rivet installation tool so I buy a basic one.

The bag uses some new to me interfacing which I scour the internet for and then order from an Etsy shop. And then I decide I want to add purse feet so I order those. 

With all the bag hardware and interfacing secured, I decide on this beautiful ocean blue cork only then realizing how expensive the bag will cost if I buy the 36" x 54" required for a bag made entirely from cork on top of all the other supplies already acquired. 

So I purchase a 18" x 54" wide piece of cork with the intent of making the bag with a mix of cork and fabric (there are real pretty examples out there) OR to move to plan B.

Welcome to plan B. I am making a modified version of the Firefly Bag. (See my prior bags in project size and tote size.)

Here is how the Firefly pattern was / will be modified:
  • the height of the bag was shortened by 1.5" which meant all the pieces, including the pockets, were cut shorter. The width matches the pattern
  • the accent pocket (the bit that shows above the zipper) has cork on the outside and fabric on the inside
  • the handles were cut at 2.25" x 18" with a 5/8" wide strip of interfacing down the middle
  • shoulder strap was cut at 4" x 50" with no interfacing
  • the tabs to hold the optional shoulder strap were cut at 2.25" x 3.5" with a scant 1" strip of interfacing
  • bag will have a zipper closure in the same fashion as my other two
  • all cork pieces were interfaced with Pellon 525 Decovil Light

I am taking this bag in stages to give me time to think about modifications and then think some more before taking a step. My last sewing session ended with the decision of whether to add bag feet and where to place them. The lining is all pieced and ready to go.

My goal is to finish the bag in the next few days. The opportunity to add rivets still exists. Will I or won't I? I will leave with that cliffhanger!

P.S. I am committed to making Hiraeth bag in the future but out of fabric with perhaps cork accents. My cork was sourced from Sew Sweetness (turns our they carry the interfacing too.) Most of bag hardware from Sally Tomato and zippers from ZipIt on Etsy. All three are are great shops that I've purchased from before. 

P.S.S. There was more drama involved in acquiring a zipper which I didn't like once it arrived so I ordered more from a different store.

P.S.S.S. Drama aside, I am having fun and am confident that any supplies left over will be used in the future.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Hip Bag

I made myself a new bag! It works both as a belt bag (hip sack... fanny pack...) and holds my phone and wallet. I can also wear it as a crossbody bag.

I used the free pattern for the Fifth Avenue bag from Sallie Tomato. It comes with a youtube tutorial for the bag and I used this tutorial to remind me how to do an inset pocket.

The bag took me about 2 hours to make and I'm thinking these might make nice gifts for friends.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, October 16, 2023

Ribbon Border Baby Quilt

I was delighted when  Fat Quarter Shop asked if I'd create a quilt in support of their upcoming pattern launch for the Ribbon Border quilt. I chose to use two lines from Ruby Star Society - Hole Punch Dot (left over from my Spools quilt) and Jolly Basics.

The baby sized version was a quick make and I look forward to quilting this one so it is ready to go when I need it! You can find everything you need for making a quilt of your very own - Quilt Pattern (several sizes) and a tutorial on YouTube. 

#RibbonBorderQuilt #ClassicandVintageSeries
Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, October 13, 2023

Island in the Sky

I figured out which way was up! Don't know what I'm talking about - see my prior post!

My quilt Island in the Sky is all quilted. Such fun to walking foot quilt and then go back and add some big stitch details. A totally delightful creative journey from beginning to end.

Finding spots to add some big stitch embellishments was quite fun.

Inspired by Irene Roderick's quilts displayed at QuiltCon, I purchased her book Dancing With The Wall by Irene Roderick. I find Irene's work to be fascinating and while I hope to take a class from her one day, this book was the next best thing.  I started this quilt about 6 months ago - you can watch the progress through these post -getting started (mid-May) to making block (mid July) to combining block (early August) to Which Way is Up? (mid-September).

Island in the Sky measures 22" x 23" and used Painters Palette solids - colonial blue and white.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, October 9, 2023

The Joyful Summer of '23

Summer is by far my favorite season of the year. I love to swim and hit the pool early every morning. I love sitting on the back porch in the afternoon to read or stitch. And I love the long days of daylight. 

Joining the #summerlovinseaglassal hosted by Kitty @nightquilter and Allie @exhaustedoctupus was an easy decision and I just put the finishing touches into my quilt.

I am in love with my celebration of joy quilt for the months June through August! (In my last post, I considered extending my joy tracking until the first day of fall - September 23 - but I ended up getting lazy in my tracking so went with just the 3 months the SAL covered.)

I've posted about this SAL a few times - May kick-off,  June updateJuly update, and September update.

Besides making a fun quilt, my goal for participating was to be intentional about making time for things that I enjoy during my favorite season summer. It included things I usually do frequently - swimming and reading - and also things like seeking new adventures. I hoped it would get me out of the house more frequently that a typical summer.

Did it? Yes! 

What did I learn by participating? Actively seeking and recognizing joy makes me feel good. Earning a piece of seaglass was a more of a motivator than I had expected - when I saw a category was low in the overall count, I worked to plan more time with friends or playing pickleball than I would have likely done otherwise. A friend was participating as well so when we met for coffee - we were each tracking friend time! - we each earned seaglass!

Here is where my final count ended up:
  • 13 days working on smaller creative works where improv and trying something were the goals. I spent the rest of the days working on larger quilts that were well planned out in advance.
  • 19 days where some handwork project was worked on. I had hoped for more.
  • 30 books read. I read daily in the early afternoon and most nights before sleep.
  • 30 pieces earned for swimming. I earned a piece for every 3 miles swam which means I swam 90 miles!
  • 9 sessions of playing pickleball. Early in the summer, my friends played early in the day while I was swimming. When we switched to evenings, I had the change to play often.
  • 20 days which include time with family or friends. This could be my favorite category!
  • 6 date nights. Spending time going out to dinner or a show was certainly a highlight
  • 20 days with adventure. This category included all kinds of fun as simple as going out to ice cream as well as a trip to NJ.
Somewhere in the middle of the SAL I started earning seaglass for unexpected spontaneous moments of joy. There were 7 of those tracked. Should I do this SAL again, this would most definitely be a seaglass category.

The final quilt measures 14" x 25". The seaglass pieces were FMQ once fused down and then I added some big stitch x's in spots plus a '2023'.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Mended Fences

My guild's (Triangle MQG) challenge for this year is to draw inspiration from a photograph. You can pull out colors, shapes, portions of the design - whatever you want. 

My quilt Mended Fences will be my entry. (I am running the challenge so I won't actually put my quilt up for Viewer's Choice voting but wanted to enter it anyway.)

The quilt is inspired from one of the many photos I've taken over the  years of fences along the dunes of the North Carolina beaches. I pulled out some of the shapes and had a fun time making my quilt.

The quilting was done with my walking foot - quite an enjoyable process on such a small quilt.

Mending Fences measures 15" x 17".    

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Sunday, October 1, 2023

New 100 Day Project - Play

My friend Sarah kicked off a 100 day project last week. It started September 23 and runs to the last day of the year. I decided to join in and use the project to tackle my scraps!

A recent (and yes still in progress!) decluttering of all my fabric uncovered several plastic bags full of scraps. My goal for these 100 days is to sort through these and sew them together to make blocks, throw them out, or put them aside for a very specific project. Whatever happens, it is about 100 day of play - sewing and playing with fabric without a goal in mind. I suspect a goal may develop over time but that isn't where I am starting.

At the end of the year, all my bags of scraps should be gone and I should have a stack of scrappy squares to be used for a new quilt or to make bags.

My goal for October is to make a whole bunch of squares! I will be linking up with One Monthly Goal hosted by Anne-Marie from Stories From the Sewing Room!

Have a wonderful day! Patty