Thursday, November 30, 2023

My Cork Firefly Tote

Some friends might say I've got an obsession for making bags and they would be right! I really enjoy the process and I like the variety to choose the bag I need for the occasion. My latest finish is the Firefly Bag in cork with modifications for size. (See my prior bags with this pattern in the project size and tote size.)

There were more than one bump in the creation process - read about the beginning of my bumpy journey here. I used some new to me interfacing for the bag and ended up with too much bulk in some areas which means my top stitching isn't as pretty as I'd like. I've debated a disassemble and trying again but have decided to embrace the bag just the way it is.  I never did try the rivets - too chicken about putting a hole in my new bag. And while I do like the using the white as my topstitching thread color, all my little bobbles are too visible so I will certainly go with a complementary thread color the next time.

My cork color choice of Ocean Blue was influenced by this print I wanted to use for the lining.

I didn't start out to make this specific bag pattern but I am glad that this is where I ended up. The bag is the right size for what I like to carry. In addition to making an entire bag from cork, I also tried some new techniques including adding purse feet.

I am confident I will make another new bag next year for no other reasons as to use up the supplies I purchased and didn't use for this bag!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Monday, November 27, 2023

100 Days of Scraps (Progress report 2)

Back in September, 100 days before the end of 2023, I started a 100 Day project to get all my scraps under control. (see that post) Now with less than 40 days to go, I can report some mixed progress - essentially I've managed to gather the scraps all in one place and either parcel them out for some projects (see that post), make some more placemats from orphan strips (above) and have consolidated the rest that I don't know what to do with into one plastic tub.

For some of my solid scraps, I decided to make improv-y square in a square blocks. I'm hoping to turn these into a large tote bag useful for hauling things back and forth to guild meetings and maybe sew dates with friends. These are filling up my design wall and making my sewing space look so happy.

I found lots of orphan 5" squares and am turning them into lots of HSTs for one - and hopefully 2 - charity quilts to be assembled in the new year. This is my go to project when I need some mindless sewing. I've started the cutting and trimming process but will likely save these for a time when I've got a good movie to watch!

I've given myself to the end of the year to figure out what to do with the rest. What ideas and suggestions do you have? How do you deal with leftover bits and scraps?

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, November 17, 2023

Celebrating My QuiltCon Entries!

I submitted 5 quilts for QuiltCon 2024. (I've submitted 4 or 5 quilts the last few years.)

Echo was entered into the Negative Space category. This is by far my most favorite quilt I created this year. 

Originally created for the scrappy challenge, I ended up entering The Twist into the small quilts category after watching a MQG seminar where they said all accepted quilts until 120" circumference end up in Small Quilts and not the category submitted.

Mended Fences was my entry into our guild's yearly challenge. It pulled inspiration from a photograph of a fence on a beach. It was entered into the Small Quilts category. This small quilt is one of my favorite makes for the year.

Sea of Tranquility was my entry for the fabric challenge for QuiltCon 2023. Since it didn't get juried in last year, I decided to try again and entered it into Minimalism category.

I've one more entry to share - my quilt Pickle Bird which was entered into the Fabric Challenge category. I've not shared this quilt yet and intend to do so on the blog very soon.

Yvonne from QuiltJetGirl has started an initiative to #CelebrateMyQuiltSubmission.  I love this idea because it recognizes that it takes a bit of courage to actually submit a quilt to a show.  Acceptance and rejections letters will be sent by mid December.  Fingers crossed.

See my QuiltCon entry celebration post for the 2023 show and for the 2022 show.

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Bags, Bags, and More Bags!

I really enjoy making bags. IMHO, you can never have too many! After making my first Fifth Avenue Bag (see that post), I decided to make a few more. This first one is for my daughter for an upcoming trip to the land of the mouse.

I made another for a friend who paid me in fabric - we like to trade and barter all the time. 

Want to make one too? Check out the free pattern for the Fifth Avenue bag from Sallie Tomato.

My friend supplied the fabric for her bag and since I had some leftover, I also make her this fun pencil pouch using a free pattern from Noodlehead.

My final bag is a sweet little zip bag made from scraps - this one is for me!

Have a wonderful day! Patty

Friday, November 10, 2023

Rainbow Spools - the Finish

In the summer of 2022, I created a quilt top using a free pattern from Fat Quarter Shop using their Rainbow Spools pattern. (See that post.)

I created the quilt with the intent of making it a donation quilt. My guild - Triangle MQG - donates quilts to children in the foster care system in a nearby county. Recently several LAQs have said they would volunteer some of their time to quilt member quilt tops and I took advantage of that offer! Meghan from @apieceofquietquilts did a wonderful job on my quilt. (Meghan was also the quilter on my Loves Me, Loves Me Not quilt.) 

The quilt measures measures 45" x 60" and used the fabric - Ruby Star Society Hole Punch Dot(You can download the free pattern here and checkout the tutorial video.)

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Sewing at Retreat

I was fortunate to spend last weekend at Wrightsville Beach in NC with some old and new quilting friends at my guild's retreat. The weather was absolutely amazing - sunshine and warm temperatures - which meant several walks each day along the beach. My room was on the 6th floor on a corner so I got to watch both the sunrise and the sunset from my balcony on Saturday.

I brought 8 projects along for the retreat. Project 1 was a remake of my Illusions quilt as I prepare to release a pattern early next year. On Friday afternoon, I managed to get almost all of the FPP done only to realize that I left two of the FPP papers back home in my printer. Everything got packed away and then I finished the quilt top yesterday.

Projects 2 and 3 were to make two more Fifth Avenue Bags - one for a friend and one for my daughter. I got all pieces cut out and interfaced and managed to finish the inset pockets. Sadly at this point, the tension on my machine went south. I tried all the things to get it working but ended up packing it away. (Finishing these bags will be my goal for November.)

My lovely friend Laura let me use her machine Saturday evening while she went off to a long dinner. I kept myself quite busy chain piecing HST (project #4). This is one of my scrap projects and I'm using a bunch of random leftover charm squares.

Project 5 was to make some postcards. I managed to make two which were gifted as a thank you to the retreat organizers as everyone signed. Sadly, no photo but I do have a photo of my work space, sans my sewing machine with my mini-wine chilling in ice.

Project 6 was to bind my charity donation quilt - it is hidden behind the wine 'bucket' in this photo. I need to grab some glamor shots of it soon. Project 7 was to make the shell for a turtle softie. I was able to do some of this work by hand so made progress even without my machine.

The one thing I did hope to work on but never did (project 8) was some improv square in a square blocks using my solid scraps. I carted them all along but left them in my car trunk. With a uncooperative machine, they stayed in the car trunk all weekend.

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

Have a wonderful day! Patty