Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sew Nice to Complete Them!

My sister, Lorna, is a sewist. She makes the most fabulous bags and has committed to making a custom bag for each member of our family for this birthdays this year. I am lucky as my birthday was in March so I already received my gift!

It's not really wonky. It just looks that way because I've
filled it with supplies!

That's me and my cats!

Love the polka dots and stripes
So when Lorna said she wanted to take a class for something called the Bionic Gear Bag, a multi-pocket roll that is perfect for a sewing kit or travel, I was game. It, apparently, has quite the following. There's an entire group on Facebook, the Sew Much Nicer Community, dedicated to it. 

So, we bought the pattern, gathered supplies, and realized the class was quite a bit outside our price range. Hmmm... what to do? What to do? It's not the clearest written instructional (we'll leave it at that), even for two very accomplished stitchers, but joy and rapture! There were some great Youtube videos by Aussie Birdcage and Thread! The perfect excuse for the inaugural Sister Sewing Day!

17 hours and 17 zippers later, we managed to make 3 full-sized bags, 1 baby bag, 2 fabric bowls and top off 1 bag of Dove dark chocolates just in time for my upcoming trip! Lorna's are red and mine or blue.


Not the best posed pictures (taken in the room with the best
lighting - the bathroom) but it was so late when we finished.

My travel bag! Putting it to use this very week!

Inside my bag with the fabric bowl made by Lorna
Darts! What's a Dart? A car.

And I had to make a travel one for my Roadtrip Romeo!

Who didn't take long ot fill his!
Great lesson learned - Lorna made a mistake with her fabric placement and had two different fabrics comprising her first pocket, and it looked fabulous! Instead of ripping it out, she made the rest the same, and it really made the bag!

Lorna's wiht her fabric bowl and baby bionic.
I think, between our skills, we learned alot from each other. I shared tricks like 'leaders and enders' and binding like a quilter. Lorna taught me about adding zippers and sewing on zipper stops. 

I can't wait to see what we do next. Being my turn, I was thinking of pulling some stuff out of my old quilt retreat days such as fabric fortune cookies, fabric bowls, or making custom clay buttons.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

We must be doing it wrong...

Spent some time over dueling sewing machines with my sister yesterday. It was the first of many, I hope, and after hours of pattern deciphering, sewing, ironing, and snacking, all we accomplished was this 6" fabric bowl.... and I wasn't the one to make it!


#HappyNationalSiblingDay #SweatersRule #LoveYouSis

Friday, April 8, 2016

Pieces of Friendship (TSS 016)


Next block in the series is DONE! This one by Lindsay Mayland.

I decided to go renegade on this one... rebellious... even scandalous!! How? I followed the pattern. No Y-seams, no fussy cutting, no embroidery or applique. 

Pretty boring, eh? 


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That's a lot of pieces!

I've decided to keep a counter at the bottom of these posts to track them. 
The totals are based on the original patterns and not on deviations.

Pieces of Friendship = 16


Total to Date: 295 pieces*

*The count only includes the blocks I've completed to date

Monday, April 4, 2016

Family Affair (TSS 015)


UNCLE! Me and my seam ripper give up! This is the latest block in The Splended Sampler quilt along. 

The fifteenth block in the series - this was the first to use paper piecing. Now, I love paper
piecing; there's a lot of fabulously intricate things you can do with it. However, this one had a slight twist. The dotted X in the middle? It involves fabric strips connecting two paper pieced sections. There are alot of quilters having difficulties with this, but, done right, there are some spectacular blocks!

I had problems with the first time I tried to connect two of my sections to the strip. It came out 1/8" short in each direction. With a pattern like this, it adds up. I realized when I sewed the strip, I had fed the fabric on top of the paper pieced section; when I pinned it to the bottom (image below), they came out perfectly at 3 1/2". 


Sewing four sections together equaled a pretty 6 1/2" square. I'm really loving the greens and blues in these blocks. Now time to add in a dash of red to keep it interesting.

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That's a lot of pieces!

I've decided to keep a counter at the bottom of these posts to track them. 
The totals are based on the original patterns and not on deviations.

Family Affair = 36


Total to Date: 279 pieces*

*The count only includes the blocks I've completed to date

Friday, April 1, 2016

Checker Board (TSS 012)


Admittedly, when I saw the Checker Board pattern released as part of The Splendid Sampler series, I was a little underwhelmed. But now that I've made it, I'm enjoying the simplistic beauty of this 6" square. 

Teaching an old dog new tricks... In the old days, I would've used a busy dark offset by a clean, plain background. Decided to switch it up and really like it. Those fabrics were made for each other.

With all these seams, I used a few tricks to lay this block flat. 

Butt the opposing seams against each other
Don't pin right where they meet - pin to each side

Before pressing, open up the seams (see arrow)

That way you can press it flat, seams squared,
so all the bulk isn't pressed to one side.

For the major seams, press open.



+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*

That's a lot of pieces!

I've decided to keep a counter at the bottom of these posts to track them. 
The totals are based on the original patterns and not on deviations.

Checker Board = 36


Total to Date: 243 pieces*

*The count only includes the blocks I've completed to date

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Crocheted Thoughts (TSS 011)


Alyssa Thomas designed this block for The Splendid Sampler in honor of three generations of crafters in her family - her Grandmother tatted doilies, her mother crocheted and she quilts. Although not enthusiastic about this pattern, I decided to work it as is (versus going renegade) to practice my chain stitch. It was slow and painful, but I did it (and I'm glad I'm done with it).

I do love the colors. As I've mentioned before, I'm determined to "break out the good stuff" so I reached into my stash of ThreadWorx overdyed floss (#01138) from Farmington's Rocking Horse Shop.

As mentioned earlier, I'm a little behind due to a recent loss in the family, but I do hope to catch up this weekend. It's hard to work on these blocks without my little supervisor watching my every stitch while nestled on top of my pattern.

+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*+*

That's a lot of pieces!

I've decided to keep a counter at the bottom of these posts to track them. 
The totals are based on the original patterns and not on deviations.

Crocheted Thoughts = 13


Total to Date: 207 pieces*

*The count only includes the blocks I've completed to date

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Sweet Gin

I'm too sad to quilt. I lost my sweet, little Gin yesterday. My love, my sunshine, of 18 years crossed the Rainbow Bridge last night.


How can I sit at my machine without her supervising my stitching? Or embroider without her sitting in the middle of the pattern? Who's gong to test my quilting for softness and claim every quilt as her own? 

Heartbroken.