WIP: So Close!!!

First I want to apologize for the HORRIBLE picture quality! My Canon broke the other day and I’m stuck with using either my old Canon (which I gave to my son to play with so it’s not in great shape) or using my phone. My phone’s camera isn’t bad but it’s not how I want to get my pictures done. BOOOO!! And I’m not really ready to drop a lot of moola on a new one. But I will have to soon because I use it not only for the blog but also when we do trips and we have a camping trip coming up in a week. Ugh…
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Anywho, I got down to business last night and started wrapping up my Peaceful Planet quilt. I had to take over my son’s room because he has the most floor space and this thing feels HUGE! It’s only a twin sized quilt but this is the biggest project I’ve ever worked on so I’m a bit amazed and a teeny bit overwhelmed with the size of it all. Using his floor I laid out the back, the batting, and the top. I tried to lay it out as smoothly as possible but my sewing leaves something to be desired. I’m crossing my fingers that over time my sewing will improve and my quilt tops will be better for it!

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Snip snip!

After everything was lined up as best I could, I took the whole shebang back to my room and spread it out on the bed. We’ve got a Cal-King in there so it was a bit easier on my back to lean over that instead of kneeling on the floor. My husband is such a sweetheart. He could tell I was struggling with it lining up so he jumped in and took over the other end of the quilt and helped me out. That little extra tug from him totally made a difference. Now things were all ready for my machine!

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I swear my lighting is MUCH better than this!

I set out to stitch in the ditch around the border with a nice dark blue thread to seal the layers together. I’m kinda on a time crunch. This is a gift and the receiver is arriving tomorrow from Washington State so I’m hoping to be able to gift it in person rather than ship it via the USPS! So I kept it simple and just ran my little Kenmore around the edges. I swear, poor ol’ Shelby was smokin’ by the time I was done!

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Stupid flash!

After it was all sewn together I went back to my bed and laid it out flat again. It didn’t come out too bad! But I did have one corner where the material had shifted so it puckered up. I could have left it but I knew it would bug me forever if I did so I ripped out an entire seam (luckily along one of the shorter sides) and stitched it back up. Once again I trekked to the bed to lay it out and I saw an area where I could make another improvement. When I picked up the seam ripper to fix it, my husband implored that I held off and went to bed. He was right. I could pick the whole thing apart if I allowed myself to think on it so instead I went to bed to sleep on it, promising to fix everything tomorrow. All I have left to do today is fix that one seam and then attach the binding! In preparation for that step, I bought extra yellow material in case my binding turns out to be too short.
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On the side I pulled one of my UFO/WIPs from last week’s post and got some work done on it, too. This Forgotten Project would have been finished if I hadn’t lost the instructions. BOOOO!!! But I got two squares ripped apart and then sewn back together nicely and attached to the nice dark chocolate brown solid squares where the pears are meant to go. And I say “meant to go” because the instructions are no longer on the internet either. The site hosting it is long gone so I have no template for my pears. Grrr…

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Also, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get my other squares to line up right and ended up with smaller dimensions than my originals. These things just won’t cut it! So I’m debating just chucking it all in, layering and binding what I have done and calling it a night! I’m good with that!

 photo wip_zpsbbf761bc.jpgSew Fresh Quilts

Avengers ASSEMBLE!

I’ve been on a quilting roll lately, finishing up older projects or starting new ones and sticking with it till they are done. So much so I actually allowed myself some fabric shopping for a future project.

After my son’s quilt was done, my husband pointed out that a) it was too small and b) it was a little on the babyish side. He said it with the sincerest of tones and I didn’t even take it personally. I saw what he meant. What started as a quilt for a little guy ended up a quilt for a much taller and older guy. A little man who is into Transformers and comic books.

My husband suggested I look into fabric that would suit my son’s interests currently. I agreed. He deserved a quilt that not only fit him but also his age. After thinking on it some time and knowing Joann’s has a sale going right now, I convinced my son to hoof it over to the store and show him what they had. I had already scoped out the character fabrics for my own possible project. I spotted the Batman fabric for myself but I knew my son would LOVE the Avengers when he saw them.

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My son ogled and ahhhhhed all the different Avengers fabrics they had in stock. Along with these, they also had Spiderman, Superman, and even Star Wars. In the end we picked up these two Marvel fabrics, one with the characters in action and the other a handful of comic book covers. I’m seeing a quilt with windows of fussy cut squares, bordered by the red, and blue with the yellow as the binding. My son loved the idea of having a blanket he could read!

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A few aisles down I found this great fabric with the thought bubbles and all the action words used by many of our fearless heroes. How great is this? I bought enough of this for the back of the fabric although I’m not set in my ways. I definitely have room to wiggle in while I set down how I want it to look. For now this is what I have in mind.

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Don’t Mind The Horrible Rendering

I bet there is a name to this pattern that I don’t know. I just like that it looks like the superheroes are framed in action!

Now I have all the bits I need to start and even some black if I need to add to anything, but I won’t begin this quilt any time time soon! I plan to finished a few other projects first and then maybe take a bit of a break to go through my crafting room and reorganize. With all the projects I’ve got going right now, things are a bit messy and I’ve got team-mom duties that start this week so my time will really be divided until Halloween.

Speaking of Halloween, here we are dressed as the Avengers a couple of years back. Not only is our little guy a comic book fan, so are we.

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This reminds me, it’s time to start thinking of our costumes for this year. Hummm…..
Fresh Poppy Design

Monday Musings: Team Mom Duties!

My son is a very active kid. He needs something to do or he drives us nutty. We’ve been very fortunate that not only does he LOVE soccer but he’s also very good at it. So, every season we sign him up if he’s interested (and he always is).

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Fall 2012

 

This year is no different. We tried baseball in Spring and that was a no-go. Too slow and just not a sport he was strong in. But we finished out the season and celebrated together with all the players. He had a good time even if it turned out not to be a sport he was interested in.

Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Now in Fall, we are signed up for soccer. YAY SOCCER! We’re big soccer fans. My husband and I both played as kids and I even coached a season. As an adult I played in college on a woman’s team. Soccer is in our blood.

The only difference this year is that I’ve signed up as a co-team mom. Oi vey…

Ok so it was totally my choice. I saw an email come through asking for help. Without a team parent at the first meeting, we wouldn’t be able to pick up our uniforms. So I signed up. Luckily, for me, another mom had done the same thing so I’m going at this alone.

Once I got past the shock that I had gone and tied myself up with duties for the team when I already feel overwhelmed with work and home stuff and being a mom/wife full time, I got down to planning things out and getting myself ready to be the face and the voice of my parents and players.

Then came the meet-up with my partner in crime. I was nervous, as would anyone be meeting a new person the first time. But I was doubly nervous because I knew we’d need to work together so I could only hope that the other team mom and I would get along. And we did!!! We hit it right off when we both noted we wanted to hand make the banner (YEHAW!) and when she arrived at my house, we both worked together really well. It was a better meeting than I could have imagined. I have a feeling this season will go smoothly with both of us co-piloting this whole endeavor!

Now for the team banner. This year our region is asking for handmade banner as opposed to the vinyl banners that have been populating our fields. Nothing wrong with them, honestly. They can look really cool. But it costs a good penny for a team to get a banner made (between $85-$100). So they are pricey. Plus, this year our directors have planned a whole opening day with a banner parade and games and food, like a big field day. So the new request is for more authentic handmade banners.

Guess what? I just happen to be handy with a machine and hot glue!!! YAY FOR CRAFTINESS!!!

While my initial reaction was “What have I done?!?!” to signing up, I’m now starting to look forward to it!

Alright, today is a big day. I mentioned on my little tote bag post that I’ve applied to return to teaching as a substitute after working for 7 years in the office of my family business. After filling in TONS of paperwork, getting a TB test and the results, tracking down forms and fingerprint scans, I turned in my applications. Then I waited… And waited. I took over 4 weeks to hear anything back. But as of last week, I received an invite to come in for an interview. Crossing fingers I do well (I think I am better in person than on paper).

Honestly, I can’t say how I’m feeling about all this. Leaving my job to start teaching again has been a dream for years. But now that the option is here, I’m terrified. For now I’m taking it a moment at a time and dealing with the feelings that come with all the change.

I’ve got a few projects in the works right now. I did a Friday Night Sew-In last week and made some big progress on my Peaceful Planet quilt. I’ve unearthed a lot of UFOs/WIPs that I can work through! So I’m not hurting for something to do!

Happy Monday all! Come on back through the week and see what I’ve got cooking’ up. See you all around the web this week!

Friday Night Sew-In: The Peaceful Planet Continues!

Me: Hey mister, I just wanted to give you a heads up.

Husband: Yeah, what about?

Me: On Friday night, I’m participating in a web-wide sew-in so I’m going to be focused on that quilt I started. Just wanted to let you know so you can make plans if you want.

Husband: Like game time?!

Me: Sure!

Husband: (texting quietly)

Me: Or maybe see the guys?

Husband: Ha! I was thinking the same thing. Maybe I’ll go out and have a wild time and get wasted!!!!

Me: Uh huh, yeah. Sure. You do that…

On Monday, the mister had an appointment at my office to do some computer work. He’s does most of the IT work at my company so I get the pleasure of seeing him once in a while. It’s awesome too when it falls near lunch because then we get a lunch date which is one of my favorite things, besides just seeing him, cuz you know, I kinda like him :)

I took advantage of the time together to let him know I’d be holed up in my sewing corner sewing like a mad woman on Friday night so that way he could make plans and not feel ignored. Hahahha, I get so wrapped up when I sew that it can feel like I’m not paying any attention to anyone else so when I know I’m going to be playing along with the Friday Night Sew-In, I give a week’s notice, just to be polite!

This week has been crazy! First was Tuesday! The little man got picked up by his Nana from camp and I met up with her after dinner for a long 5 mile hilly run that turned into only a 3.93 mile run. But hey, I got out there! Then Wednesday I met with the other co-team mom for our sons’ soccer team. I’m not sure why I signed up to do this with all that I already have planned for fall but it seemed like a good idea at the time. After that, we raced to the salon to give my little man a trim. He’s been on a long hair kick lately but I knew we’d need to trim it and make it neat for school and soccer pictures.

Then Thursday hit and we were rushing again. This time to a dinner cruise out of Newport Beach for a business engagement. Like I mentioned, my husband is in the IT field so we have lots of contacts as both clients and vendors. In this case, we were shmozing with a vendor. It’s nice to be shmozed! But this weekday night-out meant I had to leave work early, rush home, pop on a dress and we had to get my parents to pick up the little man after camp. Whew… The planning it took to get us through Thursday was overwhelming.

By Friday night we were all tired and just ready to be home to rest. The little one was not himself but he still got up with me this morning and road his bike 4.5 miles while I ran. Pretty proud of him. It was at the halfway point that he told me he wasn’t feeling well and had a sore throat. So back home we went and all of our plans for today have been cancelled. The plan now is to rest and take it easy.

Last night, I got to get down to business putting together the top of my peaceful plant quilt. All the strips had been sewn together and pressed, now it was time to put them all together to make the completed top. While I worked, I watched Pride and Prejudice. I like having movies playing in the background while I sew, it makes the time fly by.

 

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Getting Started!

I worked in a dark/light pattern attaching the green to the dark blue and the light strip to the medium blue. It came together quickly and the only thing that stopped me was a break here or there to rest my hands or to rethread the bobbin. I was having some tension issues that were really annoying. I’ve got to look up some videos on how to set the tension and fix it when it goes funky.

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Coming along!

In the end I watched the whole movie and got the whole top done! I stretched it out and found it was a bit too long so I ripped out the bottom 4 strips. I was about to leave it as it was but it just felt odd having it soooooo long. Not that it took away from the blanket but I didn’t feel that it added anything either.

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Goodbye!

That dark celestial fabric I toyed with ended up working out perfectly!!! I’m so happy with it already and I’ve only done two borders. When I went back to Joann’s, they had a different celestial fabric that was even better. It wasn’t as dark and also had some swirly designs I felt went well with the circles and dots on a lot of the strips. It tied in better, I believe but still had that deep, rich blue to frame the strips in.

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At the end of my movie, I had the whole top sewn together and two borders attached. Now, I just need to add the longer side borders and press it all down. Soon I’ll be ready to baste it together and quilt the top. I’m not sure what I’ll do. With my small machine I usually just create long lines and follow the seams of the pattern on top. I may just sew from right to left or follow the border around and sew a big rectangle. We’ll see!

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Handmade by Heidi

WIP: Forgotten Projects

If you float around the blog-o-sphere and read quilting or sewing blogs, you’ve probably come across the acronym WIP. It stands for Work In Progress and it means exactly what it says. A WIP post is sharing a quilt or sewing project that you’ve been working on and it’s not done.

I find sharing projects that aren’t done and in the process of becoming something else a positive thing. It’s motivation to keep going. People share what they are working on and also share their stories. And knowing you aren’t alone in the sea of unending projects, is comforting.

But today I want to share a different kind of WIP. A project that is not only in progress but it has also fallen by the wayside. Those projects that got started, something got in the way of finishing them, and BOOM!!! Years later they are found in a pile of fabric with no idea HOW it got there.

In my new found motivation to sew and get things done around my crafty center, I decided to take advantage of the WIP Wednesday and dig through my stash to find those lost nuggets, unfinished, forgotten projects.

This first project is fairly recent, as in I remember starting it and I even wrote about it. It’s called the Fresh Pears Table Runner. It’s a simple pattern with a pear applique. I picked a Moda pack with some cream, red, and black fabrics and got pretty far into making the runner itself. I also had some nice mellow lime-olive green fabric to cut my pears out of.

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But then my brash self got too far ahead and messed it up during a Friday Night Sew-in.

Fright Night Sew-In: What Have I Done?!?

This project has been buried. I was so frustrated with the way it came out that I shoved it aside and haven’t looked at it in years. So I dug around and got lucky. It was all put together in a baggie, waiting for me to return!

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The only issue is that the instructions are no longer with it. And it was just printed on a simple piece of white paper so it could be anywhere. Or it could have bee tossed. The desk I was originally using for my quilting back then has been repurposed a few times over so I have NO CLUE where those instructions went to.

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Looking back at my original post, when the whole thing came together, there was a hitch in the center of the four squares. Turning it over, I could see why. The seams were all pressed in different directions and when the four corners came together, they made a jumbled heap of fabric that didn’t work together. Some were turned under, others were hitched in the opposite direction making the whole thing buckle. It wouldn’t lay flat no matter how hard I tried!!

So I pulled out my seam ripper and worked everything apart. I also noted that my hurried style had left this project in a few different stopping points. I had strips cut but not sewn together. I have squares of four strips ready along with pairs of squares already joined. Then I had scraps and raw pieces just floating around in the baggie.

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Such a mess!!! After pulling apart the one big square, I set about to press all the seams open and make life easier on myself. My next steps will be to finish sewing all the squares and then pressing the last seams open so that everything is ready to join up into bigger squares. And if I can find the instructions, I hope to have this project done before the year is over.

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Along with that forgotten project, I also found a batch of rows all sewn together. I knew it was a moda charm pack but couldn’t for the life of me remember which one. Then I found it! It’s the Moda Lollipop kit.

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I have no clue what I was planning with this set but it would seem to be ripe for a nice patchwork quilt. One charm pack has been all sewn together in rows of four with two random pieces left over. I pressed the seams on this project and laid everything out to get a good bird’s eye view of the whole mess.

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Pretty cute, I’d say. I will need to do the same with the second charm pack to make it big enough. I’m thinking just a big messy patchwork quilt with a border, backing, and binding. Nothing too fancy. And maybe I won’t quilt the top but instead will tie it down.

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Lastly was this gem. It’s an eBay purchase with the best of intentions. From the emailed receipt attached to the baggie, it’s a Bear Claw pattern in red and black. This thing is an assorted mess. There are four bags of fabric in different states of completion: one completed square, some partials squares, bits and pieces of other soon to be made squares and then just random bits.

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Again, this was bought with the best of intentions in the heyday of my stash building and fabric buying. Had I started to work right away on this project, I bet it would have made more sense. But now, years later and in the chaotic state that it is in, I’m baffled. I mean, where does one even start with a project like this? I don’t even have instructions in hand so I’ll be left to searching the web for a general idea of what to do. Although, with one completed square, I can probably piece it together.

To say the least after my long winded post, I have a lot of work already in front of me. I’d say with patience and time, I could have a few projects finished before the end of the year without starting anything new. There is enough here to keep me busy for a long while!
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As if I wasn’t busy enough, I finished The Book Thief and I moved onto a new book in progress, A Vision in Velvet. LOVE this little series! It set in San Francisco (probably my favorite city) and it has magic and vintage clothing and mystery. All fun stuff to read!

 photo wip_zpsbbf761bc.jpgSew Fresh Quilts

 

Just Starting: The Peaceful Planet Quilt

I’m a sucker for greens and blues. There is something about the combo that brings to mind earth and nature and peacefulness.

After searching through a few boxes of unknown fabric stored away in my closet, I found these adorable jelly rolls called Peaceful Planet.

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Without having seen the tag, I could have guessed that name in a heart beat! The theme is very calm with some dark blue fabric sporting a nature theme with animals, the earth, some peace signs and plants. The mid-toned and lighter strips have these soft swirling designs, very circular. It has this dreamy, peaceful sense about it which is making me slow down and put this quilt together in a way that goes against my brash, overeager tendencies.
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When I quilt, I tend to skip steps, rush through areas I don’t like (hello, pressing and cutting!!), and I rarely do things in a orderly fashion. This all leads me to getting frustrated, losing focus, then I end up losing interest which ends up getting my projects pushed to the side where they languish for months and months.

For some reason, this pack is so soothing and calming that I’m finding myself slowing down and taking the time to do things right, a trait I’m lacking in. I plan to sew together all the strips in pairs and then move onto pressing all the seams then combine the pairs. Step by step without skipping forward! Usually, by now, I’m chomping at the bit to jump ahead, combine the sets and then cut my squares. Not this time! This time around I’m taking a cue from the name of this jelly roll and peacefully working on one step at a time.

It could also be that I plan to gift this quilt and I have about two weeks to get it finished so I want things done right the first time and pacing myself will give me better results. Also, I don’t want to burn out! I’ve been enjoying this round of quilting and blogging about it but, per my usual hobby lifespans, I get REALLY REALLY into something and obsess about it till I soak it all up and pass out from too much of a good thing. It’s all or nothing for me and this means projects get left behind for years after I lose interest. Not this time. This time I’m pacing myself, sewing here or there (no marathon sewing sessions) and I’m making time for my other hobbies like reading and writing and running. A little bit of time of each every day.

Hopefully this will mean that this quilt will be finished on time and with less mistakes and it won’t be a one and done situation. I don’t want to finish this thing and stop quilting out of disinterest.

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Luckily, there is some yellow in these strips that works well with the yellows binding I made for my son’s quilt so I can use that. Saves me a little time when it comes time to bind it. Hopefully I will have enough!

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After sewing together the strips into pairs, I spent all day Saturday pressing the seams of every project I had going. I got about 90% of these strips done and was able to lay them out in a pattern to see how I wanted this quilt to go.

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So far, I think this is how it will look best. A strip quilt with a border to make it a bit wider. Simple yet effective!

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I also kicked around some thoughts about the back of the quilt. I have this deep blue galaxy material I threw next to it and the yellow binding I have already made. The blue definitely works with the deep blue in that one strip but I can’t tell if the gold flecks will clash with that bright yellow binding or if it will come together and tie everything in. For now, it’s just a thought.

Come back for updates on the progress of this, my fifth quilt!
Fresh Poppy Design

Friday Night Sew In!

This Friday night I’ll be joining a bunch of other crafters for a monthly

Friday Night Sew-In.

Handmade by Heidi

Sign-ups are here and they are open!

Sign-up! Sew-in! Then link-up on Saturday showing us what you spent your Friday night working on.

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This here fabric is my pet project this week! Hold me to it! I’ve got big plans!

Side Stitches: Second Reversible Tote

Months back I decided to make a tote bag for my son’s teacher. We chose the fabric together and made a cute little bag with hand prints and polka dots. It came together very easily, even with a few mistakes I made with the handles, and in two days I had a cute little tote bag ready to be filled with nice teacher gifts like a bath salts, a relaxing face mask, some cute nail polish, and some sunscreen for the summer.
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The bag was so easy that I decided, with the left over scraps, to make one for myself! I’ve recently applied to be a substitute teacher again (after 7 years of working behind a desk) so I figured I could use an adorable teacher’s bag, too!

I made this bag a little bigger and the straps a little longer (a little too long in fact) but with the same polka dot lining and the handprints. And I was determined to have a finished product this week so I could prove to myself that just taking a little time each day to sew can take an item from beginning to end in a short amount of time. I have a bad habit of leaving started projects to languish in limbo for long periods of time.

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As much as I was on a roll and in the mood to sew, I was definitely not in the right state of mind because I made a LOAD of mistakes. First, I made a strap out of the handprint material. Then I realized I didn’t have enough to make a second strap. So I headed to JoAnns and got some more handprint material to make the second strap. Well, I realized I was so hasty in making the first one I didn’t measure it so I had to guess how wide to make the second strap. When I had both done, I put them side to side and realized they were not the same. The first was wider so I ended up making a third strap, this time the same size as the second.  Whoops!

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Then it came time to attached the straps to the two bags. I trimmed a bit off of each end to make them shorter (but still not short enough) and I also trimmed a bit off the bag so that it wouldn’t be this massively deep bag where everything gets lost. I pinned 3 inches from the seams and attached my handles from the INSIDE this time. This was an area I had issues with the first time I made this bag because I kept attaching the handles wrong.

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Turned inside out.

I got a little frustrated with the bags as I was sewing the initial seam around the top. The lining and outer bag did NOT want to stay together. But I kept at it and got to the point where I was ready to turn everything inside out so that it was ready for the last seam around the top to close everything up.

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TADA!!!! The handles are on the right way, CHECK! The bags are lined up pretty well, CHECK!!! Now it was time to sew around the top to give it that finished look and to close up the hole I used to turn the material out.

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This proved to be a bit tricky. I’m not sure what I did but my handles got all entangled and wrapped around my machine. I got lucky though and my straps were long enough that it didn’t keep me from finishing it up. Tangles and all, the bag was finished!!

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Except that the handles were WAY too long and I think I still put them on wrong. Damn! I feel the handles would work better attached differently but I could live with that issue. I could have also lived with the too long straps but I decided to make a quick trim and take a bit off the top of each handle and just live with a seam at the top of each strip. It’s not as clean but now I’ll be more likely to use it.

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So what can I take away from this experience. Firstly, to measure twice, cut once. Secondly, to slow down. Mistakes get made when you are rushing through things and in the end you spend more time fixing your mistakes. I’m still learning the ins and outs of sewing but I’m happy to say I’m more confident in my abilities. I made this bag before and was able to make it again with minor mistakes, all of them livable and that makes me thrilled!! Another finished product in the bag (har har)…

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With this reversible tote pattern in mind and with my confidence in my abilities to finish a project that I’ve started, I think it would be cool to hit up JoAnns again and get some comic book fabric for a Marvel bag, don’t you think??

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Nanananananananananna, BATMAN!!


Crazy Mom Quilts

WIP: The Zig Zag Whatever It Shall Become

Have you ever started a project without a plan in mind and just let it go where it wanted to go?

Not long ago, my son and I picked up some half priced bundles of brightly colored zig zag fabric. My son has a real eye for color and he’s draw to the primaries. Originally this stuff was meant for a mug rug for a teacher but we ended up making her a baggie for all her teacher goodies. As we wrapped up that project, I was left with a pile of this vibrant fabric just waiting to be used. So, I began teaching my son how to sew using the colors he picked himself!

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His first attempt came out great! Then I moved onto to other projects and this team effort got put aside.

After finishing a quilt I had been working on for years, I sat down to take a look at all the projects I wanted to start, continue with, or finish. I’m very ADD when it comes to sewing. I always have a project or two in mind along with a few I’m in the progress with. That’s when all those bright colors caught my eye and I thought it would be great for the two of us to get working on whatever this project turned out to be. My kidlet got into a spot of trouble this past week so all video games were off limits and he had a lot of free time on his hands. He saw me working in the sewing room and asked if he could sew too.

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And we did! He sat down with me and helped sew together a few strips. I guided the fabric through the machine as he was my “peddle pusher”. He worked on his pressure and watched how he could manage a slower stitch or a faster one just with a simple press of the peddle. There was no method to our madness but we had a good time picking up and stitching them together in any combination we grabbed.

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Then we got down on the cutting board and worked on cutting more strips of his zig zag fabric. Unfortunately, my little lefty really struggles with the rotary cutter. He was really having a hard time putting enough pressure down to cut through the fabric while rolling it forward in a straight line. He got so frustrated that one of his attempts skipped over the clear ruler and nicked my thumb. Nothing bad but enough for me to call a time out and to take over the cutting.

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After that we pressed the seams and I showed him how to iron it flat. We played with pressing the seams to one side versus pressing the seams open. It takes a bit more time but I found that my pieces laid flatter when I pressed the seams open. He got a kick out of using the iron but wasn’t too careful with it. I could tell he was nervous about getting burned even though I was there with him, guiding him. So I took over the ironing, too. We decided his job would be to sew the straight lines.

So, I have NO idea what this will be. I’m figuring it will be a blanket of some sort but it’s going to come about organically and based on both my ideas and my son’s. We have enough material to make a good sized blanket if we wish but with my son being only 8 and with a kid’s attention span and with me being all over the place with projects, it could turn out to be a pillow or two, some mug rugs, or maybe a table runner. Who knows!? The ideas are endless and I’m kind of excited to see where it goes!

 photo wip_zpsbbf761bc.jpgSew Fresh Quilts

Quilters Question: Storing Your Stash

Recently, I convinced the husband that I needed a new desk and filing cabinet from Ikea. I’d seen enough pictures around Pinterest to know that this set-up would work well for my beauty supplies and would relieve my bathroom stink from all the clutter. So I sold it to him on the premise that our bathroom would be cleaner and we’d have more room on the sink.

Low and behold I got my desk and filing cabinet! It took me some time to fill it out and rid the bathroom of all my palettes but we’re now able to see the tile around the sink and all my stuff is better organized. Yay for organization!

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Along with all my makeup things, I realized that this desk would be a great place to set up my sewing machine and there was enough room to start storing my fabric stash here, too. So it doubled as a beauty/sewing center. Score another point for me!

But as I started to dig into my fabric and move it to my new craft center, I realized I had no method at all to my madness. I had a box from work that used to hold reams of paper on a shelf. I opened that sucker up and BAM! I found loads of fat quarters and bundles of fabric I forgot I had.

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A Box O’ Fabric

Then I found another bin with lots of loose material floating around, some finished squares I bought on eBay to be put together to make a quilt (what was I thinking!) and jelly rolls for those quilts I had the best of intentions to make as gifts.

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In short, things were a mess. I started moving some of the stacks to my desk and filled two shelved built into the side of the desk. Then I started to filter through the boxes and bins but got so overwhelmed I had to put them back together and store them in the closet as they were. Then I went to start the binding on my son’s quilt. That’s when I realized I didn’t know where it was!!

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My disorganization was coming full circle and now I couldn’t find the last bit of material I needed to finish his quilt. After some searching, I found it tucked away in some vintage inspired fabrics. It was probably stuck with all of that fabric because the common color schemes are browns and yellows. But it definitely was the last straw.

I need a better way to store my fabric. And preferably a system that won’t require me to spend a lot of money.

My question to all of you fellow quilters is this: What is your preferred method of organizing your stash and storing it? Bucket? Hanging files? Do you wash, press, then fold them into neat stacks? Do you organize by color? Theme? Fabric type?

I’m curious to hear what everyones’ method is and maybe it’ll give me a direction to take when I start to get my mess of a stash organized.

For now I’ll show you the jelly rolls I found in a box tucked into the closet.

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I had completely forgot about these. I think I found them on sale at a Wal-Mart near us that was closing down its fabric section. They have a nice beachy feel so I think I’m going to use these for my next quilt. And instead of using the same four strip squares I’ve been sticking too, I’m going to change it up a bit.

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More to come…

Fresh Poppy Design