Gemstones is a Finish!

Never have I said good bye so many times. This is getting ridiculous. But last night I finished my Pretty Gemstones quilt. How could I leave and give it away without sharing it? There aren’t that many quilt finishes in a year (for me anyway) to skip one!  This will be a quick post, because you know, the wedding and all.  So much to be taking care of around here.

In all it’s glory, here is the first quilt finish of 2017! By the way, pictures were all taken indoors and late at night so they are not of the award winning quality that you have come to expect from me.  😉

This quilt was made with a pattern called Pretty Gemstones. It was designed by the wonderful Cynthia Brunz of Quilting is Better than Housework (which is absolutely true!)  It was published in McCall’s Quilting magazine in the January 2016 issue. The pattern is a breeze to make. I love a pattern with sashing. It means that my less than perfect piecing doesn’t make me go crazy because there are no corners or points to match. (I can be so lazy!)

I started this quilt last January as one of my Rainbow Scrap Challenge projects. But to be honest, I didn’t always follow the color prompts of the challenge. I was trying to use colors that are reminiscent of gems.  I think this came off quite well. There is are blocks which represent sapphires, rubies, topaz, tiger eye, amethyst and rose quartz. I skipped many of the suggested colors because they didn’t work for this project. I am pretty sure that is allowed but, if not, please don’t tell on me.

The sashing is done with Kaffe Fassett’s solid (the color is Ecru). I found it difficult to work with this fabric. It is a thin cotton and has a great deal of give to it. It became almost stretchy, especially the long strips for the sashing. Honestly, I doubt I would buy it or recommend it to a friend. (Sorry Rowan Fabric and Kaffe.) I had to starch it and while that helped, it didn’t completely solve the issue. This is the second time I used these solids.  The first time was in the jelly roll quilt I posted about here. I had quite a bit of trouble with awful stretchy waves in this project too. Part of the problem on the jelly roll quilt was I had to rip out stitches several times which distorted the strips. Now I also think it was this fabric. Seriously, it is very thin. After trying it twice, I doubt I would purchase these solids again. I have used Kaffe Fassett’s gorgeous print cottons and they are wonderful. It is this line of solids (and his stripes) that I am not a fan of.  For the backing I pieced the sashing fabric with a deep purple remnant that I picked up a while back. See the label on the back? I am trying to be more diligent about labeling my quilts. The purple fabric was also used to bind the quilt.

I quilted it with a motif of interlocking squares and rectangles of all sizes. This is the first time I have used this pattern and I loved it. The boxes are very forgiving. One interesting thing I noticed is that I can control the machine better with a square pattern than a round. Circles are more difficult for me to keep a consistent speed with as opposed to square. It felt more relaxing to quilt the squares.

On the plus side for Kaffe Fassett solids, they are quite soft – especially after washing. This quilt crinkled up so nicely after a quick rinse. No color bleeding issues either. Yay for Color Catchers!

Finally, take a close look at the quilt. See my rather silly error?  I didn’t catch it until about 1/3 of the quilting was done. Yikes!

I am giving this quilt to my new daughter-in-law’s parents. We wanted to bring them something as a thank you for the events they are hosting for this weekend’s wedding as well as to welcome them into the family. I hope they like it.

I am not going to promise this is the last post for the week. It probably is. But who knows?

Linking up with the lots of fun places. Check out the list at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

If you are shopping for a new Craftsy class, this weekend is a good time to do so. From Friday, January 13th through Sunday the 15th, the classes are Buy One, Get One. BOGO deals are great – two for the price of one! Check it out here.

(Note – I am a Craftsy affiliate. I am paid a small stipend for purchases made after clicking through the links on my site.)

Q1-2017 FAL Plan

I wasn’t going to post again this week but I decided I should do a quick outline of my quilty plans for the first quarter of 2017. I will be joining in with the FAL event hosted, in part, by Rhonda at Rhonda’s Ramblings. I joined in last quarter of 2016 and I liked having that list to work toward. In fact I finished all but one item.   Here is the plan for the current quarter.

  1.  Baste, quilt and bind the Harmony quilt. This WIP is moving from last quarter’s plan to this quarter. The issue is that I really want to use a rental at the long arm shop to finish this one and between their schedule, my schedule and my unpredictable migraines, I haven’t gotten there. Surely I can manage this over the next couple of months though.
  2. The second goal is going to be so much fun!  I will make – cut, piece, baste, quilt and bind – a sweet baby quilt for my first grandbaby. The baby is due March 3rd. I hope to have it done by then. It is a simple pattern of HST’s set on point that my kids chose.  Called Simply Snuggly, the tutorial  was written by April Rosenthal. The pattern finishes at 52″ x 61″ so I will be cutting it back a bit.   The parents-to-be chose a lavender, gray, white and pink color scheme. I have the fabric – all of it – for piecing, binding and backing. So I am ready to go. When I get back from our trip this week, I will get it cut out.
  3. I have another baby quilt to make this quarter as well. My niece is expecting her third child, a sweet baby girl, at the end of March.  My plan is to make a quilt from one oversized block. I am thinking of doing a big granny square block with bright, cheerful fabrics. I don’t have the fabric for this project yet but if I look through my stash, I suspect I will find at least a portion of it.
  4. I also plan to make some progress on the Sew Fresh Quilt Bee Hive blocks I am doing for the Canadian Ronald McDonald houses. I have 3 1/2 blocks completed.  I am sure I will be able to squeak these in between the other projects.
  5. I would like to make at least one, and maybe two, garments. I have no plan for these yet but I have a few pieces of fabric that would be fun to use. Two of them work for a baby outfit for that little grandbaby we are all waiting for. Or, I have that vintage border print I have mentioned before. I would love to make a little skirt for myself with it. I can fit those in, right?
  6. If there is any other time left for sewing, I will start a scrappy project. I decided not to follow the RSC17 color of the month this year. I have two scrap bins whose lids no longer snap tight. The green and blue bins are overflowing. Tons of scraps!! It would be fun to make a quilt with greens and blues and a pop of – something? – maybe yellow or a tiny bit of orange?  I will use Amanda Jean Nyberg’s and Cheryl Arkinson’s   book Sunday Morning Quilts for inspiration. I look at that book all the time, drooling over the ideas within. Maybe I should actually use one of them?!  Did you know Amanda Jean is soon to publish her second book, No Scrap Left Behind (love that title)?  I can’t wait to get my hands on it!!

This is plenty to shoot for this quarter! Now to see what actually is accomplished. Are you planning along with this quarter’s FAL?  If so, I look forward to seeing how the quarter progresses for you too.  OK – this is probably, almost certainly, the last post for this week. Probably, maybe, I think so?

Winter Bookshare

Who is ready for another book share? The summer book, Vinegar Girl, has made it’s way home to me. The Fall book, The Double Bind, has reached the last reader in the group and should be on it’s way home to me soon. I think that means it is time for the third round!

If you aren’t familiar with this activity, I select a book that I have read and think people will enjoy. If interested, you sign up by leaving a comment (first come, first served) and we share the book. I mail it off to the first person on the list with three fat quarters that I relate back to the book in some fashion. Once that person is done reading it, a note is written in the front cover of the book for others to read. We usually just share a couple of sentences describing our thoughts about the book and then forward it on with a new set of fat quarters for the next person to enjoy. This has been a lot of fun and I enjoy hearing other’s opinions of the book.

For this round, I selected a book by Elizabeth Berg. She is one of my very favorite authors. A prolific author, Ms. Berg has never disappointed me. I believe I have read all of her books except for the  most recent one. (Only because it hasn’t been available at the library when I have checked!)  The book I selected, Open House, is wonderful. So much so, that this is the second time I read it. This novel is about a woman dealing with divorce. It is a heartwarming story of the process that the main character, Samantha, goes through as she grieves the dissolution of her marriage and figures out how to heal and become whole again. One thing she does is open her home to boarders so that she can afford to stay in her house.

Elizabeth Berg has the ability to develop characters that the reader easily relates to. I usually come to love the protagonist and almost always feel just a little sad when the book comes to an end. Berg writes about real people dealing with real life situations. Her stories are not deep or complicated but they are genuine. In this book, she does a good job of developing the secondary characters (the boarders and Samantha’s friends) and I enjoyed each of them. My only criticism is that the happy ending for Sam might have been better served if it hadn’t involved a man. She got to the other side of her divorce a much stronger person and not just because of her new relationship. This is a quick read and one that I am happy to share. This book is not a long one which will be good for the group. It takes a while to get the book to each reader so I thought it might be nice to choose a book that was on the shorter side.

Ope House  is an older book which was published in 2000.   I find it interesting that this was actually Berg’s first novel. After writing it, she decided she didn’t like it and went on to write another one. Later she pulled it out and worked it over, publishing it as Open House. It is often the case that we make something and feel disappointed in it, only to shove it back in the closet somewhere. Then we bring it back out another time, change it up a bit, and give it new life.  There is usually value in our work – it just doesn’t always become apparent at the very beginning.

Books are such a great escape for me. Ray and I both read quite a bit and I am pleased that our children enjoy reading as well. Here is a picture of Julia a few years back.  I found her in her room, looking over her stash of books and somehow she ended up balancing a stack of them on her legs. It made me smile to see this! (Granted, the photo isn’t the greatest quality – I snapped it with my phone.)

 

I will be out of touch for a week or so. My son is getting married next weekend. We are traveling to Toronto,Ontario for the wedding. Things will be back to normal in a week or ten days. Until then, be creative and make something you love. 🙂

Post Update: sign ups for this book share are closed- Sorry to disappoint anyone. Let me know if you wanted in and I will give you a heads up when I post the book for the Spring Book Share.

New Beginnings

I remember when I was a kid, I didn’t really like the New Year’s Holiday. I think it was because to me it signified Christmas was over (oh how sad I was to see my mom take down the Christmas tree) and school was starting up. I didn’t like school a whole lot as a child – I would much rather be at home!  Anyway, New Year’s wasn’t my thing, that’s for sure.

Now it is signifies a clean slate, opportunity, and a new beginning. While I do love putting the tree up and decorating for Christmas, by New Year’s Day, I am ready to take it down and clean the house. Time to embrace the new year and the awesome opportunity that lies within!

For 2017 I have a few major goals:

  1. The first of which is to greatly expand my Etsy shop. I have a plan blocked out for this but I believe I will save the details for another post. I am excited to share this with you but need to finish a few things up before I do. Now you’re all curious, right??
  2. The second goal is to continue to improve my free motion and long arm quilting skills. I feel like I made great strides in 2016 and want to keep the momentum going. To this end, I am plan to:
    • Make some smaller projects (baby quilts and several minis) because I can quilt those with ease on my home machine which provides lots of practice.
    • Additionally, last night I made a stack of small-ish quilt sandwiches to practice on. Using batting scraps that I stitched together and old fabric, I pinned four sets to be used strictly for practice. For whatever reason, I usually think I need to actually “make” something before quilting. Really, I just need to practice. Using up scraps and weird fabrics will be an economical, quick way to get some practice in.
    • I have two larger quilts planned for this year which will be provide practice on the long arm that I am able to rent. Also, I still have one quilt in my UFO pile and will quilt it on the long arm as well.  (It is the Harmony quilt that was made for a wedding gift for my nephew. He was married in September and I still haven’t finished this. Not for lack of trying though!  I have made two different appointments to rent time on the long arm but both times woke up with a migraine and had to cancel.  Lucky for me, they are very kind about these things. Hoping to schedule time later this month to finish this up and then I can mail it off to the newlyweds.
  3. Next on the list is to fit in a few garment projects. I have several really nice patterns that I would like to make. These are patterns I have picked up while collecting product for my Etsy shop.  Refining my skills in actually fitting a garment would be wonderful. Seems like the main thing that holds me back from making clothing is the difficulty around fitting the pattern. There are a billion tutorials for this, many of which are found at www.collete.com. I subscribe to their newsletter and follow their blog. This year I am going to actually implement some of what I read on their site! First off, there is a vintage fabric I found a long while back. It is a border print and I think it would be cute for a simple skirt. Wish me luck!
  4. Last on the list is time management. There is SO much I want to accomplish. The best way to ensure I can do this is by managing my time wisely. Between sewing, blogging, my Etsy shop and taking care of the house, I seem to run out of hours in the day. To achieve this I plan to:
    • It is my hope to use the Quilter’s Planner even more this year. (I was fairly good about using it last year too.) If I can set goals for each week and plan blog posts out for a few weeks at a time, that would be great. Last year I tried to sketch my week out each Sunday. This year I would like to sketch out farther than one week at a time.
    • Stop multi-tasking. Seriously. This is my downfall every time. If I start one thing, invariably I stop to “just do one quick thing” and then I don’t finish the first thing. I need to stay put. Finish the quilt block, complete the Etsy listing, write the entire blog post, etc. Finishing what I have started would be hugely advantageous. Texting is a big distraction. Turning off the sound on my phone is very helpful
    • Meal plans also help. I do love to cook but if I don’t have a plan for the week’s meals, it feels like a chore. Trying to come up with something at the end of the day often results in dinners like omelets (thanks to our ever diligent hens).  Let’s just say Julia is sick and tired of eating eggs! I love knowing what I plan to make for dinner. It allows me to put more energy into the rest of the day, especially if I prep meals ahead.  Meal planning is something that I do sporadically. It would be so helpful if I planned at least four meals weekly – so that is the goal here. It makes grocery shopping much more efficient as well. I make more quick runs to the grocery store when I don’t have a meal plan. (This is actually a fallacy; from my house to the grocery store is a 14 mile round trip which  means there is no “quick run” to the grocery store!)

With these goals listed, I have a plan. Each objective is easily broken down into steps which makes achieving them much more likely. Go 2017!!! I am off to begin reaching for these goals. Later this week I will share the book that I selected for the Winter Book Share. Stay tuned! Happy New Year everyone!

 

Christmas Finishes

I have two little projects to share with you. These were both gifted at Christmas and I thought I would wait to post until after they had been given to their intended owners. First is a small, fabric book that I made for my soon-to-be-born grand daughter.

I have several of these panels, in two different flavors, that I purchased when a local fabric store was closing out, maybe four or five years ago? I thought it would be good to have them on hand as a fun gift to give. Then somehow I lost track of them or they went to the bottom of the pile in that closet of mine. After some digging, I found them.

I think it is a sweet way to introduce baby to books. The pages are thick and easily grasped, bright colors and not a whole lot in the way of a plot. Plus it is washable which might come in handy.  😉

If you haven’t made one of these before, it is basically a panel of rectangles. Once you cut them out, the panels are paired up to be sewn in a certain order so the pages are in the correct order. (This is crucial when the plot is as deep as these are!) The instructions said to fuse a mid-weight interfacing to one page of each pair. I chose to use fusible batting instead. It makes the book a bit softer. Each pair of pages is sewn, right sides together and then turned right side out. Press and sew up the little opening that was left to turn the book right sides out. Stack the pages and sew down the center to hold them together. Ta da! Your book is complete.

I didn’t put her name on the book because it hasn’t been shared yet. (Actually, I am not certain they have truly decided on one yet.)

The other gift I made is a scrappy Christmas pillow. I had cut lots of rectangles from a bag of Christmas scraps and decided to use a few of them. I stitched the rows and then when I sewed the rows together I offset the seams. It makes things a little bit more interesting. I love some of the vintage Christmas scraps in this pillow (especially the candy cane fabric).

It looked too busy with the patchwork rows right next to each other so I took a solid khaki color scrap and cut some strips that were 1.5″ finished. At first I quilted the scrappy rows with my walking foot and a variegated Mettler thread in Christmas colors of red and green. That looked boring. I added the big stitch quilting on the solid rows and liked the way that was looking. (You may have seen some of this on Instagram – I shared a few pictures there along the way.

After doing the straight lines of big stitches (using Perle cotton thread) I added the phrasing. I think that finished it off nicely. A simple envelope backing and it was complete.

I didn’t give as many handmade gifts as I sometimes do. Time doesn’t always allow for these things! But these were very simple and fun to make.

I have been reading lots of great posts about everyone’s plans for the new year. I am hoping to get to that soon. I didn’t get it done ahead of time and now we are in the middle of lots of family time. Maybe next week when things settle down again. I do have some fun ideas for 2017 and am excited to share them. Stay tuned!

Happy New Year everyone! Wishing you all the best in 2017.

 

Linking to my usuals – find the links at the top of the page, under Link Ups. Additionally, I linked to Frontier Dream’s linky party, Keep Calm and Craft On.

 

2016 — What a Great Year

I have to tell you — I had a whole lot of fun blogging this year. I met quite a few new friends – some bloggers, some readers, and all so very kind. Let’s take a quick look at what went on here over the past year.

I feel like it was a year of growth. Not just with my quilting and sewing skills but also with regards to my blog. For the first time, I held several events here. It was a fun learning experience, between approaching companies to sponsor the events with giveaways, to creating the theme of the event and then publicizing it; it was all new for me. I think it was both successful and rewarding. I have more up my sleeve for 2017 so stay tuned. Both of the book shares were great fun. The next one is coming soon. I will post the new book during the first week of January. If you want to join in, watch for that as it is first come, first served.

While working on expanding the blog, I was also trying to improve my quilting skills. To this end, I worked on my free motion skills quite a bit. I am loving creating pictures, or motifs, with my quilting. Also, I learned to relief quilt and did several projects using this technique. Finally, I took a long-arm class (I believe that was the only class I took all year!) and it was so much fun! Since the class, I have quilted two more quilts and have one ready to go. I am sure I will continue to practice both my FMQ and long-arm skills throughout 2017.

One of the goals I set for myself at the beginning of 2016 was to write more tutorials.  They are one way to give back to this community. I have certainly used my share of the amazing tutorials that are floating around this community and it is only fair to create some for others to use. In addition to those that are shown in the pictures; French Press Cozy, Reusable Sandwich Bags, and THREAD Relief Quilting tutorials, I also posted a tutorial on Sew Mama Sew.  These are only a few of the tutorials I posted on the blog. If you would  like to see more, click on the Tutorials link at the top of this page. I have very much enjoyed sharing these with you and plan to create more in the coming year.

While I do love to quilt, I have also been enjoying making things like bags, zip pouches, and even two dresses! Sometimes these projects are just what I need to give as a gift or to satisfy my need of a quick finish. They don’t take nearly the time that a quilt does! I will say that if I make any bags in 2017, I will explore a new pattern. I have used my Noodlehead 241 Tote pattern three times already. Time to move on!

However, this Washi dress pattern may be used another time or two. It is so comfortable!! I have seen people make it as a tunic and it looks really cute. Possibilities, so many possibilities!

I hope that 2016 was a good year for you as well. The new year is just weeks away. I have some really exciting plans to tell you about but let’s save that for another post. For now, I am grateful for all that I learned this year and for all of the friendships that have occurred via this blog. I look forward to another fun year with each of you.

Linking with Meadow Mist Designs Best of 2016 event!

Pillowcases for Kids

I found myself with a bit of time to sew over the weekend. One of the people I follow on Instagram, Caroline or @stitchesbrew, is involved with foster children who are aging out of the system.  She has been collecting handmade items (mainly quilts and pillowcases) to give to these 18 year olds who are trying to make a go of it on their own. I think this is a very worthwhile effort and I am happy to support it. Eighteen years old is so young to be completely on your own and while pillowcases and quilts won’t make it easy, it will let the kids know that someone cares about them.

In an afternoon, I was able to put together three pillowcases for the kids. I used some sweet fabric that my sister gave me a few months ago. (You might remember reading about this but if not, here is the post.) Making these three cases hardly made a dent in the yardage she gave to me. I know she is happy that some of the fabric was used for such a good cause.

The large scale of the fabrics lends well to something like these pillowcases. I added a tiny stripe of Daysail by Bonnie and Camille to add a pop of color.

These pillowcases go together so quickly. I used the ‘burrito tutorial’ that was posted by Leslie of The Seasoned Homemaker. If you haven’t tried this method before, give it a try. It is foolproof and the results are very polished.

These are packaged up and ready to be mailed to Michigan. Hopefully they will bring a smile to the recipients.

Linking to my usuals. Please take a look at the top of the page under Link Ups.

Third Time is a Charm

You know I had to do it, right? This morning I made a third Open Wide pouch. I wanted to test out the ideas I laid out in yesterday’s post. Guess what? The worked out quite well (if I do say so myself).  For this pouch, I made the medium size again, with the pouch finishing at 6.5 x 6 inches.

The first change I made was to finish the end of the zipper prior to stitching it to the fabric. So much easier! Sewing this little 2×3 inch rectangle of fabric was much simpler without having the little pouch dragging around while I manipulated the zipper under the presser foot of the machine. Score!

The second change was to leave the lining open, or unstitched, while I boxed the corners of the outer fabric.  Again, much easier.

I had everything pinned together as normal and started on one side, by the zipper. I continued up the edge, across the width of the bag and down the other side until I was back at the lining fabric.  Then I was able to box the corners and could peek inside to see that the seams were lined up properly.

Once I had the two outer corners boxed, I finished sewing the lining together. I left the usual opening at the bottom of the lining and then boxed those two corners. Bingo. It worked just fine.

I forget what this fabric is even from, but isn’t it sweet. I love these little houses. I wish I had another piece, but I don’t…. such is life. 🙂 I think it is adorable with the sweet bicycles on the outer fabric.

Here is the finished tab once the bag was assembled.

While it isn’t perfect, it is much better than the first two attempts. Yep, practice certainly makes better. I think three pouches is enough. I need to move on to something else now.

But I want to share two more things before I finish up.  First is this silly picture of Julia. I love this picture. I think is is reminiscent of a grumpy Mrs. Claus the way she is peering at me above her glasses and the Santa hat is pulled down so low.  I think I took this when we were decorating the house for the holidays a couple of years ago. It makes me smile every time.

The next thing is the little wool Christmas ornament I made. I bought the kit when I was in Maine over the summer. It is really adorable. Nothing terribly difficult about it but I enjoyed making it. I like the little beads that were included with the kit. They are just the perfect amount of bling. 🙂

Ok, that’s enough for now! I have a pile of gifts to be wrapped so I had better get busy with them. Oh wait… I have one more thing.  Yesterday the power went out and it was a pain.  I had cookies in the oven baking, raw cookies on the counter waiting for their turn.  Julia ended up studying for her Chemistry final by candlelight and the flashlight on her phone.  It was only 4:30 in the afternoon but it was so gloomy out that the house was dark (and we have huge windows in this part of the house!)  Luckily it was only out for a couple of hours.

Julia finished her finals today (I am going to brag and tell you she got a 94% on that Chemistry final.) It is officially Christmas break. I am not sure if I will post much over the holidays but please know that I wish everyone a wonderful Holiday season, whichever way you and your family celebrates.

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts.

Open Wide Pouch and Alison Glass Combo

Today was one of those days where I had plenty of things I should be doing but I sewed instead. I couldn’t get in the mood for anything on the neverending ‘to-do’ list. I just felt like sewing. Which is fine. I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon. It is pouring rain outside; so dark and cloudy it looked like evening by 2:00 in the afternoon.

Last night, I decided to pull out my dwindling collection of Alison Glass scraps. You know I love her fabric – I have used it to make a mini for an Alison Glass swap as well as two purses. Yvonne, over at Quilting Jetgirl, has been playing with, sewing with, collecting and posting about Alison Glass lately and it got me in the mood. She is hosting a little Alison Glass celebration in January and there just might be a prize of a huge set of fat eighth’s to be won.  All of this set off a bit of an Alison Glass frenzy in my sewing room. 🙂

Thinking about what I wanted to make, I ruled out any sort of mini quilt or table runner. Rather, I wanted to make a tote or a zip pouch. I poked around on my Pinterest boards and found the tutorial for the Open Wide zip pouch from Noodlehead.com.  Anna Graham is the blogger and pattern designer behind Noodlehead. You might remember that I made her 241 Totebag three times over the past year. Her patterns and tutorials are wonderful. I really like the look of the Open Wide pouch.

I made two of them this afternoon. They are that simple!  The first one was the middle size pouch that measures about 6″ x 6 1/2″. I decided to have a different fabric for the base of the bag. The second pouch was made with the smallest measurements, finishing at 4.5″ x 5″. I really like the method Anna uses for these pouches. She boxes the corners quite deep which creates a very wide bottom of the pouch, in relation to the length at the top. Because of this, the pouches open wide.  This little variation is such a simple way to get this result.

I found two challenges with this pattern. The biggest of which (for me) was boxing the corners of both the outer fabric and lining fabric without being able to peek in and see if the seams were all lined up correctly. Anna’s instructions call for sewing the lining and outer fabric together, leaving an opening in the bottom of the lining to turn it right side out.  Prior to turning it right side out, you box all four corners. It worked, but I would like it better if I could see what I was doing. I think it might be possible to stitch the outer fabric and stop. Then box the corners while still being able to look inside and see that it is all lined up. After that, one would continue to sew the perimeter and finish the lining.  Boxing the corners of the lining doesn’t matter as much since they don’t show.  Of course, I didn’t think of this until after I completed two pouches.  😉

The second challenge is not a huge deal. Anna has the tail end of the zipper extend beyond the end of the zip pouch. It adds a nice touch to the finished bag. But I had a hard time getting a decent result. It was sort of fiddly and I ended up unpicking the stitches on each of them and trying to get a better finish.  They still don’t look great. I think I would play with this next time and try to come up with a different way to finish off the end of the zipper. It doesn’t look like it should be so hard but it was difficult for me to keep the little folds in place and move the zipper around, dragging the pouch along with it. I wonder if I could have finished the end of the zipper before I even began sewing the pouch together. Questions, questions…. I think I need to make a third pouch and test out these ideas.

Anna lists fusible interfacing as optional for the pouches. I used a fusible batting. I like the bit of heft it gives the bag. When I made the second one, I decided to quilt two horizontal lines on each of the pieces of outer fabric. It looks cute and will make sure the batting stays nice and flat against the outer fabric. Overall, the pattern is great and it was a fun project for this afternoon. I love the look of the floral fabric (from the Field Day line) and the deep blue fabric together. I got my Alison Glass fix and now I can move on to the next project!

If you are a fan of her fabric, you might want to join in with the Link Up that will be happening over at Quilting Jetgirl.  I think it is good that I made my project early. Yvonne will be hosting the event for the last two weeks of January which is going to be a busy month for me. My son is getting married on January 14th so we will have all sorts of fun happening in January and, most likely, my sewing time will be a bit limited.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict this week. Links are available at the top of the page, under Link Ups. Also linking to the Bag It link party at Elm Street Quilts.

Here’s What’s Going On

Another Monday! The weeks just keep flying by. We are enjoying a sunny day today after an incredibly rainy weekend.  It was looking like we all might float away on Saturday. I think we got over five inches of rain which, for us, is a huge amount in a day’s time. Our basement took on some water but luckily Ray is good about keeping things that matter up off the ground. No damage to anything, just a mess.

We hunkered down on Saturday and enjoyed the rain. Then on Sunday we picked out our tree. Julia and I decorated it between her study sessions for this week’s final exams. Look – we are all Christmasy now!

Sunday was also the day that my kitchen sink decided to clog up. Not a whole lot of draining going on in there. That’s why we have plumbers. I have a call in and they are supposed to come late this afternoon. Kind of yukky but not a huge deal (as long as he can come today.)

This morning I had Julia pick a number between one and 262 for the winner of my Sew Mama Sew giveaway. Lucky Amanda is the winner of the bundle of three half-yard cuts. After a quick run to the post office, the package is already on its way to her in Texas! Thanks, everyone, for participating in this event.

Speaking of packages, look at the bundle of beauty I received last week!  This is my second installment of a gift subscription to Pink Castle’s Color Inspirations club. It is just as gorgeous as last month.

I think the blue piece in the center sets this grouping over the top. It will add a beautiful bit of depth to the project. Makes me really excited to use it.

The only sewing I have going on today is a few sets of burp cloths for my shop. I had a these sweet pieces of flannel from Connecting Threads that were calling to me. I couldn’t ignore that, right? The colors are wonderful. I made sure to prewash so I could check for any color bleeding issues. But all three were fine.

I think I will spend an hour wrapping gifts before Julia needs to be picked up. May this Monday allow you at least a few minutes in the sewing room and a kitchen sink with a clear flowing drain!

I will be sure to link up with a few bloggers – check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.