Wednesday, September 30, 2020

End of September One Monthly Goal


One Monthly Goal.

Hi.  As you saw in this months' Island Batik Ambassador blog hop, I did finish the Round Trip Duffle.  Although I had challenges in sewing it, because of so many layers, I did enjoy making it.  

So, goal 1 done. 

I also got the 12 blocks of Spellbound done, and will be doing sashing and cornerstones this weekend.  I'm hoping to have it ready to quilt by Monday. 

That selvage piece at the bottom is just so cute!  All of the designs have little witch hats in the colors used for that fabric.  Island Batik doesn't have selvege marks, and it's not often I use something not batik.  But I won this kit and finally want to see it done.  

I also got Lucky Charm and Seaside quilted, but it's on a large piece of backing, and I have more to quilt before I can get it off and show you.  I hope those are done, soon.  Are you doing Journey to Nebula?  Jaybird Quilts (Julie Herman) is using her rulers and teaching tricks every week, using these patterns to build up to the Tula Pink Nebula quilt that starts in January.  

Keeping this short since I'm out of time.  
Thanks for visiting.  I did meet the main goal.  Did you?

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

It's In the Bag Blog Hop with Island Batik and

I do hope you've been hopping along with us.  There have been so many gorgeous projects and chances to win fabric.  Welcome to my day on the hop, featuring Sunset Plumes designed by Kathy Engle.  When we were offered a choice for bags, I went BIG!  I had already thought about doing a ByAnnie bag, and had purchased Got Your Back pattern. and started a backpack.  I thought it would be fun to do another challenging bag, and Round Trip Duffle was my choice.   Annie provided all the hardware, strapping, and wonderful Soft and Stable for the bag, as well as the plastic base and zippers.  I was so excited to see which fabrics from the collection she chose for my bag.  We received this amazing bundle in the July Ambassador box.  Many of the patterns have a series of videos available, for free if you purchase the pattern.  The videos help with many of the steps involved in making ByAnnie bags, and will be very helpful as you read the directions.  
My first step was to watch the videos and familiarize myself with the pattern and steps.  I loaded the green swirl/leaf fabric and the pink feather square fabric, along with Soft and Stable on Vanna, my Handiquilter Amara, and picked a dark green Aurifil 40wt thread to quilt the layers.  When choosing a quilting design for the Prostitcher, I looked at a few, but the Climbing Ivy Edge to Edge by My Creative stitches seemed like the best choice.  The green fabric, the face of the bag, has swirls and leaves.  While that was being quilted, I took Sally Manke's advice and copied the back label page of the pattern onto shipping label paper that I use for my Etsy shop. It made fast work of labeling the pieces that I cut.  I could just stick the label on the fabric, and not worry about pins.  I pinned a few "two" of the same together.  Excellent idea, Sally!  Bags by Annie have lots of great features, but that also means lots of pieces and parts.  But reading the pattern and watching the videos makes it so easy.  

You can see the strap and the Fan accent for the pockets, with the edges of pockets bound in the burgundy color to match the straps. 
After cutting the pieces, I would a bobbin for the 2 colors I was planning to use, both Aurifil 40wt threads.  I have purchased a number of spools of 40wt because I like it for my embroidery machine as well as garment and bags.  It's a little thicker and sturdier for things that get more use.  I loaded a Schmetz Embroidery 14 needle, as well.  First you sew all the components and then assemble, and finish with binding and zipper pulls.  I've made many bags, and finishing the inside with binding was new to me.  But it makes sense, and leaves a nice finish in the bag, plus adds to the stability of the shape.  

You will need to take it slow, and use a walking foot, Jeans or Topstitch needle and single hole plate, if you have it.  At some points, there's over 19 layers in this bag, and I was having issues until I remembered using the single needle plate and walking foot on my Janome Horizon 9450.  My old machine didn't like sewing the layers, which is why the backpack was only finished this month. I had forgotten, but others were discussing the challenges on the Ambassador private Facebook page, and that jogged my memory.  But persistence and patience are good skills. And the results are worth it.
Sewing in the main zipper. I used my serger to overcast the raw edges, as well as the directions Annie shares to use the edge of the zipper to cover the raw edge.
This was a frustration point, but remembering to use the walking foot and single needle plate made the next photo possible. 

Sewing the side pieces on, and you can see the lining and quilting design.
Adding the binding to finish the interior.  Almost done!  Yes you'll need to do some smushing and manipulation to make it work, but you can do it! 

I now have a very pretty and classy duffle bag, that will hold enough stuff for a weekend away. 

Outside zipper pocket, and slip pocket, and padded shoulder strap. 

Inside there's 3 slip pockets and a zippered full size mesh pocket (Annie had provided orange mesh, but I had pink and thought it looked better, so used my purchased By Annie mesh, which is really fun to sew.)
The hard plastic base is in the fabric sleeve at the bottom.  It's removable, so you can wash the bag, or store it folded. 

Back side has a slip pocket and a trolley sleeve to go over the handle of your wheeled luggage.  
I was so happy to get the antique brass hardware, and thought it was the perfect choice for these fabrics.  Great side pockets, too.  Perfect for smaller items and tickets. 
Ready to go on my next adventure!
12”H x 19½"W x 7½"D is the finished size, and it's plenty big enough to hold a weekend's worth of clothes and toiletries, as well as book or tablet, and more.  

Perfect for a train trip to the city. Or a weekend get-away by car or plane!  

Thanks for reading.  I'll be giving a few FQ pieces of some of the newer collections to someone who comments.  Please tell me if you have or will be making a ByAnnie bag of any type.  I plan to make a few more, including something to coordinate with this bag for toiletries.  

Also, please check out the other Ambassadors and their bags, and stop by the Island Batik blog for more info.  They're giving away a gorgeous bundle to 2 lucky people using the Rafflecopter post below.  There's another give-away for next week, too!  Make sure you follow Island Batik's blog for the reminder to enter.

Today Denise Looney shares her bag with Sunset Plumes as well.  

Monday, September 7, 2020

September OMG Monthly Goal

This needs to be quick!  I have a lot to do, but forgot to write the post and it ends in an hour!! lol
First, I want to finish the Island Batik Ambassador and Patterns by Annie challenge, the Round Trip Duffle
The Island Batik Ambassadors were provided everything we need to make the bag or project.  I have fabric from the new Sunset Plumes collection available in stores soon, and the hardware, Soft and Stable and other supplies from  My blog hop date is September 23, so I know it will be done by then.  
I got the fabric for the top and lining quilted last week.  

Next step is zippers.  I need to change the foot and thread, and will change the needle, too. 

I'm also working on the #Journey2Nebula projects.  This month should see 2 projects done.  I have the Seaside runner cut out, but it's on hold until I get more of the duffle done.

I also want to finish the Studio 180 challenge from last month, and start a Halloween quilt kit that I won a few years ago.  There's more, but that's all I can do for now.  
Still have to decide on borders. 

What are you working on?  Do you have any you want to finish and challenge yourself to do?  Do it! 
Also, please share any projects you're doing with me on Instagram.  Use the hashtag #SewSomethingSeptember and I'll cheer you on.  Try to sew at least 15 minutes every day, and you'll see progress, and I'll cheer.  

Have a great week!  The Island Batik In the Bag hop starts Tuesday.  Remember to enter on Island Batik's post to win the weekly fabric give-aways. 


Monday, August 31, 2020

August One Monthly Goal


Do you make a list of projects you want to complete?  It's been a HUGE help in me getting them done.  This month was pretty good.  I wanted to finish the white, blue and yellow top, and I did.  I wanted to finish the red and cream quilt, and I did.  I wanted to finish the Island Batik Ambassador and Studio 180 tool challenge and I didn't, but there are reasons.  
I wanted to make the blue and black quilt for my great nephew. Although I planned a twin, he has a full size bed, so I have to go a bit bigger.  I ordered another bolt of Island Batik Navy basic, but it's on back order, so I set the project aside for a bit.  I wanted to use the Navy in the blocks, as well as some Stashbuilder strips, and for the border.  I may decide to finish the blocks with the Navy I have and wait to add the border when the fabric ships.  

I changed directions, though, so I have a different top finished, after having issues (bad planning on my part).  Here's the blue and black, and the top I did get done, except for the outer border and quilting and binding.  

This uses Floralicious, which has precuts available now, and Coconut and Aqua basics. 

I did get the red and cream top done.  This is a commission, and was delivered yesterday.  I will be making shams to match, and actually have to make this bigger.  We forgot she wanted it to cover the wood on her sleigh bed, when she agreed on the design.  Fabric is Red Elegance by Nancy Zieman for Riley Blake.  Panto is Heather by My Creative Stitches, and I used Red Wine Aurifil 40-three thread top and bottom.  

The other was a vary satisfying finish.  I started this for a book blog hop, but ran out of the blue and yellow fabric (the book didn't have accurate info at the time) and finally found some for sale.  I replaced the wrong units, and got it quilted and bound. 

And I did the binding on the blue ornaments runner.  

So, except for the Island Batik challenge, I did actually get it all done!  Very exciting, and I'm really proud.  Check out the rest of the one monthly goals projects here.  

Linking up with Elm Street Quilts.  

Island Batik Tool Time Challenge


This month Island Batik worked with Studio 180 Designs and Deb Tucker to create a design with a tool that was provided.  We were also provided with the optional extra worksheets for the tools, and were encouraged to watch the free videos that Deb's created to show how to use the tools and create designs.  The tools and fabric were provided as part of the Ambassador program.  I also use Aurifil Thread 50 wt for piecing, and Schmetz Microtex needles.  

My tool was Split Rects.  It makes multiple sizes with the correct angle for the split, from 1/2" by 1" to 4 by 8" finished size units.  The unit is similar to a half square triangle unit, but it's a rectangle in even proportions.  The optional designs include a single and double diagonal seam, too.  I looked at that, but with the other projects I needed to get finished this month, I wanted to go simple.  

My original design was to add the Split Rects units to 4 patch centers, for 12" blocks, and to make a scrappy blue and black quilt for my great nephew.  I got 6 blocks done in June, then set it aside to finish another project.  

I used some of the Stash Builder rolls to make the 4 patch units, and yardage of the blues and Solid Black.

This is the EQ8 version.  I liked playing with the direction of the blocks, and finding the twisted star as a secondary design.  But when I found out Noah has a full size bed, and I don't have enough of the Navy Basics fabric (it's on back order) I played with a second plan. 

An easier plan.  One that is also smaller.  And possible to finish this month.  But you all know about the best plans, right?  

I grabbed the 10" Stack of Floralicious, and the Aqua Basics and Coconut neutral, and played on EQ8 again. 

I used the Split Rects tool to create the sashing.  Long story short, I made a mistake in the sizing.  I looked at the tool, saw it had a 2  1/2 by 5" size, and cut to make lots of the units.  I cut 16 pieces of Floralicious into 5" squares.  But that would make a 4 1/2" finished unit, not 5", so I had trim down the Split Rects units, and squares to 4 1/2" or 4" finished.  

I also opted to make it a smaller size, basically a baby size quilt, instead of lap.  Here's the top.  I also opted to piece all the Split Rects units going the same way, not as illustrated above.  I used units in both directions, but piecing was easier to just keep them all the same.  It's actually a very fast assemble with a little bit of sparkle for a quick project.  It allows Floralicious to shine, but it's more than a simple sashing.  

Chain piecing for the win!  

Then comes the precision trimming.  I use a Highlighter Tape to mark the lines I need to follow and the corner of the unit, so I can easily find them and make sure I'm accurate.  I use this removable tape on many of my rulers.  It makes finding the right spot so easy.  I'm sure you can find it in stationary stores. There are other similar ideas on the market, one with arrows.  

But once I realized the 5' finished was too big, I carefully pulled up the tape and moved it to the 4 by 8"  line.  There was a little waste because of my mistake, but not much when trimming the properly cut size, according to the tool. 

Here's the current top. 

I added a border of Coconut and I'm thinking about the next border I want to add.  I have squares I can cut for piano key, or more of the Aqua if I want to go solid.  Or maybe I'll use some of the Split Rects to make a wavy border, then add the Aqua.  I'll let you know when it's done. 

But using the tool was great.  I have a few of the Studio 180 tools, and like them all.  The directions and videos are great, and the options are many.  You get perfectly sized units each time, so your top is almost perfect!  There are also tons of supporting patterns, where you can use the ruler again.  I love that, most of all.  So many templates are only for one purpose.  These have multiple sizes and many patterns, and since the unit sizes are standard, you can use them for patterns that call for the same size pieces, too.  

Please visit all the other Ambassadors to see what they've done this month.  I actually feel like a slacker after seeing how creative they were.  Jaw dropping designs! 

Carolina Asmussen ~ Carolina Asmussen Designs
Megan Stanionis Best ~ Best Quilter
Pamela Boatright ~ Pamelaquilts
Jennifer Fulton ~ The Inquiring Quilter
Vasudha Govindan ~ Storied Quilts
Joanne Hart ~ Unicorn Harts
Mania Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for quilts
Carla Henton ~ Creatin’ in the Sticks
Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs
Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood
Denise Jackson Looney ~ For The Love Of Geese
Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights
Sally Manke ~ Sally Manke, Fiber Artist
Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack Made Mine
Carol Moellers ~ Carol Moellers Designs
Gail Renna ~ Quilt Haven Threads
Sharon Riley ~ Sew Riley Designs
Michelle Roberts ~ Creative Blonde
Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail
Jennifer Strauser ~ Dizzy Quilter
Jennifer Schifano Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations
Alison Vermilya ~ Little Bunny Quilts
Sandra Walker ~ mmm! quilts
Suzy Webster ~ Websterquilt
Janet Lael Pedersen Yamamoto ~ Whispers of Yore

You have to look at Megan Best's blog.  Her quilt went traveling!   So funny. And Carol Moeller's design, Vasudha's, etc.  Really, go look at them all.  Get some inspiration and then get the tools.  Sally's design is great, too.  Have fun reading!

Thanks for visiting