Elizabeth’s Project Folio–Part III (Bringing it Home)

Project Portfolio Filled_1

Elizabeth’s Project Folio, front and filled with my next project, a bag made of Keiko Goke fabric

Project Portfolio Filled_Back

Elizabeth’s Project Folio, back

Project Portfolio Blue_opened

Elizabeth’s Project Folio, interior of blue folio

These are not only good for holding sewing projects they can also be used for:

• long car trips, holding each child’s stash of car junk
• teaching, corraling all the supplies for each lesson unit
• teaching, holding copied pages in place so they don’t go all over your bag
• errands–one for the Post Office, one holding grocery lists and coupons (you can make that one smaller by adjusting your dimensions), carrying swatches for decorating (one folio for each room you are working on)
• hand-sewing projects, such as cross-stitching a sampler
• knitting, as they are big enough to hold your needles, or needle-kit
• packing for a weekend away (one can hold lingerie, one your workout sweats, one can hold rolled-up T-shirts, etc.)

I’m sure you can think of others.  Send me a note telling me what you used yours for!

Finally, to thank you for your readership, I’m giving away the white flowered project folio to one of my followers or Bloglovin’/Feedly readers.  In your comment (at the end of this post), tell me what you’d use your portfolio for, and tell me how you follow me.  I’ll close this giveaway on early Monday morning (8/26), and send it off.

Project Portfolios in bag

They fit in my tote bag easily.  Because one side is vinyl, you can see what’s in there quickly.  Because the other side is fabric, they don’t stick together and slide out without difficulty.

Reminder: All of these measure roughly 11 x 17.  You are more than welcome to make these for your own use, or sell them in a craft faire, but please please, don’t take any of my tutorial and copy it onto your blog.  Practice Friendly Attribution, if you please, by linking back here, if you would.  And please please don’t steal borrow my content to make your own pattern, and call it your own.

Okay, the folios are in the home stretch. Let’s bring ‘em home!

If you are coming into this tutorial mid-way, see previous posts Part I and Part II.

STEP FOUR: Zipper

Zipper

A zipper is made of two narrow pieces of tape (think of it as stiff fabric ) joined by an interesting plastic coil.  Usually these strips of fabric are hooked together at one end.  Years of no Home Economic Education has scared most sewers when it comes to zippers, but when you think about it as two strips of fabric that have to be sewn into a seam, tempers and anxiety seem to lower.  And when you get to sew the zipper in flat, like in this bag, things couldn’t be easier.  Note: Some of this tutorial is for beginners, so if you are experienced in zipper-putting-in, just scroll on down.

You’ll be stitching this to the interfaced backing piece.  Set aside the fabric lining for a later step.

14 Marking Zipper

(You see the vinyl front window laid on top of the backing in the above photo, but you’ll be sewing the zipper ONLY to the interfaced backing at this point.)

I usually buy zippers a little bigger than what I need, so if you have done the same, lay out your zipper along the 17″ longer edge of the project folio backing.  Put one pin 1/2″ in from the raw edge, and one pin 1/2″ away from the raw edge, as shown up above on the left.

14 Marking Zipper_2

At the outer pin, you’ll be doing a bar tack, which is only a zig-zag stitch done in place.  Set your sewing machine for a wide zig-zag (so it will clear the zipper teeth), your stitch length to zero, and sew the bar tack in place.  Then about 1/2″ away from that towards the zipper stop, trim off the zipper tape.  If you are using a plastic zipper, you can cut right through it.  If you are using a metal zipper, snip the tape to the teeth, then kind of wiggle off the excess zipper tape.14 Marking Zipper_3

14 Zipper_1

One of the challenges of zipper-sewing, is 1) sewing straight and 2) sewing close enough to the teeth, and 3) getting around that zipper pull.  Use a zipper foot (shown above) for the second, and the first?  Practice makes perfect, so don’t worry about it.  I’ll walk you through the third, below.

First, unzip the zipper for about 4 inches, then:

• lay the edge of the zipper tape even with the raw edges, as shown above,
• zipper FACE DOWN
• on the RIGHT SIDE of the interfaced back folio fabric
• along the 17″ side.

I align the outside long edge of the zipper with the raw edge in this application.  Stitch to the top stop (the silver metal piece), re-align the long edge of the tape with the outside edge and stitch for another couple of inches.

14 Zipper_2

Stop, and put the needle down into the fabric.  Then grab the zipper pull tab, and wiggle it past the needle and close the zipper.  Now you have unlimited easy access to sewing it down.

14 Zipper_3

Remember that inner pin, set 1/2″ in from the raw edge?  Sew to that spot.  You want to leave the last 1/2″ unseen.  I usually hit the stitch-in-place button on my sewing machine, but you can also backstitch to secure it.  Now you’ll be attaching the lining to the back–that piece of fabric that is the same size as the back.

14 Zipper Lining

Lay the lining for the back on the zipper.  The zipper is face down so the RIGHT SIDE of the fabric will be facing the WRONG SIDE of the zipper.  I pin the raw edges of the fabrics together in a few spots so I’m not scrambling as I sew.  You’ll be sewing from the OTHER side of things, along the already-stitched line, so FLIP over the assembly, as shown below.15 Zipper 2_1

You’ll begin at the bottom edge of the sewn-in-zipper.  Remember to stay 1/2″ away from the raw edge as you begin.  Stitch along the already-stitched line until you get about three inches from the end.  Stop, and leave the needle in the fabric.  Reach inside and and slide the zipper pull tab down past your needle, wiggling it as you go by the needle, then continue stitching until the edge.

15 Zipper 2_2

Press both sides away from the zipper, then topstitch close to the edge, about 1/8″ away.

16 Zipper_1

The other side is easier because you only have don’t have a lining to deal with.  The zipper is now flat, intalled on the back.  Working on a flat surface, line up the back with the front, aligning the side raw edges, as shown.  Place a few pins anchoring the zipper tape to the front upper edge of the front vinyl window.

16 Zipper_2

Slide the zipper pull tab down a couple of inches, and start stitching.  When you get close to the zipper pull tab, keep the needle in your fabric, and ease the pull tab past your needle, closing the zipper.  Continue stitching.  Remember to STOP stitching 1/2″ in from the other edge.

16 Zipper_3

I was racing through making these, so you get to see my hideous white bar tack on my zipper in white thread.  No one is going to see this, so don’t worry.  But do notice that I stopped 1/2″ away from the side raw edges.

16 Zipper_4

Stitch alongside your first stitching line, about 1/8″ away.  Notice how both stop at the right place, above.  This second stitching will help anchor the zipper tape.  You can stitch 1/4″ away, if you like.

STEP FIVE: Bottom Edge Closure

17 Bottom Seam_1

Remember how the back of this thing is longer than the front vinyl window part?  You’ll now stitch them together.

First, treat the back two pieces as one, pinning them together at the lower edge.

Now, lifting aside the lining on that 2 1/2″ piece on the bottom of the vinyl window, pin the interfaced strip to the back of the folio, matching raw edges, along the 17″ dimension.  Another view is below.

17 Bottom Seam_3

This is taken from the vinyl window side, and you can see it gleaming there in the photo.  But again, you are sewing the interfaced strip along the lower vinyl window to the two pieces of the back, treating them as one piece.  Stitch in a 1/4″ seam, then press to one side, towards the front.

17 Bottom Seam _3

Fold down the loose piece, tucking the raw edge up to the inside, and pin in place, hiding that seam you just sewed.  You can sew this by hand, taking small stitches, or you can machine stitch this closed.

17 Bottom Seam_4

To do that, open up your nifty zipper all the way, and this will slide in right under your presser foot.  Stitch close to the folded edge, sewing it down.  Sorry it’s not such a great photo, but I’m confident you can figure it out.  (Or just sew the edge down by hand.)

With both the bottom seam and the zipper seam completed, your portfolio is now a tube.  Press that seam, keeping your iron away from the vinyl.

STEP SIX: Closing the Sides

19 Sewing Sides

Blurry Photo Apology!

Starting at the zipper edge, line up the sides, pinning occasionally, raw edges even.  The bottom seam will loop around towards the front, so don’t try to force it.  Stitch, then stitch again, 1/4″ inch away.

19 Sewing Sides_2

Trim.  This is a better photo, and you can see how the seams don’t match up to where you think they will at the bottom.  Just let them go where they want to.

18 Side Finish

You can simply zig-zag those side seams to finish them, or make a simple binding.  Cut a piece of fabric about an  inch and 1/2″ wide and a bit longer than your sides (should be about 16 x 1.5″ in a perfect world).  Matching raw edges, sew the long side of the binding strip to the portfolio side seam.  You can pin it, and then flip it over to stitch over the previous stitching, like you did with the zipper, if you want.

18 Side Finish_1

Then fold the long raw edge in and fold the binding over the raw seam allowances.  Pin, as shown above, and below.

18 Side Finish_4

18 Side Finish_2

Stitch close to the folded edge, securing the binding in place.

18 Side Finish_6

Make sure you do not stitch the zipper into your seam.  Lift it up and out of the way.

18 Side Finish_5

Trim the binding even with the side seams, then zig-zag (overcast it) to keep the ends from fraying.  Again, lift the zipper up and out of the way.

20 Folio Flipped Out

Flip the folio inside out and wiggle that end of the zipper to a nice squared-off edge.  Congratulate yourself!  You are done!

Project Portfolio Filled_Interior

Here’s what the other side looks like, interior view.

Project Portfolios

I made a conscious choice not to “box” the lower corners to create a dimensional folio.  I want to be able to lay in flat things (books, patterns, fabric, etc) and then, when done, store them flat.  In use, I haven’t missed the boxed corner at all.  Everything flexes around what I want to put it (refer back to the original post and that overstuffed folio *here.*)

Zipper Pull Ribbon

I thread a bit of ribbon through my zipper pulls to make them easier to grab.  Trim the edges at an angle, and apply a little bit of Fray Chek to them, if you are worried about fraying.

Three Portfolios_corners

Project Portfolio Three_top

Okay, now tell me how you’ll use your flowered Elizabeth’s Project Folio in your comment below, and how you follow me (email, Feedly, Bloglovin’).

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Note: the Giveaway is closed now, but thanks for stopping by!

Finish-A-Long, Quarter 3 Goals

fal-q3 goals_2013

It’s that time again, time to set out some goals for the next quarter.  The rules state that they have to be projects that you need to finish, and since I’ve been laid up with a foot surgery this summer, I’m repeating some of the projects from last go-round, that still need to be finished.

The repeaters are the Hunter’s Star (really, it’s so close. . . yet so far), the Lollypop Tree quilt, and the Friendship Quilt.  The Lollypop Tree will require me to be all the way healthy, so I’m not even sure I should put it on this quarter’s list, but I certainly don’t want it bumping into the next, where holiday fun things take time away from quilting. So here it is.

New to this list is my Four-in-Art quilt for August 1st’s reveal and while I’d like to add on November’s Art Quilt to this one, it’s not started yet.  You know the rules.  I am also making up a little quilt with citrus colored fabrics that Laurel brought to me post-op (to cheer me up), and I’ve had fun making the stars (it’s also a Schnibbles quilt).

I’m also making a quilt with Anne’s Design, from SpringLeaf Studios–the Facets quilt is so intriguing and so fun.  She provides multiple ideas for you to create; this is just one of them.

For the first time, I’m including two handmades on the FAL list, as I see that this is a possibility in the FAL Universe.  I’ve had the pieces cut out forever to make this Pleated Tote out of Keiko Goke fabric.  Time to finish it up.  Likewise Hot Mitts for Rhonda–fabric pinned early in June, but not yet completed.  It’s awaiting quilting and construction.  Time to get that out of the sewing room and off to Rhonda (it was her birthday present–which was last month–!).

And that’s the beauty of Finish-A-Long (FAL): to get things finished and done and out of the sewing room, as Leanne says.  Join up with your goals *here* at She Can Quilt, and get some of your projects finished!

FinishALong Button

WIP–Bee Blocks (post revised)

UPDATE: I’ve revised this post, because this morning I realized that TODAY is Wednesday, not yesterday (when I’d originally written it: we’re a little foggy on life over here), so today I am linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

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I joined a new bee (newby! newby!). I am honored to be included in the Always Bee Learning bee, and the first block’s fabrics have arrived to be sewn (they have different rules than the Mid-Century Modern bee).  But Linda’s blocks for the MCM bee still hadn’t been made, and I like to honor my deadlines.

sewing situation

So I gimped down to the sewing room, pulled out a drawer and put a pillow on it for the left foot, got out my portable iron and pad and put it on the table on the right.  I figured it was good to be sewing as long as I wasn’t putting any weight on the foot, right?  (I’m really hoping that MY idea of “partial weight-bearing” agrees with the doctor’s).

Linda block 2

But had to stand for a few minutes on my right leg while I cut the strips, then I sat and sewed.  And twisted to iron, but finished up one block before dinner.

Lindas block signature

After dinner I finished the other one (normally we only do one, but everyone else was doing two and I didn’t want to be a slacker);  I packaged it to mail tomorrow, hopefully making it to Florida by July 1st.  That small block in the front?  We do signature blocks with our Mid-Century Modern (MCM) bee.

LindaQuilt

This is what Linda is doing with them: using them to border another set of blocks from another bee.  She says she’s stuck about what to do in the corner–maybe a rounded version of the stack?–so if you have any ideas, head over to her blog and leave her a comment. It’s always interesting to see our bee blocks being used.  Another quilter in this bee finished up her quilt (scroll down to the Mid-Century Modern quilt in neutral fabrics); I hope when it’s my turn I can be as successful.

As I lay in bed yesterday, I did make a button for that new bee:

AlwaysBeeLearningbutton

At least I can be somewhat productive when I lay around here.

Village Faire pinned

What else am I working on?  Well, another July 1st deadline is for this month’s Schnibbles quilt.  My husband brought up a camp chair (small chair we use when we go camping) and I could slide it in the cubby hole of my sewing desk, and yes, I did get some of that top quilted last night.  While I can only quilt for a short while, it feels good to be productive and to see a quilt take shape.

hanging Kaleidoscope Quilt

Thanks, all, for your nice comments about Kaleidoscope (in previous post).  My husband hung it up in the hallway this morning.  It brings a smile to my face as I slowly make my way up the stairs.  Here it is again:

Kaleidoscope Front

Final thought: Happy Birthday, Rhonda!  You are an inspiration, always.

Hot Mitts

Hot Mitts

No, this isn’t a reference to our past election and Governor Romney.

Old Hot Mitt

This is in rereference to my hideously stained and abused and damaged kitchen hot mitts.  I went to buy some new ones and didn’t care for the ones at a famous cooking store and at Macy’s–where Martha has taken over everything in the domestic world–there were only hot mitts with ruffles.  Ruffles?  I knew they’d be disgusting looking in short order.  (Ruffles?  I’m still shaking my head.  Very cute, I want the kind of mitt that if I have to use the thumb to scootch things over onto the cooling rack, I won’t worry about how precious those tools are.  Just want them to work.)

Old Hot Mitt1

So one day, I turned the ones I liked inside-out to see how they were made.

Old Hot Mitt 2

Then I traced it with a sharpie onto what was laying around on the counter–an ad from the car dealer.  Actually this ended up being a good idea because it was thicker than regular paper and pretty sturdy.

Old Hot Mitt 3

And after I cut it out, I had a pattern.  But I decided I should allow for shrinkage, because I wash and dry these over and over, so I enlarged it by 10% which yielded the pattern at the end of this post.  Print it out, match up the car writing and making sure your 1-inch guide on the side is really one-inch (every printer is a little bit different), tape it together and you’ve got a good pattern.  I’d actually purchased a pattern but took it back when I realized how easy this was going to be.

Insulated Fabric

Utility Fabric

Go the Big Box fabric store and buy some utility fabric that looks like this: a metallic cotton on the outside, cotton batting on the inside, already quilted together.  Use your coupon.  I bought one yard and I’ll get four mitts out of it. Get yourself some 80% cotton/20% wool batting or some 100% cotton batting, if you don’t have scraps laying around.

Bias Tape Maker

And throw a bias tape maker into your cart, too.  I chose the 1″ version and it worked great. I picked up the Dritz (on the left) and on the right, I show the full complement of Clover Bias Tape Makers.  Either work fine.  They have decent directions on the back of the Dritz.

Layer Up Fabrics

Layer in the following order: (1) Utility fabric, metallic side down  -  then –  (2) your cotton batting – then – (3) your chosen fabric.  I’m using some of Malka Dubrawsky’s first line.  I love it, but I have never figured out how to use it.  This will be perfect as it will brighten up my kitchen every day. Using pins, secure it in a few places.  Cut out what you need by placing your hot mitt pattern down and guesttimating: I think mine ended up about 14″ by 18.”  Roughly.  Quilt all layers together.  Don’t get too precious about it!

Cutting Out1

Now lay out your pattern and cut out one mitt.

Cutting out 2

Reverse the pattern by flipping it over, and cut your second mitt.  Match them up, metallic sides out, then pin in a few places so it doesn’t shift.  Sew from under the thumb all the way around the mitt STOPPING 2″ FROM EDGE.  Leave that edge flapping, as it will be easier to attach the bias tape.

Making Bias Tape

(You can click to enlarge this picture so you can see the writing better.)

Follow the directions on the back of the tape maker package for cuting a bias strip.  Basically you fold the corner down into the fabric, creating a bias edge.  Cut the strips 1 3/4″ wide for a one-inch bias strip.  Feed it through the bias tape maker tool, using a pin to help out the leading edge if you need to.  Then use your iron to set the folds.

Bias Binding

I put two pins on the tape, as I drew it out, and then pressed it.  It sounds WAY more complicated than it is.

Beginning with one of the loose edges, fold the tape over the lower raw edge, and stitch the tape onto the mitt.  I found it easiest to stitch from the “inside” which would be what I would see when I use the mitt.

Again, don’t get too precious about this–just make sure that both folds of the tape are caught in the stitching.  I did one, and then decided I wanted to trim out that seam allowance under the thumb edge for about one-quarter inch up from the lower edge, just to get rid of some bulk.  The world won’t end if you don’t.

Hot Mitt inside

Finish stitching that last two inches, and backstitch to secure.

Hot Mitt binding joining

I also zig-zagged that last two inches to finish it off.  Given that it’s BIAS tape, it’s not going to ravel, but hey.  Just thought it needed it.

Hot Mitt binding finished

Flip your mitt right-side out and admire what you’ve done!

Coasters

I cut some scraps into squares with rounded edges, and used the leftover bias tape to make a couple of coasters.  Don’t examine my stitching, because like I said, I didn’t do anything too precious on this project.  Just sturdy.

Okay, below are the patterns.  Print them out and adjust your printer settings so the inch mark is true, then tape your two halves together.  I scanned my pattern so it’s pretty true; I’m hoping you don’t have to do too much monkeying around.  My hand size? Medium in rubber gloves, so if yours is smaller or larger, use your copier/printed to enlarge or smallerize your pattern.  


Hot Mitt Lower Hot Mitt Upper

Have fun making them!

Hot Mitts final

 

This is one of the projects on my Finish-A-Long listthat I have completed, from Leanne’s Finish-A-Long!

FinishALong Button

Bee Projects, et al

I’d participated in the Far Flung Bee last year, and although one member never sent her blocks, I had enough to make a project for Spring.
FFB Tablerunner

I’d been to my local quilt shop (LQS, for you non-quilters) and picked up some cute button-like fabric from Riley Blake’s latest line.  When I got home, as is so often the case, I had another piece tucked away in the stash.  I needed both pieces to finish this off, even stitching the binding on by machine because I was just so ready to get those blocks sewn into a project.

FFB Tablerunner back

I used Jane Sassaman fabrics (from the stash) for the backing.  I was listening to a fascinating book and couldn’t stop (my mother had already finished and was waiting for me to wrap it up) so I had to find projects to keep my hands busy while the book took me on its adventure.  Read this, or better yet, listen to it while you quilt.

me_before_you

(P.S.  Because of this book, I finished the Lollypop Trees quilt top.)

MCM March fabrics

Next, I compiled this stack of fabrics, mostly new, to complete my latest Mid-century Modern Quilt Bee block.

MCM March block 13

Debbie of A Quilter’s Table had asked for “low-volume,” or neutral, fabrics using a tutorial she’d found online to make this block.

MCM March cut out

I took a photo to remember where I thought all the fabrics should go, then sewed it together.  I’m pretty happy with the result, and hope she likes it too.

Sofa Cushions

I’d finished the book, but kept going on some long-delayed projects.  We’d gotten a new sofa in November 2012, and I’d purchased some random fabrics to brighten up the room, but had merely draped the fabrics over the pillow forms.  It stayed that way all through the holidays until today! when I finally sewed all the cushions — with zippers, I’ll have you know.  As my daughter will attest, I’m no decorator, but she approved these fabrics before I sewed them.  I’ll probably re-arrange them 45 times in the next week, trying to find the order I like best.

And last night, I sat down and watched the old movie Possession (a favorite), then The Piano Guys concert (complete with TV pledge breaks) in order to finish all the hand sewing on my EPP quilt.  Hopefully today I’ll get the borders on, right after grading a stack of homework and prepping for class. I’ve been in a finish-it mode for a little while now. I like starting projects, but it’s also nice to finish some things up.

Checkerboard Border

Been one of those weeks when I’ve felt more wobbly than usual for some reason, so everything’s been on Slo-Mo.  That’s slow-motion.  But today I woke up without a headache and headed to Free-Mo.  That’s Free-Motion Quilting.

I’m working on the table runner for the Red/White Challenge hosted by Temecula Quilt Company, and the deadline is September 15th.  All the blocks came in from local quilters and from around the world, so I put it together in a quilt sandwich and went to town.  It went quickly, and it was good to just dig into something to get it done.

I’ve had this idea to put a checkerboard border on it, as this will be used at Christmastime and during the patriotic holidays, and I wanted to jazz up that edge a little.

Okay, while I was trying to put away the box of French fabrics (it goes on the top shelf, and I’m a shortie), this quilt fell down.  It’s a seaside quilt that I stated long long ago.  And abandoned.  It is NOT on my list of lifetime quilts, as it’s sort of in this limbo of that place whether or not I want to finish it or not.  I mean, I LOVE the background fabric and the turtle (raw-edge applique) turned out well.  But I know to really make this quilt something else, it will require digging into that drawer marked “Coral Reef” and cutting and sewing and appliqueing a whole host of creatures.  I even have a child’s picture book in that drawer, purchased after I took the class, because oh my! the teacher’s quilts were so incredibly cool and I wanted to learn from her.

True Confession:  I also have a Ricky Tims quilt in about the same stages, but it’s a square-within-a-square quilt.  I went down the night before the class to hear him speak at our quilt guild and loved every minute of it.  So I showed up for class and . . . didn’t love every minute of it.  I felt he was distracted and just punching a time clock that day.  We all have days like that but it taught me one more truth about the quilt world: some of the famous personalities we see are fabulous in front of the camera and some are terrific teachers and sometimes you have both.  But not always.

One teacher I’d take again in a New York Minute would be Roberta Horton.  I’ve had several classes from her (is she even teaching anymore?) and I’ve gone away from every one of them amazed at her ability to gently, yet firmly, bring her students to the place of creativity.  I’ve finished very quilt I have started in her classes.  Two other honor roll teachers are Jane Sassaman and Katie Pasquini-Masopust.  I’ve finished all of their class samples, but by then I’d learned to make a small quilt–less than 15″ on the longest side–in order to learn the technique and to have a “finishable” piece of art.  I have also taken a class with Ruth McDowell, and she ranks right up there as well, although after a 4-day class, I don’t know how she kept us motivated and going.  We were all exhausted!  It took me more than a year to finish that quilt, as I wanted it to be nearly perfect.  I think you’ve seen it all before, but to contrast with the unfinished seaside quilt, I present Heart’s-ease.

One of pansy’s other names is Heart’s-ease, as it was thought to be involved with the affairs of the heart.  It actually refers to the “viola tricolor” which is an ancestor of our modern-day pansy.  Now you know more than you ever needed to know about these sunny little flowers that bloom around here in Spring.  And which, because of Ruth McDowell and this quilt,  I have blooming on the guest-bedroom wall all the time.

SewDay with Judy

Last week we had Quilt Night at our house, and yesterday (since all the tables and ironing stations were still set up), a friend came over to quilt since she couldn’t make Quilt Night.  We were working with the same stash of fabrics from Fabricworm (I love their bundles!); Judy purchased two in order to make quilts for her granddaughters and I liked it so well, I got one to make a Bento Quilt.

I’d been admiring Bento Box quilts for a long time, and when we were in Nova Scotia–Cape Breton’s small town of Mabou–I purchased a pattern at Fiddle Stitches, a quilt shop there in town.  Good memories while I stitch.  Here’s a slide show of our day of sewing.  I may yet cross off all my quilting tasks off my summer To Do List.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Some explanations:

Judy was making rail fence blocks.  We dangled little bits of her sets off the end of the table so she could initially keep track of what strips she had used, but later on, didn’t need them.  I thought they looked like a bunch of jewelry dangling there.

We made a mess of every surface in my living room: extra table, dining room table, piano–you name it.

When I was a young mother I used to read my children a poem about rainy days from a Richard Scarry Book.  The illustration had the children making blanket tents, arranging toys, emptying cupboards, while the rain pelted the windows.
Substitute “sewing days” in for rainy days, and you have:

On sewing days we stay indoors,
We have a lot of fun.
But there is so much work to do
When sewing days are done!

Sewing ADHD

I’m convinced I have sewing ADHD.  Yes–in all likelihood I could easily be diagnosed with this myself, or so say some of my relatives.  But I’m so easily distracted now by all the possible projects that I could sew.

Here’s a case in point: Wallet-to-Tote On The Go.  Sew, Mama, Sew is putting a series of tutorials on their blog for summer sewing, and this one has caught my eye. These little wallets fold out into . . .

. . . these bags!

Head over to Sew, Mama, Sew to follow along with their summer tutorials.

Cynthia’s Quilt Done!

Here we are, standing in front of the completed quilt top.  The little yellow papers are to keep track of the rows.

We went off to the quilt shop on Wednesday morning, picked up some fabric for the back, then stopped for a leisurely lunch at In N’ Out Burger.  Back home, we pieced the back together and were at the quilter by 2:15 p.m. to drop off the quilt.  Done!!  It’s a good feeling to get a quilt done from start to finish.  I appreciate her determination–it’s a lovely quilt.  I think of it as Daughter of Blue Quilt. The quilter will mail her the quilt, so we made the binding and rolled it up to travel home to the Chicago area, where she heads this morning.

The quilt is kind of representative of our bond as sisters.  Lots of little patches make a whole quilt and lots of experiences make up a relationship.  This much is an obvious metaphor when looking at a quilt–but I think also that our appreciation of  quilts comes from the time spent with it.  Just like sisters.

I’ve made a quilt with Susan (Crossed Canoes–which was not “for her” but that she made in honor of a friend), and now with Cynthia.  Wonder if Christine, my oldest sister and I will ever do one together?