Finishing School Friday · Sewing

Think Freddy Purse-FSF

Earlier, this week this is what it looked like with the purse laid out, as I’m trying to figure out where everything goes.  I wanted a purse that looked “Think-Freddy-ish” without screaming “HEY I’M A QUILTER!”  You know what I mean.  Clothes, purses — there’s art,  and then there’s I’M-A-QUILTER-clothes.  The best example of the latter was when I went to Houston and some woman had made a vest out of all the tote bags, complete with the handles hanging down all over.  And yes, I’ve made a garment or two that fit into that category. Let’s not go there, because I still like that jacket.

Hoping I’m splitting that line, here.  Side One.

Side Two, with a little pocket.

Same side without the Metro map.

Zipper pocket for phone.  Gazillion pockets for everything else.  I looove pockets in my purses.

Like I said, I like Nancy’s designs, but it does take a rocket scientist to figure out her directions.  It helps if you’ve sewn a purse before.  How do you like that fabric on that lining?  Good way to use that Children at Play paper airplane design.  I love the soft aqua.  Good feelings here on finishing up something this Friday and I hope you’re having some too.

Tomorrow is the Temecula Quilt Show, where they hang their quilts all over outside, kind of like the Sisters Show, but think Cowboys Meet Quilters.  And then the Red/White Quilt show over at Temecula Quilt Company.  I’m looking forward to this all (plus getting a flu shot — must be fall!).


Frazzled, but Still Quilting!

So glad Lee is back from Freak-Out Land (her words) and is hosting WIP Wednesday.  Thanks, Lee.  You don’t look the worse for wear.

Grading has arrived with a vengeance (see previous post), but I started putting borders around my autumn-colored Square on Square quilt.

Some have a nice contrast, and others disappear.  It’s hard to know if I’ll like those in the end, but I know how to disguise them in a quilt: put them at the corners, or along the edges in the middle.  I believe that sometimes it’s okay to not have all my blocks be the same: same style, same fabric, same contrast, as the variety can keep my eye moving around a quilt.  Last night I went to see Kaffe Fassett speak and he showed a red and white quilt that had multiple reds and multiple whites.  I love the punch of a two-fabric quilt, but multiple fabrics can be interesting as well.

And I decided I needed a new purse for fall.  I’ve had a “Think Freddy” purse pattern for ages, and today was the day I dragged it out and started making it.  I love her designs, but did remember that sometimes her directions really make you work hard for your results.

I finally had to stop tonight and clear away the sewing as I have to get back to grading tomorrow.  This day of playing hooky has been fun. Here’s one finished side.  I used my new pieces of Children at Play for the sides and scraps for the pocket.  Inside is another piece of Children at Play — the soft aqua background with the paper airplane directions.

And here’s what I’ve chosen for the handle: colorful modernish art design.  I’ve already got the lining already made (with 4 pockets, including a zippered one for my phone).  So tomorrow after class, I’ll finish the handle, stitch it on, insert lining and sew it all up.  I’m thinking I may put some buttons on here and there, but then again, maybe I won’t.

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Quilts · Something to Think About

Leaving the Grading Galaxy

I’ve been in the Grading Galaxy for the last three days.  It was a pretty arduous trip this time.

This top paper had over 50 errors.  Which made me really cranky.  Chocolate helped as did a whining phone call to a colleague, who had just finished her trip to the Grading Galaxy last week and had another stack to grade (she has one more class than I do, which puts her into saintly territory).

But last night, after I entered in the last grade and said to myself that I’d do the prep for Monday’s class—much, much later—my colleague sent me an email saying look what I’ve been working on!

And she’d sewn 9 squares of her Christmas quilt.  Inspired by her, I started working on the centers to my Square on Square quilt, and this morning I finished them up.

I did have a flash picture, but I prefer the warm glow of no flash, even though you are all squinting and saying things about my photography skills.  Now on to the vacuuming, and if I finish that and the bathrooms, I’ll work on the rusty red triangles, working my way toward that one completed square on the right.

My daughters says her favorite months are the “bers.”  That’s September, October, November and December.  It’s those months of the year when we plan things, give things, change is always in the air (although more for those in colder climes than for us SoCal folks).  It’s a time of anticipation, of making Christmas gifts (I’m already seeing early birds in the blogosphere working on them), of remembering that first day of school, or funny Halloween costumes, or when the turkey didn’t cook, and when the newest baby was there for opening presents under the tree.

It’s such a rich time, these “bers,” and like my daughter, I look forward to them every year and am sad when they go.  I remember my mother telling me a story about my grandmother.  My grandmother had been a school teacher for many many years but then finally retired.  And every fall when she’d hear the school bell toll, she wished she were there, back in the classroom, greeting students.  My father is a teacher, as is my husband, and my sister.  Teaching runs in our blood, so even though I may have been cranky about students who want me to do their work of finding the errors, I am happy that this September found me in a classroom.  And that October will find me making a fall quilt and seeing fall foliage up in Canada.  And November has me in New York with my daughter, and we’ll meet my son and see a Broadway show and the Ground Zero memorial.  And hopefully, if all goes well and there’s no major health crisis (I always get sick in November), by December I’ll be putting the final touches on my newest Christmas quilt, welcoming the holiday spirit to our home.

I hope you enjoy the “bers.” It all begins today.  It all begins now.

Dive in.


Square on Square

Now that we’ve found our new Six-Step process to alleviate fabric-aholism (see previous post, below), I wanted to show you my constructed closet (vs. de-constructed, all over the floor, spilling off the shelves, closet).  This only took two days of moaning and then sending my husband on an out-of-town trip to take care of.  And like I mentioned in the post last week, I found lots of interesting things.  I mean, I knew I had them, but they had been back-burnered so many times as to be invisible.

Like this group of fabrics.  No, they are not a “line” like we’re used to buying now (kind of like voting a straight party political ticket).  I do like doing buying a line because everything coordinates, but this is from the early 90s, when variety was considered a virtue.  I was inspired by a friend’s autumn-colored quilt that positively glowed on the wall of her book shop.


This week, I rinsed then washed the batiks to rid the fabrics of excess dye, then ironed and folded them all.

This is my mock-up of what it could be.  Nine-inch blocks.  Elegant in its simplicity.  But it will be richer looking with all those different fabrics shown above.

I decided to try it out.

Here it is for the dress rehearsal, all laid out. Yes, this is one of my famous I’m-in-my-jammies-nighttime-photo-shots.

Stitched!  Now on to make 29 more of these.  The colors are so much more subdued than I’m used to working with, but I don’t know–isn’t it just time for a quilt in fall colors?

That’s what I’m working on.  And good luck to Lee on her fabric line.  I may go back there to Freshly Pieced from last week’s WIP to see what you’re all doing THIS week.