Bag for a Budding Interior Designer

Drafting Tools Bag_1

Now that my daughter’s three young children are all in grade school, she decided it was time that she went back to school and study her favorite subject: Interior Design.

Drafting Tools

She sent me these three pictures with the request: “Can you make me a bag to hold my drafting tools?”  I’m on it, Barbara.

Drafting Tools Bag_2

I fused fusible fleece to the outside bag fabric, then cut the interior lining and set them both aside.

Drafting Tools Bag_3

She needed a protected place for her drawing leads, so I sewed a block of fabric onto bag front piece, and sewed the pocket into segments.  Then I created an outside flap (the clock fabric). I cut it on a slant and fused it to (again) fusible fleece.  I inserted a zipper in between the clock fabric and the lining, then bound all the edges, including the exposed edge of the other side of the zipper.  Then I sewed  it on, covering that flowered pocket piece.  This also is place she could put papers, or her magnifying glass, or whatever else.

Drafting Tools Bag_4

After sewing in a zipper at the top edges, then sewing up the sides and bottom, I boxed the corners to give a little bit of space inside.

Drafting Tools Bag_5Last, I put a handle on the back side, in case this is deep inside her backpack and she needs to grab it out in a hurry.  Hope it works, Barbara!  Happy Studying!

Circles EPP Button

 Coming up at the first of the month: English Paper Piecing Sew-Along, Circles Block #5.

Friendship Swap for the Cross-X Block

CrossX_final quilt top

Criss-Cross

Today is the day we reveal our quilts made in the Friendship Swap of the Cross-X blocks (some call them the + and x blocks).  I got started on this through an invitation from Krista of KristaStitched, who is now found more commonly on Instagram.  She wrote and invited me to play along, and since I’d always wanted to try out this block, I agreed.  Susan of PatchworkNPlay and Carla of Lollyquiltz set us up a Flickr Group and we were in business.

Cross-X So FarB

I’m sure you remember these photos, as we kept track of our progress.  Well, all of a sudden we were done, and then all of a sudden there was a deadline of today to get the quilt done.  So, what you see up there is my quilt top (or flimsy), as the quilt is at the quilter, and since I was a bit slow in getting the top done, I don’t have the final “finish” on the quilt.  Soon, very soon.

KristastitchedHowever, I don’t think I have to worry about my partner Krista finishing her quilt top before I will.  She was working on a better and bigger project, which arrived several weeks early!  Congratulations, Krista!  Having Baby Rita here safe and sound is waaaaay better than a quilt top.  Many thanks to Krista, Carla and Susan, for inspiring us to a Cross-X quilt top.

Thought you’d like to see what the inspiration was for these blocks, in the early days:

Setsuko InagawaQuilt

This quilt by Setsuko Inagawa, which used an old block by Nancy Cabot, caught everyone’s eye.  The pattern diagram and the current origins (from Badskirt) are *here.*

UPDATES: Here are some thumbnails of the completed quilts or quilt tops, with links to their blogs.

Lollyquiltz Cross-X

Carla, from Lollyquiltz

Grace and Favour Cross-X

Carla, from Grace and Favour

PatchworknPlay Cross-X

Susan, from Patchwork N Play

LiveAColorfulLife Cross-X

Cindy, from Live A Colorful Life

Libellen Quilts Cross-X

Heidi of Libellen Quilts

Jane's Quilt Cross-X

Jane of Jane’s Fabrics and Quilts

Sew Together Bag, et al.

Sew Together Bag_4

I present to you: THE SEW-TOGETHER BAG!!  If you are from my quilt guild and are looking for the link to buy the pattern, it is *here.*  Yes, you have to sign into Craftsy and make up a name and a pin number.  But there are a lot of great things on Craftsy.  Then open up your computer and link to The Quilt Barn Sew-A-Long for the pattern.  They go together.

Sew Together Bag

I have seen about eight million of these online and on Instagram and get putting it off because, my-gosh-oh-golly, it has four zippers.  And binding!

Sew Together Bag1

And all those pockets!  Okay, I’m here to tell you that you will survive to sew another day.  And that Michelle, of Sew Demented, has figured out easy ways to construct pockets.

Sew Together Bag_3

Sew Together Bag_2

The binding was No Big Deal–easy if you’ve done quilt binding, and if you follow The Quilt Barn’s directions.

Sew Together Bag_1

Sew Together Bag_5

So, jump in!  The water’s fine.

Weather 108

And now I have to talk about the weather.  We’ve been having a heat wave.  This is after the crazy rain storm that took out lots of trees in my neighborhood, and ruined concrete drainage ditches in my park.

Riverside Clouds

Tuesday, coming home, I saw these beautiful clouds, a rarity in our area.  Then it got all dark and my phone had this screen:

Weather 106

The power went out…no sewing.  So I did non-electrical quilting things.  And when the power came back on, all the little machines in our house started beeping and whirring and clicking, like they were all talking to each other.

Talenti Gelato

And because this heat wave has broken records, we are glad that they carry my father’s favorite gelato in our local grocery store.  I can vouch for the deliciousness of Tahitian Vanilla Bean, and the jars are very cool for storing stuff once they are emptied.

Circle 5 reject

Then I tried out the pattern for Circles Block #5.  Fail.  Total fail.  Not the pattern, just what I had chosen.  Back to the cutting table.

Block Books

And then some of my favorite books arrived: the BLOCK magazine from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Simple and easy and not complicated reading.

Cotton Couture Colors

Almost finished with this post of trivia, hang in there with me.  I chose a few colors to go with my incoming stack of Couture Cottons, which is part of a QuiltCon challenge.  I hope this heat wave lifts soon, as it’s killing my productivity.

Raincross Guild_LisaBut Lisa has been productive, finishing up her French fabrics quilt for her daughter who has been on a church mission for 18 months and comes home in November.  Lisa will tell you this with a giant smile on her face.  Here the quilt is being shown at the Raincross Quilt Guild last night–a great event.  We both had fun!

And last. . .

Tractor at Sunset

Yes, this is a tractor at sunset.  Actually it’s parked in my front yard, and yes, the demolition on our front yard is going nicely.

Keep quilting: I wish you many happy sunsets too.

 

Busy Quilty Weekend

Quilt Night Sept 2014_1

This past Friday night was our little quilt group’s Quilt Night.  We hold it the first Friday night of just about every month, taking off some here and there.  Lisa (on the left) and I founded The Good Heart Quilters when she was pregnant with her daughter, who is will soon be 18.  Hard to think we’ve been going that long!  On the right is Charlotte, one of our newer members, and Lisa’s running/marathon buddy.  Why are they smiling?  I cleaned out my fabric stash this past month and brought all the leftovers for them to claim.

Quilt Night Sept 2014_2

Speaking of pregnant ladies, Tiffiny, on the left, is waaaay pregnant and due this week.  (So far, no news.)  She is our bonafide Newest Member, but I’m guessing with a new baby, we won’t be seeing her for a while.  She’s helping Lisa hem and sew buttons on band uniforms (Lisa is a parent volunteer).  See?  We don’t always do quilts.  We want Tiffiny to come any time she wants to as she brought us all a yummy key lime pie.  Treats are always a good thing at Quilt Night.

Quilt Night Sept 2014_3

And still speaking of pregnant ladies, Caitlin (on the left) is due in January.  Simone (on the right) and I rounded out the group and we are definitely NOT pregnant.  A small gathering, but fun.  And with great treats that everyone brought.

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_1

I kicked them all out 10 p.m. because the next day I had to leave at 7 a.m. to head to San Diego to the San Diego Quilt Show, where I was taking a Free Motion Quilting Class with Sue Rasmussen.  She was great.  The class started out with a comprehensive overview of needles and threads, but soon we launched into hands on FMQ.  I had taken a class with another instructor about twelve years ago and a lot of what I know now I’ve gleaned through books, internet and Instagram.  So I thought it was time to do something classroom-y again.

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_2

We learned about hand position, speed, foot control and the all important wild card of what to do when our brain kicks in with questions like “Should this be a feather?”  or “You really messed up there.”  She also taught us three methods for starting and stopping, and kept the class moving with good demos and good advice.  I’m now totally intimidated on submitting anything to a show as she clued us in to some things she looks for in a show quilt (she’s often a judge).  Thankfully she didn’t say “sparkles.”

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_3

I had an hour for lunch, see the show, and visit the vendors’ booths.  I raced through it, so didn’t have time to grab names or titles of quilts (sorry) but here’s a few photos that I grabbed as we zipped by.

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_4

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_5

This French landscape is Sue Rasmussen’s.  You can bet I looked closely at the quilting.  (It was perfect.)

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_6a

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_6b

She actually had three of these trees, all in different color ways and different fabrics.  It was fascinating to see how different they all were.

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_7a

I loved this fun quilt, but it didn’t win the Modern Quilt category prize.  (Inconceivable!)

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_7c

Great quilting, eh?

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_8

This one won first prize in the Modern Quilt category.  Hmmmm.  I see “improv piecing” which seems to be a criteria (or at least according to Road to California’s blurb when I took a look at it this morning).  That’s it?  Improv piecing as the only qualifier for Modern?  Oh, that and “significant negative space,” or something like that.  I hate these seemingly artificial qualifiers and divisions.  Like Leanne of She Can Quilt says, “I’ll know it when I see it.”

SDGO Quilt Show Sept 2014_9Back to class for another few hours.  Here are some of Sue’s samples.  I really enjoyed her class and was glad I made the effort.

bridge san diego

On the long drive home, there is this elegant bridge spanning the wide freeway.  When I see this, I know I’m halfway home. It was a good weekend, with good friends and experiences, but heading home is what I like to do most.

Sol LeWitt’s Patchwork Primer

Sol LeWitt's Patchwork Primer_final

Sol LeWitt’s Patchwork Primer
Quilt #135 of 200 Quilts
47″ square

sol-lewitt

It started with a catalogue my father had of Sol LeWitt’s work, and I read it cover to cover, bookmarking different pages and ideas of his, impressed with his breadth and depth and interesting ideas.  I selected this image, “Fifteen Etchings,” thinking it looked sort of like a “how-to” or primer of sorts, for dividing squares into quilt patchwork.  You can read more about my process and sample some of LeWitt’s notes on getting to work in *this post,* including the 6900 variations of the arrangement of quilt fabrics into squares (maybe I’m exaggerating a bit).  The fabric I chose to use was Mirror Ball Dots.  After a long hiatus (I started this in March of this year), I finally got it out, pinned it and got the quilting going:

SolLewittPatchworkPrimer_quilting the quiltI started in the middle, quilting in between the lines of dots.  In the neighboring color, I sewed the other direction, and so on, around the quilt.  I changed out thread on each color, but used my go-to thread in the bobbin: Bottom Line, by Superior Threads.  I lowered my upper tension to keep the thread balanced in between the layers so no white popped up to the top and no colors popped through to the back.

SolLewittPatchworkPrimer_binding

White binding (what else) goes on next.

SolLewittPatchworkPrimer_detail

I think with the combination of the dots on the fabric and the quilting, it reminds me of what I envision a 1960s quilted jacket might have looked like.  I’m sure my sisters had them.

SolLewittPatchworkPrimer_quilting

The backing is a Marimekko fabric of large grey blossoms over an acidy-yellow background.

SolLewittPatchworkPrimer_back

SolLewittPatchworkPrimer_label

I included the picture that inspired me on my label.

SolLewittPatchworkPrimer_stainedglasslook

I love the “stained glass” look of quilts, shot from the front when they are illuminated from the back.

SolLewittPatchworkPrimer_front2It’s nice to have a finish!

Now here’s your quote on creativity for today:

“The creative act is not an act of creation in the sense of the Old Testament. It does not create something out nothing: it uncovers, selects, reshuffles, combines, synthesizes already existing facts, ideas, faculties, skills.  ~~Arthur Koestler, in the 1960s

Circles Block #4, EPP Sew-A-Long

Circles EPP Button

EPP #4 front

Circle #4: Pravoslavni Park

Here is the fourth circle in our EPP Sew-A-Long, another circle taken from Ljubljana, Slovenia in an ornately painted church.  I chose not to make the outer arcs in a different color in order to let the star points pop out of this eight-point star.  (If I were doing this one again, I’d make the arcs in a different color.  I just like the look of that circle shape.)

Four Circle Blocks

Here they are all together, all different, but they play nicely together, I think.  I was asked about color selection for my blocks.  I have to admit I just have chosen my favorite fabrics from my stash.  I do keep in mind that they need to coordinate, but I also know that the repetition of this circular shape would also tie the blocks together.  The upper left is not really that dark (see above); I’m just taking the picture with the late afternoon sun and it makes the left side of the photo darker.

Like I said, this Circle Block is an eight-pointed star, and I again used the technique of making the circle by English Paper Piecing (EPP) but appliquéing it onto a 14 – 1/2″ square.  Click here to download the pattern for the pieces:  EPP #4.  I do spend a lot of time on these, so please do attribute the source of this to Elizabeth at OccasionalPiece-Quilt  (or OPQuilt.com) and do not print off copies for your mother or your friends.  Please direct them here to get their free copies.  Many thanks.

EPP 4Stapled pages

Pieces for EPP4

As before, print out enough copies so you can make your eight-pointed star, then staple them all together heavily so you can cut them out without them shifting.

EPP 4 cutting pieces

Again, if the pieces have no direction (are the same shape if folded along an axis line), lay them with the printing either up or down. If they are specific, like the point-pieces, lay them out on your fabric with the printed side facing the wrong side of the fabric, and then cut them out.  Sometimes if I whack off too big of a seam allowance, I’ll trim it later as I’m basting around it.  It’s all very forgiving, so don’t stress.  There are more tips and instructions on Circles #3, Ljubljana.

Block Number Four Inspiration

The inspiration for this block came from a combination of the two above blocks.  I wanted fewer points than are shown in the church paintings but I did like the division or the “layers” of points.  Again, these circles are high above floor level, so they are a bit hard to capture in a photograph.

Here’s some “making” shots:

EPP 4 Circle Block making_2

All three sections joined together, the left side and the right side done separately.

EPP 4 Circle Block making_1

I put pins in the joining seams to keep them aligned as I sew.

EPP 4 Circle Block making_0

I located the tip of the paper inside my basted piece and started sewing them together from the bottom, matching that teensy end first.

EPP 4 Circle Block making_3

EPP 4 Circle Block making_4

This is when I had one done.  I laid out all the pieces to see if I liked it.  I didn’t.

Circles Four Gathering Fabrics

I had started in the usual way,with the fabrics like this, trying to lay them out as I think they will work in the design.

Old and New Fabrics

It looked okay as laid out, but after I finished one, I didn’t like it at all.  I brought out more fabrics.

Choosing New Fabrics

I liked this better, but I kept trying.  As usual, I try not to obsess too much about perfection in design and color and pattern and all those other things we quilters worry about.  Scrap quilts can sometimes boggle our minds as they don’t fit together as easily as those ones we make from one line of fabric, that line of fabrics perfectly keyed to work together.  These kinds of quilts can stretch us as quilters, as well as teach us patience and confidence.  But it’s good practice to make up one point of your star to see if you like it, knowing that with a  few snips, you can change it out.  I kept doing this until I was happy with my choices, and again, made one more star point to check.

EPP 4 Circle Block making_5

I liked it a lot better.  Carry on!

EPP #4 outside

This is the photo I took this morning before I starched and ironed it, and you can see  how it looks, all soft from the handwork.

EPP #4 back

Back.

I used the same technique I used in Circles #3, of appliquéing the large pointed circle onto a 14.5″ square of background.  Then I appliqué that smaller center circle on, cut out the underneath, snipping away the yellow points.  Before I’d done that, it was a bit lumpy there, but it all flattened out once I cut away the points.

EPP #4 front

I love that color of blue against that tangeriney orange in the second division.

EPP 4 Pravoslavni Park drawing

And yes, it is the correct size.

A couple of quilters have written to me, showing me their circle projects.  Here are a couple:

Missie Carpenter Circle Blocks

Missie Carpenter of Traditional Primitives

Dittany Matthews Circle

Dittany Matthews of Blue Moth

And I found this post from Quilt Inspiration about another quilter’s journey in circles.

 I’ll post the next circles block sometime around the first part of November.  Have fun sewing!