Monthly Archives: November 2013

Another Aeroplane Bag Finish!

Aeroplane Bag

I mentioned on this week’s podcast that I was commissioned to make a bag by a friend, and I used part of time for the Black Friday Sew-In to finish it, and a coordinating pouch. Rather than a miserable repeat of my experience with the Weekender from last year, I steered my friend towards the Aeroplane Bag (patterns in Sara’s shop are BOGO for Black Friday weekend!). The main fabric has gray, purple, and yellow, although the purple is washed out a bit in the photos.  I went with the regular size and a gray bottom, and added some purse feet for good measure.

I did my usual trick of adding a side pocket between the handles on the exterior with a peek of purple polka dot fabric to show as well. The interior is a gray polka dot fabric.

Aeroplane Bag Aeroplane Bag
I had enough of the exterior fabric left to make a coordinating wide-mouth zipper pouch, too.

Aeroplane Bag coordinating Open-Wide Pouch

HtbaS - Episode 157

We are in the throes of the Black Friday Sew-In, and I ramble through my fitness update, feedback, and what I’m working, and then catch up with a Very Special Guest.  We compare Thanksgiving stories and holiday traditions, and everyone decides it’s not a wise idea to play Spoons with one’s relatives.


The #BFSI Giveaway!

I am pleased to announce THREE BFSI prizes to giveaway!

The first is from long-time friend of the podcast C&T Publishing.  Did you know they celebrated their 25th Anniversary this year? Their first book was An Amish Adventure, and to celebrate the anniversary they released a NEW book on Amish quilts called Amish Quilts—The Adventure Continues.  And even better, C&T is having a sale on their website for Black Friday through Cyber Monday for 25% of everything on their website.  See this page for details.

Today, however, you have a chance to win a copy of Amish Quilts - The Adventure Continues by entering the giveaway below. If you are in the US and win, you’ll receive a hard copy of the book; if you’re outside the US, you’ll win an e-copy.

And our next giveaways are from Carole! You may know Carole on twitter as @carolewool, and she is generously offering two fat eighth batik assortments as a giveaway. Each assortment has 12 fat eighths in it, for a total of 1 1/2 yards each. On the left is the blue/green, and on the right is the pink/purple assortment. Carole has generously offered to ship anywhere in the world, so international quilters, go ahead and enter!


The giveaway is open for 24 hours starting at 12:01am US Eastern time on Friday the 29th of November (so no entering before then!). I’ll notify the winners by email and connect you with our generous sponsors to get your prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m also hosting another giveaway on Twitter at 2pm Eastern on Black Friday, so pay attention to #BFSI to enter.

WIP Wednesday: Piles and Piles

Owly ImagesIt’s been a moderately productive week, although the only way you’d know would be to look at my now empty “OMG SCRAPS” bin.  It formerly housed this monstrosity, ready for trimming. After diligent application of a rotary cutter, some eardrum-popping dance tunes, and quite a bit of coffee,  I finally culled it down to a neat assortment of 5″, 3 1/2″, and 2″ squares with a touch of 2 1/2″ strips.

Owly ImagesI also trimmed up some waste triangles from the Paparazzi quilt in preparation to make a baby quilt for the same couple that got it as a wedding quilt.  I have enough HSTs to make 13 blocks, which I think I can put into an on-point layout of 3-2-3-2-3 blocks per row. Once I get the center put together, I’ll figure out the border, but I think it will make a cute baby quilt for the new little girl.

And, of course, I still have Step 3 of Scrapitude to finish, units for my parents quilts (only 450 to go!), and the preparation for Bonnie Hunter’s new mystery quilt. So… no pressure, you know.

Sunday Stash - With Shredded Paper Bits to Deck the Halls

Progress on a number of fronts this week! I finished a Christmas present (made with paper piecing - pictures after the gift is received), and also finished more zipper pouches for Wellspring Living.

I also got the backing pieced for Jingle, although that was a single seam and not much to brag about. I’ve got a couple other small projects to finish up before quilting Jingle, but I hope to have it done within a week and a half.

  • Used this Week: 7 yards
    • 6.5 yd for paper pieced project
    • 0.5 yd for zipper pouches
  • Used year to Date: 371.25 yards
  • Added this Week: 3 yards
    • 3 yd white on white for paper pieced project and some grey dot for bag commission
  • Net Used for 2013: 185.5 yards
  • YTD Used for Charity: 143.25 yards (39% of total used)

See more stash reports at Patchwork Times!

Snowflake Garden - Finished!

Snowflake Garden

I finally got around to photographing the Snowflake Garden quilt I finished on the first day of my retreat.  It’s a small-ish wallhanging that finishes at 36×42″from Primitive Gatherings from Lisa Bongean.

About halfway to the retreat last weekend I realized I had left the container with all my sewing machine feet & extra bobbins at home, so it was through the generosity of friends that I borrowed a FMQ foot and a spare bobbin and got this done.

I really like the star pattern in the center, and also like how the star itself is set slightly above center.  To keep with the snowflake theme, I stuck to snowflake-like branches for the quilting in the star. The rest of the blue got a gentle meander.

Snowflake Garden

The snowman is wool applique, attached with fusible and a hand-applied blanket stitch.  I did a smidge of quilting on the leaves, but left the rest of of un-quilted so it would keep it’s poofiness.

Soon I’ll get this wrapped up and ready to give to my in-laws!

HtbaS - Episode 156

I talk about my retreat, flaming marshmallows, being okay with gaining a bit of weight, product recommendations, and some sewing. Lots of live action cat narration at the beginning and a cameo by Jett!


Review: Forest Fairy Crafts

When I was a child, I wanted nothing more than to craft friends that wouldn’t judge me or stuff my math book with wet Goldfish crackers, or buy me a crappy roll of Lifesavers for a Christmas present when everyone else in the group got charm bracelets. I also insisted on wearing lavender for a entire year, to my mother’s devilment, and I’m not entirely sure that my mother shouldn’t have drunken more alcohol at the time.

Forest Fairy CraftsI suppose none of that is germane except for the desire to make my own friends.  And because my mother had kept her wits about her, I was not left to an unbridled crafting free-for-all of hot glue and paint. Well, unless Grama Eddie was visiting and she had us making beads out of wallpaper and Barbie hats by melting Styrofoam cups in the oven.  I have a feeling that the book Forest Fairy Crafts would be solidly in Grama Eddie’s wheelhouse.

I first heard of the book earlier in the year when a guildmate showed off a fairy she had made with her granddaughter using the book, and recommended it.  It’s published by Fun Stitch Studio, a new-ish imprint for C&T Publishing that geared for independent childhood crafting (or “Parent Free” crafting).  We’ve had good luck with one of the other Fun Stitch titles, A Kid’s Guide to Sewing, so I was interested in seeing a more craft-focused and less sewing-focused title.

Forest Fairy CraftsThe fairies included range from birthday fairies and angel fairies to something a little more in my wheelhouse - zombies and wizards (seen to the left). Although I dispute the claim that zombie fairies eat sugar cookies (clearly they eat fairy brains - duh!), I appreciate the changes in aesthetic that goes with each type of fairy; the zombies are slightly messier in darker tones and don’t have flower parts.

I also appreciate that none of the fairies look exactly perfect; they are clearly handmade with hand-drawn faces and intentionally visible stitching, something that I think kids can appreciate when comparing their own fairies to those in the book.  I’m sure there are 8 year olds who can do a perfect invisible ladder stitch, but the chunky threads and visible stitches shown in the book are much more attainable for the younger crafter.

Forest Fairy CraftsMy own daughter was particularly interested in the “pockets” later in the book that are animal shaped and can hold small treasures like the rocks and jewels she seems to find everywhere.

One of the other things I like about the book is the “Notes to Adults” at the back. Perhaps other adults have more intuition about working with children, but given my struggles with other children as a child (see aforementioned wet Goldfish crackers in math book example), I appreciated the tips on what areas to help the kids with, and where to let go.

I can see this as a great gifting opportunity along with a “kit” of materials that includes pipe cleaners, wooden beads for the heads, and an assortment of felt and embroidery floss. Forest Fairy Crafts is available at major bookstores and online, or directly from C&T Publishing.

WIP Wednesday: The One with the Products

WIPsI have kept up the momentum of my weekend retreat by continuing to paper piece. I had vaguely forgotten how irritating it was to chop off all those bits of fabric, but I’m pressing onward with the help of my pressing extension table.  I don’t think I mentioned this more than in passing on the podcast, but I saw this somewhere and googled it and found the Sewer’s Station at Nancy’s Notions.  The Portable Ironing Board (which is what I have) attaches to any table using a bracket and adjustable screws, and comes in handy for retreats.  And paper piecing, if you put your smaller cutting mat on it.  My friend Lynn had BOTH tables and set up a command station of sorts at retreat.

I complement mine with the Sip and Snip, which is a combination cup holder and thread catcher.  This is incredibly important at any sewing event since my guild is entirely prone to spilling liquids wherever we go. Tea, coffee, water, etc. It all ends up on the floor.  We are hopeless, but I’m proud to say I’ve not spilled any time I use my Sip and Snip since it holds my cup or water bottle.

WIPsThus ends my unpaid product recommendations.  Here is a pile of fabric I need to sew back together.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday Stash & Retreat Report!

Jingle top almost done!

Earlier in the week I finished up the small items for the Good Mews craft fair, and my new purse. I also touched most of the things I packed for retreat while at retreat (instead of just touching them while packing).  I finished the Snowflake Garden wallhanging on Friday night (individual pictures on that on a separate post), and finished the top for the Jingle quilt (seen to the right before I attached the final green border). I also made about 129 out of 576 of the units for my parents’ quilt and started a paper pieced project that will be a Christmas gift.

  • Used this Week: 7.75 yards
    • 0.75 for tissue holders
    • 1.5 yd for Crayon holders
    • 0.25 yd for Coaches gifts
    • 0.5 yd for Coffee cozies
    • 2.25 yd for Road 15 bag
    • 2.5 yd for Snowflake Garden
  • Used year to Date: 364.25 yards
  • Added this Week: 3 yards
    • 3 yd Kona solids (Snow & Sable)
  • Net Used for 2013: 181.75 yards
  • YTD Used for Charity: 140 yards (39% of total used)

See more stash reports at Patchwork Times!