Thursday, July 31, 2008

What I Was Trying to Do

Sarah N. asked what I was trying to make before I was a doofus and cut off the zipper head. Well, last week I made this bag for the Roadshow - Farmer's Market Tote" from Let's Do Lunch by Terri Atkinson. Fabric line is "Farmer's Market" by Sandi appropriate, huh?
Inside the bag is a zippered pocket and a key hook.

I was trying to make the demonstration step-out, all the while thinking, "I need to make sure to tell them to be careful not to cut off the zipper head." Seriously, that's EXACTLY what I was thinking as I cut the darn thing off!

Here's a laundry bag sample I sewed together last weekend. It's Fig Tree Quilts "Easiest Accessory Bags Ever" and made from "Garden Party" by Anna Maria Horner. This photo shows that each side features a different fabric with a common bottom. Can you tell I'm obsessed with this fabric line?
I must now return my attention to So You Think You Can Dance. Go Joshua! 4 Real.

Monday, July 28, 2008


What's wrong with this picture?

I think I'll go to bed now.....

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Battle of the Bag

So, I'm still working on samples for the Minnesota Roadshow. One of the items is "Lynne's Tote" by Terri Atkinson from her book "Let's Do Lunch". The first steps are to piece the bag and then quilt it along with a strip for handles and a square for the pocket. Since there were multiple pieces, I thought it would be easier to quilt on my sewing machine. I haven't quilted on my Pfaff in ages and this project demanded free-motion quilting.

One of my friends was teaching a class today at the shop so I decided to run up there early to use the big ironing board to fuse-baste the project. I chit-chatted with Sarah and her students for a while (completely stalling from the task at hand) and returned home to begin.

I stitched the edges of everything down and then ironed on a couple of scrap pieces to warm up. Moved on to the handle rectangle. UGH! This is HARD and it's ugly! Thank goodness the handle pieces are cut down to 1-1/4" strips. The hardest part for me is I don't know where to put my hands. Everything feels awkward and jerky.

So I decided to go back to the shop and look at the machine quilting books. The girls were surprised to see me again. I browsed through the books and NONE of them talk about hand position except Diane Gaudynski's. And she talks about manipulating BIG quilts. Perhaps some machine quilting gloves will help.

I came back home and just started on the body of the bag, stopping more often to try to re-position my hands. The gloves DID help. Problem is I think the bed of my machine is too high and I kept getting cramps in between my shoulders. What would have taken me 15 minutes to quilt on the longarm took about 3 hours. But I did it - and I finished the bag. Nothing like taking all day to do it!

The fabrics are from Anna Maria Horner's "Garden Party" line. Aren't they luscious?

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Dilemma

I have a dilemma. (You need to read this with all the southern inflection I can give it.....pronounce it "die-LEM-a").

I have SERIOUSLY fallen off the blogging wagon.....have you noticed? And once I fell off, it has been oh-so-hard to get back on. I mean, where do I start? Quilt Market? End of school? The wedding of my step-daughter, the trip to Vegas, the Market Review Party, Audrey's orchestra camp, or the many other various and sundry details of the last 2 months? If it's any consolation, I write blog entries in my head every day, and before I know it, it's 11pm and time for bed.

So, do I back-track or just pick up where I am right now?

For now, I'll just start with current events.

The shop is hosting the Minnesota Road Show in early August. This is a teaching trunk show put together by 4 Minnesota quilt artists: Terry Atkinson of Atkinson Designs, Debbie Bowles of Maple Island Quilts, Heather Mulder Peterson of Anka's Treasures, and Linda Hohag of Brandywine Design. We will get a box of their samples and I will do a lecture presentation of specfic techniques. order to get it "right", I need to make a sample of their samples. Did you follow that? Anyway, I have been sewing furiously the past couple of weeks to get ready.

This is a sample from "The Sweet Life" by Anka's Treasures and features cutting template-free diamonds using Layer Cake squares.

And this one is "Bent Pieces" from Maple Island Quilts using Debbie's innovative curved piecing technique. And this is the tote bag I made for Audrey to take to orchestra camp using Timeless Treasures' "Taxi" fabrics.
I have to brag on Audrey now. She went to camp at the University of Texas-Arlington last week. She completely volunteered to go even tho she wouldn't know a soul there. She auditioned for the 7th-8th grade orchestras but was placed in the next level orchestra -with high school kids. AND she was awarded 1st chair in the 2nd violin section! AND she won a scholarship award as outstanding section leader! We were all so pleasantly shocked and surprised. I must say it is so rewarding as a parent to see your child blossom and grow into a confident young lady. YOU ROCK, Audrey!

And I pinky swear to try to blog more often.