Saturday, November 11, 2017

Folding Crystal's Grocery Bag

I obsess about bags and collect more patterns than I will ever make.  One of my favorites for groceries is this one from Stitched by Crystal.
An oops that made this bag mine.  Careful with one way designs on the fabric.  😉  
This bag looks like this when stuffed full of groceries:
If you make one of Crystal's bag, consider using the continuous facing method for the handles.  They will look very professional.  Here are clear instructions for that method:  https://www.salmesewingpatterns.com/blogs/salme-blog/all-in-one-facing-method-2

Another thing I do differently is leave off the elastic and just fold the bag and wrap one of the handles around it to keep it neat and tidy in the side pocket of the car door.
  1. Start with the bag flat.
  2. Fold the bag in half and then again.  Note that the right half is folded under the left half so the handles remain on top.

  3. The next fold is not quite in half again.  The handles extend above about an inch so there will be some ease to wrap around easily.  Note that the bottom half was folded under.  
  4. Next make another fold.  The handles must remain on top.
  5. Next insert your finger at the top and between the loop of the top handle.
  6. Take the top section of the loop and flip it to the back of the folded bag to enclose it and expose your finger that stabilized the handle.
  7. Now your folded bag should be in a tidy little packet.
That's it.  Use and enjoy!

Friday, November 3, 2017

November Elmstreet Quilts OMG: What's Up Next

My Elmstreet Quilts November OMG (one monthly goal) is to make some small bit of progress on the baby quilt that was on Patience, my HandiQuilter 16, last month.  Making the binding ought to be enough among getting a few gifts done and Thanksgiving.

The binding will be two fabrics with one making a narrow flange or the appearance of faux piping.  This type of binding is all sewn by machine and very sturdy for a baby quilt.  I am better at traditional binding and prefer it because handwork is a good reason to curl up in my favorite chair with a good book playing on my phone or a favorite movie from my DVD collection or Netflix.  However, I need practice sewing the two color binding for baby and charity quilts that will receive much wear and laundering.  

There are some great tutorials for the two color binding.  Here are a couple:
Flanged Binding Tutorial
Tuesday Tutorial: Susie's Magic Binding

Monday, October 30, 2017

October OMG: Up to the Finish Line

October Elm Street OMG Finish
Yes, I finished.  Quilting a baby quilt was a small goal but around producing two slide shows for my mother-in-laws memorial service, it was just enough.  Now to think about getting binding made and on along with making Christmas gifts.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

October Elm Street Quilts OMG

Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal October Linkup
Last Sunday, I made this baby quilt top and back.  The top is made quickly and easily, with 5 inch WOF strips and no tedious sewing of charm squares.  I used to layer and pin baste baby quilts like this on my dining room table and quilt them on my regular sewing machine.  I would do a narrow multi-stitch zigzag over the seams to quilt the layers because quilting over the seam lines is stronger than straight stitching in the ditch but my long-arm machine will do the honors, instead.  Meandering loops and flowers should work well with the fabrics and simple checkered blocks.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Linking Up: Elm Street Quilts September One Monthly Goal

Today, I mailed my mug mats to my exchange partners.  The official mailing date is October 1st but it's Sunday with no postal services nearby open and wanting to complete this September OMG off they went this morning.

Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal - September Finish Link-up
And some extra additions just because:
I had fun and am already enjoying Cheryl's creativity from an earlier exchange.  Maybe I will be exchange coordinator for a future event.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Just Wonderful!

Sewing and quilting related exchanges are sew much fun!  Cheryl of Cheryl's Teapots 2Quilting and I are on at least 2 sewing and sewing machine related Yahoo lists.  She is a talented quilter and she just shared her beautiful handiwork with me, two foundation pieced mug mats and a perfect sized project bag to keep my smaller projects organized.  Cheryl made her exchange gifts on vintage machines, including a 1939 Singer 221 Featherweight, a post WWII Japanese head in a treadle base, and 1927 Singer 15 handcrank.
You don't need the latest machine to sew wonderful and useful projects!
Cheryl will receive hers next week.  

September OMG: Complete Exchange Projects

This month's goal has to be simple.  I have too many other non-quilting/sewing related commitments cluttering up my time to distract me from starting a new quilt or trying to quilt one in the stack of tops waiting patiently for rainy weather.

October 1st is the day I have to mail out mug mats to my partners in the TreadleOn Yahoo list exchange.  My goal is to finish up and get the packages in the mail.  All sewing has to be done on a treadle or hand-crank sewing machine.  I have chosen Minnie, the Singer 99 hand-crank, to do the honors.  Only a sneak peek of the fabric is allowed until I reveal them at the end of the month.
Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal September Linkup
And Cheryl of Cheryl's Teapots 2Quilting, if you are reading, yours are completely different.  😉  Cheryl was my exchange partner for a mug mat exchange on the QuiltAlong Yahoo list.  Those were due in the mail yesterday.

Monday, August 28, 2017

August OMG: George and Harriet

Elm Street Quilts OMG Link Up for August
George and Harriet have moved to Seattle to live with Callum and Helen.  Please forward all greetings to the Beacon Hill crew.  

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

August OMG: No Peeking!

With the due dates of two exchanges looming in the near future, I have 6 mug mats that have been in various stages of completion for several months.  The first set is due out at the end of the month but they have been ready to go since I offered to host the exchange.  The other 4 are waiting for finishing touches.  Since I can't reveal them until the end of September, I must commit to another goal that will be easy to accomplish in the busy days ahead and something that I can allow the blog peeps to view.

A recent family trip to the beach produced an acquisition that is a temptation, a kit for the quilt, Cascading Cubes, from Center Diamond quilt shop in Cannon Beach.  Cascading Cubes will become a baby quilt with the last 2 rows on the back for a smaller and more manageable size for both the new mother and baby.  I don't need to start it until after Christmas so what else is there?

I almost forgot, the other two grands saw the tooth monster pocket pillow I made for the youngest and now they need one as well.  How could I not make two more of this adorable creature?  The embroidery machine will not be idle this month.
Elm Street Quilts August OMG:  Two Requests to Fill

Saturday, July 29, 2017

July OMG Link-up: A Table Runner Completed

Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal - July Finish 
With the garden and an extended weekend beach trip presenting distractions from my fiber passions, not much sewing has been done this month except for some progress on 4 table runners using the Fab Five wedge template.  Two are from one version in the Fab Five Table Snacks pattern.  One has been completed.

Except for the fact that the fabric was purchased before the produce in the garden became prolific and was fermenting on the kitchen counter, one might have concluded these pickled veggies were my inspiration for this month's project.
While I think I would prefer to have black strips framing each wedge with the 6 fat quarters I chose for the pair, I am satisfied with the appearance of the completed runner and would make up more using the same technique with or without framing strips.

Also, before I piece my wedges for my second pair of runners, I might reposition, omit, or exchange the bright lime batik.  It appears to have a phosphorescent glow and is a bit too bright amidst the others.

The runner is basically made like the reversible mitered napkins from the Alizida blog.  Since most of my table runners are layered with Pellon fleece, a very thin polyester batting, I thought I might not like just two layers of fabric for a runner but it is flat and smooth and looks attractive.  With the success of this runner, I might even try a Ten Minute Table Runner, a style I have avoided in the past, opting to make WOF versions instead.  

Monday, July 3, 2017

Tooth Monster Pocket Pillow

This little guy was originally my Elm Street July OMG.  He had to be done before July 1st because a week ago my DiL announced our youngest grandson had a loose tooth and she didn't expect him to let the tooth stay in until the end of the week.  Her prediction proved wrong but the pillow was done for our grandson's weekly visit on Friday.
This fun little tooth monster pillow is a freebie from Embroidery Garden's FaceBook page.  Get details from their YouTube video as well:  What's IN THE HOOP with Embroidery Garden / Monster Tooth Fairy Pillow

July OMG: Table Runner

We have busy times ahead.  I am not sure what will be a reasonable July OMG but I can try and see what progress I make with the table runners I promised my DiLs.  It is my intention to make a set of runners that they can use for holidays and year round.  One has most of the year covered except for general winter and fall season runners.  The other only has an all-seasons runner, Valentine's Day, and Halloween.

Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal July Linkup
Since I missed getting a patriotic runner done for tomorrow, piecing a fall table runner is my goal.  Since a rather recent acquisition is a tumbler template that will work for tall and short tumblers, there are several runners I would like to try:
And another:
Plus the pattern for the template I purchase:
Jenny at MSQC has some great videos for tumbler projects and Nancy Zieman has one for a runner with a Dresden plate template.


Now to decide and make one to accomplish my goal!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

June OMG Link Up: Armrest Sewing Station

Before I went to 4-H quilt camp, my June OMG was completed and gifted.  Yes, I know, I said it was for me but the fabric with koala bears was sitting there begging me to be made up and I obliged.
June OMG
Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal - June Finish Link-up
The only regret I have with the project is that I didn't use more fabrics to make the project sparkle.  If I were to do it again, I would at least use the pincushion fabrics in reverse with the green print on top.

The one change I made was to dangle the thread spool like a bead on the strip that was supposed to hold it on top of the pincushion secured with straight pins.  When the spool was on top of the pincushion, it and the pincushion were very wobbly.  Eventually, the pins would work their way loose.  With a loose knot in the strip, it is easy to change thread colors.

I didn't add any dividers to the pockets.  They can easily hold a pair of small scissors or reading glasses.  The recipient loves it and it replaces an earlier armrest sewing station that I made a few years ago and was used so much it is worn out.  My friend does much hand stitching on the arts and crafts see sells in shows around the Northwest.
June's previous sewing station, known as the Venus Fly Trap

Long Time No See

I have been delinquent.  I have 3 years worth of 4-H quilt camp photos that deserve to be seen.  This entry will cover last week's camp that included 4 boys, a higher than average attendance from previous years.

This camp was comprised mainly with participants who had done little to no sewing on machines.  It is a joy to see them make significant and rewarding project in just 4 hours a day for a week.

Enjoy our show!









Monday, June 12, 2017

Two Little Gifts

Saying farewells are always difficult.  With DD leaving for four months in Europe, I had to find just the right gifts to send her off on her journey.  For her birthday at the end of March, I gave her a cross-body travel purse for her passport that had a wire cable running through the neck strap as a theft deterrent and additional protection for chip-enabled credit cards.  Her bon voyage party came and went and then the inspiration hit me.

Since I have allergies to laundry products, I never travel without a personal pillowcase.  It occurred to me that DD might not think to carry one so I dug through the stash for one of the horse themed fabrics I had purchased years ago.  It had to be the prettiest one I have, not just the usual brown Western versions.  Here is what was hiding in the bin, a beautiful print with horses grazing in flower filled fields, a scene dreams are made of.  Hmm, the folded pillowcase doesn't due the fabric justice.  I will have to add a photo of the remaining fabric.
A comment from the DiL my DD lived with until her departure on Friday confirmed the gift was perfect.  Many prayers will be said to calm my nerves and ask for travel blessings for her safety.  The Jewish Travelers' Prayer translated from the Hebrew, is perfect in so many ways.

"May it be Your will, Lord, our God and the God of our ancestors, that You lead us toward peace, guide our footsteps toward peace, and make us reach our desired destination for life, gladness, and peace. May You rescue us from the hand of every foe, ambush along the way, and from all manner of punishments that assemble to come to earth. May You send blessing in our handiwork, and grant us grace, kindness, and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who see us. May You hear the sound of our humble request because You are God Who hears prayer requests. Blessed are You, Lord, Who hears prayer."

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

June OMG: Armrest Pincushion

I have had so many ideas for June bubbling in my head, it has been hard to set my OMG.  It's not that there aren't unfinished projects that need to completed, but there are also all the patterns I have purchased and never made up.  One recent acquisition is calling out my name.

This pattern was purchased on a whim thinking I would make it up immediately for a gift.  The birthday came and went and I made up another project, a special pillowcase from a kit that included fabrics from Timeless Treasures Knitting Chickens line.  My neighbor and I are knit chicks.

The pattern seeking my attention is an armrest sewing station.  It would be convenient to have one for my recliner, my favorite spot to do the final pass of hand stitching on quilt bindings and attach quilt labels.  Cindy Taylor Oates' pattern, Sit and Stitch Pincushion, is perfect for the job.



May OMG: Linking Up

With final two borders added to the quilt top from the 2006 quilt blocks lotto, I am happy to have another goal met.
Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal - May Finish Link-up
A flat fold sale at our local craft store with a delightful quilting section, has provided a perfect fabric for the back of the quilt.  It was not my first choice, but the one on sale had a warm antique look that goes well with the classic block design and at $4.94 per yard for quality fabric, was a good buy for backing fabric.  I will reveal it in another post.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Sneak Peek

I am making progress on my OMG.  After auditioning fabrics from the stash, I decided I needed to buy some cherries fabric for the borders.  Here are the fabrics from the stash:
And now for the sneak preview of the quilt top with just two borders:
The top would have been spectacular with sashing between the blocks but it will be large enough without it and it is nice to have them coming together into a top.

Monday, May 1, 2017

May OMG: Digging Through the Boxes

I had good intentions of completing a quilt from 2010 but while looking for binding fabric for the quilt, I ran across a set of simple "Puss in the Corner" blocks I won at a CTA retreat in 2006 (completing the quilt top will be my Elm Street Quilts OMG).

The theme of the retreat was cherries and the instructions were to make as many blocks as we desired.  The number of blocks we made determined the number of entries we had in the drawing for all of the blocks.  I won the blocks, more cherry themed fabric, and the signature block placed center bottom.
Elm Street Quilts May OMG
After much indecision, I have decided on a simple arrangement from this 9 patch variation.  There will be a narrow black border so the center blocks appear to float.  I thought about sashing but decided that I liked the scrappy 4 patches created by the corner squares and that maybe this quilt didn't need to be spectacular, just finished and put into use next winter when I curl up in my favorite chair to knit and listen to an audio book.

Bonnie at Quiltville has a spectacular version of "Puss in the Corner."

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

April OMG: Finished and Ready for Hanukkah

The four Hanukkah placemats, my April Elm Street Quilts OMG, have binding (my April OMG) and even a set of napkins including 2 extra, one to cover challah bread and one to put under the hanukkiah, the special menorah with nine branches instead of the usual seven.  This special holiday set will be a gift or offered for sale in our congregation's shop.
April Elm Street Quilts Finish
 Elm Street Quilts OMG is clearly working for me.  I have never started sewing for the holidays so early.  Additionally, I have a quilt top arranged on the floor that will be my May OMG.   

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sew Wonderful Simple Shawl Freebie


My version of Simple Shawl by Jane Hunter has generated some inquiries on Ravelry and from members of our neighborhood Wednesday afternoon knitting and crochet group.  I made an effort to write up my variation into a pattern that works with one cake of LionBrand Mandala yarn.  If you would like to read through it for errors or make a test knit, I would love the feedback.
Sew Wonderful Simple Shawl Pattern
Click on the linked caption under the photo or look at the side-bar links for Tutorials and Sew Wonderful Simple Shawl.  

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April OMG: Early Hanukkah Project

Rarely do I get started on holiday sewing this far in advance but the quilted Hanukkah placemats I started in February are begging for binding so I put them on the schedule for April (Elm Street Quilts April OMG).
Elm Street Quilts OMG for April
And wouldn't they look great with some magic miter reversible napkins?  I will have to get some more of the dark blue that I am using in the binding to go with the Star of David fabric on the back.  I have yards of that to use up.  It was a holiday clearance fabric I indulged in too liberally.  😉

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sew Much Time

With rain and more rain, sewing and knitting projects have filled and brightened the dreary days.  On Friday, the weather was a bit more distracting than endless drips and drizzle bringing hail and a torrential downpour.

Besides the OMG Hoping for Hazel quilt, two shawls, a shawlette, a cowl, and a little zip bag have been added to the pile of completed projects for 2017.
DiL Brittney's Shawl
My Shawl
Shawlette from a Premier Sweet Roll
 

Zippy Strippy Bag by Atkinson Designs
A third shawl is falling off the needles.  The Mandala line of yarn has been enjoyable to use with few or no knots and varying lengths of color in the segments.
DiL Maggie's Shawl