Sunday, April 24, 2016

OMG: It's Finished, April Linkup Party!

My goal this month has been to catch-up with my Daily Dot Journal Quilt - A much harder charge than I thought!
Close-up shot of first Quarter-Panel.
Motivated to avoid creating any UFO's this year, I decided to Quilt-As-I-Go.
I had a hard time getting focused at this distance. 77 days make up this (first) Quarter-Panel.
I joined three panels by using the muslin backing and adding the black strip.
And even closer:
The double-ring has a Valentine's Day poem:
"Birds and Flowers all agree,
That you are just the one for me."

Kind of fun to have the same quilt working through 'stations' in my home!
The fourth panel is currently at the sofa.
I love selecting colors for big-stitching! I reached my 100th dot one week after March began, (the day after my LEAP dot!)
Even the 'label' will be finished by the end of the year!
 Backside of panel FOUR.
The FIFTH panel blocks are squared and waiting for assembly.
The pear block may be my favorite (lower right). I have been playing with Lara's raw-edge applique technique, in preparation for the Crafted Applique: New Possibilities Blog Hop --- coming SOON! OK, here is that pear, revealed:
The big question you may wonder, is whether or not I reached my goal?
Yes, just about! Had I not set this goal for April, I am certain that I would have fallen so far behind as to possibly lose the mojo. Perhaps I would be caught up on blogging, but this is the sacrifice haha!
I would have liked to make this post on the first of the month, to share with the Quilty365 Linkup Party, however I am finding that I must avoid linking to anything at the end or the beginning of each month. This way I make time to keep up with your quilting adventures! I want to be the best host I can be for One Monthly Goal. I may not be able to comment on every post, every time, but I am reading your goals and cheering you all on!
Remember to Make Time to Sew...
And don't forget to to laugh!

OK, Time to linkup your April Finishes!

 One Monthly Goal April Sponsors:

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Three Finished Quilts this Quarter! Q1 FAL 2016

Marrakesh Overnighter, pattern in The Better Bag Maker

I was able to complete three of the seven quilts from my Quarter One Goal List for the 2016 Q1 Finish Along!
2016 FAL

It is a challenge for me to select from my pile of UFO's, just what I want to place priority on! The FAL linkup is really good for me in that respect, and I will be thinking carefully over the next few days, about my Q2 list!
The best part of the linkup though, is the huge show of QUILTY FINISHES!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

10 Things I Learned Sewing the Marrakesh Overnighter Bag

Southwest Summer Tote, 17" x 14" x 7.5"

 Marrakesh Overnighter, found in The Better Maker, by Nicole Mallalieu

I began making the Marrakesh Overnighter, having had some experience making zip-pouches, bags, & such. I was looking to step-up my skills and get comfortable using hardware (for that PRO finish!).
Now I can say I have successfully installed metal feet, hidden magnet closures, handles with rings and tabs, an adjustable shoulder strap, and a large zippered pocket inside! New skills gained.
 And ten things learned:

1. One step at a time. For me, bag-making is step, by step, by step, and on. When I enter my sewing room to work on it, I select one step and tackle it.

2. Purchase a pattern or a book? Books, in general, tend to offer more patterns, inspiration, and instruction than individual patterns. Better Bagmaker has all of the above! As a beginner, I found I had to pour over each of the technical aspects, of each step, which had me jumping all over the book.  How nice to gain enough experience to complete one of the patterns from it's instructions, without having to see three different pages at the same time. That kind of experience would also provide the confidence for the third thing I learned while making the Marrakesh Overnighter...
3. Beef it up! Have the confidence to make changes you know you want. There were things I wanted to alter but did not: wider straps, larger rings, beefier magnets, or rather, a gusseted zipper enclosing the top! Another advantage to the book is to have instructions for features like this so that your bag really can be your own.
4. 1/4" fusible tape! Following advice in the book, (and because I just happened to have a roll), I used 1/4" iron-on adhesive tape to install the pocket assembly to the zipper. Iron the paper-backed adhesive to the finished facing unit, peel the paper off, and press it onto the zipper before top-stitching. This method was a dandy, and left me feeling quite justified in stashing things.
Things like 1/4" adhesive tape.

5. Use glue if it helps. There was no mention of this in the book, but I used a glue-stick a few times as well. A dab will hold a seam allowance open before seams are joined. It would probably work well for the zipper facing too, if you happen to have run out of 1/4" adhesive tape...

6. Those dots you mark from the pattern sheet may not line up the way they used to, even if they are still in the center of that panel. Next time, I may try to figure out the best snap location by hanging the bag, to see how the sides come together. Mine works well enough, but it is slightly off - 1/4" or so and it would feel more natural.
7. What I learned when I had to un-install my magnets:
Make sure to buy them BEEFY, haha!
It was disappointing to pick the bag up by the handles, after installing the first set of magnets, and watch the bag just open right up! I had purchased the correct diameter, but a thin model.
Well, they were easy enough to remove.
Which led me to thinking..
8. Upcycle! Watch for used hardware that is re-usable! As affordable as Bagmaker Supply really is, free cant be beat! Maybe you can rescue a magnet from a worn purse! I found three purses with pink price tags at my local thrift last week, .99 cents each! I salvaged rings, swivel hooks, and..
Magnets! Straight away, I checked the prong size to the slits previously cut, and they fit!

9. Interfacing know-how. Non-woven interface stretches much more in one direction than it does in the other. It occurs to me now that that may be odd, the fact that I just learned this while making the bag. Perhaps this is common knowledge? I am aware the width of quilting fabric has more give than the length, and I consider it when cutting borders, and interface is certainly not a new product to me, I just never pulled on it.

Ignorance is bliss, and my sewing space is a happy one, haha!
In the future, I will reach for woven interface to create strong tabs and things that should not stretch.
10. About that base. I will probably cover a removable base for this tote. My book suggested template plastic because it can be stitched, yet still be manipulated, and even washed. I cant give a fair review of this method since the template plastic I had on hand had been rolled for year's. Combined with stiff interfacing, quilted batting, and lining with interfacing, it is quite stable. Still, it is a large bag and I think I will like the structure inside with a nice, flat bottom.

It is not too late to hop over and join Jan at Sew and Sow Farm!

Sew and Sow Farm

One Monthly Goal: March Winners!

Whether you meet one goal each month, or NOT:

If you are quiltin', you are NOT losin'!

With pleasure, I toured the OMG linkup, read, and admired all the projects! I am grateful for all of YOUR inspiration, linked up right here at my fingertips!

I am grateful also, to several sponsors this month!
FOUR names were drawn randomly:

Congratulations Patty, from Elm Street Quilts
Go To The Bagmaker Supply Etsy Store
$20. Credit toward purchase at Bagmaker Supply!

Congratulations Nancy, from Joy For Grace:

$25.00 Credit at Fat Quarter Shop!

Congratulations Lisa J, from Sunlight in Winter:
Congratulations Heather, from A Reformed Heathen:
'Springtime', Custom Fabric Bundle!

Prize-winner emails will be sent shortly!

A quick note about the OMG Flickr Group:
If you do not have a blog, you can still participate with our linkups! To be eligible for prizes, link your photos directly from the Group Flickr Site. If you do happen to link from the location of it's source (your uploads), just visit the Group, and add your photo to the pool. As long as it is in there, I will find it! 

If you linkup from your blog, you do not have to add your photos to the OMG Flickr Site. However, you may want to share there! It is fun to see all the projects in one place!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Quilty 365: Dots, Dots, and more Dots

I am using my leftover centers!
 Fuse, sandwich, quilt, zip-zip. Attach & Woo-Lah! A 28" pillow for DH!

Welcome to Day #124 on my design wall!
Today's block, Lilac-Girl-Gone-Adrift-on-April-Fool's-Day, belongs in what will be the fifth panel.
The top three panels are finished, QAYG panels, machine and hand-quilted. I will take more quilting pictures next month!
The unfinished blocks making up the bottom section will be panel number Four.
Most of the time, I am working in weekly rows.
 Some of the blocks in panel Four are from February.
Most are from March,
I reached for purples, and yellow now and then.
The Desert Buns have returned with the warm, springtime weather.

Cropping my crudely lit picture in PicMonkey, and using the draw feature with my old-fashioned mouse, I created a mock-up of my 1st Quarter-panel.
Rotate, and Save. Repeat twice, and the four pictures can be uploaded in collage setting.
First, the plan as I sketched just after I completed Panel #1, when I began to think about how this was all going to come together...
Switching their placement gives me other options as well!
Option Three:
These are 4.5" blocks when finished, plus 1" connecting strips: 80+ inches as we see here.
Only 324 blocks though. I will add a row to both the top and bottom. That plan will use 360 blocks.
The last six will go on the backside. If I can stop.

I'm looking forward to linking up with Audrey, our Quilty365 host, and checking out other Daily-Dotters!
I hear that layout is all the buzz this week ;)

One Monthly Goal: Plans for April 20

We're talkin' April goals already!

It would be a relief for me to do a bit of catch-up this month. I decided to follow Karen's lead by selecting Daily Dots as my OMG.  I found this fun Lilac Girl fabric, and prepared it for today's dot (#124!):
Sure, having today's Dot ready makes me appear organized, but don't let this fool you! My goal this month is to get these Dots under control, and maybe even ahead! If I prepare some extra frames, May will be a breeze! My next post, this afternoon, I will be linking-up with Quilty365 to share some pictures and a progress report.

Apparently I am not the only one who felt the month slip by!
61% of our goals were met this month, a bit of a decline, but lots of admirable successes and I am sure everyone did make progress! If you are wondering, I did reach my own bag-making goal (sewed the hole closed just last night!), and look forward to sharing 10 things I learned while making the beast sometime over the weekend.

Let's get motivated! In the Kitty for the month of April, from our generous sponsors:

Bagmaker Supply has offered a $20.00 discount to one lucky prize-winner this month!

Fat Quarter Shop has offered a $25.00 gift certificate!

Christa Watson, of ChristaQuilts, has generously offered one copy of each her new book! Co-authored with Angela Walter's, The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting , this book will be hot-off-the-press when it is awarded in April!
I wasn't able to make up a bundle this month, 
however I did win this 5" Amy Butler Charm Pack, (Dreamweaver), at a local quilt show this month! I will add a little something to it as well, I do like to personalize the Happy Mail!
Thank you for linking up, I am having so much fun following along with all your quilty-shenanigans!

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