I took the day off of work Thursday and went to a BAMQG Sew Day and Workshop. After some personal drama (locked myself out of the house), I got there at 12:30 only to be faced with more personal drama (I forgot the bag that includes my rulers, rotary cutters, mat, pins, etc). Fortunately, I sat down across from Peggy and next to Amanda. Between them and Claire, I was set up to rock and roll the sewing machine.

Sew Day Projects
Sew Day Projects

I WAY overestimated what I could get done. I brought a Chubby Charmer filled with fabric and batting for journal covers, fabric for napkins, flannel for receiving blankets. I brought enough to survive some kind of siege that included sewing.

I really only got to the journal covers and I made the parts of two and finished 3-4.

My problem with Sew Days is that I want to just walk around and talk to people and not sew. If i bring my sewing stuff (and why wouldn’t I since there I have a gene that makes me physically unable to bring sewing stuff with me to a Sew Day). I really should be quite ok with socializing. Socializing is good!

Sew Day Work shot
Sew Day Work shot

A number of people had just arrived when I got there, so, despite the lock problem, I wasn’t terribly late, but I am sure I could have gotten all of my projects done had I arrived at 10am. 😉

Still, it was great to be there. I hadn’t been to a Sew Day before and I really enjoyed it. I didn’t enjoy hauling all of my stuff, but once set up, I just plowed through [spoiler alert] journal covers. I am glad I got them done and I am well set up for journal covers now.

In the work photo, you can see my stuff bottom right, Peggy top right and several other sewing machines and people towards the back of the photo. It was a great little group in our area. Big bonus? We were right near the iron!

Monkey Dot Cat Bed
Monkey Dot Cat Bed

The first thing I did was make a cat bed. I figured that anything I made after would contain schnibbles and I could use the cat bed to contain them.

Also, I have four I need to make for Amanda and the homeless cats. I thought about bringing them all as they are quick to make, but decided on other projects.

Jennifer's Round Robin
Jennifer’s Round Robin

Jennifer, who usually photographs the projects at the BAMQG meetings, showed us this hexagon piece. It is a round robin for one of the BAMQG groups. I love the shape! Who would have thought of creating a hexagon?!? Obviously someone did, but it is fabulous. The whole piece looks like a mosaic floor to me.

I am lukewarm on round robins and this makes me rethink that.

Also, I have to give a tiny bit of credit to ‘modern sensibilities’ as I don’t think this would have shown up in other kinds of round robins. I think that if you don’t know you can’t or shouldn’t do something you just try it and there is a lot of that going on in BAMQG.

Yes, Journal Covers

Yellow & Pink Journal Cover
Yellow & Pink Journal Cover

What I really wanted to do with journal covers was use up the pieces trimmed from quilts that I made and had quilted. My quilter diligently saves the batting and the sides for me and one day (I talked about it in the last week or so) it occurred to me that I could use those pieces to make journal covers. This is a great use, actually, because the trimmings are often long enough so I don’t have to cut part of a 1/2 yard and then cut some more, so that I only have a large scrap left.

When I went to Sew Day, I had in mind that I would whip up several of them. What the exercise turned into, even though I did make 3 or 4 was an exercise in design. I learned a couple of things:

  1. I don’t like just having strips of fabric for the journal covers. In the Yellow and Pink journal cover, that strip of pink that reads as a solid really bugs me. Not enough to rip apart the journal cover, but enough to put it on a journal I have already used and not carry it around for 2 months. The remedy is to cut those strips into a few pieces and pieces and piece them back together in a sort of checkerboard.
  2. Batting doesn’t work for me. I took all the small pieces apart and they will go to Amanda’s cat bed project. I need to find something else that gives the cover a bit of body.
  3. Green & Letters Journal
    Green & Letters Journal

    Either I need to do a moderate amount of piecing or just cut a piece of fabric, like my recent Philip Jacobs journal cover and make a cover out of one piece of fabric. I do think patterned fabric, like the green and letters journal cover works. I think it works because there are blocks of color. The blocks of color combined with a bit of piece make the piece interesting. I am not a big fan of that chocolate (though it is chocolate) brown and green and yellow, but I like the letters and thinking about writing letters, or just writing, in general.

  4. Leaders and enders are great. This is old news, I know. I am a big fan of leaders and enders, as my faithful readers know and using leaders and enders in the middle of the journal covers project meant that I had most of a journal cover top done by the time I got home.
Leftovers Journal Cover
Leftovers Journal Cover

The last journal cover I made wasn’t finished at the retreat. I began using the leaders & enders technique to sew bits together as I made the other journal covers, but I only ended up with the piece you see in the photo by the time I left. I don’t need to make sure that the family is warm when I make pieced items, nor is there a shortage of fabric at my house, but I still can’t seem to throw fabric away.

We ended the day with pizza. Usually, not a good choice for me, but there are 5 people in the guild who eat GF diets, so we had the option of 3 gluten free pizzas! The Awesome Amanda went to Red Brick over in San Mateo and picked up pizza for us.

The crowning glory, though the Sew Day was pretty awesome, was participating in the Bill Kerr workshop. Stayed tuned for the notes on that.

All in all it was a good day.