May 2023 Donation Blocks

I surprised myself by getting more donation blocks made than I thought I would.

I am definitely on a blue kick this month. I am definitely making another blue strip donation top even though I just wanted to make 3 blocks for the second Rainbow strip donation top.

One More I Spy

I told you: potato chips.

Tea Cup I Spy pouch
Tea Cup I Spy pouch

I cut out and made another one of these pouches on Saturday. The acrylic templates for the Enigma bag were laying around and it seemed like the right thing to do. Also, I got a finish after almost no finishes during May.

The Enigma templates almost don’t fit in this large sized I Spy. Soon, I’ll have to pluck up the courage to try making one of these slightly larger. Saturday was not the day as this was a quick win.

The teacups look a little weird, because I used vinyl with stars on it (also from Sew Hungry Hippie). I think I prefer the glitter vinyl, but the stars are fun, too. I have a small roll of it, which is what I grabbed and cut before I realized what I was doing.

I am sticking with the Coneflowers theme. I can’t seem to get away from it.

Enigma Insides

Enigma inside in process
Enigma inside in process

So, I know this Enigma process must seem interminable. It seems like it is taking me forever to finish it and I have to keep reminding myself that working all week prevents me from sewing much during the week. Today I have time off and I will use it for sewing.

As an aside, I enjoyed my trip, but I am frothing with excitement thinking about actual sewing. AND, then, being able to actually sew.

Enigma inside binding - detail
Enigma inside binding – detail

The photo above shows the inside of the pouch. The intersection of the bottom and the side panels has a binding. This is a challenging method of finishing a bag. Sara  doesn’t use it very often. When she does, I know there was no other way. The video shows Sara easily sewing the binding by machine. I took the coward’s way out and sewed it by hand. The part by the zipper was really hard. Zipper tape is no joke to sew through.

Enigma inside pocket - detail
Enigma inside pocket – detail

I have only a step or two left to do and I hope to finish today so I can still post it on the sew-a-long and possibly win a prize.

Next, I will sew the inside pocket.

I used the video more for this bag than other bags. I didn’t try to understand directions that were confusing. I just went straight to the video. I kind of feel like I cheated, but I also don’t care that much.

Another La Pass OOPs

The other day I posted a La Pass update. That night I went to work on joining two large pieces including the one I posted. That’s when I found the OOPs.

La Pass - extra Month 12
La Pass – extra Month 12

The piece includes Month 12 rosettes, of which there are multiples. the arrow points to one of the Month 12 rosettes. My problem came when I was looking for a second M12 rosette to put next to the emerald and chartreuse rosette in the middle bottom of the piece shown.

I couldn’t find it. It turns out that I sewed the two Month 12 rosettes into, what would be, the same location, but on different sections. That meant I had too many pieces for one location and not enough for another. More ripping ensued.

La Pass section with extra M12 rosette
La Pass section with extra M12 rosette

For some reason ripping doesn’t bother me as much on this project. It is pretty easy to do, though a little messier than my normal ripping technique. I tend get a lot of little bits of thread everywhere.

The arrow in the ‘purple’ section (left) shows the other M12 rosette. I am leaving that one in and will start sewing it as soon as I have replaced some of the star points in the section above.

Star points have to be inserted into other rosettes to make the piece look cohesive. I may be able to start sewing the two large sections together soon. I still have to remove papers and may decide to do that first. Even a few would make the whole process a little easier.

Enigma Finish Line in Sight

Enigma Bag- just before finished
Enigma Bag- just before finished

I was only able to sew a little during the week, but I made some progress. A few minutes here and there do add up. The Enigma bag is almost done. I have a few more steps before I can use it.

It might be good for some of my bagmaking tools like the KamSnap. We’ll see.

At the moment it is still inside out and I have not yet installed the pocket in the center. I am eager to finish it and start another! I know I have a million projects on the go and another million on my to do list, but I’d like to get this right.

La Pass Update

La Passacaglia - May 2023 update
La Passacaglia – May 2023 update

I have been working steadily on sewing the La Passacaglia rosettes together. As I watch others from the group post their finished quilts, I despair at finishing. However, I remember that I should not compare myself to others. I also note that I AM making progress.

This is the upper right hand corner. I have just added one of the M17 rosettes, the emerald and chartreuse rosette towards the bottom left.

Even though this is nowhere near the whole piece, it is quite large. I still have the papers, mostly, still on the back. The pieces are getting a little too unwieldy to keep them in much longer. Of course, the pieces I want to stay in are starting to loosen and fall out. Figures!

More Enigma

I worked hard on the Enigma in an effort to add my week 4 sew-a-long effort to the other efforts.

Enigma Zipper Pouch

One of the features of this bag is the interior zipper pocket. It is one of the first sewing steps and I am pleased with how it came out. I am not sure how this will come out, but based on what I know about this type of construction, I am happy with how it came out. I think the pocket is well prepared to be inserted into the accordion pieces.

I started to put the whole pouch together and found the construction to be really interesting.

Side panel with zipper

I like the way the bag, at this point, is hanging off the zipper. I still have to install the bottom at this point.

More on Odicoat

Canvas Travel bag with Odicoat
Canvas Travel bag with Odicoat

I have been wondering about what would happen if I applied Odicoat to a finished bag. I haven’t been brave enough to try it on a bag I have made. After returning from my trip, I decided to try it on the bag I used as a handbag.

I am pretty pleased with how it came out. This bag is made from some kind of canvas. It is a very heavy fabric.

I applied the Odicoat to the bottom of the bag only. It turned out that the bottom became stiffer. It’s also slightly sticky or, maybe, just not smooth.

I have heard that Odicoat shrinks up fabric. I didn’t see that in this bag. Still, the Odicoat will keep the bottom of this bag clean.

I also don’t think this is a great example of what can happen with regular quilting cotton.

New Enigma Bag

Enigma Bag - cut out
Enigma Bag – cut out

The Enigma Bag is part of the Minikins Season 4 group of patterns. Sara is having a Sew-a-Long for this bag. I missed most of the opportunities to post my steps as part of the sew-a-long, but I still wanted to make the bag. I started it yesterday.

I used some of the fabric I had Colleen quilt onto foam. It was a little hard to cut, but much easier to work with than having to quilt something on the spot.

This is an interesting bag. It reminds me of the Sew Together Bag in terms of the way it opens.

Reappearance of the Spiky 16 Patches

I spent some time yesterday just sewing donation blocks, including these Spiky 16 Patches. I came home to all the pieces on the floor. This is a problem with my new design wall that is making me crazy. I decided to get them off the floor and sewing together.

These will be part of another donation quilt. You saw these blocks unpieced back in April. I hope to have the fourth one finished sometime this week so I can put the top together in time for Sew Day.

Time for a New Suitcase

Tulips in Austria
Tulips in Austria

In case you didn’t notice, I just got back from a work trip to Switzerland and a side trip to visit friends in Austria. It sounds glamorous and it is exciting to say I went to work in Switzerland for two weeks. It is hard work, though, being in another location. I am so happy to be home, even though I was happy to meet my team mates in person for the first time. I am also happy I got to see some friends that I haven’t seen since 2016.

Basilika Rankweil
Basilika Rankweil

I prepared most of the posts for April 28-May 18 in advance, so you wouldn’t notice that I was gone.

This trip, I took more videos than I have in the past and used the panorama photo function more than I have previously. The views were even more dramatic this time than in the past. Or I don’t remember them being this dramatic.

Pfaender to Bodensee
Pfaender to Bodensee

There was quite a bit of rain while I was there and the clouds created most of the drama. The rain means that the landscape is really green, which I love.

I got to see friends, I was able to visit Basel, a new city to me and see some dramatic cityscapes. I also got to take several train trips, which I like. I moved around a lot, which is exhausting and it made me realize I need a lighter suitcase. My suitcase has been a workhorse, but it is getting too much for me to haul around, mostly because it is somewhat heavy even empty.

Spalentor, Basel
Spalentor, Basel

The worst part of the trip was that I didn’t bring any handwork. HUGE mistake that I will not make again.

Anyway, it was a great trip, but I am glad to be home.

Some More New Fabric

Fabric from Family Threads
Fabric from Family Threads

When I talked about Family Threads Quilt Shop the other day, I forgot to mention and show the fabric I bought.

The dots were really different than I have seen before. I think it was the colors, because the Tula Tiny Beasts dots are similar in size.

I love that chocolate fabric and have used it for Sweet Dreams pillowcases before. The fabric above is a little different from the ones I have bought before, but similar. It is just fun fabric and makes great pillowcases.

Cork I Spy #3

Cork I Spy - medium #1
Cork I Spy – medium #1

Here is the last Cork I Spy pouch I made at Retreat. The lining fabric is one of my favorites and I just had a bit of it left. I had just enough for the large lining piece.

In general for the three pouches, I found the cork to be easy to sew, but not easy to turn. If (when?) I use cork again on an I Spy pouch, I will definitely round the corners. I think it will make the project much easier to turn.

All that being said, I thought the corners looked fine when I finally did get the pouch turned. I gave these to some work colleagues and they loved them.

Russian Rubix in the Wild

Russian Rubix in Rankweil
Russian Rubix in Rankweil

Another quilt in the wild!

I didn’t get to see all the quilts I have sent or taken to Austria, but, as you have seen, I was able to see a few.

Russian Rubix was the last one I saw. It was also one of the first ones I sent to Austria. It looks pretty good.

One of the issues is that Austrians use a different kind of bedding, so the quilts don’t really fit in. Still, I am glad to see it on a bed, even if they just put it there so I could see it.