New Donation Blocks

Yellow strip donation block #1
Yellow strip donation block #1

I finally needed some leaders and enders, so I started another Color Strip Donation Quilt, this time in yellow. I am, first, working on making as many blocks as I can with yellow strips. I don’t want to get into chunks if I can avoid it. I don’t know how many yellow strips I have, however. I may need to create some chunks from the non-strip scraps in order to clear away the scraps I don’t want to use right away.

The pink in block #1 is from one of my favorite fabrics. It is, of course, a Philip Jacobs (maybe Martha Negley?) and I only have bits of it left. It was an eye watering yellow with big pink roses on it and I couldn’t help but like it.

Yellow strip donation block #2
Yellow strip donation block #2

These blocks are supposed to be yellow, but they will be mainly yellow. As in the other quilts in this series, other colors will sneak in. I think that adds more interest than dilutes the piece.

I am glad I am doing yellow, though I really should be reducing pink scraps as that drawer is full to bursting. I just have had the yellow version of this quilt on my mind and it was time.

I am also glad I am doing yellow, because I am finding bits of fabrics that I love. The yellow dots at the top of block #2 is a favorite. I can’t say why it is different than other dots, but it is.

Yellow strip donation block #3
Yellow strip donation block #3

I have four blocks made and 3 others in process. I am concerned that I won’t have enough strips to make enough blocks for a whole quilt. I have two choices if that happens: 1) use the yellow blocks I have for the quilt I have planned with the extra blocks of all colors. I have a few each of red, orange, blue and black; or 2) make some blocks using chunks and combine the strips and chunks as I have in at least one quilt. I don’t know why I am so adverse to that right now. Perhaps I know something intuitively about that design that isn’t readily apparent right now.

Yellow strip donation block #4
Yellow strip donation block #4

I always struggle through the first few blocks. I start making several at a time and it always seems like nothing is happening. Then, all of a sudden, block after block is finished. I have four finished now I am can see a burst of sunshine appearing on my small design wall. I am really excited about how these will work out.

X Quilt Back

X Quilt, quilted not bound
X Quilt, quilted not bound

I went to see Colleen the other day and came home with the X Quilt. This quilt hasn’t been gone very long at all, so quite a contrast to Frolic!

This is another photo where I just flung the quilt on the floor of my workroom.

Colleen did a kind of Xes and Os motif, which is nice. I have to do the binding, but don’t need to do a sleeve. Perhaps it will be ready for me to send on its way soon.

Frolic! Finally

Frolic! quilted, not bound
Frolic! quilted, not bound

I finally got Frolic! back from Colleen as well. I checked and it has been about a year since I finished the top. Colleen said she was horrified to realize that she had had the top since September. I don’t really remember, though I know, because of the pandemic, that I probably didn’t take it to her until then. Last year is such a blur that I can’t really remember. I don’t have a photo of the back or any note about making it. Frolic! was a much bigger project than I anticipated, so I was probably glad to get it off to be quilted.

Frolic! Corner detail, quilted not bound
Frolic! Corner detail, quilted not bound

Again, I flung the quilt on the floor of my workroom and took a photo. It is really large and I know even my tall DH couldn’t hold it up enough for me to get a good straight on photo.

I am still really excited about the border and how perfectly it came out. I remember how excited I was making the borders and how much more excited I was when they came out really well.

I am still not much of a fan of the corners, but that is a small part of the quilt.

The quilting is pretty intricate, so I know it took her a long time even once she got it on the machine. I really like the way this quilt came out. I don’t know what I will do with it. Soon, I am going to need another house to hang and store all these quilts!

UCAB: Front and Back Panels Finished

During the tutorial session on Saturday during Sew Day for the Ultimate Carry All Bag, Lynette showed how to complete the front panel. I had tried and messed it up. Don’t worry, though, I will write a tutorial for this step now that I know how to make it to post here later.

UCAB front and back panels
UCAB front and back panels

Lynette went further than I had planned. I had planned on just doing the front zipper pocket, which I talked about the other day. She showed us how to complete that pocket, plus apply the pocket to the front, add handles and make the back panel with handles. I am really glad as it makes the tutorials move along faster and I have to create fewer. I am not afraid; the work just takes time.

One thing that came out is one piece was missing from the list on the pattern of pieces we needed for this step.  On part 2, pg.16, you need to add L6, an 8×8 lining piece, to the list of pieces you’ll need. This pattern would improve significantly if the designer went through and numbered all the pieces. I know you know that we did that at the beginning, but you can’t number pieces in the pattern that aren’t listed.

One thing I did was use the handles I made for the All Rolled Up Tote, which I ended up not using for that project. I decided that those handles would work for this bag even though they are a little wider than called for in the pattern. One side, which you can see in the other blog post, is pleather and the side you can see above is the accent piece I sewed from Philip Jacobs Brocade Peony fabric to cover the pleather seam.

I had to unsew and redo the back luggage sleeve because I forgot to put SF101 on the back. I thought it would be ok, but decided it was too flimsy. I am much happier now that I redid it, though unsewing takes awhile.

Finally, this project is starting to look like something. With the back and front panels finished, I can see the end of the road in the distance. In some part of my brain, I feel like I am wasting time when I am working on this project. I feel like I could be working on better projects. In another part of my brain, I tell myself that I am making progress, this bag will use up some fabric in my palette, etc. It is so weird. I just think this project has been hanging around for longer than I like and I want to be done with it.

I have to remind myself that one of the reasons we started this was to encourage people to make bags and show them they could do it. Perhaps we didn’t choose wisely with this weird and difficult bag. Fortunately, it will be a  useful bag. I don’t know if people will be encouraged to make other bags or be daunted.

UCAB Front Pocket Finished

UCAB Front Zipper Pocket
UCAB Front Zipper Pocket

We had another tutorial session on Saturday during Sew Day for the Ultimate Carry All Bag. This time Lynette was the teacher. I was relieved not to have to do the tutorial, because I was confused about how to complete the front zipper pocket. I had tried and messed it up. I hadn’t quite given up, but had put it off for awhile.

The directions seemed to be more complicated than necessary, but once Lynette discussed the steps, I was able to follow. The key is that L7 is sewn to the rest of the zipper panel by top stitching the top part of the zipper. you sew around the outside of the whole panel eventually, but this top stitching is such a weird instruction. I have never seen that type of instruction before.

A Little Scrap Dash Progress

Scrap Dash - early May 2021
Scrap Dash – early May 2021

I made a little progress on Scrap Dash over the weekend in between parts of the UCAB and Triple Zip Pouch. I am still using it as leaders and enders, so I can’t help but make some progress. There was a lot of machine foot switching while I worked on the Ultimate Carry All Bag.

What I really need to do is figure out where the edges are in this quilt. I am not sure if I will add rows and columns or what. Once I figure that out, I will be able to work towards finishing it. Somehow this quilt reminds me of the Corner Store quilt.

UCAB Small Front Pocket Tutorial pt.1

Recently, I posted the tutorial for the second Large Pocket. That is one of the pockets needed to complete the Ultimate Carry All Bag by Natalie Patton. Next we are going to work on the first part of the small, interior front pocket

In order to sew along, you will need to:

You can find more information at the following links:

Additional Supplies**

Finished Small Interior Front Pocket
Finished Small Interior Front Pocket

The directions for the small interior, front pocket start the bottom of pg. 12 in the pattern.

N. B.: My version of this Small Front Pocket eliminates the vinyl/badge holder pockets and includes a second type of Clippy pocket that I developed from a pincushion pattern.

N.B.2: put a Post-it note on pg.9 to remind you where her zipper instructions can be found. She refers back to them in a non-specific way and marking them is helpful for quick access.

N.B.3: I am using a couple of different versions of the front pocket for this tutorial. Ignore the differences in fabric and pay attention to the location of the parts as well as the piece numbers.


UCAB - Front, small pocket
UCAB – Front, small pocket

This pocket is made in 3 parts.

Center Zipper Pocket

UCAB -layer fabrics to insert zipper
UCAB -layer fabrics to insert zipper

First, we will make the center zipper pocket. If you haven’t already done so, fuse SF101 (or similar) to the pieces that make up the zipper pocket.

We need to add a zipper to the center part of the pocket. Full directions for adding a zipper start on pg.9. We also talked about this in the Large Pocket Tutorial.

First, lay L5 down face up/right side up.

Lay zipper on top of L5 with zipper pull facing up.

On top of L5 and the zipper, lay P5 on top of zipper face down/right side down. The layers should be  L5 and P3 RST with the zipper in between.

Pinning Zipper ends
Pinning Zipper ends

As I said before, Natalie Patton does something really clever with her zipper. She folds the zipper tape at a 45 degree angle and pins it. This makes it look really neat and tidy. Do this, as shown in detail in the Large Pocket Tutorial. Sew the layers including the zipper, being careful to move the zipper pull out of the way as needed. The last photo above shows how to sew (green line) and reminder to stop half way (red line) in order to readjust the zipper pull.

Turn over and press. Top stitch next to the zipper.

Wait to sew second side of zipper until later.

The center pocket has mesh, so cut the mesh and the double-fold elastic. The pattern doesn’t say, but you need to cover both long edges of the mesh with double-fold elastic or twill tape. I prefer the double-fold elastic.

Add mesh pocket to center zip pocket
Add mesh pocket to center zip pocket

In order to attach the mesh pocket to the center zipper pocket, first mesh 2″ down from the zipper.

Move L5 out of the way (right photo above).

Clip the mesh pocket to P3/partly sewn zipper section.

Sew around the mesh pocket
Sew around the mesh pocket

Leaving the top open (opening/top is closest to the zipper), sew around 3 sides of the mesh pocket. If you want to divide the pocket, mark as many divisions as you want with painter’s tape and sew very close to the painter’s tape without sewing through it.

After you finish sewing the mesh pocket, finish the center section by layering the other sides of P3 and L5 with the zipper the way you did before and sew. You will be sewing more of a roll this time.

Almost finished center zipper pocket
Almost finished center zipper pocket

Your finished center pocket will look like the above photo. You still need to make the pleat so you can add 3D items to the pocket.

use ruler to measure for pleat
use ruler to measure for pleat

Stick your ruler 1/2in into the bottom of the mesh/zipper pocket to create the right sized pleat.

Clip and sew
Clip and sew

Use Wonder Clips on the sides and the bottom to keep everything in place, especially on the top double-fold elastic. I didn’t take a photo, but you do want to put clips on the top double-fold elastic, because it tends to curl in from the mesh pocket wanting to curl.

Sew up the sides. These seams will be sewn again later, so you just need to sew enough to hold them in place until final assembly.

Finished interior center zipper pocket
Finished interior center zipper pocket

Your center section is finished.

Next time we will work on the side Clippy pockets.

Previous Tutorials:







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Finished Triple Zip Pouch

Triple Zip Pouch
Triple Zip Pouch

Friday, I spent some time looking through all the patterns I have collected to see if there was a quick project that would inspire me. I moved some to other places my computer and deleted some in which I was no longer interested. It is always good to do a bit of Spring Cleaning.

Zippers from Kelly O
Zippers from Kelly O

This Spring Cleaning reminded me of the Triple Zip pattern from A Quilter’s Table. I have had this Triple Zip pouch pattern waiting around for 7 years. I thought it might be a good quick go-to gift pattern I could make over and over. I haven’t found such a thing and hope springs eternal.

Kelly Orr and I talked about this pouch years ago and she gave me the zippers to use before she moved away. I have had them segregated out from my other zippers all this time.

I know I didn’t tell you that I started this project. I started cutting on Saturday and nearly finished it by Saturday evening. I had one more seam to finish sewing on Sunday, then turning it and done!

The pattern doesn’t have a lot of pieces, but they do need to be labelled. I didn’t do that and was somewhat confused. The pattern requires careful attention, especially to the renaming of the zippers part way through the project. Labeling the pieces can reduce this confusion.

If I made this again, I would omit the fusible fleece on the top of the project (where the yellow dot fabric is in my pouch). It made turning the project a little difficult and the top too thick for my taste.

I was also confused about the finishing. I think I did ok, but the top of the inside still has some raw edges. They are less than an inch and don’t show, but I am concerned that there will be unraveling. I am unclear whether I finished the inside correctly. I also wonder if there is a different way to finish the inside. I plan to send the extra pattern I printed to Lynette to see what she thinks.

I also added a leash, which I always like to do for pouches.

A Quilter’s Table had a sew-along for this pouch and the post showed over 70 pouches! She also has a tag in which you can see many other Triple Zips as well as links to others doing classes and other sew-a-longs with the pattern. It is very popular!

Mustang Purse Organizers Finished

Mustang Purse Organizers
Mustang Purse Organizers

I finished these organizers at the end of April, but I couldn’t show you until today. They are gifts for my mom for Mother’s Day. As I mentioned yesterday, she opened her gifts early when I saw her on Friday. Good thing I got them done early!!!

Purse Organizers were a special request. As I said, I was showing her the new Minikins Season 3 patterns and she immediately saw these and loved them. I had already made her a gift, but I have put that item aside for her birthday.

Large Mustang front and top
Large Mustang front and top

There are two sizes. She can choose the one that works best for her handbag or tote bag. She already has an idea of how she will use these. Someone said that using these for a tote bag would be a good idea. It never occurred to me, but I have to agree. How often do you scrabble around in your tote bag for whatever it is you need. I’ll need to think about whether one would work in the bag I take to quilt shows.

Small Mustang front
Small Mustang front

For these pouches, I used Laurel Burch fabric that I purchased to make items for Mom. I know it doesn’t go with the Artist Paint tube fabric, but these won’t be with the items I make for her to take to Sew Day. I made an effort to fussy cut well so the cats faces would show. The fabric has two sizes of cats, so I used the small cats on the small pouch and large cats on the large pouch. I am pretty happy with the fussy cutting.

Small Mustang -mesh pocket
Small Mustang -mesh pocket

One thing I didn’t think about was the outside pockets. I realized that the outside pockets would cover up the cats, so I omitted them. It means fewer pockets. I made a note on my pattern and will use the main fabric for those pockets next time.

Large Mustang -mesh pocket
Large Mustang -mesh pocket

One side of both pouches already has mesh, which obscures the cats, but doesn’t cover them up completely. In my large version, the cats look like they are peeking over the edge of the mesh. Total luck, but cute, don’t you think?

A lot of people don’t like mesh pockets, because items get caught. I don’t mind them. One has to pick carefully what to put in them.

Large Mustang - interior
Large Mustang – interior

Even without the outer slip pocket, these bags have a lot of pockets. In addition to the mesh pockets, there are two slip pockets, a zipper pocket and two pleated pockets.

I am a little concerned about how much can be put inside as the Organizers look so slim, but I hope Mom can put enough in to make them useful.

I am also ridiculously pleased with the grab handles. Aren’t they cute?

There is no top to this pouch, so everything will fall out if it is tipped over. I hope Mom likes these pouches and they work for her.


Finished: Eye Mask for Mom

3 Eye Masks
3 Eye Masks

Finally, I can show all of the eye masks together. I delivered the last eye mask yesterday to my mom for Mother’s Day.I know Mother’s Day is a week away, but she came over and refused to wait to open her gifts. It was fun to see her open it.

She has a gel mask, but I had already started making her this when I found that out. She said the one I made is much softer and larger, so will work really well for her.

You might remember that I showed my mask in January, which is when I finished all of them. Then, I showed Gerre’s mask in March after International Women’s Day.

You can see that I used Mom’s fabric so this goes with her set of small items. I have used the Dia de los Muertos fabric for Gerre before and this is now the fabric I am designating for her gifts since I ran out of the purple Asbury fabric.

26 Projects 2021 #4

I am not doing well on using up fabric. I seem to be buying a lot more than I am using at the moment, but I am continuing to sew, so I am not complaining.

Finished 2021 Quilt Projects

Finished 2021 Small and Non-Quilt Projects

This category covers bags, toys, aprons and knitting as well as other non-quilt projects.

Doing Good

In Process or To Make
The ‘In Process’ is used to denote projects on which I am actively working or are on the design wall waiting for me to stitch. I am continuing to try not to put away projects. I find putting a project away ensures I never work on them, because I just lose steam.


  • Scrap Dash is on the design wall and I am sewing on it every chance I get

Small Projects to Make or in Process

Most of my progress involves thinking or just cutting.

  • One Hour Basket for organizing my decks of cards – Creative Strength, mindfulness, etc. I may switch to one of the Minikins or a Catch All Caddy projects for this purpose.
  • One Hour Basket for my stuff that tends to accumulate on the dining room table. I may switch to one of the Minikins projects or a Catch All Caddy for this purpose.
  • One Hour Basket for DH’s stuff that tends to accumulate on the dining room table. I may switch to one of the Minikins projects for this purpose.
  • Retreat Organizer – another project from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club, also on my list, but not yet started. I saw one of these made up and I am not so nervous about it
  • Superbloom tote using Hindsight fabric – not started
  • Tessuti Japanese Apron – cut out and ready to sew. I am figuring out how to make it reversible.
  • Ultimate Project Organizer – another project from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club, also on my list, but not yet started
  • Ultimate Carry All Bag gift – Bag-a-Long for BAM – I have the inside pockets made and am looking forward to the front pocket tutorial.
  • Ultimate Carry All Bag for me – I have the two large pockets made for the second one and am looking forward to the tutorial for the front pocket.
  • Westchester shirt – this is a Crafty Gemini pattern. I bought the fabric at PIQF in 2018. I have the pattern ready and need to start cutting.


I decided that some of my projects are in a different class because they are hand piecing or embroidery or beading. They take longer. Thus I created a new category and have moved some projects here.

Ready for Quilting

  • Rings quilt

In the Quilting Process

In the Finishing Process

Still WIPs
I still have WIPs. Who doesn’t, after all? A project in the ‘UFO’ category means I am stalled. A nicer way of saying UFO is a WIP. The list is a lot shorter and the projects are newer, for the most part.

  1. Handbag Sampler – this is still the forgotten project. It should be on the UFO list. The blocks were teaching samples when I taught a sampler class some time before I started writing the quilt class sampler tutorials. I found one block recently, but otherwise I actually don’t know exactly where the blocks are hiding. I crawled up in the far reaches of my fabric closet to see if I could find them and they weren’t where I thought. I am sort of mystified as to where they could be. I haven’t even found a picture of all the blocks. Sad.
  2. Lobster – I think I might make this into a tablerunner for the buffet. I think that will be a good and fun use of the piece even if the colors aren’t quite right for the dining room.
  3. Pies and Points from 2016 Victoria Findlay Wolfe class. The last time I worked on it was when Julie and I had a playdate in April 2018. I brought this piece with me so I could cut more elements (Julie has a Sizzix). I lost my excitement about this piece shortly thereafter and still have to get it back. Thus, I had to move this to the WIPs area.
  4. Pointillist Palette #4: Fourth is a series of 6 quilts; needs tiny square patches sewn together. No progress.
  5. Self Portrait: started in 2006 at a class at Quilting Adventures in Richmond, Virginia. I am still stalled on this again. As one of my oldest (I am pretty sure) UFO, I put it on my blog and out into the Twitterverse and Diane suggested that I not consider this as a self portrait. I think that strategy is a great idea. I am now trying to think of a new persona for her.
  6. Serendipity Lady – I am still planning to take this piece to be framed.
  7. Who Am I? – This piece is still languishing. Perhaps having a larger design wall will help me regain momentum. The amount of satin stitching I was facing was a problem until I thought of BIAS TAPE. I am going to make the words with bias tape, perhaps different widths, then I won’t have to sew the satin stitching. Red Scribbles and Friend Julie helped me come up with this solution. Now I just have to do it!

No Service Lint Blob

My machine was running badly and it was loud. This was well deserved punishment for me, because I didn’t take it for its usual spa service last May.

No service lint blob
No service lint blob

When the stitch quality started to deteriorate, I decided it was time to, at least, clean it out. I took off the sole plate and the bobbin case and cleaned out any lint I could find and reach. It was actually quite a lot, I am ashamed to say.

I am planning to take it in. I have to make an appointment. I’ll do the two machines in tandem with my 6600 going while I am on a short trip DH has to take.

Lesson: clean out your machine even if you can’t get it serviced.

More Mustang Purse Organizer

I am making two of these purse organizers because I am not sure of the sizes. I made good progress over the weekend, after I was finished with the Rings top.

Zipper Pocket- Mustang
Zipper Pocket- Mustang

I am enamored of the way this bag goes together. The photo above shows the center of the pouch. Unlike the Sew Together Bags and the All Rolled Up Tote, this zipper pocket is fully enclosed. The edge of the zipper pocket, however, is not enclosed in the seam allowance so there is less of an issue with layers being too thick to go through the machine.

I haven’t put the whole thing together, but that is the next step.

Many of the Minikins patterns come with multiple sizes. This one comes with two sizes and I am making both at once.