CQFA Show and Tell

Rhonda and I ducked out of the BAM Retreat to attend the CQFA meeting. They are often conflicting at the moment, which is a challenge. I didn’t want to leave the retreat, however I have missed so many CQFA meetings that I felt bad about missing another. Since Rhonda was going, I decided to go for the meeting, but not stay for the workshop.

Despite my perpetual To Do List item to make ATCs, I didn’t make any. I wasn’t the only one. Poor Virginia had nobody with whom to exchange.

Tea in a Cafe
Tea in a Cafe

One of the most exciting things to happen to other guild is that there will be a show either in July 2017 or in 2018. The theme will be “In Conversation.” I immediately got a flash of an idea in my mind and drew it out in my journal. It is loosely based on a picture I took in Austria.

The picture is just the start. I want to add in some hands. I don’t know the angle yet, though straight on sideways or straight from the top would be easier to draw. I do like the angle shown in the picture, but I don’t know if I can do it credible justice. My UFO list is creeping up, but I am excited about this project and wonder if I can get started on it and get it to a good point before I lose interest?

Maureen's Book
Maureen’s Book

Anyway. Show and Tell was awesome. I was especially inspired by Maureen’s book. She is in a collage group that meets once a week. She has been doing some great stuff in that group. In a recent meeting, she learned about a simple Japanese binding and made a book.

The content/pages are always a problem for me. How many journals does a person need? Maureen had a genius idea to use black and white drawings from a previous class.

I love this book! The overall content and structure are great, but the best part is the little surprises inside. She added a window on to the next page. One of the pages has a rounded edge, again providing a glimpse farther in the book. Another page is cut at an angle and the following page is so carefully placed that the reader cannot tell they are two separate pages right away.

Julie brought her Tumbler quilt.

Dolores' Cube
Dolores’ Cube

Dolores showed an almost finished fabric sculpture. She has been working on studies to get the process down for awhile. I have seen the smaller ones, but was thrilled to see the large version.

Each side has a different texture. Some of them are achieved through quilting, but others are kind of sewing techniques such as smocking.

I love the textures she achieved, especially from some serious quilting on the sides.

Carol is still working in solids and brought two of her quilts. These are a follow up to the quilt she worked on at the Retreat. I really like the subtle shifts in color in the Tulip quilt. I know that there are depths that tone-on-tones achieve that solids can’t, however I can’t help but love what people can achieve with solids as well.

Jennifer brought more of her felted wool pieces. Nancy brought a journal cover she made using my tutorial. I was pretty excited about that, because someone actually used one of my tutorials! Virginia brought some placemats. Reva made a 3D owl. The list goes on and one. I am always so inspired by the ladies who create and share at CQFA.

BAM Retreat: Charity Projects

As I have mentioned many times, BAM does a lot of charity work. Peggy and Michelle work hard to make it fun. Right before the retreat, the guild was the fortunate recipient of a bonanza of fabric. It wasn’t ugly, crappy fabric that people often try to offload. It was relatively new yardage as well as pre-cuts. There were charm packs, large and small jelly rolls and layer cakes.

As a result a lot of new charity quilts were put together at the retreat. The above is a small sampling. They are generally smaller, but so bright and cheerful! Peggy was pushing the Disappearing 9 Patch pattern, so a few of those showed up using the charm squares.

Retreat Charity Block
Retreat Charity Block

My pathetic effort to the charity endeavor was one block. the Charity Girls had the regular postage stamp kits available, so I took one when I needed some leaders and enders for my City Sampler blocks and made the block.

Quilt Class: Rose Wreath pt.1

The next class is about fusible machine applique’. You had a lesson on the basics a few days ago. There are about 3 more tutorials I created to enable you to learn this technique well.

Flower Wreath
Flower Wreath

Supply List:

  • Notebook for notes
  • Pen to take notes 😉
  • Mechanical Pencil
  • Fabric (at least 4 different, preferably more greens to create variety in the leaves; scraps work well)
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Paper scissors
  • Small ruler
  • Glue stick
  • Template plastic
  • Dinner plate or compass
  • Fusible web, such as Misty Fuse or Steam-a-Seam 2 or Steam-a-Seam Lite. My favorite is Soft Fuse.
  • Applique’ pressing sheet
  • Tear away stabilizer (the size of your background)
  • Iron
  • Ironing surface
  • 3″x5″ piece of fabric backed with 2 layers of tearaway stabilizer
  • Flower Wreath pattern sheets
    1. Aqua-Red Sampler Blocks
      Aqua-Red Sampler Blocks

      Cut a piece of fabric for the background .5″ to 1″ bigger than the finished size of the block. If you have a regular background fabric, use that, if not use a coordinating fabric. I took a look at my current blocks to help me decide what background I wanted to choose. This is a coordinated scrappy quilt, but I also wanted to find a background that would work well with the applique pieces that I was planning to put on top of it.

    2. After cutting out a background, put it aside for the time being. You will need it after you make the templates and the ring.
    3. Rough cut pattern out for templates
      Rough cut pattern out for templates

      Rough cut out all the templates from the paperpattern. Feel free to adjust the design of the flowers or leaves, if you want the shapes to be a little different. It is good to make the pattern your own.

      All patterns rough cut
      All patterns rough cut

In the photo above, you can see all of them templates rough cut out, except the circles. The circles print from EQ7 on two sheets of paper. You will need to rough cut the two pieces for each circle and then tape them together. In order to tape the pieces together, hold each piece for one circle in a hand up to the light and match them up you. Before you hold them up, have have a small piece of tape ready to tack the pieces together. You can use a light box for this procedure also.

Fold circles in quarters
Fold circles in quarters

Fold circles in quarters to make a line down the centers. This will help you line them up to make the ring for the wreath.

I never did this before and had to figure it out, but it works pretty well.

Layer Circles
Layer Circles

Using the folds, layer the circles together so you can see the black line of the upper circle. Draw a line around the smaller circle, using the smaller circle as a template. You will be drawing on the larger circle. Use a soft implement (pencil or roller ball pen) that doesn’t skip to draw the circle. Once you have drawn the circle, you can put the smaller circle away with your other templates. I use a zipper bag for all of the pieces and parts.

Check width
Check width

Fold up the larger circle. Check the width of the ring of the wreath using a small ruler to make sure it is even. Once you are happy with the line. Cut along the line without opening the circle.

Complete Ring Pattern
Complete Ring Pattern

Once you have cut out the ring, open up the ring.

Now you are ready to make the templates. Grab all of your patterns, your template plastic and your glue stick.

  1. Glue the paper templates to the template plastic.
    No template plastic on folds
    No template plastic on folds

    The only tricky part is for the ring. I avoid the folds in the pattern and only put the template plastic on the parts of the ring where the fold isn’t. Why? Because I want to be able to fold this piece and put it in a zipper bag later. Also, by adding the template plastic in quarters you save template plastic and you can use smaller pieces. Finally, you don’t end up with a circle of leftover template plastic.

  2. Trim the templates to the line on the pattern.
Front & back of templates
Front & back of templates

Depending on the kind of template plastic you have, your templates will look something like the photo above.

Part 2 will talk about choosing fabrics etc.

You can find more detail about machine appliqueing directional motifs, such as letters in a separate tutorial.

BAM Retreat Projects

As discussed a couple of days ago, I went on the BAM Retreat. I didn’t just have boatloads of fun and eat until I was sick, I also made some valuable progress.

The Thanksgiving tablerunners have been hanging over my head. Thanksgiving is now 1.5 months away and the hanging became more like the Sword of Damocles than an item on my to do list. I am pleased to say that the two remaining have been quilted. I still need to make and apply the binding, but the quilting part is done. I didn’t get to the tablemat, but I am pleased with my progress.

One thing I did on the pumpkin tablerunner was use Aurifloss (12 wt thread). I used it in the machine with 50 wt Aurifil in the bobbin. There was more breakage than I normally experience with Aurifil. I really like the effect and was pleased that the 50 wt did not show through to the top. I didn’t have to adjust the tension.

I also made a few blocks for the Tula Pink City Sampler/ Tale of Two Cities project. The blocks were a good break from quilting, which I needed after I completed the quilting on the first tablerunner. Julie joined the #100blocks100days challenge on Instagram and, while I have not joined, it is inspiring me to work on them. Also, she is now ahead of me on making blocks! I need to get myself in gear. Michelle S was a good support for this project at the retreat.

I also FINALLY started the Valori Wells Little Cell Phone Wallet pattern. I really, REALLY need something to carry my phone and hotel key when I am wearing dresses with no pockets. REALLY. Since the project was small, it seemed like a good time to work on it. I had some trouble with the directions, which should be no surprise. I did get a good working sample by the time I left the retreat. It isn’t one that I will use for various reasons. I’ll write more about this pattern in another post.

While my descriptions might not seem like a lot, I was busy and working hard the whole time. I am pleased with my progress and will be really pleased when I can finish these various projects and cross them off my list.

BAM Retreat

We are going to take a break from the quilt class and talk about quilt retreats. I may slow down the quilt class just a little to catch you up on some progress I have been making.

I just got back from a quilt retreat. BAM went to Sunnyvale together, had a lot of fun, ate some food, got to know each other better and worked on our projects for 2.5 days. We did a lot and a lot happened, so I might write multiple posts.

It was a great retreat and I had a great time. I felt like I got back in the swing of sewing, at least a little. The Peacock Quilt is still on the design wall taunting me.

Mad for Mod 2016 Sponsors
Mad for Mod 2016 Sponsors

First, the sponsors were fantastic. You wouldn’t believe the gift bags that we got. I finally took everything out and looked at it when I got home and felt like the bag was magic. More and more kept coming out. I was very pleased with what I got, though I didn’t expect such a gift bag.

BAM Retreat Goodies
BAM Retreat Goodies

Not only were there actual things in the gift bags, but also a lot of codes for discounts and free quilt trials. I received two FQ packs of fabric as well as a pack of Aurifloss, a number of patterns, some other thread  and many new things to try out. Amy, the vendor chair, worked hard and did a fantastic job.

BAM Retreat Sewing Space
BAM Retreat Sewing Space

My sewing space was small, but adequate. We knew in advance that we would only have a small amount of space so I planned accordingly.

The rest of the room was a regular conference room, but there were French doors that led out to a small grassy area, so we had plenty of natural light as well as fresh air and a nice spot to have cocktail hour. 😉

BAM Retreat Cocktail Hour
BAM Retreat Cocktail Hour

Meals were included, which didn’t work out super well for me, though I think everyone else enjoyed them. My stomach was still a bit off from my trip and from being sick, so I am blaming those things rather than the caterer. We also had cocktail hour on Friday and Saturday. I didn’t drink, but the snacks were well labeled GF and tasty.

Although I came home on Wednesday and left again right away on Friday, I was glad I attended the retreat. I think it was hard on my poor DH, but perhaps coming home and leaving again two days later gave him a taste of what he had been missing. 😉

Various & Sundry #13 – Mid-November

Fabric, Thread and Supplies
Need some discount fabrics? I mean full quality fabric for less? Check out this post on The Stitches Swap. Just go look. You know you want to go and look.

Hawthorne Threads has now produced its own fabric line. I saw it the other day while I was browsing their shop and didn’t quite understand what I was seeing. Fabric Worm / Birch Fabrics did this a few years as the modern movement was getting off the ground. I guess Hawthorne Threads thought it was a good idea. If you click on Hawthorne Threads as a designer you will see their three collections, Fair Isle, Bengal and Calliope. they have a pattern for an apron using the Calliope line on their blog. Need a gift? There are similarities in the designs even though the collections are different. Glad to see they are reaching beyond just being an online fabric shop.

Patterns and Projects
Moda has their Modern Building Blocks quilt project, which I really like. Not sure how old it is, because I can’t find the original post. Still here are the directions for putting all of the blocks together.

I found a really nice Pineapple quilt.

I know Thanksgiving is first, but I love this poinsettia table runner, even though I don’t love table runners.  I love the colors (not screamy Christmas) and the design (Drunkard’s Path). Thanks to Mark Lipinski.

Tanesha has been working on art journaling pages and she did one recently that I really like. Check it out on her page.

Moda has a post on their blog about quilt math, Bake Shop Basics: Quick Quilt Math by Oda May, using their precuts. They had to make some assumptions, but I think it is a good post to add to your toolkit.


Weeks Ringle posted about a subject near and dear to my heart. I call it “…but I am not creative”, which is similar to the title of her blog post. while I am fortunate to come from a family with a long tradition of needlework and a mother who encouraged (and paid for) a lot of our crazy creative ideas, not all of my quilts are perfect. I cut off points, my borders don’t fit, I can’t draw a human face. For me, creativity in my chosen medium is about getting better. Every quilt I make and technique I try further my knowledge. It also keeps my brain active and keeps me interested. What I would like to say is “banish the phrase (and related sentences) ‘…but I am not creative’ forever.” Don’t acknowledge the concept, don’t think about it. Everyone is creative, but you have to nurture and practice creativity, just like everything else.

Did you know that Abby Glassenberg has a podcast? No? Me either. There is a link on her blog. She is up to episode 32. Does this mean I am not paying as much attention as I should to new media or does it mean I am part of an insular little community that only talks to itself? I might think about that.

Judy Martin writes “Regardless of your skill or experience level, you can win the coveted Best of Show just by playing my new game, Quilt Show. It is out and available. The game retails for $34.95. It is for 2-4 players. You can read more about it or order it at:
http://judymartin.com/products.cfm?action=detail&prod=60&CatID=4 (no affiliation)

If you’re curious about the game but want to see how it plays, I have some short videos you can watch. Richard Ham has a series of videos where he plays games and explains what he is doing as he does it. It’s a great way to follow along and tell if a game is right for you. I’ve added his three Quilt Show videos to my Video page. And Dan King, the Game Boy Geek, does a video review of Quilt Show, explaining how to play. I’ve added his video, too.


The game would be great for retreats or Quiltmakers’ Game Nights. I am sure it makes a great gift. 😉

I found about the 45th anniversary of QNM from Judy Martin’s newsletter. See the quilts and read about the event on their blog.

There is an Amish Quilt Exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. Read the article and go see it if you get the chance. I was disappointed that none of the modern inspirations were shown in the paper.


I was featured on the Quilty Therapy blog in her healthy sewist lifestyles series.

If you want a good bio of Judy Martin, she was a Battgirl recently and you can read all about her. Yes, I am an inveterate Judy Martin fan. I love her original blocks, her newsletter and her quilts. The follow-up post on Judy’s quilter, Lana talks about Quilter’s Dream Batting in such a way that it makes me want to try it. Have you used that batting?

Thoughts and Ideas
The Badass  Quilters’ Society had this “To be a BadAss Quilter is to be confident enough to embrace your own style without the need to mock the style of others. To at least aspire to fearlessness in your craft as well as authentic, compassionate and ethical treatment of each other. To be generally opposed to dumb-ass behavior that separates, denigrates or makes light of another’s work, style or lifestyle. In short, we are opposed to being a jerk about most things and about quilting most of all.” to say on a post that I marked to share back in April. Regardless of whether you want to call yourself ‘badass’ or not, the sentiment is really good. What is wrong with your style that you are embarrassed to own it? Why are you reluctant to make a change to a pattern that would clearly be better with your change? Why do you make fun of someone else’s work? The article goes on to discuss all the different types of quiltmakers out there. Go forth and embrace your quilt-i-ness!

Abby Glassenberg wrote a blog post on whether money trickles down to fabric designers. The Bad Ass Quilt Society wrote a follow-up post to Glassenberg’s post. I think it was an excellent example of how our expectations of pricing are way off. I don’t buy kits, but I have run my own business and I know everyone is looking for a discount. One of the things I like about the quilt industry is that it is still filled with a lot of small businesses and women owned businesses. Do you really need a discount?

Other Artists
Next week is the American Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays. Perusing some of my favorite sites (see link list on the right hand side), I saw that Quilt Rat had posted a turkey that is perfect for coloring. Print out a few copies, buy some new boxes of crayons and set the kids to work while you cook.

I heard Kevin Kosbab speak the other day at the Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild. He has a really interesting lecture on Mid Century Modern. Look for a more detailed post about him later. See his work and buy his stuff at: Feed Dog Designs

November To Do List

To Do List:

  1. Quilt Christmas table runner
  2. Wash fabric AKA The Great Unwashed (I am guessing this will never be off the list, but a girl can dream) ;-)
  3. Make stiff bucket or box for TP in main bath
  4. Make stiff bucket or box for TP in second bath
  5. Dragon Box (gift)
  6. Anna Maria Horner Multi-tasker tote (gift-due Holiday 2013- oops) – found the pattern, which is a good start.
  7. Make 3 notepad covers (gifts)
  8. Day in the Park backpack variation
  9. Sew Bon Appetit apron
  10. Sew Church Ladies apron
  11. ATCs for CQFA January Meeting – I should have enough time, right?
  12. Make free motion quilted piece into a bag

To see the 26 Projects Lists, which list quilt WIPS, visit the October Current Projects update. Last month’s to Do List is about the same.

All small items that have been completed since November 4, 2013 (prior to this month’s list). This really shows progress, right?

  • Blocks for BAMQG Opportunity Quilt
  • Binding on Wonky 9 Patch
  • Sew on sleeve for Original Bullseye
  • Kelly’s Brown Round Robin
  • Pillow from cake tea towel
  • Try plain square for center of Russian Rubix blocks
  • Hand sew bottom opening in Shopping bag for BAMQG
  • Finish binding on T-Shirt quilt
  • Secret Santa gift for BAMQG
  • Kathleen’s Round Robin
  • Make sleeve for Original Bullseye
  • Finish sewing triangles for Scrapitude
  • Take apart Ribbon Star and resew
  • Color Group donation quilt
  • Binding for Color Group donation quilt
  • Make shopping bag for BAMQG
  • Sew coffee patch to red bag
  • Sew coffee patch to bathrobe
  • Sew green and red striped 8 pointed star (probably should include an item called “find background template for 8 pointed star!)
  • Scrap Lab backpack
  • Make binding for Disappearing Pinwheel
  • Petrillo bag #2
  • Bright apron as a gift
  • Paris apron as a gift
  • Finish tote for Mom‘s auction (new 6/2014)
  • Layer, baste Christmas table runner
  • Cut background for black wavy line 8 pointed star
  • Sew white on black wavy line 8 pointed star
  • Quilt/stitch fish postcard – finished
  • Make receiving blankets
  • Sew BAMQG label to donation quilt for Band Mom
  • Sew BAMQG label to green donation quilt back
  • Cut lining fabric for Church Ladies apron
  • BAMQG label to Flower Sugar donation quilt back
  • Sew sleeve on See
  • Sew facing down on See
  • Make donation blocks

Various & Sundry #12 – Early November

Looking for a key to acronyms I use? Check the AQ Glossary.


My camera broke a few weeks ago, thus the weird photos I have been posting. I haven’t bought a new one yet, but am planning to do so. It is kind of a pain, because I wasn’t planning on learning something new just now. I had a good rhythm with my old camera and liked the photos it produced. I guess we don’t get to choose these things. I’ll probably borrow my son’s camera for awhile since I would like to figure out what I want and try some out. I don’t want to rush into a purchase. What kind of camera do you have?

Results of the 2014 Quilting in America survey, the 7th conducted since 1994, were announced at Quilt Market. Some key highlights:

  • Quiltmakers in the US spent $3.76 billion on their passion
  • 1 out of every 20 Americans makes quilts, though there was a decrease
  • “Dedicated Quilters” (spend more than $500 per year-how many of YOU qualify?) represent 12.2% of all quilting households, and account for 60.4%
    of the total industry expenditures, or about $2.27 billion

CHA, the Craft & Hobby Association, has a new Blogger membership. This should make it a lot more affordable to attend, however there are some limitations. The blog post says “The criteria for membership were established to attract established bloggers that do this as a business versus individuals who are blogging to support their love for crafting.” I know that many of you qualify, so go to the show.

Products, Thread and Fabric

Need help matching thread and fabric? PlayCrafts has a new app out just for that. Now you can match your Kona solids to your Aurifil.

Michael Miller has something in the works for Janome Sewing machines and their fabric. They put up a sneak peek.

Patagonia Quilt
Patagonia Quilt

Patagonia, the outerwear maker has a cool Twitter feed (@patagonia). It is not just filled with ‘buy this’ and “look at how awesome we are”. They are awesome, because they engage with their readers in their area of expertise. They have beautiful pictures of nature, they show recycled and upcycled products, including a quilt made from old down jackets. I never knew what happened to those down jackets that no longer fit or …. whatever. Now I know one thing. My dad would love this! I was alerted to Patagonia’s down recycling project and went on to read a blog post by Alabama Chanin, which tells more about Patagonia’s relationship with their garment during the entire life cycle of the garment. There is a video that talks about one aspect of the project. This is such a novel and exciting concept. It really makes me want to buy Patagonia products.

Red Pepper Quilts does a Sunday Stash Report and recently she posted about Mimosa by Another Point of View. I thought that I really liked the fabric when I saw a little sliver in a picture of a stack, but I drew back, because a little sliver is a lot different than an 10″x10″ or half yard piece. She posted larger pieces of the blue colorway and I definitely like them.  I am not so sure about the red colorway. I also noticed that a couple of the prints look a LOT like Some Denyse Schmidt prints from Flea Market Fancy. Hhhmmm.

Other Artists

Have you seen Carol Wool’s quilt from her Gwen Marston class? Don’t those stars look like Women’s Work?

What about Charolotte’s Scrapitude blocks? They are very different than the others I saw, but also uniquely her. Charlotte also writes about the comfort of stitching and her words are exactly how I feel. I love her posts and her work.

Mom finally got back on the blogging bandwagon and has a bonanza of projects to show.

Quilt Market

Bonnie Christine have two new lines. I like Cultivate. Enough to buy? I don’t know.

Timeless Treasures talks about what they are introducing, which you should have seen by now. They also sort of explain the Judy/Judel Niemeyer confusion.

Julie, over at the Intrepid Thread, talks about her wardrobe for Market, which is always of interest to me.

Barbara Brackman has a new reproduction line coming out. She is not going to Market, so has created a virtual booth.

Melissa Mortenson is debuting her new fabric line and her book of projects for teens.

PIQF Inspired Project

Cross & Squares
Cross & Squares

A few days ago I talked about a project that TFQ are trying out. I think I am behind, because I didn’t get to sew anything until this past weekend.

First of all, I know some of you are thinking “what the heck, dude, don’t you have about a bajillion projects in process?” Well, yes, I have a few on my Current Projects list.  I just really like doing a one-on-one project (also group projects like Scrapitude) with (an)other quiltmaker. Also, a few blocks isn’t really a project, is it??? Mostly, I am a social animal and like to have some human contact, especially if I can talk about quiltmaking in the geeky, detailed process-oriented way that my brain loves.

Second, I looked up the pattern and found a block called Garden of Eden that I could modify in EQ7. EQ provides such an easy and quick way to look at sizes of pieces. We were able to look at the rotary cutting directions for individual pieces in order to decide what finished size to make the blocks.

Colorful Octagons
Colorful Octagons

Next, you are probably wondering, after my long dissertation on Color Stories, what my color story will be.

I don’t know exactly, but to put us on the same page, TFQ and I talked about colors of the octagons I am using for the Russian Rubix and whether those were the sorts of colors. Yes, they are the sorts of colors, but I will also use different fabrics and make it scrappy.

For the background, we will be using different cool, light greys. Again, they will be the same in each block, but, possibly different between blocks. The four squares in each block will be the same the same color, but not necessarily the same fabric.

I am not sure about the cross in the middle. I am not sure if I will use analagous colors or complimentary colors or what.

You can play along using the PIQF Crosses Rotary Cutting-5in pattern (5 inches) I created in EQ7.

High School History Art Project

The Young Man came home the other day and told me about a project/assignment he had for history. he had to write 5-10 entries in a journal of a character to be assigned on the Oregon Trail. He was assigned an 18 year old young man with $45 dollars. We brainstormed a little bit on the content and then he said he wanted to make the paper look old for extra credit.

I thought about this and suggested tea dyeing. I am not a tea dyeing kind of girl, nor do I do much with paper arts, but I thought I could make this happen. After work, on my way to the gym I asked him to let his tea bags dry out a little bit and determined to do the tea dyeing when I got home.

When I got home, he found me the ‘old looking paper’ he wanted to use. This was interesting, because it turned out to be college ruled binder paper. Huh? I wasn’t in the mood to argue and it was his project.

I spread the paper out on the kitchen counter and squeezed and rubbed the tea bags on the paper. To dry them, I microwaved the paper on high for 10-20 seconds. The effect was ok, but not as dark as the Y.M. had hoped. He did a second round with the tea bags, which made it better, but still not great.

Cinnamon 'Dyeing'
Cinnamon ‘Dyeing’

After dinner, as I was tidying up, I spied my giant bottle of cinnamon. It is the right color, so I poured some on the paper and rubbed with my fingers. The paper was really gritty, but also way more brown than the tea and not wet. The Y.M. was really happy with the effect.

Once the paper was finished, he took it and began writing the entries.

In the morning, I cut a piece of my book binding thread and, on the way to the train, I told him how to ‘bind‘ the papers together and tie them off. He didn’t take the time to make a cover, but, for the short time we had to do the extra parts of the project, I thought it looked good. I hope his teacher agrees, especially since the project smells like cinnamon.

Jackie in Black & Grey

Jackie's Donation Blocks
Jackie’s Donation Blocks

I haven’t been able to make it to my PO Box recently and when my mom went for me, what a bonanza! Lots of fun goodies, including some blocks for the Black & Grey Teenaged Boy Donation Quilt from Jackie! WOW! What a great surprise and these blocks will really look great with the others I have.

I know I keep saying this, but I really, really need to put all the blocks out and take another picture. I need to see where I am.

This makes me think that I am continuing to make blocks for some reason that I don’t know or I haven’t decided to reveal? Perhaps these blocks are some kind of therapy?

I’ll think about it later.

Thinking About Bags

You might have read my final analysis on making the second Petrillo Bag.  I carried that bag around for several days and doing so made me think about making bags to actually carry around.

You have probably noticed that I make a lot of bags. Mostly I give them away. There are only a few (Springy bag, Jane Market totes) that I actually carry around. Part of that is that I am one person and one person only needs so many bags. Still, I do like to make them.

As I have said in the past, I carry a bunch of stuff with me to work in a bag on public transport. The bags have to be sturdy, have lots of pockets, be on the large side and relatively stain resistant. The bags I carry to work have been Timbuktu bags for the past several years. They work but they aren’t perfect. They are large enough, have enough pockets, but they look like everyone else’s bag.  Also, I am kind of over the backpack thing with my work clothes.

When I made the Petrillo Bag, I did so because I liked the shape, mostly.

In the case of making the bag, I don’t have control over the finish, but I can choose the colors and pattern. I probably have an equal, if different, amount of control over color the as I do if I bought a bag in the store.

Using the ShapeFlex plus layers of fabric plus interfacing. That is a lot of layers to go through and my backup machine wasn’t happy. I could make a better, sturdier bag if I had a tougher machine, perhaps an industrial machine or pseudo industrial machine. There is no way I am even going to consider buying an industrial machine, but I still want to make bags. I may never do it, but there is a place where you can go and rent table saws and welding things…Tech something. They have industrial machines there. Perhaps I will go and see if I can use theirs.

I worry most about setting the bag in something and not being able to get the stain out or having the stain leak through the bag. I like my bags nice and when you take public transport, it is hard to keep things nice. This is why Sheldon has ‘bus pants.’ I tried using the fusible laminating stuff on the Scrap Lab Backpack and that worked OK. It isn’t like using regular oilcloth. I suppose I could just make a new bag if the old one got stained or boring…

Do you use bags you make?

Do you worry about staining them or ruining them?

What do you carry to work?