Another Chicken Dinner

I feel so lucky lately. I won at the Fair and yesterday I won a prize at the guild meeting.

July BAM Raffle Prize
July BAM Raffle Prize

Every month there is a very generous raffle prize given out. I haven’t ever won, that I can remember. I never expected to win.

I am pretty pleased with the items, especially the book, because it has some patterns I have gotten out of magazines. Now they are all in one book. It’s great! The colors aren’t really mine, but they aren’t horrible either. And I like the little pouches and portfolios.

July BAM Raffle Prize - open
July BAM Raffle Prize – open

Lynette is the genius who puts together the prizes. She is retiring at the end of the year and I have agreed to head up a committee to create the raffle prizes. I have some ideas. With a team I think I can do it.

It’s All About Orange Right Now

Orange Improv Journal Cover
Orange Improv Journal Cover

Because you have seen the Orange Strip Donation Top and the Orange Improv Donation Top in progress, you know that it is all about orange around my house right now.

As I rummaged through my orange scrap bin, I found a shard that was really great. It was made from some of the same fabric as my Fresh Fruit quilt. I decided that it would make a perfect journal cover for my AQ business notebook.

Orange Improv Journal Cover -inside front cover
Orange Improv Journal Cover -inside front cover

Since I had a big shard already, it didn’t take long to make as I use a really basic version of the tutorial. I used interfacing and no flannel for the inside, so it came out very slim. I am trying different things to find the best way to make the edges of the journal cover easy to sew through. Without anything (like batting) in between, the maker is already sewing through at least 8 layers and that doesn’t even take the seams from the piecing that might hit the edge. I don’t know about your machine, but that is a lot of layers through which to sew.

Orange Improv Journal Cover -inside back cover
Orange Improv Journal Cover -inside back cover

I still haven’t quite figured out how to center exactly what I want on the front. I did a pretty good job on this one, but would have preferred to have more of the front inside cover on the front.


Orange Improv Journal Cover -whole cover
Orange Improv Journal Cover -whole cover

Orange Improv Donation Top Start

Orange Improv Donation Top start - mid July 2019
Orange Improv Donation Top start – mid July 2019

While I was vacillating about the sashing color, size and fabric for the Orange Strip Donation Top, I still needed some leaders and enders. I started in on the Orange Improv Donation Top.

This part of the project is also coming out quite well. I am starting to think that I pick my oranges carefully and they go together well.

I really like the orange dot at the bottom of the left hand photo. However, it really stands out in real life. I might have to use smaller bits of it, so it doesn’t dominate.

Orange Improv Donation Top start 2 - mid July 2019
Orange Improv Donation Top start 2 – mid July 2019

The top piece (in this post) is about 8 in x 10 in right now. I have some sewing to do to get it to a larger size.

The smaller piece will be added on to the larger piece when it gets to the right length or width to fit. I am at the point now where I make smaller pieces fit together to attach to the larger ones.

Book Review: Dessert Roll Quilts

Dessert Roll Quilts: 12 Simple Dessert Roll Quilt PatternsDessert Roll Quilts: 12 Simple Dessert Roll Quilt Patterns by Pam Lintott

I have a dessert roll of V&Co Confetti. One morning I got a bee in my bonnet wondering what to do with it. I went online looking for patterns, then had a brainwave that the library might have a relevant book. I looked at a local library catalog. I was able to check out a Kindle book early on a Sunday morning from my kitchen while wearing my bathrobe. It was awesome!

This book is basically a project book. There are 12 projects. The work, however, starts with the table of contents and a brief introduction. The introduction covers what a dessert roll is (roll of 5 inch strips). The authors explain that most of the patterns use one dessert roll and some background or border fabric. They also remind readers that the requirements of each pattern are clearly stated. The book also includes recipes for baked goods, because, apparently, working with these 5 inch strips made the Lintotts hungry. πŸ˜‰

“Getting Started” follows the introduction. The authors state, again, the definition of a dessert roll and remind the reader, which I appreciate, that you can always cut ‘pre-cuts’ for yourself. Take a look in your fabric closet (or shelves) and select a group of fabric you like, then cut your own. You can do it! They also state that the patterns assume your 5 inch WIDE strips will be 42″ long. This is good to know if you are using FQs or something else.

Seeing as how The Quilt Room is in the UK, the authors address the Imperial vs. Metric dilemma. They provide some information on converting from Imperial to Metric. The Imperial vs. Metric section is followed by the 1/4 inch seam allowance discussion. The discussion is a short paragraph pointing readers to a seam allowance test at the back of the book.

Pam and Nicky use Creative Grids rulers, which they discuss in the “Tools Used” section and later in the back of the book. Any ruler will work as long as you are familiar with how to make HSTs. If you don’t know, check out my Triangle Technique tutorial. This tutorial makes 8 HSTs at a time and includes a chart (be sure to download it), so you can make a set of HSTs almost any size.

There is a CYA section, which includes quilt sizes, information about diagrams, washing and something called “Before You Start”. All of these ensure that the authors can’t be blamed for reader mistakes IMO. If you have made a few quilts, skim these, but I am convinced you already know the information.

After the basic information listed above the projects start. There are a selection of very basic patterns, including Weekender and Orange Squeeze. Other patterns look harder, but the directions seem to be clearly explained. I didn’t make any of the quilts, but I looked at the patterns pretty carefully.

Each pattern has a lifestyle image of the quilt and an image where the quilt is laid flat, where readers can see the whole quilt. The patterns are several pages long (remember I was looking at this on my computer and phone and there were no page numbers, so YMMV). The pictures of the quilts are excellent and I thought various steps for making the quilts were illustrated appropriately and well. Most of the patterns show pictures of the quilt projects made up in alternate colorways. In at least one pattern there was also an alternate layout. For example, Afternoon Tea shows an X layout for the pattern, but also has a diagonal set in different colors and fabrics at the end of the section.

Pam and Nicky provide ‘Vital Statistics’ for each quilt. This provides the block size, sashing size, number of rows, etc. This is very helpful information when making a quilt.

I don’t agree with their method of putting most of the quilts together. You know, if you have been reading my blog for very long, that I like to ‘chunk’ quilts together to keep them straighter and to give myself a better chance of matching up seams along a whole row. Seventh Heaven, for example, is a quilt that could definitely be chunked together. Remember: you don’t have to follow the exact directions for a quilt from beginning to end. If you know of a way to put a quilt together that works better for you, then use that method.

There are some bold color choices as well. The alternate colorway for Orange Squeeze uses a fabulous violet for the background.

I really like the Afternoon Tea design. It is another lozenge quilt and I have a soft spot for them. I also like the Orange Squeeze alternate colorway. I might use if for a different quilt, though, such as the Pavlova pattern. Marmalade Cake is a design I would consider making. The blocks are a bit large for me, but I could downsize it and make the overall pattern repeat more. I also like Seventh Heaven, another lozenge quilt. I guess I’ll have to get back to that shape at some point.

There are a few patterns including Marmalade Cake and Paradise Quilt that show the Creative Grids non-slip Multi-size 45/90 ruler. Looking at the images, it is easy to see how to use this ruler. I have a Fons & Porter Half & Quarter ruler to make HSTs as well as the Bonnie Hunter Essential Triangle Tool, so I don’t think I can justify buying yet another ruler that does the same thing.

The patterns are followed by a ‘General Techniques’ section. Within this section is a ‘Tools’ subsection. The authors talk first about mats and rotary cutters, then tell the reader their favorite rulers are Creative Grids. They show, what they consider, their basics. The Lintotts say you need the Creative Grids non-slip Multi-size 45/90 ruler. With the Vital Statistics section and my Triangle Techniques tutorial, you will not need that ruler. Still, buy it, if you think it will help or, like me, because you love specialty rulers.

The ‘Seams’ subsection goes over the quarter inch seam allowance again and is followed by a ‘Seam allowance test’ subsection. The latter is a useful trick and will let you know where you are with your seam allowance. It also gives basic tips on how to fix any problems.

The ‘Pressing’ subsection is also useful. Pam and Nicki go into a lot of detail on pressing, especially pressing strips. I like the way they describe pressing strips. The section includes other subsections such as ‘Pinning’, ‘Chain Piecing’, ‘Removing Dog Ears’, ‘Joining Border & Binding Strips’, and ‘Adding Borders’. The Borders subsection talks about mitered and straight borders. The information is pretty good for mitered borders. It doesn’t really go into keeping your quilt square when adding borders, so look that information up somewhere else. A couple of paragraphs on quilting and a section on binding, with illustrations, are also included.

The end of the book talks a little about some common questions, backing fabric and labels.

If you need a project book, there are some interesting projects here. I liked a couple of the patterns. I also liked that the patterns included alternate colorways.

View all my reviews

Various & Sundry 2019 #7

I always start out with these posts thinking I won’t find anything, yet I do! Here is another supersized V&S for your reading pleasure!

Fabric, Notions, Supplies & Tools

Edgestitch has an interesting and terrifying article about organic cotton. Terrifying as in how it affects topsoil and what the ramifications of not paying attention to it will be. More bad news for our planet. πŸ™

If you want an easy way to add a zipper pocket to any bag project, you need Sara Lawson/Sew Sweetness’ new Acrylic Zipper Pocket Template (and Ruler). Slip pockets are not difficult and they can be very handy, but the measuring can be a hassle. Sara’s video shows how to use the new template to measure and mark for the slip pocket quickly and easily. It is also reasonably priced at $15 in her shop. It is definitely going on my Christmas list.

Studio Kat Designs has dotted and striped zippers. I am buying some of these next time I need zippers! They are awesome.

If you are confused about what to bring when a class list says to bring a BSK, AllPeopleQuilt has a list of items that should be included. I mostly agree with them, though I would add WonderClips and some hand sewing needles. Where I disagree is with the rotary cutting ruler. 6″ x 24″ is commonly thought of as the basic quilt ruler. I have one and do use it regularly, however I don’t use it every day. My go to ruler for almost every cut is a Creative Grids 4.5″x6.5″. Larger rulers are great and useful, but too unwieldy for small cuts. If you can only buy one ruler, I recommend a Creative Grids 8.5″x12.5″. this won’t help you much with long cuts, but it will be easier to handle when cutting 2.5″ squares and other small pieces. My other favorite ruler, which I use a lot and sits on my cutting table is the Creative Grids 3.5″x 12.5″. If you can buy a bunch of rulers, buy the 6″ x 24″, 4.5″x6.5″ and the 3.5″x12.5″. You’ll be set for awhile with these rulers. Also, you will find things you need to expand your BSK. I have paper scissors, a mechanical pencil and various other things. Collect your BSK in a travel kit so you can grab and go. As you expand your quilty life you’ll get duplicates of things and be able to keep one set at home and one set ready to go to class or Sew Day or a friend’s house.

Pink Door Fabrics has a great selection of bag hardware, including some rainbow finishes.

Friend Julie did a review of the Chaco Liner on her blog.

Maker’s Mercantile has some beautiful collections of Renaissance Ribbons for your embellishing pleasure. Among the options are sets by Sue Spargo, Amy Butler and Tula Pink.

I read recently that BLOCKBASE IS SOLD OUT! OMG! I love that software. It works with my EQ software and I don’t have to draw most blocks that I see and want to use or play with. Barbara Brackman, who announced this, also asked what could be done to improve the software. If you have ideas, let her know. You never know what might be added if you stick your oar in.

Patterns, Projects & Tutorials

Gretchen is a master at finding Quilt-a-Longs. She has mentioned two new ones in her recent blog post, The Struggle is Real. The sewing will be well on the way by the time you read this, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start the process later. The first is a QAL by Christa Watson using her Color Weave quilt pattern. I have seen a couple of other designs that have a similar look, so this stripe kind of look must be popular. If you have jelly rolls or an Accuquilt 2.5″ strip die, this is a great pattern. The second pattern is by Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts and does homage to crochet granny square afghans. It uses her Crochet pattern (no crochet involved!). It is a great design.

I have become accustomed to wearing an apron when I cook. This isn’t natural for me, but after ruining a few favorite t-shirts, I trained myself. Now I find aprons fun to make and great gifts. I found a list of free vintage style apron patterns on the Betty Cooks Lightly site. #19 on the left is hilarious looking – slightly flirty, or maybe tarty, but sort of fun also. There are a couple I would like to try. I need to try the apron patterns I have, however, first.

AllPeopleQuilt’s recent newsletter had a nice list of gifts for your sewing buddies. Since it is July, I thought you might be starting your holiday gifts. Some are reused from previous lists, but one might catch your attention so take a look.

I have a dessert roll of V&Co Ombre confetti fabrics. I want to get a dessert roll in the new colors as well, but am not sure what shop has dessert rolls. I have been looking at projects using dessert rolls (5″ x WOF). I found a great sampler on the Moda blog. I don’t think it is really what I want to make, but I love the variety of block sizes and might just be put off by the colors. How would it look in my colors?

Need some Jelly Roll Patterns? U-Create has some great designs. The fabric has a lot to do with the way the quilts look, I know. Remember: you can cut your own 2.5″ strips, if you don’t want to buy a jelly roll. I highly recommend this!

I came across a Bonnie Hunter block, Straits of Mackinac, that I adore. You can find in a post of hers from 2016. The quilt pattern is in her latest book, String Frenzy. I am put off my strings, but I think the /block/quilt could look very nice with scrappy fabrics and no strings.

I have a dessert roll (pre-cut) and have been looking for pattern options. I ran across the Project Jelly Roll page, which has a lot of resources, if you are a fan of jelly rolls and other pre-cuts. They are big on National Jelly Roll day and inform visitors of the exact date frequently.

Kevin the Quilter is hosting a two color quilt summer sew-a-long. Clue 1 was just posted and the Introduction is also available. I think this is more than a sew-a-long, but also a mystery quilt.

Bonnie Hunter has a new leaders and enders challenge for summer. You can find it on her free patterns page. I haven’t been to the free patterns page in awhile and was amazed at how many patterns live there! The 2019 Leaders & Enders challenge is Shoo, Fly, Shoo! The original post went live on July 4th. Bonnie Hunter amazes me. She has the most amazing patterns. I’d love to know how her mind works.

In Between Stitches has a super cool Block of the Month program called Summer Moon. The information on the In Between Stitches website was a little confusing, so I did a general web search and found, from the Jolly Jabber blog, that it is an actual Block of the Month program. However, I got the impression that there is also a book, so I went exploring. This is another Its Sew Emma book/Block of the Month extravaganza like Farm Girl Vintage, though Farm Girl was by Lori Holt and Summer Moon is by Carrie Nelson. I think I like it because of the fabrics rather than the actual design. There are blocks that are similar in the various Its Sew Emma projects. All the blocks are blocks I could do without buying a pattern, but the fabric selection is awesome. Also, I love samplers.

Remember I said I love Samplers? Well, I just got the news that Barbara Brackman is hosting a quilt-a-long. It is called the Daredevil Quilt-a-long and it is a sampler with a secondary pattern. The fabric requirements and some other info has been posted, but it officially starts early in August. She has a couple of options for purchasing the patterns in her Etsy shop. I have often thought a magazine called “Really Hard Quilts” would be great. There are a plethora of easy, quick and fast quilts out there, but nothing, or few, challenging patterns. Companies are afraid to scare quiltmakers away. This quilt-a-long will challenge you. It is not for the faint of heart, but you can do it.

Media & Online Groups

I’m still thinking about blocks. It doesn’t help that I get an email about vintage blocks every time Barbara Brackman updates her blog. I mentioned Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Quilt Patterns blog a few weeks ago. It is also called Cloud of Quilt Patterns. In one of her posts was a link to Moore about Nancy blog, which is a Nancy Cabot Sew-a-Long. It hasn’t been updated since 2014, as far as I can tell, but it has interesting blocks and the author gives guidelines on how to make them. The Nancy Cabot Sew-a-Long blog mentions the 101 Patchwork Patterns site, which has even more blocks!

I did not know that Sewing with Nancy had quilting communities and online groups.

Karen K. Buckley is in a fight about her scissors, which are the best, and the ripping off of the design.

The Guardian has a story about Faith Ringgold. Please support The Guardian.

Have you heard about Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal?

You may have seen my recent book review on Handmade Getaway. The co-author, Karyn Valen, has a great website called I like the pattern she shows using Flying Geese. It isn’t a difficult patternand the use of fabric is fantastic. I especially like it, because she cuts them using an electric Accuquilt! i would love one of these, but I just don’t have the space to leave it out. I don’t think I would want to hide it away as I do with the hand crank version I have.


Barbara Brackman talks about Gloria Vanderbilt’s patchwork interior on a recent blog post. She makes a comment that it was the 1970s with regard to the variety and quantity of prints. I see a correlation to present day. Riots of prints are used in quilts today. I am no exception. However, in the famous quiltmaker department Kathy Doughty has a gallery full of quilts using many prints. Kaffe Fassett also uses a lot of prints and color in his quilts.

Barbara Brackman (again!!) mentioned The Business of Folk Art exhibit in NYC on her blog recently. There is a book that goes along with the exhibit. The post mentions the Honstain quilt, which is in the collection of the International Quilt Study Center, but on display in New York right now. Brackman writes that “this sampler quilt dated 1867 that has the reputation as the most expensive antique quilt ever sold ($264,000 in 1991).” She has a lot of interesting history about the quilt in her post. It is worth reading.

Other Artists

In a recent comment on my Thinking about Blocks post, Ronni mentioned her Barn Block Alphabet project. She has a tag to relate the Barn Block Alphabet posts together. I am a little unclear on what the purpose of the project is, though Ronni does talk about her love for blocks in the comments. She has a number of products at a Society 6 shop.

Marianne Fons and Liz Porter will be inducted into the Quilter’s Hall of Fame. Marianne has a post about their start and how they became quiltmakers household names on her blog. I don’t like what F&W/The Quilting Company has done to Love of Quilting, but I like the way they teach and provide guidance for quiltmakers.

Doing Good

Covered in Love is collecting 12.5″ red, white and blue star blocks for charity quilts this summer. Any star pattern and as many or as few as youw ould like are welcome.

Exhibits & Shows

QuiltDivaJulie posted about a recent exhibit featuring the color blue. I love her Plus blocks at the top of the post. The quilts are unified by the size and the primary use of the color blue. It is interesting to see the variety of blues in the various quilts. There are also a variety of styles represented.

Flying Around Returns Again

Flying Around - mid July 2019
Flying Around – mid July 2019

In between a lot of work (actual work, the kind I get paid for) and work on the Orange Strip Donation Top, my main project for the weekend was Flying Around. I had a goal of getting the borders on the top part of the quilt finished. The left hand side was easy compared to the right. The right side was difficult, but the border is off the design wall. It’s really annoying how often this problem affects me. I know I should make smaller quilts, but my ideas make it impossible.

The top center is looking a bit weird and I am trying to decide if I need to rip it out. I am thinking that I can move the section right above the blue Friendship Circle up and add some more Flying Geese to connect the ones already there.

Friend Julie talked to me about the piece on Friday and that really helped. Sometimes getting an idea of what others are seeing is a good thing.

Keep in mind as you look at this piece that much of it is not sewn together, so it looks a little weird.

Orange Strip Donation Top Progresses

Orange Strip Donation Top with cut sashing
Orange Strip Donation Top with cut sashing

I spent a lot of time this past weekend getting the Orange Strip Donation Top in shape to bring to the meeting. That means selecting fabric and cutting sashing.

After the success of the Wonky 9 Patch, I became fond of this color combination. I am careful to find the right blue. It really works for me.

I didn’t like the look of the plain alternate blocks in the Green Strip Donation Top once it was quilted, so I opted for a chunky, but thinner sashing for this version. The blue is definitely a bold choice, but I like it.

FOTY 2017 Returns

At the end of a crazy week, I headed over with Friend Julie, to get my quilt from Colleen. Julie and I had planned to have lunch anyway. She was good enough to add 2 hours of driving to her day to come with me. She quickly finished a quilt back during the week and brought a quilt top to be quilted.

All I could do was pick up FOTY 2017. I didn’t have a quilt to bring and no hope of finishing anything suitable in the near future.

FOTY 2017 quilted
FOTY 2017 quilted

FOTY 2017 looks great. Colleen quilted the windows into the columns so they look like buildings like I wanted. I am pleased.

Now on to sewing down the binding and adding a sleeve. The binding is on the front as usual and I will hand stitch it down. The sleeve is made, so ditto.

BAM Meeting – June

I am writing these posts out of order, but I just realized I didn’t post about the most recent BAM meeting, which was before the most recent Sew Day. Lots happened, but some of the happenings stood out to me.

Sue S's Show & Tell - June BAM Meeting
Sue S’s Show & Tell – June BAM Meeting

At show and tell, Sue S (we now have 3-4 Sues!!!) showed a quilt I really liked. It wasn’t difficult, but it was wonderful and used lots of fabrics. The design would also be a great leaders and enders project.

This could be made using the 16 patches the Community Quilts team collects. It could also be started using 4 patches.

I also REALLY like the border. It is very effective. I think Sue S (she made the Casserole Carrier) is working through her UFOs and this was one she worked on while her mom was sick. It is a great example of a good way to relieve stress without eating or watching TV.

BAM Word Quilt Swap - June 2019
BAM Word Quilt Swap – June 2019

The results of the Word swap was also amazing. The variety of techniques was awe inspiring. I thought about participating in the swap for about 5 minutes, then didn’t think about it anymore. People really went out of their way to find great techniques beyond applique or paper piecing. Definitely click on the photo to see it larger. In one of the pieces, the negative space was quilted and the letters left unquilted. Genius!

Orange Strip Donation Blocks

Orange Strip Donation Blocks
Orange Strip Donation Blocks

I finished the last of the Orange Strip Donation blocks over the weekend. I am pretty pleased with how the blocks look together. As I said in another post, I like the way the color of these oranges look together. They aren’t too garish and are a bit softer, like a Creamsicle look.

I haven’t decided on fabric for the background. Tim gave me a beige-y biscuit color, but I don’t think I want to ruin the cheerful look of the oranges. I wanted a Creamsicle (yes, I am on a binge with that word today) solid, but don’t see one in all the color cards I have. I am going to rummage through my orange bin and see what turns up. I am not adverse to using different fabrics for the background, though I think a solid or tone on tone would be best.

Book Review: Handmade Getaway

Handmade GetawayHandmade Getaway by Jacqueline Sava Clarke

I pre-ordered this book at QuiltCon last year. This was a sort of self-published project. Jacqueline Sava Clarke was there doing pre-sales in an effort to get enough funding to finish the book. They also used Kickstarter with great results. A search for Getaway Press leads back to the co-authors’ website, MakeSomething with a hashtag chaser. Karyn Valino is the co-author

I read it as soon as it arrived, which was a few months after I ordered it. It has taken me awhile to get the review posted. The book was on the pricey side, because of the lack of corporate underwriting. I liked the idea and wanted to support some quilt entrepreneurs.

The book is about creating a successful retreat. I have been on many retreats. I love the long stretches of time where I get to sew without the interruption of dishes, meal prep or laundry. Most of the retreats I attend are group affairs where meals are at restaurants or provided by the facility. The Handmade Getaway difference is that the reader is led through planning a retreat at a family cabin or AirBnB-type location.

The first thing I noticed was the fabulous photos. They are not only beautiful but evocative as well. I especially like the photo of the hands basting located opposite the table of contents. The table of contents is extensive. The main sections are:

  • Authors (pg.10)
  • Preface (pg.12)
  • Anticipation (pg.16)
  • Sewing Day (pg.42)
  • The Weekend (pg.60)
  • Long Weekend (pg.96)
  • Week (pg.126)
  • Templates (pg.163)
  • Resources (pg.167)
  • Acknowledgements (pg.168)

Each section is broken down into many, many subsections. Subsections include planning and projects.

The Authors section (pg.10-11) is beautifully written. Jacqueline describes sewing outside and I get an amazing image in my mind of what she experienced.

“These are the place we go when our daily lives seem overwhelming and we need to recharge. …it is often an escape to our handstitching, our sewing machine or our fabric stash.” (pg.12) The words start off the preface. They continue the beautiful writing style we experienced in the Authors section. The Preface tells the story of how the group got started and how they began to organize their retreats (pg.14). One thing I noticed is pets are included (pg.14). The positives of having pets along are discussed, but allergies and fear of dogs is not.

Some terms are highlighted and then show up in other areas of the book as helpful hints or useful tips.

The retreats I have attended have the costs managed by the hotel or retreat center and clearly delineated. that may not be the case if you rent a house, so “it’s important to make sure you’ve got a clear understand of how you are dividing expenses and tasks before you finalize your plans” (pg.19). The page includes a list of financial costs to consider. There are digital versions of all of the charts and worksheets. The link is provided when you purchase the book.

Two charts that are really hand are shown in print form, project planning (pg.21) and food planning (pg.23). The pictures that accompany the food show grilled peaches (pg.22), which I want right now!

The first pattern is tool tags (pg.27), which would be useful at a retreat where tools get strewn everywhere. The accompanying photo (pg.26) shows how they would be used.

Washi tape is also shown (pg.28) as a marking tool for electronics.

The projects in the book are focused around organizing for the retreat or projects to work on at the retreat. To organize, projects include:

  • Tool tags (pg.27)
  • Zip pouch (pg.31-33)
  • Project bag (pg.34-37)
  • Travel ironing station (pg.38-41)
  • Hand sewing kit (pg.46-51)

The first timeframe covered is a single day, like a Craft Day (pg.45). The categories covered are Fabric, Friends and Food. A Hand Sewing Kit project (pg.46-51) is included as a useful bag to bring along. You might compare this particular design to those in Aneela Hooey’s book, Stitched Sewing Organizers: Pretty Cases, Boxes, Pouches, Pincushions & More or one of Sara Lawson’s bags, such as Windy City Bags or her Minikins collections before you decide to make it. There are a lot of good patterns out there. Sashiko (pg.52-55) and block printing (pg.56-59) are put forth as project suitable for one day retreats.

The Weekend section starts on pg. 60. The introduction encourage readers to “list twice pack once” (pg.60) and points out that “sometimes it’s the simplest tools…we forget that cause us the most grief” (pg.60). This is where I like to point out to my students that having a quiltmaking ‘Go’ bag alleviates some of the forgetting. My quiltmaking ‘Go’ bag includes a full set of tools so I can do basic quiltmaking without ever removing a tool from my workroom. Obviously fabric and notions can also be forgotten, but with a quiltmaking ‘Go’ bag you have one less worry.

Again, Fabric, Friends and Food is part of the section. A little more detail on food is included (pg.63).

Weekend Getaway contains a sewing machine maintenance group activity (pg.64-67). This is one of the last things I would do on retreat, but to each her own. Like a lot of things, however, it might be more fun in a group. The issue I see is people having different machines. This activity has basic cleaning tasks such as removing lint and changing the needle (pg.66) which are pretty universal. If have a Bernina, the photos are fantastic. One photo is a reminder to bring your manual. I always ALWAYS do this.

All of the projects relate to getting away from home and the pillowcase is no different. This pattern uses (pg.68-71) French seams, but is not the burrito method I normally use.

Other projects include designing a notebook cover (pg.72-75), a moving blanket with foundation pieced letters (pg.76-85), using foil transfers to make your fabric different (pg.86-89), and big square tote bag (pg.90-95).

The Long Weekend section follows the Weekend chapter. The blurb on the first page of Long Weekends seems a little like a sales pitch. Who really needs to be sold on more sewing or on a book you already bought?

One of the good tips in this section is about acknowledging whether you are a night or morning person. The paragraph ends with “Relax with some hand sewing, a cocktail or chill beside a puppy. Otherwise you be redoing you work in the morning” (pg.98). Truer works were never uttered with regard to morning people. The section also includes some thoughts on being considerate, ‘Cocktail of the Day’ (pg.99), and sharing fabric.

The projects in this section are less about the trip than house stuff in general. Among the projects are placemats (pg.101-107), a quilt using vintage pillowcases (pg.108-114) and directions and tips on creating a group or community quilt (pg.114-119).

A week long retreat can’t be left out of a book like this. “Four to six days allows for long stretches of sewing…” (pg.127). A lot of the tips from the other sections apply here as well, just in greater quantities. There are only two pages of text before the projects start: a picnic blanket (pg.130-135) and cynotype printing plus a napkin project (pg.136-145). There is also a medallion quilt project that includes pieces from those who can’t join the retreat (pg.146-162). the pattern shows how to make all the pieces rather than telling the reader how to incorporate pieces from afar. This isn’t about composition. It is about following a pattern despite what the introduction says. The medallion quilt also provides the authors a clever way to introduce those who regularly participate in their retreats.

The book ends with a list of resources and thanks yous.

All in all this is a beautifully designed book. The paper and photographs are high quality. I love the self published aspect. The projects are a little different, though presented in a relatively standard way. I would have talked more about working on your own projects and how that works away from your workroom. I think the information about organizing a retreat could be very helpful.

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Half Hexies Again

I have been working steadily on the half hexie project while I watch TV after dinner. I am making progress, but it feels slow.

I have started to make the piece wider by adding whole rows to the straight side of the piece. I can’t say whether I like this method, but it is controlled and does make the piece wider.

Half hexie star top on the bed
Half hexie star top on the bed

Yesterday I heaved the top on the bed and checked to see how many more rows I need.

I don’t normally show my messy bed, but this is the best way to show progress. The length is good, thought I do need to straighten up the top and bottom edges. From the photo, I think I need 6-8 more rows to make the quilt wide enough to cover the whole bed.

Scrapitude Carnivale is under the Half Hexie piece so it might cause some visual confusion.

Arty Flapper Apron Finished!

Paint Tube Flapper Apron
Paint Tube Flapper Apron

I finished the Flapper Apron for my mom. This is the project I started at Sew Day with Gerre and then worked on at the most recent BAM Sew Day.

I spent a few hours on Sunday finishing it up. Now I can show it at the BAM meeting in a few weeks and give it to my mom after she returns from Portland.

This is a pattern you can use with a yard of fabric. You cut the pattern out on the bias. The biggest attraction is that you only *need* one yard of fabric to make it. I usually make the apron reversible, which takes 2 yards. I like to give myself a little breathing room with 1.25 yards on each side. Still, the pattern is designed for one yard of fabric.

Paint Tube Flapper Apron - reverse side
Paint Tube Flapper Apron – reverse side

The pattern directions say nothing about directional fabric. When I made my youngest SIL’s apron the fabric was directional. I decided not to pay attention to the fabric motif and just made the apron. The motif is at an angle, but SIL didn’t complain. On my mom’s version, I wanted the paint tubes to go up and down. Gerre helped me look at the different options for cutting it out. I was concerned about the bias, but since this is an apron, I decided not to care too much.

I did notice when I was finishing it that the edges are all, now, on the bias. For an apron, who cares? For other types of garments, I wouldn’t make this choice. Also, I top stitched all around the edge, so the bias shouldn’t be an issue.

Read about this pattern on the first post I wrote about it. Long term readers will know that I have made several of these aprons. You can see all the aprons I have made, including several from this pattern, using the tag.

BAM July Sew Day

I got myself organized after the week’s strange schedule to head to Sew Day. Surprisingly, we had 15 or so people in attendance. I was the first to show up after Mary and she was pleased because she wasn’t sure if anyone would show up. Holiday weekend and all, I suppose.

We always set up and clean the tables first. As we were doing that, others showed up and offered help.

I brought cutting and organizing only, after bringing my machine last time for the Jelly Roll Rug. I have a number of projects that needed attention and brought them along.

First, the Flapper apron I am making as a gift needed some corners. It took me longer than expected to get these corners ready to sew, but I finally accomplished the task and moved on to the bag.

I decided to make a Poolside tote as a gift. Mine was a pain to make, but I started using it for my knitting and find it very useful. I think my recipient will probably find it useful as well.

En Provence - Peaky & Spike example
En Provence – Peaky & Spike example

I also brought the Mondo Bag to arrange, but didn’t get to it. Cyndi and I spent some time talking about Deb Tucker rulers. She recently bought the V Block ruler, which I think works on the same principle as my Split Recs ruler with a slightly different outcome. The V Block ruler makes Peaky and Spike blocks, like I used for En Provence. Perhaps I’ll try it when I get around to the next En Provence quilt.

I brought a pattern for a nightshirt that I wanted to cut out. Mary is a master at garments and she finished all of her projects. I asked her to cut out my nightshirt and she agreed. This means I got a third more done than I thought I would!

Marty's Flying Geese quilt
Marty’s Flying Geese quilt

People were busy at Sew Day as well. Marty was working on a binding. Her use of mustard is the best I have seen. the colors in general are great. The piece is not too depressing, but also very neutral. It’s hard to see, but  the background fabrics are low volume text (and text-like) prints. She used some that I used in En Provence. I also like the way she placed the Flying Geese. This is Marty’s fourth quilt! She was able to finish the binding today and we all cheered.

Cyndi's JCB blocks
Cyndi’s JCB blocks

I was pleased to see Cyndi’s Jen Carlton Bailly blocks. She decided to make enough for a large wall hanging or small lap quilt and was working on them.

The fabrics she is using are very cheerful. I saw one overlap with my Circle tablerunner!

I didn’t get a photo after she finished it, but I did see it and it looks really great.

Once finished with the circles, she took out a different piece she is making from Camille Roskelly’s Simply Retro book. I saw the quilt she is making in the book and didn’t think much of it, but Cyndi’s version uses more dark fabrics in the background. It is much more appealing *to me* that way.

Gerre's Jen Carlton Bailly blocks
Gerre’s Jen Carlton Bailly blocks

Finally, Gerre also brought her Jen Carlton Bailly blocks. She had sewn a couple of rows together and was able to get the top done by the time Sew Day was over. She used Amy Butler fabrics and the piece is fantastic.

I have some new projects to work on and some of the small tasks ready to move me to my next steps. I am happy!

Casserole Carrier Returns

Casserole Carrier by Sue S
Casserole Carrier by Sue S

I received a casserole carrier from Sue at the 2017 BAM Winter Extravaganza. I haven’t had much of an opportunity to use it, but I did at Sew Day with Gerre.

Nobody in my house is particularly fond of cornbread. I enjoy it. Sometime ago I found out that Gerre loves cornbread. Now when we get together, I make cornbread.

Casserole Carrier in use
Casserole Carrier in use

At our last Sew Day, I was in a rush, because my previous tasks had taken longer than expected, so the cornbread came out of the oven right before I planned to leave. I didn’t want to wait for it to cool. I wanted to GO. Then I remembered the casserole carrier! I hadn’t used the pan that came with it, but I tried it anyway. The pan I used was a little small, but the velcro on the carrier was adjustable, so it worked great.

I was thrilled. Gerre was impressed and I was very thankful to Sue!

This came up because AllPeopleQuilt have a casserole carrier pattern available in this month’s newsletter. I am sure you can find others, too, if you don’t like the one they provide. I think you will use it, if you make one.

I saw some very nice, but inexpensive casserole pans/dishes at Tuesday Morning a few days ago, if you need one.