Almost Perfect Binding

I am working on another Running with Scissors tote. Yes, I am a glutton for punishment.I am trying to get my head around the process.

I was able to get the stripes in order this time, which was great.

Running with Scissors tote binding
Running with Scissors tote binding

I also did the binding really well. I am pretty pleased with how it looks.

This time I did better , thought I still don’t have a handle on the process. It is as foreign to me this time as it was last time. I think this might mean I have to make another one. 🙂


Mini-Charms are NOT 2.5

Traffic Pattern block #1
Traffic Pattern block #1

As you know, I have been working on the Traffic Jam pattern. I am using Mini-Charms that have been laying around for awhile. One thing I know, but came to my attention again was that Mini-Charms are not 2.5 inches square. they are about 2.5 inches square, but not exactly.

I decided to ignore that fact on the first block and found that the 4.5 inch corner pieces didn’t fit. It should come as no surprise, but sometimes I need to see for myself. Sigh. Also, I often hope for a little magic. There was none to be found.

After taking apart the parts of the block I had sewed, I decided to trim the 4 patches. This can be tricky, so I took pictures of what I did.

Center Ruler over 4 Patch
Center Ruler over 4 Patch

First, I centered the ruler over the 4 Patch block.

I have the 4.5 x 8.5 inch Creative Grids ruler**  that fits my hand very well. I use it all the time so I also know it very well. By focusing on the total size of the 4 patch(4.5 inches), I was able to find the center of the block on the ruler.

You can see by looking at the 4.5 inch square that there are pinked edges outside of that line.

Prepare to cut other 2 sides of block
Prepare to cut other 2 sides of block

Next, I trimmed two sides and flipped the block around.

In the picture on the left, you can see that I have trimmed all four sides of the 4 Patch and it is exactly 4.5 inches square.

Also, I don’t have those pinked edges. This is now the perfect size and will fit with the 4.5 inch plain squares in the block above.

Trimming mini-charms
Trimming mini-charms

While I am on the subject, this concept applies to the single mini-charms as well.

You can see that the mini-charm is not exactly 2.5 inches. It needs to be trimmed. I trim all of my extra mini charms, so I have fewer problems when I put donation blocks together.

Don’t assume your patches are the right size. Measure and trim as needed.










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Blue Strip Donation Top/Back Complete

Blue Strip Donation Top
Blue Strip Donation Top

Last Friday, I think, I finished the top and back of the Blue Strip Donation quilt. the piece is going in my bag to take to guild if the meetings ever start up again. I am feeling a bit lonely today. I know the social distancing is important for the health of the country, but I need a little more interaction than I am getting.


I am really pleased with the way the top came out. I had a half yard of two different yellows. The one I used on the border is Califon by Mark Lipinski. I like it, but it was languishing, so I thought I might as well use it.

Blue Strip Donation Back
Blue Strip Donation Back

The back was super easy! I had one large piece of blue and just needed to add a little bit to make it bigger. WHEW! No back drama this time.

Finished: Warm Windmill

Finished: Warm Windmill
Finished: Warm Windmill

The Warm Windmill is finished. I think I already added it to my spreadsheet, so no additional fabric usage. I am pleased with the way it came out.

I need to figure out if I am going to keep it until I can show it at a guild meeting. I am getting a pileup of quilts around the house, so I am inclined to send it along to its new home. We’ll see.

Finished: Warm Windmill (back)
Finished: Warm Windmill (back)

Traffic Jam in Process

No pinching the blog! There is green in these blocks. 🙂

In between piecing Frolic! over the weekend, I used the Traffic Jam pattern as leaders and enders. I used up my stash of Marmalade Dreams mini-charms as well as two other packs of mini-charms. I had to scrounge for additional mini-charms, because I was a little short of the Marmalade Dreams I needed to make a small donation quilt. I think it will be fine once it is finished.

Frolic! Moves Along

You probably think Frolic! is taking forever. I think it is so you wouldn’t be wrong!

Frolic! Mid March 2020
Frolic! Mid March 2020

I pieced a lot this weekend, what with COVID-19 keeping me at home 24/7 (no, I am not sick, but everything is cancelled), I really had nothing else I wanted to do. I finally finished sewing together all of the whole blocks.

After not getting a response to my plea for the Amy Bradley fabric, I am cutting the last bits very carefully and scrounging every last bit. I won’t have enough to use for the half and quarter blocks, but I found another fabric that will work as well. It has a similar blue to the background of the Amy Bradley fabric, so will blend in.

Various & Sundry 2020 #4


I read this essay on receiving a quilt as a gift and really thought it was spot on.

Remember Mel from the Great British Baking Show? Well, she is making a quilt along with a co-presenter on a podcast. It is described as “Mel Giedroyc is quilting. No really, she’s making a quilt. … Each week on this brand new podcast follow along as Mel Giedroyc and her presenter pal Andy Bush add to their patchwork quilt with new squares of material donated by friends, famous types and most importantly the listeners! They’ll find out the stories behind the fabrics, develop their sewing skills and naturally, have a big old chat. And a cup of tea. And probably some biscuits.… A Somethin’ Else production. ” I haven’t had a chance to listen yet. What do you think?

I found an article on the group project to finished a deceased quiltermaker’s map of the US.

Barbara Brackman talked about Kim McLean recently in a blog post. Kim makes quilts based on traditional designs (lots of applique’). She makes them fresh and new by using Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics. One of the things Barbara mentions is the trail of inspiration Kim used for one of her quilts. I found it so interesting. It reminded me of that scene in the elevator in 9 to 5 where the secretary is talking to the stock trader about how she came up with the idea of a trade or stock purchase.

Quiltmaking hits the mainstream on CBS This Morning with Jenny Doan!

Want to know about Rose Kretsinger? Thanks to Frances of the QuiltFiction podcast and the Off Kilter Quilt, I can offer up a video. “Assistant Curator of Exhibitions, Jonathan Gregory, discusses the life of quilt designer Rose Kretsinger (1886-1963) in this 2009 video from the International Quilt Study Center & Museum archive.”

Patterns, Projects and Tutorials

I saw flower pincushions and they made me smile. I thought I might be able to figure out the pattern by looking at the photos, but I think this is one pattern I would have to buy.

HandyLim Mum has a wordless double zipper pouch tutorial. It is surprisingly effective. Yes, I want to make one.

From Sewing Times, another wordless tutorial, comes a great cosmetic or go on retreat small bag. It has outside pockets and a small handle. Yes, I want to make this one, too.

Pink Pony Designs is a new designer of bags to me and she has great bags. I really like the shape of the Hollywood Handbag. She also has acrylic templates for some of her bags, which can be used with a rotary cutter to cut out bags. Her work is gorgeous – lots of leather (fake leather?), etc. She has a few free patterns as well.


Check out the gallery of improv quilts by Janet Steadman at the Pacific Northwest Art School.

Paul Klee’s personal notebooks are now online.

Barbara Brackman has a blog post about the pattern Broken Circle AKA Suspension Bridge. I really love the first example in red and white.

Other Artists

I sometimes mentioned QuiltDivaJulie. She makes a ton of tops! Recently she referred to a friend, Lynne Tyler, who is telling the story of how they met. Lynne is illustrating the series of posts with quilt mages. One REALLY grabbed me. It is a letter quilt, but the letters spell out the names of colors. Not blue, red, green, but turquoise, vermillion, malachite. I love the letters, but I also love the ingenuity in naming the colors. It makes them exotic, fabulous.

Supplies, Tools, Notions and Fabric

I found one of the best machine reviews I have read. The review covers a Juki TL-2200QVP Mini, mainly, but mentions other machines as well. I don’t have a Juki, but I have several friends who love theirs.

Traffic Jam Donation Top

Vicki Holloway of My Creative Corner3 induced me to try out the Traffic Jam Sew-a-Long with her FB group.

Traffic Pattern block #1
Traffic Pattern block #1

Traffic Jam is a free pattern by Pat Sloan. I didn’t need a pattern to make this quilt. I just started sewing my mini-charms together and cut the background fabrics to fit the standard 9 patch layout.

I did seek out the pattern after Vicki mentioned the secondary pattern that appears when the pattern is made with sashing. In the first photo, I didn’t see the secondary pattern, but in checking out the Linky photos, I did see it. Not sure I will add sashing and cornerstones, but we will see.

I am using that beige-ish fabric as the background as I probably won’t use it for one of my own quilts. I have no idea why I bought it, but it works pretty well for this piece. I have a yard and will make as many blocks as I can with that much fabric.

I am using mini-charm packs of Marmalade Dreams by Valori Wells. I collected a bunch of them at some point – at some quilt event. I probably won’t use them for another project, though I do like them.

Blue Strip Donation Top Close to Finished

Blue Strip donation Top - without outer border
Blue Strip donation Top – without outer border

I made some progress over the past several days on my newest donation quilt. I want to get the top done so that I can gain back the design wall. I just have the outer borders to sew on. I also have the back to make and, perhaps, the binding, but I think I will leave the binding to someone else.

I am pleased with how it looks, but dismayed at how few of my blue scraps were used. The blocks required one to a few yards, but my blue scrap drawer is still full and hard to close. More quilts!

Cyndi’s Ultimate Carry All

Cyndi's Ultimate Carry All
Cyndi’s Ultimate Carry All

As I said, I went to Sew Day the other day. Cyndi blew us out of the water. Neither Lynette or I have made much progress with our bags. Cyndi brought her FINISHED and filled Ultimate Carry All Bag. Yep! The rockstar finished her bag.

This is part of my unhappiness at not being able to work on my bag: I wanted to be a model cheerleader. I am glad it is Cyndi who is the cheerleader.

Cyndi's Ultimate Carryall Bag -closed, front view
Cyndi’s Ultimate Carryall Bag -closed, front view

Cyndi retired recently and said that she became obsessed with the bag. We wanted people to be able to make the bag with support, so could feel successful. I thought people would do it a little at a time.

Cyndi's Ultimate Carryall Bag -closed, back view
Cyndi’s Ultimate Carryall Bag -closed, back view

She has not made the bag exactly as the pattern suggests, which seems to be the norm for our group.

She did a great job and I love the fabric, the changes and the fact that she finished already. I need to get my act together!

Cyndi's Ultimate Carry All-with ironing pad
Cyndi’s Ultimate Carry All-with ironing pad

One thing she did was put fabric on the inside bottom of the front (fall down) panel ( first photo above). This allowed her have a useful space and create a separate ironing pad. Having the ironing pad separate means she can remove the ironing pad to use it outside of the bag (photo left). GREAT idea! I think I may do this.

As I may have discussed, this bag has a lot of pockets. I want to say it has 37 pockets, but I might be making that up. You can see some of the pockets in good use in the  photos of the open bag. Cyndi said she didn’t make all of the pockets. I plan to make them all, having made a start with the short front pocket, because I think I will eventually use them. Cyndi added a Clippy pocket after the fact by hand sewing it to what she has already made. That pleased me very much.

Cyndi has made good use of her pockets. I am really pleased.

Cyndi said the binding was the hardest part. I found that to be true with the Running with Scissors Tote. I need to get on this project so I can give advice.



St. Patrick’s Day Donation Blocks

I talked about Sew Day the other day. The blocks I made are below. I didn’t take photos of all of the blocks, unfortunately, but I got 12 of them.

Gifts for Gerre

I have enjoyed revisiting gifts I made for Julie and my mom. I haven’t made as many gifts for Gerre, but I decided to revisit them anyway.

I am not trying to show what a great person I am. I enjoy making gifts for other, especially useful gifts. Revisiting them is just a way to enjoy them again, I guess.

Sew Day Projects

I had great intentions to get the pockets of my Ultimate Carryall Bag made during Sew Day. I also wanted to set a good example by working on it and encourage people to get it done.

Best laid plans.

I forgot my mesh and the interfacing. In reality, I thought I had everything already cut and prepared. I hadn’t cut the mesh and the interfacing wasn’t adhered. People were very kind and tried to help me out, but I gave it up as not possible.

St. Patrick's Day Donation block
St. Patrick’s Day Donation block

I turned to charity work. I grabbed some packs of 2.5 inch squares, which Peggy always has available, and started to make some squares.

I didn’t want to waste bringing my machine. If I couldn’t work on my own projects the next best thing was to do community service work.

I sewed the squares into blocks. It is an easy mindless task, though I did pay attention to color and print placement. I was able to follow the conversation fairly easily and still sew. My plan was just to sew a bunch of blocks. It turned out that I was pretty fast. Mary helped after she finished her project, so we were able to finish a baby quilt. Mary took the top home and will put borders on, then bring it to the meeting.

St. Patrick's Day Donation Top
St Patrick’s Day Donation Top

I am sad I didn’t get to work on the bag. The quilt project wasn’t planned, but I am pleased that I didn’t drag my machine down for nothing.

International Women’s Day Mega Pinnie

Gerre's Mega Pinnie Gift
Gerre’s Mega Pinnie Gift

A couple of weekends ago, I realized it was a friend’s birthday today, so I needed to get busy and make a gift. I had decided to make another Mega Pinnie. I already had the fabrics and the pattern picked out. It was really just a matter of cutting and sewing.

She doesn’t celebrate her birthday anymore; she celebrates International Women’s Day.

Gerre's Mega Pinnie Gift - other side
Gerre’s Mega Pinnie Gift – other side

These are really fun to make. I really enjoyed making this one. It came together really easily (not too much unsewing). I chose some of the fabrics to go with the Dia de las Muertos fabric. I wanted to have an edgy urban look.

Gerre's Mega Pinnie Gift - detail
Gerre’s Mega Pinnie Gift – detail

I also did some things a little different. I quilted part of the main panels with decorative stitch. I thought about stitching the decorative stitch all the way down the panel, which I used to attach the pockets. I decided not to use the decorative stitch all the way down, so I switched to a straight stitch on the pockets.

I am pleased with the way this one came out. I might make another one for one of the raffle baskets.