More Donation Blocks

Pink Words donation block
Pink Words donation block

I spent a lot of sewing time making gift bags with fabric I unearthed from my fabric closet. I finished about 10 bags and was able to get back to using donation squares as leaders and enders.

Some of these blocks are from last year – as in a few weeks ago.

Pink & purple donation block
Pink & purple donation block
Red-violet dot donation block
Red-violet dot donation block
Purple Paris donation block
Purple Paris donation block
Black with dots donation block
Black with dots donation block


2021 All Donation Blocks

I definitely didn’t make as many donation blocks in 2021 as I did in 2020. Still, I have a few to share and I am a firm believer in the old adage ‘ every little bit helps’.

I started making the guild 16 patches in May. Even though I cut tons of squares, I just didn’t get to it. I was using other projects for leaders and enders. Then I started the workroom upgrade. It has all conspired to make me not as productive in the donation area than last year.

This is still an important part of my quiltmaking and I’ll get back to making more blocks again.

Door Prize Gift

Drawstring bags by Sue
Drawstring bags by Sue

I received a small shipment of various items for the BAM 2022 door prize bags. Sue chose the In Color Order Drawstring bag pattern I have mentioned a few times and made some bags. We can use them for the door prize main bag or for holding smaller items.

I love the way Sue pieced some of the bags and also her fussy cutting. She said she will work on other projects for the door prizes in January.

I have to get myself together to organize the bags for the year. At the moment I have very few items to give away, but I can scrape together a bag for January. Then I’ll have plenty of time to worry about the rest of 2022.

Swap Gift

Swap pouch from Joelle
Swap pouch from Joelle

I totally forgot to post about the wonderful swap gift I got from Joelle at the BAM party the other day. This pouch looks like the Persimmon Dumpling pouch from Sew Sweetness, but it is actually the Dome pattern from Minkee Kim.I suppose there are only so many pouch shapes in the world.

Swap pouch from Joelle - interior
Swap pouch from Joelle – interior

Joelle described the construction and it seems a little different from the Persimmon Dumpling Pouches I made. This pouch has little shield in the bottom to keep things from falling out, I guess, which is clever.

Joelle said she didn’t like the way the zipper was put in. The technique leaves part of the zipper exposed. I can see what she means, but Joelle did a great job being precise about inserting the zipper so it looks nice and even.

Swap pouch from Joelle - zipper
Swap pouch from Joelle – zipper

Also, you can see in the interior view that the exposed zipper is not that noticeable.

I haven’t decided how I will use this pouch, but I have some hardware that might need a home.

A Few Donation Blocks

Orange bubble Donation Block
Orange bubble Donation Block

I haven’t been spending time on donation blocks lately, but I have made a couple lately. Mostly, I haven’t been piecing, which means I haven’t been making blocks.

I found my box of squares destined to be donation blocks, which had been buried. When I have needed a leader and ender lately, I have been able to grab a couple of them. Suddenly I have two blocks. It’s not a lot, but every little bit helps.

Philip Jacobs Donation block
Philip Jacobs Donation block

I forgot how much I enjoy seeing different fabrics put together. Aren’t the blue and pink Philip Jacobs flowers a great combo?

Winter Extravaganza Party

BAM 2021 Wagon Parking
BAM 2021 Wagon Parking

You know its a party when the wagon parking lot appears! This was only, but people had gone off with others to move more items. There is a lot of moving of heavy sewing machines and things for Sew Day.

Yes, we had Sew Day AND a party yesterday. It was such a happy and cheerful time. I think everyone really needed a boost and this was it.

Most of my favorite people were there, though a couple couldn’t make it for various COVID (blech!!) related reasons.

December Sew Day Workspace
December Sew Day Workspace

My workspace was pretty barren, because I forgot my Brocade Peony STB, which had all of my La Pass sewing supplies in it! I just had to walk over to the couch where I have been working each night, pick it up and toss it in my Go-To-Meeting bag. Did I do it? No.

La Pass M5 shapes cut out
La Pass M5 shapes cut out

Fortunately, I did have my La Pass Inside Outside pouch, my fabric and my rotating cutting mat. The pouch had my templates so, after borrowing a rotary cutter I was able to do something. Cutting out my shapes for M5 was a good use of my time, too. I was able to get all of the shapes cut out. I thought I would do more sewing on M3, but every little bit helps get the La Pass project done.

There was a nice table set up. Someone brought a garland and the buffet table felt very festive. We really did a number on the food. It was quite delicious so a lot of it was gone. Bonnie made some fabulous roasted vegetables (vegees at lunch???!!??). People said Gerre’s scalloped potatoes were good. They had flour so I couldn’t try them. They make me want to try making them. I love scalloped potatoes and usually can’t eat them.

Sue brought a baked Brie, for which she bought special gluten free crackers. She realized that I couldn’t eat the baked Brie because of the pastry. We had a good laugh. She is really nice and usually thinks about bringing a GF portion for me.

People did sew quite a bit, so there was a lot of fun sewing mess around. There was a lot of handwork happening, including 3 people doing needlepoint!

2022 BAM Officers
2022 BAM Officers

Our new officers were introduced, most of them we know and love.

All in all, it was a lot of fun and I am glad I went.

New Donation Top

End n.11 in process
End n.11 in process

I was feeling like a slacker especially after seeing how many donation quilts were brought to our in person (!!!) guild meeting last week.When I went back and looked, it had really only been since July that I made a donation quilt, Ends. n.10 with the rest of the Pop Parade scraps.

On Saturday, I started working on another Ends donation top. This is Ends n.11 and I will hand it in to Peggy soon.

I found a whole bunch of edges of old quilts when I rearranged some stuff that was going back into my workroom*. Sigh. I thought I was doing so well keeping up with making stuff with the edges of the quilts I finish. This is an old stash, stashed before I thought of these ends quilts.








*N.B. I have three weeks to get all of my stuff back into my room before the Y.M. comes home for Thanksgiving.

Maria’s Potholders

My guild had their first in person meeting over the weekend. Maria organized a swap as a fun thing to welcome everyone back. I joined and was assigned Maria who wanted potholders.

Maria's potholders
Maria’s potholders

Potholders are almost the last thing I would consider making. When I use potholders I want them to protect my hands from the heat and I have not found that homemade potholders do that. Still, Maria wanted potholders, so I made potholders.

I had some Insulbright on hand, so I used that in addition to two layers of batting. The sandwich was super fat. I didn’t want to do very much thread sinking, so I didn’t quilt it as much as I could have, but they turned out pretty thin in the end. I hope all the layers will protect Maria’s hands.

She also wanted lime green. Since I made her a pillow before, I decided to stick with that theme and use the same block. I had to redraw the block in EQ8, because I couldn’t find my block from the swap. The proportions came out a little different in this piece, but I think they still look good.

I didn’t think about a hanging loop until it was too late to put one on. Oh well.

I added in pink because I like pink and it made the potholders look cheerful and celebratory. The theme of the swap is Celebration! so the colors fit. I made a gift bag in the same fabric as the binding. The gift is ready to go.

Working UCAB

Mom's UCAB to go
Mom’s UCAB to go

While this is Mom’s UCAB, I tested it on my travel sewing machine bag to see if it would work for me. The key is to adjust the back sleeve to fit over your rolly bag handle. I have no idea if there are standard sizes for those, so make sure you check before you sew everything to the exterior.

I plan to put my smaller items in the UCAB. I am not sure how I am going to reconcile this bag with the Tupperware box.

The picture below shows the bag empty, but trust me when I say I filled it up. It isn’t completely filled.

Sewing machine cart - front pocket
Sewing machine cart – front pocket

I need mine to contain all my to go items – notions and rulers, etc. I put them in the various pockets of the sewing machine bag, which has a lot of pockets, but it makes some of the zippers hard to open.

October Sew Day

Sew Day Workroom
Sew Day Workroom

We had another in person Sew Day the other day. We all wore masks and did quite a bit of physical distancing. We each had our own 6 foot table, which was nice not only for safety, but also because we could spread out.

In addition we had, as usual, cutting tables, ironing boards and a free table. The usual, overflowing snack table was strangely empty. I did not have a chance to make coffee cake, so I wasn’t surprised that other were in the same boat.

As usual, it was great to see people. Mary and I tested the 5 ironing boards the guild has and decided two of them were substandard – one was too wobbly and one tilted in an odd direction. We have been wanting to do that for awhile, so it was good to get it done.

The Sew Day was actually a Super Sew Day in that people came on Friday and Saturday. I put together two door prize bags, which were won by Amy and Joelle. I wish I could have attended on Friday, but work and taking off the Friday before prevented me from attending.

Someone from the church donated her mother’s fabrics. The mother had died and there were 12 garbage bags full of fabric. Some guild members sorted the fabric. People chose pieces they wanted. Most of the fabric was Joann quality. I didn’t take any, but some went to make pet beds. I think some will go to the community quilt project as well. The rest of the fabric will go to FabMo for others to pick through.

Sew Day Workspace
Sew Day Workspace

My workspace was good. Having a 6 foot table to myself allowed me to leave Rosette #1 flat on the table while I worked with the smaller chunks.

It also allow people to see the big part of the piece and not disturb my progress. As I said before, people are very interested in the progress of my piece. They were less interested this time in English Paper Piecing in general. The La Pass rosettes are very impressive and my Rosette #1 is no exception.

Month 3 arrived and I was able to press the fabric as well.

People were working on really nice projects. Rhonda sat across from me and shared a design wall with Melinda. Rhonda’s piece (right) was fantastic! She is working on a round robin with Cheryl, Kelly, Ruth and some others. It is one of the best round robins I have ever seen. She told me that Ruth did a lot of the design work. I love everything about it.

Melinda’s piece was also really great. The colors aren’t exactly my colors, but I did like the combination. It is really different. I also like the variety of plus (cross) blocks. I received some of these fabrics in one of the Modern Handmade modern boxes I got last year before they stopped the subscriptions.

Alice's block
Alice’s block

Other people were working on interesting projects as well. Bonnie was working on a quilt top that looks woven. Nancy was quilting a community quilt. Alice finished a great block that I think was paper pieced.

Amy found a project that has generated interest throughout the guild. She found a pattern for a zipper organizer. She made one for Mary C as a gift and Mary started to use it to organize pieces for a quilt she is working on. It looks like it works really well! I think I might need to make some as gifts.

Mary clipped the various pieces for her Aftershock quilt in groups and then hung them on the zipper organizer, which is now a project organizer. I can see using it for bag parts and other projects.

Mary's Aftershock quilt
Mary’s Aftershock quilt

The other thing I noticed was the quilt on which Mary was working. As mentioned it is called Aftershock and is from Wren Collective. Mary picked her colors and then didn’t have enough of the background. Also, the quilt store was out of it. The quilt store, Bay Quilts, was very helpful in that they pulled Mary’s foreground colors and suggested several different background colors. Mary picked the maroon-ish you see above. She admitted that it wasn’t one she would normally pick, but that it worked really well. I have to agree. It isn’t a color I would pick, but it looks great with her foreground colors.

All in all it was a really good day!

My UCAB Exterior

I had a day off the other day and really wanted to finish my UCAB.

UCAB Lining
UCAB Lining

In order to finish the exterior I had to sew the lining. I decided to put in an ironing pad even though I don’t think I will use it much. I have my new Mini Maker Case, so I may actually use it. I will try it out regardless.

I had to cut all of the pieces for the lining before assembling the interior. Construction of the lining went pretty smoothly.

UCAB Exterior
UCAB Exterior

Another task was to finish the exterior. I sewed the three parts together (back, front and bottom), which was pretty easy. I did have some trouble with the pleather bottom sticking to my machine’s bed. I held up both edges and kept as much of it off the machine bed as I could. Then I sort of shoved it through, but will need to rethink that strategy in the future. It doesn’t make for nice stitching.

Laid out like the photo left doesn’t do anything for the overall look of the bag, but you know how it is. It always looks worse before it looks better.

UCAB Exterior - standing up
UCAB Exterior – standing up

I wanted the bottom to be flat, so I sewed two layers of Peltex to the pleather – kind of like quilting it. I was careful to keep the Peltex away from the edges so that the edges wouldn’t be too thick. I don’t know if that strategy will work, but it seems to be flatter than I could have hoped.

To encourage the bottom get into (and stay into) the right shape I thought of sewing a seam along the edges where the front and back fold up. The ironing pad extends into the bottom of the bag, so sewing a seam would create a bump. If I want to do that, I’ll probably need to omit the ironing pad.

I also cut out the sides (from a template) and put those together. They are an odd shape, so I used scissors. I also pressed the folds into the places where the pockets will be inserted.

I got a fair amount done, but didn’t finish. Progress! Not finished, but progress.

Finished: Pop Parade Donation Quilt

Pop Parade Dontion Quilt #2
Pop Parade Dontion Quilt #2

Joelle quilted and bound this second of the Pop Parade donation quilts. I finished it in July, so the finish was relatively quick. Thanks, Joelle!!!

As you may remember, I added the large dark red batik fabric (left) with the yellow dots to round the variety of fabrics I had for the X Quilt. I am pleased the quilt is done, but I am also pleased that I finally used this bundle of fabrics. This is a great example of why a person should use the fabrics when they buy them. I loved these fabrics when I bought them and loved them a lot less when I finally used them. I don’t dislike them and I am very pleased with the quilts I finished.

September Sew Day

Sew Day Rosette #1 Workk
Sew Day Rosette #1 Work

Sew Day fell in the middle of Labor Day Weekend. I was happy to go. I didn’t take as many photos this time, because I was devoted to my La Pass Rosette #1.

I got a lot done, though not the whole thing. I am feeling some pressure, because I haven’t started Month #2’s work yet. Month #2 adds on to Rosette #1.

I found that I could walk around and sew, so I walked around with my sewing and talked to people. Lots of people were very interested in my project. Some had never seen EPP so complicated which was a surprise to me. I thought everyone knew Willyne Hammerstein‘s work. I also explained how the Block of the Month program worked.

It was interesting just doing handwork.

Sept. 2021 Sew Day
Sept. 2021 Sew Day

Everyone wore masks, which was great. It is fun to see everyone’s projects. Lindsay came and put together the top and back of a Buffalo Plaid quilt, then began working on her foundation piecing block of the month. She sews really fast. I am constantly amazed at her output.

Lynette's pouch
Lynette’s pouch

Lynette was there. She had a pouch that was an excellent example of what good fabric can do.

This is a fairly simple looking pouch pattern, like the Persimmon Pouch from Sew Sweetness. With the great Kaleidoscope fabric, it looks super impressive.

More donation quilts were exchanged.  There was a free table to which I contributed some fabric and things. it was good fun.

UCAB Progress

Brocade Peony UCAB Exterior
Brocade Peony UCAB Exterior

I made some progress last weekend on the Ultimate Carry All Bag. Shocking, I know. I was spurred on by finishing the STBs, not having my design walls available and by talking with Lynette at Sew Day. Mostly, I am also determined to get this *&^% project off my to do list.

As you might remember, I am making one as a gift. That one is farther along, because all the pieces are cut. I have been cutting the pieces as I go along for this one and I didn’t cut the pieces for the zipper yet.

Sometime ago, I decided to use some fake leather I bought for the bottom, so I want able to use that piece to put the exterior together.

I am still trying to decide whether I will put an ironing pad in this one. I am not sure I will use it, but it seems like a good thing to have anyway.