Finished: Improv Donation Top

White Improv Top
White Improv Top

I finally finished this top to the point where I felt good about handing it in. I was rather sick of it, but I also have enough pride not to donation a too-small top.

That is all I handed in. I just provided the top and will let Peggy find backing and batting. I know I could have gotten a bigger hit on my Fabric Used spreadsheet, but I wanted to move on.

I haven’t started anything new for donation, but I will soon. It will be either blue or pink. Both drawers are overflowing. I don’t feel like I made much progress emptying the white drawer, though the White Strip Donation top and this one clearly used up fabric. Since I have more white to use, I could combine it with some of the blues. I know I have more than enough blue scraps to make more than two quilts. Combining some blues with whites will spread the use of blue and make for an interesting variation.

BAM Thank Yous

2019 Officer Thank You Presentation
2019 Officer Thank You Presentation

A five month project finally came to a close over the weekend.

Every year for the past few years I have gotten a group together to make gifts for the officers. At first, I didn’t think they needed anymore quilt projects, so I had the idea of making them a bag and having guild members fill the bags with small gifts. This has proven to be very successful. In the last few years, I have brought postcards, so people who cannot bring gifts can convey their thanks in writing.

Both Angela and Rhonda posted photos of their gifts, which is a good way for you to see the variety of made and bought gifts. Rhonda’s bag was a quillow, so she got a bonus and the colors are perfect for her as she loves the Japanese indigo style.

We had an extra bag, so I took mine back and will use it for something else or for next year. I have to think of a way to be better organized as I forgot one person who had agreed to make a bag early on.

Now I will start working on next year.

First Raffle Basket

BAM Raffle Basket - January
BAM Raffle Basket – January

I have been working for a few months on getting raffle baskets for the year together, as I have mentioned.

After the last meeting, I got all of the gifts and prizes my team has collected and organized them into months. I put each month’s gifts in a ziploc bag (except the books, which were too big), so I don’t have to do much once the gifts are required.

I did organize January’s basket, which includes all the gifts you see above.

Yesterday we gave out the first basket at the attendance raffle. Yay! it was a big hit and I was pleased not to embarrass myself for my efforts.

Speedy Pouches

I am in the process of making some of Aneela Hooey‘s pouches. I pulled this pattern out at the last minute to make some gifts that I was woefully behind on making. Although I am not finished, I am pretty pleased on how these are coming out.

The pattern I am using is called Speedy Vinyl Pouches. If I weren’t trying to make 5 at once, they would have been much speedier. πŸ™‚ Still they are fairly quick to make. I bought this pattern on spec after seeing another one of her patterns, the Boxy Clear Pouch that Angela made and looking through the site. Of course, I want all of her patterns, but I am trying to make the patterns that I have, so I limited myself.

Speedy Pouch Gift
Speedy Pouch Gift

The materials are pretty easy to gather up from what you have around the house, except for the zippers. I didn’t have 4″ zippers, but I did have 5″ or 6″ zippers and I just cut them off. It worked fine. Well, it has worked fine so far. We’ see when the pouches are finished.

The thing I really wanted to tell you is that the pattern is great! It is very clearly written, has a great font and is easy to follow — even for me! There was one line with the binding that I didn’t understand, but I made my own way and it seems to work. I guess we’ll see when I sew the binding down.

As you can see, I cut the fabric the wrong way, so the zipper is on the side. Oh well! One thing about this pattern is the orientation of the fabric. She is clear about it. I was trying to use scraps and cut the wrong way, then didn’t have more, so I am going with the flow.

Once I started working on this pattern, I thought I might be able to suggest the pattern to the Bag-a-Long group as an alternative to the ones the designer of the Ultimate Carryall Bag sells. I have nothing against her bags, but I think people might like an alternative to those pouches. I am not sure if this pattern will work as I can’t see a way to add a leash. I could add something as a zipper pull with a lobster clip on the end, but I am not excited about that option. I am going to consult with Lynette on Saturday.

UCAB Clippy Pocket – prelude to a tutorial

We are moving full steam ahead on the Ultimate Carry All Bag. members of the guild who are participating worked on cutting out pieces of the bag on the last Sew Day. Next we will begin working on pockets. To that end, I needed to work on an alternative/hack to the vinyl badge holder pocket.

Clippy Pocket Test
Clippy Pocket Test

I don’t want or need the vinyl badge holder pockets Natalie uses in the pattern. I also don’t like the idea of vinyl being so close to an ironing surface (front of the bag). I do need a place for a few WonderClips, however. To that end, I took the pattern for the Clippy pincushion, which was in Love of Quilting, issue 39 and adjusted it for use instead of the vinyl badge holder.

The photo shows one of the three test pockets I made. If you have the pattern, this is one of the end pieces of the front pocket. The directions for that section start on page 14. I am still working on perfecting the construction. I think I have the sizes down, but I am still tweaking the construction to take bulk into account.

I was absurdly pleased with my work on this pocket. Of course, part of that feeling was that I was relatively successful. If the Clippy/Wonderclip pattern sizes had been off, I might have felt differently. Still, I didn’t resent the time I took working on this piece of the bag.

 

 

 

 

N.B.: I will not tell you how to make the whole bag. In order to make this bag, you need to purchase the pattern from Quiltessa Natalie. She also has an Etsy shop where you can also purchase it. We would love to have you join us in making this bag.

Community Quilt Bonanza

Cheryl agreed to help me with a few projects, so the other day I received a large-ish box from her. At first I didn’t realize it was from Cheryl as it seems like boxes are arriving at our house 3 times a day. The YM is sending stuff here, DH and I plus gifts from out of town relatives are also being sent here. It’s crazy.

Anyway.

In addition to stuff from the project on which we are working, were three community quilts.

She asked me to bring them to the meeting in January. I am happy to do so, especially since that means I will have something to show! HA!

Clearly #2 and #3 are related. Also, #1 and #2 are in the same format as the Color Group Donation Quilt I worked a few years ago. I can’t say whether she was inspired by (or even remembered or saw) that quilt. It isn’t as thought that layout is novel in Modern Quiltmaking circles.

So, these will be the first three quilt tops for the 2020 BAM Community Quilt Project. YAY!!

 

BAM Largesse

A week or so ago, we celebrated Winter at my guild. There was a short Sew Day where I worked on Frolic! Clue 2, then a potluck lunch and a swap and socializing.

In between all of this fun and excitement was fabric. We hold our Sew Days in a church hall. On the side of this room are 4-5 old pews. The room used to be the church sanctuary. Normally, we store our bags and other Sew Day paraphernalia there to keep it off the floor and reduce tripping hazards.

On the Winter Party/Sew Day at least 3 of the pews were filled with fabric. The guild had been given a  donation of fabric by a longarmer who was closing her business. She donation only about a quarter of her stash to the guild. People at the party were allowed to look through the fabric and take what they wanted. I stayed away, having plenty of fabric of my own. Plenty of the members took a few pieces or filled up grocery bags with their selections. The rest will be used for our community quilt project.

This was kind of startling in a number of different ways. Will my unused fabric end up like that? Why get rid of all of her fabric? Doesn’t she want to sew anymore or did she keep her favorite pieces? I know I will probably never know the answers to these questions. I will have to think about what I am going to do with my fabric and make sure my DH knows so it doesn’t all go to Goodwill. What happens to your fabric and supplies when you go to your next adventure?

More Raffle Gifts

I have the best raffle team ever! At the meeting last Saturday, a couple of them came through with MORE gifts. These raffle baskets are going to be the best ever.

Cheri's Raffle Gifts
Cheri’s Raffle Gifts

Cheri started in on some bags and coasters. I need a bunch of those little bags for stocking stuffer gifts! πŸ˜‰

She tried out a few things and found they took too long, so she is trying some different patterns. Cheri only made them for a couple of months with the first pattern. AFter she decides on a new pattern she will work on the rest of the months. We have time.

 

SueG's boxy bags
SueG’s boxy bags

Sue G also made some small boxy bags. Aren’t they adorable?

She made three or four. I forgot to take photos when I brought them home. Since I organized everything, I don’t want to undo all that hard work. I’ll get some photos when I stock the bags.

Mega-Pinnie Thanks

Cheri's Mega-Pinnie in use
Cheri’s Mega-Pinnie in use

The other day I talked about the first Mega-Pinnie that I made. I got a really sweet thank you note with a photo that really shows how the Mega-Pinnie is used.

I photocopied some of my tools and stuck them in the pockets before I wrapped the piece so she would know there were pockets. This is kind of an unusual tool and I don’t think many people have seen it.

I am so pleased. I might need to make another one! πŸ˜‰

Gift Post #3: Mega Pinnie Angel Gift

Angel Mega Pinnie
Angel Mega Pinnie

I made this Mega Pinnie as kind of a test. It was the second one I had made. I thought I would use it as one of the raffle prizes. 

However, we are having a Winter swap in a few weeks. Last year, people didn’t show up so others did not get their gift. I decided that I would donate it as an angel gift for the swap.

I didn’t go as crazy on the pockets, so the pockets are larger than on the Swap Gift Mega Pinnie. I also forgot the handle. I think it will be great, though.

Gift Post #1 2019: Swap Mega Pinnie

Mega Pinnie with baby pincushion
Mega Pinnie with baby pincushion

As mentioned, I had to make a swap gift for the Winter Extravaganza Palooza at the guild. In that previous post, I talked about the pattern. Since then I have been contemplating WHY I chose what is, basically, a giant pincushion.

Short answer: I don’t know.

Long answer: it is kind of a strange gift, but it is useful. It reminds me of the cube I made for the YM. It is also different from other things I have seen. The pockets can hold scissors and seam rippers, etc. I photocopied a variety of tools and put them in the pockets to show how the pockets can be used.

Mega Pinnie with needle felt
Mega Pinnie with needle felt

The baby pincushion (Mini Pinnie) can be removed from the Mega Pinnie and used away from its giant mom. There is also a piece of felt designed to hold needles.

The top has a handle, which can be used to hold the full Mega Pinnie.

As I usually do, I filled the piece with some Beanie Baby pellets as well as stuffing. I didn’t use wool roving on this one; I used poly-fil because I needed so much of it. I hope I put enough of the Beanie Baby pellets in the square to keep it anchored. I know I could have put more in it.

I still want to make more of these!

White Improv Donation Quilt Progress

White Improv - November 2019
White Improv – November 2019

I have been making some progress on the White Improv piece. I am not working as fast as I would like.

It is looking good, I think, different than the others, but interesting in its own way.

The pieces I have in my scrap drawer are a trial, however. There are many, many pieces of great fabric in stupid lengths. They seem to always be wrong. I am making it work, though.

BAM Challenge

BAM Color Challenge November 2019
BAM Color Challenge November 2019

The guild did a color challenge recently where people were supposed to make something they like from a color swatch they picked out of a bag.

It was a small, but mighty group. There were people who participated for the first time and also those who don’t have a lot of spare time. I was really thrilled to see some new folks participating Everyone did a wonderful job.

White Improv Progresses

White Improv Donation Top - November 2019
White Improv Donation Top – November 2019

Now that I finished the White Strip Donation Top, I can work on the White Improv Donation Top in earnest.

I spent time on it this past weekend and the slabs are getting bigger.Except for the middle, the piece is still very much in process. The strips I have are very uniform in size and I feel like the other pieces are all triangles, so this isn’t an easy piece to put together.

There is a large-ish slab in the bottom of the drawer and I don’t know if I will make a journal cover or if I will use it in this piece.