SJSA Joins Sew Day

SJSA Sew Day blocks
SJSA Sew Day blocks

Cyndi invited a group from the Social Justice Sewing Academy to our Sew Day. Some of our group had finished blocks, so those were turned in. Sara, the organizer, brought a different group of blocks that were to be made into a quilt.

People worked together to put sashing on the blocks and sew them together.

I was tired and stayed in my corner working on the Half Hexies. I wasn’t up for a group project that day.

SJSA Sew Day blocks with sashing
SJSA Sew Day blocks with sashing

The group achieved a lot. They put thin sashing around each block and then worked on larger pieced sashing (no photo). They decided to put the larger pieced sashing on backwards so the raw edges show. I am not sure the point, especially after quilting, but it was definitely a design choice.

The themes of the blocks varied. I might have put all environmental blocks together in one quilt and all animal blocks together in another quilt. I can see the appeal of varying the themes as it makes people really look at them to see what else is there.

SJSA block
SJSA block

My favorite block has a fantastic design. The design is very simple and clear IMO. It also has a graphic quality and provides a lot of scope for discussion. Whoever designed this block should get an award. Great job.

It was fun to see the blocks up close and contemplate the messages. If you want to participate, check the SJSA website for more details

First Pantone Project Blocks

First Pantone Project Blocks
First Pantone Project Blocks

I finally (FINALLY!) made some Pantone Project blocks and handed them off to Julie when we were at PIQF.

I know there are a small number shown here, but along with the fabrics I have selected, I feel like I have made a good start. I am in the process of making the other blocks. Once I do that I will be caught up and should be able to make a couple of blocks per week. Fingers crossed.

UCAB: Separating Zipper Top Tutorial

Art Themed Ultimate Carry All Bag
Art Themed Ultimate Carry All Bag

In order to sew along, you will need to:

You can find more information at the following links:

Additional Supplies**

  • Separating zipper


I was not able to find a 12″ separating zipper so I used a 10″ and it worked fine. you might be able to find one the right size at Wawak.

Use E8 pieces for this step. The zipper flanges (fabrics surrounding the zipper) should be exterior fabrics ifyou want them to match the outside of the bag.


Use a 3/8″ seam allowance for this step.

You will be using the pattern starting on page 20. Use the exterior fabrics for the fabrics surrounding the zipper (E8-zipperr flanges). Match thread to those fabrics.

Take the zipper apart. Keep all the pieces oriented as if you are going to zip them back together.

Clip E8 to the zipper
Clip E8 to the zipper

Make a zipper sandwich

    • Lay 1 E8 piece right side up
    • Position the zipper tape along the center of E8 half an inch from the end (see photo above where clips are)
    • Clip fabric to zipper tape
    • Put another E8 piece face down to make the sandwich
    • Reposition the clips on the E8 pieces to encompass the entire zipper sandwich
    • Clip the top of the zipper (side where the stop will be when the bag is closed) so you can veer it and the top of the tape will be hidden. Sew Sweetness has a tutorial on veering a zipper.
    • Follow these directions for the second piece. You want to continuously check that the two pieces of the zipper are lined up so the zipper will work properly.

Look at the images on pg.20 of the pattern as they will help.

Install the zipper. Stitch to the end of the fabric.

Check the zipper
Check the zipper

Stitch both short ends closed. You have, basically, sewn around the zipper lining/edges in a U shape so that the ends are closed and three sides are finished.

Make sure the end of the zipper is OUTSIDE of the seam allowance. You want to stitch as close as you can to the stop, then match the seam allowance on the second side of the zipper.

Turn the piece right sides out and press. Top stitch the U after you have finished the second side.

Throughout this step:                                                                              

  • Remember that this zipper comes apart.
  • Make sure the two sides of the zipper are in the correct orientation and the ends are even the whole time.

Keep checking.


N.B.: Quiltessa Natalie calls these zipper tabs, but I have never heard of zipper tabs being applied to the sides of the zipper. I call them zipper flangesI have also never used a separating zipper, so who knows?)


Separating Zipper installed
Separating Zipper installed

Previous Tutorials:

  • Large Pocket #1 pt.1 tutorial
  • Large Pocket #1 pt.2 tutorial
  • Large Pocket #2 Clippy Pocket tutorial (type 2)
  • Large Pocket #2 tutorial pt.2
  • Small Front Pocket Tutorial pt.1 – center section
  • Small Front Pocket Tutorial pt.2 – Clippy pockets (instead of badge holders)
  • Pocket information – post showing additional mesh pockets (not a tutorial)














**Obviously, you should shop at local fabric, knitting shops or quilt shops. However, if you can’t, please know that I use affiliate links. I may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I do not recommend items I don’t like. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Finished Creamsicle Donation Quilt

Creamsicle donation top
Creamsicle donation top

I finished the vertical orange donation blocks into a quilt. I did it on a day when I was really annoyed and needed some straight piecing – no pockets or zippers – that could soothed my jangled nerves.

These blocks were made from the strips I cut off of the Orange You Glad backgrounds. Waste not want not.

Creamsicle back
Creamsicle back

I am pleased with the way this top turned out and also glad it is done.

I put the back together quickly so I could give Peggy a whole package. Nothing special. There certainly has been a lot of orange in my life lately.

Rainbow Strip Finished

Finished: Rainbow Strip donation top
Finished: Rainbow Strip donation top

I finally FINALLY finished this quilt!

I am pretty pleased with the way it turned out and will be really glad to see it finished.

This piece seemed like it was on my design wall for years, but when I went back and looked, it wasn’t. I seemed to have started the layout in March 2022. In the grand scheme of things, it is only 5ish months ago. Why does it feel like this quilt took so long?

Finished: Rainbow Strip donation back
Finished: Rainbow Strip donation back

I dipped into my stash of dots for fabrics for the back. These are mostly dots I bought before I refined what I like in dots. I do like the prints, but probably wouldn’t use them in the foreground of a quilt and they are too large or too diffuse for the background. I think they make a really cheerful back.

I have more scraps, which is probably a super obvious staement. I have a lot of pink scraps, so that will probably be my next quilt in the series, after the orange vertical strip donation top.


Sew Day Work

The guild Sew Day for August was a Community Quilt Sew Day. Mary C and I collaborated again to make three tops. Normally, I would make a top, then make the back. We focused on tops this time.

Mom Blocks donation top
Mom Blocks donation top

Mom gave me some orphan pieces and pieces that she didn’t want anymore. I had left them in the car so I didn’t even know what was in the bag. What I found in that bag was some ugly pieces. We also found some pretty nice looking blocks.

The blocks in the top on the left are the ones Mom made and handed over. Once we saw these, we decided we could just put them together quickly and move on to the day’s community quilt pattern.

I had some strips left over from the Libs Elliott class I took at QuiltCon in 2018. Fortunately, we had enough for sashing and borders. The turquoise and pink ones were already sewn together, which made things easier. The blocks weren’t all square, but we squared them up as much as we could.

Mary C sewed and I pressed and trimmed, which worked really well.

I am pleased with how this came out and how we were able to use some of the pieces that Mom sent along. I think someone will like this quilt.

Pantone Green Again

Julie and I went out the other day to Golden State Sewing. We usually meet for lunch and visit the Granary, but I suggested we change it up. They have really good fabric at Golden State. More on the visit later.

One of the things I wanted to do was look for fabrics for The Pantone Project for the cards with which I was struggling. We also chatted about ‘good enough’, which is de rigeur for this project. We agreed that neither of us want to buy a lot of fabric.

Pantone 350 choices (green)
Pantone 350 choices (green)

I finally crawled up into the fabric closet and got down the cool solids bin and pulled out the greens I remembered. Neither were exactly right, but Julie and I decided that two of the three fabrics would work.

We think the Tula Pink Tiny Dots is the right color, but lighter. We think the top right solid is dark enough, but doesn’t have that black (or brown?) tinge to it. We agreed that either would work.

One strategy I haven’t tried is comparing the postcards to the color cards I have. As I said, though, I don’t want to buy a lot of fabric; I’d like to use what I have.

Pantone Project Fabric Selection #1 Attempt

Friend Julie has already started selecting fabrics and making blocks. I have just started with the most recent postcard she sent (Pantone #350, a VERY dark, almost black, green). I am behind and I have no excuse except I am quilting the Tarts, I finished Pies & Points and the Diagonal 9 Patch and I am working on clearing my to do list.

I needed a break while I was quilting the Tarts, so I started looking at fabrics.

PP Comparison: Tula Tiny Stripes
PP Comparison: Tula Tiny Stripes

When I receive the postcard, I sometimes get an idea of the fabric I want to use. For this VERY dark, almost black, green I thought immediately of the Tula Tiny Dots and Stripes. On a break I got the striped fabric out, confident I would have one selected and compared the postcard with the fabric.

Bleah! Not dark enough.

No problem, what about the dots?

PP Comparison: Tula Tiny Dots
PP Comparison: Tula Tiny Dots

Better. Maybe a good enough option, but still not dark enough.

This was depressing and I started thinking about the greens I have. If I have a green this dark, it will be buried in a project box or at the bottom of some “old fabric” box, because the last time I may have used such a fabric was when I took the Mary Mashuta class on pushed neutrals. I also have a Tula solid that might work.

I put Pantone #350 aside for awhile. I had to file papers before I could climb up into the depths of my fabric closet to get at the old neutrals, so I took out the Pantone #14-1911, Candy Pink postcard. I knew there was a pink solid around that would be perfect.

PP: Candy Pink
PP: Candy Pink

Wrong again. This is a great example of making visual decisions visually. Again, the pink might be good enough, but if you look at Julie’s selections, they are perfect matches. Sigh. More climbing up into the closet. I really don’t want to buy fabric for this project if I can avoid it.

I need to go file papers.

July Donation Blocks

I thought I would combine the July and August blocks, because by mid-month I hadn’t made any donation blocks. However, finishing the Diagonal Nine Patch gave me the opportunity to sew some. Not tons, but every little bit helps.

I definitely need to cut more 2.5″ squares to keep up the project.


Bagmaking and Designing

If any project required attention to process, this one did.

My friend has been talking with me about helping her make a bag. I have been putting it off because of work and other things. Since I have a break from a lot of responsibilities, I felt it was time to get the bag made.

I had hoped that I could convince my friend to use a pattern, but she was certain she wanted to copy the bag she took traveling. I am a good bagmaker, but beyond cobbling together some basic tote bags or modifying patterns, like the Petrillo hack I created, I have not had a lot of experience creating new patterns. I was concerned about the pitfalls I wouldn’t even know I was facing.

We met a few weeks ago and I was able to get a better idea of what she was thinking. That meeting and seeing the bag allowed me to think about the bag and process before we met the other day. I had a basic plan and figured that I would work things out as I went along.

Cyndi B's bag
Cyndi B’s bag

The worst part was getting started. The best part was that my friend didn’t have many preconceived notions about how the bag would look. We kind of muddled along and resolved issues as they came up.

The first issue was the fabric. She has a limited piece of upholstery fabric that was leftover from recovering her living room chairs. I have done a few things with heavier fabric, but I can’t think of a project I have done with upholstery fabric, including a pencil roll, but this project was different in that I would have to deal with layers of upholstery fabric. I tried to minimize it, but wasn’t always able to.

Next was the bottom. My friend wanted to use a thin piece of leather (maybe suede) for the bottom. This made sense, especially since she wanted to use it for travel. My Microtex** needle was not happy. Shockingly, I had a leather needle**. I have never used these before, but did on the bag bottom and it worked.

Cyndi B's bag: turning the lining
Cyndi B’s bag: turning the lining

The lining was fairly straightforward. I knew what I wanted to do, which included adding an internal zipper pocket that I could use to turn the bag right side out.That worked perfectly, though I had to look up a couple of references to make sure what I had in my mind would work.

The turning of the bag is very satisfying, so I had my friend do it. It was her bag, after all and I thought she would get a kick out of the experience. She did.

Cyndi B's bag: lining and zipper pocket
Cyndi B’s bag: lining and zipper pocket

I used my friend as studio assistant. I asked her to mark the lines for the zipper pocket, press seams open and sew on Velcro. These are all tasks I didn’t want to do. She did a lot of pressing and marking while I did most of the sewing. I also wanted her to be involved and since she had not sewed since junior high, I preferred to do the sewing. It is my machine after all.

When we got to the handles, she brought out the idea of using rope (like clothesline weight rope) for the handles. I wouldn’t normally do that and really didn’t have a clue how to do it. After searching the web, I came up with a great tutorial that expanded my skills. The result was what my friend wanted, too.

I used the Cotton Candy pouch pattern to remind me how to put the outside of the bag together with the lining.

I used the Petrillo bag pattern to make and install the flap.

I used the The Complete Bag Making Masterclass : A comprehensive guide to modern bag making techniques** by Mrs. H for some information on attaching the straps.

I used the RsIsland Crafts video on turning a bag through the internal zipper pocket to remind myself how to do that.

I used the Seaman’s Mom corded handles tutorial to make the handles.

I am pleased with how the bag came out, though it is certainly not perfect and it is not a bag I would use. My friend was happy and that is all that counts.







**Obviously, you should shop at a local quilt shop. However, I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Ends n.14 Quilted

Ends n.14 (Typewriter) quilted
Ends n.14 (Typewriter) quilted

Ends n.14 (Typewriter) was also in the batch that Laura quilted for the guild. It wasn’t very long ago that I put it together.

I saw it Saturday and couldn’t tell whether what I was looking at was the back or front! I had forgotten that I did a lot of small piecing for this top.

Laura did a random meander and it looks pretty good. It doesn’t overshadow the piecing.

Purple and Gold Donation Quilt Quilted

I know many of you are melting in 100+F/35+C heat. I don’t want to taunt you, but it is a grey day here. The fog is in and the light in my workroom is weird. I am really glad I have Orange You Glad on my design wall and not this purple quilt.

Purple & Gold Donation quilt
Purple & Gold Donation quilt

This quilt by mom is now quilted. I wrote about it a few weeks ago and the speed with which it was done is astounding. Longarming really moves the pipeline along.

At the meeting, Peggy was looking for people to bind.

The Pantone Project

Friend Julie and I started a project together. This isn’t the first project we have worked on together. We have worked on Bullseye quilt projects together, the Windmill quilts and Julie’s Tumbler quilts. I enjoy working on projects with her.

Pantone Postcards
Pantone Postcards

This project started with me asking for the Pantone Postcard Box for a gift. Friend Julie got it for me, then we started talking about doing something quilty with it.

We threw ideas back and forth, but recently we got together for lunch and laid out our guidelines. It was a lot easier to make the list when we were together, though I suppose we could have done it on the phone as well.

Pattern Play by Doreen Speckmann
Pattern Play by Doreen Speckmann

We decided we would use the units Doreen Speckmann recommends in her Pattern Play book. I LOVED Doreen Speckmann’s classes. I have had the book for a long time, but Friend Julie bought it recently. It is a technique book, though there are a few patterns. Doreen shows readers how to make and use different units to make quilts look more personalized. These were the types of books that were written in the past whereas now people just write books that tell you how to make a certain quilt with certain fabric. I don’t see that I have written a book review on this book, but it might be time.

That being said, this is a block based book and, thus The Pantone Project will be a block based quilt.

“Supplies” Needed:

Decisions to Make:

    • Size of units (blocks)
    • Type of units to make
    • Timeframe for making the project
    • Timeframe for sending postcards

Every week or so we send each other a postcard. The interval is pretty random, but we aren’t letting months go by. I was on a trip recently and didn’t send any that week, but sent one as soon as I got back.

The postcards have a certain Pantone color. From the color we will choose a solid, tone-on-tone or ‘reads as solid’ fabric to use for the block.

Blossom by Christopher Thompson for Riley Blake
Blossom by Christopher Thompson for Riley Blake

We decided to use the same background and bought some together the other day. We bought a cool grey called Blossom by Riley Blake. Christopher Thompson is the designer. I don’t know why it is called Blossom since there is not one blossom-y color on it. Some of the other fabrics in the line are more blossom-like. Anyway, this is a really good grey, which is now washed and waiting to be incorporated into blocks. You can see more of the design of the fabric on Julie’s blog.

Our units will be 4 inches finished (4.5 inches unfinished).

We will make two blocks, plus cut two squares and send one block and one square to the other person. At the moment, I am behind and won’t be able to get started until later this week or next week. Julie has a nice picture of the postcards I have sent on her blog. She also made one block already. I need to get busy, and will soon.

I hope you find a friend and play along.







**Obviously, you should shop at a local quilt shop. However, I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

June Donation Blocks

I got back on the donation block bandwagon this month as I was finishing up the Ends n.14 (Typewriter) donation top. I didn’t make many, but every little bit helps, right?

BAM June Door Prize

June 2022 BAM Door Prize
June 2022 BAM Door Prize

I spent yesterday afternoon at the guild meeting. I went to drop off the Ends n.14 (Typewriter) top and back and the American Jane Plus donation top and back. I also needed to hand over the door prize.

The skills of the whole team are shown off here. Sue’s drawstring bag and Carrie’s little wallet are in evidence. So many people from the door prize team contributed to this bag that it warms my heart.

Lee Ann was the lucky winner this time and she was at the meeting, so no mailing required.