I have been wondering how it would be if I cut bags out as I moved through the pattern instead of cutting out all the pieces in advance. Sometimes I just want to start and having to cut feels like a drag. I know it is good to have everything ready so you don’t have to stop to cut, but cutting is such a drag. I have a good system for cutting as I go with quilts, but haven’t quite figured out such a system with bags and accessories. What I really need is a nighttime Workroom Assistant who comes in stealthily at night and cuts for me while I sleep. Of course, that wouldn’t orient me to the pattern.
First, I learned that I get oriented to the pieces when I cut them out. I read the first instruction and had no idea what pieces to use. I went to the video to see what Sara (the designer) was doing and finally got it. I think that getting oriented to the pattern by cutting out the pieces is a good thing.
I think cutting the fabric and labeling it ‘lining’ and ‘main’ is a must, but cutting and working with the interfacing could be done as I go.
Second, I found that having the pieces for the first few steps gets me going. It might be possible to be successful with CAYG if I cut a few pieces out, but cut the rest as I moved through the pattern.
Third, aside from the first few steps, I think I can cut interfacing and stiffener as I go along.
I think the problem I am experiencing comes from cutting everything out and then letting the project languish. This is happening with the UCAB. I lose my orientation to the pieces if I don’t start working on them right away.
As a result, I think that if you are not going to work on the project right away, that you should only cut out a few pieces, then cut the rest when you get back to it. If you are going to work on the project instantly, then cut all the pieces out and get busy sewing.
Sew Day was on January 5. It seems like a long time ago, but I was so thrilled with the projects I got cut out. Yes, I did prep work.
I used Thanksgiving tablerunner n.1 on my dining room buffet all through Christmas because someone spilled on my everyday tablerunner. I took it to the dry cleaners after Thanksgiving and it was after Christmas before I had the time to pick it up. Thanksgiving did not fit into my Christmas decorating scheme, so I decided to make a seasonal tablerunner for the buffet.
On the way back from Portland, I stopped at Stitch again. Stitch is a mostly modern shop in Ferndale that I have visited at least one other time. After being closeted in Portland for a week, I was ready for a treat. Part of the treat ended up being the Mod Lights pattern, from which I will make a tablerunner.
Yes, I am still excited about the Quick Curve Ruler and the fabulous results. I had to buy the mini version for this project, but I intend to use it for another project, as yet undetermined, as well.
I pulled out some solids I bought at QuiltCon. They have a more contemporary feel than the typical dark red and green of traditional Christmas. I also had enough of the background left from the MetroScape quilt to use as background. That fabric is a little sparkly and will look festive.
I won’t use all of the solids shown in the photo, right. I’ll use one of the pinks, the lime (bottom left) and the turquoise. I also chose,from the back of the fabric closet, a dark green to light green Pointillist Palette ombre.
Having assembled all of these project pieces, I was also able to cut them all out.
Next up was another Classmates tote. This you will have to wait to see as it will be a gift and I know the recipient peeks in to look at the blog. I made this previously for the BAM Swap, so you can see it there. I left some of the fabric for n.2 at home, so I was only able to cut out half of it. It was ok, as the person was at Sew Day and would have recognized some of the fabric.
Finally, I cut out two more Little Cell Phone Wallets. These most recent two have been on my list for sometime. It took some doing to find the white dots on black fabric (Michael Miller or Kaffe dots??). I know I bought some fat quarters for the purpose of this wallet. I couldn’t find it anywhere, which was extremely frustrating. Finally, I rummaged around in my black bin and found enough leftover from the tunic to make the wallet. Just enough. Later I found the FQs in my ‘to be washed’ pile. Sigh. Regardless, those are ready to sew as well, except for the tabs for the D-rings so I can use the chain rather than a fabric strap. I am excited to get them off my list.
Sadly, I took no photos on BAM’s Sew Day.
Last week, I was feeling a bit sad and lonely so I went to Katrina’s Sew Time at Scruffy Quilts. This is basically time to sew in the company other others. I am so often alone that I needed a bit of human contact so I went. It really was just what the doctor ordered. Despite the time away from home, I got energized and spent the following day crossing house and work things off my list with alarming speed.
I finished cutting out the Classmates tote, so that is ready to sew. I was able to bring the fabric I forgot to bring to Sew Day. I also did a little organization of the pattern. I find the pattern to be very strangely written. I like to know what pieces I am cutting out as I cut them out. I like to know so I can choose the fabrics carefully. That is not included in this pattern and that made me choose strangely for the BAM Swap (the BAM Swap bag doesn’t look bad, but I would have chosen different had I known what I was cutting). I went through and amended my pattern so that I will know what is what in the future.
Finally, I cut out another Flapper apron. I know! I know! This one is for me. I already made one for myself, but I decided to send the first one to a friend. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, so I am making it over.
Yes, over two Sew Days, I cut out a lot. I haven’t sewn any of it yet, but will get to it soon.
You probably noticed that I was a little annoyed yesterday with the continuing En Provence saga. I am ready to put blocks together.
Monday morning, I got some tea and sat looking at the weird orange sun. I was very pleased to have another day off.
As I whined about the unfairness of mystery quilts 😉 to my journal, I started to sketch out colors and make little drawings. Then I looked at some En Provence photos I had saved and thought about what additional color I wanted to add in. I made some
Suddenly, I was happy. I decided on a color scheme or a potential color scheme. I had a plan and so everything fell into place.
Later that day, when my mom came over, I looked up some tutorials on quick piecing quarter square triangles. Some I couldn’t understand, but then I found one that is a great tutorial. It had the fabrics placed in the same places I wanted them, which meant I didn’t have to work that little piece out. It’s a small thing, but was important to me at that moment. Also, all the steps were laid out with photos, so I could see everything. I found another tutorial that I would like to try, but haven’t. The look of the second one is much more modern, but I can’t vouch for the quality of the instructions yet.
I used four fabrics to make some test blocks and they came out great. I was very pleased with the tutorial, my sewing, life in general.
That night was Craft Night, so I spent the time cutting all the fabrics I need. I used fabrics from my Aqua bin and I think I haven’t used fabrics from that bin in a long time. Some are old and don’t seem to have any FOTY parts cut from them. It seems odd, since I love Aqua and many of the fabrics are great. I have to press them, but they are cut, marked and pinned and ready to sew.
This step didn’t turn out to be as nightmarish as I though. I guess it is all about attitude
I went back and forth on what to bring to Sew Day. I thought for sure I would bring my machine. We are having a heat wave, which means record temperatures. I was hot and not really in the mood to be dragging a ton of stuff around, so in the end, I just brought projects to prep/cut out.
This focus was a good move. I was able to cut out or prepare 5.25 projects, which means it is time to sew again – HA! Not that it is ever time NOT to sew:
Finished trimming Dots & Stripes HSTs
Prepped En Provence HSTs
Cut out Napkin fronts
Cut out gift bags
Cut out 2 more Little Cell Phone Wallet bag parts
Started prepping more Sew Together Bags
I found another stash of HSTs that go with the Dots & Stripes HSTs I mentioned last week. They will make the piece larger, which is always good. I trimmed the last few I didn’t have time to trim at Craft Night and trimmed this new stash. Some progress.
I had cut the squares for the En Provence HSTs on Friday night, so I had sixteen less things (fabrics) to haul to sew day. I pinned the squares together and drew the lines in preparation for sewing using my Triangle Technique at home.
I grabbed the coffee fabric, which had been hanging around for awhile. I always intended it to be napkins, but I get tired of making them after a few. I had never gotten to cutting this fabric. I did on Saturday and yesterday I had an idea of what backing to use and who they will go to as a gift. I need to get to work.
It is hard to know whether to count cutting out gift bags as one project or one per fabric. I counted using a hybrid method. There were three different fabrics and I will end up with probably 7 bags total.
I also found the fabrics for my last two cell phone wallets. Now all of the pieces out of all the fabrics are cut. I need to start sewing, because I really miss not having the matching bags when I wear my tunics and dresses.
Finally, I started three more Sew Together Bags. One will be for me. I will use it for embroidery. The other two will be gifts. I only got one step of pieces cut, but it is a start. After making three at a time last winter, I think it takes almost the same amount of time to make three at once as it does to make one at a time. As you know the cutting of the pieces is the worst part. The weird thing is that the fabrics I want to use for the exterior have disappeared. I can’t move on to sewing until I find those.
Anna and Nicole, who I had never met came and showed off their projects. Anna is making a table runner with a Lone Star block in the center. She is using nice soft colors. Nicole is hand quilting a beautiful log cabin quilt made from a lovely combination of blues and greens. The fabrics looked like batiks, but I didn’t look that closely.
Mary had surgery on her elbow so mostly chatted with me, but did a little bit of handstitching. She also met with the Retreat committee.
Bonnie was making nametags for the Retreat with help from Nancy.
Marti was making round mug rugs. I have been thinking of making a couple of mug rugs for the Puzzle Guys at work, so she inspired me.
Lynette was working on zipper pouches she will donate to a holiday boutique to raise money for the Belmont Senior Center.
Others were there as well. We tried to keep cool and had some fans to help. It was a fun day and I am glad I went. I feel like I accomplished stuff.
I went to Craft Night with dark blues and text fabrics in hand. The event was at SIL’s and she has the Peaky & Spike die. I planned to cut up the Peaky and Spikes I needed for the next step in the En Provence quilt.
I accomplished my goal. These are supposed to be purple, but I am not using purple in this quilt. I find purple to be a depressing color when I use a lot of it in a quilt, so I tend to shy away from it.I don’t hate it, I just have other favorites. Since I used blues in the recent 4patches, I am using a dark blue to go with those pieces
I had to dig through a lot of my fabric to find these dark blues. I used up most of the my dark blues on the Stars for San Bruno quilts. I don’t use dark blue that much, but I am finding that it comes in handy periodically. Not all of these blues are super dark. They are, however, different and darker than the blues used in the four patches.
I have started to sew the Peakys to the Spikes, but haven’t gotten very far. Small accomplishments.
I suppose that is what has to happen at some point. I know I mitigate massive bouts of cutting by breaking it up, but occasionally, I can’t get away from it.
In addition to everything else I did at Sew Day, I also cut background squares for the Triple Star.
This was a task I really needed to do to make anymore progress on the piece, but was also reluctant to do due to space considerations. At Sew Day, I commandeered a large mat and table. I was able to lay out the book, the finished pieces, my rulers and still have space to cut. It was great and I got the job done quickly.
I still have foreground fabric to cut as I have been focusing my cutting on the 2.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles and using the Alison Glass Sun Prints layer cake. Before I can do much more I need to cut some of the smaller foreground pieces from other pieces. I don’t want to make a one fabric line quilt. I want it to be more controlled scrappy like the version I saw at Back Porch.
I did a little piecing using the pieces I cut and they are looking good so far. I am using the Janome 6600, which I talked about yesterday. They came out perfectly. There was no fighting with the machine. I used the “flippy corners” method and the machine did not eat the corners. It was a relatively painless experience.
Sew Day was Saturday and, as usual, it was great. My guild has such a nice, caring group of people. I feel so fortunate.
We have started to just put out a few tables and then let people add tables as they arrive. The day is very informal and people come and go as schedules permit. This also makes cleanup easier. If we don’t put out tables that go unused, we have less to put away.
Recently we have started to use a “Thanksgiving” configuration for the tables. This means one long table. It is hilarious and wonderful as well.
I took stuff to cut, though I did consider bringing my sewing machine for a minute. I am working on a database for a client and my neck and shoulders need to be pampered, so I just brought cutting. I didn’t even get through all the cutting I brought, but I did get A LOT done, which was great.
I cut some white to make the Flying Geese for my next Sawtooth Star donation top. I liked the one I made before and wanted to make one a little larger this time. All the blocks are made, but I needed to cut some backgrounds for the Flying Geese. I also need to cut some colored squares, but one thing at a time. I didn’t have the wherewithall to pull out many prints to bring. These are supposed to be from scraps, according to Jaye rules. I want to go through my scrap bins and find pieces I can use before I cut into yardage. I need 5.75″ squares, which I am unlikely to find in my scrap bins as my scraps are generally smaller, but you never know. It’s worth a look.
I chatted with Tim quite a bit. He has Janome machines, too. I always tease him about getting his 15k repaired. He had some issues free motion quilting and is now a little scared of the machine. I might go with him to get it repaired to act as moral support.
Tim also claims that he is going to make the Poolside Tote, so I am kind of waiting for him, but I want to get it done to test out the 6600 (more on that later), so he has better get busy.
Mary was fluttering around setting up and helping people in her wonderful way. We chatted about the outfits I saw at the Heard Museum recently. The Retreat Committee met. I am signed up and can’t wait to see what they have in store for us. Gerre came. It was great to see her. Rhonda is finishing a super secret project. I can’t wait to share it with you all.
I am using the Alison Glass’ Sun Prints layer cake I bought for the Layer Cake Explosion QAL. There aren’t enough bright clear colors so I am throwing in some Kaffe and Philip Jacobs fabrics as well. I also have some Alison Glass Chroma coming soon and may add some of that into the mix.I want it to be as scrappy as possible while using supplies I already purchased. I can always adjust as I begin assembly.
I have the charcoal background I bought for the QAL, but I also have white, so we will see what I end up using. I want this quilt to be appealing and cheerful.
This quilt design is from Kim Brackett’s book, Scrap Basket Beauties. You should buy it. There are a number of quilts I have marked in this book to make. I need to get through this time of “must dos” before I can make any others.
I visited the county fair last week and was surprised to see a number of quilts in this pattern on display. I don’t remember ever seeing them in quilt shows or at the fair before and wonder if there was a class somewhere locally.
I love seeing individual variations on a pattern. The fair was a great place to see variations on the same pattern and it was so fortuitous that I am planning the same quilt.
*-images ONLY are copyrighted NOT pattern or versions, ideas by above makers.
Yes, I cut out another tote. Are you screaming at me? 😉
Cutting out and prepping the Poolside Tote at the Scruffy Quilts Sewcial went so well that I decided to repeat the happiness with the Boxcar Tote. There were several factors:
I knew I would have very little time over the weekend to sew; AND
I actually knew when the Sewcial was
not to mention I would miss Sew Day
Also, I need to get this tote done in the next week or so as it is a gift I am giving in the next two weeks.
I bought this pattern on a whim from Hawthorne Threads in April. I liked the shape and thought this would be a great bag for a friend. I have a number of bag patterns waiting to be cut out, so I kind of surprised myself by gathering the materials for this one then finding an opportunity to cut it out relatively quickly considering when I bought it.
Again, the Sewcial provided the right kind of space and also a bit of sociability which enabled me to cut out this pattern and prep the pieces for construction.
It wasn’t all peaches and roses as I ran out of the stiffener. Fortunately, oh so fortunately, Scruffy had something similar and I was able to move on. Still, it took me less than 3 hours to cut out and apply the stiffener to the fabric (one side was fusible).
I was annoyed at the pattern, because the designer expected me to cut out square pattern pieces, pin them to fabric and cut the whole mess out. For non-square pattern pieces, I always make a tracing paper pattern, so the original stays pristine. Since these were squares and rectangles, I measured them and cut them out with a rotary cutter, not using a paper pattern. Not sure why the designer didn’t tell me the size of the rectangles. It wasn’t rocket science and seems like a crucial piece of information. I’d like to make another one so I wrote the sizes on the pattern and cut them out with a ruler.
This is a pattern with all squares and rectangles, which means I will have to insert the bottom (a rectangle) into place by matching up corner dots. Not my favorite method of constructing a bottom, but I am reserving judgment. I am thinking that I may make it a little differently the second time around. We’ll see.
I can’t wait to see how this bag comes out. I really want to work on some bags. I am also curious to see the final size.
While the pieces laid on my floor (all horizontal surfaces are fair game for storage), I noticed that the random letters, in certain cases actually made words.
I am not sure how I feel about that. I have pointed out some of the words I see.
The text fabric will be on the inside of the tote, so they won’t be very prominent. Making up stories using the words is a challenge.
On another note, the text fabric is VERY loosely woven and frays quite a bit. I might stitch the edge like I would a quilt with no border. I am just worried that another layer of stitching will make it hard to sew a bunch of layers together.
I hate to shatter your illusions, but on many things I am no expert 😉 and can always learn something. Recently I bought some home dec fabric to make a bag (or a couple of bags, really). I got it and realized I didn’t know how to deal with it.
I always pre-wash. I even pre-wash Jelly Rolls and Layer Cakes. The smell of the chemicals from the fabric when I iron unwashed fabric makes me break out in a rash. I am not ranting or proselytizing; I am not telling you what I do. There are no quilt police on this blog. I encourage you to do whatever you want that allows you to make many, many quilts.
I have made accessories and small items with home dec fabric before, but it wasn’t yardage. Mostly I used scraps from various sources, such as FabMo. I almost never buy home dec yardage so the question of pre-washing has never come up. Most of the home dec fabric I have used doesn’t smell (off gassing) by the time I get it, is in relatively small quantities and is made from specialty fibers so I don’t think of pre-washing.
However, with the bags I want to make, I am going to be pressing a lot and don’t really want to wear a mask while I make the bag, thus the question of pre-washing came up. I contacted Lindsay and Charlie over at Hawthorne Threads and they pointed me to a post on Make It Love It.com. It talks generally about pre-washing, but not specifically about home dec fabric.
I am using home dec fabric for the bag, because I want the added body and strength beyond quilt weight fabric. Will the finishes wash off and leave me with a limp mess? Can I replace the body/finishes with Mary Ellen’s Best Press?
Do you have any ideas, thoughts, wisdom to share? By the time you read this I might have already washed it.
You all know that I cut a patch from each piece of fabric I buy in a given year. You also know that I do this in order to decide if I like the fabric so I can buy more before it goes out of style. These are my Fabric of the Year (FOTY) patches and this year I am cutting diamonds. In addition to my FOTY patches, there are other patches I cut from other pieces of fabric. Lately I have been cutting from both new and old, but it depends on the project.
First, in the upper left hand corner are the 6.5″ blue squares. Some blue green snuck in as well. These are for a quilt I am making for someone who reads this blog, so I can’t tell you any more until I get it done.
Next, upper right, are the 4×4″ squares. These are for TFQ, because she cheerfully cuts many, many patches of almost any size and shape I ask. I am cutting these from any fabric that I get out of my fabric closet and all new ones.
Third, lower left corner, are the Tumblers for Julie. Her quilt is king-sized, so until I see her put the thing together and get it quilted, I keep cutting. Mostly these are from new fabrics, but I hauled out a bunch of blues lately, so this stack happens to be blue.
Fourth, in the lower middle, are Eye Spy hexagons for my SIL’s Eye Spy project. I buy very few conversationals, so I don’t cut many of them yet. I don’t know if she has started cutting from her own stash yet. These are fun to fussy cut. The exercise makes me look at my fabrics differently.
Last are the blue rectangles (2.5″x4.5″). I am in deep love with that rectangle shape I used for FOTY 2008. I look at the quilt every day at work and adore it, so I decided I wanted to make another out of blues. It takes a lot of cutting, so it will be here for awhile. After starting to sew the Blue Quilt together I am thinking that a blue rectangle quilt might not have been such a great idea.
Not pictured are the food fabric squares, 6.5″, I am cutting for my mom. She is making a replacement quilt for her step grandson, whose quilt was burned up in a fire. I will probably help her with it. We are seriously considering the Corner Store pattern from Pretty Little Mini Quilts, which is like M Dugan’s version on Flickr. I may try this quilt out myself, too. Back to my mom, though. I hope we do get to work on it together. I think it would be fun.
I also cut 2×2″ squares and make four patches as warm-ups.
I often press and cut fabric while I am on the phone. I am not much of a phone person, so there are only a few people to whom I speak on the phone for extended periods of time. On a recent conversation with TFQ, I was amazed to see how much I cut. I am not a fast presser or cutter, so I was pleased.
I hope this preparation doesn’t seem terribly schizophrenic. Sometimes it does feel that way, but I am so glad when I have enough of one patch and can just start sewing. I don’t like to do all my cutting at once and this is a good way for me to do it incrementally.
Sandy talked about scraps and what she cuts for scrap quilts on a recent podcast, so I don’t feel quite as crazy. It was interesting to hear what she said about the pieces she cut.