Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WIP - Christmas Ribbons

Now that the pebble quilting is wrapped up and the Weekender bag is finnnnnallllllyyyy finished, I am back to piecing a quilt using Kona Ash and Basic Grey's Jovial (it's been in my stash for a year). I'm using the Christmas Ribbons pattern from Scrap Basket Surprises by Kim Brackett.

Christmas Ribbons - Rows 1-4
I must've miscounted when I was cutting because I seem to be short by a few units! No worries, there were a few unused strips and there's plenty of ash around! I laid out the first few rows to see how it would come together.
Digital Christmas Ribbons!
And I used my amateur photoshop skills in conjunction with my master AutoCAD skills to make a cute little grid pattern to follow while piecing!

For the rest of the week, I will be attending a conference in Hershey, PA! It's times like these when I wish I wasn't a chocolate snob. Oh well, not pigging out on chocolate is good for the waistline :) The Weekender bag is packed with my Groove quilt and some other things - hopefully I get some quiet time to finish up the binding!

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to check out all the other great WIPs over at Freshly Pieced!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Weekender Weekend Finish!

After two years of sitting in my closet with only the front and back panels put together, the Weekender bag is finally finished!  When the pattern says to be patient, it's no joke!  Precise cutting would probably have made this much easier - I tend to think things are close enough...apparently not in this case.  It would also help if I had a different zipper foot.  Or maybe I just don't know how to use my zipper foot properly (this is totally possible, I never do anything with zippers!).

Anyhow, here are a few pictures of the finished bag.  It really wasn't that bad, it just takes a lot of patience :) Maybe someday I'll attempt it again with other fabric :)

Front view

Lining - I feel like this could look nicer, but nobody will see it!
Next time, I'd add some pockets too!

Side view - those little side pockets are super cute!
They kinda hide the crappy sewing near the zipper pull :)
I'm off to rest - feeling pretty lousy due to self-diagnosed sinusitis.  If this isn't better tomorrow, it's off to to the doctor!  There's so much I want to sew but all I can do is lay here and thing about getting up and doing something!  It's the worst!


Thursday, October 18, 2012


As I mentioned yesterday, I decided to get the ol' Weekender bag back out.  I stopped when I got to the zipper.  I wanted a double-pull zipper, but it's impossible to find a double-pull purse zipper that's 30" long.  You can only get parka zippers (think of them as the opposite of the purse zipper).  Purse zipper - pulls together, bag closed.  Parka zipper - pulls together, coat open. 

I spent my lunch buying zippers at Joann.  I got a Coats & Clark plastic parka zipper.  They are separating zippers, so the pulls are "stuck" on the zipper part.  I had to cut the end teeth off to get the pull off. 

Step 1 - Cut the teeth from both ends of the zipper.
Step 2 - Move both pulls to near the ends of the zipper (zipper should be closed).
Step 3 - Completely remove ONE pull (zipper should still be closed).
Step 4 - Reverse the direction of the pull.
Step 5 - Put the removed pull on the end of the zipper with the existing pull.

Voila!  A purse zipper from a parka zipper!  I think this will be ideal for the Weekender - all the purse zippers at Joann were a little flimsy and none were 30" long as required per the pattern.

My only complaint is that the zipper seems a little chinsy and the pulls are both different!  One is nice and rounded, the other is small and rectangular.  Oh well.  The zipper isn't the focal point of the bag so I'm just going to deal with it!

Oh and I bought a 36" zipper because I wasn't sure how much I'd end up cutting off or how much extra that 30" included.  I will let you know how much I need to chop off when I try to install it!  Hopefully that will happen this weekend at some point. 

Let me know if you have any other great zipper ideas for the Weekender bag!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WIP Wednesday

I've been busy lately!  I started taking fiddle lessons (I've never played an instrument in my life) and I've been practicing every day - that's taken up quite a bit of my usual sewing time.  But I am still chugging along on some projects!

I finished up two quilts in the past week - Birds of a Feather and my Hometown quilt.

One of the purple chevrons in Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather - binding on and fresh out of the dryer!

Hometown - it's too heavy for my make-shift clothesline

Pittsburgh!! <3

This quilt is for someone who just happened to live in Meeker for a while.
This block was just a happy accident!

The back of my Hometown quilt

Look at alllllllllllllllll that pebble quilting!  Too bad I didn't keep track of the hours...

Jessica Kelly at SewCraftyJess posted about her patchwork Weekender bag.  I started a weekender bag two years ago!  I managed to get the front and back panels together, complete with pockets.  I put it away before I put the piping on the front/back.  And I still haven't found a zipper.  I want to do a two-way zipper.  Does anyone know if the following will work?  1. Buy a jacket zipper.  2. "Close" the zipper (put one pull at each end).  3. Remove one pull.  4. Reverse the removed pull's direction and put it next to the pull that's still on the zipper.  Will that make it so that a jacket zipper opens like a suitcase zipper?  As you can tell, I'm very inexperienced with zippers!  The goal is to finish this bag up in the next month or so.  We'll see how many more years it takes :) 

The Weekender after 2 years in a closet (plus some piping added yesterday!)

The Christmas Ribbons quilt is coming along - still doing the first round of piecing.  Hopefully I'll have some completed blocks soon!  It's too late now, but I'm kind of wishing I'd used a cream-colored solid instead of Kona Ash... oh well.

Christmas piles

Parking Lights and the batik Garden Trellis (I don't think I ever posted about that one - it's a top I made that I got sick of and stuffed in a drawer) need to be basted and quilted!

Groove is still coming along - it's time for hand-sewing the binding!  I totally crapped out on the quilting - it's just stitch in the ditch.  At that point, I was just in a hurry to get something checked off my list.  Now that I've got the other two done, I kind of wish I'd done something more with this one!

Groove with those awesome clips on one side

Pieced back

Halloween is coming up!  I'm putting together a Medusa costume.  I bought a box of four dozen small snakes from Oriental Trading Co, got some snake jewelry at Macy's on clearance, got a Greek-looking black dress on clearance at Macy's, and I'm putting a sash together with some iridescent fabric from Joann.  Photos to come... 

Oh and now that the Hometown quilt is finished, I will have to finish the tutorial for it!

Back to fiddling around!  Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to check out all the great WIPs over at Freshly Pieced!