Thursday, January 31, 2013

Triple-Zip Pouch and Fresh Sewing Day

A Quilter’s Table
The Triple-Zip Pouch has been on my want-to-do list from the moment Debbie @ A Quilter's Table posted the tutorial. I can never have too many zipper pouches...And three zippers, one pouch? Challenge accepted! :D (I have a mild zipper obsession.)

Debbie is currently hosting the Triple-Zip Along from January 28th to February 15th, so I was up first thing in the morning of January 28th making a triple zip pouch of my very own. I know, I know! Poor sewing impulse control! :)

I love how it turned out and I am so ready to make another one. One does not simply make just one zipper pouch! The triple-zip pouch is very roomy and I love the extra organization that three zippered compartments bring.

She did a great job on writing clear, easy to understand instructions. The order of layers in a zipper pouch still mystify me sometimes, but I was able to follow along without getting lost or having to resew anything. I only did a couple things differently:
  1. I used fabric glue instead of pins on the zipper tabs step. I like to use fabric glue on that part, because I have a hard time keeping everything straight with pins. 
  2. I had trouble with the final step. I ended up positioning the pouch where the main lining (wrong side out) was on the top and the rest of the pouch (wrong side out) was on the bottom. I sewed down the right side. Then I sewed down the left side, leaving a few inches open in the main lining for turning. After I turned it right side out, I folded both sides of the opening in 1/4" and sewed the opening closed by machine. (I just saw a really helpful tutorial at Marci Girl Designs using a similar technique. The corners come out more square with her method.)
  3. And lastly, a tip: The fabric on the bottom zip (the blue on mine) folds over to the back, so make sure to pick a fabric that is going to look fine upside down. My first fabric choice didn't work out so well!
If you decide to make a triple-zip pouch, be sure to check out the Triple-Zip Along Flickr Group for some great tips and pictures of some fantastic pouches!

For the next pouch, I want to work on the dented corners that I always get on zipper pouches.  I'll be referring to the following two tutorials with my next zipper pouch: How to Make a Zip Pouch without Dented Corners (@ Michelle Patterns) & Tips and Tricks with Zips (@ Monkey Beans). It might also be fun to increase the size and add a wrist strap!

I saved all the leftover fabric in a separate bin, because I am definitely going to need to make a quilt in these colors!

Column 1 - The Outer Fabrics
Front Row in Orange (Silent Cinema by Jenean Morrison)Dumb Dot in Citron (Michael Miller) | Pheasant Garden in Blue Eleanor (Imperial Pheasant by Eleanor Grosch)

Column 2 - The Lining Fabrics
Medallion in Green (Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt) | Pheasant Flutter in Blue (Imperial Pheasant by Eleanor Grosch) | Wallpaper Flowers in Coral (Children at Play by Sarah Jane) | I used Sketch in Citron Citron (Timeless Treasures) for one of the zipper ends

Charms: Bird (Fairy Tale, Hobby Lobby) and Butterfly (Charm Me, Hobby Lobby)
Coats and Clark Zippers: Orange-Tango | Green-Kiwi | Blue-Parakeet

Lily's Quilts
Since it is also Fresh Sewing Day in a few hours, here is what I have been up to for the month:

(1) Scrappy TAL (2) Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery Block of the Month 2012 (3) Starburst QAL (4) More sewing related than actual sewing, but designing the Quilt Project Sheets has really kept me focused this month. (5) And of course, the Triple Zip Pouch!

Not a lot of finishes, but many good starts!

I am also linking up to A Stitch In Time: January Finishes
January FinishesPlum and June

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Here is what has been going on in the last week:

In Progress:

1) Starburst QAL:
I'm completely caught up with the Starburst QAL. I am really excited about this quilt! I am making the 76"x76" quilt, so my blocks are going to be 32". I did the smaller blocks in an assembly line, so they came together really fast. The only thing that slowed me down was trimming. Time DOES NOT fly when you are trimming HSTs!

From cut fabric to HSTs, Goose in the Corners and Flying Geese:

I've been wanting to try the No Waste Flying Geese for a while now, so I am really glad Melissa chose that technique for this QAL. She wrote a great tutorial and you can find the link on the QAL page. It is magic!!! 

I am thinking about changing the color combo of the first block. My original thought was to have a center star to represent each of the colors I had chosen (turquoise, pink, green, light blue). Now that I am looking at a picture, I am not sure I like having 1 warm star and 3 cool stars. I'll make a final decision after I layout the blocks. 

2) Fat Quarter Shop Designer Block of the Month 2013

I am caught up with the Fat Quarter Shop 2012 Designer Mystery Block of the Month club. This is the eighth block, "Lime Sherbert." It was designed by Bonnie Olaveson and Camille Roskelley. I messed up on the Flying Geese last week, by not paying attention to the direction of the blue fabric. I fixed that problem...But I realized that in my concern about the Flying Geese, I forgot to pay attention to the direction on the HSTs! It doesn't bother me so much, so it stays!

3) Scrappy TAL

As mentioned yesterday, I am still in the quilting phase of the Scrappy TAL.

A Quilter’s Table
A small finish, but a finish nonetheless! I finished my Triple Zip pouch for the Triple Zip Along with Debbie at A Quilter's Table. I'll be posting more about that later this week, after I take some pictures of it.

My other Work-In Progresses for the Quarter:
4) Looking Back - All pieces cut. I am picking this project back up in February
5) Swoon - All pieces cut. I am picking this project back up in February
6) Flower Girl Quilt - All pieces cut. I am picking this project back up in March.

Linking up with: WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New to Me January 2013: Orange Peel Quilting

Celtic Thistle StitchesI was going to finally start my Craftsy Knitting Class for New to Me in 2013 @ Celtic Thistle Stitches, but I decided to go with orange peel quilting instead. I have only quilted using straight lines up to this point, so orange peel quilting is definitely new to me! Luckily, it is going far better than expected!

I am using the Orange Peel tutorial from the 31 Days of Walking Foot Quilting at Petit Design Co. to quilt my Scrappy TAL quilt top. Norma did a great job on the tutorial and she has many other fun walking foot quilting options to try on her blog.

Before quilting on my actual top, I drew out the quilting lines on graph paper.  I used a different color marker for each line. Drawing made it easier for me to understand the quilting motions and to better visualize how the different lines intersected to form the orange peel design. I made a small half-circle template to draw out my curves on the quilt top and then I started sewing.

My curves get a little jittery when I start thinking "CURVE!" and some of the intersections are slightly off, but because of the overall design and the business of the quilt nothing really sticks out. It is far more forgiving than straight line quilting! I am sure a washing and drying cycle will help as well. It is going a bit slow (ten minutes a wavy line), so this might be the kick in the pants I need to learn FMQ! I have 5 of 6 rows left to quilt (!).

I am using in Multicolored Polyester Thread No. 15 in Sunray from ThreadArt. I bought it before I knew that there were different types of thread! I figured a scrap quilt was a pretty good place to use it up. Hopefully the "Ideal for quilting too!" description holds true!  I like how well it blends into the fabric. For anyone interested, I have since found the cotton equivalent: Variegated Cotton Thread 600M - Color 1103 in Sunburst.

If you have tried something new in January, there are still a couple more days to submit your link to New to Me in 2013!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WIP Wednesday and Scrappy TAL Quilt Top Finish

It has been so long since I have had WIPs to report on! Here are my WIPs for the week:

1) Scrappy Trip Along
72x60" Lap Quilt, 30 Blocks
I finished sewing the Scrappy Trip Along (using Quiltville Tutorial) quilt top yesterday evening. To be completely honest, there aren't many scraps in this quilt. I did use a ton of fat quarters that have been sitting in my stash forever.

My first four blocks went together very slowly. I was doing them one at a time! Once I understood how the piecing method worked, I started chain piecing. I sewed all the six strip panels together and then four-at-a time I started working on the blocks. Four is about as many as I could work on at a time without mixing everything up! Four was also the perfect number for when I had a spare hour to work on it. Doing 4 to 8 blocks a day, the quilt top came together really quickly.

After spending a long time scrounging around the sales sections of various online websites, I chose Weekend Hopscotch in Lime (Erin McMorris for Free Spirit) for the backing. I liked how it was a tinier, softer version of the quilt top. It was in the $4 section at Fabric.com and luckily there was enough! I've had issues with Fabric.com before(slow shipping, consistently having to cancel parts of my order, etc.), but my last few orders have actually gone through without a hitch. I am quilting it using the 31 Days of Walking Foot Quilting:Orange Peel tutorial at Petit Design Co

2) Fat Quarter Shop Block of the Month
I am mostly caught up with my Fat Quarter Shop Block of the Month blocks. I received Block 8 last week, but I messed up so badly that even the very generous cuts the FQS provides couldn't save me :D. Block 6 (Town Square designed by Kate Spain) & Block 7 (Moonlight Serenade designed by Sandy Gervais) are pictured above.  I am tempted to join the 2013 Block of the Month Club. I love the monthly mail. It is better than a magazine! And " a spectacular row quilt filled with basket blocks, star blocks, house blocks and flower blocks"? *SQUEE* It sounds adorable!

My other Work-In Progresses for the Quarter:
3) Looking Back - All pieces cut. I am picking this project back up in February
4) Swoon - All pieces cut. I am picking this project back up in February
5) Starburst QAL - I need to finish cutting this one! I got a head start on this one too!. This is on the schedule for the day.
6) Flower Girl Quilt - All pieces cut. I am picking this project back up in March.

Linking up with: WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Free Printable: Quilt Project Sheets

Since there were a lot of requests for these sheets last week, I made some editable versions in some universally available programs. I've tried using calendars and having a certain number of bins for projects, but these sheets have been the most helpful to me so far. I am absent minded and a chronic QAL joiner, so they have helped keep me keep focused and actually reduced my excessive fabric spending (What!? I bought materials for 15 projects that I haven't started!?!? ;) )!  I hope these sheets can be helpful to some of you too.

There are two file versions. The PDF Form is the most accessible for everyone. It can be printed as a blank form to write on or you can fill out the text fields and then print it. The Word document is fully editable and is available for Microsoft '97 and beyond. Note: The bubbles & checkboxes have to be filled in with a pencil or a pen at this point, I couldn't get Acrobat to turn them fillable without losing the information within the bubble.

To download: If you are signed into your Google account: Click the appropriate link. In the upper right corner there is an downward facing arrow. Click that arrow to download.

If you are not signed into a Google Account: Click the appropriate link. There is a menu bar under the file name (File Edit View Help). Click on File. At the bottom of the pop-up list, click Download.

This printable is offered to you free of charge and is for personal use only. Please do not redistribute the PDF, but you may link to this blog post if you feel like spreading the word. Thank you!

Projects At a Glance Worksheet
PDF | Microsoft Word(.DOC)

Last Edited: 1/22/2013

Note: The .Doc version does not show up correctly in Google Docs Preview. It downloads correctly.

Individual Project Sheet
PDF | Microsoft Word(.DOC)

Last Edited: 1/22/2013

Don't hesitate to contact me if there are any problems. I've never released a file in these formats before and editable files can be finicky!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

First Quarter 2013 Finish-A-Long List

Edit: These project sheets are now available for download at this link. Thank you!

she can quilt
I've spent a lot of time this past week getting all my projects organized and figuring out what projects I have going on and what stage they are in. I have way too many projects that are stuck in the cutting phase! Most of my projects for this quarter have been cut for a long time. I just need to sew them together. My five hopeful finishes are listed below:

1) Scrappy Trip Along: The quilt I started this month is closer to being finished than quilts I started months ago! I wasn't going to make this quilt at first, but Instagram pictures have a hypnotic effect on me. My rationalization for starting this quilt is that I want to improve my quilting skills this year and this would be a great quilt to try orange peel quilting on. 
Current Status: Strips are cut and 12 out of 30 blocks complete. Target finish date: End of January 2013

2) Looking BackHusband request #1. There is a lot of hand sewing on this quilt, so this will be my nighttime project. I was supposed to have this one done by Christmas 2012!
Current Status: All the applique pieces have been cut since the beginning of December. I just need to get to sewing! Target finish date: End of February 2013

3) SwoonHusband request #2, for Aunt. This is another one I was supposed to have to done by Christmas 2012.
Current Status: Blocks are cut & ready to be pieced.  Target finish date: End of February 2013

4) Starburst QALThis QAL just started over at Happy Quilting. I ordered 4.5 yards of Quilter's Linen in Midnight for another project, but it wasn't dark enough. I figured this would be a great opportunity to use it!  
Project Stage: This is the newest project on the list. Fabrics are chosen and being cut. Target finish date: March 4, 2013

5) Flower Girl Quilt: Husband Request #3, for one of his friends that is expecting. I'm going to divide this kit up into a few smaller quilts. I haven't decide whether to use four or nine flowers for the quilts. Four would be a more standard, but nine would allow longer usage. I'll decide after I finish sewing the flowers!
Current Status: The fabric is washed, ironed, starched & cut. Well, most of it! This project ended up in limbo because I messed up on the cutting of 2 fat quarters. I need to order some more. Target finish date: End of March 2013

So: one quilt for January, two for February and two for March. Here is to getting my projects out of plastic containers and onto beds :). My plan for tomorrow is to mark the the appropriate Flower Girl pieces and to sew 8 more Scrappy TAL blocks. 

Also Linking Up With:
  Plum and June

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Year & One Day of Sewing!

First Finished Quilt 1/29/2012.
Exactly one year (and one day) ago, I decided to start keeping a blog to document my sewing projects. I bought a sewing machine in 2005, but it didn't come out of my closet until November 2011! (Confession: I couldn't figure out how to thread it before then. Thanks YouTube!) After participating in the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day at the end of that year, I couldn't resist joining in the blogging fun.

I have learned so much from you all and I think I would probably still be working on the quilt pictured to the left if it wasn't for all of your help & support!  Thank you everyone!

Finished Quilts of 2012: Scrappy Stash, Does Not Compute, Hootenanny, Mother's Day Table RunnerCharlotte, Charming Stars, Sew Happy Geek, Salt Air Lattice (Not pictured. Note to self: Remember to take pictures before gifting!)

If someone would have told me that I would have a Weekender bag of my very own or that I would be able to sew a dress, I would have thought they were crazy! After all, I couldn't even get my seams to match on simple patchwork quilt! My two biggest takeaways from 2011: 
• Try new things whether you think you can do them or not. It is usually easier to do than you think! 
• Skills definitely get better over time! Keep moving forward!

At the beginning of the year, I stated that my main goal for this blog was to document my sewing projects and to keep track of the projects I have completed. I have the same goal for this year. I want to get better at the documenting part. My biggest sewing related goal is learning FMQ. I have so many quilt tops lying around, because my quilting wants surpass my quilting skills!

I've been absent from my blog for the past couple of months, because of a busy holiday schedule and a finicky sewing machine. I got a new sewing machine (Janome HD1000) last week and I am excited to get back to sewing. I am just waiting on some sewing machine feet to arrive in the mail! 

Thanks again for following my blog over the past year!

Linking up with:

Lily's QuiltsCraft Buds
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