25 March 2012

3 more bags

Once upon a time I made a scripture tote bag as a birthday/baptism present.  I thought they were pretty handy (they fit a composition notebook, scriptures, and a few pencils very nicely).  I made one for a niece.  Then a nephew.  Then another niece.  Then 1 niece and 2 nephews. 

But not everyone had one.   To squash a minor bit of sibling rivalry, I needed to make one more for a birthday gift.  But if I was going to make one more, why not make 3 and be prepared!

Lucky for me, they're pretty easy to make.  The names take the longest time - choosing the font, tracing, cutting out, ironing them onto the bag just so, and then zig-zagging around each letter.  All fabric found at JoAnn's - I really like the orange paisley and the pink bird.

Hopefully everyone (when they finally get them) will be happy with their bag.

Lesson: if you make something for one niece/nephew, be prepared to make it for all of them.  Luckily, I love them, I'm a pushover  ... and this bag is fairly quick and easy project.

16 March 2012

postage stamp in progress

My postage stamp quilt.  I got the inspiration idea for this quilt from p.s. i quilt's postage stamp quilt along.  I didn't want to do a twin size quilt (eek - big!), so I calculated how big I could make it from charm packs.

1 charm pack (42 squares) = 168, 2.5" squares
A quilt 44"x44" = 242 print squares and 242 white squares.  
1.5 charm packs = 252 squares 

Last April when my sister came to visit I split my Central Park (by Kate Spain) charm packs in half with her, cut some white kona cotton in 5" squares, and sent her home with a 'quilt kit'.  (Did I tell you how much I love this fabric?  I love the animals, the colors, the bricks, the flowers.  It's my favorite fabric.  And I shared it.)

I started sewing on it last summer by putting a charm square and white fabric square right sides together and sewed down both sides.  Cut down the center vertically and horizontally and I got a 1x2 squares.

They traveled with me to Walla Walla in August  (uh, why I though I'd get work done on them there, I have no idea.  I was way to busy having fun with my sister, her kids, and our projects.) where I mentioned to my sister I was considering ironing the seam allowances open as I read on "oh fransson!".  We tried a 2x2 square with seams pressed open and one with the seams pressed to the side.  Seams pressed open won and this became my 'experiment' quilt where I was going to try new things.   (While I was there I had my sister pick out the fabric for the back.  Kona cotton robin egg.)

Once home, I made it as random as my engineering brain would allow, dumping all of the 1x2's into a brown paper bag, shaking, and then pulling 2 at a time out and sewing them together.

It quickly was laid out on the floor where it was arranged, re-arranged, arranged again, and again, and again.  I sewed some 2x2's into 4x4 and then bigger squares ... but nothing ever worked out.  After walking around it (and on it) for about a 4 weeks in September/October, I picked it all up and put it in a plastic bin.  I had other projects that needed to be done - and I needed my floor back. 

January 2012 I had a few days at home before I could go back to work.  The postage stamp quilt was pulled out again.  (Did I tell you how much I love this fabric?  The aqua!  The orange!  The prints!) But I had learned the lesson of trimming after every seam from C's seeing squares quilt ... and I didn't like how my postage stamp quilt didn't look straight.   I sat down and took the entire quilt back to 2x2 squares, trimmed them all to 4.5"x4.5"- making sure they were as straight as possible - and started sewing them together.  (uh, I told my sister about taking it apart after it was almost back together!)

This time I sewed them in strips ... using pins on every seam intersection.  It took time, but the corners look great!  (Lesson learned: use pins!  Even when you think you can just line up the seams when sewing.)

I really liked it ... but I wanted it bigger.  I grabbed another charm pack and kept sewing.

I love it.  Here's a picture of the wrong side.

Now to finish a couple more projects so I can quilt this.  Size: 52" x 60". (390 patterned squares)