Monday, November 2, 2015

Goodbye Darling

Earlier this year, I had the fortune of having one of the most pleasant ladies I've ever met stumble into my ETSY shop to order a simple table runner and she has shouted my praises every since. I've been very blessed with the people I've worked with, especially considering they are complete strangers, but this one went far above just a pleasant transaction.

She contacted me again to make her daughter a lap quilt out of the Hello Darling line. Her daughter sent me a picture of a quilt that I couldn't immediately find the pattern for, but in my process of looking, we stumbled upon this quilt and both liked it better anyway. I contacted Ms. French to see if she ever made it into a pattern as she suggested she would, but she hadn't. I was on my own, and that, I believe, is where the troubles started with a very unpleasant quilt for a very pleasant person. I'm not going to bore you with the details, but I will say if it could be added wrong, or cut wrong, or sewn wrong, I did it all in this quilt right here.

Somehow, despite all my efforts to destroy it, I do still think it looks right cute. And with the closely spaced quilting lines, it feels amazing - my favorite type of quilting. You can tell by looking, it isn't a particularly difficult pattern. The only aspect I would consider challenging is narrow strip that serves as the "string" the pennants are hanging from, so I guess I'll have to accept all the blame for its difficulties.

Even the back gave me problems.

It looks fine, and I guess that's all that matters, but I made two errors that made it harder than it should have been, and the company I ordered the fabric from wasn't able to include one of the prints despite showing stock at the time I placed the order.

Seriously, one headache after another during the entire process. So, I've named it Goodbye Darling. I was so glad to mail that thing off yesterday!

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it on the blog, but my step-daughter is pregnant. So I'm off to sew lots of cute baby things! We're very excited to have another grandbaby join the family!

Edited to add: Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish it Friday series. Love those coffee mugs she has this week!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Cargo Duffle Bag, by Noodlehead

Last week, we celebrated a friend's birthday and that friend is a bit hard to shop for. She's a bit of a work-a-holic and those are the hardest types, aren't they? But her job does require some travel, so I thought maybe a cute carry on type bag would be nice.

I'm going to admit, I struggled some with this. The making of the parts was ok. The assembly of the parts was only slightly harder, but the binding of the inside seams almost got my friend a gift card instead. That was my experience. I'm sure someone with actual bag sewing experience would have different results.

One comment I saw on another blog was that she chose a zippered pocket instead of the cargo pockets because they always seem to look homemade. Yep. It's not huge, but when you want someone to carry your gift from Tennessee to California, you don't really want sloppy details making it look "homemade."

You can see from the above picture that somehow my flaps are a bit more narrow than the pockets, and also on the right is a piece of pocket showing that shouldn't show:

And common sense should have told me to buy the kind of snaps that go through the fabric, so my stitches wouldn't show.

I just don't happen to be very big in the common sense department.

So, here are some of my "wish I'd done it differently" tips:

1. I would make the sections larger and then cut them down to size after quilting.

2. I'd have choose different snaps.

3. I'd spend a lot more time, and probably some fabric glue, making sure those pockets were perfect. They are the focal point of the whole bag, after all.

4. I'd line the whole bag rather than binding the seams.

One thing I did that varied from the instructions was to sew the bottom accent fabric on and then quilt over it. Her instructions were to iron the side under and just quilt over it - I liked sewing it down first.

Oh, and the other thing I did differently was to use headliner fabric - the stuff that goes in the roof of your car. I know, weird, right? I'd read on another blog that was the product of choice for all her bags, but when I checked it out at Hancock, not only was it not that much cheaper, but it was noticeably thinner than the Pellon foam interfacing. I was on the fence as to whether to use Pellon or fusible fleece when I noticed some headliner fabric in the remnant bin for just a couple dollars. So I snatched that up and gave it a try. It was perfect! I might have gotten even more frustrated with the thicker Pellon, and the headliner fabric sewed and ironed just as well. So, if you don't have ready access to the Pellon, or find some headliner fabric on sale, give it a try!

Minor imperfections aside, I do like the bag, and I really love my fabric choices for it.

My daughter has requested one in pink and purple. No matter what I sew, my daughter requests one in pink and purple, but this might be a practical make for her since she does spend every Friday night with her Grandmother.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

And the winners are...

Using the super scientific method of asking my daughter to pick two numbers between 1 & 17, I have determined the winners of the magazine issues to be Judy@quilt paradigm and stitchinpenny. Congratulations! I've sent e-mails to the winners and will mail those issues out as soon as I have addresses.

In the meantime, here's a pretty picture of my quilt, courtesy of McCalls. It's not often pictures of my quilts look good, in fact, this may be a first:)

I'm also guest blogging at McCalls today. You can check that out here.

If you make a quilt from my pattern, I would be thrilled to see it. Please either hashtag it #TwistedZags on Instagram, or just e-mail it to me, piecesofcotton @ And if you'd like to follow me on Instagram, I'm piecesofcottonquilting there.

Friday, August 7, 2015

This is happening

You may recognize the snippit of quilt you can see as being similar to the one I made for my grandson when he arrived in Chattanooga.

This one was made about a year ago and will be in the October/November issue of McCall's Quick Quilts.

If you don't want to wait until it hits the stands, I have a couple copies to give away. Leave me a comment, and I'll pick two random commentors to mail a full copy of the issue to.

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish it Friday series.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Quicky finish

I'm in the middle of another large project, and as is typical of me, I needed a break from seeing the same fabrics and doing the same things.

I admire those who start something, and then finish it.

Of course, my method of starting something, stopping to make a baby quilt, going back to the first project - for a while - also has its benefits.

That binding fabric was a Christmas present from my daughter. What other than purple polka dots can you expect from a 7-year-old?

The other prints in this quilt were a Christmas present from my friend, Mandy. I love it all. This quilt is in the shop, but whatever I make next from these fabrics will be for me.

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish it Friday series.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Another lattice quilt

One of the first quilts I made this year was this beautiful lattice quilt out of Petal by Tanya Whelan. And it almost wasn't. I was in the process of making a lattice quilt out of Paris Flea Market when I cut the side triangles too small. And my typical process is to cut all my pieces first and then sew them all together, so that meant a whole quilt's worth of too small triangles. Not wanting to throw them away, I spied my jelly roll of Petal and decided to make it a lattice too. Loving the fabrics like I did, it was naturally the first to get completed.

Eventually I did get around to cutting larger triangles and finishing this one out of Paris Flea Market:

I made this one to sell, but it's a good thing I already have the Petal one or that just wouldn't happen. The lattice pattern must just be my pattern to love. I'm already considering another, masculine, one.

I quilted it on each side of the diagonal seams. Each time I do this, I'm sure I'm going to add some hand quilting in the white squares, but I haven't yet.

The backing is a gold that complements fairly well. I found it on clearance at Joann's a few years ago and immediately made it into a backing. I've auditioned it with many quilt tops, but it seemed to fit this one best.

I did want to share one tip with you that is different from how every tutorial I've seen does it, and that is to iron your fabrics all in one direction.

Most tutorials have you iron both triangles away from the center strip, which means instead of nesting seams, you are fighting the bulk of having your seams ironed the same way when trying to put the blocks together.

Not every seam was this spot on perfect:

But I feel like I received better results and more easily than I would have otherwise.

This quilt is in the shop and ready to find its forever home.

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish It Friday series.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Sew Demented

Sew Demented - I always assumed she chose her name to be funny, a little self-depreciating humor.

But now, after making her famous bag, I realize it is us - we are the ones demented.

We put 4 zippers in one project.

We wrapped that side panel around three different things, and then we defied the laws of nature, physics and fabric to attach it to the base without distorting the inside pockets.

And like just about everyone else who has made one, I am now planning my next one. Yes, we are the ones demented. We're on our way to the padded rooms, you realize that don't you?

And the scary thing, they don't allow rotary cutters in those padded rooms. I think they're afraid we'll cut the padding off and use it in a project.

I'm sure you figured out by now that this is for my friend, Mandy, who recently graduated nursing school. The fabric is Calling all Nurses by Windham fabrics. My favorite is this text fabric:

Full of puns, but I love it anyway. I bought extra of this and I'm thinking of making something for my sister-in-law as well.

I also love the hats, mostly for the pretty blue background:

I really didn't like the band-aids - I'm not even sure why I bought them, but I did, so I relegated them to the inside of the pockets.

I think the next one will be easier. I think. If not, I will gladly surrender my rotary cutter to the men in the white coats.