So, last weekend I didn’t post about my sewing exploits… because I didn’t walk away from the sewing machine early enough in the day to blog.
Pouch With a View
Last week, I had Wednesday off, and spent most of the day sewing! I had purchased the pattern for ThreeOwls’ “Pouch With a View”, which includes four sizes. The extra large size is designed to hold a 12.5″ x 12.5″ quilt block – the “unfinished” size of a standard 12″ quilt block. Especially since that’s the size the “Block of the Month” has been so far for the Tacoma MQG, so it’s a pretty (and safe/clean!) way to store and transport my finished blocks!
I also thought it would be a perfect way to use some of the Alison Glass “Ex Libris” fabric that I found at The Quilting Fairy in Puyallup. I’ve seen those colorful medallions online, but hadn’t had the desire to pay shipping on top of fabric costs, so I went a bit nuts when I found it at a local quilt shop! In the photo above, the main photo is of the pouch empty, and the smaller, inset photo is of the pouch with my January Block of the Month in it. The part that I failed to think through for using my pretty fabric to line the pouch is that it only shows when the pouch is empty!
I wish I could remember who I’d seen post the suggestion online to give credit where it’s due, but somebody had recommended completely assembling the front (vinyl, edges, zipper, etc) before cutting the back inside lining piece if you planned to fussy-cut the fabric, so you can position everything just so and not waste fabric. Excellent suggestion, and it worked out great, as you can see! Trying to estimate the positioning beforehand would have been nearly impossible.
As far as the pattern goes…
- They’re really not joking about not letting the iron touch the vinyl window when ironing the fabric you’ve stitched to it! That first piece of vinyl I’d cut had to get downgraded from extra-large pouch size to large pouch size, and set aside for a future project after I melted a hole in the edge. At least I didn’t ruin my iron, too!
- The pattern recommends 12, 16, or 20 gauge vinyl for the window. The heaviest vinyl that the JoAnn’s near me carried was 16 gauge, which I think was just right. I definitely wouldn’t use anything thinner.
- This project was the first time I’d used spray-baste to hold layers still while sewing projects together. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to go back to pin-basting!
- I’m not a fan so far of the built-in binding (you use the backing and fold it over to the front for binding). I think in the future I’ll cut the backing the same size as the front and attach proper quilt-style binding that’s hand-stitched to the back so there aren’t visible top-stitches. I’m tempted to undo the binding on this pouch and fix it, too.
- Something that I added to the pattern is a small D-ring in the upper left corner. I folded a piece of fabric to make a very short strap to attach a used a 3/4 inch D ring so I can hang the pouch on the wall. This will help keep my blocks flat, keep me from losing the pouch after I set it down and pile other sewing bits on top of it, and it will keep my cats from sitting on it, since they’re intent on sitting on anything placed on the floor!
I can’t wait to make more of these!
5 Hazel the Hedgehog Quilt Blocks
Wednesday last week, in between steps of my Pouch With a View, I also cut the fabric for five Hazel the Hedgehog quilt blocks for the Rainbow Mini Quilt Swap. I started piecing their faces before calling it a day… and realized on Sunday when I went to finish them that I’d sewed their noses to their foreheads on accident! A little work with the seam ripper fixed that up, and on Sunday I was able to finish all five blocks! With pins and careful cutting, everything lined up properly for these blocks and I’m really pleased with how they’ve turned out so far! It’s a little hard to see, but the background fabric has metallic silver lines on it.
Four blocks will get pieced together for my mini quilt, and I plan to use the fifth to make a Hazel Pouch a la Johanna to pack the mini quilt into, but I plan on doing an Open Wide Pouch style zipper on it. Johanna was kind enough to share her pouch’s dimensions with me when she originally posted photos of it on Instagram, and I hope mine turns out as well as hers do! I’m still debating what to for a border for the quilt (or if I’m going to do one) so I am holding off on piecing the blocks until I figure out the border!
Love Mini Quilt
I’d seen the Love Mini Quilt pattern a couple times online, especially on Instagram, and finally decided to give it a try. Foundation paper piecing has been a scary prospect until now (some of the patterns still are – some are incredibly detailed/intricate) but this one came with great directions and seemed simple enough. I printed the pattern pieces at a few different sizes, and settled on this size – printed at 62%, for about in the middle between 50% and 75%. The finished size of this mini turned out to be about 10″ wide, and 12.5″ tall. This one is actually a gift, and I’m hoping to make one for our house that’s a little larger here very soon!
I’m glad I splurged on a pad of tracing paper from the store (cut down to printer-size… why don’t they sell it in 8.5″x11″ pads??) to print the pattern pieces on, since I was too cheap to buy special foundation paper piecing paper. Everything went according to plan, and I didn’t even have to bust out the seam ripper (until I screwed up the machine quilting part anyway), and I think the tracing paper tore out a bit easier than 20 lb printer paper would have. I got the front of the quilt finished on Monday, and got it quilted and bound on Tuesday! I still need to get a dowel to hang it properly, and I’m currently biting my nails as it’s in the wash with a color catcher sheet pinned to the front because I decided that the “crinkly” look you get from a washed quilt would be cuter. It’s getting gifted soon, so somebody’s got a surprise coming!
Other than all of the sewing (and going to work), I haven’t been up to much. I’m still trying to get over the cold-crud I picked up at the beginning of January, and hopefully this second round of antibiotics will kick it. I’m tired of being sick, especially since we’ve had some nice days and Destin’s finally got a good winter coat for going to find snow to play in!