Tuesday, June 2, 2020

The Crafty Bear

If you've been following the blog the last couple of days, you've probably seen The Crafty Bear! No - it's not a person - it's FABRIC. You can see on the selvage that it was designed by Debbie Mumm. Yes - it definitely has a Debbie Mumm feel. It was made for Jo-Ann Fabrics. The year? It's not on the single selvage piece that I have, but it's been a while!  If you don't believe me, go to her web site, and it almost feels like that crafty bear fabric is on the front page.

Designed by Debbie Mumm for Jo-Ann fabrics

I haven't heard of Debbie Mumm for years, but when I started to quilt, she was a big deal.

So how did this all start, and where did things go downhill? Carol used to work in the US, and when you're away from home and with nothing to do at night but sit in your hotel - what else can you do? Go fabric shopping, of course!

This is why we make labels for our projects because we will not remember. I found a note pinned to the inside of that one tote bag that had been completely finished. Here's what I wrote. " My friend, Carol, bought the two craft fabrics when she was on a business trip to the US. She gave a meter of each to four of us, with the intention that we make something. I happened to find the coordinating strip on a subsequent trip to the US and made the bag."  We were really BIG on making things for each other or making challenges or doing block swaps. I'm so over that!!!

Here's the first bag that I made. You can see the two prints that Carol found, one is along the bottom of the tote bag, the other is on the flap. The strip that I found later is the main part of the bag.

The first bag

Then there were the three subsequent three bags that I made and almost finished the other day.

Extra bag number 1

Extra bag number two

Extra bag number three

It was interesting that I chose to work on this project during the virtual retreat and that Carol participated so we could share stories about this fabric.

I don't know all the details about who made what, but here's a couple of other projects that were made with this fabric. I'm pretty sure that Marian made this for Carol. It's a sewing machine cover. Actually, I think this was the project that Marian made and then didn't want, so she gifted it to Carol.

Sewing machine cover

Carol made this quilt. It's hard to see, but that there are four BEAR paw blocks in the quilt. Carol nicknamed this fabric The Crafty Bear. I had to laugh as she dug out the box with the excess yard, and sure enough, it was labeled The Crafty Bear!  She still has gobs of the stuff.

Carol's quilt

Did you notice the fancy way she applied the border fabric? Here's a close up of the Bear Paw block.

Closeup of the Bear Paw block

Mary made some bags which she shared with us. The pattern is called the Humbugs bag and last night when I was searching for something else, guess what I found? Yep - the Humbug bag pattern. I have a story to tell about that, but it has to wait until tomorrow. Let's just say that the Humbug bag is not a bad pattern, but it's cute when it's small. These were a tad too large and well, as I sat in on the Virtual Retreat, I had a good ripping session and the bags are no more! Well, let's just say they've been repurposed. I wasn't keen on the pink zipper either

The giant Humbug bag

Wait - there's more!!!  Carol also made me this skirt for the sewing machine. It's a tad small for this sewing machine. It actually had two rows of pockets, but I found it too long, so a while back, I took the binding off and cut part of it away and made it better. See? Do you see my problem? I get a gift and it's not to my liking, I poke, pick, and prod at it until it works for me. And for some reason, that keeps me happy! The date of me fixing the sewing machine skirt? April 14, 2016!!!

The sewing machine skirt

I don't know if anything else was made with the fabric, but holy - we certainly bought our share of the darn stuff. I don't have much left and here's how I'm repurposing those "little" bags that I had. I found them in a box of other tote bags (made by me) that need work. Mostly because the handles are so wimpy that I can barely stand to touch them!!

I cut the panel from the largest bag into two. They are large enough to get a decent-sized zippered pouch.

One side of the zippered pouch

 I found some thick fleece in my scraps of fleece interlining. The pieces weren't quite large enough for the two side pieces so I used the zigzag stitch on the sewing machine and joined them.

Joining the fleece pieces
I certainly didn't care what color it had been joined with and this is how I use up the colored bobbins that are leftover from sewing bindings on by machine.

Leftover colored thread on the bobbins

Then I quilted the two pieces of the zippered pouch with an overall grid pattern. I used brown thread on the top, but I didn't care what I used in the bobbin.

The grid pattern that was quilted on the sides of the zippered pouch

And when I was done, there were NO colored bobbins left. If the tension on your sewing machine is good, you should NOT see the colors on top. I do this all the time!!!!  I certainly do NOT see any of that colored thread on top.

Bobbins of colored thread are gone

I found a piece of the striped fabric that was already quilted in the leftovers of the tote bags. Can you believe that it was almost the identical size of the piece of fabric that came from the medium-sized bag once it was taken apart? That was meant to be. So I found more fleece to fit the one side and it's now quilted. So those two odd pieces will create one zippered pouch.

The sides for a smaller zippered pouch

Actually, I think I used fusible fleece (thin stuff) to do this side of the bag. Anyway, in the scrap bag of fusible fleece pieces, I found two pieces that worked so I zigzagged them together as well. Oh yes - almost nothing goes to waste in my house! These supplies cost good money and why not zigzag the pieces together? It works perfectly fine for that.

Speaking of which, another box of giveaway stuff (all my fun fur) is being porch picked up today!!!

The piece that I used had been ripped from another project - the edge of a quilted project. When I started out, there were significant holes where the quilting had been. It's hard to see in the picture, but there are holes!

Quilting holes in the fusible fleece

After it was fused in place, the holes were completely gone!

The holes have disappeared

I have to laugh because some people say that quilting is their therapy and mine? It appears to be getting a second use of stuff and ripping! I have a whole pile of handwork, including more ripping, piled up by the laptop so when I'm watching the marathon session of Quilt Market Schoolhouse today and tomorrow, my hands will be busy!!!

We had a four-hour session for the Monday sewing group yesterday. What fun and so nice to get together with the group. And we got to see more quilting rooms. Some of the setups are so slick!!!

Oh yes -- there was one picture that I had forgotten to post from The Virtual Retreat. This quilt belongs to Colleen. It's a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt. A LOT of work. I won't venture down that road again! But it was fun to watch her complete the blocks over the course of the weekend.

Colleens' mystery quilt

I was able to get back out to my normal walking yesterday. Thankfully!! I was warmer and I felt better. It's going to be tricky today to get miles in as these sessions are TWELVE hours long - just like the retreat and they start a wee bit later than the retreat so it's going to be dark when it's over. Oh well, I may just have more miles to make up next week.

I swear it never fails. I'm out walking the dogs, my phone is in my back pocket and I hear PING! That's a message coming in from one of my small chat groups. When they realized I was out walking, they proceeded to send sentences in single messages of ONE word each so my pocket was pinging like mad! At one point, I had to stop because it sounded like the world was coming to an end with all the "urgency" of those pings! No wonder people have to look at their cell phones when they are driving their car!!!!

I walked over 8 miles yesterday and LOOK - a landmark on my walk across Canada. It's the WELCOME sign to Radisson. This is a significant truck stop by Saskatchewan standards, but it's really just a restaurant and a gas station. There's a young fellow in this small town who started up a rock shop and Museum. It's quite the place for an enterprising teen. It's actually quite fascinating.

Welcome to Radisson

Here's the position on the map! I'm making progress. It's going to be boring once I reach Saskatoon and start heading south to Regina. Although I've driven that road as well. Heck, I've driven the entire route in a car or on a bike so it's all interesting to see it through the Google maps. And yes - I'm behind the pace marker, but it'll all be made up by next week.

My position on the map

On that note, I'm out of here. Of course, not enough time today so there'll be more to share with you tomorrow.

Have a super day!!!!


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