Saturday, April 2, 2022


I'm so excited, as I made excellent progress yesterday on my projects, and it makes up for the lack of real progress on projects over the last couple of days. 

It seemed to take forever to get the first one done, and I thought I was doomed for the day. But at last, I got my scrappy green quilt done. Well, this is step one of the project. It's not super big -- about 21 inches. I made 49 blocks that are 3" finished. It was totally from the scrap box, and it took a long time to complete. So if anyone is complaining about not having enough to do -- start sewing from scraps. That'll slow you down!!!

My scrappy green quilt top is done!

Then I changed the thread color and finished the binding on this quilt. 

The binding is done on this quilt

I see the edges are a bit wavy, which means it should have been blocked before I put the binding on, but I'm going to try and steam it to get it flat. It's not bad and just needs a sleeve on the back, and then it's done!!

The binding is on the wall hanging

Then it was onto the next project. I had THREE almost finished tote bags. The only thing left to do was add the flap. The flap was cut, but I couldn't finish them - why? Because the three pieces of Velcro were missing. One part of the Velcro had been attached to the bag, but the second half was missing. When cleaning up something in the closet upstairs, I found the Velcro bits. So I brought the three bags with me to get them done. 

The missing flap on the tote bags

I stitched that Velcro in place even though it's supposed to be fusible - I never trust that. So three tote bags are now completely done. 

Three completed tote bags

Then onto the last project slated for yesterday. Could I get that done as well? It was a tote bag that I promised to make for someone. When I was prepping for my serger class, I needed a piece of very loosely woven fabric to showcase the serger, and this was precisely what I was looking for. 

I had prepped all the pieces by fusing the fusible fleece and the Decor-Bond to the fabric. I used my Singer steam press, which made that task extremely easy and took seconds instead of much longer with an ordinary iron. If you are into making bags, you NEED a steam press. 

This tote bag was a preprinted panel that the manufacturer suggested you sew together with NO LINING and no interfacings. I've seen it done that way, and it looked like a limp rag. Very sloppy, and with the loose weave of the "canvas," this would fray to death. So I made it like I make all my tote bags -- Fusible fleece on the outer part of the bag, Decor-Bond on the lining, and the handles were made substantial!! 

Speaking of handles, I used the bits that came on the panel as decorative trim on black fabric for the handles. That meant I had to turn the tubes inside out! That's not a fun job when you don't have a tube-turner. But I found tweezers in my toolbox and used those. It was still a fiddly job, and several times, I was tempted to give the entire thing back to the owner and have her finish it. But NO -- I persevered. 

Turning the tubes for the handle trim

Then it got down to the wire -- the last bit, which is to turn the bag inside out. I hate that part, and I was tempted to give it to Ronda like this. 

Turning the bag inside out

But NO -- I persevered. It helps when you sew with friends as they keep your brain occupied while you do those awful jobs. And VOILA -- the finished tote bag. 

The completed tote bag

Notice how it stands up on its own? It would never have done that if following the instructions written by the manufacturer. And personally, I think the proportions are out. It's too long for the width, so if you have a short person, this will drag on the ground! Sigh -- not my bag, not my problem!

So you want to see what some of the others are working on? Dede and Kathi both got their tulip table runners completed. Now they just have to quilt them, which I think Dede will attempt today. 

Tulip table runners!

And Katheleen is working on the strips sets for a bargello quilt. Plus, they did a lot of other work, but that's all I got pictures of. 

Katheleen's bargello

I dug through my project bag to see what I could work on today. I have to say that it's kind of fun to get caught up on or finish a project and move to something new. I did FOUR things yesterday. At some of the retreats, I work on ONE project for the entire retreat!!!

Today, I have another scrappy project. This is all the leftover yellow flannel that came from the community projects. Most of the scraps were prepped and ready to sew (it's good to be prepared), so I started last night. I now have 31 blocks made. 

31 blocks scrappy yellow flannel blocks

There's a larger piece of flannel that could be used for the backing. Using that as the backing, I would need to make 64 blocks, and I might just have enough scraps to make that happen. 

Sewing scraps of yellow flannel

The blocks are 5" unfinished. And there's one more piece of flannel that will work for the binding. My goal is to get the top together and the binding made. 

Then I have one more scrappy project and a small paper pieced project on the agenda for today. 

Tomorrow is our last day, and this is what is left in my project bag. There are three projects there; none of them will take super long to do, but they will still take time, so I feel that I packed very well for this retreat. I'm finally learning!!!

My project bag is almost empty

Let's not forget that we took a trip to Creekbank Sewing in the morning. This is a store on a Mennonite farm about 30 minutes away. We all came away from that store completely energized, and I'm sure they were happy with our visit. Here's the thing -- the two ladies in that store were the BEST salespeople I have ever seen in a quilt store. If you were looking for something, they showed you what they had, offered suggestions, and weren't afraid to dig out whatever to show you more. They were never pushy, but they were good!!

It was hilarious, but I swear that we all almost walked out with some form of quilting or sewing machine! Yep -- if we could have fit those boxes in the car, we would be sewing on Berninas today! Anyway -- those ladies were very professional, and I love the store. They have some classes that sound very good, but unfortunately, I won't be around on that day. Darn!!!!

I spotted this old sewing machine on a shelf. This was probably the top-of-the-line (or the ONLY) sewing machine offered by PFAFF at one point in time. 

An old PFAFF sewing machine

And today -- this is what they have. 

The creative icon 2

We passed a ton of wind turbines on the way there, and I managed to get this picture as Katheleen was speeding down the road. 

Wind turbines along the road

We're done!!! We completed our 10,000 KM trek across Canada on March 31. We came in 66th of 243 teams, which is fantastic considering we are four people and NONE of us are runners. We averaged just under 36.5KM each day!!! That's pretty darn impressive. Thanks to Helen Anne, Nancy, and Shelly for a great adventure!!! What's next for our little group? 

I slacked off with the walking yesterday; although I did walk 8 KM, it's nowhere near my norm. I'll get back to it seriously after this retreat. It's probably good to take a wee break. In the afternoon, I walked to the grocery store and picked up something for dinner tonight. And on the way, I spotted two Canda geese. Did you know they branch out into pairs at this time for nesting? I had no idea, but now that Katheleen mentioned it, I'm noticing them in pairs everywhere!

A pair of Canada geese

So the class that wasn't Zoom, but is now hybrid so we can attend is on today!! That's this afternoon, so I'm looking forward to that. I have loads of learning to do with the Brother Scan and Cut, so hopefully, this will help. 

On that note, I"m out o  here. I have work to do, and there's no time to waste!!!

Have a super day!!!


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