Sunday, November 29, 2009

Home At Last

After hanging my gorgeous "Bath House" Doll Swap 7 Quilt, in my dining room so I could see it while I had my meals, and my family could enjoy it at Thanksgiving, I finally added the sleeve to the back and hung the quilt in its intended location - my bathroom.

It makes me smile every time I see it!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tricky Tuesday

I made a couple more stick bags. I had this lovely blue and white fabric, and thought it would make a stunning Stick Bag. It's 30" long 3" wide, 2" deep, and the strap is about 38" long, enough to sling the bag over your shoulder or across the back. Like the other smaller skinny boxed bags, it is lined with white vinyl. (Email me at patcherymenagerie AT gmail DOT com if you are interested in purchasing this bag.)
This gold and red number is not really a stick bag.) Remember the Magritte painting, "Ceci n'est pas une pipe"?) This is actually a bag for a music stand. My son plays cello. He has a nice sturdy case for the cello, but the music stand is in two pieces, and is extremely awkward to carry. Ergo, music stand bag. (Yes, in every other aspect is is identical to the stick bags.)

Next up, a flat zippered bag for his sheet music. No problem! That's what Sewing Moms are for!

Happy Thanksgiving to all! The Big Dinner will be held at my house on Thursday, so I'll be kinda busy the next couple of days!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Stick Bags 4 & 5

Here are karate stick bags numbers 4 and 5. Apparently they were a big hit at the studio. These two are 3" wide, 2" deep, and 30" tall. The strap is situated so the bag can be slung over the shoulder or across the back.

There is a stick bag # 3, but it didn't stick around long enough for its photo shoot. (Pun intended.)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Almost Finished!

My selvage bag would be finished, except I couldn't remember how I finished off the first quilted selvage bag. I tried what I thought I did, and it was awful, so I ripped it out.All I have to do is add the handles and it will be complete.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Selvage Bag

It's raining outside. What a good day to stay in and sew!
I'm making a quilted selvage bag for my Etsy shop. This bag has nice warm brown neutrals, moving to warmer orange and beige on one side, and up to a soft yellow on the other. The handles will be neutral, and the bag will be lined and have a patch pocket.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stick Bags

My sister received her Second Degree Black Belt last night. This is a Big Deal. She's 47 and was by no means an athletic person. Growing up she was the very definition of accident-prone. She used to describe herself as being "completely without grace." No longer. She started karate at 42, very stiff, very awkward, but she loved it, and stuck with it.

The Advanced Black Belts train with a pair of sticks. Essentially these are dowels between 26 and 28" long. Hers are just under an inch in diameter. They come wider, for folks with bigger hands. Problem with the sticks, though, is they're too big for the average athletic bag, so they end up sticking out, getting caught on things, and two of them are hard to carry around in one hand.

When she saw my little skinny bags, she asked if I could make a bag for her sticks. No problem.

Then she asked for a strap, so she could carry it over her shoulder. Tricky problem, given the bag would be very long and very narrow.

I'd been thinking about how I would make the bag. The bag didn't need a zipper its entire length, but because the zipper would only be 1/3 the length of the bag, I wouldn't be able to cover the inside seam the way I do in the skinny bags. Finally, I had to work out the size. After a bit of math and graph paper, I set to work yesterday.

My sister had given me some upholstery grade fabric she had bought as a remnant to use for the bag. I used the standard nylon webbing as a strap and I added a gold tassel as a zipper pull.

I made one bag, and didn't like the way the strap attached to it, so I made another bag, slightly longer. Both bags are 3" wide, 2" deep. The short one is 28" long, and this one is 30" long.

These photos are of the second bag. (Here I need to tell you my nephew is also a Black Belt, also trains with sticks, but his are longer than his mother's.)

I wasn't sure which bag she would like, so I brought them both to her house. As soon as she saw them, the room exploded with a high-pitched SQUEEEEE, as she ran to her athletic bag, grabbed her sticks, zipped open Stick Bag #1 and put them inside, zipped the bag shut, then grabbed her son's sticks, and inserted them in Stick Bag #2.

All in about 15 seconds.

I guess that means she liked them.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Clean Sewing Studio!

Woo hoo! My sewing studio is all tidy and clean. It only took two hours. Why so quick? It's easy to tidy up when everything has a place to go. I picked up all the bits off the floor, and put the folded fabrics back on the shelf. Then I put all the little bits in the scrap bins, and vacuumed.Presto!
You know what this means!

Time to get to work and mess it up again!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Last Remaining Obstacle a clean sewing room is my cat, Millie. My Office is clean and organized. I've shredded years of old paperwork and cleaned out old books, magazines and stuff. I've dusted and rearranged what's left.

Then I cleaned the rest of the house. The living room, bedroom, kitchen and bathroom are all sparkling. That leaves the Sewing Room. Which I'll be working on today, as soon as the obstacle in question decides to find a better place to nap.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Totally Not Fair!

Look at this positively charming fabric from Alexander Henry. It's part of their Good Earth collection, available here, and I am sure many other places. How come I find fabric like this after I've completed the houses and the top for my Devon Town Quilt? Not fair. I so totally would have had fun with this.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Still no Quilts...

Here are a pair of houses inspired by Kidbean for his little brother's quilt...I'm cleaning my computer room/office. I am going through every item on every shelf, sorting through every drawer and going through every file and piece of paper in there.

Old books are banished, and the library will be the beneficiary. (I am also a member of Paperback Book Swap, and many books will be posted there.) Now that my son is a grown man, I have shredded all the papers relating to the fight for child support from his father. That was liberating.

I work as a Geek during the day, and have managed to accumulate several computer hard drives, USB, PS2 and serial mice, mousepads, gender bender connections, CD's of Operating Systems I no longer use (or care to), defective PDA's, hubs, switches, power cables and other assorted junk. It's all going away. (Yes, I know how to safely erase & dispose the hard drives.)

Old cassette tapes are going, as well as a dozen exercise videos. I no longer have a cassette player and my VCR died years ago.

I've already filled six garbage bags full of shredded paper. It's been the room where everything goes "for now." Well, it's now, and I have no patience for the stuff.

Monday, November 9, 2009

No Quilts

As usual, when I am deep into a project, I tend to ignore everything else. I have finished the top of "Devon Town."Now I get to clean the house. My sewing studio is a real mess. I've got bits of fabrics all over each table, covering all the chairs and scattered about the floor. My dining room table is pushed to one side of the room. My computer room has been a catch-all for months. It's become a junk room. I haven't vacuumed in weeks, and I've got papers stacked up in piles all over. I have books and bookcases in every room, some that haven't been touched in years occupying prime real estate.

So I got started. The place still looks messy, but it's headed in the right direction. I've got guests visiting after Thanksgiving, and I want the place nice and organized well ahead of time.

By that time I'll be ready to finish "Devon Town."

Friday, November 6, 2009

Backing Plans

Planning the backing of a quilt is often rather confusing. Partly because I hate to buy six yards of new fabric, and I dislike a pieced backing that doesn't really "work" with the front. But I've worked it out. This exercise with bits of graph paper and tape told me exactly how much fabric I needed, and exactly how to cut it.

Fortunately, it makes sense to me!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sneak Peek

Here are three blocks from the Wonky Housing Project Quilt (which still needs a better name, by the way), and a view of the batik fabric I have selected to bind the quilt together. The batik reminds me of cobblestones, and its neutral tones give the quilt unity while subtly connecting the warm tones together.

The quilt is in three big pieces; two that are L-shaped, and one rectangle. The remaining seams are all of the sewing into corners variety, my least favorite. I'll finish the top after work on Thursday.

The quilt looks like it will be 66" wide by about 94" high.

I have a name.

My House is Your House.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday Fill In The Blank

I've been rearranging the blocks for the Wonky Housing Development Quilt. (This quilt needs a better name, by the way. I am open to suggestions.) I had this blank space that needed filler. It was about 6 inches wide by about a dozen inches tall.
This cheerful home sewer/quiltmaker gave me my answer. She's surrounded by stringed instruments. One of my blog friends, Trish, found this beautiful red fabric at a good price and sent me four yards. She knows my son and nephew play cello.

More house blocks tomorrow. There will be 21 houses in the quilt, well, one's a rocket, and there are girls and boys and lots of cats and trees and some hearts. But get a good look, because you'll be seeing less and less of it as I finish it up. It has to be a surprise for the little boy it is being made for.

I'll be delivering the finished quilt at his christening, which has not been scheduled yet.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Magic Number = 17

For those of you who have been wondering... I have finalized the layout of the house blocks for my Wonky House Quilt. There will be 17 blocks. Some blocks have more than one house, like the blocks at the top and bottom of this finished panel so 17 isn't the number of houses.

The blue tape represents the top of a twin bed. This panel represents about 40% of the finished top. I have a few more gaps to fill in, and then I'll be able to complete it. No, I don't know the finished dimensions yet.

Monday, November 2, 2009


I had a productive day in the sewing room yesterday. I made the name panel, some trees, some hearts and a butterfly. I decided how the houses should be arranged and I started assembling them together. I worked all day.You know it's time to stop when you do this.(Argh!)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Rocket Cats

This is actually a house for the Wonky House Quilt. As you can see, it is populated by cats. There's Millie on the left, and Monty Q on the right in the top row.
In the lower level are their cat friends, Poppy Q, See Three Pee-O, KC, Sammy Meezer, Miles Meezer and Parker. Or maybe it's Gandalf and Grayson, Chase, Latte & Kaze andTrouble... It could be Meerkat and Angus and Victor...