The Great Granny Bag

Our modern guild meeting was Thursday, February 8.  Our annual guild destash usually takes place at the January meeting.  Because many members were unable to make the January meeting because of a snow storm / freezing rain, we had Part II of our annual destash at our February guild meeting.

At destash night, members bring any usable items from their sewing rooms that they no longer have use for and put them out on the tables for other members to adopt for free.  After all, one person’s junk is another person’s treasure, right?

Tables loaded with items from members' studios - destash night.

Tables loaded with items from members’ studios – destash night.

The tables were loaded!  In the bottom right hand corner of the photo (above) you can see some bamboo purse handles.  Another member and I each picked up a pair of these round bamboo handles.

Bamboo handles

Bamboo handles

After some discussion and joking around, a challenge was born – first person to finish a bag with their handles and post a picture to the guild’s Facebook page…

I worked the next day so I couldn’t start my challenge right away.  My challenge partner – Christine – is retired and she was able to start her bag immediately – Friday morning.  When I got home from work on Friday there was a picture to taunt me on Facebook with the caption, “Pattern cut, now to sew.  How is your bag coming along?”

Christine's bag in progress

Christine’s bag in progress

I got up early Saturday morning and got to work on my bag.  I worked through the day, checking Facebook frequently to make sure Christine hadn’t finished her bag yet.  I managed to finish my bag late in the afternoon and I got a picture of my finished bag posted to our guild’s Facebook page before Christine.

In the end, I am not sure who really won the challenge.  Although I was first to post a picture of a finished bag, Christine outdid me by finishing a total of 6 bags before she called it quits.

My bag was The Great Granny Bag which is a free bag tutorial on Emmaline Bags’ blog.

The Great Granny Bag

The Great Granny Bag

The Great Granny Bag - side view

The Great Granny Bag – side view

I modified the pattern by including a zippered pocket on the inside of the bag.  This was a new-to-me technique.  I made 2 pockets (not intentionally) before I got it right.

The Great Granny Bag - inside with zipper

The Great Granny Bag – inside with zipper

This  bag will be perfect for transporting projects-in-progress as it is very roomy inside.  The elastic on the sides gives it almost unlimited expansion room.

Thank you to whoever provided the bamboo handles on the destash table – they provided entertainment for a friendly challenge and the beginning of a very useful bag!

Because Christine and I were posting our progress to our guild’s Facebook page, other members were watching with interest.  The member who organized our destash night made a comment about being inspired to create a challenge for next year – January destash and February challenge.  It sounds like we can look forward to some more fun next year in conjunction with the destash.


Happy New Year!

Have you heard the New Year’s Day superstition that what you do on New Year’s Day will be what you do all year long? 
We spent New Year’s Eve with our daughter and her fiance.  I don’t like family out on the roads New Year’s Eve with all the parties and drinking and driving that goes on, so we had them spend the night.  Because my daughter missed our traditional “Wife Saver Breakfast” on Christmas morning, because she had to work, that is what we had for breakfast on New Year’s Day morning.  After breakfast, my daughter had to head off to work, but it was nice having her here for New Year’s Eve and then breakfast the next morning. 
After breakfast, it was time to focus on how to spend the rest of the day.  Linda and I discussed this issue on New Year’s Eve and decided that we definitely would not be doing laundry or housework!  We knew we wanted to focus on quilting, but which aspect of quilting did we want to focus on?  In the end, we decided to touch on as many different quilting aspects as we could manage to fit into the day.  

I started my day by doing a few passes on the current quilt that is loaded on the long arm.  This quilt is, “Fire Escape”, finished to the flimsy state on September 11, 2011.  I just love this colour combination–red and aqua!

The next project I worked on was something that could be considered a reward–something quick to finish that would bring instant satisfaction of accomplishment.  I purchased a table runner kit on a blog hop in June 2006 that has been sitting safely in its plastic sleeve since that time.  I decided today would be the day to work on that project.  This was an old project, not really a UFO since it hadn’t been out of the plastic, that needed to be finished.   This one is now finished to the flimsy stage.  This runner finishes at approximately 50″ x 20″.  I love how this one turned out!

This runner is the same pattern as the runner that I finished up for my Mom for Christmas this past year.
In September 2009, I purchased the fabrics to make Terry Atkinson’s, “Got Stripes?” quilt.  This quilt is comprised of two blocks–a block made from striped fabrics and a star block.  I made the striped blocks right away and then set the fabric and pattern on the shelf.

When I took this one off the shelf to work on it, it took a bit to remember what fabrics I had decided to use where on the stars.  Only some of the fabrics for the star blocks had actually been cut.  Further confusing the situation was a navy blue batik fabric that I had also purchased at the time I bought these fabrics.  At the time, I thought I might make the star points navy blue.  I remember not being able to decide between the brown and the navy blue.  I ended up buying both fabrics and decided today to go with the brown.

I am loving how this one is turning out.  I finished 5 of the 50 required stars for this queen sized quilt tonight before having to call it quits.
I think this was a very successful New Year’s Day! 
– I stared the day with a wonderful meal together with my family.
– I managed to keep activities for the day related to quilting. 
– I worked on using my existing stash.
– I resisted buying new fabric–even though there was a 50% off sale today at a local fabric store.
– I never did any housework or laundry.
2012 is shaping up to be a great year!

Double Four Patch

This is a picture of the progress that I have made so far on my newest quilt. This photo represents the first three rows.

This quilt is a Double Four Patch which I am making following the directions provided by Mary on her blog page. Like Mary, I am making my quilt from a variety of greens and beiges.

Since it is Sunday, Judy L has us reporting in on how we are doing on our stash busting. As you already know, I made some substantial fabric purchases in the past week. I am comforted in the fact that I have plenty of company in our guild membership who did exactly the same thing that I did. At our guild meeting this past Wednesday, our President had us put up our hands if any of us had not taken advantage of the fabric sale at Liquidation World. I only saw one person put their hand up! In fact many of us have gone back several times! The beiges and many of the greens in the quilt that I am making are purchases from that fabric sale. Does it count towards adding to your stash if you purchase the fabric and within 24 hours have it laundered, ironed, and cut into strips for your quilt?

I am very pleased with how this quilt is turning out. I am sure that the success of this quilt lies in the variety of fabrics that I am using–something that I could not have accomplished with my stash in its condition before the sale purchases. My guilt has been relieved!

Stash Busting Efforts

Last Tuesday evening at our quilting group Christmas dinner, one of our members mentioned that there was an upcoming fabric sale at Liquidation World on Saturday. I had other commitments on Saturday so I thought I was safe from the temptation of purchasing more fabric. When I got home from errands and my SIL’s on Saturday there was a phone message on the answering machine from another quilting friend telling me about a fabulous quilt fabric sale at Liquidation World. She mentioned that there was an ad in the paper advertising the sale. I was now at home and I was not interested in going out again. After all, I had lots of fabric and missing this one day sale would help me stay on track to finish existing UFOs and using up existing fabric in my stash.

I did have a peek at the paper though to see just what the ad said. It looked like a one day only sale so I presumed I had missed it.

Then the phone call came this morning–from the quilting friend that had left me the phone message from the previous day. She told me that I really should head over there–there was so much fabric when she was there on Saturday that she was sure they would still have the sale going on.

I phoned Liquidation World only to find out that they were indeed open on Sunday and yes, they still had that fabric sale going on. My daughter and I were headed to town anyway for other errands so we decided we would stop in.

The sale was 70% off everything, so it was easy to adopt fabric! This is what followed me home:

Fat Quarters: 22 black and white, 12 beige, 11 novelties.

Fat Eighths: 6 novelty prints

Cuts of fabric (minimum 1 m cuts): 19 meters of fabric in all.

Included in my fabric cuts were these: a wonderful chicken border print that will go with an existing fat quarter collection from the same line and these two pieces of Laurel Burch cat fabric that will also go with an existing fat quarter collection of the same fabrics.

I also brought home two kits: the first kit is a chenille scarf and the second kit is a cat quilt.

The first item on the left in this picture is a rooster needle punch kit, the second is a pattern from Maple Quilts called, Long Lines, the third item is a pattern to make quilted sweatshirt jackets, and the last pattern is a Christmas Rooster.

The last purchase was a book that I have been wanting some time, One Block Wonders.

So you see, I confess…I did not bust any stash this week, I did not quilt at all this week for myself, and I did not stay away from the temptation of purchasing new fabric. I hope I have time to prepare my defense before the Quilt Police come knocking on my door! LOL

If it helps, my purchases totalled less than my quilting friend’s purchases. VBG