Ready for lunch

The day after Thanksgiving, my family usually hits the mall.  I do not.  I enjoy the calm and the aloneness and do whatever I want that doesn’t involve cooking any more complicated than hitting a few microwave buttons.

Today I got to sew all day.  On Wednesday I finished adding the final sashing  strips to my king sized Growing Up Odd top.

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Just checking the size

Today I pieced together a back for it.

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Now I just need to get a king sized piece of batting and I will take it to school to pin baste.

Then I used this tutorial and some scraps of canvas I dug out of the fabric closet to make a lunch bag.  I think a dark color would be more practical, but this is what was on hand so I figured I could try it out and then decide if I wanted to make any changes.

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The scrap canvas is actually leftover from the ironing surface I made a while back, as you can see in the picture above.

It turned out really cute, and just the right size.

I sewed it pretty much as the tutorial directed, except I cut the notches for the bottom corners a little bigger to give it more width, and I sewed my own straps.  I also improvised strings by braiding some cotton yarn.

I tested it out and it fits everything I need it to, including the Pyrex container I use when I take soup.  Come Monday, I am prepared.

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Piecing backs

Another wet and windy weekend – though nothing like the poor East Coast people are dealing with. Definitely sewing weather as we can’t be outside in all this wind, so I pulled out a couple quilt tops and started stash rummaging for suitable fabric for backings.

I like pieced backs for scrappy quilts and this first top is definitely scrappy.

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The scrappy stars quilt is really bright and busy, so I chose calmer, lighter fabrics for the back, in much bigger cuts than the little 2 1/2″ squares of the front.

I pinned the quilt up on the wall, and then pinned various panels until I’d covered it completely.

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Then it was just a matter of slicing and sewing and it was very quickly finished.

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I used some of my favorite little houses fabric.  Makes me smile every time I look at it.

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Next up was a floral diamonds quilt top I made quite a while ago.

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I go back and forth on this one.  I think I like the pattern better than I like my fabric choices.  But it will be perfect for someone out there.

I didn’t have enough of any of the florals for the backing, and it would have really loud if I’d pieced all those florals together, so I ran out to the nearby fabric store and got enough yardage for the back in a single fabric.

Aside – wow, it is blustery out there!  I watched a tree hit by one gust crack in half and fall across the railroad tracks.  I didn’t have my phone but when I got to the store a minute later, I had the cashier call 911 to warn the police.  On my way home, there was a stopped Amtrak train and cops all over the place clearing the fallen branches.  I had to detour to get home because the train was stopped across several of the roads I would normally take.

Back to sewing – to get a wide enough cloth, I ironed one selvage under an inch and a half and then matched the edge to the other piece’s pattern, opening the fold and pinning it and then using the fold line as my sewing line.

Hampered only by my inability to sew a really straight line, it still came out pretty well. You can see the line in the picture below, but it will pretty much disappear in the quilting.

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That’s as far as I’m going to go today.  The spinning wheel is calling, and my niece and my mom are here for a visit.  But now I’ve got at least three quilts to take to the school’s wide tiled floors for pinning.  The WIPs are slowly moving along.

Blue and black backing

I hope to go over to my sister’s school this week to pin quilts on her classroom floor, so I needed to get cracking on quilt backs.  I gathered all the larger pieces of fabric I used in the blue and black Scrappy Stars Around the Corner quilt and started arranging them like puzzle pieces on the livingroom floor.

It came together well as I had just enough long strips left to work it all out.  It isn’t a lot bigger than the top, but there are a couple of inches on each side, so it will be just big enough.

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I don’t have much left of the blues and blacks in my stash – just small pieces.  They’ll get cut up and added to my pile of squares for future scrappy projects.

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Online shopping

A couple of packages came in the mail today, the results of couch surfing fabric and yarn stores on my iPad while tired (never a good idea for the bank account).

But I’m forgiving myself because I’m so happy with the contents.

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This is going to be the backing fabric for the red and white X quilt.  It is very different from the something-floral that I first had in mind, but I have a long time affection for little house prints.

Exhibit B: the back and front of my living room couch quilt:

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And my purse (a little wrinkled from being in my non-house print work tote:

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So it now seems inevitable that I hit the “add to cart” button when I saw that red and white.