Staying mobile

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In my new high school we don’t have assigned classrooms.  We divvy up the rooms depending on the activities and how much space we need.  This means we keep everything back in the team office and cart what we need to the rooms and then clear it all back out again at the end of the classes.

It has proved a little challenging for me.  I am constantly running back for a white board eraser or a set of papers or my textbook copy. Sometimes I remember everything but it takes a couple trips to get it all there.

So today I made a small tote with lots of internal pockets that will be my classroom kit. There are slots for markers, pens and pencils, scissors, laptop charger, my phone and some as yet unidentified extras.  It is wide enough for file folders and deep enough for the textbook.  Nothing will be left behind!

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I quilted the outside and then fused interfacing to the lining to add even more structure.  The pockets are tubes that I divided into various widths when I attached it to the lining.

Turning it inside out through the lining opening is my favorite part.  It is like the big reveal on the HGTV shows.

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The handles are canvas that I folded and then folded again so it is four thicknesses.  When I did the edge top stitching my smaller  machine had some trouble going through all that canvas, the interfacing, and the quilted material.  I had to rip it out because the bobbin thread acted up and got all loopy.  I switched to my heavier Juki machine and it all smoothed out.  That thing can punch through anything I put it to!

I haven’t loaded it up yet, but I think it is going to be just the right size and save me a lot of running back and forth.

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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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A few finishes

While we were pretty busy over the holiday, I did get some time in on a couple of projects.

I finished my most recent triangle scarf: Drachenfels. I followed the pattern pretty much exactly except for the gauge and one part near the end where I didn’t read the pattern closely enough and left out a stripe.  It is a good pattern to use small or partial skeins and could easily be modified to any size, types of yarn, or stripe pattern

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I also made myself a tote for work as I’m tired of juggling my lunch bag, purse, and knitting bag through the parking lot.  I think the alphabet fabric is perfect for working in a school.

I didn’t really have a pattern, though I looked at a few tote tutorials just to remind myself of the steps before I started.

I quilted the outer fabric first in one big piece and then cut it to size.  I used the outer panels as the pattern for the lining pieces.  I covered cotton straps with black canvas to make them sturdy, put an outer pocket between the straps and two inner pockets also lined with canvas for sturdiness.  It turned out just like the picture in my head, which doesn’t always happen!

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