Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Totes -- one delicious, one dorky

This lovely little tote bag was a gift from Nancy and Gene, who are quilters and computer/embroidery people who faithfully arrange for the local sewing/quilting gals who meet each month.  I had admired this project during it creation and Nancy told me it was for her Mom.  Is that a lie?  8-))  Thank you so much, Nancy and Gene - I LOVE it.  

 I've wanted to make a few tote/utility recycled bags from the amazingly strong large pet foods bags we see.  They seem to be made of Tyvek or similar - hope I am using the right word.  If you haven't made one, you will re-learn the word "wrestle" as the stuff is strong.  You will need strong clips instead of pins.  I wanted the cat to show, not necessarily the "Kaboodle".  I stuffed a medium-sized quilt inside.  I wiped out the inside of the bag with a damp cloth and lined the bag - lining was not necessary but seemed like a good idea.   This can be used for my quilt basting supplies that currently hang in the garage.  How about a strong book bag?  Show and Tell? 

Here's the back.  I squared off the bottom so it could hold a lot of groceries.  Finished project is almost as large as a paper grocery bag.

I was given 7-8 more bags, with dogs, horses or cows on them.  My job would have been easier if I had used the free arm on my machine, instead of a flat surface.  Instructions and great photos were found at  What would you use it for?  Is it too dorky?

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Creative Grids, Pineapple Trim Tool - a Review

 I have enjoyed numerous How-to videos on You Tube, especially those that are quilting related.  I discovered Creative Grid rulers and demos of their products, and even though I don't need them, I want them all!!!  So, while I already HAVE a Pineapple Ruler that works well, I wanted to try this one, because I appreciate PROCESS and SYSTEMS. 

There are good instructions included for it's basic use, and my package also included a Cut Loose pattern.  I don't know if this page is included with all rulers.  Part of the reason I "bit" and purchased this ruler  is because I am so grateful for the nice videos, since our TV quilt programs are seldom available.   Jeanne Ann Wright does the one I've been watching.

These instructions look overwhelming, but one step at a time.  I would recommend a practice block first, as the method itself is not the easiest, but the instructions and guides on the ruler make it accurate.  Mine finished at exactly 8.5 in., as planned.  The strips must be larger then 1.5 inches, and finish at 1 inch after trimming.

The nature of a pineapple block is that there IS waste, and it CAN get crooked.  Scrappy,  and care when lining up the ruler for trimming are good approaches.  If you have one of those small suction cups to stick to your ruler, that might be helpful because there is a lot of flipping back and forth, and looking for the guidelines on the ruler, in preparation for trimming.  One also needs to remember which "round" you are on.  The "rounds" relate to various lines and squares on the ruler -- you can't just throw one together without some concentration.  This one has 6 rounds and "ears" on the corners.  This scrappy block, my first one using this ruler, took about 40 minutes and I got lost a few times, but then decided to READ THE DIRECTIONS!

If you get lost, you can review the video on line.  Have fun!