Thursday, January 9, 2020

EPT progress

I'm tired...of that depressing post below!

I've been sewing away on the 14 Embryonic Pod Things, also known as Box/Project Bags (linking to the best of many tutorials). The initial infrastructure steps are done and I'm installing zippers at the moment.

The "infrastructure" consists of sewing down the iron-on interfacing to the main fabrics and the lining fabrics (4 pieces per bag, the way I make them). I like to sew a few length-wise lines along what will be the top of the bag, and several vertical lines along what will be the sides. This secures the interfacing (which doesn't really stick very well to heavy upholstery or even light denim fabrics) and adds interest.

In the past, for bags I've made as gifts, I've used a very analog technique of spacing the sewing lines, but since I'm putting these bags up for sale I want them to be a little more polished in appearance. That necessitated not only marking up the bed of my little Janome Jem, but finding an extension "table" I could mark up as well. She's a little machine (but a hard worker!) with rounded edges, and the best solution I found was the soft binder I keep patterns and inspirations in.
The softness of the binder allowed it to snug right up to the edge of the machine. I didn't try to line up exactly with any of the lines, but rather used them for guidance. For spacing I simply ran 7 stitches between each line.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

So tired

I "tune in" several times a day to NPR (I click the link on my bookmark bar), and each time, lately, I ask myself as I hit the touchpad, "Are we dead yet?"

I'm so tired of living like this. We cannot wait for the 2020 election to take this mad man out of authority, but there is nobody with the balls to do that where it matters.

It's no wonder I drink as I do.

Monday, January 6, 2020

I Would Walk 500 Miles and I Would Walk 500 More...

About a month ago, a thin silver piece landed on the fabric I was sewing. My first thought was that the needle had broken, but without the usual accompanying sound and fury. But no, a turn of the handwheel showed a perfectly intact needle.

That little piece was set aside (to determine later if it was metal or plastic) and I hoped that it wouldn't prove to be crucial to the operation of my hard-working Brother/Nouvelle 1500.

Then a couple of weeks later, the piece showed up on my work again! Had another section of the machine broken loose? Had I inadvertently swept up the first piece while twisting and turning the Behemoth on the sewing table? The piece was set aside, again, and sewing continued.

Finally, last week, a third piece landed at my fingertips while applying the binding on the Behemoth and all things became clear:
The walking foot had been slowly falling apart over the weeks and finally gave up the ghost. It put in years and miles of faithful duty. Nevertheless, I was glad to have a spare on hand so I could replace it immediately and get on with my project!

Saturday, January 4, 2020


Last summer I finally fell to the sirens' call of Wonky Stars. At least, I bought in to the idea of making them, and dug a bunch of neutral 2.5"x4.5" pieces from my Scrap User System's 2-1/2" box. To those I added all the small and dark triangles from my triangle box, and there they sat at the side of my sewing table, ignored, for several months. As whims do.

The Shoo-Fly Leader-Ender project had stalled because I still needed to cut more pieces for the negative color blocks, so last month while assembling the QAYG behemoth and completing the first steps of fourteen Embryonic Pod Things, I started grabbing these for my leader-enders.

Friday, January 3, 2020


I finally have all 99 blocks assembled, and the nearly 400" of binding is in the process of being sewn down. Sometimes you just gotta take a break, you know?

85.5" x 104.5" (each square = 9.5" and no seam allowances are 'lost')
As soon as I had all the rows assembled, I took this picture of the fleece side (with its completely random placement), then weighed that bad boy. It seemed ridiculously heavy when I was wrangling it under the needle, and the scale showed 7.7 pounds (pre-binding). I flang it on the bed to see if it was too heavy to sleep under comfortably, but it really wasn't! It's a nice weight--like a quilt and a half. Not as heavy as the two quilts I have on the bed right now, but cozier than a single quilt.

The label, sewn onto the top right corner (in the picture above), is one of those I made for 2019. Since most of the construction was done in that year (and calendar years are pretty much a meaningless human construct anyway), I used up one of the three I still had remaining.

I had planned to set this aside as a donation quilt, but I'm growing quite attached to this one (especially now that I know I won't be smothered in my sleep). The finished quilt--the planned side I showed in this entry--will be photographed and posted when the binding is done and it's been through the wash.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Eight (or 10) is Enough

I was gifted a bag like this several years ago and it has lived in my car ever since. From it I "drafted" the rough pattern and have been making these as fundraisers and quick gifts. They're fun to make, needing only a fat quarter each of two coordinating fabrics (a great way to use novelties) and some heavy plastic for lining. 
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