when I should have quit after the first mistake because nothing went right after that. Monday was a holiday here which meant I only had to spend a couple of hours in the office. So I spent most of the day at the sewing machine. With my seam ripper.
I’ve been working on a bag for the past couple of weeks – alternating between it and my “Mexican Star” quilt, which I’ve renamed the “Plan B” quilt – from a magazine pattern which has some interesting features that I’d like to try. And, as usual, I added a few of my own. It has side gussets and a flat bottom, and a recessed zipper. And binding all around the edges. What can I say, it looked simple.
I added an easy patch pocket on the front and also a simple zippered pocket. For the patch pocket, I put together a simple little paper-pieced pinwheel. Looked pretty good until I went to stitch it down. I’ll have to work on making that look neater. Then I put a zippered pocket in above it. Easy. I used the instructions that I found here. Just make a welt pocket and sew a zipper in. Well, my welt construction was way neater than my last two attempts. It probably would have looked great as a welt pocket, but as a zipper pocket not so good. The opening was too wide or the zip was too skinny and I missed half of it with the needle. I even taped it down before sewing, but it didn’t help. I finally had to resort to re-stitching it all with an ugly industrial-sized blanket stitch. It’s on there for good now.
There is one thing that I m really proud of here, and that’s this pleated pocket. Second one I’ve made, first one that turned out well, thanks to this tutorial. It really was easy!
I used the opportunity to practice my free motion quilting on something I might actually use rather than another practice sandwich. And I have Plan B in need of quilting pretty soon, so I’m thinking about how I want to quilt it. My participation in SewCalGal’s Free Motion Quilt Challenge this year has boosted my confidence in free motion quilting. Now when that little voice in my head says “time to ruin the quilt”, I kick its scrawny little butt to the corner and go about my quilting. Whether I’ve gotten better isn’t the question – the fact is, I enjoy free motion quilting now. So I practice more. And yes, I get better. What I’ve done here looks pretty wonky, but it’s improving.
Pinks and grays aren’t my preferred palette, so I don’t have much in the way of thread. The only pink or gray thread I had was some gray Gutermann’s silk. I didn’t have much luck with it last time I used it. And I didn’t have much luck with it this time either. Gutermann’s polyester is my Go To thread. I use it for everything and would buy it by the caselot if I could. Even the silk thread – it showed up really nicely against the cream fabric, but it kept breaking (see the first picture on this post). I was using a new 80# top stitch needle. I’m sure if I’d fiddled with the tension for a couple of hours I might have gotten it to work right, but I’m not at that stage yet. Instead I just trimmed my thread, rethreaded my machine and started again. It’s practice. Backed myself into a few corners, stopped and started again. Easy.
Now I’m working on the binding. I’ve spent twice as much time unstitching the binding as I have sewing it on. The second time I stitched it on, I zigzagged it real good, so it’s taking an extra long time to unstitch it. If you don’t hear from me for a while, it’s because I’ve gone cross-eyed.
Until next time,