Category Archives: Sewing/Quilting Projects

My Addiction

ATKtagalongtote_LRGToday I succumbed to one of my addictions. In the years since I acquired this pattern (2011) I have made this bag over 20 times. I’ve made them for all the grandgirls, a DIL, and both my sisters. I’ve made them for friends, I’ve made them for auctions, and occasionally I even get paid to make one. I often make them in pairs, since it’s just as easy to make two as it is one (like lasagna, right?!). I love it because it’s cute, functional, and I can make one/two from start to finish in a day. Apparently, I am unable to resist the urge to make one of these bags when I have my sewing machine out and I’m between projects. (Well, I’m not exactly between projects, but I am at a stopping point and I need some additional fabric to continue and I won’t have that until next weekend. So what to do with a mostly empty Saturday? Find three fat quarters that go together, and make a tote!) Now mind you, I have three of these bags in my stash drawer, but still I felt the need to make another. I think this will work just great for our upcoming cruise, don’t you?(43 days and counting!)
Or maybe it will just go into the stash! But all in all – it was a fun way to spend a Saturday!

I rummaged around in my pictures to see if I had any pictures of my little totes – and here is a selection of the product of my addiction!

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I love making these (complete with zipper closure and inside pocket), so if you have three fat quarters that you love together, let me know! I bet we can make a deal!

FAQ #9- Can you really sew in your RV?

Since I just purchased a new fancy-schmancy sewing machine (oy, the indulgence of it all), I thought I’d answer this question that was posed a while back by one of you’all –
If you sew in an RV … you have to clean up your mess and put everything away each and every time you sew! That is too awful! How do you manage that? I have a sewing/embroidery machine combo plus a serger. Six thread boards (and that doesn’t count the bins full of overlock cone thread!). Ironing board and iron. Drawers filled with supplies and tools. Two coffin-size plastic bins filled with fabric hanks and scraps. And you really sew in an RV?
Well, the simple answer is – Yes, you really can sew in an RV. You can also knit, crochet, make jewelry, design cards, scrapbook, or even paint. Almost any hobby that you love doing you can do in an RV. It’s just going to look a bit different. And probably on a smaller scale.
For example, instead of a design wall, you have a bed –
BOM Jan 13
I’ve laid out a good many quilts on that design bed.
Instead of a free standing ironing board, you might choose this approach –
It’s pretty portable, so you can always move it when you need to make lunch.
The cutting table and the sewing space – well, share and share alike, I always say!
And when the computer chair isn’t being used for overflow supplies, it can also double as the table extension when you’re working on an extra large project.
Of course, there are always some storage issues in any hobby. Sewing/quilting is no exception. We’ve taken the space that could have housed a washer/dryer and built in deep sturdy drawers with a sliding tray at the bottom.
(Supplies – recently organized)
(Fabric – not so recently organized)
The thread lives on the wall, and the bins on the floor hold (you guessed it) more fabric and supplies. Not pictured are the two “under bed” size containers in the closet and any number of boxes of odds and end (fabric, batting, t-shirts waiting to be made into a quilt, etc.) under the bed. And sometimes, the little bit of counter space that I have in the bedroom also falls prey to a bit of overflow sewing stuff.
(Don’t judge me, it’s a flat surface after all!)
While some folks have managed to carve out a designated sewing area in their RV’s, (check out this post from a fellow quilting RVer) I have not figured out just where that spot would be. Pretty much, when I’m sewing, the whole RV is sewing!
And yes, I do need to tidy up at the end of each sewing day in order for us to actually eat dinner. But I really only need to put it ALL away before we move the house down the road. If I know that our life is going to be very busy, I just don’t get the machine out.  I wait until I see a quiet weekend ahead, have leftovers in the fridge (or know it’s time for a pizza night) and THEN I get out the machine and start a small sewing blitz.  It also helps to have a patient husband. As long as he can find a spot for a nap, we’re usually good!

I like to think that quilting/sewing (painting, beading, knitting, scrapbooking, whatever hobby makes you happy) in an RV is like eating frozen yogurt.  As long as you don’t think it’s going to taste like Blue Bell ice cream, you’ll like it just fine!

Still waiting

Sadly, the excavator has not arrived this week as expected. The view of the motel remained like this –
So our week was a little less productive than we’d hope. Gary took care of a couple of small jobs, but was reluctant to start anything too big just in case that excavator showed up. But over in my world, the week started off with a bang –
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. #lotsawhite #sowerjobs
A full compliment of guests over the weekend = lots and lots of sheets and towels to wash and fold. With a little help from the housekeeping girls, by lunch time Tuesday it was all under control.
Well, until next Monday when it will start all over again! (I bet it’s the same at your house, only the pile might not be quite as high or as overwhelmingly white!)
The rest of the week was pretty quiet. We did wake up to the startling sight of snow this morning
Good morning, Montrose! #springinNEPA #saywhat?
and it continued to snow (quite vigorously at times) throughout the day. Pretty crazy. Since I’m putting in some extra SOWER hours over the weekend (helping out with meals), I spent this unexpected snow(y) day (it is April, right?) cutting out my next quilt project –
Snowy spring day at Montrose = great day to cut out a quilt. #noahsquilt #cantwaittostart
And while I’m anxious to get sewing on it, that won’t happen right away. The next couple of weeks are already pretty full. Even though this week was kind of a bust (walk-way wise), we are still heading to the Cabin on Sunday to open her up for the season.

We love being up there in the early spring (this picture was taken two years ago, just about this same time of year) and are hopeful that it will be warm enough to get the water up and running.  I know that Gary has some outdoor chores planned, but I also think he’s packing some books, so I’m hopeful that there will be at least a bit of down time.

And after that? Well, Gary will return to Montrose to (hopefully) find that walkway demolished and ready for him to get started, while I’ll be joining my sisters for our annual Girls Week.

Oh, yes – grand days ahead, indeed!


Sea Glass

Do not be confused. We are nowhere near the sea. Sea Glass is the name of the quilt pattern my sweet daughter asked me to make for her baby.
As beautiful as this pattern is (and I really did love it), my first thoughts were “Wow, look at all that applique. And is that hand quilting?” True confession – I’ve been quilting (in various degrees of intensity) for about 40 years, and I must admit that applique has never been my strong suit. And I hadn’t hand quilted in many a year.  But it was just a small quilt (I said to myself), and it was for Little Miss (now we know her as Alexandra, but at the time she was Little Miss) so I took on the challenge! Lara and I were able to shop together to choose the fabrics, and before I knew it I was cutting out all manner of pink petals.

It went together pretty well (thank goodness for fusible web) and I have to admit that the hand quilting was quite therapeutic. I’d forgotten the quiet joy of handwork.
All in all – in spite of my insecurities – I think it turned out quite nicely!
Alexandra wasn’t too impressed, but I think her mom was pleased.
And for now, anyway, it’s found its home on her wall.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in our years on the road – in regards to sewing/quilting, anyway – is smaller is usually better. Or at least easier. And making quilts (or placemats or snack bags or Christmas stockings or purses or whatever) for a grandbaby (of any age) is always a joy!
In fact, this little pile of cheer
is fast becoming a baby quilt for this little guy.
Taran smile
No pictures of that until he gets it!

Since we were talking about the cabin…

We were, weren’t we?
For years now I’ve been wanting to do a fabric postcard of the cabin for my sisters for Christmas. And I decided that 2014 was the year it was going to happen! I called upon my good friend Lynne (who is an amazing fiber artist) for some assistance and we scheduled a studio day at her home and got to work!
First we had to choose what view we wanted of the 8472 (give or take) pictures I’ve taken of the cabin over the years. While I was leaning toward the classic “pond cabin reflection” shot,
Cabin Stephs Way-10
we decided that one that had more detail of the cabin would be better.
Cabin 2
We copied it, enlarged it, cut it apart
and then started choosing fabrics for our pieces of art!
While I was working on sky and hills and rocks, Lynne tackled making the cabin itself. Let me say right here that Lynne is my hero. She’s an expert with shadows and using net and tweezers, and thoroughly enjoyed making these 2″ cabins.
Three of them, no less!
Even before she finished the cabins we were working on getting the sky and background right and figuring out the hills and rocks.
Oy – so many choices!
By the time our studio day was over Lynne had finished the three cabins, and I had roughly put together one of the postcards.
Emphasis on “roughly”.
There was still a lot to do, but the day was done. We packed up the fabrics and the postcards and those three precious cabins, and she sent me on my way. I was on my own, but psyched to get them done.
By the time I got back to them several months had passed. The being psyched had been replaced with being terrified. What was I thinking? My mentor was thousands of miles away! Thankfully, Lynne was actually only a phone call away, and she coached me through my jitters and insecurities. Once I got started again, it became fun (I think Lynne knew that would happen) and before long (well, it was a couple of days) all three were done!
All the same, all different! The ones for the sisters got frames,
and mine is still just hanging out at my place having not quite made it to a frame yet.
But it’s hanging out with the original, so that’s kind of fun.

Thanks for stopping by!