Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WiP - Buildin' some Skills!

There wasn't tonnes of time spent at the machine this week, but I did make some time to take on this month's block for Pile O Fabric's Skill Builder 2014 - Machine Stitches. And these stitches are tiny! Yikes! There are numerous strips that are 1 inch, 1.5 inches, and even 1.75 inches. So I delved into the wild and crazy world of starching!
The starching did make it easier to cut the fabrics. They felt a little stiffer (no shock there) and things just seemed more exact. When it came time to piece, it also helped with exactitude! I don't know if I'm sold yet, but I'll continue for the Skill Builder at least!
Here's the first slice of these (not wonky) asterisk blocks.
And finished and trimmed up. They're just 3.5 inches square! Once I put them all together, I discovered that I had been a little too scant on my quarter inch seam allowance. Instead of being 18.5 inches in length, it was more like 19.5. Oh, improv piecing, how I miss you!
I got so caught up in the making the other two series of stitches that I forgot to take pictures. Oops! I did remember to snap a pic of the finished block. I upload these to the closed Course Platform to earn points... I even get feedback from the instructor. Cool, huh?
I feel good about having my block all done and am already looking forward to the next lesson - quilting this bad boy!

After all that precise piecing, I felt the urge to make something a little more free form! Enter this little tutorial for a boxy bag I pinned last week. I've loved these fabrics ever since I used them for a quiltie for Little Cousin S.
I over-ordered (that's what I get for following the pattern) and had enough to make an entire other baby quilt during this summer's HST frenzy!
I decided to use some of my new Glimma fabric as the lining. What's the point of buying fabric if you're not going to use it?
The tutorial calls for a standard quilt sandwich, but I opted to make a pieced exterior. I also went for a bigger sandwich - 9 by 11 inches instead of 8 by 10. And I decided to use QAYG! Talk about mixing it up!
Sometimes not planning has its downfalls. I quilted myself into a corner and ended up having three big strips along one side to cover the desired area. Oh well.
Another change I made to the tutorial was to add caps on the ends of the zippers. I first discovered them in this iPad case tutorial from Fresh Lemons and have found them to be an easy way to have a tidy zipper ends.
 Now it's starting to look like something...well, maybe.
This is probably my favourite part of making bags. Those little rows of stitches that make boxed corners. The original tutorial doesn't give a measurement for where to put the blue line, but I went for 1 inch.
 And here it is!
Cute, huh? I think I'll make my linings a little more exciting on future bags. I have some awfully fun hedgehog fabric hanging out it the stash! It was such a quick little thing to whip up. Make as many as you want in whatever size makes you happy - I'm going for a bigger one next time!
As per usual on a Wednesday, I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced and testing out the link up at the (Canadian!) Needle and Thread Network.



  1. Very cute Boxy Pouch, I just made one with Pink stitches tutorial and LOVED how it turned out!

  2. I re-discovered spray starch last year, and fell back in love with it for precision process. I don't bother with it for most things, but if there are small or fiddly bits, it can be a lifesaver.

  3. Love the colors of the baby quilt and the bag was a greta way to use up the extras. I'm never as motivated to make smaller items with scraps.

  4. Great stuff here. Starch is also good stuff.

  5. I can't decide which I love more: Your skill builder block or your pouch! I usually try to make my linings exciting because why not?!

  6. Nice to see you on TN&T. Great job on the skillbuilder block. Looks perfect! And your boxy pouch is the cutest! Love the zipper tab idea.

  7. Nice to see you on TN&T. Great job on the skillbuilder block. Looks perfect! And your boxy pouch is the cutest! Love the zipper tab idea.

  8. Cute bag. So starching helps with precision. hmmm. It looks like that might be something to play with.

  9. Love your skill builder block! It looks awesome. And super cute boxy pouch too!

  10. Awesome projects all! Love that little pouch, and it's colours.


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