Pretty In Pink


A New Customer

Being connected to social media and a local quilt guild recently gave me the opportunity to acquire a new customer. A message was posted on the quilt guild’s page asking for recommendations for a longarm quilter. One of the guild members posted a list of known vendors. My name was included in the list. Once my name was tagged a message was instantly sent to my inbox.

Wasting no time I jumped on the message board and posted my location. The other vendors were quick to reply as well. In the end I was selected to work on the project. Out of pure curiosity,  I asked why my name was chosen over the others. The potential customer shared that she had visited my website and liked my style of quilting.

A Visit

The quilt, an adorable, handcrafted,  square in a square, child’s sized blanket was fashioned using multiple shades of pink and tan. To obtain possession, of the quilt, special arrangements were made to pick it up at the creators home. On a gorgeous day in April I traveled twenty plus miles to retrieve and discuss her quilt.

Taken with me on the visit was my iPad. To assist me in planning the quilting design I used a program on my iPad. This feature allows me to draw free-hand designs. Having the capability to share this app with my customer made it easy to document her wishes. Of course a pen and paper would have been suitable as well but the ability to electronically save the drawings made them easier to keep track of.

Time To Begin

The quilt, after traveling to my home, waited several weeks for its turn on my machine. When my schedule finally had an opening I gave the quilt a quick massage from my gently warmed iron to smooth out any creases. From the ironing board the quilt and its accompanying companions, the fabric backing and batting, went directly to my longarm machine. Each piece was securely fastened either with T-pins or a basting stitch. Once everything was snug in place I began the process of artistically stitching the quilt sandwich together.

Special Care

Quilts of this size are obviously much less time-consuming than a king size quilt. The care I take to handle each quilt is the same though. Whether it’s a table runner, wall hanging or bed sized quilt they all get the same special treatment.

The Final Outcome

After only 2 1/4 hours the last stitch was applied. As I slowed my machine to a stop I glanced up at the completed design and smiled. Once again I had successfully conquered a customer’s quilt and I was quite pleased with the final outcome. The real test of its beauty would be when I revealed the item to the customer. I’m always a little bit nervous about the possible reactions but to-date the expressions and comments have far exceeded my expectations.

Let me present to you the quilt I call Pretty in Pink!

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Vital Statistics:

  • Quilt Size – 54″ x 74″
  • Time Spent Quilting – 2 hours 11 minutes
  • Number of Stitches Applied – 71,358
  • Thread Used – Perma Core Eggshell

Cindy Anderson of In A Stitch Quilting

Camo iPad Tote


Free Fabric!

Before we get started with today’s post let my remind you of my First Anniversary’s Give-Away.  I’m celebrating this blog’s first anniversary by giving away a free charm pack.  Check out the link above for the specifics.  You wouldn’t want to miss out on a chance to get free fabric.  Now on to today’s WIP post.

Tag-Along

Not too long ago I assembled a tutorial showcasing the construction of a Tag-Along tote. Before embarking on the construction of the Tag-Along I had begun a quest to make a tote suitable for my iPad and keyboard.  Being unsatisfied with the options available I went through the process of developing my own pattern.  My first mock-up showed room for improvement.  Since I already had the pattern for the Tag-Along I decided to try it out as an alternative.  As I assembled the tote I made numerous changes to the pattern.  While I am quite pleased with my finished product there were things about the Tag-Along I just wasn’t happy with so I went back to the drawing board and resurrected My Original design.

My Original Design

This time around I set out to overcome the issues I had with my first mock-up.  Missing on the first attempt were handles, a pocket for miscellaneous items and tabs to keep each pocket as well as the entire case securely closed.  I also had to address the inadequate size as well as the flimsiness of the layers.  Below are photos of my second attempt.

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As you can see this tote was definitely made using fabrics not typically in my stash.  Since the finished project was destined for my husband I let him choose the fabrics.  He was quite thrilled to be in charge of the selections.  I felt a bit strange going to the fabric store’s cutting table with a cart loaded with camouflage, bright orange, black and green bolts of fabric.

If you examine this second tote you will notice my first change.  Not only does this specimen have handles but they wrap completely around the tote.  I felt the handles would provide more security if they were not just attached at the top.  You can also see that I added a closure tab.

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Here’s a photo of the inside.  Note each pocket now has a tab closure.  Also added was the pocket for miscellaneous items (look for the camouflage fabric).

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From this picture you can see that I made the pockets much deeper.  This time the iPad does not extend above the top edge of the pocket.  Obviously the iPad shown is not my husband’s.  He would never have a pink case on his.  For display purposes I used my own.

My Review

Granted nothing is ever perfect.  I however have plans for a third tote.  With this experiment I want to change the width of the handle, add a pocket for pens and use stabilizers that are not quite so sturdy.  Well, at least that’s what I have in mind so far.  It’s entirely possible there may just be a fourth and fifth version.  Who knows what will happen along my journey to improvement?

I’m Linking Up

I’m linking up this post with Freshly Pieced.  Go see what they are up to.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Its Quiet Here


My sewing room has been very quiet this week. Why, you might ask? Well I’ll tell you. My hubby is on vacation. Now no grandiose destinations were planned. A simple stay-at-home vacation was on our agenda. We’ve been spending most of our time in a state of leisure. A few short trips were planned to run errands and a bit of shopping but not much else exciting has taken place. The highlight of our day today was a visit to Starbucks. Our plan was to pack up our iPads and a word search game along with two markers and head to the local Starbucks to relax, sip an endless cup of coffee and entertain ourselves with the items we had packed.

With anticipation we did as planned. My hubby, as is typically the case, drove us to the coffee shop. When we arrived is was darn near 1:00 p.m. One would think the lunch crowd would have dissipated leaving ample room for our planned adventure. Walking up to the door we could see inside a sea of patrons busily occupying the limited seating space. A decision had to be made. Do we order up our beverage with the hopes that somehow someone would pack up their belongings and vacate a suitable table, or do we turn around and reformulate our plans.

Option # 1 was the choice we made. After placing our order we lingered at the coffee bar awaiting our beverage as well as the ultimate answer to our question. Whom would leave? This was the one time we hoped our order would take too long. You know, just long enough for a table to open up. As the line ahead thinned out and it was at last our turn to receive our steaming hot cups of coffee, we turned one last time with that hopeful stare directed toward anyone that might happen to turn in our direction. Perhaps if they saw the longing in our eyes they would instantly pack up their belongings and graciously direct us to their table. Well all the wishful thinking in the world was not going to make that happen. Not one person received our subliminal sound waves. Nobody moved. There were a few spots where a table meant for four were occupied by just two souls. I suggested we occupy the two empty chairs but my hubby was not at all interested so we left.

The weather outside was not at all conducive to an outdoor excursion. It has been cold and rainy all week. If it had been warm and sunny we could have found one of the local parks and continued our little adventure there. The only option left was to carry our coffee to our car and head home.

When we arrived home my hubby announced he was going to set up our own coffee shop right here in our own home. While I tended to a few items he rearranged our living room furniture. When I returned he had moved the couch and coffee table in front of our gas fireplace. On the table he had placed our steaming hot cups of coffee as well as our iPads and the other items we had taken to Starbucks. I thought it cute that he had taken the effort to arrange a cozy and inviting area to relax and carry-on with our experience.

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To those that are new to my blog I must tell you we share our home with two cats and a dog. Anytime we slow down and relax all three of them find it necessary to join us. This little coffee sipping extravaganza was just as inviting to them as it was to us. On the couch to my left rested Mayor Tom, our Maine Coon cat, on the floor in front of us was our tabby cat Jerry and resting comfortably on a love-seat throw pillow was our little princess Sadie. Just as with Starbucks all of the available seats were taken.

Although our relaxing afternoon of coffee had not gone as originally planned, we had a quiet little coffee shop right here in our very own home. What more could we ask for?

Tag-Along: My Review


A Review

This & That Tag-Along modified tote constructed from Shelburne Falls fabrics

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There She Is!

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Her Bottom

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Her Pockets

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My Keyboard Pocket

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My iPad Pocket

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One Last Look

So What Do You Think?

Isn’t that the nicest tote bag you have ever seen? I can’t tell you how much fun I had and how pleased I am with the outcome.  As with all things in this world there are typically changes we would like to make.  This pattern, while well written and relatively easy to follow, could stand a few changes of its own.  Some of my suggested modifications have resulted through using the tote and some are purely cosmetic. Listed below are my suggestions.

Things I Would Have Done Different

  1. Day 4: I would have relocated the Velcro on the pockets.  Instead of locating it 1 1/4″ from the top edge I would have placed it no lower than 1″ yet no higher than 3/4″ below the edge of the pocket. Velcro located 1 1/4″ below the top edge of the pocket is alright if the items you carry in the pocket don’t have any depth to them. My intended use was for my iPad and my keyboard, both of which are not at all flat.  By placing the Velcro 1 1/4″ from the top edge of the pocket the available expansion room is limited.  Judging by the photo on the pattern jacket I believe they never intended for the user to stash items such as an iPad or keyboard inside.
  2. Day 4:  The pockets are lined with a light fusible interfacing.  Again, the author’s intended use most likely was not at all for iPads or keyboards.  The light fusible interfacing provides a soft yet delicate level of durability.  I would like to see a much stronger material used thus creating a much sturdier pocket.
  3. Day 5:  The outside tab that keeps the Tag-Along tote securely closed tends to want to fall open.  To remedy the situation I would add a row of stitching to anchor it along the top edge of the tote and prohibit it from falling backwards.

Things I Appreciate

1. My Tag-Along tote has been a great way to transport my iPad & keyboard.

2. Besides my intended use I have also used the pockets in my Tag-Along tote to carry loose papers along with my cell phone.

The changes I have outlined are minor compared to the joy I derive from owning my modified tote.  Given the opportunity to make a second Tag-Along tote I would jump at the chance in an instant.

Just A Reminder

Now I have one really BIG favor to ask.  On Monday, April 8th Stitched in Color will select three of the items registered in her contest.  Those three items will compete for the contest prize, a fat quarter set of the complete Shelburne Falls collection.  The winner will be chosen by YOU! Now of course I’m hoping my fabulous Tag-Along modified tote will be one of the three finalists.  If by some strange reason that doesn’t happen I still need you to visit Stitched in Color’s blog to vote for your favorite. As soon as she announces her three finalists I will send you a link to vote.  Stay tuned for further updates.

If you interested in following the construction phase from day one thru the final finish I’ve included links to the previous seven posts here:

Day 1 of 7

Day 2 of 7

Day 3 of 7

Day 4 of 7

Day 5 of 7

Day 6 of 7

Day 7 of 7

Tag-Along Day 7 of 7


Friday’s are my favorite day of the week for two reasons.  The first is because it is the last day of the work week.  The second is because it’s when I get to share one of my favorites.  Today is super special since it’s also the reveal of my Tag-Along modified tote.

That’s A Wrap

Well I can’t believe it!  My very first This & That Tag-Along modified tote is complete.  When I started on this journey I had two goals in mind.  The main purpose was to construct a tote that would provide safe transportation for my iPad and companion keyboard.  My purse would have been the obvious choice but, if you are at all like me, carrying one more thing in my purse just wasn’t going to happen.  The second goal was to join up with the Stitched in Color Shelburne Falls Contest.  After all who doesn’t like a chance at winning something.

Once I declared myself a candidate for the contest I set out to create something that would satisfy both objectives.  The Tag-Along pattern had been purchased previously from one of my favorite local fabric stores.  It, among other things, was waiting in line on my To Do List.  After seeing the gorgeous Shelburne Falls fabric it seemed only natural to pair up the two.

Over the past seven days I have taken you along on my journey in the construction process.  I’ve shared both my failures and successes, my likes and my don’t likes.  All in all I think it’s been a well-rounded adventure.  All that’s left now is the reveal of my finished masterpiece and linking up with Stitched in Color.  So, here we go.

Drum Roll Please!

Introducing my This & That Tag-Along modified tote constructed from Shelburne Falls fabrics

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There She Is!

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Her Bottom

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Her Pockets

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My Keyboard Pocket

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My iPad Pocket

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One Last Look

So What Do You Think?

Isn’t that the nicest tote bag you have ever seen?  Bet you would like one for yourself?  I can’t tell you how much fun I have had and how pleased I am with the outcome.

Now I have one really BIG favor to ask.  On Monday, April 8th Stitched in Color will select three of the items registered in her contest.  Those three items will compete for the contest prize, a fat quarter set of the complete Shelburne Falls collection.  The winner will be chosen by YOU! Now of course I’m hoping my fabulous Tag-Along modified tote will be one of the three finalists.  If by some strange reason that doesn’t happen I still need you to visit Stitched in Color’s blog to vote for your favorite. As soon as she announces her three finalists I will send you a link to vote.  Stay tuned for further updates.

If you would like to go back and re-live the construction from day one I’ve included links to the previous six posts here:

Day 1 of 7

Day 2 of 7

Day 3 of 7

Day 4 of 7

Day 5 of 7

Day 6 of 7