I Must Confess


I am an addict!

That’s right, an honest to goodness addict. Well not in the chemical sense. I mean I am a fabric, and all things related, addict. I simply cannot pass up the opportunity to purchase the latest and greatest fabric, pattern and/or gadget. Even though I have told myself, on a daily basis, I absolutely must stop feeding my addiction I just can’t help myself. There’s something I crave about the aroma and texture of fabric, not to mention the visual appeal it adds to my stash. The thrill of acquiring new patterns tickles my fancy and keeps alive my thirst for inspiration. Each new ruler or gadget I add to my arsenal of supplies provides yet one more opportunity to improve my quilting skills.

This addiction has been known to spill over into my everyday life. I’m an artist at heart. What artist puts boundaries on their studio? I certainly don’t. My environment is my studio and when I’m in my studio I’m always creating, always looking for a new way to add color or texture to the things that surround me. Thus, I have at times accumulated a few too many decorations as is evidenced by the boxes of items now awaiting a future garage sale. Some of the excess was created by the downsizing we did earlier this year so I’ve cut myself a bit of slack in that area.

So how does one successfully overcome their addition? There are organizations that provide support for those with chemical addictions. They follow a predetermined set of steps to manage their afflictions. They also have a mantra that encourages them to focus on the traits or things that can be changed. I’m not sure their program would apply to my situation.

I figure I have these options:

  1. Remain home at all times.

  2. Disconnect the internet.

  3. Destroy all catalogues and mailings before they even enter the house.

  4. Accept my addiction.

Here’s my reaction to those options:

  1. No Way!
  2. Absolutely Not!

  3. Perhaps.

  4. Sounds more reasonable.

I figure since I have openly confessed to my addiction I have taken the first step toward conquering what ails me. Progressing beyond that step would take every once of strength I could muster, my creative juices would suffer severely, and, well, I just might wither away from the lack of inspiration. So, at this point I’m going to put recovery on the back burner. I will, however, make an honest attempt at curtailing my expenditures. Though I will have to ease into this new way of life gradually. Quitting cold turkey would be unbearable and devastating to the economy. I figure as long as itsy bitsy teeny tiny progress is made I will be happy.

P.S. Do you think my progress would be thwarted if I use the earnings from my garage sale to add to my collection? Just kidding! 😀

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p style=”text-align:center;”>Evidence of My Addiction :o)

Time to Vote


Remember the contest I entered? I guess that’s kind of a silly question. The contest is all that I talked about over the past several days. Well I’m sorry to say my tote was not selected. Thank you so much for reading my endless posts showcasing my creation and dream.

The three creations chosen and now offered for voting can be found at this link. If you have the chance, follow the link and register your voice by voting.

 

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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

Tag-Along: Day 6 of 7


The journey is almost finished.  I started constructing my Tag-Along tote last Thursday.  Tomorrow’s the big reveal so we better hurry up and get this thing finished.  Oh, and don’t forget I’m entering my tote in the Stitched In Color Shelburne Falls Contest tomorrow.

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This is what the tote looked like yesterday.

Let’s Add the Pockets

We are now ready to position the pockets on the inside of the rail fence sandwich. Each pocket must be placed 2″ down from the 12 1/2″ (My modification:  15 1/2″) outside edge. Now grab the 2 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ (My modification:  15 1/2″) inside bottom strip. Turn under both long edges 1/4″, press. The pattern tells us the strip’s measurement, after pressing under 1/4″ on both long edges, should be 32″ x 12 1/2″ (My modification:  15 1/2″). The 32” has to be a typo because the strip started out at 2 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ (My modification:  15 1/2″). I believe they meant to say the strip will end up measuring 2″ x 12 1/2″ (My modification:  15 1/2″). Our newly created bottom strip is now ready to install.

To place the bottom strip in its proper location first place your rail fence sandwich lining side up. Lay the bottom strip, created above, in the center of the project, making sure the bottom edges of the pockets are covered. Once you are satisfied with the placement top-stitch along both long sides of the bottom strip close to the fold line.

We’re Rounding the Corners

After finishing the application of the pocket bottom strip we are told to baste around the rail fence sandwich, then round off the corners. It didn’t make any sense to me to baste around the perimeter first because the corners were going to be trimmed away.

(My modification: I marked and trimmed the corners using a small plate as my template, then cut along my drawn line with my scissors. After I had rounded the corners I basted around the entire outside edge.)

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Time to Seal it Up

My rail fence sandwich is now ready for binding. I can’t tell you how excited I am to finish my project. The excitement is barely manageable. Now that I’ve made it to the binding I can hardly stand it.

The binding was really kind of straight forward. The author of the Tag-Along recommended using 2 3/4″ bias binding. While I would agree that bias binding is a must, given the four curves you must maneuver around, I don’t, however, agree with the 2 3/4″ width.

(My modification: I used 2 1/2″ bias binding and I thought it was more than adequate.)

The bias binding was cut from the Crest Blue fabric. The author recommended purchasing a 1/2 yard. I would totally agree with this quantity. However, I will mention that you will have plenty of fabric left over.

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The Tag-Along pattern tells you to first stitch the binding onto the inside edge then turn it to the front and stitch down the other edge. For once I did exactly as the pattern instructed. Of course I did add one little step.

(My modification: On the top side of the rail fence sandwich I ran my iron along the binding with the intention of simplifying the stitching process.)

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The binding was incredibly easy to sew. As I turned first one corner, then the second corner, then the third corner my heart began to jump. I was ALMOST done! The anticipation grew and grew until finally I was on the home stretch. As I back-stitched a few stitches it was finally evident that I had indeed finished my very first Tag-Along tote. How awesome is that! Of course two small details were left to take care of. First was to see how my iPad and keyboard looked in their brand new tote bag and the second was to take a whole slew of pictures.

That’s A Wrap

Well I can’t believe it!  My very first This & That Tag-Along modified tote is complete.  All that’s left now is the reveal.  I know you would like to see the final project today but you will just have to wait until tomorrow when I will be linking my post with Stitched in Color’s Shelburne Falls Contest.  Until then here’s links to my previous posts:

Day 1 of 7

Day 2 of 7

Day 3 of 7

Day 4 of 7

Day 5 of 7