Tuesday, January 20, 2015

On the Fly

Another week has flown by, full of happy activities. Three beginning quiltmaking lessons are past; two more to go. We have a nice big rec center room for the 20 of us, though I often wish we had more than two hours to use it.

Dan is completely engaged in Tai Chi these days, teaching two full classes every Wednesday morning. Last week his Tai Chi instructor invited him to share in giving a demonstration to more than 60 people at Freedom Point Assisted Living. This is what he wore. Blue is his color, I think!

With all the weekday busyness, weekends are becoming our down time with only the weekly Saturday morning golf cart trip to Farmer's Market for fresh produce - we're each still drinking 16 ounces of fresh veggie juice every morning - and Sunday worship. A new church, Village Park, has seen us at worship for the past two Sundays. We're finding the service very meaningful, and the people are more than friendly! No less than three different people phoned us the week after we'd worshipped for the first time, asking if we wanted to join a small group, or if we had any questions. Since this is the 12th church we've attended in the past 2-1/2 years, we're hoping this could "the one."

pattern photo
So some weekend time for sewing had me crossing a to-do off my list for QuiltCon. I needed a bag big enough for the things I anticipate toting around all day while I'm at the Convention Center. After seeing Di's lovely Chelsea Tote (Lazy Girl) made with selvages, the pattern seemed perfect for my purposes.

I don't care for the tote on the pattern photo, but it's a clever design - a shoulder bag with a separating zipper strap that makes it into a backpack too!

I opted to make my Chelsea Tote with Michael Miller's "Lush" by Patty Young. Because I didn't like the pattern's outside patch pocket, I followed a very good tutorial for installing an inset zipper pocket.

I put an inset zipper pocket on the inside too, right on top of the open pockets. Don'tcha love that "blah" fabric? It always seems just right for the inside of a bag.

At Di's suggestion, I installed a zipper at the top of the tote, instead of leaving the bag open per pattern instructions. I remembered to add one of my labels.

All I have to do is unzip the long white zipper, in the middle of the orange strip, and I've got shoulder strips for a backpack. It will be fun to fill with QuiltCon stuff! Fabric, perhaps. I'm excited to see that Ella Blue Fabrics, of Australia, will be one of the vendors.

Recently I emailed the two pictures below to my students. After suggesting they try straight-line quilting their quilts, and that it's helpful to have support for the quilt while it's in your machine - even the fat end of an ironing board, or a TV tray can do the job - share pictures of my room set-up with the sewing machine bed level with table tops (hollow core doors) on two sides. This is where I quilt on my Pfaff.

My Bernina is set up in the middle of the room (bottom left in the photo below), and is the machine I used for all other sewing. 

Another thing for which I am thankful - a nice-sized room, all to myself, for quilting.

Friday and Saturday is The Quilting Guild of The Villages Showcase at the Savannah Center, held every two years. This is my first time entering this show and I have two judged quilts that will be displayed. I'm also putting 20 of my quilts up for sale in the Boutique. Fingers crossed for many reasons! Linda


  1. The bag is great and a very clever idea. I love the blah, blah, blah fabric as I think it was made just for me. Hope you can find marvelous fabrics to put in that bag. And yes, Dan does look good in those blue "pajamas." Glad he is teaching something he so enjoys.

  2. I love your purse/backpack bag and the fabric is so cheery. I think the separating zipper idea is genius. Your DH looks very dashing in those blue Tai Chi clothes. How wonderful that he can teach something he loves. Your setup is definitely the best for quilting large quilts. Love that you have room to do this.

  3. Your new backpack bag is perfect! And I love the orange fabric- very Lush! I'm sure you will have a wonderful time at QuiltCon!

  4. Clever bag design- you'll find it very useful on your trip. So glad you are both finding such meaningful groups to be part of! Looks like maybe Saturday for TV quilt show- I sure want to get there, but like you, the to-do list is long!

  5. Your posts are always so fun to read. Glad things aware going well in all areas. Dan looks so official!!

  6. Have fun at QuiltCon carrying that awesome bag. You might need to empty it's contents at the end of every day and start fresh in the morning....huh!! Keeping my fingers crossed for you...LOL

  7. Good for Dan with the classes he's teaching! Tai Chi is surprising - it's far more of a workout than you would think it would be! We do some traditional "poomsae" in Taekwondo that are similar to Tai Chi, and I always break out into a sweat when we are working on them.

    Love your bag - perfect for convention/show purchases!

  8. Love your bag. It looks very you and Florida. Impressed with those zippers too.


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