Wednesday, January 29, 2020

BOMs Away 2020 Week #4: AQS Twilight Flurries

Joining in for another week of "BOMS Away" hosted by Lynette over a What A Hoot! Quilts.  This linkup will help me stay on track on working on a group of BOMs I'd like to get done this year!

This week I introduce the last of the four BOMs I plan to work on this year.  For the last BOM round for this month, I'm embarking on "Twilight Flurries", the 2020 Christmas Countdown Quilt Along hosted by the American Quilter's Society (AQS).

AQS has hosted Christmas samplers as a quilt along since 2015 (and you can see the ones from all the previous years here).  Traditionally they issue the blocks for the year every day in December until all the blocks are released.  I've never been organized enough to even attempt to make one although I did use one of the blocks from the 2018 Black, Red and White set in a mug rug gift (that year the blocks were offered in that colorway and in (just) Red and White).  

However back in December, AQS decided to offer the 2020 set in a different way:  in December 2019, they issued all the blocks daily for both the 2019 and the 2020 quilt along!  This way, this year's blocks can be worked on all year.  Added to the fact that the quilt is designed in a Blue and White color scheme, I just knew I wanted to do it!  You do have to have an AQS membership to access the 'Twilight Flurries" blocks now (and the link to them is on the page for the 2019 QAL) but all the prior years QALs are open to the public.  AQS will open the 2020 blocks to the public in December like they normally do.

One of my plans for this year is to decorate in a Blue and White color scheme for Christmas.  I purchased ornaments in those colors for the tree years ago but as a quilter, I know I want to have some quilty good stuff to also decorate with.  However, I have never gotten around to making anything up in that color scheme (well, finishing something -- there is an old B&W UFO around here somewhere).  I had already planned to make a new Christmas Tree skirt and stashed blue and white fabrics for it.  For the tree skirt, I decided to do a Spiderweb skirt like the one I saw on the Stitched In Color blog.  However, I'll be cutting my fabrics using the Accuquilt Spiderweb die.

I plan to use the same stash to make the AQS quilt.  The AQS quilt has twenty-five blocks so just like with the Christmas Figs BOM, I have to make at least two blocks each month to finish by the end of the year.  I looked through the blocks to see if there were any fairly simple ones to start myself off with.  Block #1 and #8 are now done!

There will be more complex ones as they go along so I will probably try to bunch them into sets that use common unit sizes (especially if those can be die cut), shortcut techniques or specialty rulers.  Fortunately, since I have all the patterns already, I'm not obligated to do them in order so each month I can pick and choose the design or techniques I want to tackle.  I was also able to cut pieces for and make up a few of the Spiderweb quarter-blocks as well.

I am thrilled to finally get to make one of these quilt along quilts!  I would still also like to make the 2015 quilt in the version with the embroidered sashings one day.  With these blocks completed, all the BOM work for January is done.  I hope I can keep the momentum going for the rest of the year!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

BOMs Away 2020 Week 3: Modern Bohemia

Linking up again this week with Lynette and the BOMS Away! gang over at What A Hoot! Quilts!

Whew!  Last week I had to play catch up and make three blocks for two BOMs.  The good news is this week I can focus on just one BOM --- although this week I will still be making a bunch of blocks!

This week the "BOM" I'm working on is what I'm calling "Modern Bohemia".  It is the "Bohemian Charm" quilt published in the Better Homes and Gardens "bookzine" Sew Scrappy - Volume 2 from 2011.

I'm a fan of scrappy quilts and have enjoyed seeing a lot of the "Mod" print fabrics that have come out in recent years.  This quilt, using a very scrappy mix of those fabrics, definitely appealed to me.  I consider myself a "modern traditionalist" quilter so tend toward making traditional style projects with the "modern" part being the techniques employed to create them.  However, I loved this one because it used a traditional block -- "Churn Dash" -- with the "modern" slant being the fabric used to make them.  As a quilter, an excuse to stash a bunch of fabric you don't normally buy is always an opportunity to take advantage of!

So this is not a traditional BOM per se --- instead my goal is to make a bunch of blocks each month to add to the pile and then see if I can tease out a pleasing quilt in the end from what I produce.  I've long wanted to start this project but admit it was hard to block out time to just continually make blocks to go towards this.  I figured if I set it up so I was making a few blocks a month then taking a breather between sessions would help me bring fresh eyes to both the fabric stash and the accumulated blocks over time.  This would also allow me to keep my focus the rest of the month on sewing up projects that have a more direct pattern-blocks-top-finish trajectory.

About that stash:  I've spent a few years amassing a bunch of what to my eye read "modern" prints.  Maybe "graphic " is a better term?  It was fun to just pick up a half yard, fat quarter or remnant cut here and there to add to the pile!

The original pattern called for making blocks in 16", 10", 6" and 4" size which required some cutting of 1/8" measurements.  I decided to simplify that and make blocks 12", 9", 6" and 3" instead.  That meant I'd get to do the other thing I like in quilting:  use a gadget!  The Churn Dash block is basic so it works well die cut.  The Accuquilt Churn Dash die  (9" finished) was the third "BOB" die I bought.  "BOB" stands for "Block On Board" which means all the pieces needed to make the block are all on one die board (although there are some BOBs that are two-die sets).

All this was cut in one pass!
What I liked about it was that like the Accuquilt Value die, it is a three-shapes-in-one die: it cuts the 3-1/2" (unfinished) Square, 3-1/2" (unfinished) Half-square Triangles and 2" x 3-1/2" (unfinished) Bars.  When you consider that those Square and HST sizes are also available on separate dies, it made this one a bargain in my eyes.  While you could just make Churn Dash blocks with this die, you can also use the Square and HST shapes to cut pieces for other blocks that use those finished size pieces and you can can die cut the Bars to make Rail Fence blocks.

Accuquilt does have both a Studio 12" Churn Dash and Go! Big 12" Churn Dash die but neither work with my regular Go! machine.  However Accuquilt also began offering a 12" Churn Dash die bundle and since I already had the Value die included in that bundle, I decided to watch the sales and get the 4" (finished) HST and the 2" x 4" (finished) Rectangles dies when the opportunity arose so I could make that size Churn Dash too.   For the 6" finished size I can use the squares and HSTs on the Value die that came with my machine and for the bars can use my Log Cabin die which was the second BOB die I purchased (and you can see the very first one I purchased here).  However, this time around since I was only making one block, I just die cut extra squares, sewed them together and trimmed them down to make the pieced bar unit the size I needed.  For the 3" finished size block I also eventually purchased the 1" (finished) Square and HST dies.  After piecing two squares together, I will again trim them down to make the 1" finished set of bars.

I admit I had the most fun shopping for all those fabrics with bold prints and a lot of color.  I'm a little concerned as to whether I have enough tone-on-tone prints for backgrounds.  I thought the blocks in the pattern alternated using the TOT prints in both the background and foreground but now see that in the patterned quilt they are used mostly in the background.  I may vary that though as I progress.

The fun thing about this project is I won't mind having leftover fabric or extra blocks.  I've purchased so many fun modern prints that I've also collected a bunch of books, magazines and patterns to help use up any leftovers.

So this will probably be an extended quilt series in the making!  This a very experimental BOM for me and a second attempt at making a quilt with a little improvisation.  Should be fun!

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Frolic Is Revealed!

Ok, Friday was the big day -- the final reveal of the Frolic mystery quilt!!  

No, I won't spoil it for you, you'll have to go over to Bonnie Hunter's blog and check out the last Clue #9 and see what the finished quilt looks like.  This week, in order to put the quilt together, the Frolic-ers are making up four patch corner units from the units assembled in Part 1 and Part 4.  Those are then combined with the Geese units made in Parts 6 and Part 8 and the Pinwheel blocks from Part 7 to create the main block in the design.

In between the blocks are a scrappy pieced sashing and then the top is finished with a double sawtooth border.  This one looks really interesting and the colors definitely channel the picture of the field of Bluebonnets that inspired it.  I think it will definitely go on my "To Make" list for sure!

Remember that Bonnie has extended how long the instructions will stay up after the reveal.  If you are interested, go over and download them by February 15th.  After that, it will be a pattern for purchase in her Quiltville online store.

As for me, I've been steadily working on "Old Tobacco Road", Bonnie's mystery from 2008.  When I made the early parts of it, I used other projects as "leader/enders" while I pieced the OTR parts.  Now OTR has been the leader/ender as I've worked on blocks for a few BOMs.  As a result, I've now got all of the combo blocks for Part 3 completed.

As I was finishing up Part 3, I'm glad to say that  I also started to put together my "Make It Scrappy" top.  I had finished the Arrow block panel (as a leader/ender) last Sunday so now as I take the "Scrappy" blocks down to piece them into rows and piece the rows into a top.....

....I can start laying out the OTR blocks and bricks!

I re-counted how many "bricks" I had cut back when I set this project up.  I've got a pretty big pile of them but it turns out I'll need a bunch more.  I also needed some squares and got all that I needed from my Scrap Users box.  It's a little confusing to lay this out so I'll do all of it before sewing things together.  Still hoping that by the time the Frolic mystery period ends in February, I can have OTR to a top too!

Hope you had a good week working on your mystery, new or old!  I look forward to watching #frolicmysteryquilt and #frolicquilt on Instagram this week to see the finishes as they come in.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

BOMs Away 2020 Week 2 - #3 (or technically #1B): Christmas Figs

Linking up to Lynette over at What A Hoot Quilts! with the last of my BOM blocks for this week:

The second Month #1 Block for the "Christmas Figs" BOM is done!  It was a bit of a challenge to try to pick an interesting fabric combination.  I  wanted to use three different lights in the inner rounds. These were the only three in the stash I have that I felt came close to working the way I wanted.  Picking coordinates to go with them meant the colors of the block kind of tracked with what was used in the original quilt which used a (darker) green center and a red print in the corners.  Finished it just in time since I have to run out to a community meeting in a little while.  I still need to add narrow sashing strips around it so will add that tomorrow.

Also done were more combo blocks for the "Old Tobacco Road" mystery.  Glad to keep moving along on those too!

Next week it'll be on to the next BOM!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

BOMs Away 2020 Week 2 - #2: Countryside Cottage

Back in 2010, I finished Vintage Treasures, a quilt made of Joann Block of the Month kits from 2003- 2004 that I purchased on eBay in 2005.

At the time I discovered them, we didn't have a nearby Joann's store – the nearest was about an hour and a half drive away.  I also had not done a BOM at that point but saw many completed ones online so also wanted in on that.   Added to that the fact that the finished quilt was in the red, white and blue color scheme I loved so much, I was so anxious to try this out!

I was only able to get five of the monthly kits and the setting kit at prices that were affordable for me at the time.  So I had to challenge myself to draft the remaining blocks (easy to figure out from the pictures of the finished quilt) and make a trip to that far away Joann's to try to source more of the kit fabrics.

Ultimately I was able to get more of six of the original fabrics and purchased replacements for three of the remaining fabrics while in the store.  The last fabric needed – a medium blue that was used in most of the blocks -- I got from Connecting Threads.

I pieced that BOM over the course of six months, waited (procrastinated?) another six months before finally starting the quilting of it but then didn't finish the quilting until another five months later!  However, it remains to date one of my favorite projects and a solid memory of milestones in my quilting ambitions and abilities.  Ironically, I only put a label on it (despite having made one up when I made the quilt) in 2017 as part of a drive to catch up on my unlabeled quilts.

So back in November, while (again) looking for something on eBay, I happened to see a listing for yet another Joann BOM.  When I had found Vintage Treasures there were literally hundreds of listings for various Joann BOMs because at that time they were still in heavy production.  However, I believe Joann has greatly reduced the number of BOMs they offer each year.  We have a Joann store near us now and while I have seen a few BOM kits there, it looks like they only offer maybe one a year now and very few of them come up in my eBay feed any more (although I admit I haven't really gone looking for them either).  So I was surprised to see this one.

Of course it appealed for all the usual “Squirrel” reasons a “new to me” project is attractive:
  • As a Joann's kit, it's a chance to make another one, sort of “working in series”.
  • It's made in “my colors”, reflecting my favorite shaded palette.  
  • I saw it in the Fall and all the colors in it were Fall colors so that heightened its appeal.  
  • Vintage Treasures had been billed as a twin size quilt (although I do use it every year on our queen bed laid crosswise) but this one is billed as 84 x 84 so is darn near queen-size or could be easily made more so with added borders.  
  • The center block is a house block and I have plans to start on a series of “House Themed Quilts” this year.  
  • These BOM kits are pre-cut so if I got them, I wouldn't have to do any cutting, only sewing.
But of course the best reason is that I found a complete block and setting kit set on sale (or at least at what I considered a good price), this time on Etsy.  Interestingly, there is a lady on eBay who was selling both this BOM and Vintage Treasures as completed and quilted quilts!

When I had looked at the Etsy listing for the block packages I saw something interesting:  it looked like the dark red fabric used for this BOM is the same red fabric I had used to replace one of the fabrics in the original Vintage Treasures kits.

It turned out that was true!  It made sense though:  reviewing the dates on the patterns, I confirmed that the block kits for this “new to me” BOM were from 2004-2005.  I had sourced replacement fabrics for Vintage Treasures in 2005 when this BOM would have been current.

So the first block I worked on for this BOM is the Month 1 Block!

Since this is a pre-cut kit, the only prep I felt I needed to do was to trim the dog ears off the HST pairs with my Triangle Trimmer.

Just one block, pretty big pieces and pre-cut so quick to make up!

So I'm once again glad to be able to link up at Lynette's over at What A Hoot! for BOMS Away Mondays for the second time this week.  Hopefully I can keep checking in each week with what I get done on  the other BOMS I'm planning to work on.

As noted in an update of my last post, I realized after the fact that for the other BOM I worked on this week, I have to make two blocks a month rather than one.  So I've still got one more block to get done this week.  Stay tuned!

Monday, January 13, 2020

BOMs Away 2020 Week 2 - #1: Christmas Figs

This year I PLAN to work on at least four BOMs.  Two are fairly new to me and two are projects I had been gathering fabric for for awhile.  One of them isn't actually a BOM but I figure that working it like a BOM would be a great way to get it started.

Although I've made BOMs before, I've never done any of them the way they are intended:  one block (or a set of blocks) a month for the duration of the BOM period (usually twelve months but I've done one that was shorter and have seen some that are longer).  I usually have started them late and then wound up having to make multiple blocks at a time to catch up or making the blocks winds up stretching over years!  This time around, I'd like to work on them the "old fashioned way" -- one block a month for each BOM so one block for one of them each week .  Of course, since I'm already a week behind in my plans for that for the year, this week I'll have to make two!

The first BOM worked on is the Fig Tree Quilts "Christmas Figs".  I first discovered this great quilt design on Pat Sloan's blog all the way back in August of 2018.

When Pat announced that she was embarking on a quilt along using the book "Christmas Figs" by Joanna Figuora of Fig Tree Quilts (and published by "It's Sew Emma", the publishing arm of the Fat Quarter Shop),  I immediately got excited.  Later on I saw that Diane Harris (formerly of Quiltmaker magazine and now blogging independently over at Stash Bandit) was also sewing this one up.

Joanna's lovely sampler is based on an antique quilt in her collection.  Of course not long before seeing it I had said that I had done my fair share of samplers and didn't plan to make any more in the near future --- NOT!!   When will I ever learn that you NEVER say never when it comes to quilting!!

Pat actually made the quilt twice -- once in the Fig Tree "Christmas Figs" fabrics and again in Blue and White using Edyta Sitar's "Something Blue" fabric line which can be seen here.   I didn't particularly have an interest in approaching it in either of those two color ways --- I already have a number of Christmas quilts made and a couple more already WIPs, kitted or planned.  I have a Blue and White Drunkard's Path UFO project that I haven't worked on in years (and am not sure I even know where that is!).  So if I wanted to make this, I needed to figure out how to make it interesting for me.  Well that was easy:  I've always wanted to stash Fig Tree fabrics but hadn't had a project to sufficiently nudge me into doing so --- until now!

It should be noted that in Joanna's version of the quilt, she uses the same solid background throughout all the blocks and sashing so the blocks seemed to float across the top.  I liked that look and although I originally wanted to work scrappy on the backgrounds, I also wanted to try to achieve a somewhat floated look.  I was helped with that when shopping for wide back fabric for my MIL's Kringle gift for Christmas in 2018 (she is also a quilter so I gave her, what else? A quilt kit!).  I came across some Moda Bella Solid fabric in "Fig Tree Cream" on sale and stocked up.  So now two years later, I have a fairly healthy stash of an assortment of Fig Tree fabrics from some of the older lines!

So this becomes the first big "NewFo"  (to coin the term for a new project Barbara Stanbro over at Cat Patches used for a weekly link up) for 2020.  First up is:

Block # 1: Puzzle Star

While the sewing didn't go quite as fast as I expected, the cutting did.  All those HSTs meant this was a job for the Accuquilt Go!

Bonus:  I was also able to leader/ender the combo block sets I need to make for the Quiltville "Old Tobacco Road" mystery I am also working on so can keep that moving along too!

So one down for this week and this BOM!

I'm glad to be able to link up at Lynette's over at What A Hoot! for BOMS Away Mondays.

Back in 2012 I had linked up with Sinta Borland at the Pink Pincushion blog when she used to host BOM Rehab.  That one helped me get this one to a top....

Civil War Chronicles BOM
....and got this one started --- although it didn't get to a top until three years after Rehab ended!

Heart and Home BOM
Needless to say both of those are still just tops!  Really hoping I'll be able to keep the BOM momentum going this year and even take some to a full finish!  The other block I need to make this week is pre-cut so hopefully I can get it made up fairly quick.

1/14/20 Edited to Add:
Ooops!  It looks like I'm not finished with this block and this BOM for this month yet!  When I was packing everything away, I took another look at the book and I see I overlooked instructions to add a narrow sashing strip around the whole block.  Also, it turns out this BOM is a "Two Blocks Per Month" BOM so I've still got another Month 1 Block to make! I will get to that right after I get the block for the other BOM done for this week.

Friday, January 10, 2020

It's Frolic Friday and OTR is Up To Date!

Bonnie dropped the latest part of the the current Quiltville mystery this morning (she's so efficient that way!).  Part 8 for "Frolic" can be found here.

This week Bonnie has the Frolic Folks piecing together three color Flying Geese from triangles they cut in the previous parts.  She is preparing them to bring the accumulated units made in all the parts together.   In the next part, the blocks will be made up that will go into the final layout.  Exciting!!

As for me, I am once again in step working on the old Quiltville mystery "Old Tobacco Road".  I finished the last of the Part 2 Pinwheels and the Part 5  Flying Geese for the outer border this week.  When I was done, I looked at the next (for me) part which is Part 3.  I too will be putting together units for the blocks that will go into the final layout.  On review of it, I also discovered that I had overlooked making two additional units:  Half Four Patches in Part 1 and Half Pinwheels in Part 2.  Those didn't require much so I got those done too!

So now OTR will become a leader/ender for other projects as I use all my units to start making up the Part 3 blocks.  I will also need to recount the bricks I cut in the beginning (in the center in the picture below) and confirm that I will have enough for when I start to do the final layout in Part 4.

As noted before, this also means I need to finish the last blocks of "Make It Scrappy" so I can have the design wall empty for working on the OTR layout.  Guess that will be the first project OTR will leader/ender for!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Word of the Year: PLAN

Each year, quilters around the world pick a word that represents their vision for their new year of quilting work.  When I thought about 2019, I decided that the thing I wanted to improve on most this year was my ability to PLAN what I want to get done.  You know the old saying:

When I started quilting, it was both to learn the craft but also to explore the nature of creativity and learn how people were able to move from an idea to making a beautiful finished product.  To that end, over the years I've read (and saved) articles and quotes from creatives in various disciplines and found that the "process" is the same no matter what it is you are producing.  The biggest revelation was that it is not as smooth or direct a journey as it seems to those of us that view the finished works.

Yet, I'd also see quilters who seemed to be producing a project a week and wonder, "How the heck do they do that?!?!"  Well, closer examination showed that I really had to take a close look at the type of things they make compared to my own WIPs.  If they focus on only one style of project or they limit themselves to projects of a specific size or they only work from curated fabric lines rather than choosing a compilation of fabrics or they employed a range of shortcuts or simple to execute techniques, it greatly improved their ability to crank out finished goods at a good pace.  More importantly though, I also realized how important it was that they worked on their projects consistently and had a handle on what they needed to do and when.  That was a big help in allowing them to get what they wanted done when they wanted it done. 

To that last point, three years ago I learned about "Bullet Journaling" (Karen Brown of Just Get It Done Quilts has started a good You Tube series on the topic) and around the same time I discovered the blog of  Jessica Abel.  Ms. Abel is by profession a cartoonist and art professor but also runs workshops to help creatives take better control of their creative work.  I read her book "Growing Gills" and have watched a number of her free webinars co-hosted by other creative coaches.  I learned a lot about how our perceptions of how we work and what we can accomplish is the real source of the frustration in not getting our projects done.  Too often those perceptions are in conflict with what it is actually possible to get done.

Jessica Abel's blog post on "Granularity" sums up the solution quite well.

Can you say "reality check"?   Like most quilters, I would love to get to a point where my hobby could actually generate an income.  However, watching those already in "the industry",  I see how important it is to be able to meet (often very short) deadlines and produce a prolific amount of projects.  While I feel capable of that, it has been a challenge just to complete the projects I'm making for my own purposes and bring them in on the deadlines I set for myself.

The biggest lesson I've learned from Jessica has been how important it is to really understand the steps to completing a project.  You need to to carefully map out how you approach that project to really evaluate what it will take to complete it.  Often that means considering:

Just one of the motivational signs I hang in my quilt space.

I've been less stressed about my projects since I've learned to really see just where my "intention wheels" get run off the road!  Rather than being frustrated when I don't meet a deadline, I can more easily see what it would have taken to complete it as intended.  That helps me stay focused on the task at hand.  It has also helped me to distinguish when something is truly a task and when something --- which in my mind, I think should be simple and quick to execute --- is actually a project in and of itself.  In that instance, I have to change course and accept that it needs more time, planning and effort than initially anticipated to achieve it.

So to that end, I'd really like to up my estimation game this year.  I'd like to get better at evaluating what it will take to finish a project and better at planning my quilting sessions so I can actually meet the deadlines I make.  After all, I have project ideas to fill a few lifetimes but only one lifetime to make them all!  Ok, there's that reality check:  make as many of those project ideas as possible!  Since living forever isn't an option (yet!), it's important to me right now to get better at squeezing as much out of the one I've got while I've still got it!

Do you formulate a word of the year?  What's your word and what do you hope to accomplish in this new year and decade?  I wish you all the possibilities you desire and none of the stress in accomplishing them!

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Catching Up To the Frolic Folks!

Bonnie posted both the last "Frolic" part of 2019 and the first of 2020 this week!  The surprise Part 6 clue is available here and this week's regularly scheduled Part 7 clue can be found here.

After finishing the little mini iron tote yesterday and confronted with a last minute rescheduling of the follow-up Girl Scout workshop,  I now had some free time to work on my own mystery project.

I'm not doing "Frolic" (yet!) but have been trying to bring "Old Tobacco Road" closer to a finish. This week, I'm once again in step with the Frolic-ers.  For Part 6 they had to make Flying Geese.  Well, Tobacco Road needs that too for its Part 5!  The OTR FG are a different size than the Frolic FG and are scrappy but we are still in piecing sync!

I got a nice stack done but still have some prepped ones to split apart and need to cut some more "Sky" background squares to make more blocks from the "Geese" squares I had cut back when I set up this project.

Part 7 has the Frolic-ers taking their HSTs and making Pinwheels. Well, I had already been doing that for OTR so could just continue like I had been doing.  Even with the additional sets I managed to get made, I still have many more to go!

When the Pinwheels and Flying Geese are all done, I'll have to get back to work on my "Make It Scrappy" quilt.  To continue with OTR, I'm going to need the design wall and right now "Scrappy" is in residence there.

I still have a set of filler Arrow blocks to pick fabrics for which will go next to the word "Make".  Once they are done, I can put that top together and clear the wall space.  Since I have plans for the rest of the weekend, I don't know if I'll get to sew any more.  Hopefully, I can set up some "fifteen minute sewing" sessions during the week. 

Friday, January 3, 2020

My First Finish of 2020

As usual, it took a bit longer than planned but I was able to finish up the little iron tote this morning.

After starting it on NewYear's Day,  I was working at a good clip yesterday and really thought I'd have gotten it done.  However, it's patterned to have a pocket installed on the inside and for the life of me, I couldn't get it in!  It frustrated me enough to call it a night on the tote.  So I ended the day by attaching the new length of grid yardage I had ordered to the original one I had.  Now we'll have a more than big enough design wall for our return to the Girl Scout workshop tonight.  

Stopping was also good because it gave me the opportunity to employ that tried and true problem solving technique --- sleep!   I went to bed and when I awoke this morning I had my solution.  Since I had planned to use the pocket to store the cord for little iron, I figured out another --- easier to sew --- way to protect it in the bag if the iron is still a little hot when it goes into the bag.  Instead of installing the piece I had prepared for the pocket as per the pattern:

I added Velcro to the middle of it and turned it into a wrap which solved all of my problems!

That done I was able to add the top (which also took a little doing) and then this little project was done!

So next time this little iron needs to travel, it will do so in style!   I have another iron tote pattern that turns that tote into an iron mat.  I want to make that one for my Steamfast iron.  Maybe that will be finish #2 for 2020!