Saturday, January 2, 2021

The Seven Days of New Year's 2020: Day 7 and the Start of a New Year

 Happy New Years!  And a big 'ole smooch to 2021!!

When I checked in again with my MIL yesterday, she was feeling a lot better but was still not up to sewing just yet.  Today was not as a good a day so it looks like we are going to have to take this one day at a time.  We had made tentative plans on Friday to Skype on Sunday afternoon but at this point, I really don't know if we'll keep that date.  To keep myself from worrying, I'm trying to keep a few projects in focus as it seems that these first few days of the year aren't going to pass through any more smoothly than 2020 went out.   

I'm still tying to map out the rest of the year, but I do know that all this month I want to focus on finishing up or moving forward things from last year.  Ironically, what I worked on yesterday and finished up today is that and a throw back to the first finish of last year!  Last year I started things off with a little quilted tote for a micro-mini portable iron.  

However I also kept a mini Steamfast iron on my sewing table and had planned last year to make another larger tote for carrying it if I wanted to take it for travel or classes.  

Stock Photo from

I'd had my iron since 2015 and loved using it while piecing the block units of pretty much every project.  However, in the last year or so, the base of it had been getting hot to the touch when it was used for an extended period.  Well, last week I turned it on and I heard a "pop" and the little light that indicates it is on went out and the iron stopped heating.  Fortunately that was not a big problem since a while back, I had watched one of Vanessa the Crafty Gemini's videos and she recommended the Sunbeam as a cheaper alternative to the Steamfast.  One thing she noted was that a selling point for the Sunbeam mini iron is its structure.   It has the water well sitting under the handle which means your hands are not close to the heated elements of the iron.  I did like that but saw no reason to give up my old Steamfast -- that is up until now!  With it burnt out, it was time for a new one.  So along with a new mini iron, it was a good time to also make that larger carrier too!

Provides a generous 18" x 24" pressing surface.

It is also large enough to hold a full size iron too.

I had picked up this tote pattern after reading about it on Kaaren's "The Painted Quilt" blog.  She has a link to the pattern on the post.  I also took note of her suggestions to help make the construction easier such as spray basting the layers together before quilting, using "wrapped" pony tail elastic for the closure loops which look nicer than than plain elastic for the finish and using bias binding.  

I had actually taken the instructions for this project with me when we visited my MIL in October 2019.  I had purchased the outer fabrics while there having already had the Insulbright and batting in my stash.  What I couldn't find on the trip was the silver ironing board fabric so had to bring the whole thing back home to make.  However once I did get the specialty fabric, other projects prevailed (particularly since travel went out the window in the early part of 2020) and this little "quickie" project wound up sitting on the back burner (or I should say, the project pile on the floor) until now.

And I have to say it was a quickie!  My own construction tip is that rather than drafting the pattern onto paper, I used the pattern's instructions and just measured and drew the quilting lines with my Chacoliner right onto the ironing board fabric.  I started on it late and was a little distracted by frequently stopping to comment, reminisce and laugh with DH about the annual New Year's Day "Odd Couple" marathon that was playing in the background!  

Still hilarious 50 years later!

So I got all the way up to sewing down the last seam of the binding before having to call it quits for the day.  So today that and attaching the button closures was all that needed to be done to wrap it up.  

Funny, I had not made my Blue and White Christmas decorating plans at the time I  purchased the fabric for this but I am just loving that it not only coordinates with the new Sunbeam but it falls right into line with all the blue and white projects I made in 2020 and still have to finish up!  

So if I do get to Skype with my MIL tomorrow, we may get to talk about our plans to try to participate in this year's Rainbow Scrap Challenge to give her a chance to dive into her newly organized bins.  Until then, I will spend some more time planning the projects for this year.  Do I want to try to do a UFO Finish challenge?  I should, lord knows I've got enough of 'em!!  We'll see what the first week of the New Year brings!


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I like that you have a good relationship with your MIL - I never did - a bit of a strain to even talk to her - luckily we never lived near by and could keep the visits to a minimum (hubby didn't get along well with her to begin with so that played a part of course) I think it is so nice that you are trying to help her in her grief - good luck

Vireya said...

The iron tote/ironing surface is very cute and sure to be very useful. Congratulations on a quick finish.

I hope you can interest your MIL in getting involved in a joint project like the scrap challenge. Best wishes to you and her.