Thursday, November 11, 2021

WIPS-B-Gone Update, Trip Review and New Flimsies

On Monday, Leanne of the Devoted Quilter blogged that as of today, the WIPS-Be-Gone Challenge is at the half way mark!  Yikes!!  

I won't be posting any finishes for this quarter unfortunately.   November is well underway but I'm still unpacking and getting re-settled after our two week trip to North Carolina at the end of October.  My DH and I went to visit his mother for the last two weeks of that month and using up the last of DH's vacation time for the year before the holiday shipping rush starts.  

As I've noted before, my MIL is also a quilter so for me, when I visit her it is also functions as an unofficial quilt retreat!   DH knows that when she and I get together he should be prepared to do a lot of chauffeuring and cooking.  He doesn't mind because when we're in the midst of quilt activities, he is free to binge watch his favorite TV shows and movies which is his favorite way to spend a vacation anyway!  

This was a particularly retreat-y visit for a number of reasons.  We had two planned activities:  first was that it just so happens that we would be down in NC just in time for this year's "All Carolinas Shop Hop"!!  The only other shop hop I've done is "Row By Row" back in 2016 (and which is now called "Quilters Trek").   The "Carolinas Hop" is a two month event that is still going on so if you are going to be in North or South Carolina this month, you can still participate.  We did the first day on Friday of our first week there and a second day the following Thursday.  Needless to say that was a blast!

We limited ourselves to going to shops in what was mapped out in the Shop Hop guide book as the "North Region" and only going to the shops within an hour's drive of where my MIL lives.  Unfortunately that meant that I didn't get to go to Pineapple Fabrics this trip although they are a participating shop.  I wish we could have also gone to some shops in South Carolina too --- maybe next year?  We visited five shops on the first day and four the following week.  There was one shop (Cary Quilting) that I had been to the last time I was in NC and one (Broken Needle) that is the favorite shop of my MIL's guild.  

Who could resist visiting a quilt shop with THIS painted on the side?!?

Every shop we visited was a delight and it's really encouraging to see that all of them are family-owned and headed by women.  Along with a bunch of other great finds (that will hopefully be revealed as I make them up), I picked up kits for three projects featured in the Shop Hop magazine that use fabrics designed specifically for the Hop.

The second planned quilty activity was for my MIL and I to get a coaching session by one of her quilt guild members who is a huge fan of the "By Annie" bag and accessories designs.  She has made most of them (some more than once) so is considered the "go to" person in the guild if you need advice or tips about making any of the patterns.  I had met her when we had visited back in August when I went with my MIL to her guild meeting on our last day there.  

My MIL already had one bag in progress and wanted to make another.  DH and I are strongly considering getting a particular RV which I've learned has a storage space that will accommodate my Featherweight machine.  It also has additional cubbies in the dining area which is where I would sew.  I was interested in making a bag to fit one of them and that I could use to store the machine's supplies.  I decided on making Annie's "Double Zip" bag.  Prior to the trip down, I found the perfect theme fabric for it and purchased all the additional supplies needed to make it.  When I got to NC, I cut the fabric and prepped the bag parts and my MIL's guild friend came by to answer any questions we had about finishing our projects. 

Now all I need is the RV!

The bag wasn't all that hard to make and I used some great advice the guild member gave me on starching my fabrics and how to finish the inside binding for the bag.  It turns out she and her husband are also planning to buy an RV so we had a great conversation about that process too!   This is my first "By Annie" bag and I'm pretty pleased with it.  The "Handmade" leather tag is from Flamingo Toes and I also purchased a Camper Needle Minder to go with it after seeing both on a Pat Sloan video right before the trip and had them mailed down to me in NC.

The bag was a new project so doesn't count towards the WIP list.  However, also while down south I did get a few more WIP things done:  I've FINALLY finished the top using the blocks I made for the GE Designs Hey, June! quilt along from back in June.

This picture is before I sewed on the final borders.

Just like with my MIL's blocks back in August, I tried a few different layouts at home before we headed down south:

In the end, I liked the right-pointing diagonal one (Layout #3 of 5 in the pattern) the best.  Surprisingly when we did my MIL's blocks back in August that too had been one of the layouts we tried (left, below) but ultimately we went with the "Trip Around the World" variation (Layout #4 in the pattern) for hers. 

I also FINALLY made my "Box Trot" top early in the morning on our the last day there (and seen here on my design wall at home).  

I've had this kit since 2015 so technically it's not a WIP but a "Hussy" - HSY - "Haven't Started Yet"!  However, I had brought it with me on the two previous visits to my MIL and now finally got to cut it out the day before the second shop hop day.  I was so tired after that second shop hop round, that I went to bed really early and then woke up at 2 AM the next morning wide awake!  Rather than trying to fall back to sleep, I decided to take up the challenge the kit pattern presented which is that it can be made up in 2-1/2 hours.  I timed it and excluding breaks for "design decisions" and pressing, it took me three which is still not bad.  Afterwards, I still had time to go back to sleep before we headed out on a trip to an Amazon/Target Liquidation Outlet in Raleigh that day.

I expect to do some more work on this one though.  I had changed the patterned layout to one more like the way it was pictured on the original listing for the kit.  However, those changes left me with the extra strip of pieced accent sashing at the bottom right and I'm not sure I like that.  The good news is that despite how long I've had this kit, I was able to find more of the fabric (from the line "Vintage Collection-Lady Claire" by Blank Quilting) that I hope will work for an idea I have for making some changes/additions to the top

The last bit of trip sewing I got done (I brought others but didn't get to them) was the last of the CW Scrap Basket handles that needed to be sewn down. 

The plan was to sew them on the drive down.  I had also brought another hand work work project that I was supposed to set up for the drive home.  However, DH and I took turns driving down this time (back in August, he drove the whole way) so I didn't sew on that leg of the trip.  But I did get all the handles done --- when? --- while DH chauffeured us around on the first shop hop day, LOL!  So the good news is that all of the basket blocks are now done and ready to be assembled into a top.  We won't be going back to NC until early next year but I'm already trying figure out what I'll bring to work on when we do!

Soooo, priorities on my list for the next WIPS-B-GONE quarter will be to finish the "Box Trot" top (and maybe even quilt it!), start on some Christmas quilting I still have to do, maybe get the Basket blocks to a top and definitely quilt up the Civil War Strippie top that I finished before we left.

We're not hosting Thanksgiving this year due to the lingering COVID issues so I'm hoping to really plan and focus my quilt work this month and the second-to-last WBG quarter!  Hope you are whipping your WIPS to a finish!!


Vireya said...

I love that mural of the sewing machine, and the way they incorporated the window as the thread spool!

The bag turned out great. Good luck with the RV! Having room to stow a sewing machine sounds like an essential requirement to me, too.

Happy sewing on all your WIPs.

Rebecca Grace said...

Oh my gosh, I haven’t heard that acronym before but I’m afraid a have a WHOLE TRIBE of “hussies” in my sewing room and more keep appearing every day!! It’s wonderful that you and your MIL share a love of quilting. You are so lucky! Your quilt layouts are both fabulous, by the way.