Wednesday, March 6, 2024

February Recap: Part 3 - On The Road Again...

Continuing with all the reporting on the things that happened in February:  As noted in the last post, there were definitely a few quilty things I should have worked on in preparation for our trip but time had run out and I had to focus on packing!  On the third Saturday of the month, we had to wait until a light snow storm passed and then we hit the road!  

Because of the late start out due to the weather, we didn't arrive in North Carolina until Saturday evening.  Once we got to my MIL's,  we just unpacked, ate and spent the rest of the night catching up with her and the current treatment status of her ailing sister.   

Sunday is when I finally set up my usual sewing space having once again brought my Juki down with me to sew on.  When my MIL returned from church,  I watched and assisted her in loading one of her quilt projects onto her long arm frame.  She has a Handi Quilter Moxie machine and has already quilted a few by free motion Stippling them but feels she still needs a lot of practice on that.  

She had not yet "cracked the code" on using her computerized Pro Stitcher Lite system.  That was going to be our joint task to try to learn that during our visit.  I had brought a few completed tops with backing fabrics down in the hopes of getting to try out using the machine as well.  So I too had a big incentive to try and understand how all of this worked together.

While we worked on getting that education under our belts,  I spent the next few days there working on what was supposed to have been one of the pre-trip projects:

Exterior and Inside Zipper Pocket with Magnetic Clasp

This is my version the Missouri Star Quilt Company's "Carry All Tote Bag" tutorial project.  I made mine a little taller and deeper (18"H x 20"W x 7"D instead of their patterned 14"H x 20"W x 4"D size) in order to mimic a large Christmas Tree Shop tote bag I have that is useful when carrying large items.  That bag can only hold light weight stuff and I wanted a bag that was the same size but a little sturdier/stronger.   

I also wanted a larger bag because I wanted to use it to bring home the (hoped for) finished quilts.  However with the design changes, it took me a lot longer to complete it than I expected.  The bag utilizes stabilizer and a layer of foam filler and I added an additional layer of Peltex stabilizer in the bottom for a sturdier base.  

Important tip:  even if you cut the foam filling and stabilizers smaller initially, once fused on, trim them again if necessary to be sure to have a clear quarter inch seam allowance to make the completion of all the connecting seams easier.  

So even though it took a while to complete, the new bag definitely delivered in being able to hold a lot of stuff!  

And the finished quilt in the bag can be seen in this post.

Edited To Add:  Another fun aspect of this project is that the exterior fabric of the bag was what was leftover from a long ago Ironing Board Cover replacement that was later replaced by another cover

However, all the time spent making this meant that I didn't get to start on any other of the projects I had brought because by then it was time to attend the big special event!  More on that tomorrow!!

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