Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Summer sewing

Summer means kids' camps, which require sleeping bags, which are unwieldy to lug around. Happily, someone else agrees and created a free pattern (find it here) for these:

They are very roomy, so any sleeping bag should fit even if you're not very good at rolling it into a small enough roll to fit in the original bag it came in. As it turns out my kids' sleeping bag rolling skills are much better than I thought, so they can fit pillows in their bags as well. My son happily took his to Scout camp last week and my daughter went off to Girl Scout camp with hers yesterday. No prizes for guessing whose is whose - I think the fabric prints give it away!
I haven't finished any quilting projects. I was sucked into a few good books instead, cutting into quilting time. There are worse fates :). I hadn't enjoyed a good uninterrupted read in quite a while. My husband and I also indulged in a movie watching spree, also something we hadn't done in a long time. In the space of 2 weeks we ran through the 3 Pirates of the Caribbean movies (very unsatisfying ending, by the way!), and all three Lord of The Rings installments.

Back to quilting. I said I hadn't finished anything, but I did make some progress on several different things. I hoped to have a picture of a finished runner and place mats set instead of just the peek at right, but my beautiful machine is acting up. It is making awful banging sounds when I try to free motion quilt, and messing up the bottom thread half the time. Very frustrating. I'm taking it in to the store on Saturday so they can either show me what I'm doing wrong or fix the machine, whichever is needed. Of course, this little delay cropped up precisely because I have a deadline on this particular project!

My mom's table runner and place mats have a few more seams in them, and I've been to the quilt shop for border and backing fabric for them.

Last but certainly not least, I've made progress on my swap quilt. Ta da!

It still needs borders. I've decided not to add an inner border after all. I'll just add borders of the same fabric as the setting triangles so that the center appears to float. I also plan to add a prairie point edging in the same fabric. That's the plan for now, at least. It may change by the time I get around to finishing!
I hope you are all having a great summer (or winter if you are down in the other hemisphere...)I haven't been keeping up with all of you very well. My attendance online has been a little spotty and will continue to be for the next month or so as I enjoy the season.


  1. Oh I squealed when I saw the swap quilt!!! I love it!!! You certainly have been busy. Thanks for sharing the progress and the sleeping bag pattern. I'll keep my fingers crossed for your sewing machine! :)

  2. The sleeping bag holders are a great idea. I bet the kids appreciated them. Your swap block quilt is really pretty, love the colors. I have been racking my brain, I know that my sewing machine was doing something real close. I was told to rethread the top and make sure that the bobbin thread was in properly. Also I was told to check my needle and thread. I think it ended up being my thread in the bobbin. Hope this helps and it's nothing serious. Connie

  3. The sleeping bag totes are fantastic. Wish I would have had that pattern back when my kids were going to camp. And all the years I spent camping with the Boy Scouts, that would have been so handy! I will see if any of my Scouter friends are interested in the pattern!

    The table runner and placemats are going to wonderful, I love the colors!

    The swap quilt is just beautiful. The prarie points on the border will be a great addition. It is fun to see a swap quilt coming together. I can't wait to see it all finished up. How big will the finished quilt be? Can you give the rest of us some pointers on putting ours together, too?

    Hope your machine is back in business soon, I would be lost without mine! Good luck meeting the deadline to have your project finished.

  4. I can sympathize with your sewing machine woes. Mine acts up each time I try something new, which might explain my non-existent free motion skills.

    Your swap block quilt is a beauty, and I am looking forward to seeing it finished (the prairie points will be a great addition).

    The sleeping bag totes are so clever -- wish my kids were younger as well.


  5. What fantastic fabrics in your mom's table runner! I love the colors! Certainly your swap block quilt is looking great too! Love the color for the setting triangles; really makes the blocks sing! Hope your machine makes a quick recovery. ---"Love"

  6. The swap quilt is amazing! Prairie points will finish it beautifully. It's so exciting to see our blocks together. I had better get those labels printed quick smart. The sleeping bag covers look great and fitting in a pillow is a bonus. Great fabrics in your runner, so I hope you sort out the issues with your machine. Cheers, Ann :-)

  7. The projects are great but I love the swap quilt! I didn't realize how well the blocks would work together. If you are going to finish with prairie points, will you make them multicolored to reflect the multi-colored blocks? I can just see them marching around the outside edge.


  8. You may not have finished much, but it sure looks like you've gotten a lot done! I love the sleeping bag totes - I wish I'd had those growing up. I'm a VERY good sleeping bag roller now because of all those years having to cram it back into the bag it came with. But I'll bet my nieces would like those, as they're the age for camps that require sleeping bags now...

    I love the red for the swap blocks. It really makes the blocks pop. I've never done prairie points, and they look hard, so you're brave to do that, but I'm sure it will look fantastic.

    As for your machine, mine does strange stuff when either the bobbin or top spool aren't threaded just right. Something beyond my control pushes them out of whack and rethreading helps. But maybe it's more than that. I hope it's quick and easy to fix!

  9. Great carriers for the sleeping bags and love the colors in your "peek preview".

    Your swap block quilt looks wonderful--love the dark red! And I'm looking forward to seeing the prairie points...

    On Viking machines, if you're bottom thread is giving you trouble, it's usually the top threading to check first. I always have my thread spool in the vertical position, rather than horizontal. And did you remember to "set" the machine for free motion? When you switch to these electronic machines, that's a step easily forgotten... Hope this helps, or the shop has an easy answer! Mary

  10. I finally have internet access so I can comment. The block swap quilt is gorgeous! I can't wait till I get home (Tuesday) to get the rest of my blocks and hopefully, I can get the quilt put together this month. I love the sleeping bag carriers too. I will save the pattern and see if my grandkids need something like that (I think they do - maybe for Christmas?).

  11. The sleeping bags bags are great!! They would make great laundry bags as well;)
    I like the setting you did on the swap quilt. The red is great;) I'm looking forward to the mail this month, as there will be something besides bills;')
    Happy Quiltinq!!


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