Ricky Tims’ Convergence Quilt

Somehow I appear never to have blogged about this wall quilt. The pattern is called “Harmonic Convergence Quilt,” and the designer is a multitalented cool guy named Ricky Tims.

I wanted to show it to a blogger who is making one. I don’t have her email address, and her blog, on the blogger platform, won’t let me paste my photo in the comment field (wisely, I’m sure!), so I thought I’d just drop a picture in here, then tell her on her blog.

I made this little quilt, which I love, back in around 2002 or 2003, but didn’t know what to do with it. So about ten or so years later, having moved from Tucson to Youngstown to be near my grandchildren, I chose a backing fabric and took it to a long arm quilter who lives in Newton Falls, OH, about half an hour away. She’s brilliant. She can look at a quilt top and immediately say, “I think [blah blah] would look nice on that. She suggests the appropriate sandwich of battings, and when I return, a couple of months later, it’s ready for me to bind and add a rod pocket. She chose to run a starburst of lines of quilting from the center out to all corners and sides. I love it.

The moral of the story is “just do it.” You have a quilt top hanging around your space? Ask around, find a longarm quilter, and just get it quilted. You won’t be sorry.

Quilt

Ricky’s website

Ricky’s Harmonic Convergence quilt pattern

Amazon Shuts Down Fabric.Com

I am astonished at this information. Amazon expects me to buy my fabric directly from them? I don’t want people who don’t understand fabric cutting my yard goods. What about all those Kennesaw, Georgia, residents? Are they now without jobs?! I’m incensed at this action on Amazon’s part. It’s outrageous. There’s no way the decision-makers at Amazon understand people who sew—our likes, our dislikes, our allegiances to fabric manufacturers, our sewing and quilting needs. No. Way.

I learned about this action off a random sewing blog this morning while I was looking for something else. I am extremely disappointed in this poorly thought-out decision on the part of Amazon. I will be seriously rethinking every Amazon purchase from here on out.

The ABC News article.

Two Bags Delivered

The whole time I’ve been testing crossbody bag patterns, I was thinking about the circus fabric my cousin gave me. I knew I wanted to make tote bags out of the elephant fabric, as there was much less of that fabric, and I needed to stretch it to make three bags.

Hmmm, now that I’m looking at these two fabrics again, I don’t even know why I have envisioned it as circus fabric in my head. I don’t even know what to call it, but I sure love those colors!

Anyway, I used the Tourist Tote Bag pattern from Sew Many Creations. To get three bags out of the elephant yardage, the widest any bag could be was 17″. I figured out the ratio of 17″ to the width of the bag in the pattern, and those were the dimensions I used.

This is the first bag I made from this fabric. The base is a cork fabric from SallieTomato. It sews like “buttah”!

The lining was a teal quilting cotton that perfectly matched the teal in the print.

The bag pattern doesn’t call for any pockets, but I can’t stand totes with no pockets, so I added a zippered pocket in the back of the interior.

Honestly, this is such a great pattern. If you’re a beginner sewist and are wanting to learn some bagmaking, you couldn’t go wrong beginning with this pattern. Or if you’re experienced and just need a quick gift for a special occasion, this PDF pattern should be your go-to.

Here’s the second bag. This is made out of a 10 oz. waxed cotton canvas, which is water resistant. I’ve been making waxed canvas bags this summer in an Intermediate Bagmaking Class offered by Ellie Lum of Klumhouse Patterns. That was a 12 oz. Canvas, and stands up beautifully. That’s what I thought this bag would do, but I was wrong. So I used some plastic needlework canvas and made a false bottom to lay into this bag to help it stand up better.

And here’s the lining. You can see the bonus zippered pocket and the false bottom in the bag.

Honestly, I love how these two bags turned out, and can’t wait to start the third one when I get home from vacation.

Here’s the post of the test bag that led to these two.

So Proud of Myself!

Every time we travel, the Jazzman forgets to take along a container (think: plastic grocery bag, shopping bag, cloth tote from car trunk for bagging groceries or one of the hundred or so Jan-crafted bags sitting around my sewing room!) in which to stash his dirty clothes before we head home. Every so often, I think I should make or buy him a bag for his laundry, and then once we’re back home and I’m in practice and performance mode, I forget all about it.

This week I was busy with: 1) my cousin’s bags, making a false bottom for the one that wasn’t standing up the way I envisioned it should so I could ship those two bags to her before leaving for vacation; and 2) making three of my special masks for the trip, one for Jas and two for myself.

Let the record show that by Wednesday noon I had not started packing for our cruise from Boston to Montreal. If you aren’t on Facebook, you wouldn’t know I came down with Covid and had my first Positive test on May 8. I wasn’t sure I was going to get over Covid in time to be allowed to board the ship tomorrow (8/27). I finally tested Negative on 8/18 and again on 8/20, but when I completed the Holland America-required health assessment two days ago, was told I couldn’t travel. I had to call their medical department and hold for three hours! to have a woman tell me I should be okay, but that I would have to test again when we got to the pier on 8/27.

So, anyway, while I was procrastinating packing, lest I burst into tears over missing this cruise I’ve been waiting years for, I had a lightbulb moment that said, “Make a laundry bag for Jas.”

And in the photo above, you see how that turned out.

Happy, happy me!

It’s modeled on an undie laundry bag I got at Nordstrom about ten years ago. I just grabbed some mesh and cut the largest rectangle I could out of that mesh, grabbed a coordinating zipper, and whipped it up in about 30 minutes or less.

Now, I’ll never have to look around for “this oughta do” bags in whatever hotel room we’re living in for a few days.

The dimensions are about 18″ x 20″. The zipper has a dress-zipper-size pull on it, so I found a coordinating zipper pull (that the lovely lady who owns Zip-It Zippers on Etsy sometimes sends along as a gift to her customers) to hook onto that pull. On the other end of the zipper, I made a loop out of the excess zipper tape and hooked a spare shower curtain ring onto that loop. That way, Jas can hang it from a hanger in the ship room closet (Ahem. Actually, we’re in one of the Neptune suites. 😊) and easily tuck his dirty clothes into the bag.

You can bet I’m patting myself on the back over this make!

What Was I Thinking?

For some reason, this spring and summer somehow became my time of buying bag kits. I look back on this box full of kits sitting by my feet whenever I’m sitting at my Juki, and wonder what I was thinking. What appealed to me about these Sallie Tomato kits that were promoted in the weekly emails from the designer?

I love choosing fabrics for bags, sorting through my stash of bag hardware to choose the metal color that I think will best complement the fabrics, and relishing that entire design process. Why did I think I wanted to choose another person’s options? It’s not that the kits were cheap (i.e. inexpensive). They weren’t. But they were on sale. And everything was included—the hardware, the zipper, the exterior fabric, the lining, and the pattern.

It’s not that the pattern cutting was already done for me. That’s the most tedious part of sewing—cutting out the pattern and fusing the interfacing.

So here I am, begrudgingly making a bag that I really didn’t want to make and that I certainly don’t need, when I’ve got a stack of bags that I owe to my cousin, and when I’d rather be whipping up a sundress to wear on a cruise that’s headed north as the weather turns cooler. (You see the wisdom in that desire, don’t you? she asked, ironically)

Sometimes I astonish myself with my gullibility. Just say no! Say “no” to emails encouraging me to buy something just because it’s on sale.

Yesterday’s make, as I wait for this damned Covid virus to leave my body, was a “Carry Along” wristlet bag. This is a nice little pattern, especially if you’re new to bag making and want a good place to start. The kit includes the Carry Along pattern with three sizes of bag; Sallie Tomato cork fabric, which is soft and sews like buttah; a coordinating piece of 100% cotton lining; a zipper cut to the size you need for the Medium bag; a “Handmade” label for the outside of the bag; and 1″ key fob hardware for the wrist strap.

The finished size Medium bag measures 8″ wide and 7″ high. Size Small measures 4″ wide and 3″ high; size Large is 12″ wide and 10″ high. I believe, after finishing the Medium, that I would have enough cork to make a Small, so long as I can scrounge up some coordinating lining fabric and a suitable zipper. It’s the cork that’s the most expensive component.

Was this an easy sew? Yes. Will I make it again? Probably not. There are so many bag patterns in my repertoire.

And yet, if I’m looking for a cute not-too-expensive make to use up some of my stash of vinyls, it would be a good item to have on hand for a maker’s market. Maybe I’ll do that in the spare 15-minutes-a-day I’m going to be reduced to once YSU classes start up again in a week and I’m spending all my days on a piano bench.