Saturday Series: Holiday gifts

Hi! This is Carrie, and I wanted to kick off our next Saturday Series - holiday gifts - with a round-up of bags and totes that you could use as holiday gift baskets.

First up is the divided basket by Noodlehead, which I know a lot of MMQG members made this past weekend at the workshop. Mine is filled with diaper supplies, not very Christmas-y. But I think the divided basket would make a great "movie night" gift, filled with popcorn, a couple boxes of candy and some DVDs or a gift subscription to Netflix. Or as a hostess gift with some jams or jellies and crackers.


Another pattern with gift basket potential is the Sew Together Bag by SewDemented. Here's one of Kristin's Sew Together Bags.


I think these bags would be great filled with art supplies, LEGOs or other small toys for kiddos. Or make one for a quilty friend, filled with sewing supplies.

Other possibilities are the Snappy Mani Pouch on the Robert Kaufman site, or the Lined Drawstring Bag by In Color Order. 

What are your plans for holiday gifts? 

Series: Show us your space!

Nikol here from Sewtropolis here to show you my sewing space.  Sadly my sewing space at home is a dark basement with lighting from pull string lights only.  I’ve moved things upstairs after the second time water got into my basement. 

Last summer I bought a travel trailer and ‘Glamped” her up and now I really enjoyed sewing in “Athena” while traveling/Glamping.   


I normally sew up near the front of the trailer where the wrap windows let in the most light.  However, I find that when I’m Glamping most of my sewing is done during the evening hours with the dogs at my feet and a James Bond moving on the iPad.  (I can’t get enough of Skyfall)
When I sew at night I turn on the overhead light as well as smaller spot lights that are in the cabinet above the couch.  I also have a small table lamp that I’ll bring out when I need it.  Though, if I’m plugged into a 20 amp site things tend to get sluggish if I have too many things going at once.  The 30 amp sites work much better.  If I’m ‘Boondocking’ (at a sight with no amenities) I’ll take out my knitting – which I usually have with me.

This summer I’ve done a LOT of sewing for Athena.  She has new curtains on all the windows, new seat covers for the cushions in the back (bed), bunting and lots of pillows. 
When I sew, I love being surrounded by all the creativity.  To me – it’s so pretty and inspiring. 

I usually leave my Featherweight, iron, ironing board and plenty of projects and tools in the trailer the whole summer long.  That way I don’t inadvertently forget something at home.  Nothing worse than breaking a needle and not having a spare, while Glamping. 

I typically work on quilt blocks when I’m traveling since I don’t have a large design board or for that matter a large sewing table.  Though I suppose if I had to I could use a picnic table (or two) to lay out a quilt.  This past summer I worked on blocks from the Tula Pink City Sampler book.  Next summer my plan is to work on blocks from the Farmer’s Wife Quilt. 

I recently purchased the aqua rolling cart from Ikea – I love the way it ‘goes’ with my trailer and it’s a lot more handy to move around compared to the vintage suitcase I was using.  I used to have to put the suitcase next to me on the couch – and every time I got up I’d have to move the suitcase.  With the cart I just roll it back under the window.  

When I’m traveling (on the road) the sewing machine sits in a cupboard on the floor, the ironing board goes on a hook and the iron sits up in a cabinet along and everything else fits on the cart.  I discovered with the last trip that even though I surrounded the cart with items to keep it from rolling while I’m driving down the road…. It still rolled around.  So, between now and next March I’ll need to figure out a better idea to keep it in place.  I’d love to hear your ideas.

Marketplace India quilt tops

Hi! It's Carrie, the coordinator of the Marketplace India quilt project. I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who turned in their blocks - they are beautiful! And despite peoples' worries that their blocks may not be perfect, they were in fact all the same size and piecing the quilt top was easy. 

Here's the finished twin-size quilt top, pieced by Kristin and I at the sew-in: 

I'm so pleased with how this turned out! There were a few leftover blocks, as expected. I had originally planned to put them on the back of the twin-size quilt, but there were just the right amount of coordinating blocks to make a 32x32" baby quilt, so I did that instead. 

I'll be quilting the baby quilt and Chris has very kindly volunteered to quilt the twin-size quilt. Both of them will be sent off to Marketplace India once they're finished. 

Again, thank you to all the guild members who participated in this project! I'll post pictures of the finished quilts before we send them off for auction. 

MMQG Mystery Quilt-along month #10!

Hi again! It is Kristin from a little crispy and today is month #10 of the MMQG Mystery Quilt-along! If you are just joining us, check out the previous posts here. This is the last month! Yipee! The reveal will be next month--I'll show you then the final quilt design and tell you how to assemble it all.

So, I've been telling you to save your scraps. This month you can use them! This is my pile:

This month is a fair bit more work. But I figured it was October, and so people are back in their sewing rooms, kids are back in school, and so everyone has more time, right? That is the theory, anyway. Doesn't seem to be working for me, though.

So this month we are going to make (32) 6" finished blocks. These are really easy, I promise! They are very similar to last month's blocks in look and construction.


If you want the pattern of the block to stand out, make sure that your Accent fabric contrasts well with your background fabric.

There are two different ways to make this block: strip pieced or paper pieced. I am going to show you how to do the strip pieced version, but if you prefer to paper piece, I have foundations for you here. If you have still never tried paper piecing, this would be an excellent one to try because it uses strips, so it is very easy.

If you are not paper piecing, you will still need to print the paper foundations (but just one regular, and one reversed) to make templates for cutting out your blocks. Reinforce the template by gluing it to thin cardboard (like a cereal box) or template plastic.

For 32 blocks you will need:

Background: Cut 2" x WOF strips, or make 2" wide strips cobbled together from bits and pieces.

Accent: Cut 2" x WOF strips, or make 2" wide strips cobbled together from bits and pieces.

You'll notice I'm not telling you how many strips to cut. That is because the number you will need is going to depend on how you make them. I'm assuming at this point you're going to cobble together some strips from scraps and bits and pieces, so it's going to vary. Try to make fairly long strips, though, so you waste less fabric.

You will be sewing together strip sets, and for each strip set you will need 3 background strips and 2 accent strips.

Assembly (make 32: 16 normal, and 16 mirrored):

Sew together strip sets that have two accent strips sandwiched between three background strips as shown in the photo below. Press either to the dark side or open.

Take one of your templates and line up the black (sewing) lines with your seam lines as shown below. Unless your seam allowance is *perfect* it will probably be a hair off, and that's ok, just get it as close as you can.

Cut around all four sides of the template, being careful it doesn't shift or slip. Note that unlike last month, the seams are not going right into the corners.

Slide your ruler along your strip and, matching the previous angle and instructions, cut out 16 squares total.

Cut 16 of the mirror image blocks the same way, using the mirror image template.

Four blocks are shown below (you need 32), but don't sew them together yet, as this is not how they are going to be in the final quilt.

Don't forget, there are a few different ways you can share:

Instagram: use #mplsmqgmysteryquiltalong and then share to Flickr--

Flickr: upload to the group pool

Embed: your photo in each month's post! Here's how:

Your photo first has to be uploaded onto the internet somewhere--that could be your blog, or somewhere other than Instagram or Flickr. Then, in the comments section of the block post, type [img]http://your_photo_url.jpg[img]

Can't wait to see what you all do! See you again next month for the big reveal!

Divided basket workshop with Anna Graham of Noodlehead

We still have a few spots open in the divided basket workshop on Oct 18 with Anna Graham of Noodlehead. We are now opening up registration to non-MMQG members.

Details on the basket can be found here on the Noodlehead site:

Workshop Date: Saturday, October 18th, 9am - 5pm
Where: Textile Center

Cost for MMQG Members:
$35 (if you require the pattern) / $30 (if you already own the pattern)

Cost for non-MMQG Members:
$45 (if you require the pattern) / $40 (if you already own the pattern).
Note: Non-members can use the $10 difference toward a new MMQG membership if it is applied to by or at the December meeting.

Please sign up using the form here. Note that payment must be received by Oct 15th to reserve your spot. 
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