Friday, October 31, 2014

I Don't Do Pockets

This may sound odd coming from someone with a penchant for making bags and purses, but I’m not a fan of pockets. It’s not constructing them that bothers me: it’s using them. Pockets are supposed to enhance my organization, but the opposite happens. Anything that I store in a pocket is likely to be immediately forgotten, and I will be unable to retrieve that lip balm or nail file when the need arises. (The same phenomenon happens with my freezer. It’s the Bermuda Triangle of food storage. Pity the chicken breast that gets put in there, never to be retrieved!)

My solution is pouches—pouches for loose appointment cards and receipts, lip sticks and pens. So when I saw that Kim, of Leland Ave Studios, posted a tutorial for a quilted pouch for tissues, I added it to my sewing to-do list. Having one on hand will increase the likelihood that I can find a clean tissue when I need one!

This is an easy-peasy project. The instructions are clearly written and accompanied by many helpful pictures. I started by sewing just two tissue holders, to match some bags I made recently, and foresee making more. I may take the assembly-line route and churn out another half-dozen.

Amy Butler’s Cosmo Bag, blogged about here

My other option involves a contraption you may be familiar with. I am now the proud owner of a darning foot and other accessories related to free-motion quilting, and I’m not quite sure what to do with them yet. Overcoming my fear of FMQ will definitely involve practicing on some throw-away quilt sandwiches, but I could also use these tissue holders as an opportunity to have a go at some loops or swirls.

Lazy Girl Designs’ Mini Miranda Bag, blogged about here

Do you have any words of advice for a FMQ newbie? How about tutorials or videos you recommend I read or watch before I take the—gulp!—plunge? I’d love to hear your words of wisdom on this front. Thanks!

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday, TGIFF at anliN-Nilya, Fresh Sewing Day at Lily’s Quilts, and Sew Cute Tuesday ...

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  1. I like your pouch :) My advice for FMQ is to just jump in and try it. You might find that it is actually easier than you think it will be. I started with a simple meander and if you want to get good at it, try quilting an entire quilt with it. by the end of the quilt you should feel more comfortable with the pattern (charity quilts are great for this). When I decided to learn pebbling, I pebbled an entire large baby quilt. It took hours upon hours and hundreds of yards of thread, but at the end I could pebble pretty well :) You should try out a bunch of different patterns and you will find some are easier than others for you. I really can't do swirls well, but I have a wonderful longarm quilting friend who thinks swirls are the easiest thing but has trouble meandering. Good luck :)

  2. FMQ: Practice makes perfect. Try, try , try and try again. Your pocket work around cracks me up, a girl after my heart.

  3. Oh my gosh, your comment about the freezer made me laugh out loud -- I am the same exact way. Frozen and forgotten around here! Thanks for the kind words about the tutorial! I am happy to see it getting some use! As for the FMQ, I have no tips since I've yet to jump in and try it myself -- maybe 2015 will be the year!

  4. These little projects are the perfect way to start FMQ! I love little tissue holders. My daughter wanted something to keep my toddler granddaughter entertained during church (she hated the nursery), so I made one and filled it with vintage hankies. It did the trick, she loved pulling them out and putting them back in. your solution to pockets is hilarious--and something I seriously need to try.

  5. I agree - practice practice practice! Try drawing beforehand, then practice on the machine. That always helps me when I try new designs. I have four tools that really help me (though you don't *need* them to FMQ): an extension table, Machinger's quilting gloves, supreme slider, and a knee lift.

  6. I borrowed a few books from the library, some that I really liked and seemed do-able were Natalie Bronner's beginner FMQ, Doodle Quilting and Angela Walters Free Motion Quilting. I found Leah Day's videos super helpful too - - there are usually videos when you click on the design. Good luck, its really fun once you get the hang of it! I agree with Jessica that machinger's quilting gloves can be helpful especially for larger projects.


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