Monday, March 23, 2015

Positive Reinforcement for the Quilting-Averse

I have a pile of WIPs—all quilt tops—that I must work through. It’s really an issue of my sanity. I cannot start another big quilt project until I’ve made a dent in that pile.

So I’ve established a system: I work on a quilt, I make a bag, I work on a quilt, I make a bag. It’s like when you reward your dog with a treat for sitting/staying/rolling over. (In that scenario, I am a dog, and my quilt is made of things like corn and chicken byproducts.) This may sound ridiculous, but it’s working!

I don’t have a finished quilt to share—yet. I do, however, have a bag. It’s a full-size Miranda Bag from Lazy Girl Designs. It resembles the Mini Miranda Bags I’ve made in the past (see here and here); it’s just bigger.

This is a gift for a new friend who’s been sick. She may know that I sew, I can’t remember. Getting random handmade goods is a hazard of being friends with me, though, as she’ll soon discover.

I used two of the generous one-yard cuts my sister got me for Christmas. My sister puts such thought into presents for me—perhaps more than anyone else I know—and the idea that she entered a quilt shop for me is to her credit. (She may need positive reinforcement for the crafting-averse.) I paired the green print from Bonnie and Camille’s April Showers line with the floral from Lily Ashbury’s High Street line for the exterior. The interior and faux binding use Kona Steel.

My favorite aspect of this project is the handles. I used plastic handles with my Mini Mirandas, but this bigger version is more tote-like, less purse-like, so I made fabric handles, using the construction details from Noodlehead’s Cargo Duffle (which, by the way, will be my next bag project after I make headway on those quilt tops). I am over the moon for these handles. They will definitely appear on other bags I make.

Alas, my bag tangent is over. It’s time to get back to quilting. But first, a public service announcement: I am also active on Instagram (@frombolttobeauty), and all the cool kids follow From Bolt to Beauty over there, too. It’s where I highlight WIPs, fabric purchases, fabric-y gifts I’ve received—noteworthy stuff that doesn’t merit a full blog post.

Sometimes, dear reader, I have IG-only giveaways, like the one I held back in February. Jo, over at Riddle and Whimsy, won this sweet fat-quarter bundle of Amy Butler’s Violette line. I’m closing in on 300 IG followers and getting the itch to hold another giveaway. Consider yourself informed.

Hmmm ... do you have a vote for what my next giveaway should be? A pattern? Fabric? Thread? A handmade item? I suspect you like winning things just as much as I like giving them away!

Linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday, Let’s Bee Social, Needle and Thread Thursday, TGIFF, and Finish It Up Friday ...

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  1. That's a great plan, it makes you feel like progress is happening :) I can get behind that.

  2. Your Miranda bag is beautiful!! I can totally relate to your reward system and the "weight " of your UFO's upon you. I also began sewing making bags and purses. Finally, I have been making some quilts (testing patterns ), and found a pile of flimsy tops laying in my sewing room. I am going to try your system! Usually I reward myself to "sewing time" after doing the housework.

  3. I already follow you on Instagram, I hope that makes me a cool kid (I sure was not cool when I was a kid). Your bag is awesome too, the size looks great.

  4. Great way to get some finishes in while pushing yourself on bigger projects - congrats to Jo, nice prize!

  5. Yes, I am a believer of the reward system too. I use it to accomplish things like doing the dishes or other housework. Your new tote is a beauty and sure to perk up your sick friend. What a lovely gift! Glad to be one of the cool kids over on IG. It's a pleasure to follow you in real time!

  6. I should adopt this plan - make a quilt then make a bag.... I wouldn't get so bogged down that way!! And giveaway - something handmade is always lovely!!

  7. What a sweet bag with such lovely details and great finishing on it! I started a bag distraction last week but had to stop cause I got in too deep when I needed to be working on other things. Alos, how was I not following you on Instagram already?

  8. You crack me up ... I am bring the super tote pattern to retreat so you can help me bag it up! Then I will stand over you blowing a whistle making you do FMQ sprints. Sound good? Great :)

  9. I also find doing a small project after a quilt helps me "keep going" Love this bag :)

  10. I have so enjoyed a visit to your blog via Amanda Jean, your photos are great. You could try adding chocolate, as in quilt, bag chocolate, quilt, bag chocolate.... works for me!

  11. I really like your diamond quilting and the gray piping, bag looks so pretty. I like making a small project between quilts also.

  12. Oh that's such a pretty bag - I hope it makes your friend feel a little better and definitely loved :)


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