Sunday, February 7, 2016

Shopping Heaven in a Small Town

It’s been a while since I’ve ventured north of the cities in the winter.  It’s the beginning of a Minnesota February and we get an invite to travel 3 hours north to Alexandria, MN.  My husband, Dale, and I accepted the invite, packed the car with ice fishing equipment, sewing paraphernalia and our dog, Tula.  Not for a week mind you, we were going for just 2 days!  An hour and a half later we stopped at Gruber’s Quilt Shop in Waite Park, MN for needed supplies.    What a surprise to find hour weekend hosts, Deb & Bob there too.  Of course she needed supplies too!  We switched cars and sent the guys on ahead to the cabin while we had fun shopping.  My friend Deb is working on her Millefiori style quilt and I am working on a repro 30s quilt.  We were successful shoppers purchasing wonderful Kaffes, batiks and 30s repros!!!  I even found some 1800 repro purples for another project.

This is how the country greets its guest...This is down the dirt road from the cabin.

The next day - more shopping.  I don’t know when the actual quilting was to take place but the shopping was certainly fun.  We stopped at a chain fabric store which will remain nameless and bought quilting books.  Then off to Community Vacuum & Sewing Center Quilt Shop.  I know it’s a long name.  This shop is like the old mercantile for sewers offering sewing machines, longram style machine and even vacuums to clean up after a long day of sewing.  But the best part is the wonderful quilt shop in the back.  It’s a hidden gem!  It was a busy place on a Saturday with very short hours.  The staff of one, Jennifer was terrific!                                                                                               

Next stop downtown Alexandria to visit Dawn’s Quilt Shop.  A shop so full of fabric and notions it’s hard to stay focused on only one project.  So much to see and buy.

Downtown Alexandria offers the best in shopping.  The antique stores are marvelous too with wonderful antique quilts.

Now home to do a little sewing.  But to our surprise the guys were home and wanted us to go out to the ice house.  So we went.  Neither Deb or I had ever gone out on the ice to do anything but ice skate.  We drove out in something called a Tracker.  Warm, but scary!  We could see cracks in the ice but we were assured it was safe.  TRUST ME coming from a guy has always made me leery!
Comfy, with a quilt on my lap, to the ice house we drove.  The guys were so happy we came out.  They wanted us to fish.  I think it a little like cheating when you have a camera under the ice and you are looking for the fish.  Not old school enough for me.  But what did I know? 
You've heard of barn quilts, right?  We thought we'd start a new fade with Ice House Quilts?  Do you think it might catch on???

Hope you enjoy the pics of my weekend in Alexandria, MN. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Cabin Crew...April 2013

I am a lucky person; belonging to Scrapbaggers' quilt group is a privilege and a pleasure. We are 9 women strong and have monthly meetings.  Everyone tries to attend.  I hate to miss a meeting.  Last weekend 7 of us got together at Debbie's cabin and had a sew-a-thon.  Most of us were up early (not me) and stayed up late sewing or I should say creating.

It's a laugh filled time at the cabin in northern Minnesota.  Everyone Sews, tells stories, eats great food and on Saturday night we have movie time.  I'll have to remember to bring popcorn next time.  The movie is always a 'chick flick'...this time we watched Wedding Date.  Love that movie.

Here are a few pics from the weekend.  I decided not to include my Chevy Tahoe being towed away at the end of the weekend...depressing way to end such a wonderful time.  It won't start.  A few hundred dollars and a few new parts and I was homeward bound.

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Happy quilting,

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easy - Peasy Vinyl Zipper Bag

Easy – Peasy Vinyl Zipper Bag

‘Sew’ easy you will want to make one for all your friends!

Easy – Peasy is a term coined in the 1970s by a little girl in a British TV commercial.  In the commercial dishes were being washed by her mom using Lemon Squeezy detergent.  When the dirty dishes were clean the little girl said to her mom… “Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy” and hence a new phrase was invented.
2 Outer Cover Designs (paper or fabric)
Fabric for Lining and Zipper Stoppers
2 Pieces Fusible Vinyl (Available at Glad Creations 612-724-1079)
1 Zipper

Extra Tools
Sewing Machine
Rotary Tools
Pinking Shears
Curved Template
Permanent Marker
Zipper Foot                                            

To Begin:

1½” x 3” rectangle for zipper stoppers
2 - 8½ x 5 ½” fabric for lining (Cut the 8½” measurement on the straight of grain)
9” x 12” fusible vinyl

***FYI…You can make this bag as big as you want.  The zipper just will need to be trimmed 1” smaller than the width of your lining fabric.

Fold the 1½” x 3” rectangle in half and press right sides together.  Fold sides in toward center and press.  Fold in half and press well.  Cut in half.

Tape Zipper to your cutting board.  Move zipper down about 2”.   Place tape approx 1½” down from end.  With rotary cutter cut a straight edge just below the zipper stoppers.

 Insert cut zipper end into fabric zipper stopper fabric.  Pin.

 Sew catching both front and back of fabric zipper stopper fabric.

Trim zipper 1” shorter than width of lining material (7½”)  Repeat - Insert cut zipper end into fabric zipper stopper fabric.  Pin.

Vinyl:  Iron front cover material (Remember the Ladies picture) to fusible vinyl following the manufacture instructions.

Cover design under protective vinyl paper
Fusible vinyl

Once vinyl is stuck to front, flip, and iron top side.  Use protective  vinyl paper!
Trim off excess vinyl.

Mark a curve on the front bottom corners with a permanent marker. Use a template or drinking glass or measuring cup.

Sew front section to zipper:  
Place front facing up.  Center and place zipper pull side down.  Pin to front with very small pin ‘bites’.  The zipper pull should be on the right.  Place lining face down.  Use a few more pins taking very small pin ‘bites’. 

Fit your machine with a zipper foot and sew zipper in place.  Be careful of the zipper pull.  Once your foot gets close it will need to be moved.  With your needle in the down position, reach between the layers and move the zipper out of the way.

Press front and lining wrong sides together perfectly flat with zipper exposed.  
Top stitch next to seam.

Sew back section to zipper:  Place back facing up.  Place zipper/front section facing down.  Pin together with very small pin ‘bites’.  Place lining face down.  Use a few more pins taking very small pin ‘bites’. Sew as before moving the zipper when necessary.  Make sure front and back are even.

Press front and lining wrong sides together. Top stitch near zipper.

Trim off any lining fabric that might peek out.

Bring linings together and pin front and back together (lining in the middle) taking small pin ‘bite’.  Line up top edges near zipper.  Pin bottom corners using a hefty pin ‘bite’.   

Start stitching about a quarter inch down from top edge them back stitch to top edge.  Continue stitching around edges and along curved drawn line at bottom corners.  Back stitch at other top edge as well.

Use pinking shears to cut around edge.  Voila - Done!!!


A few other ideas for bags…vintage cpatterns…pretty wrapping paper...copy a picture of your favorite quilt or family photo...and …of course your favorite fabric.