UFOs on retreat

In August, my sewing group went on a three-day retreat, and I finished three UFOs. Hurrah!

The rainbow rose baby quilt was backed with blue, quilted with random wavy lines and bound with purple. Yes, I chose purple! I have already given it away to a four-day-old young man named Timothy, who allowed me to give him lots of cuddles and refrained from spitting up on me. I had barely sewn the last stitch on the binding when I gave it to tiny Tim, so there are no photos of it finished.

Rianbow rose quilt-along baby quilt

Finished, it looks about the same but with purple binding. You will have to use your imagination.

The monkey business quilt was quilted with free-motion leaves and loops (to look like vines) and bound in green. The leaves and vines were obviously chosen because monkeys live in jungles, right?

Monkey Business baby quilt made using the Fat Quarter Shop's free mini quilt pattern

One of these days I need to find myself a reliable quilt holder. The lawn will not always be dry.

I also finished binding my Stash Bee quilt on retreat. Finally. I will write more about that when I take some photos. It looks good, but getting it finished has been a saga and a half.

I also started and finished one new project. On our retreats, our group likes to choose a small project that we all try. Last year, we made Mondo bags. This year, we sewed vinyl pouches, guided by Sharon and following the instructions on So Sew Easy. For many, it was the first time sewing with vinyl. For a few, it might be the last! I think everyone’s pouches were successful, and we made them in every size and shape. Many people made two or more. Sadly, the pouches’ clear nature means that they do not photograph well. You will just have to imagine a cluster of twenty or more fabulously colourful zippers sewn on vinyl pouches.

A clear vinyl pouch with colourful fabric accents

I used a bright pink zipper and some leftover cotton drill scraps from my Lego bags.

On retreat, I had an epiphany: the trick to getting little square zipper tabs neat is to use a glue stick with reckless abandon before sewing. Do you find those little zipper tabs frustratingly fiddly and do you have any tips (other than glue) for finishing them neatly?

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15 thoughts on “UFOs on retreat

  1. You’ve been busy to fabulous effect! Re zipper tabs: I never fold fabric around them because of the frustration. Instead, I make a strip, turn down the long sides and stitch down, then stitch the short ends with right sides facing, to form a tube exactly the right width to go over the end of the zipper as snugly as possible. Sometimes it’s snug enough to require a bit of help with stitch ripper or tweezers. Once it’s over the end of the zipper, with the seam at the back, I press it flat and then topstitch next to the original stitching line. Job done.

  2. Timothy is a lucky little fellow, that’s a really sweet quilt. Sounds like your retreat was very productive. Thanks for the tab tip, I will try it next time. I end up with a zillion pins holding it all just so, and it never really works right.

  3. Zipper tabs: I press the seams allowance at what will be the opening inside, then I open, pin in the fold (to make sure they meet) and sew it to fit the width of the zipper. Turn right side out, get the fold to lie neatly inside the little pouch, I seriously Zipper end and sew. Might have one pin perpendicular to the seam.

    • I usually use this method too. Even so, I often find hand sewing it to the end of the zipper easier than wrangling it under the machine. Next time, I will try this method but use glue instead of pins when attaching it to the zipper.

  4. Timothy is a lucky little boy, and it sounds like even at 4 days old he knew as much and was very grateful for the lovely quilt you made him. 🙂 The monkey quilt finished so well, and I definitely understood the leaf and vine quilting choice. I am eager to see your Stash Bee finish – congratulations for completing it. And vinyl. It can be so tricky to sew and photograph. I have no hints on zippers (I avoid them!).

  5. Hi Carla

    Love reading your posts.

    I still make peg bag, just make basic ones. About to give a dog patterned one to a dog lover friend.

    Hope you are well

    Kate

  6. So many great finishes! Baby Tim is a lucky boy indeed for getting that beautiful quilt. I can’t imagine even trying to sew with vinyl but your bag is adorable, especially with the bright fabric colors playing off the happy spools of Aurifil thread.

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