Saturday, July 24, 2010

Las Vegas Workshop – Installment 2

I’m way behind on my Blogging but will really try to get caught up over the next week.  I’ve had company, caught a cold from my husband, John and have been to the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach, CA.  I’ve been busy but I really need to get caught up,

So back to my recap of the Las Vegas Workshop.  Back on this Blog post I told you about my drive to Las Vegas and what Melinda and I did on the Sunday before the start of the workshop.   On Monday we started right off on our first project.  An old friend Jan Krueger of Hearthside Quilters Nook, taught “Once in a Blue Moon”.

Here are just some of the quilts either made or in process.

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The bottom picture on the left are my blocks and the blocks on the right are Melinda’s. 

I worked on mine of and on all week, in between other projects. 

The next installment will show pictures from the class I taught on Tuesday, Magnolia Lane.  I hope you come back so that you can see all the great tops that were made.

Until then……



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bags – Small and Fun

I thought I’d show you some fun little bags that I’ve made over the last few days.  I’m playing with the size and various materials.  What do you think?

Snappy Bags

These are snappy bags and are made with metal measuring tape at the top so that they snap closed. 

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This one is made with fabric.  I cut the metal tape a little too long, you can see it pushing each end out.  Here’s a peek at the inside.   I quilted it very simply, just enough to hold all the layers together.

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Here’s one that was made to be a little coin purse.  But I don’t think it closes tight enough at the top to hold my change.  Cute polka dot lining.  Both the outside and inside are oil cloth.  I love it but it makes it difficult to turn it inside out.

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This one is just about the right size to hold money, checks or receipts.  Black and white polka dots, can’t go wrong with that. 

And best of all, a new little cell phone/camera bag and it was a gift!  It came to me all the way from Australia from my friend Naomi.

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I love the color and it’s the perfect size for my camera.  Here’s a peek inside.  Great job Naomi.  I love it!

Naomi, I’d swear I saved the envelope it came it, but I can’t find it.  Would you please email me your address, I have a little thank you I’d like to send off to you.



Monday, July 19, 2010

Design Wall Monday – 7/19/10

This is one of the projects that I worked on last week (more about it in an upcoming post).  I need to make a total of 18 blocks with fruits or vegetables in the center and 6 blocks made with only black. 

Design Wall 71910 

This is going to be a long term project so you will no doubt see it come and go from my design wall over the next few months.

To see what others are up to on “Design Wall Monday”, head on over to Judy’s Patchwork Times Blog.



Saturday, July 17, 2010

Las Vegas Workshop – Installment 1

As mentioned before I just got back from spending the week in Las Vegas with a group of 37 quilters.  My sister, Melinda and I had a wonderful time, sewing to our hearts content.   Our trip started last Saturday leaving from my home in Southern California and driving to Las Vegas.  This is typically a 4 hour drive but we managed to hit traffic, make a few pit stops so that the trip took us about 5 1/2 hours. 

One of our regular stops  is in Baker, California in the middle of the Mojave desert.  There is a fast food place called “The Mad Greek” and they have the best shakes and malts ever.  If you’ve never been to the Mojave desert in July, I can sum it up in one word “HOT”.


Keep in mind it was probably about 5:00 pm when this picture was taken.   Back on the road we finally pulled in to our hotel  around 7:00 pm, had a bite to eat and hit the sack.  I was tuckered out. 

The workshop didn’t start until Monday so we had all day Sunday to goof off.  After having a really great brunch, Melinda and I decided to treat ourselves to pedicures.  We were both in a dotty mood so we both got polka dots painted on our toes.

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Here’s a lovely picture of my left foot (really I have a right foot but it was shy that day).

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My sister is very stylish, her toes match her flip flops. 

We also managed to visit two quilt shops and Wal-Mart  before heading back to the hotel for a drink and appetizer for dinner, we needed to rest up for the next morning when the sewing would begin. 

Next up, Day 1 of the workshop, a log cabin called Circle of Friends.  I’ll post pictures tomorrow. 



I’m Back!

I can’t believe it’s been 10 days since I last posted.  I’ve been in Las Vegas at a Workshop for the last week and somehow or another I managed to leave my laptop home, all packed up and sitting on the sofa. 

Well, I’m home now and have lots to share and will start posting pictures later today. 

In the mean time, I’ve missed all of you.



Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fusible Velcro – Does it Stick?

In the past many of us have been frustrated with fusible Velcro that doesn’t stick.  I don’t know what changed but now there is a product that works for me.

IMG_1793It’s called Fabric Fusion and it’s available at JoAnn’s and I’m sure many other places.  One of my packages looks a little different but I believe it’s the same thing and it came from Tall Mouse, which is a local to me craft/fabric store. 

I received the following email so although I answered  Gayla’s email I thought I’d share my thoughts with you. 

Hi Robin,
I was reading your blog just now and you mentioned that you use the fusible Velcro. I am wondering if I am doing something wrong, because every single time I have used it it has come unstuck during use, and I end up hand stitching it back in place. This would be embarrassing on a gift.  We want our handmade gifts to function properly as well as look beautiful!
Do you use dry heat or steam to fuse the Velcro?  Do you fuse it through fabric and batting?  The idea of fusible Velcro is great, I just wish I could get it to work properly.
By the way, my quilt group took a "field trip" to M&L today, and my secret sister from '09 was using her Letty's Bag that I made for her.  She loves it, and I had forgotten how pretty it is!  I think it is about time I made one for myself.
Any help you could give me regarding the fusible Velcro would be greatly appreciated!

Here’s my response. 

Hi Gayla,
Thanks for reading my Blog.  I use a lot of heat and steam and iron and iron and iron until the Velcro is very secure.  I am ironing  through fabric and batting so I take my time.  Once I've fused through the fabric and batting I turn it over and put an old fabric softener sheet over the Velcro (or you could use a scrap of fabric as a pressing cloth) and iron it some more.  Don't mess with it until it has completely cooled. 
Thanks for the great question, I think I'll do a Blog entry about Velcro.

Any one else want to share your experience?



Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Quilted Laptop Computer Sleeve Tutorial


So you decided to make a laptop computer sleeve. It’s really pretty easy with just a little bit of math involved. It seems that each and every laptop is a slightly different size. In order to have a snug (not tight) fit we’ll start by measuring “your” laptop.



Width (side to side)

______” (all the way around) divided by 2 = ______” + 4” = _________” width of fabric needed. (The 4” is to allow 2” on each side to make it easier to get a snug fit. I’ll show you later what I mean.)

Depth (front to back)

______” (all the way around) + 8” (flap) = _________” length of fabric needed.

My example:

Width: 33” divided by 2 = 16.5” + 4” = 20.5” width of fabric needed

Depth: 23” + 8” = 31” length of fabric needed.

So in my case, I needed my fabric to be at least 20.5” x 31” but in reality I used charm squares so I started out a little bigger, approximately 23” x 33”.


Once you’ve got you fabric (pieced or solid) you need to add batting and a lining fabric and then quilt it. I chose to do a simple wavy cross hatch, simple but effective. Do what works for you.


You will also need fabric for binding. I used 2 – 2 ½” strips cut across the width of fabric.

Finally we’re ready to make your laptop sleeve.

The bottom edge of your fabric (the part that will be folded up to the top edge) needs to be finished.

Using the binding you made earlier, fold it in half length wise and attach it straight across the end. Fold it over the seam and sew it in place so that you have a nice finish.

Lay your quilted fabric out on a flat surface, lining side up.


Now fold the bottom up so that it just reaches the top edge of the laptop.


Pinch each side and pin so that you have a snug fit.

First the right:



Then the left:



After removing the laptop, I used a ruler and drew a line where the pins were and then sewed a seam on top of the line, on each side.


Trim each side, leaving a ¼” seam.


Next was probably the hardest part for me, drawing and then cutting the curve for the flap. I’m not a lot of help here; you’ll need to find a very large bowl or something round to draw your line. As Tim Gunn would say, “Make it Work”, even if you have to change the shape of the flap.


Once you get your line drawn (no matter what the shape) sew a seam right on top of the line. Then trim outside the line leaving a ¼” seam.


Now it’s time to sew your binding on. Because my curve is very gently I didn’t find it necessary to use bias binging. My binding was cut across the width of fabric, folded in half. Sew the folded binding (using a ¼” seam up one side around the curve and down the other side. I folded each end in so that I’d have a nicely finished start and stop.



Finish the binding by folding it over the seam and hand sewing it in place.



Last but not least, add some Velcro. I use the iron on Velcro that has been greatly improved in the last few years. It works really well for me.


That’s it, you’re finished and it’s now time to slide your laptop inside.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my tutorial, if you have any questions, please email me at I’d love for you to send me pictures of your Laptop Sleeve.



For a printable PDF you can go to my website and click on tutorials

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