Kristine ID Wallet, Quilts, & Cross Stitch

Yesterday I finished up the Kristine ID Wallet (pattern by Uniquely Michelle).  I made mine with a thin, soft denim and quilting cottons.  The pattern is easy to sew.  I think the hardest part was turning the wallet right side out--I managed to make some marks in my ID window vinyl during turning.  :(  The only other part I thought was hard was getting the key ring into the tab at the end.  You may notice in my pictures that my key ring (recycled from something else) made a grease mark on my tab.  Ugh.  It should come off with a little Dawn, but still, UGH!  

There are a few things I'd do differently next time.  First, I would find a flatter magnetic clasp. This one, purchased at JoAnn, was too thick in my opinion.  Second, I would try harder to place the snap according to the pattern.  I moved mine down a bit because I was having a hard time getting my chunky little hands in there enough to move it higher.  Third, I'd consider putting a D-ring and hook on the tab instead of the key ring.  The pattern is written to have a lanyard hook onto the key ring, but I'm unlikely to ever use a lanyard, and that key ring was hard for me (chunky little hands with stubby fingers).  Other than that, there are always things you do to make the pattern your own, but it works well as written.

I finished quilting the S'mores Snowman quilt.  I learned quite a bit on this one.  First off, the pantograph I chose was just a little too large for my machine throat, so I could only sew one pass of the pattern at a time instead of two.  So I had to think about how to advance the pattern in a little different way.  Secondly, this quilt was pretty wavy.  I got down to the last 14 inches and realized there would be a huge tuck or the quilt would be extremely out of square.  You Tube to the rescue--I found a few videos (one by Kelly Kline, and sadly, I can't find the other video to credit) showing how to use starch and your iron to reduce waves while your quilt is on the frame. It took me a bit longer than the demo videos, but I did it and it reduced enough bulk to finish off the quilt.  I still need to sew down the binding and bury all the threads before the final reveal.
I'm planning to quilt this Valentine's Day quilt next.  It is far more wavy than the S'mores was, so this should be interesting.  I was going to try to piece a backing out of the leftovers, but decided against it since it would be so many seams.  I'm going to pick up some Kona Snow at JoAnn's this morning instead.  I will have a ton of leftovers from piecing, so I'm considering making some charity quilts with them.

We're close to drywall in the basement, and once that starts, I will likely be without access to the longarm until we're done painting.  I'm trying to get as much done as possible until that point.

I'm making good progress on the cross stitch horse, especially considering how little time I devote to it.  
In other news, it was long overdue, but we taught both kids to ride bikes over the weekend.  A crow keeps trying to eat our bird suet.  A Baltimore oriole made a brief visit to the suet as well, but just as I was about to take the perfect picture, he flew away.  At least one hummingbird has returned.  We survived the monsoon (three straight days of nonstop rain, no storms) we had last week and surprisingly there was no flooding.  The wheelbarrow had about 6" of standing water in it.

I really want to go to MQX Midwest this fall.  I've received the green light, but am feeling guilty about the amount of money.  Registration for classes starts Monday, so I'll need to decide soon. Until next week, happy sewing!

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