Baby Squares Squared Quilt

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What do you do on one of the hottest days of the year? Pull out the flannel, of course!! Guess I’m not a seasonal quilter! But hey, it’s a completed quilt and I don’t care what season it is, it’s PARTY TIME!! It looks like an innocent little quilt that doesn’t look like a lot of work, does it? And, truly, it’s not. It’s a pattern made for a beginner and one “should” be able to whip this quilt up pretty quickly when one quilts on a fairly regularly basis. Well, this is where the problem begins…

“Oh, look over there…shiny!! That project looks like so much more fun. Oh, and look, a bag, yes! I definitely need one of those. Oh, look at that pattern. I HAVE TO HAVE that one NOW!”

Yes, this is the story of my sewing life. So, yes, this project should have taken waaaay less time than it did. I’ll be honest, it took YEARS. Yes, years. I’m not proud of that fact. I even took it on a quilt retreat thinking it would give me a jump start, but I’ll be honest, it got so boring to me that I had to change to another project for a time. Now, I know some of you can relate! How long is the longest it has taken you to complete a project? Or, do you stick with one project and one project only until it’s done? Bless your heart if your one of THOSE!! I have diagnosed myself with SADD (Sewing Attention Deficit Disorder). I’m sure it’s in the diagnostic manual somewhere, probably with my photo next to it!! As far as I’ve researched, there is no cure; however, there are numerous support groups particularly amongst quilters!!

On to the nitty gritty details on the quilt. The pattern is Baby Squares Squared by Aardvark Quilts. It came as a kit by SewBatik. You can purchase it at http://www.sewbatik.com/detail.aspx?ID=915.  I made a twin size which is 64″ x 80″.

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It’s made in flannel batiks. I haven’t seen a plethora of them, but I LOVED working with them, and I love the weight of them. The only thing I didn’t like was that they show lint like crazy (especially the dark colors). But, since I love dark colors and bright colors, I’ll deal with the downfalls.

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Do you see lint in the photos? Just ignore that or consider it a free “add-on”! My cats consider it their duty to pre-test all quilts to ensure only the best quality. Just another service they offer!

I hired a long-arm quilter, Diane Shotl, to quilt it for me. She did an amazing job, as usual. If interested, you can check out her website at http://www.dianequilter.com/home.php. She used a variegated thread and swirl pattern throughout. I think it works perfectly for this pattern.

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Here’s a look at the back where you can see the variegated thread stand out better.

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It’s a great pattern for a beginner and it’s great for working with flannel or other textured fabrics as there isn’t a lot of bulk in the pattern. Also, if you need a fast quilt and don’t have sewing span attention issues, this is one that you can put the pedal to the metal and get that sewing machine smokin’!

Pattern Review: Dot Dot Dash Bag by Sara @ Sew Sweetness

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I LOVE bags!! And, I really enjoy making bags. I mean, what sewer doesn’t like things she can use every day, are practical and can be tailor-made to fit her picky individual tastes?! So, when I got the opportunity to do a pattern review for what I consider one of the bag queens of the sewing world, Sara from SewSweetness.com, I jumped at the chance.

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I chose the Dot Dot Dash Bag. Oh, the joy of pockets!! I LOVE a LOT of pockets and this one fit the bill perfectly–6 of them! Be still my heart!! And, for good measure, I added 3 more in the inside as I’m an overachiever–ha! As I said, one can always customize bags for one’s individual fetishes tastes.

The pattern was labeled as ‘Advanced’ and I wouldn’t start with this one if this was one’s first bag as it’s a little intense, but Sara gives excellent, clear directions and TONS of pictures. I LOVE pictures in directions as I’m a visual learner and to have a picture is so helpful. I’ve sewn bags from other designers who don’t have many pictures and I still have the emotional scars!! I kid, I kid…

Ok, let’s look at the bag…6 zippers on the outside. Now, if zippers make you break out into a cold sweat, never fear, they really aren’t that bad. Sara does a stellar job of holding your hand throughout the process of installation. I don’t know if you can see the lower 2 curvy zippers on the bottom of the bag which made me twitch a bit when I went to sew them (and for the record, I have a pretty friendly relationship with zippers thus far), but other than putting the one on upside down the first time, they really aren’t that bad.

I used Annie’s Soft & Stable for a stabilizer as recommended on the pattern. This is the first time I’ve ever used this product and I really like it. It’s a sew-in stabilizer that’s a little thick, so it doesn’t let the bag droop–LOVE that! I got mine at the local quilt store, though I asked about 3 stores before I found it. You can also order it online through http://www.byannie.com/shop/category/supplies-and-tools/byannies-soft-and-stable/.

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As mentioned earlier, I did change the interior of the bag in that I added a zip pocket on one side and 2 pockets on the other side. I’m particular on how my bags are loaded and put certain things in specific pockets so I can find them. So, I consider interior pockets a ‘must’ for me on any bag.
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The only somewhat challenging part of the bag to me was the last step and Sara duly warned me ahead of time!! Sewing that second to last seam to connect the top is a doozey! It’s a bit thick, so lovingly pat your sewing machine and give it encouraging remarks throughout that seam and don’t be breaking any speed limits on the gas pedal and you’ll be just fine!! Oh yeah, and that denim needle in your sewing machine works wonders too as well as a walking foot if you have one!

Would I make this pattern again? Yes! It was a fun pattern. One of those that you smile when you think of the experience of making it. If you’d like to purchase the pattern, here’s the link http://www.sewsweetnesspatterns.com/. Check out the rest of Sara’s patterns while you’re there also as she has some for all skill levels.

Thank-you Sara for giving me the opportunity to make this and share my review!

*I was given the pattern to test, but not otherwise compensated in any way. The opinions are 100% my own.*