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Queen of Last-Minute

October 02, 2011

Abandoned book "Cold Flat Junction" by Martha Grimes ♦◊◊◊◊

So, BossLady's birthday was on Sept. 11 (a bit of a bummer sometimes). I decided I was going to make her a Sparkly Chicken. I've had the pattern for quite a while; it's from the Birds of a Feather book by Brenda Kirby & Debra Hassig. I started collecting sparkly fabrics, including begging some off my friend Peggy, and a week before her birthday began by fusing super light interfacing to the stretchy fabrics (which was most of them) so I could cut out all the pieces.

I had all day Monday and Tuesday to work on the chicken. I'm surprised you didn't notice a bit of a shift in the space/time continuum when I was actually working on something before the last minute.

But then.

On Monday before noon I got a call from Marilee to do my Mighty Mouse impression (here I come, to save the daaaaaay!) - the shop was having a killer sale and the volume was more than BossLady and Pam could handle. Of course I swooped in and lent a hand - giving them each the opportunity to breathe a bit. I was happy that I could help and it was fun. But that chicken wasn't sewing itself while I was gone, yanno?

But then it occurred to me: Marilee's birthday was on Friday before BossLady's birthday and I wanted to make something for her.

Drop the chicken, begin work on sewing machine mat. (That's a quilted mat that you put under your machine so it's quieter. And prettier. And a place to put pins and stuff...)

Sewing Mat FrontI used some of my "love-it-don't-want-to-cut-it" fabrics. I had pulled these out of the closet and thought, "I love this fabric, but I want to use it for something really special." Then I thought, "Hey! What's more special than making a gift for my friend?" So I narrowly averted hoarding behaviour and boldly cut into the 'special' fabrics.

The little roundy things dangling from the front of the pocket(s)? Fused and fancy-thread painted. Because Marilee likes artsy-fartsy (and I was on a deadline!). Oh. Another thing about the roundy things? There's hook and loop tape on the back of them so they can flip up into the pocket and adhere to the mat to hold the pocket shut. It won't keep little things from falling out, but for some reason I thought I ought to provide the ability to 'close' the pocket a bit.

Sewing Mat BackI found a font I liked, blew it up and used it for the pattern to quilt Marilee's name on the back (I can explain how, if anyone's interested). Yes, it's reversed on the front, but the fabric's so busy - and the machine sits on it - so it's not a noticeable feature. Then I did really simple straight-line walking foot quilting from the back, using the stripes as my guide.

I actually managed to get the mat finished, kinda wrapped (a shoebox with a ribbon) and presented to the birthday girl on her birthday. I think. It was last month, so maybe I was a day or two late but my memory has changed the actual event to a more flattering version.

Those horizontal lines you can see on the back? Those are straight pins. I forgot to take a picture of the mat before I gave it away (surprise!), so had to get an action shot of it after Marilee had started using it!

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