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  • Thursday, October 10, 2019




    Hello everyone! It is time for Quarter 4 of the Finish-A-Long (FAL)!

    As you can see, a new quarter of the Finish-A-Long is starting today.  If you missed participating earlier in the year, you can join us now for a brand new start. Those of you who did join us for any of the first three quarters, thank you and I do hope you finished some things and plan to continue on with us for Q4.

    So let's start!
    You can now link up your list of projects that you want to finish in Quarter 4 of 2019. We are hoping that the FAL community will inspire you to work on your unfinished projects this quarter, and to get them finished before the end of the year!

    Our 2019 Finish-A-Long Hosts


    The 2019 FAL is hosted by a great community of bloggers. This year our hosts are:


    For those of you who are new to the FAL, here is an explanation: The Finish-A-Long is a community aiming to motivate and encourage each other to complete those unfinished projects that are hanging around, sometimes for far too long. At the start of the quarter you post and link up a list of projects you hope to finish in the next three months. Then, at the end of the quarter, you link up each successful finish from your original list.

    Each linked up finish is an entry into the draw for wonderful prizes from our sponsors. There is no penalty for not finishing a listed project, so feel free to make your list as long or as short as you wish. The 2019 Schedule and Rules for the FAL are on my permanent 2019 FAL page, let me know if you have any questions.

    Our 2019 Finish-A-Long Sponsors


    Here are the fantastic and generous sponsors for Q4 of the Finish-A-Long, you can see each of their prizes listed under their logo. Please think about visiting them and saying thank you for their their support of the FAL.


    Aurifil Logo
    Winner's Choice of 1 Large 12 Spool Collection
    Sew Sweetness Logo
    $80 Gift Certificate

    2019 Finish-A-Long Logo

    Fat Quarter Shop Logo
    $50 Gift Certificate
    Sew Me a Song Logo
    $25 Gift Certificate
    Happy Quilting Logo
    3 PDF Patterns

    2 PDF Patterns

    Blossom Hearts Quilts Logo
    2 PDF Patterns
    Make Modern Logo
    1 Six Month Subscription
    Bonjour Quils Logo
    2 PDF Patterns

    Hillstitches Logo
    $30 Fabric Voucher

    2019 Finish-A-Long Logo



    Make your Q4 List of Unfinished Projects


    So now it is time to sort out the projects/UFOs/WIPs that you want to finish over the next three months. Take a photo of each one and make your list. If you like you can use our Finish-A-Long Planner to list your projects and keep track of progress. It also has all link-up dates for the year, and the hashtags that we would use. Or use any method that works for you. Please ensure that you have at least STARTED your projects - pulled fabric with a pattern is considered a project started - and remember it is only a FINISHED project that will get you an entry toward the above listed prizes. So while we love to see your bee blocks, the "finish" is when they are a completed, usable project.

    Post Your Q4 List


    Post your list either on your blog, on Instagram, or on Flickr if you prefer. If posting on social media (Flickr, Instagram), it will be very helpful if you tag your list with #2019FALQ4yourname (where yourname is unique to you). Using the same hashtag over the quarter when sharing project progress or finishes helps the host to make the connection to your original list quickly and easily.
    IMPORTANT: Don't forget to link up your finishes at the end of the quarter! We will be posting a reminder on the blog and on Instagram, but do keep an eye out...

    Link-up Your Q4 List


    The 2019 Q4 link for your list of proposed finishes is now open below, on my blog and on each of the hosting blogs. You need only link your list once, on ONE host blog, and the link will show up on all the host blogs. If you are using Flickr or Instagram, post a mosaic of your projects and put your list in the description. Don't forget to include your unique hashtag.
    If you need a little help, Katy of The Littlest Thistle has a great tutorial on how to link up if you need it, and Marci has a post on how to link up from Instagram.

    Join the FAL Community


    We also ask that you become part of the FAL community. Please check out the links of others - visit and comment on their lists. We all need encouragement to get those finishes done, so please share some of your own too.

    If you want you can follow us on Facebook: Finish-A-Long and/or on Instagram: @finishalong, too. We'll post encouragement during the quarter and reminders when the finishes link up opens at the end of the quarter.

    When creating your list there is one thing to remember - No deductions for not completing something so - Aim High! Nothing to lose!! Well now, get that list together and get linked up.

    LET THE FUN BEGIN!


    Feel free to use and share the FAL button at the top and this one too:




    Remember: you only need to link up at ONE hosting blog and it will automatically show up on all hosting blogs.

    Best,

    Leanne


    Sunday, October 6, 2019




    Today I'm popping in for a quick reminder that the Quarter 3 link up for all your finishes closes on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 11 pm EST.  So you still have a few more days to finish that project or two and link them up to be eligible for prizes.  The link up can be found HERE or on any of the 2019 FAL hosts blogs.


    A few reminders for linking up:
    • Please only one finished project for each post that you link up, so that each finish can be an entry in the (random) prize draw. 
    • Please include a link to your original list in each post of your finishes (on Instagram the link is the unique tag #2019FALQ3yourname to be used in the Q3 list post, and in any Q3 finish post).
    • Please visit some of the other participants and leave a friendly comment, we all love to get those! 
    I also wanted to share with you that we just wrapped up "Tutorial Week" which has been part of the Finish-A-Long since it's inception.  The tutorials are varied, interesting, and usually helpful, so take some time to investigate and visit the blogs below!
    And whether you had a lot of finishes, or none at all this quarter, or you missed Finish-A-Long Q3 altogether, you can always join in for Quarter 4 which is taking off on October 10th, with the link up opening for your List of Proposed Finishes. We hope you will join us!

    Best,

    Leanne

    Wednesday, October 2, 2019

    A FAL Tutorial: Super quick produce grocery bags


    This is a tutorial to make bags for holding fruit and vegetables when shopping instead of taking yet another plastic bag. The tutorial takes longer to select the photos and write than it does to make the bag, and the second bag is even faster.

    I had several goals. I wanted my bags to be lightweight so as not to add much weight (and thus cost), washable, easy to see through, easy to make and inexpensive.


    I bought a bunch of this mesh fabric on sale. Depending on the number of bags you want, a yard or two is plenty but if you want to make some for family and friends and it is on sale, you can get more. You can also make these bags with fabric from your stash, in which case plan to keep the bag open until you finish at the grocery checkout. Ordinary quilting cotton will  not add much weight but if you are worried, weigh the fabric with your kitchen scale to be sure.

    CUT THE FABRIC

    Cut a strip of fabric into a rectangle so that when it is folded in half it is about the size of bag you want. I made a variety of sizes and plan to pay attention to what size I really need as I shop and then make more that size. You can to cut a piece 10" x 20" or 8" x 16". Once you make one you will have a better idea of how you like the size for the next one.


    MAKE THE CASING

    The casing will hold the cord or tie for the bag and provide a finished opening edge. You don't actually need to insert a cord or tie if you don't want, I will show you some options at the end. But either way, it is nice to finish the top so it does not fray. 

    This fabric is slippery and slightly stretchy. I used a zig zag stitch for all sewing and just the thread in my machine. First I folded over the edge of the top of the bag about 1" and stitched it down. Then I did the same at the other end of the top. I back stitched at the end.


    Then I folded over the top of the bag about 1" (so the two already stitched ends are at either end of this fold) and zig zag stitched across the bag. 


    In that photo below you can see the casing/top edge completed.



    STITCH THE SIDE AND BOTTOM OF THE BAG:

    Fold the top edge of the piece over on top of itself. Do NOT sew over the casing, start below it. Stitch down the side and across the bottom of the bag. I aimed for a seam allowance about the width of my presser foot, it does not matter how wide it is. The start has a bit of a jog because of that folded in bit of the edge just under the casing. Just curve it in a bit. This fabric is slippery, your edges don't have to be perfect, it is a produce bag.


    Below you can see the casing at the bottom of the photo, the stitched side at the left and the stitched bottom at the top. Turn it right side out and no one will see that the seams don't line up.


    ADD THE CORD

    It is entirely optional to insert the cord/tie into the casing. If you want to, cut your cord or tie to be about 1.5" longer on each end than the distance around the top of the bag. In the photo below you can see how I measured that.


    Attach a safety pin to the end of the cord. I used a knot to hold it. Then use the pin to inch it into the casing. If you have never done this before, I am guessing there must be a youtube video. Just push the pin into the casing, push the casing over the pin and then push the pin forward and repeat, inching it through the casing. The pin gives you a nice hard item to inch around the casing.


    Once you are out the other side remove the pin. I did not have a lot of extra cord at each end so be careful to keep both ends outside of the casing until you tie them, or you will have to fish the ends out.


    Tie the ends of the cord together and you are all done the bag! Make another.


    Once you close the bag, there is plenty of cord to tie when you are shopping.


    If you prefer to add a colourful fabric cord, cut a piece 1.25" wide and long enough to go around the bag and have at least 1.5" at each side of the bag. You can just cut a piece the length of fabric and use the resulting tie for two bags. If your chosen fabric is not long enough, sew two pieces of fabric together (they don't have to match).


    Fold the fabric in half, press. Open and fold each side to the press mark and press both sides down, Then fold together and press again, just like you would press a quilt binding.


    Sew down the folded fabric (four layers) to hold them together. I did not finish the ends.


    Measure the length of the fabric tie, insert it in to the casing with a safety pin, inching it along.


    Tie the ends together and again, you are done. Make another bag if you like.


    If you think that the ties are too much bother, you don't need them. When you shop put some elastic bands in with the bags and you can add them after the produce is weighed if you prefer.


    A piece of selvage also works to tie off the bag (you can also use a selvage inside the casing if you wish). Or use left over twist ties, scraps of ribbon, pretty yarn, whatever you like to close off the bag.

    The bags are washable and can go in the fridge. I have not tested to see if they keep my fruits and vegetables as well as a plastic bag does in the crisper of my refrigerator, but if not, I have reusable plastic tubs that I can put the produce in. While it is a tiny step for the climate, every small step adds up - not taking 4 plastic bags a week is not taking 208 bags in a year, and I think my family might take more than 4 a week on average.

    Trust me, this is a fast make.  Once you realize you can cut the bag any size, you might, like I did, cut a bunch of fabric without much measuring and leave it handy to make more bags at the beginning and end of other sewing sessions. I expect that a bundle of bags will be a nice present for family and friends.

    Best,

    Leanne

    Tuesday, October 1, 2019

    Q3 FAL - Time to link up your finishes!



    We have reached the end of Quarter 3 of the 2019 Finish-A-Long!!  Of course, this means it is now time to link up those finishes from the list you linked up in July. We hope that you have been able to complete a lot of the UFOs from your list and if you haven't, we'll do it all over again for Quarter 4...

    The 2019 FAL is hosted by a great community of bloggers. This year our hosts are:

    Each finish you link up will be in the draw for great prizes, so let's give a huge thank you to our fantastic sponsors:

    Aurifil Logo
    Winner's Choice of 1 Large 12 Spool Collection
    Sew Sweetness Logo
    $80 Gift Certificate

    2019 Finish-A-Long Logo

    Fat Quarter Shop Logo
    $50 Gift Certificate
    Sew Me a Song Logo
    $25 Gift Certificate
    Happy Quilting Logo
    3 PDF Patterns

    2 PDF Patterns

    Blossom Hearts Quilts Logo
    2 PDF Patterns
    Make Modern Logo
    1 Six Month Subscription
    Bonjour Quils Logo
    2 PDF Patterns

    Hillstitches Logo
    $30 Fabric Voucher

    2019 Finish-A-Long Logo



    The 2019 Quarter 3 link for your finishes is now open below on my blog and on each of the hosting blogs - you only need to link on one blog for your finish to appear on all host blogs.

    Link-up "Rules":

    Add one link for each finish.  If you want to link a round up post of all your finishes, use that link to enter one of your finishes and then link the rest of your finishes separately.  Please, only one link per finish, as your link is an entry into the randomly drawn prize draws. 

    Please ensure that the photo (Instagram or Flickr) or blog post you link up contains a link or reference back to your original list so that we can verify your entry (make sure it is from the right quarter, too). On Instagram the best way to do that is to tag your photos with #2019FALQ3yourname (where yourname is unique to you), this makes it easier for us to match your finishes with your list, which also should have this tag.

    Please become part of the FAL community.  Check out the links of others and leave a comment. We all need encouragement so let's applaud each other.  The 2019 FAL Facebook page is HERE and you can follow us on Instagram @finishalong.

    Our hosts will also link up their finishes to share in the community but they are not eligible for any of the prizes.

    The Q3 Finishes link will stay open from now thru 11 pm, EST, Wednesday, October 9, 2019 - as we are global, you might want to check your time zone to determine your last possible time to link. You can also see how much time is left below the linked up images on the right.  It is best to link up your finishes early and if you have a last minute one, add that one later so you don't miss out.  The prizes will be awarded as soon as we can verify all the entries and do the drawings.  We will post the winners on each host's blog.

    Lastly, don't forget to start making your Q4 list as the next LIST link opens on Thursday, October 10, 2019.

    Best,

    Leanne

    2019 Q3 Finishes Link Up:

    Thursday, July 18, 2019

    My own Q3 FAL list



    Four quilts to finish, wish me luck. I have joined Q3 of the FAL - as a host, I don't actually get to participate in the prizes but I sure can use the encouragement and fun.

    Best,

    Leanne
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