Finished bags Friday-Saturday

Both of these bags are custom orders for my JHU CTY Scholars Fundraiser — in short, I donate 100% of proceeds (not profits, all money) from my Etsy shop, KnitSpinQuilt in September and October to the JHU CTY Scholars Program.

This bag has a top and lining that match the light green geckos:

This bag has a yellow lining to add a little visual pop — I chose a print in part because I’m out of bright yellow solids and in part because the orange matches the geckos on the outside.

Both bags are made using In Color Order‘s Lined Drawstring Bag pattern, which I adore.

More bags this weekend, for sure, and maybe even some quilt piecing for another Strip and Flip quilt. :)

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Work in Progress Wednesday

Linking up with WIP Wednesday today.

Or, “my sewing space is a complete mess, but I find it hilarious and even slightly restful.”

My room has been transformed from a bedroom into a piecing factory. My bed provides nearly all the space I need to lay out cut fabrics in sets as I prepare for piece-work:



I’ve also spilled over onto the box that holds my blocking mats, which is right behind my sewing machine and a handy place to shove loose yardage:

Then there’s the actual sewing. My trusty Brother straight-stitch machine is set up on the sewing table, as seen here:

But it doesn’t like zippers much, so I’ve pulled out my old Euro-Pro machine, put the zipper foot on it, and set it up at a 90 degree angle on a folding table:

Why so much piece-work? Well, I’m churning out bags for my Etsy shop! After all, fundraising through sales only works if there are things to sell.

All sales from my Etsy shop in September and October go toward a donation to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Scholars program, which sends bright kids to college classes, or to a summer 3-week academic program, as well as matching them up with mentors. It’s an excellent cause, focused on families who need the financial assistance, and I’m delighted to be able to help even a little bit.

Use code “KSQREADER” for a discount on anything you see in my Etsy shop — and feel free to message me, email me, or PM me on Ravelry (AlisaB) if there’s something I can make up custom for you!

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Finished Penny Patch Quilt!

I FINALLY finished my Penny Patch quilt. Rachel at Stitched in Color started a quilt-along about a year ago and I cut fabric and stitched a quilt top and even machine quilted the whole thing and then… well, then I got hung up on binding it.

But I finished it last Sunday, and I love it. Here it is on my kitchen table:

I grid-quilted it, free-handing it with a walking foot on my Brother P1500Q straight-stitch machine:

And I used a blue and orange backing, stretching the blue gingham I had by adding a center orange panel:

I’ve also been cleaning out my closets, and discovered that I have a lot of quilts that I’ve finished that I just have no use for — they don’t match my personal aesthetic, I made them just to make them, or they’re for babies, and I don’t have a baby. So I’ve put them on Etsy.

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 11.15.58 AM

Longtime blog readers will recognize two quilts I made in 2012. If you like one of these, and use the code KNITSPINQUILTREADER, you’ll get 10% off.

As before, all income in September and October of 2015 go directly to a donation to the JHU CTY Scholars program!

Edited to add: linking up to TGIFF!

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Fundraiser Etsy Shop Update

We’ve raised $258 so far! So I updated the shop with new stitchmarkers and earrings! There are still custom project bags in two different sizes, and handspun yarn.


I’ve also added custom zippered pouches in three sizes.


Soon I will add custom zippered change-purse/wallets.

Do you want to help, but not have the spare cash to donate right now? Signal boost! The wider a net we can spread, the more we can do for the JHU Scholars program, and the more kids they can help.

Tweet something like this:
Etsy Shop Update to raise money for JHU’S CTY Scholars program. Read more here:

Fabrics coming soon include Firefly, Star Trek, and the Little Prince:
PicMonkey Collage

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STEM education and scholarship fundraiser

I’m sure by now you’ve all heard about Ahmed Mohamed, the Irving, TX 9th-grader who took a home-made clock to school and was arrested for a bomb, then charged with making a hoax bomb — even though he only ever called it a clock.


Ahmed has received a huge outpouring of support on social media — just check out #IStandWithAhmed on Twitter — and invitations from the President, NASA, and too many other places and people to count.

But there are still far too many other children in the USA who face systemic inequalities and prejudices that get in the way of them making home-made clocks or learning about biology, or becoming engineers. Helping Ahmed is the first step: helping correct some of the educational barriers is another step.

So I’m running a fundraiser to raise money for STEM education. Here’s how it works:
-You buy something from my ETSY store, KnitSpinQuilt
-I mail it to you
-I donate the entire purchase price to charity


That’s it! You get stitch markers or a project bag or earrings or handspun yarn, and I donate the full amount you paid toward scholarships for low-income children to go to the Center for Talented Youth (CTY) summer program run by Johns Hopkins University.

So far, I’ve raised $133.00 – I’m hoping to hit $250.  I’ll put an image in the sidebar, and together hopefully we can help send a kid to CTY to learn that there are lots of other geeky, talented, academically-minded kids just like them, regardless of their family’s income.

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Helping kids in STEM one project bag or stitch marker at a time

Shop update at KnitSpinQuilt

I’m sure you’ve seen the news about the 9th-grade boy who was arrested for bringing a home-made clock to school. I’m furious, but there’s not much I can do.

So I’m doing this tiny thing: all income (not profits: all total income) from September will be donated to a Texas STEM charity in honor of Ahmed Mohamed. If it goes well, I’ll extend it to October.

We may be small individually, but we can be mighty. If you don’t want to buy something, donate to a STEM charity and email me or tweet me and I’ll include it in a running total.

Help me pick a Texas charity from this list of STEM charities by commenting on this post!

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Pre-MASW update

I’m going to the Massachusetts Sheep and Wool festival this weekend and decided to turn it into a long weekend out of town visiting friends.

And what do you do when you visit friends who knit? You bring them yarn they commissioned. (I sometimes spin for friends if they buy the fiber.)

First some Gotland handspun for a sweater:

Then some Abstract Fibers Targhee in the colorway Bandon. My cat had claimed it, but fortunately the friend to whom it is going also has cats.

I also brought them houseguest presents, as one does.

An Avengers knitting bag with a yellow lining for Iron Man:

Ladybird stitch markers:


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