Monday, June 30, 2014

Criss cross bag

Another simple zipper bag, just because they are so much fun to make!

For this one, i tried another technique from the book, Quilting Modern,
to make the design, you cut the background fabric and sew in narrow strips of a contrasting fabric,
I used some red scraps, since I liked the look of them against the gray.  
this is what it looks like from the back:

to quilt it, I just sewed wavy stipes in red thread,
I was happy that I had a carved cinnabar bead for the zipper pull, I like how it echos the asian theme of some of the red fabrics,
I think I am formally addicted to making these bags now. 
What is your latest mania?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sneak Peek

For the past few days I've been sewing up some goodies to use for the window display at the store.   
I've really been enjoying the bright colors,
I hope to take them in later today, I hope to take more photos of them in situ, 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Finally Finished,

Well, I have finally finished a quilt.  Not the gigantic king sized one that I had been quilting, but one that has been patiently waiting for me to bind.  

Before that, it was patiently waiting for me to attach its outer borders, 
And before that, it patiently waited for me to sew its 48 blocks together,

It was just that kind of a quilt.  
Now that its done, I really do like it! And as a bonus, it's backed with a cozy, navy flannel, 
Plus, I like the way it sparkles in the sunlight.  I like anything that sparkles.  Plus, I like sunlight.  
Hope that you too have a sparkly, sunlight day, 

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Bucket Bag, a simple cylinder

This is the type of bag whose sides are sewn into a cylinder and then attached to a base. The base can vary in shape.
  Typical base shapes are circles, ovals, rectangles and squares, all of various sizes and proportions.
Although I had already sewn a fabric container with the square bottom,
 I sewed another one with a circular bottom.
I began by sewing front out of two fabrics and a piece of ribbon with soft in stable And a backing  of the black-and-white house fabric.  
At this point I decided to find out how much I could quilt on soft n stable because until now I haven't really done anything more than  straight lines on it. I found out that it is possible to free motion quilt on it with no problem whatsoever.
I sewed the long rectangle and covered the seam with a binding.  Covered the top edge with a ribbon binding.
In order to determine how large of a circle to use for the base, I looked up some formula by googling it.

This is what I found.
Basically, the diameter is the circumference divided by pi or 3.14
The length of my rectangle was 24 inches, so that circle should be 7.6 inches.  Plus another half inch for the seam allowance.

Again with the soft and stable, quilting straight lines, then cutting out the circle and I zigzagged the edges.
Okay you might notice that the base has changed fabric, on my first one I forgot to add the seam allowance.
Moving right along you can see that I zig zagged the three layers together for ease of handling as I attached the base.

I decided not to attach any handles.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Battings, interfacings, fusible webs....

Tomorrow afternoon is the meeting for the modern Quilt Guild here in Saskatoon at 2 p.m., at Periwinkle,
I am honored to be a presenter tomorrow and my topic will be on all the things that you put inside your sewing projects, things like battings, interfacings, fusible Webs, stabilizers, 
Yesterday I cut samples of all sorts of these products
Today I sorted them out and sampled a lot of them
I've written a handout
And compiled a binder
So while I am not an expert, I have been learning quite a lot
So please come tomorrow if you want to find out more about this surprisingly interesting topic
2.p.m. At Periwinkle in the classroom!

Plus!  You will get to see and participate in an always wonderful show and tell!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer Sale,

June 21st is the first day of summer, and to celebrate, we are having a summer sale!   For one week, you can get 20% off of fabrics that are either green (like leaves and grass) yellow (like sunshine) or that have some sort of flowers on them (!),  because when you sew something that will remind you of summer, it will last the whole year through, 

A happy start to summer

Well I came back to Saskatoon yesterday, (having been in Savannah for several weeks) and I am happy to be home.  Even though it's very rainy. In fact As i drove closer to my home and was looking forward to seeing my garden, it started to rain very hard and as I was pulling into my yard it was hailing on me.
Now it is the next morning and it is still raining. However I have been out weeding the garden in therain,  which makes the weeds easy to pull out.
So here's some pictures of my yard in the rain,
Little heaps of weeds waiting to be gathered up later
The lilacs are blooming and corner of the yard smells delicious
And I have lots of anemones
It's possible that today is the spring/summer solstice....
After I finish my coffee, I think I must go into the store and just reacquaint myself with all the wonderful fabrics that have arrived while I've been away.    It goes without saying that I've missed seeing the girls at the shop too so that will be nice to visit again,

I think we must have some kind of celebrate summer sale, even though it is sort of not really summer weather. 
I'll discuss it with the girls at the shop today, and let you know what we decide to do,  in any case well start some kind of summer sale tomorrow! 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Grey Wrapped Tote Bag

Just a reminder that I am using the words "wrapped bag" to refer to a particular bag construction method, in which the front, base and back of the bag are one piece to which the two sides are sewn. 
the post where I diagrammed the various basic styles of bags is found here

I started with a pile of half square triangles made of gray and white fabrics.  I had started making them for a project, but they were going to be too small, so I set them aside... Until now.  

I wasn't sure how many of them I had, so I laid them out into a rectangle, into this very cute chevron variation that I had noticed on pinterest some time ago...

I dedided that this bicycle fabric would be perfect for the inside of the bag.  It was directional, so instead of using one large rectangle,  I cut two smaller pieces and seamed them in the center.  That way, when I look into the tote later, all of the bicycles will be right side up!

Then, one of my favorite parts of the whole process
--- the quilting!

Some straight line quilting following the zig zag of the chevrons, 
You can see here that I reinforced the area which will become the base by inserting some tim-tex (or decor-bond or similar stiff stuff0 in between the layers of the batting and fabric.  there is a much simpler pattern quilted on this area.

For the two side panels, I used the bicycle fabric again, for both sides, and Annie's soft n stable for the batting   It is really easy to stitch through.
I left the fabric larger on the back pieces to use as an integrated seam binding to cover the seams later on,
Here i am sewing the sides to the wrap around main part.  i had staystitching all around the central piece, so I was able to clip in to the corner area and just pivot the piece with the needle down at the corners
This shows how the extra binding fabric looks before it's sewn down,
Because i sewed the seams with the right sides facing out, the seams are on the outside of the bag where they sort of look like piping.
Instead of using fabric handles, I sewed on a pair of leather ones,
Overall, I'm pretty happy with it.  it stands up on it's own, but isn't too bulky, It's a good size for using as a book bag,
I think that now I've tried a bag with the seams on the outside, I might next try to incorporate some pockets into  this style of bag.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Basic Bag Shapes

A few days ago I came up upon a blog written by L I ER here who has sewn a lot of handbags. She has categorized handbags into a number of types. I like this idea. I concur with her categorization, for the most part.    You can find her series on bag making starting here.   She focuses on making bags from a garment sewer's perspective, i.e. using heavier fabrics and lining everything beautifully.  (I tend to make bags from a quilter's perspective, using quilter's cottons, more seam bindings and fewer separate linings.)

The gist of it is to ignore all the little details such as size, straps, and to look at the basic bag structure.

 I have modified her categorizations a bit in my list, but it is not an exact science, obviously,

this is a list of bag categories.

1.  the flat bag
     the simplest type, just a front and a back.  It has no depth 
       Lots of variations

2.  the boxed bottom bag
     a flat bag is sewn extra wide, and then the base is created by "boxing" the bottom -- sewing a seam perpendicular to the side seam

3. The bucket bag
    a cylinder sewn to a base.

4. the wrapped Bag.
    the front, base and back of the bag are one piece.  Two sides are sewn on to the main piece.

5. the gussetted bag,
    the front and bag are separate pieces, the sides and bottom are a gusset that wraps around the 3 sides of the front and back.

6.  flat bag with darts.
    this starts out like a flat bag, often with a rounded form which has  triangular darts sewn to create depth in the bag.

7.  Double boxed cylinder bag.
     this is a rectangle that is sewn into a cylinder, then manipulated so that it becomes like a shoe-box shape.  think of a make-up bag, or a pencil case,

8. bags of unusual construction
    sometimes you will come across a bag made out of various units, such as a gored bag, Another example could be shapes like  orange segments, or perhaps a lot of hexagons sewn together to make a 3-D form...

Of course coming upon such a list makes me immediately determined that I have to sew one of each style in order to fully understand the structure types.  
(Let's not even get started on all the types of straps that Lier goes through on her blog, here)

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