Archives for March 2013

Go Anywhere Bag


A few weeks ago I began Noodlehead’s Go Anywhere Bag in an effort to find a diaper bag that was easier to use than my current one.  I was hoping that this would be big enough to cart around all of my infant gear.  Sadly, it’s not.  It’s close—I did carry it for a couple of weeks to see if it would work, but it was just to jam packed to be useful.  The straps are also too skinny to support its weight if it’s stuffed full.

That said, it would work great as a purse.  I love the divided exterior pockets, and these fabrics are nice and summery.  So, one of these days when I don’t have to carry around a bunch of baby stuff, I’m sure I’ll love this purse.


This bag was also quite easy to sew up.  It was the first Noodlehead pattern I have tried, and I quite liked it.  The instructions were clear and easy to follow, so I’ll definitely be buying more in the future if I find another one I like.

WIP: HST Tote Bag


For the Modern She Made Swap, my partner requested a tote bag on the larger side.  I saw she had Sew Katie Did’s HST quilts in her favorites, and something just clicked for me, so I decided to use the same concept in piecing the outside of the tote bag.

I already had a few Kona cottons in cool colors, so I bought a couple more and sewed up the outside.  For the lining, I posted this picture, and she said she wanted a pink lining.  I think I’m going to go with the pink flowered print and use the bottom pink print right next to it for some interior pockets.  The only thing I’m stumped on is the handles.  I’ll either make them pink, the dark blue solid, or a black or gray text print.  I also have to decide how I’ll attach the handles as well.

Still, I’m happy with the direction this is headed, and even though I don’t need to mail this off until early May, I’m hoping to finish it this week sometime.  I’ll still need to make her a small item, but I have an idea in the works for that as well.

Stash Bee– March


This is the block I made for Stash Bee this month.  Others are making the same type of block but in different colors—e.g. blues or greens or purples, etc.  It will be a rainbow quilt when it’s all sewn together.

I think this is a really neat idea.  In bees where people use their own stash, scrappy quilts are always a good idea.  This block is 17.5” square, so it should make a good sized quilt once everyone’s blocks are sewn together.

Bennett: Five Months

Since I’m almost three weeks behind with this post (sorry, Mom!), I’ll make it a quick one.  I did at least take these pictures on the day Bennett turned five months old.



He’s had a couple of milestones this month.  He’s really close to crawling, and he had his first taste of cereal—it was definitely a hit.  His big brother is still in love with him, though sometimes I get the feeling he thinks Bennett is a toy!




Modernista Swap Package


When I first started to make pillows for my swap partner, I went with this cathedral window pattern.  She said she had warm colors with blue accents in her living room.  However, after some of her subsequent comments in other threads, I found her colors were more muted instead of super bright as I had originally thought.  So, I decided to make her a different set of pillows, and this set is going to my partner in another swap.


For these pillows, I used the same concept as the Cluck Cluck Sew Pow Wow quilt pattern that I already had.  However, I changed the sizes significantly so I could get more chevrons in the smaller space of a pillow, so the proportions are different as well.  I framed it with some linen and a little hand quilting.  For the backs, I made an envelope style closure using some text fat quarters that I received in a recent fabric swap.  I’m hoping these colors are more to her taste, but she’s been pretty quiet during the whole swap, so I really have no idea if this is on the right track or not…either way, it’s in the mail, so it’s too late to do anything about it now!


I usually make envelope style closures on the backs of my pillow covers, but I’m honestly starting to reconsider this method.  These 18” pillow covers are stuffed with 20” forms, so they look like they’re bursting on the back, but I think a zipper or even button closure would look nicer.  A zipper closure would be faster and easier than making a bunch of buttonholes, so I might try a zipper closure next time instead of the envelope style.


In addition to a large item, we’re also supposed to send a small item, and for this I made a little sewing bag.  I bought the pattern on Craftsy, and it’s called a “Sew Together Bag.”  The construction is insanely clever—there are three zipper pockets inside, and the outer zipper creates its handles.  It’s a little tricky to sew up the first time, but now that I’ve done it once, I think the next one will be a breeze.  I used linen and some of Moda’s Domestic Bliss fabric.  I love the look on the outside, and I think the hand-stitching really sets it off.  I hope she likes it!  I’m making another one for another swap partner, and then I intend to make one for myself as well.  I originally saw this pattern on the Crazy Mom Quilts blog.  I don’t often buy patterns, especially ones over $10, but I had to have this pattern because I thought it was really cute and very clever—something I couldn’t easily design myself.  After sewing it up, I think it was a good purchase.  I love the result, and some real talent went into the pattern design.


A Gigantic Tote Bag


My partner in the Wish List Swap requested a tote bag.  To me, a tote bag is a large bag to carry around a bunch of stuff.  I always think of a beach bag when I hear the term “tote bag.”  However, I’ve come to realize that most people consider a tote bag to be the size to hold a few notebooks—on the smallish side.  So, I started a discussion thread to ask what size would be best, and my partner said the bigger the better, so I made one huge bag.

I honestly didn’t intend for it to end up quite this large, but it is a nice bag, and it’s one that I would be happy to have myself.  I’m considering making myself a slightly smaller version to use for a diaper bag.  However, it was a real pain to sew up.  The main fabric is a heavier twill fabric, and I also added batting and a back layer as well as a lining layer (so that’s three layers of fabric plus batting).  It’s a good solid bag, but all of those layers were quite cumbersome to sew through.  I broke several needles along the way.

I wanted the straps to be sturdy since the bag was so big.  I had planned to use canvas webbing, but my local craft stores only had one inch wide webbing, and I thought those thin straps would look very out of place on a bag this big, so I used two layers of fabric plus a strip of canvas duck sewn in between.  It worked quite well, and I don’t think they would stretch much even under heavy weight in the bag.


Because the bag is so big and because there is no closure at the top, I added a couple of side ties to cinch in the bag.  They can always be untied if there is a large load in the bag but the side cinching should help keep the contents in place.  The front and back have three divided pockets each plus one pocket on the inside.  I always love extra pockets on a bag, so I added plenty to this one.  These would also be a great feature on a diaper bag.


I put  an appliqued camper on the front because my partner said she loves vintage campers.  I’m going to make her a zipper pouch as an extra item, so I might do another little appliqued camper on the pouch.


Overall, I’m very happy with how this bag turned out (though also happy to have it finished since I’m running out of machine needles!).  I made up the pattern myself and went through a bit of difficulty since I mismeasured/miscalculated a couple of times.  It was late at night, so hopefully if I make this again, it will go more smoothly.  My partner in another swap also wants a tote bag, and while I may do something similar, I will definitely make it at least a little smaller.

WIP: Tote Bag


These are the beginnings of a tote bag for the Wish List Swap I joined this month.  My partner likes bright colors and mentioned that she likes vintage campers (so do I!) among other things.  I’ve been wanting to give an appliqued camper a try, so I decided to go with that.  I think it’s so cute.  I’m not sure why I like fabric campers so much because I have no desire to actually camp in one, but I’ve always loved cutesy stuff like this, and they seem to be popular at the moment.


I drew the camper myself, but I was looking at Laurie Wisbrun’s camper fabric from her new line, “Roughing It,” so it’s basically just a larger replica of that camper.

I hope to be finished with the tote bag before the weekend.  I’m very close.  I have all the panels quilted, so now I just have to sew them together and then sew the lining in.  It’s quite a large tote bag, but my partner said the bigger the better, so it’s beach bag sized.  I’m making the pattern up as I go along, and I might remake it with a few adjustments and use it as a diaper bag, so this is a good dry run for my own bag to see if it would be the right size for all the kid stuff I haul around.

Linking up to Freshly Pieced.

Owl Bag and Pouch


My very good friend just decided to start selling Origami Owl products.  It’s a home-party based jewelry company that mainly sells locket-type necklaces that you can fill with charms.  It’s pretty cute stuff, and she’s really excited to get started.  She was asking me the other day about owls and owl-print fabric, etc. so I decided to make her something to help her get started.

First, she was talking about needing a bag to carry stuff in.  I recently stopped selling Stampin’ Up! products, and I was going to put my bag on a yard sale.  This bag is nothing special—it’s just a black canvas bag that I got for free from Archiver’s with a large purchase, but it’s really sturdy, and it’s black, so it doesn’t show dirt.  I don’t need it anymore, but it’s perfect for home party supplies.  I thought about making a bag, but thought this would definitely be easier, and since I don’t know where to buy the vinyl backed sturdy canvas fabric, it would probably be more utilitarian than anything I could make as well.  So, I drew up an owl and worked out an applique.


I used fusible web for all the fabric pieces and then free-motion sewed around the edges so it looks a little sketchy.  This was my first time using this technique (usually I use thread that matches better), and I LOVED how it turned out.  I think it really makes the design pop a lot more than just using matching thread or thread that blends in to the fabric.  I will definitely be doing this in the future, perhaps even with my little owl again.


I also made her a little zipper pouch to use for cash/change and checks.  I made this little guy in the same way, but he’s much smaller (and therefore cuter!).  I also like the colors/fabrics I used on him a lot better than the ones I used for the large owl and the linen rather than a black background.  On the small owl, I ironed on each piece before I began stitching.  On the big guy, I ironed on a piece, stitched, and then repeated the process.  In the future, I’ll do all the ironing at once.  It saved so much time, and I think it’s as sturdy or even sturdier than the slower method.  I sewed three passes on each line.  This was easy because I didn’t have to go around a piece all at once.  I could do a back and forth  motion for an inch or two and then continue.  On the little guy, it didn’t matter so much, but when working with a bulkier piece (like the bag), it really makes things a lot easier.




I used this Robert Kauffman owl print for the back of the pouch and for a little pocket inside.  I love this little owl applique so much that I might have to make one for myself.  I so wish I had made a copy of my drawing before I cut it up to use it as a pattern.  I still have the pattern pieces, though, so I might be able to get a few more tracings out of them before they wear out.