Saturday, April 30, 2011

Just a Bag Tutorial

   This bag is being designed and made for me to be able to give to the homeless. I want to fill it with water, and wipes and feminine products. I think it turned out nice, but it is not as long as I meant for it to be.The water bottle won't fit and that is important for the bag.  I will need to work on that but for the time being I will use these measurements for today.
2 matching fat quarters
fusible batting (at least a yard )
20" zipper or longer
2  3 in. x 78 in. strip of matching or coordinating fabric

Prepare your fabric, by ironing one layer of fusible batting to the back of one piece of fabric. Then fuse another layer to the back of that batting.
I chose Pellon brand fusible batting for this project, I have used Fusi-Boo before and it has a nice hand, but is not stiff enough for this bag.

Cut fabric to the size you need for your bag, mine is 13in x 19in. Next time I will make it closer to 19x19 .

I am giving you the refined measurements for the strap, since mine turned out too narrow.Cut the batting for the strap, you have the fabric cut already I hope. Cut your batting at least 1/4 inch narrower than the fabric is. When you press the batting to it, line it up so the extra 1/4 inch is on one side, not centered.

Fold the strap in 3/4 in and sew it down. Make sure you leave the side with the extra 1/4 in of fabric on the other side from your first fold over.
Once you have that sewn down, take the 1/4 in extra edge and cover the raw edge.  Fold to meet the sewn edge covering the raw edge and sew it down. You may want to pin this in place so you can sew it.

Yeah that is done and you can put it aside for now. We will need it later.
The Bag body
Using the fabric you ironed on to the batting, either use pins, or spray adhesive and but the backing fabric on face side out. Now quilt as desired.

I decided to do a kind of loopy stipple fun meander. I used the stitch regulator, but you can do any free motion or straight line quilting you want.Even if you don't have a stitch regulator. Just remember slow and steady makes an even stitch.

Okay, thats done, now grab your strap and lets sew it on first. That is much easier than sewing it on later after you have the zipper in.
 Fold the quilted fabric in half and mark the middle with a pin. Sew the raw ends of the strap together to make a large loop. On the bag body measure in 31/2 in. from the side raw edge, place the seam side down on the marked middle. Pin in both directions to within 3 inches of the raw top edge. Making sure the handle loops are equal, do the same thing with the other side of the loop. Measure in 31/2 inches from raw side edge and pin strap to the body of the bag to within 3 inches of the end raw edge.
Sew across the strap about 2 1/2 or 3 inches from the top edge. I go over this three or four times before I move on to the length of it. Sew it down one side and when you get  to the same distance from the edge of the far side do the sewing across the strap again. Repeat for the other side.
Next it is time to add the zipper, I do not sew down a zipper like the directions tell you to, but I do use a zipper foot most of the time.
I almost forgot, pin the handles to the middle of the bag so they don't get in the way while completing the bag.
  Place the zipper closed face down on the edge with the ends extending from both ends of your bag.

Sew down starting from just beyond the edge of the bag, and sew to just beyond the far edge.
I chose to use a ribbon to sew the seam allowance down, but you can just sew it down if you prefer. I made one line of stitching down the length first then added the ribbon and sewed down both sides of the ribbon. I think too often we forget that even the less fortunate enjoy pretty things. That is why I do this step even though it takes longer and cost more.
Now it is time to sew down the other side of the zipper. Leaving it closed place it on the outside of the bag face down.
This will begin to make your bag start to look like a bag. Unlike a garment you do not have have set seam ending, so you will need to pin to make sure your zipper is even and will zip properly. Because your zipper extends off both ends of the bag you do not have to open it at all to sew it down.

Once it is sewn down, open the zipper completely, turn the bag inside out and sew down the raw edge and add the ribbon to this side, if you have chosen to do this step.

Next step, zip the zipper leaving the zipper pull in the length of the bag. Center the zipper to the middle of the bag on the same line where you started pinning down your strap/handle. If you are more comfortable pin this in place before you sew. Sew together with about a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

It may seem daunting to sew over the zipper teeth, but so far I have had only one small incident and that was with a metal zipper. Although I have sewn over metal ones with no problems.
Trim the excess zipper tabs.

Measure each corner a 2 inch square to be trimmed off. I use my regular long rotary cutter ruler and scissors to cut this, but you can mark it and  then cut with a rotary cutter.

Cut this 2 inch square out of all four corners. Okay this is another one of the steps I am struggling with how to write what you do next. You will do what we do here on all four corners. Flatten this corner on the diagonal, making sure to center the seam in the middle and chose what direction you will face the seam. I usually turn the seam so that the end of the zipper goes toward the bottom of the bag.
Sew about a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
These are the corners of the bag , and will make it the squared off edges I wanted for this bag. This is also where my bag turned out smaller than I wanted it to. I measured the water bottle I was going to put in it and added two inches. Sadly it was not enough and the bottle is a neck longer than my bag. (eyes rolling )

Slip your hand inside the bag and unzip the zipper completely.
Look inside and unpin the straps you have pinned down to keep out of the way while sewing.

If you feel comfortable you can use the handles to pull the bag inside out. If not then poke the corners inside out and turn that way.

Now we have our cute cube shaped bag and you can fill it with good things for the homeless women in your area and just hand it out the window on the street corner, or go to the Salvation Army, or homeless shelter and give it to ladies there. If you chose a shelter, you might consider making a bag for children and add colors and paper, or small toys that are safe for any age.

I have enjoyed this and I hope that it is easy to read and informative for you. I tried to use lots of pictures in case my writing is not clear. Please respect that this is my design and do not sell these instructions.
I have thought about how to get feed back on this tutorial and not get my feelings hurt, but for my own growth I would love for you to give me your feed back even if it is negative on my tutorial. I know I use the same word  or phrase over and over and I have tried to change that, but sometimes you just have to say it that way. LOL I do not have anyone to read through this for me to make sure the spelling and grammar are correct so please forgive any mistakes of that sort.
Until next time have a very quilty bag week.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Got it started

  Hi there everyone , I have been working on the bag today and I have started my tutorial. I may not be so good at this, but I am giving it my best shot. I have it about half done and as I read over it I realize that I take for granted too much. Like the strap, I will fix it, but right now it does not tell you we are using it in a loop on two ends. I can't even tell you what I mean so I will have to figure it out. I am going to I promise.
  So I have that awful problem at my house again that we have had about every six months or less. The water is off because the pipe from the street to the house is broken, again. We are not sure yet if it is the repair we made last time, or if it is another one. Hubby thinks it may be that he didn't let the glue set up long enough. It had been five days since we had water in the house at that point so he just needed a shower and didn't care. He let it set up for an hour with no leaks, and then turned it back on and took a shower. We didn't cover the hole for two weeks just to make sure it didn't leak again. I guess it didn't hold after all.
  Okay, no more today about my water problems Ugh!!! We thought we might get some rain yesterday, didn't happen. Now they say maybe next weekend, I sure hope so. As it is many in the country are suffering from too much rain, we here in central and south Texas are suffering from the lack of rain. Oh, wow I just got it I am still talking about water. No more, just please pray for rain for us.
  Hubby is off work at his full time job all week. He is still working at his business, only he usually gets emails for those jobs. No email from work and we have not figured out how he can log in to that email from home. He is still getting calls, just not as much as he gets in email. I hope his customers understand when he finally gets back to them. In the mean time he is trying to make some of his time be more like a vacation than just work. I am trying to keep up with him and do home stuff and sewing. Busy!!!
Okay, so I think I am headed out for the night, and tomorrow I will hopefully get the tutorial finished. Until I next get on, you have a very quilty day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cake Pans ???

 Hi all, I have spent today and yesterday with my parents and doing research on Cake pans and what they sell for. My mom used to make wedding cakes and other cakes for special occasions. Since she retired several years ago the pans have just been sitting there collecting dust, and dirt dobbers nests. YUK!!! Not sure what the actual word is for those flying bugs that make mud huts to live in. I found three while doing the inventory. None were actually on the pans just up under them and on the shelves. You see the bakery is a add on room and for many years had a hole in the screen door. We begged daddy to fix it, but he just couldn't be bothered. Then he started finding those bugs and then a full on wasp set up house keeping and he did what he should have long before and fixed the screen. Any way I have five and a half pages of cake pans listed as well as almost thirty years of Wilton Cake year books, 8 Wedding cake books and more. She even has two fountains, although I didn't actually see them she keeps them in my old bedroom in the house and I just didn't go there. hahaha I believe she may have spent two or three thousand dollars on all of it total, but doubt someone will want to purchase it for what it cost her. I know we need to ask only a portion of the cost to sell second hand, but I have to tell you some of them look just like they did the day she bought them if they are washed that is. No scratches no rust just the same pan you would get if you bought it new today. The finish that company uses must be pretty good, and I know mother was always careful with her pans too.
Well, sorry there is not quilting in todays post, I promised a tutorial this week and I am working on it so stay tuned and have a quilty day.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hope you had the Best

 Well, yesterday was Easter and the family had a great time together for Worship services and at the Ranch for lunch. Those boiled eggs always make such great deviled eggs, and why do they call them deviled??? Maybe because later in the day they really give me gas. I like mine better than the ones my grandmother used to make. She always used vinegar to make the yolks soft, I use a little pickle juice, mayo and a tiny bit of mustard. I guess every one else likes them too, because we never really have any left over, unless we make way too many.
Today I started a project for my parents. My mom used to make cakes for a living, and she has all these pans and other parts for the process(there's that word again lol) . Daddy asked her to stop making cakes several years ago, because it made him a nervous wreck. Since he usually had to help her deliver them, she agreed. Now years later they have a woman who would like to buy her inventory. Mother has no idea what she has , well she has an idea, and has asked me to inventory them for her. The bakery is a room added to the back of the house and usually does not have A/C. The door is open all the time and it is so dusty and dirty out there. Now it is hot here in the afternoons but early mornings are pretty nice, so I will work in the mornings and probably won't need more than two days. I never have liked being dirty and that room makes me feel dirty, so getting this done quickly is my goal.
So have a quilty spring day ,

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Oh My, Busy

 Well, maybe you all remember last year, I was working on a hand quilting project of an antique thirties quilt. I have had some problems with it, but have finally gotten things on the right track again. I hated that it was on the back burner for so long, but there have been all these things I have allowed to get in my way. I hate that I am that way, and I am glad to say I am working on overcoming that.
  well, I am not going to take much of your time today as it is  the day before Easter and I am sure many of you are busy getting eggs and baskets ready for the day tomorrow. I am not sure if my girls are planning on baskets this year or not. I am not sure, but we have not planned for it so I hope not. Not to worry I will have it ready for them if I need to. Looks like the girls are planning to dye eggs even if they don't get a basket. They usually invite some friends over for this, so who knows how many will be here. Hahaha
Our older daughter is playing for worship services on Sun. so we are all going together, then we are headed out to the ranch to have lunch with the family. My aunt and uncle have the whole family out there for most holidays and we all look forward to it.
Have a wonderful quilty Easter and I will talk to you next week.

Friday, April 22, 2011

What Are You Doing Today?

Good afternoon, I hope you are having a great day. I am doing the one thing I hate the most in my sewing room and that is looking for a fabric I know I have and I don't know where it is. I brought home some fabrics from the store a while back that I was going to use to design a couple of quilts. Well, having not done any designing I decided I should take it back to them, then yesterday one of the ladies called and said she had some ideas for it. So today I am looking for all that stuff I brought home and thinking I will just take it all back and if I decide to do something use my own fabrics and then be able to bring home the completed quilt or project. I hate putting so much time and so much of myself into something and then have to see it just sit in a box or on a shelf for months if not years and then sometimes just disappear. Yes, they do put my stuff up and promote my classes, but then after the class is over it goes into storage and only occasionally comes out for display or as I said it disappears. The store is moving soon and they don't have any idea how much space or what kind of storage they will have. That means the three or four quilts of mine on the walls may be on the disappearing act soon too. I hate that no one is able to use such well made and functional items. They should be loved.
   Well, I guess that is enough of that, I decided to do something that is cute and productive. I bought this fabric last year for a friend and then we sort of lost touch and I really didn't have a plan for it any way. So since I have the plan for a square bag I want to make to give away filled with some items a woman on the streets might need and not have access to. I decided to try out a modified version of that bag out of this cute Duck fabric. The girl I made them for is a collector of rubber duckies I think she is going to just love these.
  I know I love them, I added some cute ribbons on each one and I used the same ribbons on the zippers as pulls. This one is about six inches long and four or five wide and one and a half deep. I had fun making them and I will be doing a tutorial for the larger bag I am making.
So have a quilty week and the best Easter you have had in a long time. Find a good place of worship and pray for rain.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

UFO Challenge

  Just a little note to say,that I am supposed to be working on, 10 in the list of UFO's on my side bar.
When it rains it poors right. I go for ever and don't post and then whoops you can't get me to shut up. hahaha Well, that is the way I had planned for this year to be, and you know how the best laid plans of mice and men go, and I didn't do it. Not the whole going with out posting and then posting, but the can't get me to shut up part. LOL Let me see if I can find the fortitude to keep it up, this time and as one of the ladies I read said a little while ago, add 15 min. a day in the sewing room.
  You know I have read a theory by the fairly famous Fly Lady that you can do anything for 15 min. and not get too over whelmed or bored. Well, writing in my blog never bores me and certainly sewing on a quilt or other project never does either. I don't mind washing dishes either and if I didn't have to put them away I wouldn't mind doing the laundry. I don't mind vacuuming but hate to sweep and mop. Go figure!! So let us see how the 15 min. a day works out for me. If you break down an hour it has four 15 min. segments, and I think that makes close to 100 of those segments in a day. Now we all know we have to sleep and eat, and those other things that we don't talk about in mixed company. So that leaves us with about 9 hours a day to do what needs to be done and what has to be done. I say use three of those 15 min. segments in an hour for work related things and exercise and planning meals and ... Then give myself one 15 min. segment to play. So out of my previously figured 9 hours I have 9, 15 min. segments, just for my pleasure. That gives me two hours fifteen min. to sew, blog , garden, or just read a book. Knowing that I need to do more sewing than the others I might choose to give myself all of that time one or two days a week, and only part of it on other days. Making sure that on the days that I use 2 hours 15 min. I get up at least one time and walk around the house and get some water after every two segments. ( haha that is every thiryy min. )Sounds kind of complicated and over the top with segments I know, but I think that Fly Lady had the right idea and somewhere along the way I think it makes me feel better about me to have time to do what I love. Maybe I need to get back to basics with everything and that includes Quilting.
So go use that 15 min. of time for a quilty project and I will see you next time.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Long Time, Quilts Done and More

 Hi all, I am so sorry I have been out of the picture for so many days. I have just been doing things that used to be part of my life all the time and have been put aside for a while. I have been planting flowers, and weeding the garden, and doing some general yard work. I have always enjoyed those things, and some how while taking the antidepressants I have been on I lost my desire for them. The yard has gotten out of hand in that time and I am glad to say just a few hours a  day for a week or so and it is looking much better. I think it would be much better if we had some rain, but so far that has not been part of the forecast in Texas. I know the sad events in the Carolinas with the tornadoes and life taking weather events have been all over the news. However here in Texas we are having devastating fires in North Texas and even in the Austin area. We are having such a drought and praying for rain is not just a daily event but hourly.
   I have also been doing some fun things too. I joined a post card swap for Easter and I have never made a quilted post card before. I sadly had to send them in an envelope, because the first one was too small and then the man at the desk wouldn't let me put a stamp on the fabric. I got frustrated with him over that, considering I have seen others that have been sent in the mail and did just fine. So even though I have not heard that the lady has gotten them yet I want you to see what I sent.
  Well, then I have finally finished the Lizard quilt and it has been delivered. Yea!!!! I loved the way it turned out but never got around to making a photo of the completed quilt. Then having gone to the store last month to see if there were any classes they would like me to get started I was given another snac sak quilt and I have completed that too. Isn't it too cute?
   Now I am on the move again, and starting some other new projects. I have also been working on the UFO's that I have been working on every month. I hate to say but I have not completed any of them. I did get one almost done yesterday and will most likely finish it today or early tomorrow.
  All the yard work has helped me with all that depression I was talking about several posts back. I feel human again and now I have another reason for being excited. My youngest daughter has called me and told me I will be a new grandmother in Dec. I am so happy for her and have already started getting things together to make her a diaper bag and some other layette stuff.
So for this time I am going to sign off and wish each of you a very quilty week.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stopping by

Thank you all for continuing to stop by and visit my blog, while I have been on y crazy boat. Hahahaha I have started a new post, but can't get the camera to load my photos on the computer. I will be putting it up in a little while. I hope until then you will forgive my absence. I had a wonderful birthday and I am sorry the give-away did not materialize as I had promised. I may be able to do it soon and if I do I will give you a week or so to post for a chance to win.
Have the quiltiest of days.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Where Has the Time Gone?

Hello friends , I have been so out of sorts lately that I have not gotten on to post. I am kind of excited to say I am better. I made a list of items that needed to be done yesterday, and as of today I have completed three of the five, and expect to complete the last two tomorrow.
Today I did one of the things I have been putting off for a couple of years now. I can only say that I have been afraid , of what, I am not sure.  Today, I set up my Etsy shop. Now I didn't have the photos and descriptions ready to post , so no merchandise is for sale yet, but it is there and ready for inventory. I am also working on my policies , and as I am sure you can imagine things may change over time since this is my first time. I actually started the process about the same time I started this blog, but I had just lost my job and didn't have a debit card or credit card to use. One of these is required to open a shop. Anyway the name of my shop is Little Star Quilts, I wonder where that name came from.
So, on to the things I have been working on while I was not posting over the last weeks or so. I made the cutest post card, I have not taken a picture of it yet, but will. I also finished another of the snap sac quilts. I hope I haven't told you about that one, but if I have you will love seeing it when I get picture of it on too. I think the Lizard quilt will be gone by this time next week, well sooner actually. I will be meeting with the owner on Mon. to let her have it. I am sorry it will be after the cold has left the central Texas area, but he will have it for many years to come, so he will have plenty of time to enjoy it.
My daughter is working hard on her album and it is coming together nicely. She had another person in the class helping her out in the recording studio a couple of weeks ago. He asked if she planned to lay down a drum track. When she said 'I don't know a drummer", he told her he had a friend that was a drummer and he needed to add some recording to his resume. This week, they went into the studio and laid down the drum track. It went very well for her, and he is very excited to have his name on her album cover.
Well, I have work to do and I will be back soon with more quilty stuff for you to enjoy. So take care and have a quilty week.