Sunday, September 14, 2014

Do You Like Making Bags?

I am primarily a quilter, and sometimes making other types of things is not that fun.  But for the last year or two, inspired by my 'modern' friends, I am making many different kinds of smaller things.  Awhile back, I bought this pattern by Carolyn Friedlander, to make her Social Tote.  Sounds like a great thing to; put your basic sewing things in it, maybe some handwork, keep all your things together for a project, ready to go.  Then, sit with your friends and do a little social sewing.

My 'modern' friend Marie is WONDERFUL at making bags!  She's so good with instructions, her construction techniques are impeccable.  AND she makes beautiful quilts!  She has made many, many bags.  I do love having bags, totebags, project bags etc., and have bought some and made some.

Some of the instructions I found challenging, had to read them a few times to figure out what they went.  My thought went "WHAT???", but then, gradually, it went into the brain.  Very helpful, Carol Friedlander has a page of extras, and these pictures helped me a lot.  I am definitely a visual person.  Especially confusing was the part where, after putting some intricate interior parts together, it said "now cut this unit in half".  WHAT???  You definitely want to be sure before you do that!

But it all worked out, I looked at pictures, read and re-read, and ended up with a nice bag.  I wish the top was a little tighter, corners tighter, but using bias binding does help, and you have to pull it a little, and that helps the bag have good shape.  I also put an extra piece of Annie's Soft and Stable in the bottom of the bag, even though it doesn't say to in the instructions.  It made sense to me.  MARKING your pieces is very, very important!  You use 1/2" seams, and you should mark these on all pieces.  All pieces!

I even made the little optional pincushion that fits perfectly into one of the sections, and filled it with crushed walnut shells (buy them at the pet store---cheaper!), and a little poly-fil.  I became very good at sewing a cube, but marking those lines are imperative.  Also, when joining sides to a top or bottom, do opposite sides first.  It makes it so much easier.  You'll see why when you try it.  You can make a pincushion whatever size you want using this method, and the square shape is very pleasing.
Also going on in the sewing room this week, is a couple of projects for my DAMQG Secret Sister.  Names were drawn at our September meeting.  Now we will gift & pamper our sisters til the big reveal at our Holiday Party in December.  I have some ideas, a little guidance from a short form we will fill out to draw names, and think she will really enjoy what I have in store for her!!  I can't show photos right now, but will after the reveal; right now it's TOP SECRET and HUSH-HUSH!   Shhhhh!  Don't tell her I am busy working on things for her......