Watch me WIP!

So, if you’re expecting a video of me whip and Nae-Nae’ing, I’m sorry to disappoint.

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A-Okay!

Alright!  Things have slowly been making progress over here!

I went back to the doctor on Tuesday and got the all clear, and she told me that my “spacey feeling” will go away soon, and it’s just a side effect of having a fever for four days.  I can understand that. 😀  What I’d like anyone to take away from this is that if you get a tick bite and it grows larger than what looks normal for a bug bite on you, go to the doctor ASAP.

My middle sister moved back home from Hawaii today!!!  -Okay, some people think it’s weird that I say middle sister.  What else am I supposed to say?  She’s not my eldest sister, she’s in the middle!-  I can’t wait to see her and my little niece and nephew the next time I get down there.  It’s hard watching family babies growing up through facebook.

So!  I have been doing some sewing.  I’m literally 3-4 steps away from finishing my sister’s quilted bag.  It’s going to be so cute!  I have got to get this finished by Saturday so I can take it to my guild meeting for show and tell!!!!!  I LOVE SHOW AND TELL!!! 😀  I’ve been sending my sister sneak peek pictures so that she can see, and the responses have typically been “OMG IT’S BEES!!!!” or “squee!!!!” so that’s good. 🙂  I also have a bag that I need to have finished and ready to go by next Friday (holy crap!), so I’m about to get really busy making up for lost time!  I also really need to get some new things in my shop soon.  I got all that cute pink fabric and I have barely done anything with it so far.

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Can we talk about this weather?  Just for a minute?  I have two fans going in my office to keep it cool, because our building is really old and the a/c just isn’t what it used to be.  Also, we got an email that asked us to keep our blinds at a 45 degree angle or less to keep the sunlight out…yea this is just completely silly and I can’t make this up.  (How am I supposed to see birds doing stupid bird things outside?)  So the past two days I’ve worn a skirt to work.

“It’s too hot for pants!!!”

My husband loves this.  He thinks I need to wear more girly things and just be more girly.  I think I’m plenty girly, but whatevs.  It just has been too hot for pants.  He also knows my disdain for shorts, (BECAUSE THEY’RE THE WORST!) so he’s just over the moon over there, while I’m just trying to deal with the heat.  Don’t get me wrong, I love warm weather, but, hey, this isn’t supposed to be here for like, 2-3 weeks.  Maybe I can use this heat to my advantage, and have an excuse to sew myself a new cute skirt? 😀

I hope everyone’s had a much better few weeks than I have!  Not boiling up with fever or with heat wave.

Until next time, happy sewing!!

Friendly Sewing

No danger here! 😀

So this past week I’ve been working on some projects.  Still not finishing up my rainbow quilt, or even the big brown ugly quilt….just little things instead!  I’ve basically got my fingers in my ears going “NANANANANNANANANANANA!” when it comes to finishing my big quilts.  How….sad.  I’ll get around to it, don’t worry.  I always end up back around.

I posted on instagram this wallet that I made from a pattern I found on BurdaStyle and I really wanted to make another one to practice.  Lucky for me my friend Meghan really liked it so I decided well I’m just going to make one for her!  And I did!  I am very happy with the second effort.  I can only post a black and white picture because it’s a secret!  I mean she knows about it, and it’s in the mail…and I only took a black and white picture…but the colors and things are secret! 😀

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My sister…yes that one that never reads my blog…liked my bag I made for myself so much that she sent me some fabric to make one for her.  Oh man, y’all.  It’s so pretty. Like hard to cut up pretty.  And it’s BEES!  CUTE LITTLE BEES! *screams and squeals of joy!*  (I really love bees….)

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BEES!!!!! Fancy bees!

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THEY’RE BEE HIVES OMG!

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It hurt me to cut them up they’re so cute and pretty.

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but I sewed them back together so it’s okay.

So I’ve been working on that.  I really should have gotten it done this weekend what it being 3 days and all…but I did not.  We looked at a house on Friday that was kind of out there and I got bitten!  By TICKS!  MORE THAN ONE!  Yea, so I’ve been an itchy mess, but I did get some of the sewing done.  Probably…have it done this weekend.  Hopefully….maybe.  I’m really just hoping that these bites are just itchy and not some disease.  The last thing I need is some tick disease.  Or any disease for that matter.  So now I have a doctor’s appointment on Thursday…which is postponing the sewing.  Stupid ticks. -_-

Anyhow!  I hope everyone is having a lovely tick bite free week!

Until next time!  Happy sewing!

Earth Day week!

*NOTE*

Just for Earth Day, and just in time for Mother’s day!  I have added a 20% off coupon in my shop!  Use the key word KeepItGreen at checkout!  It’s good through the end of this month!


 

First, I would like to discuss Saturday.  This was my plan:

  1. Drop rings at jeweler
  2. Quilt guild – awesome paper piecing!
  3. Hair cut
  4. Pick up rings

This is what actually happened:

  1. Dropped rings off
  2. Car battery is dead (Completely out of the blue, mind you!)
  3. Trip to Auto Zone to discover my battery has to be replaced going through the wheel base
  4. Sitting at Midas for about 3 or 4 hours (Saturday is the worst at Midas)

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    This guy….

  5. Mexican food
  6. Picked up rings
  7. Hair cut

The girl who cut my hair pointed out that I have a gray “patch” of hair.  A PATCH.  I mean, at least I got the Mexican food or I would have just completely lost it.  Plus my rings look all shiny and new again, so…the whole day wasn’t lost.

So Pretty :D So Shiny!!

So Pretty 😀 So Shiny!!

So I went home and finished up the bag I was making for my husband’s aunt, and I forgot to even take a picture of it!!!  WHAT WAS I THINKING?! 😯  It looks really great.  It is kind of a combo of the jelly roll bag and the postage stamp bag.  I really am kicking myself over not taking a picture though.  It was super cute.  Also, Aunt Nancy really liked it, which is what’s important.

Easter  has really put me into a funk, because the neighbor kid had thrown an egg into our yard, and then Al ate it…and has been sick to his stomach ever since.  I’m really hoping that it’s out of his system by now.  I hate it when he’s sick. 😦

upset tummy for days....maybe it's the laundry?

upset tummy for days….maybe it’s the laundry?

*UPDATE* Al seems to be over his upset stomach 😀

Okay so Earth day!  I really like Earth Day.  I wouldn’t say I’m a hippie, but I do like flowers, trees, and especially bees.  Of all of the insects, bees are the most obviously useful, so they are my favorite.  I can very easily say that Bee Movie is one of my favorite of the newer kids movies (and, hello, Jerry Seinfeld, who doesn’t love Jerry?  And Ray Liotta Honey?!?!  YES!).  Plus they’re so cute, I mean look at them, fat little bodies, not ashamed to wear stripes.  They dance around like no one is watching.  So brave.  Without bees, we don’t have anything really, so in my eyes, Earth Day is kind of like Bee Day. Thinking bee!  Thinking bee!

THINKING BEE!!

THINKING BEE!!

Also, bees don’t sting you for no reason, like wasps, A.K.A. death flies.  I went home at lunch to check on Al, took him outside, and OUT OF NO WHERE THIS DEATH FLY STUNG ME!  Okay, I’m not dead, so that is a plus, but I don’t know if I’m allergic or anything.  My dad is supposedly deathly allergic to yellow jackets, but I don’t know if that is true 😕 …all I know is this hurt like the dickens, burned, felt like little needles going up my arm!!!  It was just as awful as I remember the last time was, except on my arm and not in my pants leg unidentified and ten times more scary.  Day two it’s still pretty swollen and sore, and itchy, but I think I’m going to make it to at least Cinco de Mayo.  Let’s not give these awful death flies any more attention than they deserve.

No sting vs sting

No sting vs sting

Anyhow….I am planning on doing a little paper piecing of my own.  I found the cutest little hexagon bee.  YES, BEES AGAIN! 😀  So I’m going to give that an effort.  I’ve watched about a million YouTube videos on how to paper piece, so I’m going to just suck it up and try it.  Please, wish me luck.

 

This is blown up 200% I figured the bigger the easier...right?

This is blown up 200% I figured the bigger the easier…right?

Until  next time!  Stay away from wasps!  And happy sewing!

P.S.

Finished last night! :D

Finished last night! 😀  I trimmed it kind of…wonky but hey, first shot!

Quilted Bag Tutorial!

Oh SNAP!  Y’all bear with me here.  I hear I am terrible at telling stories, giving directions, and basically communication of any sort.  I typically have to draw pictures, so hopefully this won’t be a big disaster! 😀  You have been warned.

My Postage Stamp Quilted Bag Tutorial

I have been wanting to do a tutorial at some point, but I knew that it would need to be something original.  I have made quite a few quilted bags, and I knew I would want to make one for myself.  Obviously, right?  So I did!

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Cute, right?  Now I’m going to tell you what all you’re going to need to make one for yourself.  Also!!!  If you don’t want to deal with the fuss and muss of making a bag of your own, head on over to my Etsy shop and let me know what you’re looking for.


Materials:

  • 3/4th of one yard of fabric.  This will be for your lining, handles, and all pockets.  If you want a different style for the outside pocket (which is what I did) you will need 1/4th of a yard of a coordinating fabric, and you can use one half yard. (you could probably use a fat quarter)
  • 10 – 2 1/2″ x 42″ cotton strips.  I used leftovers from a jelly roll, but you don’t have to do that.  If you want a lot of variation, use 9 different patterns.  Also, your bag will be half as wide as your strips are long, (42″ strips = 21″ wide bag) so keep that in mind.
  • Scrap Batting You will only need enough for your bag’s “top/outside” to be quilted on.  I used the leftovers from a baby quilt that I cut from the bottom.  If you make your bag 21″ wide, you will need 42″ of batting (This will hopefully make more sense as this goes along)
  • Magnet Clasp I use the silver-colored ones, but I just don’t like gold…Also, I haven’t been able to find many different sizes, but if you can, you will want one that is about 3/4ths of an inch.
  • 7″ zipper I got all of my zippers from Zipit on Etsy, you have a WIDE range of colors, lengths, and they always get to me super fast.
  • Sewing machine needs: a quarter-inch seam foot, a quilting foot, a zipper foot, at least 3 bobbins with coordinating top thread.
  • Iron and Ironing board or press board
  • Pins
  • Rotary cutter (or scissors…I just have shaky hands!)

Part 1: Making Postage Stamps

After you iron your strips, separate them into groups of 3.  Decide how wide you want your bag to be, and cut your strips twice as long as you want your bag wide. (42″ strips = 20″ wide bag, 21″ strips = 10″ wide bag, etc) *You will leave the one single strip for later*

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Sew your trimmed strips together (in groups of three) with a quarter inch seam.  Now you will cut your sewn together strips into 2 1/2″ pieces.

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Repeat this until all of your strips have been sew together, then cut into 2 1/2″ wide strips.  Arrange them in whatever order you want, so long as they are 6 squares tall.  I just tried to keep similar patterns away from each other.  Press your seams however you would like, I press mine just going the same way because this is simpler for me and uses less pins.

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This was as diverse as my layout got with 6 patterns. My patterns were directional, and I didn’t want them to be upside down, but I’m sure I could have mixed it up a little more.

I ended up with 2 extra pieces, that I have at the top, which you SHOULD NOT THROW OUT!  You will use these for your flap.

Match up your 3 square pieces end to end, and sew them together in sets of 2. In other words, you are sewing together columns.  If you would like you can chain stitch these.  I did that on a second bag I made similarly to this and it was just fine.  Soon you will have several columns sewn together *Yipee!*  Again, press your seams however you would like, but I press mine going one way.

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Your next step is to sew these columns together.  Keep in mind: you’re making two halves of a bag.  So divide your columns into two even sets.  If you have an odd number, simply cut one of your columns in half and put one half in each pile.  Yes, it will be okay.  I did this and it’s totally fine.  Just add your half pieces to the ends.  You will want to pin to make sure your squares are on point.

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Pinned and waiting!

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Sewn and pressed! You don’t have to press your seams this way.

If for some reason your two sides aren’t exactly the same size, just square them up with a little trim so that they’re the same.

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My squares are 2 1/2″ wide, so I cut them in half at 1 1/4″

 

Now you have two postage stamp pieces for your outsides of your bag!

Step 2: Cutting out all your non quilted pieces

Obviously you have ironed all of your fabric.  I’m just going to assume that you have, and if you haven’t, you’d better get to it then come back.  I’ll wait.

Make sure the edges of your yardage are squared.  When I go to the fabric store, sometimes I get a wonky end, so I just even it up before I start cutting anything out of it.

Place one of your postage stamp pieces on your main fabric at the folded side, with the bottom of your piece at the fold.  This is to ensure your base of your bag will not have a seam inside.  You can trace your bag’s outside or just cut around it.  I place my ruler on the edge and use my rotary cutter. *so risky!* 

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Next, from the other end of your fabric, cut two 4″ wide strips.  To make this easier, I fold my fabric in half, end to fold, and cut that way.  This will give you your two pieces for your handles.  They should be 4″x 42″ roughly.

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Next, you will cut out the pieces for your pockets.  You should have plenty of your yardage left over to cut these pieces.

  • 2 Outside pockets: You will cut 4 6 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ pieces
  • Zipper pocket: You will cut 2 8″ x 5 1/2″ pieces
  • Inside split pocket: You will cut 2 6 1/2″ x 7 1/2″ pieces.  You may want to make this larger or smaller depending on the size of your phone.  I have a Galaxy S3 and it fits in my larger side of my split pocket.

Now, we have all of our pieces cut out!  It will be done before you know it!

Step 3: Quilting

Just like how you would do for a quilt, put your postage stamp “top” on your batting with a little hang over around.  You don’t need a bottom/back.  *NOTE* If your fabric you’re using to line your bag is white or really light and a little opaque, you will want to use a light-colored thread in your bobbin.  Otherwise you could see your thread inside of your bag *gasp*

What I did was very simple cross hatch type quilting, but you can quilt your bag any way you would like.  I have done straight line quilting that stay about a quarter-inch apart from left to right, I’ve done FMQ and it all looks great.  This is all 100% up to you.  Just quilt either side of your postage stamp pieces and bam!  Awesomeness!
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Step 4: Purse parts, ASSEMBLE!

From here, you can do any of these parts in whichever order you feel like.  I don’t think I’ve done it in the same order twice to be honest.  But, if you need an order to do them (which is understandable!):

Handle making, pocket making, zipper pocket, attaching inside pocket, attaching outside pockets, magnet strap & flap, attach handles.

The only thing you do have to kind of stick to is attaching the handle straps after you do the outside pockets.  I mean, you can’t really attach pockets under your handles…

  • Handle straps

After you have ironed out your strap pieces, which are 4″ x 42″ as a reminder, you will fold and press them in quarters.  so you will fold the edges to the inside, the same way you would make binding tape.
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From here, you will press your strap in half, again, just like binding tape.  Then you will sew the “open” side together, then sew the “closed” side down.  You could add a third middle stitch if you would like; it will be purely for decoration.  Also, if you wanted a more plush feeling handle, you could add a strip of batting inside before you sew it down. Repeat for the other handle.

  • Pockets

These pockets are very simple.  So easy that even I can do it.  Take your pocket fabric, sew them right sides together with a quarter-inch seam, and leave a turn spot about 3 inches open.  Clip your corners without cutting your thread, flip them right sides out, press.  Topstitch over your opening.  Your outside pockets you don’t really have to worry so much if this is an “ugly top stitch” because you will put that topstitched side under a handle.  Top stitch along the side of your pocket that will be the top.  Purely decoration.  Yes, literally that easy.
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You will repeat this for both outside pockets, as well as your inside split pocket.

  • Zipper pocket

Okay, for this, if you have a better way or a way you prefer to do, PLEASE feel free to do that here!!!  My zipper is about an inch from side to side, so I am making a half-inch “spot” for it.  So you will place one side of your zipper pocket on top of your lining fabric, right sides together.  I don’t have a good depiction of this simply because my zipper pocket fabric and lining are the same color.  I put my zipper pocket about 2 1/2″ down from the top edge, just so it’s not oddly right there, but it’s not WAY down in there, either.  So, on the wrong side of your pocket fabric, you will draw a rectangle.  I do half the size of my zipper width, and I make sure my zipper will hang off either sides of the pocket when it is done.
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Sew around your rectangle, then cut through the middle using either a rotary cutter or your seam ripper.  I use my rotary cutter simply because it’s neater.
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Flip your pocket through the opening you’ve made, and press it to the back so that it’s as even and neat as you can get it.  I always have a problem with this, but it doesn’t seem to affect my end result.

Sew in your zipper.  I find it a little easier to sew in from the back side of the zipper, but you can feel free to sew it in any way you would like.  I also suggest sewing the two ends of your zipper together so that it’s not more open on one end than the other.
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Clip the ends off of your zipper *Don’t use your good fabric scissors!!! OMG!* and then put your other piece of zipper pocket fabric on the back side, right sides together with the other half of the pocket, and sew them together.  Viola!  Zipper pocket!
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  • Split inside pocket

What I suggest doing before you attach this pocket is to place your phone on the pocket, to one side and draw a line.  I leave a little slack space so that it’s not too tight for your phone to go in there.
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Place your phone across from your zipper pocket, and pin it into place.  You will sew around, stopping at your line, sewing up, then back sew all the way down *it makes it more strongly sewn* then continue around the rest of your pocket.  It’s really that easy.
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  • Outside Pockets

Decide where you want your pockets to sit on your postage stamp piece, and then flip it down and pin the bottom to where it will go.
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Sew this edge to your quilted postage stamp piece, then flip it up and press and pin it down.  This makes your pocket bottom look nicer. 🙂
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  • Attach straps

This will not be hard, I promise!  Take your straps, and see how long you want them to be on your bag.  Maybe you want short handles, or long handles.  I like an over the shoulder bag, so my handles aren’t very long.  Determine your length, then pin your handles down so that at least a quarter of an inch of the inside of your strap covers the sides of the pockets. *Make sure your handles are going the same way so your don’t get some weird twisted handle!*  Pin below the pocket, around the middle of the pocket, and about an inch away from the top of your bag.  Sew along where you sewed your straps together to the bag, stopping at your pin at the top!  This is to give you turning space later.
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You can see I skipped ahead in my actual purse making when I took these pictures!!  Oops!

  • Magnet clasps and flaps

So, you will use your magnet’s instructions, which, come on how hard is this, people?!  You make tiny holes, you stick the tabs through, you put a stabilizer in there, and you close the tabs.  Anyway…I put the “female” side on my bag, and I will put the “male” side on the flap, which brings us to making the flap!!!  And attaching it!  I put the female side in the second block down from the center.
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Just like before, you will take your two extra pieces I  mentioned in the beginning, and sew them end to end. *This will be your postage stamp side*  This will give you a good 12 inches of flap.  If you want, you could do a 6 inch flap, by sewing your two pieces side to side.  This is completely up to you.  My pictures are showing a 12 inch flap.
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Take that extra strip, also that I mentioned in the beginning, and attach the male side of the magnet.  Again, use the manufacturer’s directions.  Then put your postage stamp piece right sides together with your extra strip, and place a piece of batting on top.  Sew around this, leaving the “bottom” open, clip your corners and flip it right side out.  Press this, and top stitch around the edges.
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Determine how far down your strap needs to go to reach your magnet on the other side.  I put my female side of the magnet on the second square down, so I will attach my flap on the lower half of the second square on the opposite side.  To attach this flap, make an incision through your postage stamp side of the bag JUST big enough for your strap to fit snuggly into.  You do want it to lay flat, but just make sure it does fit and there isn’t much wiggle room.
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Zigzag stitch over this.  I sewed over mine 3-4 times back and forth just to make sure it was plenty secure.
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Oh wow we’re almost done!!!!

Step 5: The final chapter

(what?!  This is just taking so long I’m trying to be creative over here)

Now, you have your two bag outside pieces, with their handles, pockets and magnet flap attached, and your lining with the pockets added inside.
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From here, you will place your bag outsides right sides together, making sure that your handles match up at the bottom, and sew around the edges.  I try really hard to do a quarter-inch seam, but I usually end up with a half-inch seam.  Trim off the excess handles from the bottom of your bag.
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You will repeat this with your bag inside, with the only exception being you will leave a four inch turning spot.  I back-stitch and forward stitch over the ends of this spot multiple times to ensure that when you’re turning, it’s not going to pop and split all the way down.  Confession:  I usually hear a few pops when I am turning my bag, but since I’ve started overly back and forth stitching, the pops have been less severe.
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Your next step is to square the bottom.  Don’t cry in fear, okay?  I used to, but I have conquered the world of squared corners, and I will help you do the same!  With your bag part (inside or outside, either way you will have to do the same on both pieces) turned inside out, take your side seam and match it to your bottom seam.  Pin this down, and determine how wide you want the base of your bag to be.  Since my bag is so teeny, I made mine two inches.  You will mark a line that is half as you want your bag’s base to be, deep into the triangle you have formed, and you will sew along this line.  For example, I want a two inch wide base.  I made a line one inch into the triangle from the tip.

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MAKE SURE YOU TURN YOUR BAG RIGHT SIDE OUT AND MAKE SURE THAT YOUR BASE IS AS WIDE AS YOU WANT BEFORE YOU CUT OFF THE TRIANGLE TIP.

Sit your bag pieces together, and make sure that they fit together nicely.  They should, because they are friends and love each other.  Obviously.

Now, turn your quilted outside inside out.  Place your lining right side out, inside of your bag’s outside.  Take your magnet flap and handles, and tuck them down into your bag’s outside pockets.
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Pin around the top of your bag.  I suggest at least six pin spots: at each spot where your handles will be on your finished bag, and at each of your side seams.  Sew all the way around this edge.
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Now….turn your bag.  Okay this is such a pain.  It literally doesn’t want to come out.  What I try to do is dig my handles out of those pockets and gently convince them to be a leader and show the rest of the bag the way out.  Once you have finally gotten your bag flipped right side out, and you’ve stopped questioning this tutorial and all life decisions, sew your turning hole closed.  I just do the tiniest seam I can manage.  If I didn’t hate them so much I would use a ladder stitch.  Ladder stitching is one of those things that make me question life decisions, so I reserve it for stuffed animals.
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Put your bag lining down into your bag, oh and it just looks so lovely right?  WAIT YOU ARE NOT DONE YET (OMG THIS IS NEVER GOING TO END!)

Pin your handles up, and sew a quarter-inch seam around the top edge of your bag, sewing over your handles.  This will give them a little extra needed stability.  I back-stitch over my handles at least once for each handle, so I like to start my stitches on a handle, since I will have to back-stitch anyway.  You can do this a second time a quarter-inch down from that seam, the more times you do it the more secure it will be, and nothing is wrong with a little extra security!
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Step 6: The dramatic and 100% satisfying ending to a series, kind of like Breaking Bad.

Wash your bag.  Yep, wash it.  Put it in the washer on the gentle cycle with a little white vinegar and detergent.  I usually throw a few small towels in there too just so it’s not going on in there all alone.  Then dry, I just use the regular cycle I do for drying.  *don’t forget your dryer sheet! :D*

Take a puppy break
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Take our your finished  bag and marvel at its gloriousness!  This is also when I check for any possible popped stitches or anything.
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And you’re done!  And look at that awesome new bag you just made!  Or…if you just wanted to read all the way through this *Bless your heart* and you want one but don’t want to do all this stuff, just let me know in my etsy shop and I’ll see what we can work up!!!!

Thank you for bearing with me through this tutorial!  Let me know what you think!  If you make a bag using this tutorial let me know!  Tag me on Istagram (@sewfluffincute) I’d love to see it!

Until next time!  Happy sewing!

April showers bring…rain. Just rain! :D

So I wanted this blog to be a tutorial on quilted bags, but that may wait until next week.  I am very excited though because I finished my bag for myself!!

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Love my bag 😀

It’s so cute!  And light!  And holds all my stuff!!  I’m in love with my precious bag!

Anyhow, I’m having a splendid day over here.  My friend bought one of my bags, which makes me very happy.  If you saw the blue and white bag on my etsy page, it is gone now!  Off to a happy home!  Don’t worry, I can make at least one more!  Maybe two, I can’t recall right off.  My eldest sister is coming to visit this weekend, so we’re planning a trip to the zoo and stuff with her kids.  So that’ll be fun too!

I’ve also been working on some Alabama bags for my shop.  If a certain little puppy would stop crying for me to stop sewing so he can just sit on me (yes, the struggle is real.) then it would have been finished two days ago.  All my parts are cut out, just waiting to be put together.  Anyhow, that’s really all that’s going on over here.  Just making bags, mentally trying to fix that quilt binding, trying to convince Al that I’m pulling his weight by selling bags so he doesn’t have to work.

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“Oh, you want to sew?? I’m going to whimper and look at you with sad eyes until you stop.”

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sneak peek! 😀

Until next time, happy sewing!

I sold out.

Okay, just a little bit.

I know I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I hail from Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  The land of Champions.  Home of the University of Alabama Crimson Tide.  Yes, that Tuscaloosa.  So I think it would go without saying that I am a huge Alabama fan.  I can’t help but to bleed crimson and white. (wait blood isn’t white!?  I should probably get that checked out) But…I did something unthinkable.  Something so awful….

I made this bag.

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Yes, I know, okay?  I.  KNOW.  It’s so much orange.  Orange, being the color of enemies all around.  I mean look, Auburn, Florida, TENNESSEE…..all orange clad.  Living in Tennessee now I have to see this eye burning color all the time.  Plastered on cars with their little T’s in their windows, t-shirts, commercials, it’s everywhere.  It stings the eyes!

But…at least two of my bosses went to the University of Tennessee.  And one of them saw one of my bags, and asked if I would make a UT one for his wife.  At first, I thought “oh my GOD WHAT?!” but then he said he would pay extra since he knows I don’t like UT.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is all it took.  I agreed, and within a weeks time I delivered the bag.

This story is far from over though, let me tell YOU!

I had to go get this fabric, because hello why in the world would I have all that orange in my sewing room?  I wouldn’t!  I have houndstooth and University of Alabama block prints and sailboats (okay they are not UA related…but they’re too cute not to mention) fabrics…just to name a few.

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So there I am in Hobby Lobby, arms full of this…ORANGE….and I’m literally starting to sweat.  *Mind you, it’s barely been above freezing a couple of times for a few weeks now, I started to wonder what my body was even doing.*  Then this woman said to me “We were starting to wonder if they were out of UT fabric, then we saw your big orange stash!”

I quickly informed her that I don’t like UT…and this was for a specific project for someone else.

But that was only the beginning.

I got this all home, cut up and divvied up, and started to work.  While working on this bag my sewing machine grew angry at me.  I only wish that I were kidding.  There was this awful clunking sound, which I think I have fixed with a quick cleaning, but it still scares me…I broke a needle.  YES.  A practically brand new needle, too!  A seam didn’t hold through the wash and I had to go back and resew!  I had to sew one of the handles twice.  TWICE.  These handles are not very fun to mess with in the first place.  So to have to do them any more than you have to is maddening.  My batting for some reason, (which, by the way, had not done this on any of the previous bags I’ve made using this batting) decided to become as itchy as insulation!!!  It was okay after I washed it, but it, along with all the orange, was literally burning (or at least stinging) my hands.  Basically anything and everything that could have gone wrong here, did.  Is that the University of Alabama Gods (aka Nick Saban, haha!) looking down on me in disappointment?  Punishing me for making this bag?!  Well, as greedy as I am, I’m accepting my punishment because I got more for that bag that I normally charge.  My only fear is that more people will see that UT bag and want me to make more…*sigh*

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I have decided that I need to make things right again in the world, and I ordered enough Alabama fabric for at least six bags.

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Until next time, Happy sewing everyone!

ah-ha! moments

Do you ever do something you thought up yourself that actually works and think “wow, I’m a genius” because I did, and I am just thrilled to bits.  As you may know, I’ve been making these “jelly roll bags” and they are very simple and very fun.  Well my husband took one to work with him to show the women that work in his office, and at least one of them said that they’d like it better if it had a zipper pocket and some way to keep it closed.  I agreed, totally.  The only things stopping me were a) zippers are scary and b) what am I going to do to keep this giant opening closed?

Well I finally found a video on YouTube that explained how to put a zipper pocket in, in a way that I understand and was easy…ish.  So now that was out-of-the-way, and I’ve played with a couple of zippers now, so they’re not as scary as they were…now comes how to close this bag.  I have used magnetic snaps before and they are great, but I didn’t think it was going to be enough to just put one in the lining in the middle.  I mean this is an eleven (or so) inch opening, I needed something a bit more substantial.

I had an idea of trimming off the side of the bag and using it as some sort of flap.  How I was going to fandangle this flap was beyond me, but I knew this was involved.  I cut off about three inches on the side, so that each of the rows of patterns were going to be included in this flap.  Then I got some scrap of the lining, sewed them together with the magnet snap attached to the lining, flipped it inside out, top stitched around the edges, and viola!
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Now, how am I going to attach this thing?  I didn’t want to just sew it to the outside of the bag or make a patch or something.  I want it to look good, not like some piece of garbage.  So, very bravely, I cut a slit into my outside part of the bag, just big enough to slip the “flap” inside.  Then I zigzag stitched over this a couple of times, checked it with a good tug, and BAM IT WAS ATTACHED!  And it looks good!
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Okay I know how silly I am, you don’t have to remind me.  It’s the little accomplishments that make me jump for joy.

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It looked exactly like this in my mind…

Anyhow, I hope everyone is going to have a great weekend!  Oh!  Before I forget!  I saw the President yesterday!  Okay not close up…but I did see him landing at the airport from my office window.  I even saw air force one on my way home and got a really good picture.

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Happy sewing everyone!