Whimsical Floral Tote Bag

I made this bag using various techniques and ideas learned from patterns and tutorials I’ve been using, and I combined them to make a bag of my own design.  I wanted to end up with something not too large, but large enough!  I love the size and shape of it.  I also wanted to make sure all seams were bound as I’m not a fan of raw edges or loose bag linings (I think I’m repeating myself after having mentioned that before!)

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I’m drawn to this particular fabric each time I’m browsing in my local quilt shop, but I was never convinced I needed it enough to make a quilt with it.  When I went looking for something floral yet whimsical for my new bag, it definitely fit the bill, so I was finally able to justify buying it! It turned into a super cute project 🙂

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It has a zippered pocket on the front, with a slip pocket behind that, another slip pocket on the back, and two side pockets with elastic at the top of them and pleats in the bottom so they expand a little, which I thought would be handy depending on what will be carried by the owner of the bag (it’s for sale!).  Inside I put two large mesh pockets – I like Annie Unrein’s idea of using mesh inside heavier bags because there’s no extra weight to it, and you can see what the pockets contain.

Personally, I don’t normally like a lot of inside pockets in my own bags because things tend to fall into them and get lost when they’re out of my sight.  Mesh is a great alternative to having to turn a bag upside down to empty it out in hopes of finding that tube of lipstick you KNOW is in there somewhere.

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Of course I’m getting sucked in by all the nifty hardware too, and I had to put a metal label on this one to see how it looked.  Not sure there’s any going back from this now …

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And just for your viewing pleasure, here are some of the open wide bags made with the Lily & Loom fabric I raved about recently (pattern from byannie.com).

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They are fun to make and even more fun to look at once they’re done.  I love the handbag zippers (wider zipper tape and bigger pulls) and I have to do a lot of testing by opening them and closing them, and opening them, and closing them and …………….. OK, I’m back.

We’ve had a few cooler days this week, so piling a quilt on my lap to hand stitch binding is looking more do-able and there just might be a new quilt to post in the near future 🙂

Here’s a flashy video of the bags I’ve made so far, because it’s just fun to watch them all with background music! LOL

 

Sweet Dreams Little One

I figured I’d better post a new quilt sooner rather than later lest you all think I had lost myself in a pile of handmade bags …

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This is the second baby quilt I’ve made with his particular fabric line and it never disappoints.  The vintage floral look appeals to many people and the fabric has such a soft feel to it.  On this one I adapted an idea I saw online and stitched the words “Sweet dreams little one” right into the solid pink strip second from the top.  It looks much better in person – the writing is much clearer – and I love the special effect it gives the quilt.

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I want to mention here the backing fabric that I like to use whenever I can, and that is Quilter’s Muslin from Hamels Fabrics in Chilliwack, BC.  It might be available from other sources as well, but this is where I get it from and I buy it in bulk!  Sometimes it’s even on sale.  It’s a neutral color, 60″ wide, and so very soft, especially once the quilt is laundered, but has enough body to be used as part of the piecing on the quilt top too if desired.  I have used other fabrics labelled as quilting muslin, but none have been as nice as this one, IMHO.

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The quilts I back with this fabric are always so much softer to cuddle up with than those that have regular quilting cotton for backing.  It isn’t always suitable for certain quilt tops, depending on color, but it is my favorite overall.  And the quilting shows up so beautifully on it that it’s like getting an elegant whole cloth quilt as a bonus!  I’ve actually been planning to do a whole cloth just for me, using this fabric for the top and backing, sandwiched with a lovely wool batt I’ve already purchased in preparation, so if and when that happens, you’ll see it!

I’ve also started photographing each quilt in a crumpled bunched up pose because it makes them look so much more cuddly and I think it really adds dimension when people are viewing various pictures to get a good idea of what it looks like 🙂  So far, the response has been positive!

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Doesn’t it look almost 3D instead of just flat?  Yup, that’s what I thought 🙂

 

 

More bags!

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So I’ve spent the last couple of days working on some new quilted bags and I can tell you that while these things can take just as long as making one of my quilts, they’re a different kind of fun and I’m learning some really cool techniques.

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This caddy was made using a pattern from ByAnnie.com and I love Annie’s finishing touches.  I don’t like loose bag linings and I’m not a fan of having raw seam allowances exposed, so I appreciate her attention to detail.  There are so many pockets inside and out – this is a great little storage caddy that can be used for so many different things!

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The floral bag below is my own design using some of the simple techniques I’ve learned from other patterns.  It has a slip pocket on each side and big inside zippered pocket.

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More bags (AND QUILTS!) to come as I keep busy tucked inside my house avoiding the extreme heat we are experiencing right now!

Here’s a video of me opening a fat quarter bundle I’ve been waiting for; it’s loaded with great prints for more bags 🙂

 

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Wooly Sheep Quilt

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I quilted this sheep panel today and I used the large pebble with swirled centre design to make the wool look all curly and thick.

I had tested a piece of fleece with this same stitching design because I thought I might use it instead of batting but, while the test came out fine, in the end I went with the wool batt I had originally intended to use for this quilt because it is for someone special and I wanted it to have the best possible effect.

Wool batts are so lovely; they give such a nice loft to the spots you want to have puffy and they pack down well in the densely quilted areas to really set off the puffy ones!  The one I used is also machine washable and dry-able and the quilt came out so soft and cuddly.

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And of course, I always enjoy having a chance to use that black and white striped binding, which looks just right on this one 🙂

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The back is also a panel, with more sheep, and I was wondering what it would look like once the quilting was done, because it has definite squares printed on it which would normally be focal points on the front of a quilt.  But when I turned it over I could see the overall design of the big sheep from the front so it’s just fine!

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Sometimes it’s fun to have a small project that can be started, finished, washed and dried all the same day!

Pfaff QE 4.2 Stitch Booklet

I spent some time this weekend checking out all the cool stitching patterns available on my sewing machine.  I rarely use the special features on my machine but I wanted to see the possibilities for embellishments now that I am working on some smaller things like pouches and bags, so I found some interesting things!

I made a little stitch reference booklet so I would have something made with real thread.

It was also an exercise in overcoming perfectionism as I ended up with some “pages” that weren’t all the same size, a couple of times I stitched something I really didn’t like so I actually just crossed those out rather than starting the pages over again, and once I ran out of stabilizer some of the designs bunched up a bit, but overall it was a freeing experience … LOL

Here’s a video of my little booklet if you’re interested in how it turned out.

 

Switching it up

I’ve been wanting to try some handmade bags and pouches, which means stepping into the world of zippers (Yes, it’s a whole new world!  There are sooooo many zippers, and you can buy all kinds of coloured pulls to change them out and wow it’s really fun just to look at them all …).  as well as various stabilizers and techniques and enough ideas out there to boggle the mind.  But I’m starting small.  I like pouches.

However, first I thought I’d just “wing it” and throw together a tote bag using up some scraps and a slip-plus-zippered-pocket idea I learned in an online class.  I didn’t use a pattern for this – thus, the obvious things that result from poor planning that I won’t do next time! – and it turned out OK.  Yes, just OK.  I know, I know, I’m not supposed to point out mistakes.  But seriously, parts of it ended up looking really good and other parts not so much, and I’m using them as reference points! haha

Just for the record, the visible “X” stitching on the inside was intentional because that darn lining wouldn’t lay in there there way I wanted it to so I needed to tack it down.  Note to self: next time quilt the lining with the outside pieces as part of the sandwich and bind the inside seams to finish them off.  I can’t stand loose bag linings!

Those handles should have been the same color as the dark berry bindings.  But I was using up scraps, remember, and I didn’t have enough berry.  So they’re orange.  The end.

Full disclosure: that heart patch is covering a water spot from my stupid iron that I couldn’t wash out without laundering the whole bag and I honestly don’t know what would happen to the stiff fusible stabilizer in the bag if I did that, so I added the heart to make it even more whimsical!

Why do I expose my otherwise hidden issues?  So that maybe someone else who encounters a similar problem will find a solution here! LOL

The pouch below was made according to a pattern, with a cool zipper technique and of course, even though it wasn’t called for, I had to do some free motion quilting on the bottom section.  I’m a quilter, people, so I’m not going to just sit here making things if I can’t quilt them somehow!

It turned out really cute and I’m going to make more of these.  Like, probably today.  They’re a great way to use up scraps (you’ll notice I took photos of both sides of the pouch to show how I pieced the upper section) and they go together so quickly!

If you want to learn the one zip technique, check out this class on Craftsy: The One Zip Way.  Who knew?  🙂

 

 

 

It started with a tree … (part 2)

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The “tree” quilt is finished.  At least it started with a tree!  I had a vision in my mind of a tree with falling leaves that landed in a pile in the opposite corner and it all came together from there.  It needed an owl on a branch, and of course, once I had that line of poetry in my head after writing my first post on this quilt, I couldn’t shake it and I just HAD to stitch it in somewhere!  The idea idea of adding words became so strong that I thought about various other things I could stitch in that might be more “generationally appropriate” – since I’ve learned that most people younger than myself have never heard of the tree poem – but nothing else worked for me and I kept going back to the poem.  So there it is!

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The raw edge appliquéd leaves you have seen before on a couple of other quilts – Swirling Leaves and Cascading Leaves – the trunk is stitched with a woodgrain pattern (so easy and fun to do!) and the brown background is wild quilted with swirl chains and various leaves, a few pebbles here and there, and a lot of fun in and out improv not he fly stitching to cover all the nooks and crannies.

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I love it when a plan comes together 🙂

(original design, Ann Walsh Quilting)

Odds & Ends

I tried out a sample piece today using fleece instead of batting, so I wanted to share this video to show how it turned out.

Below that, is a short video to show how easy it is to separate your pins from your pinmoors when they’re all mixed up after a quilting project 🙂

 

 

Youtube Channel Change

Attention-Read-FirstFOR MY YOUTUBE SUBSCRIBERS:   I’m so sorry for this inconvenience, but in the effort to align all of my social media connections for Ann Walsh Quilting, I had to move my videos to the new channel, which means that anyone who subscribed to my Youtube channel in the past will need to re-subscribe now in order to continue receiving notices when I upload new videos.  The old channel will no longer have the quilting videos.

Please unsubscribe to the old channel and then visit the new channel address by clicking here: Ann Walsh Quilting on YouTube  and you can subscribe from there.

OTHER READERS: Following my quilting site here doesn’t mean you’re subscribed on YouTube, so if you haven’t specifically subscribed over there, you don’t need to do anything at all about this change!

All posts here on this site have been updated so the video links in each post will take you to the new place 🙂