A Place to Share Sewing & Quilting Experiences

I have to admit an addiction I have.  Yes, I’m a purse and tote bag kit addict.  I flock right to them in quilt shops and the quilt shows I attend.  I probably have over 20 kits in my stash right now.  I love the way they look, or their functionality or just the cool fabrics they will be made from.  Then I make them mine.  Here’s the problem.  I get them home, open them in anticipation, then read the instructions.  Ugh…don’t know if it is laziness or just my frame of mind at the time, but they 95% of the time go right back in their bag, and go hide in my sewing closet.

Earlier this summer, I vowed to make some of the elusive bags before I allowed myself back to my quilt top sewing frenzy.  I picked a couple I really liked and dove right in.  I refused to let the instructions intimidate me this time.  I am an educated woman that can follow instructions, right?  I first picked the Phat Cats Jazz Tote Bag kit that I bought at a quilt show a couple summers ago.  I love the fun fabrics and since my daughter is in our high school Jazz Ensemble, it made sense to start with this one.  Wow, it was fun and went together pretty quickly.  If I had it to make again, I’d add  pockets to the inside.  You can never have enough pockets.  Here’s the finished Phat Cat bag.

"Phat Cat Jazz Tote"

Here’s a close up of the fabric.  Love those cute jammin’ kitties & the color combinations.

"Phat Cat Jazz Tote Close Up"

Next I decided I wanted to make one of those cute little “Potato Chip Bags” designed by Paula Hughes.  The size is not one I’d ever be able to use on a regular basis as a purse…I just have to carry around too much stuff, but I thought my teenage daughter would like it.  Plus it has a musical theme and a couple of her favorite colors to boot.  It went together pretty easily too.  Wow, I can do this.  Two down.  Here’s the Musical Potato Chip Bag.  I will most likely make this one again.  It only took 3 fat quarters and who doesn’t have tons of them lying around in their stash right?

"Musical Potato Chip Bag"

Bag #3 was a bit more challenging, but it is my favorite and I am now using it as my purse and I’ve gone over two weeks without complaining about stuff getting lost in the bottom or not having enough pockets.  Rather than give up, I took it one step at a time.  The pattern is “Hamptons Handbag” by Pink Sand Beach Designs.  I have several more of their purse kits and will probably do them next time I get the hankering for “bagging”.  I chose the Moda “Twirl” fabric line for this one…love the bright summer colors.  It used lots of fusible fleece, decorbond and interfacing, but it is worth it.  The bag has good stability and is quite functional.

Here’s the finished bag.

"Hamptons Handbag"

Yes, I have overcome my bag phobia and can go back to piecing quilt tops.   I’m still trying to work a week into my schedule to do nothing but quilt my huge tops stash info finished quilts with my Bernina quilt frame and Quilt Motion.

I bought another new addition for my sewing studio this weekend (not counting the new computer and desk…that counts mostly for work).  I have been keeping my eyes on the Bernina Cutwork tool and software for a while now.  I went to a Sewing Celebration at my local dealer this weekend and decided it is a must have for my collection.  For those of you not familiar with the product, the “tool” replaces the needle on my embroidery machine and will cut out applique shapes, do traditional cutwork and more.  The demonstrator cut out 60 hexagon blocks in 6 minutes using the tool & software.  Oh yea, I could definitely get into that.  I got the software installed but will have to wait to use it because my dealer had to special order the throat plate that works with the tool.  Hopefully I’ll be up and running with this new toy in the next week.  Bernina also just came out with two new additional pieces to their design software that they unveiled at Bernina University this past week.  PaintWorks and CrystalWorks.  Oh my have to start saving up for those.  The PaintWorks tool allows you to paint on fabric using a special pen and your embroidery machine.  The CrystalWorks tool punches out a crystal pattern for you, then you apply to your fabric, pour on the crystals, brush them, place a template over them and iron on.  Sure beats adding them one at a time with the little wand.  I never got the hang of that anyway.

Until next time, happy sewing & quilting!

Melinda

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