Saturday, June 26, 2021

June DrEAMi

Sandra, over at mmm Quilts has a monthly link up called Drop Everything And Make it (DrEAMi) where you can show off the squirrel projects, the projects that distracted you from your intended projects.

In the midst of making my Pony Express Bag, I was asked to make a PRIDE Antependium for church. So I pulled out my scraps and made this.

It is based on a pattern for a pillow top, that I saw on Sandra's blog. Here it is, in place.

Since we only have 10 people in the church right now, and everyone else watches on line, I made masks for everyone who would be taking part, as well as ribbon pins.

I have used up much of my rainbow fabric in this effort. However, I might have added a bit more to replace it.

(also got some dinosaurs and border collies). No risk of my stash running out before I can do in person shopping, again.

Linking up with the DrEAMi Link Party.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

You Got To Please Yourself

I make bags simply to entertain myself. I enjoy making them, turning out something that is to my taste. I have taken on a few commissions but I am very careful, because I don't want to get stuck making something I don't enjoy. 

Back in February, I saw a bag pattern that I liked, by Ujamaa Bagettes, a group of ladies in Calgary who like to design bags, and sell their patterns, in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

The bag is called Pony Express, and I didn't realize at the time that it was reminiscent of a vintage designer bag. Of course, since I make my own bags, why would I know anything about designer bags?

So, my May bag project (that also ended up being my June bag project) is Pony Express. This is my version.

Black denim, combined with a bright rainbow fabric, it gets noticed. It turns out that the bright fabric is really hard to photograph in natural light.

The fabric gets washed out, on a sunny day, outside.

The designer bag lacks pockets to hold your things, but pockets are required, in my bags. So it has a outer back pocket.

It has an inner zip pocket.

I forgot to unzip the pocket to show the bright rainbow striped lining. 

Found one in my WIP photos.

It has a slip pocket, inside, with a pocket for my phone, and one for my library card, or a similar sized card.

The lining is a bit more subdued, because I need to be able to find stuff.

It has lots of nice heavy hardware, because I love that look. Hardware is by Emmaline Bags. 

I added a guitar strap, that you can see in the first picture. I made it two fabrics, and made it look like it was piped on the edges.

The bag has a magnetic closure that I created from the magnet stripes used on name badges. I need to work on this a bit more. My original experiments are here.

Second try is here.  I might post a tutorial when I get the whole thing figured out.

In other news, Maggie the foster cat found her forever family this week.  i keep checking my feet, because she was hard to spot in the evenings when the light isn't as good. I'm sure they will find us a new kittie soon.

If you missed the musical reference, it is from a Rick Nelson song, "Garden Party". 

Sunday, June 20, 2021

This and That

 After a week of power sewing, I have spent the past week recovering.

I have spent 40 months involved in a church team, working toward becoming an Affirming Ministry. Affirming Ministries are welcome, inclusive, loving and seek justice for all creation. This, of course, includes the LGBT community and their family and friends. Last Sunday, we asked the congregation if they agreed to become an Affirming Ministry.  This explains the rainbow heart pulpit fall. 

This is what people saw on Zoom, last Sunday. 

I also made sure the participants were suitably rainbow attired.

Masks and ribbons for everyone who was in the building (there were 10).

The vote was overwhelmingly in approval of moving forward. So, I'll need to make a communion table runner, next!

My current bag project is nearly finished. The lining has been finished. The interior pockets are in place, and the lining has been stitched into the bag. 

As you can see, the bag was too thick to complete the top stitching, over the front strap. However, that will be under the flap.  I just have the crossbody strap to finish now.

I got myself a treat. I was given a gift certificate to a fabric shop I don't often shop at. I have had it for months so I decided to look for something to use it on. I don't usually buy them, but I got a fat quarter pack.

This is 7 fabrics from the Tula Pink collection " Curiouser and Curiouser", in the blue colourway. Sadly, it didn't include the Cheshire Cat fabric.

One of my pet peeves is fat quarters that aren't cut on the straight of grain. Really, how hard can it be. This one is out by about 1/2" in one direction and 1" in the other. I suspect that it is caused by the manufacturers not printing the design straight, on the fabric and the stores trying to follow the pattern on the fabric. Interfacing on the back of the fabric helps when it is going to be a bag. However, sewing in straight lines is much easier, if the fabric is cut on grain.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021


 An antependium (in case you didn't know) is a hanging for the front of an alter, pulpit, or lectern. In the church where I spent my youth, it was know as a "Pulpit fall". I suspect antependium was considered too high church for us.

Anyway, I recently received a request for an antependium to be used for Pride. I needed something quick, and fortunately, Sandra, from Musings of a Menopausal Melon, had a cushion on her blog, complete with a link to the tutorial.

It was about the correct size, so I was off to my stash. I had all the fabric that I needed, except for a soft pink. Apparently when you are the mother of boys and the grandmother of a little boys, soft pink isn't in your palette. A friend helped me out, since I just needed the tiniest scrap.

Two days later, TaDa!

It has a sleeve at the top, with velcro on the back, to attach it to the pulpit, or hang it from a dowel.

It is now off to church!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

In Which Some Progress is Made

 My goal for May seems to be running into June, but it is nearly finished. 

First off, the magnetic closure experiment: it is a success, though I think it might need a bit of improvement. 

I have the metal keeper piece attached to the loop side of the velcro strap. I think next time, I would put it between the fabric so only one layer is between it and the magnet piece. 

I used a piece of washi tape to show which side the magnets are on so I can sew it the correct way around.

This is the fancy decorative strap, which has no use except to look pretty.

The front of the bag has an overlay and the pattern said to fold 1/4" under before top stiching it. Since the piece was going to be interfaced, I used a trick I learned in applique.

I stitched the interfacing to the edge that needed turning, then fused it to the back.

A much neater edge than I would get just trying to fold it under.

Today, I gave myself a sew day, and made major progress.

The exterior of the bag is finished! The curved edges went together without a single tuck or pucker. No stitch ripper was required today, except to put the magnetic snap on the back pocket. I've learned so much from other bags, that have come together to make this bag. Double sided tape keeps things in place. A basting glue stick is a big help to hold things, sometimes. Moving the needle often makes the top stitching much tidier. 

The lining and the strap are left to do. 

I finally took pictures of my "Through the Witches Garden" shawl, outside in the sunshine.

The colours are so much brighter in the sun.