Another small project done

I decided to replace a very worn out small handbag that I have been using daily for at least 3 years. The bag is tattered on the corners, and has gone through the washer and dryer many times. I bought it for travel use at the local Eddie Bauer Outlet, on a whim, for less than $10. I’ve gotten more than my money’s worth out of it for certain.

With a trip coming up this weekend, I decided I could “MAKE” a new bag, but make it slightly LONGER than the original bag. One thing about the original I love was the outside pocket on the back that my big fat cell phone could slide into. I loved the 3 zipper pockets, but I know my sewing talents don’t go that far, and I am thrilled I got one zipper in, and made it work.

I’ve made quite a few things like this, only smaller, in the embroidery hoop. I’m limited on the length though, so I took the skills I learned from machine embroidery and came up with this bag.

New bag
front of the bag

I finally used one of those lace zippers I had on hand. (More than a year ago, my friend Nancy & I split an Amazon order). The zipper goes across the top. I made the bag substantially longer so my bigger wallet would fit in. I bought the wallet, handmade, from one of the ladies at the Assisted living facility where I used to volunteer and I just love it. I was always jamming it in the old bag.

Again, while making this project, I dug into the “leftover half square triangles” that I have sitting in a basket.

I decided that the pocket on the back of this bag could be divided, and my phone will fit on either side, and still have room for a pen or a mask or my ear buds.

pockets on the back

I ended up using the same woven strap from the old bag, as it is in pretty good shape. I can always make a fabric strap later if I choose. With so much white on the bag, I imagine it will be in the washer on a regular basis. The rings are “key ring overlap” style, so taking off the strap and replacing it should be easy.

When I was working on this, I was thinking “proto-type” for a bag done using some wonderful vinyl that I have. It looks and feels like suede, but I wanted to be sure I had worked out the process…when to attach the zipper, where to leave the opening for turning, how to attach the bits for the handle, how I wanted the pocket to work etc.

Overall, without a pattern I am quite pleased with the outcome.

I used Pellon 973 Fusible fleece on the back side of the main fabric, nothing on the back of the lining.

fusible fleece for the bag

Turning the bag thru the opening on the side of the lining was fairly easy, as the Pellon fleece is very soft and easy to work with. There are no “raw edges” on the bag to be bothersome. I quilted thru the outside bag fabric using one of the special stitches on my Janome 8900, and I think that helps give it some character too. It will certainly keep the fleece from shifting when it gets washed. (All the white means it will need washing on a regular basis!!)

close up of the quilting
Close up of the stitching

I still want to make another bag using the wonderful vinyl product, and have to “think through” the process of adding all those extra zipper pockets etc. But for now, my new purse kind of matches my sister’s bag I made yesterday.

The picture below is my old bag on top of the new one, and you can see how much bigger I made it.

Replacing the old bag

So, there you have it, a one day project! (Really just an afternoon of creating and having fun!)

What are you working on this week?? Any suggestions for adding multiple zippers in outside pockets?? I’m sure I can figure it out, but will spend my evening hunting through videos on you-tube looking at suggestions!

Step 1 and 2 completed of the Scrap Dance

Do you remember that I mentioned last week (  https://stitchinggrandma.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/scrap-dance-my…ry-quilt-along/     )  that I was participating in the Scrap Dance Quilt Along being run by FromMyCarolinaHome.wordpress.com  ?   I decided to start tackling my basket of scraps, and do a little clean up after piecing my Quilts of Valor top.

So; I printed out the directions; and decided to go with the baby sized quilt. I have enough scraps for 2 king size I am sure, but I don’t have much time to work on any big projects right now. So, the small size will have to do….and if I have a spare moment, maybe a table topper.

For Step 1 I needed to cut 85 – 2.5″ scrappy squares; 36 – 3″ scrappy squares from the scrap basket. Barely made a dent!  I also needed 68 – 2.5 ” background fabric squares and 36 -3 inch background fabric squares. Had to pull out a couple of fat quarters to get a neutral background. No scraps for that job.    I assembled those 36 – 3″ squares into half square triangles and got them ready.  Now, the lazy side of me only trimmed down 20 of the 72 half square triangles so I could assemble Step 2.

Step 2 required you to put together 3 of the 2.5″ background along with 2 of the half square triangles into a “row”.  I wanted to say it was a block, but it looks like a row to me.

Part of the Quilt Along has you put your photo’s up on Flickr.   I went ahead and requested to “join the group”. In the time being, until I am approved to join that group,  I thought I would share with you what I have so far –

Assorted scraps cut in required sizes

Assorted scraps cut in required sizes 2.5″ and 3″ blocks

Half square triangles, ready to trim

Half square triangles, ready to trim

What is so much fun with this is that most of the fabrics in this scrap group (except the fish) have come from my friends. Things they just could not see a good use for!  Love FREE fabric!!! Thanks Nancy & Cindy!!  🙂  I know you will recognize your contributions.

the 10 finished "rows" for step 2.

the 10 finished “rows” for step 2.

I managed to get some of the scraps under control, but sadly this only made a slight dent in the top of the basket. I chose the Baby Quilt size because I thought it would be a fun project to work on “in between” my bigger projects. Tomorrow, I swear, I need to make a list and write down some deadlines! I have enough scraps to make a king size, but not the time to commit to a big new project! So, baby quilt size for now, and the extra blocks I cut (ABOUT 100 – 3″) will go in the “scrap storage containment boxes by their size. I still have my eyes open for a piece that will round out one of my hexi diamonds I am short 2 units for. A little clean up is good for the creativity….not too mired down in the stuff! There won’t be another post on this project until May, but if you want more info; there is a button on the side of my blog to take you right to the Scrap Quilt Along From My Carolina Home blog.
Hope you are having a bright sunny day like me! Time to get dinner going! Bye for now!

Scrap Dance Mystery Quilt Along Updated

Ok…like I don’t already have enough to do…..but really…this kind of thing is just my speed…once a month.

Carole from the blog “From My Carolina Home” is sharing a project that is a “scrap buster”.   She posted about it in March, and I looked at it and thought…no time ….no time… Today, she released the directions for Step 2, and I was hooked.  I know, there are all these blocks of the month, and patterns I have saved etc…but I like this one…so here I go to play along with Scrap Dance Mystery Quilt Along.  This is what happens to me and why I have SO many projects going…oh look…fabric…shiny …ooooh  !!!!  I like to get distracted by a new project.

I won’t tell you what size, but I will tell you that today, I will go out, clean up the scraps from my last project (QOV) and all those other scraps that are piled on the back of the cutting table and on the little skinny table in the center of the room.  My friends KNOW that I love scraps and have gifted me several bundles that are now needing to be put to use and under control.  I think I will tackle one piece at a time. Press it, cut it; store it / add it to the “SCRAP DANCE MYSTERY QUILT ALONG.   It is NOT too late to start, step one & step two are posted, and I think I can “catch up” today and tomorrow, then I won’t worry about it again until MAY.  (While I press and sort & cut I am keeping my eyes open for possible “hexi” pieces…I am short a couple of hexi’s on one of my “rounds” of double diamonds and am on the lookout for a particular scrap!)

If you want to play to – go check out  https://frommycarolinahome.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/quilt-along-mystery-quilt-2015/

I put a button on the side of my wall to her Scrap Dance Quilt Along too.   The button and the link above will take you to the “intro – part one”.  Today’s post was step two – https://frommycarolinahome.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/scrap-dance-mystery-quilt-along-step-2/

Now, don’t tell anybody…I have dishes to wash, taxes to do, etc.  But…the clean up of the sewing room needs to be done before I can carry on QUILTING those 2 Bonnie Hunter Grand Illusion Mystery Quilts AND my Quilts of Valor top that are waiting.  I might even break the vacuum out and clean up the threads and bits on the floor….you know it is SPRING and time to clean up a bit.   Hope you are inspired to play with your scraps a little too.

Oh the scraps to be tamed!!

Oh the scraps to be tamed!!

Shhh…..don’t tell; I spent 3 hours working on the scraps. but now it is time to get on with the family life…the dreaded trip to the warehouse store for groceries.

But I DID get something done……

the 2.5" light squares to go in the house for hexi's

the 2.5″ light squares to go in the house for hexi’s

the basket that awaits taming

the basket that awaits taming

 

 

the tamed blocks - 2.5" and 3 "

the tamed blocks – 2.5″ and 3 “