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Bags, Bags, and More Bags

Well, I have been working hard at making bags, pouches, and more for the past couple months getting ready for a craft show at Michigan BuskerFest. It is this Saturday, and I think I’m at the point where I feel ready.

A pile of bags:

K.I.S. bags:

Medium vinyl pouches:

Wallet style vinyl pouches:

Business/ credit card size pouches:

Coin/earbud pouches:

And the newest in the line up, dispenser bags for carrying waste bags for dog walking. They are also great for parents. Why? Well, ever been in a restaurant with your little one and they have that dreaded diaper explosion…all over? Have a dispenser bag with you and you can bag up the clothes to contain the mess.

Wish us luck!

Free Motion aka “drop the dogs and go”

About a month ago my mom taught me how to free motion quilt. She always says, “just drop the dogs and go”. Unfortunately, at the time it was shortly after the thumb versus rotary cutter incident, so I wasn’t able to do much.

I’m mostly healed now, it all reattached, although I do have decreased sensation and pain around the scarring. It’s only been 4 1/2 weeks though, so I’m pretty happy.

Anyway, back to free motion. You know what? Its fun! Drop the feed dogs, put on the correct foot, and get a good grip on the piece you’re working on.

Those above are a few of the ones I’ve done in the past couple nights. And a few more from tonight:

Tips from me:

  • Have a good grip with both hands on your fabric
  • Steady, fast speed with the foot pedal and consistent speed with your hands
  • Remember stitch length is determined by how fast you move the fabric with your hands. No feed dogs!
  • Have fun and don’t worry about it.

I hope you get a chance to try it out if you haven’t tried it before. And if you tried it and didn’t like it, just try it out again and remember… have fun and don’t worry! It’s not supposed to look perfect

Prototype: Doggie Bag

A week or so ago my hubby told me he had another idea. A bag to carry a roll of plastic bags for dog walking. I’ve let the idea percolate in my brain for the week and tonight I sketched it out then started cutting and sewing.

One of the main features was to have an opening to dispense the baggies. Easily done, but I made this one a little too open. I think the next one will have a skinnier opening, and I might add some vinyl between the layers around the opening to stiffen it up.

Another feature we discussed was being able to easily clip the bag to a leash or belt loop.

I also squared the bottom corners so it stands nicer.

This holds a 4 1/2″ wide roll of baggies easily.

Now to make the next one with a couple minor changes.

If you have a dog that you walk and clean up after, do you see anything that could be improved on this design? I appreciate any feedback!

Recycling Tip

My mom makes these neat bowls made from leftover thread clippings. She’s the queen of no-waste with her art quilts, wall hangings, and items like this:

So while I sit here and make bags and pouches, I save all my thread clippings to give to her. I found that a great way to contain the threads that is also easily portable is using a large (200 count) Tic Tac container.

They can hold a lot of thread, and if you shake it up it’ll actually turn it into a loose thread ball (I’m easily amused at times).

Another bonus is you are recycling/repurposing the container instead of throwing it in a landfill somewhere. 😁

First Big Order

Even with the thumb injury, I managed to finish the order tonight! Thank you, Mom, for helping turn a lot of these right side out.

15 vinyl lined pouches and 3 coin/small pouches.

Next up is making more bags and pouches for the craft show next month. The goal is 20 vinyl pouches, 20 coin pouches (at 18 now), and 15 K.I.S bags. I just sold another K.I.S this weekend as well, pictured below.

I think my hubby will be happy when my Wife Cave is set up on the other side of the basement and I move my bag production out of the dining room. 🤣

Rotary Cutters Are Sharp

The same day I get notice of a decent sized order for vinyl lined pouches and coin pouches, my thumb met up with the rotary cutter.

My own fault for using an old rotary cutter that the blade keeps loosening up. I was cutting and it wobbled, it jumped the ruler, and hit my thumb. It all happened so fast! I think it took longer to realize what happened than it did to actually happen.

Replace old cutters! Don’t keep using them if they keep loosening up or have any other issues. I’m not joking.

I won’t show pictures of the actual injury, but look how they bandaged me up!

Luckily it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. I only cut a small chunk of the top off. This was on Tuesday afternoon. I called up the owner, Gwyn, at the quilt shop I help at and asked for a ride to the clinic from someone at the store and she dropped everything and came and picked me up. I’m very blessed.

I did manage some quilting yesterday on some pouches-to-be. (Still need to be pressed again I see).

Mom has offered to help me out with the parts that I can’t do at the moment, like turning things right side out when finished.

And my best friend just dropped off a hair tie so I can keep the plastic bag closed over my hand while I shower. 😁

I have an excellent mom and a great group of friends that I am so thankful for. I don’t know what I would do without them.

Again though, replace old/bad cutters. Regularly inspect them for damage. Don’t pull a Shell and cut your fingers!

Busy Busy Me

I’ve been pretty busy making my K.I.S. Bags, plus more, this week. And some have already sold!

I’ve also made mini bags that can be used as a coin purse, carry ear buds for phone, and more.

And a tablet case for my tablet. Bonus, this fabric glows in the dark!

Plus a few items currently in prototype mode. A wallet and a phone case.

I also had a K.I.S. bag that ticked me off, so I smashed it down, looked at it and said huh, I wonder.

I may be setting up an Etsy shop soon.

K.I.S. Bags

Did I mention addiction before? I’m sure I did. Zipper addiction! Actually, bag-making addiction made better with zippers.

The past couple days I have been playing around with my sewing machine and some fabulous Fabrics, working on the details to make these nice little bags. I am calling them K.I.S. Bags, or “Keep it Simple” Bags.

Bag #1 (shown in a previous post):

I decided it was too small for my intended purpose.

This is bag #2:

The size was just about perfect, So I made Bag #3:

Then Bag #4, which is now my purse:

The finished size is: 7″ tall by 9″ long by 3 1/2″ wide. I measured my purse after it was filled. If you are curious how much will fit in it: I have two epipens, two check books, a wallet, inhaler, small SketchBook, Ink pen, a mirror, comb, a small gift card holder, and a small bottle of Tylenol in this bag. And I could probably fit a little bit more.

They may be simple, but they have so many possible uses! Purse, toiletry bag, shaving kit, first aid kit, travel bag, sewing kit, kid’s pencil/pen bag, and more! Even emergency chocolate stash bag, according to my mom.

My husband said this would be something he thinks men would use as well as long as it was in masculine Fabrics for shaving kits and travel kits.

I’m having a blast making them.

Humbug Bags and More

I learned something new last week. Zippers! I actually think I did a zipper once back when I was a kid in 4-H, but that’s been…longer ago than I want to admit. We’ll just say it’s been awhile. So, I needed a refresher.

I really wanted to make something fun and useable for our nephew G and my best friend’s daughter V for Easter baskets. After some discussion with my mom and our friend/owner at Sew Crazy, I decided to try making Humbug Bags.

This first one was made for our nephew.

This next one is for little miss V.

So much fun to make! I stuffed both bags with fun little things as Easter gifts.

But, as you may know from reading my blog, I love doing “crazy squares”. I decided I needed to make a humbug for myself with the outside being a crazy square.

And, again if you’re a frequent reader, you know my plan and my result are not always on the same path. I had every intention of this being a humbug bag. All the way up to the point of just needing to sew the last seam and it would be done. But as it was sitting there on the table my brain said, “hey, if we sew the seam this way instead of that way and square up the bottom corners, and put the strap here, you’ll have a different style bag!”

So… that’s what I did!

I think I’ll make another one like this, but a little bit deeper. It might make a nice little purse.

And I may be addicted to zippers now.

How about you: have you started making something, been almost done, and then made a little change that gave you a completely different result?

Sewing Retreat – New Project

Last weekend we had an all-day sewing retreat at a local township hall. I have had a project in my mind for a while ever since I saw the Stonehenge Gradation charm packs up at my local quilt shop. They are absolutely gorgeous Fabrics.

I love the richness of the colors and the movement in each piece. No two 5 inch pieces are the same. I got several of the charm packs, a strip set, plus a skinny roll of black strips at Christmas time. (And then ended up buying more!). I played around with a couple of ideas before deciding to make a ton of Half Square Triangles with the charm packs. I’ll end up with approximately 747 HST.

Aren’t those just absolutely gorgeous? I had quite a few of them made already before the sewing retreat so I packed everything up along with my machine and off I went.

I decided to do these an easy way where are you put two fabrics right sides together and sew along all four sides. And then you cut on the diagonal and end up with 4 half Square triangles.

If you have 5 inch charms you can sew them together like this and end up with approximately 3 inch half square triangles. They are not perfectly the same size but at this point I really didn’t care. I wasn’t aiming for a certain size.

Then I had to decide how I wanted to put them together. I laid them out in a couple different configurations.

Then I did what I do often and I just Winged It.

Then I looked at it again, grabbed the rotary cutter and a ruler, and made a slice diagonally across what I had just put together. I added some black strips between the pieces and around the block. I made another block, sliced it a couple times and added black strips between and around. Then I grabbed one of my Stonehenge strips and put them all together.

And this is what I ended up with for my first section of the quilt that I am going to make with these Gorgeous Fabrics. It’s not perfect… if the quilt police were to look at it. But I have the quilt police banned from my house anyways. 🤣

The sections are not going to be identical. I will just put the squares together until I reach a size I like, and then start cutting and adding the black. Eventually I will have a quilt top made in a stained glass type idea using gorgeous Stonehenge Fabrics.

Did you make anything this weekend? Have you gone to a retreat lately?