Union Jack quilt and bag tutorials

For the past few weeks I have been playing with those Union Jack panels from Riley Blake that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. 
Today I am sharing a super-simple tutorial for this “Jacks are Wild” crib-sized quilt, using the flags from the “Blue” Union Jack panel

This quilt was quilted by my friend Monica at American Quilting. I added a striped binding that I already had on hand. This quilt is going to a friend who lived in London and just had her first baby. I had wanted to make her a Union Jack quilt, but considering the fact that it took me 3 years to finish my Union Jack quilt, I worried that it would never happen. So three cheers for the cute panel blocks for making this quilt a realistic possibility before this child starts kindergarten.

I’ve also been playing with the “Orange” pastel panel to create some quick bags, using my Easy Fat Quarter Bag tutorial. These have gone together SO FAST.
The only modification is that I used a 12″ x 20″ panel and lining fabric instead of 11″ x 18″. Everything else is exactly the same.

I made both the purse and hand bag version. I’m hopefully going to whip out a few more of these quick to give to my girls friends as Christmas presents. SO cute.

A new Union Jack bag + Fabric Fest

Welcome to my stop on the Riley Blake Fabric Fest blog tour. I’m so excited to show off my latest sewing project: a Union Jack bag! I made it this past weekend and I’m quite pleased with they way it turned out. (whew.)
I will be teaching how to make this bag in a class at the Riley Blake Fabric Fest in Las Vegas this fall.

If you’ve been around these parts before, you already know that I’m a total Anglophile. I’ve lived in the UK twice, loved it and still miss it constantly. It’s my dream to go back and live there again at some point. I finished a Union Jack quilt last summer in bright, primary colors. It was fun to try a new version in pastel colors.  I’ve also modified the Union Jack pattern.

This bag was made with fabrics from the new Kensington collection for Riley Blake, due out in July. The prints in this collection are SO pretty and I love the way they play together. If you sign up for this class at Fabric Fest, kits will be available for $35.

I will also be teaching three other classes at Fabric Fest including introductions to Modern Quilting as well as a class about using up those scraps. (A constant battle.) For more pictures from teachers and class teasers visit these other stops on the tour. Some of them even include Riley Blake fabric giveaways. There are some amazingly talented teachers involved with this event. I am still feeling a little bit out of my league!

Wednesday, June 5 Jina Barney of Riley Blake Designs 
Thursday, June 6 Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet 
 Friday, June 7 Elizabeth and Liz Evans of Simply Simon & Co 
Saturday, June 8 Nancy Zieman/Deanna Springer of Nancy Zieman.com 
Monday, June 10 Melissa Mortenson of The Polka Dot Chair  
Tuesday, June 11 Carolina Moore of Always Expect Moore 
Wednesday, June 12 Paige Hill of Riley Blake Designs, Jennifer of Tatertots and JelloBecky & Kari of U-Create 
Thursday, June 13 Amanda Herring of The Quilted Fish 
Friday, June 14 Kim Christopherson & Kris Thurgood of My Girlfriends Quilt Shoppe 
Saturday, June 15  Bonnie Bailey on Riley Blake Designs 
 Monday, June 17 Lila Tueller of Lila Tueller Designs 
Tuesday, June 18 Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter (moi) 
Wednesday, June 19 Lindsay Wilkes of The Cottage Mama
Thursday, June 20 Sue Daley of Sue Daley Designs 
Friday, June 21 Eleanor Burns/ Sue Bouchard of Quilt in a Day 
Saturday, June 22 Jenny, Natalie, & Sarah of Missouri Star Quilt Company 
 Monday, June 24 Andrea Goddard of And I Sew 
Tuesday, June 25 Becky, Brooke, Jamie, Kirsten, & Nikkala of The Crafting Chicks 
Wednesday, June 26 Deonn Stott of Quiltscapes   
 Thursday, June 27 Sandy Workman of Pine Mountain Designs  
Friday, June 28 Sydney Haglund of Memory Quilt Maker
Click here for more information about Fabric Fest. And let me know if you are planning to come! I hope you can. I love meeting blog-land friends in person.

Navy and Gold Handmade Bag + Bag Patterns Giveaway

Navy blue and gold handmade bag.
I finished making my navy and gold bag last weekend. Not as timely as I was originally planning, but I took it with me to the conference closing day, so that’s good enough.  I didn’t follow a pattern for this bag – I kind of made it up as I went a long. As a result it’s got flaws character, but overall, I’m pleased with the result.  I basically pieced the fabric rectangles into 2 15″ 18″ sides and then quilted them using a layer of Pellon’s Peltex Ultra Firm that I got at JoAnn’s and a layer of cotton/poly batting. From there I used a basic tote concept to square the bottoms with gussets and add the straps.
Windham farbrics recently sent me a sample pack of the canvas prints from Lotta Jansdotters’ newest collection called Glimma. I used some of the same pieces in the bag exterior. I asked them if I could use the gorgeous gold stripe canvas for my bag and they kindly sent me some yardage. I love the way the canvas gives extra body and durability to the lining and the bag straps. The pocket fabric is some of Lori Holt’s Aunt Millie’s Closet yardage that I’d bought a while back. You can find the Glimma collection here, here, and here.
Other prints include Indie Chic by Riley Blake, Pearl Bracelts by Lizzy House for Andover, and some Dear Stella Zig Zag.  
I’m so in love with the navy and gold color scheme that is popular right now. I’ve always been a fan of navy blue – maybe becuase I was raised on navy blue – so I love seeing it make a comeback.
Seeing as I’m NOT a great resource for bag-making (maybe some day!) let me point you in the direction of someone who is. Have you met Sara Lawson? I took a class from her last fall at the Sewing Summit  about making bags. (Don’t you love that patchwork bag she made?) She gave us samples of all kind of Pellon products (interfacing, etc.) and explained how she uses them. I took notes right on the samples. It was SO helpful!
Sew Sweetness
Sara has a great blog called Sew Sweetness full of helpful bag-making wisdom and tutorials including this VERY helpful explanation of handmade bag interfacing options.
She also has some fantastic bag patterns in her shop and she has generously offered to giveaway 3 patterns to 3 lucky winners! If you would like to win a collection of Sara’s patterns, just leave a comment on this post. If you want, pop over to Sara’s shop and come back and tell me which bag is your favorite. I warn you, it will be hard to choose! Giveaway open until Thursday, April 25 at midnight MST. GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Winners: Heidi [Grizz-n-Dove]April 22, 2013 at 2:41 PM

I love the camera bag!!
They are all great bags…I think my first favorite would be the Locked and Loaded. Thank you for the chance to win a pattern.
Love the Aeroplane Bags. These would make great birthday gifts for older girls.

Zippered Pouch palooza

A few weeks ago I received one of the sweetest gifts ever.  My friend ‘Pink‘, who I originally met through blogging, and who’s since turned into a real life friend made this AMAZING zipper bag for me.  I was speechless when I first saw it.

I love everything about it.  The hexagons, the color spectrum, the colors, the navy blue (one of my all-time favorite colors – so happy it’s making a comeback) and the Liberty-looking print in the lining and hexy-flower on the ‘back.’  I am still quite overwhelmed by the perfection of it. I immediately made the bag a home for my own hexagons and other hand-sewing projects.  I’ve been carrying it around with me to piano lessons, soccer games, pretty much everywhere I go.

One day I was showing off it’s beauty to some local friends.  We all admired the sheer awesomeness to behold and one by one began expressing the desire to learn how to make one ourselves.  So Pink offered to show us how.
We used Anna’s Open Wide Zipper Pouch tutorial, which is great. I, for one, still have a hang-up with zippers.  I’d learned to sew with them when I was about 12 at the hands of an experienced sewing teacher, but it has been a long while since then.  I was so grateful for the hands-on encouragement and feel pretty darn proud to have produced my own zippered item.

What’s that old adage? Give me a zippered pouch and I zip for a day, teach me to install zippers and even though I bug you for a day, I bug you a lot less that I would have before? Something like that…

Not to mention the fact that it was fun to sit and sew with real live people.  A rare treat. Fun women who ‘get’ my fabric-obsession-weirdness. And who bring good food like Apple Crisp!

I also stepped outside my normal color palette – using some of Pat Bravo’s Rock ‘n’ Romance collection for my pouch.  I feel a little more chic than usual, not to mention quite proud of my newly acquired zipper skills.

Easy Fat Quarter Bag Tutorial

Today I am going to share a tutorial for a couple of versions of a quick and easy bag made from Fat Quarters as part of Elizabeth’s Christmas in July series – to help all of us get started on those handmade gifts early so we’re not sewing zombies on December 24th.
This tutorial is inspired by some purses I made for my daughter’s friends for Christmas a couple of years ago.  They were so quick and so cute and I’ve been meaning to write a tutorial for them ever since. I’m grateful to Elizabeth for this opportunity to finally get my rear in gear and share how I did it.  They were inspired during a Christmas when funds were a little tight and I needed to use resources already on hand (i.e. a giant fabric stash) to create Christmas gifts.  
Each bag uses the equivalent of one Fat Quarter + 1/8th of a yard (or scraps) for the handle. (You could also use sturdy ribbon as handles.)  
Step 1: Cut your Fat Quarter (hereafter FQ) in half to create two 11″ (roughly-might be slightly narrower depending on the width of the FQ) x 18″ pieces. You can use the second piece as the lining of your bag or cut a coordinating piece the same size for a contrasting lining and save the second piece for a second bag.
For this bag we are going to make two short handles.  Cut two 4″ x 18″ pieces of fabric. These can come from a 1/8th yard piece of fabric, you could cut them from one of your FQ’s or you could find them in your scrap bin like I did.

Step 2 – Create the handles. Fold both handles in half lengthwise and press. Open up the handle and press both sides in, meeting at the half-way crease.  Press and fold in half. You should have a handle, 4-fabrics-thick about 1″ wide. Top stitch down both sides of the handle piece right at the edge to make it sturdy and to give it a nice finished edge.

Step 3- Pin both handles to the short sides of the lining piece of fabric. Measure in about 2.5″ from each corner and pin the handles to the the fabric.

Step 4- Place the outside fabric right sides together on top of the lining piece and handles. Pin short sides and sew 1/4″ seam allowance down both sides, over the edges of the handle straps, careful not to catch any other part of the handles in your seams.

 Step 5- Press seams open and bring seams together, matching them up at the center. The bag’s outside fabric and lining fabric should be folded on top of itself, right sides together. Now pin the long, open sides together.  Sew a 1/4″ seam along both sides, leaving a 3″ opening in the lining to turn the bag right-sides out.

 Step 6 – Pull the bag right sides out through the 3″ opening and top-stitch the opening closed. (This doesn’t have to look pretty because it will be inside the bag.)

Step 7- Tuck the lining inside the bag and press the bag carefully, paying extra attention to the seam around the top of the bag. Make it look nice and crisp. 
Step 8- Top-stitch around the top edge of the bag.  This will help secure the handles’ attachment and give the bag a finished look.  I did it twice. 

Step 9- Now to give the bag a nice boxy bottom, we are going to add something called a gusset.  Don’t stress, it’s much easier than it looks. Turn the bag inside-out and line up the side seams perpendicular to the bottom edge, creating two triangles at either end of the bag.

 Step 10- Measure down 1″ from the point and draw a line perpendicular to the side seam.

Step 11- Sew directly on the line, back stitching at both ends.  Repeat the same process with the bottom corner on the other side of the bag.  You could hand-tack down the gusset flaps if you’re picky, but don’t have to worry if you’re not as they will be hidden in the bag.

And there you have a quick finished bag!  Once you have made one, it’s very quick and easy to mass-produce a lot of them.

 Now here is a slight variation to create a bag with a longer strap and a little more of a ‘purse’ shape.

Repeat Steps 4-8 above to create the body of the bag, leaving out the handles.

To add a decorative ribbon or trim I measured down 2.5″ from the top and drew a line with an erasable fabric pen.

Line up the trim along the drawn line and pin in place.
Topstitch trim to the bag.
Repeat Steps 9-11 to add the gussets to the bottom of the of the bag.
For the handle of this purse, use a 4″ x 42″ piece of fabric.  Use the same method as above to create one long purse strap. (Fold in half and press, open up and fold edges toward center, press, fold in half again and topstitch both sides.)
Trim the strap to the desired finished length. I think I trimmed mine down to 38″ for a tween-y girls purse. Tuck bottom raw edges inside the purse strap. 

Pin the end of the strap about an inch down and directly next to one of the side seams on the outside of the bag.

Fold the side of the bag on the opposite side of the seam on top of the purse strap.  Seam should be on the inside edge of the strap with equal parts of the bag holding the strap end in place. 
Sew a square holding two sides of the bag with strap end in between in place. Repeat the same steps on the other side of the bag, with the other end of the strap.

When the bag is done, you can always add a cute embellishment of some kind to ‘bling-it-up’ if you want.

And that’s it!  Again, once you’ve made one, you can whip out a bunch more in no time.  They’re great gifts to have on hand for all those little-girl Christmas or birthday gifts. (Or you could make a ‘satchel‘ version for boys too!)

Be sure to visit the other guest-bloggers for Christmas in July to see the awesome ideas and tutorials they have for you!
Monday 7/16 – Don’t Call Me Betsy
Tuesday 7/17 – Sew Crafty Jess
Wednesday 7/18 – Pink Penguin
Thursday 7/19 – Freshly Pieced
Friday 7/20 – Sew Sweetness
Monday 7/23 – Happy Quilting
Tuesday 7/24 – Comfort Stitching
Wednesday 7/25 – Diary of a Quilter (here!)
Thursday 7/26 – Felicity Quilts

And finally, as part of this series, Elizabeth has arranged a fabulous giveaway for you of a $20 Gift Certificate from the online fabric retailer, Pink Chalk Studio! Lucky you! Pink Chalk has so many pretty choices.

To enter, leave a comment on this post. One entry per person.  If you want to, tell me something handmade you’d like to make this Christmas, but it’s not required.  Giveaway open until Saturday, July 28 at midnight MST.  Please be sure that I have a way to contact you if you win!


WINNER: Heidi StaplesJuly 25, 2012 11:54 AM

I’ve got a lot of things in mind to make for Christmas, but nothing definite yet. Darling tutorial! Thanks for the giveaway!

Lotta Jansdotter fabrics & summer sewing

Recently the nice people from Windham fabrics sent me a sample charm collection of Lotta Jansdotter’s upcoming collection called Bella.  I love Lotta’s clean, modern-scandinavian-inspired designs in bright, current colors.

I really have a thing for chartreuse right now, so I love it in this collection. I’m on the hunt to find a cute chartreuse cardigan. I have to laugh though, because growing up in the 80’s/early 90’s we would make fun of chartreuse. Maybe because it’s just a fun word to say. Now I hear ‘chartreuse’ said in an elegant ‘Martha Stewart’ voice, and it sounds so much cooler, right?  And instead I make fun of other colors from my past. I’m so fickle.

I going to Quilt Market a week from today. (eek.) That ‘eek’ is a mixture between total excitement and feeling scared to death.  I decided I need to make a new bag to take and Bella is the perfect base for a charming, modern looking bag.  I’m pulling in some other gray’s and chartreuse’s from my stash, plus some linen-y fabric for the body of the bag.  I’m going to use Anna’s Go Anywhere Bag Pattern and piece the outside pockets using the charm squares. We’ll see how it turns out! And if I actually finish it on top of everything else for Market.

Ellison Lane Quilts
If (when!) I finish, I’ll share it next week for my inspiring summer-project post as part of Ellison Lane’s Summer Sewing Contest!  You can read all of the details here and learn how you could enter to win prizes like a $100 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop. And who wouldn’t like that?
And finally, if you’re looking for a great deal, Quilting in the Rain is offering a 15% discount on your entire order this week with the code FABRICFRENZY. Lots of good Moda and Riley Blake pre-cuts. I’m just saying. 
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced