Back to the Bionic Bag

Most of my go-to sewing supplies and notions live in a Bionic Bag that I made several years ago.  It travels around the house from sewing machine to sofa or patio for hand stitching, and it goes with me to guild, sew-ins, and shops when I teach.  This bag is frequently admired, and following several recent requests, I will be teaching this pattern next January at Dabble and Stitch in Columbus, Ohio.

It was so much fun to choose new fabrics for the shop sample!  I love to mix and match fabrics from different designers and lines, and this project was no exception.  The main outer fabric is from Carrie Bloomston’s new Wonder line, and the other fabrics are a mix of designers including Alison Glass and Tula Pink.  I used a walking foot to do some linear quilting on the bag exterior.  I like the look and texture of the quilted bag, but you can also choose to use an iron on interfacing and skip the quilting step.

One of the things I love about the design of this bag is the way the front folds creates a tray when the bag is open.  In this section, I like to add magnetic snaps to hold the dumpling pouch and a small pin cushion.  I use the dumpling pouch for wonder clips, and the pin cushion is stuffed with scraps of wool batting and keeps pins and needles within easy reach.

Between the four zippered pockets and the pouches formed between them, you can fit almost every supply you need for a day or more of sewing.  Once you have made one of these bags, they go together very quickly and make great gifts for sewists and non-sewists  alike.  I have made several over the years, and you can check one out in this Bionic Bag post from a couple years ago.  The Bionic Gear Bag pattern is available for download on Craftsy.

If you would like to join me for the class, it will be held at Dabble and Stitch on Saturday, January 12, 2019 from 10am-4pm. During the day, you will construct most of your Bionic Bag, and you may or may not have time to to work on the optional dumpling pouch.  I hope to see you there!

Vinyl Front Tula Pouch

For the second year, one of the sewing groups I belong to did a swap.  This swap has a twist:  Each person brings a fat quarter of a favorite fabric from their stash to put in a bag.  Then, we all take turns pulling out a piece of fabric and guess who it belongs to.  We are a small group, so we are typically pretty successful in guessing the owner of the fabric.  We each take the fabric away and come back a couple meetings later with an item made from the fabric we pulled from the bag to give back to the original person.

Tula Vinyl Pouch front

I pulled this cute Tula Pink cat print from the bag of fat quarters.  It happened to be a fabric that I love enough to own, too!  The person who brought the fabric enjoys hand applique and embroidery, so I thought she may like a bag that will keep all of her pieces flat and visible until it is their turn to be secured to the block.

I used a fairly heavy, clear vinyl for the front of the pouch. The primary fabric is the cat print, and for the back of the pouch, I chose to make a nine patch from a charm pack from the same Tula Pink fabric line.  I sandwiched and quilted the fabric layers with a piece of soft and stable to make sure the pouch would lay flat while maintaining flexibility.

Tula Vinyl Pouch back

The binding is also from that same line of prints.  I machine stitched it to the front and folded it around to the back for hand stitching.  This allowed for hand finishing on the fabric portion of the pouch.  The bag finishes a bit over 13″ square, so a lot of quilt blocks could actually lay flat in the pouch.  I wish I had made one for myself when I was in a couple of bees- it would have been perfect to transport blocks!

2017 Planning Post

2016 flew by and now that we are just hours away from starting 2017, I thought I would share some of my Quilt-y goals for the coming year as well as some 2016 highlights.

2017-quilty-plans

Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl is once again hosting a link up for a 2017 Planning Party, and this post is linked there.

Most of my goals are for 2017 are building on the goals I set for 2016, so I thought I would share a few highlights from the past year as well as some future plans.

1.  Write and Publish Quilt Patterns:

In 2016 I added several free original patterns to my Craftsy Pattern Shop, including Sand Dollar Star, a Filmstrip Block, and Berry Patch Plaid.  Also added this year were instructions for traditional Hourglass and Ohio Star blocks.  Also this year I designed the Row by Row design for Dabble and Stitch, one of my local quilt shops.  This pattern is now available for sale both individually and as a kit.  It will soon be added to my Craftsy shop as well.

I am thrilled to be working on an original set of patterns that will be a Block of the Month for Dabble and Stitch!  These blocks are based on areas of Columbus, Ohio, but will (hopefully) be appealing for everyone.  I am nearly ready to release full paid patterns for an arrow baby quilt (which I designed for my new great-nephew) and a star quilt.

2.  Submit Work to Magazines:

This goes right along with goal #1.  This year I had a quilt in the project section of Generation Q magazine, a pair of Christmas Stockings were in Modern Patchwork Gift, and a block appeared in 100 Blocks.  I also had a quilt included in an article appearing in Simply Moderne as well as a few quilts that appeared as contest winners in several issues of American Quilter.

2017 is already looking promising on this front.  One quilt is scheduled to appear in a magazine coming out next month, and I long arm quilted a beautiful quilt design that will be in another magazine around the same time.

3.  Enter and Attend Quilt Shows:

2016 was a fantastic year for this!  I was lucky enough to have quilts in QuiltCon, MQX, and six American Quilter’s Society Shows.  I even managed to receive two first places, one third, an honorable mention, and a faculty award!  I was also able to attend QuiltCon and the AQS shows in Paducah and Syracuse.  I also had some success in entering challenges this year.  My Modern Quilt Guild/Riley Blake Challenge entry received second place, and my entry in the Hoffman Challenge received the “Best use of Aurifil” award.  My Riley Blake quilt was also included at the Modern Quilt Guild Showcase at the International Quilt Festival in Houston.

The shows for 2017 could end up being a lot of fun.  I have three quilts going to QuiltCon and two have been accepted to the first AQS show of the year.  Last year’s QuiltCon was fantastic, and I am excited to be going again this year.  I am also planning to attend both the Spring and Fall AQS Paducah shows.  The Fall show is going to have a different format for its categories and judging, so it will be exciting to be a part of it!

4.  Teach Quilting Classes and Do Trunk Shows:

I have had so much fun teaching this year at Sew to Speak!  I taught a Block of the Month of the Collection Quilt by Carolyn Friedlander, a clamshell quilt class, a Christmas Stocking class, and a walking foot quilting class.  I also taught my Row by Row pattern at Dabble and Stitch.

The Collection Quilt

The Collection Quilt

My teaching schedule at both shops is increasing in the coming year.  At Sew to Speak I will be teaching The Collection Quilt again this year, as well as a couple sessions of straight line quilting, a bias binding workshop, and a clamshell technique class.  Each month at Dabble and Stitch, I will teach the Block of the Month.

In 2016 I did a couple of trunk shows at local shops, and thoroughly enjoyed doing a presentation to a local guild. It is so much fun to meet other quilters and talk about my work and process!  I have two guild presentations scheduled so far for 2017, and would love to do more!

5.  Grow my Longarm Business:

I love to quilt for customers!  My edge to edge quilting business has grown this year, and I have had some custom work (which is my favorite!).  I hope to have even more work in the coming year!  As part of this, I will be developing this section of my website.

6.  Blog Consistently:

This was one of my goals that was definitely not met in 2016.  Instagram has totally lured me in with it’s quick and easy posts.  I do want to post to the blog more often because I love talking about my design process, and a single photo with a caption doesn’t always cover it.

7.  Work with my Guilds and Groups

I participate in two local guilds and one smaller group, and love them!  In 2017 I am the Charity Officer for the Central Ohio MQG.  We are only a year old, so we have lots of potential to grow.  Last year we did quite a bit of charity sewing, and I am hoping to add a teaching component to our charity work in the coming year.

Last year I also had planned to develop my Etsy site, and while I would still like to work on it, at this time I don’t think it is a major priority.  I would like to have it as another venue for the purchase of patterns and the occasional handcrafted item, but I’m not sure if it will ever be a significant source of income.  What do you think? Do you tend to but (or sell) patterns on Etsy?  Do you prefer it to Craftsy?

I hope everyone has a wonderful and inspiring 2017!

Felted Wool Needle Minding Mini

This very little mini came about for a very practical reason- I wanted a place to put machine needles when I needed a different style of needle, but wasn’t ready to dispose of the one I had been using.  Wool is ideal to store needles in since it doesn’t dull them, so I thought this would be a fun place to experiment using this fiber.felted-wool-needle-minder-mini

A friend has a needle felting machine, so I brought some neutral colored wool roving with me to create the fabric for the off white stripe on this mini.  It was so much fun to see a bunch of loose fibers transform before my eyes into 100% wool felt!  The coral colored wool was a piece of fabric my mom donated from her stash, and I used decorative machine stitching to appliqué the needle felted wool in place.

The stitching was done entirely with my mechanical machine, so it is all carefully placed straight stitches to create the boxes and lettering.  My most used machine needle sizes are 10, 12, and 14.  The specialty needles I tend to use are ball point needles for knits (K) and a Microtex needles (M).  A couple rows of decorative stitching and a dense zig zag around the edges finish the mini.

Title:  Needle minding mini

Techniques: Machine needle felting

Quilting: Machine quilted using straight and decorative stitches

Fabric:  Felted wool and repurposed wool scraps

Batting: Warm and White

Thread: Mettler

Binding: Dense machine zig zag stitching

 

2015 Finish Along Q3

2016 FAL

Bionic Bag

Last year I made myself a Bionic bag, then I made one for my Mom, and at that point I was having so much fun with them I started another.  About 2/3 of the way through, I got distracted (that happens way too often!) and this bag ended up as a UFO for several months.  Bionic Bag Exterior

When it was time for the holiday party at my local quilt guild, I pulled the semi-finished bag out to finish for our gift exchange.

The pattern for the Bionic Bag is by RipStitcher and is available on Craftsy.  The directions are extensive, but the construction of the bag is pretty staight-forward, and there are a lot of photographs included in the instructions.  I love that this bag has room for practically every sewing notion you could ever need- it goes with me everywhere!  Bionic Bag Interior 1

I chose the fabric for the bag exterior first and used that color scheme to select the interior fabrics.  There are so many opportunities to play with color on this project, so I used a wide range of colors and prints.Bionic Bag Interior 2

My favorite wrapping paper came out for this gift, and I pulled out some scraps to make a flower decoration.

 

Wrapped Gift

Fabric Flower

It was a very popular item in our variation of “Bad Santa!”

Goal #28 is finished!

Goal #28 is finished!