Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Getaway Quilted Bag

Here's the bag I'm entering in the Purse Week contest hosted by A Lemon Squeezy Home

The inspiration behind this bag was to transform a quilting technique into something of beauty and function.

I took 11 pieces of fabric and used the stack and shuffle technique to make this bag.  Six blocks formed the front panel of this quilted bag.  Free motion quilted with metallic thread.

Three stack and shuffle blocks made up the three open pockets on the back panel.  As the name implies, the entire bag was quilted to give it shape while maintaining a degree of softness that's gentle to touch!

The side-views here show two additional open pockets.  They are great for storing your cellphone and car keys.  Notice the pocket in the left photo.  The pocket opening is asymmetrical.  It was designed especially this way to reduce bulk on the seam allowance when all the panels are sewn together. 

Here's the view of the zipper treatment for the bag opening! 

Another reason that I love making my own bag is that I can customize the lining to my specification.  There are three open pockets plus a zipper compartment to store my personal items. 

Bag measurement:  15.5" x 10.5" x 4"
Fabric used:  Japanese and Rowan cotton fabric, Japanese yarn dyed fabric
Leather straps:  24" long

Last but not least..... Special thanks to my quilting teacher, Ms. Wu, for teaching me the stack and shuffle technique and guiding me through the completion of this bag.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Labor of Love

I've been working on the finishing touches on the bag that I'm entering in the Purse Week hosted by Lemon Squeezy Home . 

Hand binding the bag opening.  Those little clips work wonders on holding fabric together. 

Psst...Janet!  Do you see my little blue and green bowtie pincushion on the upper right hand corner?

I wish I discovered this great little tool sooner!  My quilting teacher told us it was good for basting your quilts.  But I've found it works just as well on temporary fastening your bag straps in position.  Then you can sew on the straps without fearing them shifting during the process!  Though this little gadget is kind of expensive, it cut down my sewing time (just on the bag straps) by 50%.  I love it!!

Stay tuned for my next post on My Getaway Quilted Bag!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

FMQA - Second Week Lines and Angles

This week's assignment  - lines and angles

I had to make a new practice pad for this week's assignment because the designs that Christina showed us are just so much fun to practice!

After this practice run I even quilted some of these designs on the back panel of  a WIP sewing case.

Hmm... I petted and praised the sewing case on a job well done because I couldn't believe how well it turned out.

Now I feel confident enough to quilt my top!

Sorry that you can't see the quilting.  My thread kind of blended in too well with the fabric!  Thread:  Sulky variegated quilting thread.  Needle size: #14.  Tension =4.5

vertical lines (quilt top)
The backing shows the quilted designs better than the quilt top. 

vertical lines (quilt backing)

I'm learning so much and having lots of fun with this quilt along.  Thank you, Christina!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


This past Sunday marked the arrival of Typhoon Fanapi to our little island of Taiwan.  Everyone stayed in and kept their TVs on for the lastest weather update and flood warnings! 

I did a little quilting and practiced my lines and angles for FMQA between household chores and such.  Took a little break to take a video of the view from our 2nd floor window.  What you're seeing are the roof tops of the nursery that's right next door.

Tomorrow is Mid Autumn Festival ( Moon Festival).  The moon will be at its most magnificent tomorrow night~~  I'll be thinking of you all...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

FMQA - First Week Wiggles

The assignment for the 1st week is wiggles.

Here's what my practice pad looks like. The gentle waves on the far right were easy to quilt as well as the "DNAs". The rest of the practice was on ribbons. I experiemented with different types of thread and tension setting. The black thread is 100% rayon embroidery thread. The thread kept on breaking and I even broke a needle!! Should I have used an embroidery needle? Overall I like the red quilting threads the best. They're sturdy and don't break as easily.

For this quilt I used: 喜佳quilting thread, bobbin thread is regular sewing thread and size 14 needle.

This is the beginning of the 1st strip - gentle wiggles followed by ribbons.

This is the end of the 1st strip: "DNA" design. I need more practice on this!

This is the beginning of the 2nd strip: gentle wiggles with leaves. I'm pleased with this especially since this was my first attempt! :)

This is the end of the 2nd strip: don't know what to call this, but it looks like waves to me!

This the backing of my quilt! As I mentioned in my previous post I used a one-sided fusible batting for this project. The quilt top is quite secured and smooth after quilting the two strips, but there's a problem with the backing. There are now ripples in the back of the quilt even though I spray basted the backing fabric to the batting.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fabric Mosaic Quilt

I finished machine binding this quilt today.  It took me 2.5 hours to bind this quilt from start to finish! Pat Sloan's tutorial was perfect!  I know it would have taken me three times as long to hand stitch the back binding of this quilt had I not known about this technique. 

Here's the back view of the quilt!  The top stitches were in line with the bottom stitches most of the time.

The stiletto proved to be quite useful in guilding the binding as I sew.

And here's the quilt that was set aside for a year!

This is a fabric mosaic quilt of my daughter.  Don't forget to squint your eyes when you look at it.  That will make the features more pronounced!   I posted the WIP of this quilt at my Chinese Blog.  Click here for Part I.  Click here for Part II.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sneak Peek

 This quilt was not forgotten, it was simply put aside... for over a year!!

There are lots of little squares in this quilt.  It's a quilt for my daughter. She's been after me to finish it.  I've completed the quilting which was mostly zig-zag stitches to hold the fabric together.  

I'm in the process of binding the quilt and by chance I saw a tutorial by Pat Sloan on machine binding.  I'm going to try this method for the first time.  We'll see how it turns out!