Frog Stitch practice…

As I mentioned in my last post on Panto Progress, I had to spend some time frog stitching (rip it, rip it) because I learned lesson #1 the hard way (NEVER take your eyes off the panto design line…and when you do, make sure your needle is DOWN).

So, learning how to rip the stitching out was a good (notice I didn’t say FUN) experience for me.  I have a new favorite tool…my Superior SnippersThey are PERFECT for handling this job. The very sharp, fine point is fantastic for getting under those tiny stitches and popping them out (always use care when using a seam ripper or sharp instrument on your quilt top).

FrogStitchingWithSuperiorSnippersHow do I frog stitch? I discovered that “for me” if I just pop about every 5th – 6th stitch and then reach underneath and PULL that bobbin thread out it goes the fastes.  For any straggling top thread bits, I use a lint roller (or a piece of packing tape works great too)…swipe across and they’re gone.  Quick spritz…let it dry and I’m ready to quilt again.

I finished the panto…but changed to a different top thread, a Superior LAVA thread; I used Magna-Glide bobbins on the whole thing…they are AWESOME!  Then I decided to “use” the quilted panto design (my rendition wasn’t that great) and “shadow quilt” over it again from the front (freehand style).  When I ran out of the blue LAVA thread, I decided to test a new thread (it’s the yellow one) which I really like.

Doing freehand quilting over the previously quilted panto design was a great way to practice the controls and movement on both sides of the machine…a sort of 2fer.  Oh yeah…I didn’t like how my points turned out inside the flowers on the panto quilting…so I filled them in with thread.  YAY!

This practice piece is small and very simple (I just used muslin)…but I’ll put a simple binding on it and use it as a lap cover this fall/winter when the weather turns cool again.  It will be fun to pull it out then and see how much I’ve learned over the summer.

Wanna see?

firstPantoPLUS

Meet my new bag baby….Miranda!

My Miranda was birthed with love and nurturing dedication over the course of two days.  It was an extended labor of love for this Lazy Girl.

Why did it take so long you ask?

  • Well…because I never seem to have more than 20 consecutive minutes at a time to work on sewing projects lately.
  • I also have a very bad habit of wanting to change things slightly…which ALWAYS results in requiring much more time. For example:
  1. I decided I did not like how my front and back panels looked when I pieced them together, so I added applique pane strip over the join and on each panel end.  I quilted these down over the end of each large pieced rectangle (i.e., the front & back).
  2. I also decided I did not want to have a solid (looking) black lining, but I DID want to have a black faux binding around the top.  Sew….this Lazy Girl took her time and pieced the lining sections.

Did I need drugs to get through this extended labor you’re wondering? No, silly.  While operating a sewing machine or hot iron I highly recommend not becoming impaired or intoxicated.

Oh…so you want to see her? Here she is–click image to open large image in a pop up window:

Miranda Day Bag
Miranda Day Bag

Miranda ivory/black  bamboo fashion handles from Clover.

I used Leisure Arts 1″ Swivel Clips to make her cinch. Click here to see a selection of Leisure Arts handbag hardware accessories at Sew Thankful.

Mirada Cinched shown hanging slightly at an angle
Mirada Cinched shown hanging slightly at an angle

My Miranda is not quilted.  Instead of batting, I used Pellon Fusible Fleece.  I love the smooth and sleek look.

I also decided to give my Miranda FEET to protect her bottom, because good mamas take care of their baby’s bottoms.  Given Miranda’s ample proportions, I decided that she would need 6 feet in order to protection at each end and also in the middle. It’s terrible to have a chafed middle bottom!   I used silver tone purse feet from Ghees (gotta mind your metals when making purses…make sure all metal colors match for best results). Gold tone feet are also available at Sew Thankful…in fact, Sew Thankful stocks a nifty selection of handbag hardware.

I used the BLACK Velcro Fusion and I gotta say it again, “I LOVE that stuff!”  I only had the 3/4″ x 1″ rectangles available, and being a Lazy Girl, I just placed them end to end to get my 2″ piece and fused.  Worked great!

See inside:

Inside Miranda
Inside Miranda

So…you wanna know…how hard was she to sew?

Miranda is not a hard bag to make at all.  If you don’t have well honed sewing skills, you will definitely need patience and be able to discipline yourself to take one step at a time and follow it through without trying to guess it’s right.

There are some minor challenges in dealing with the bulk because Miranda is very well stabilized (and that’s a GREAT thing).  These minor challenges are nothing too difficult if you can discipline yourself to stay focused on each task as Joan presents it you shouldn’t have any major problems.

Joan Hawley, owner/designer of Lazy Girl Designs and the Miranda Day Bag pattern, did an outstanding job with both the “design” of the bag and the directions for the pattern.  Two thumbs up!!!

I LOVE my new Miranda and can’t wait to show her off AND make more — but that will probably have to wait until after the holidays!

Would you like to know when I make new samples of patterns, write pattern or product reviews or when Sew Thankful is offering eCoupon codes?  If so, please be sure to sign up for the FREE Sew Thankful eNews — click here.

Cell Phone Catty has a two new sisters!

Cell Phone Catty is a really fun gift-making pattern.

I made these twins at the same time (so they’re sisters to my first one!).

Assembly-line sewing speeds up the process.  It’s also fun to experiment using different items for embellishments.  I used some cool decorative brads I found in the stationary department at Hobby Lobby.  I looked for brads that did not have super wide back tabs and these were not hard at all to use.

PurpleCatty1

PurpleCatty2

These kitty girls will make great Christmas gifts.

I’m looking forward to making more of these in different colors, but I need to get busy with a few other projects first.

Here’s the 1st Cell Phone Catty I made:

CellPhoneCatty1

Click here to see the Cell Phone Catty pattern.

Here Kitty Catty…Caddy!

I love my new Cell Phone Catty!
CellPhoneCatty1
I whipped her up over the weekend and she’s already added *sew* much dazzle to my day.
I smile every time I pick up my purse.

CellPhoneCatty2

CellPhoneCatty3

CellPhoneCatty4

Isn’t she cute?  I made her using the Cell Phone Catty pattern from Cotton Ginnys.Wanna see the back side?

I know I’m going to have to make more of these.

Oooohhh…great gift-making is in the works!  Cell Phone Catty will make a great Christmas present for my daughter and quite a few other people.

I was surprised at how easy it was to make this pattern.  The directions are very well written, but it is important to read them ALL the way through before beginning.

A sewing machine with zig-zag capability is recommended but not required (you can do all straight stitching if you want).

One thing I did differently from the pattern — I did not use sew-in Velcro.  I used the new Fusion Velcro (that is a permanent fusible).  Good stuff! Sew Thankful does not have it in stock yet, but should very soon.

Another thing I think will be helpful — next time I’m going to use Quilter’s Vinyl to trace off the pattern templates.  I made this one using KWIK Trace, and it worked OK…but for these smaller pieces and for the required placement markings, using Quilter’s Vinyl should work much better.

Want to see the Cell Phone Catty pattern?  Click here.
Want to see more fresh & fun Cotton Ginnys patterns?  Click here.


My first Wonder Wallet

I finally did it! I found/made time to make my first Wonder Wallet by Joan Hawley of Lazy
Girl Designs
. The pattern is very easy and well-written. In such a short period of time I had a finished item that is functional and attractive.  OH YEAH…I have plans to make gifts from this pattern!

I made the contrasting heart-shaped yo-yo as a base to my button.  Here it is:

WonderWallet

I used Clover’s Small Heart-Shaped Yo-Yo maker to make my yo-yo.

Here’s a view of the inside:

WonderWallet2