Joyful Song

I love birds.
Anything with birds.
I am also very fond of paisley and polka-dots.

Joann’s Fabric has a variety of beautiful, bird print fabric that
I have been wanting to purchase. I was just waiting for the perfect

I found this excellent blog, Sewn Up, and I chose the charm pack tote bag.
There are so many good tutorials on this blog.
The directions and photos are very clear and helpful.

I had ordered the Moda Polka-dot and Paisley charm pack.
Then, I purchased three coordinating fabrics from Joann’s to use for the lining,
the bottom portion of the bag, and the sash and handles.

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The tutorial suggests stipple quilting, which is something I have never done. That’s next on my list of things to learn. I just stitched 1/4 inch lines.
Instead of a bow, I attached the sash and added a bird button that I have had in my button box for some time.
This pattern suggested a “how- to -make a pocket” tutorial that is excellent.

FullSizeRender (6) Outer ShellIMG_6890 Lining
IMG_6889 Side One  IMG_6888 Side Two

Basic Wallet

I found a basic wallet tutorial by Lindsey Weight.
The pattern is easy to follow, and there are helpful photos.
But since I do not follow written directions well,
I found myself having to make corrections.

The tutorial recommends using a magnetic snap.
After searching for these snaps in three stores, and coming up empty,
I decided to use Velcro.
It is not the best substitution, but it will do for my first wallet.
I used the fabric remnants from the small polka dot and flower tote I made.
I have this matchy-matchy thing when it comes to purses and wallets.
Now that I have been through the process, I think my next wallet will
be much better.
It was fun to make.
It looks cute.
It matches my small tote.
So, I consider this a successful first attempt at making a wallet.

IMG_6846 Exterior, Interior, Pockets, and Zipper Tabs

IMG_6847 I used fusible foam instead of fusible batting.
IMG_6850 Pockets

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A Small Bag with Many Uses

My goal is to be resourceful and not waste any remnants.
I bought the fusible fabric at Hancock Fabric.
Since they are going out of business, there is a minimum requirement
of purchasing 2 yards.
I made a large and a small tote with 1 1/2 yards.
I then purchased another 2 yards and used a portion to make another large tote.
I had a 9.5 X 17.5 piece of fusible fabric and I thought it was the perfect size for a small clutch or pouch.
The pouch has many uses, such as a cosmetic bag, a bookkeeper, a tablet holder, etc.
I had a half yard of a tropical fish fabric, so I ironed it onto the fusible foam.
Then I faced a lining fabric onto the fish fabric, and stitched a 1/8 seam allowance all around, leaving an opening to turn the fabric right side out.
I stitched 1/4 inch seams to add texture and body.
I had a batik remnant that I cut into a 2.5 strip to use as binding.
I used velcro to fasten the bag.
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I have some fusible foam left over, and I’m thinking of making a wallet.

Charming Charm Pack Tote

The remaining pieces of fusible foam were just waiting to be used,
so I pulled out my stash to see what I could do.
I had polka dot strips left over from the jelly roll tote,
and I had floral print fabric that I had used for lining.
I picked up a 20 count charm pack and thought about making a small tote.
If I could make one with strips, it shouldn’t be that difficult to make one with squares.
My sister had asked me to make a small tote for her friend,
so I thought I would try to do something with the charm pack and my stash.

IMG_6818I arranged the squares and stitched 5 rows of 4.
I placed the top row on the fusible foam and stitched 1/4″ from the top.
Then I ironed on the first row.
I continued adding each row to the fusible foam in this same manner.





I stitched diagonally in each square in order to give more body and texture to the tote bag.
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I folded the piece in half in order to find the center, and then I stitched along the center.
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I added pockets to the lining.

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I used two 2.5″ strips to make each handle.
I like the handle technique that I learned from the  Craftsy Gemini Improv tutorial, Part 2.
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This took a total of 2 hours to make, only because I stopped to eat apple pie and ice cream!

Ready for the Beach

After using fusible foam to make a medium-sized tote,
I wondered if the foam would work with a larger tote.
The foam worked beautifully.
I just was a bit clumsy with maneuvering the bag through the machine.
I used the Wilmington Jewels, Ocean View Jelly roll.

ocean view
I had to modify the large tote pattern from Missouri Star Quilting Company since I did not have enough for the lining and outer pockets.
I also added lining pockets, so I had to used strips to make the handles.
I shortened the strip handles.

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Foam Fusible Fun

Yesterday, I spent some time looking for new ideas and free patterns for totes.
I had already made two large totes from the Moda Just a Speck jelly roll, and I had been contemplating making a small quilt with the remaining strips.
Then, I found a great tutorial for a medium-sized tote. I should be able to make at least two more totes from this jelly roll and remnants.

The tutorial was presented by Vanessa, from Crafty Gemini Improv; along with Jenny, from Missouri Star Quilting Company.
Vanessa introduced a two-sided fusible foam.
I had never heard of this product, but I knew right away that I wanted to try it.
Vanessa suggested using Bosal, In-R-Form Double Sided Fusible . This fusible gives the tote body, and a stand alone structure.
Vanessa got my attention when she demonstrated a no-measure, quilt-as-you-go technique.
It looked like it would be easy and so much fun, so I decided to make the tote.

I ordered some of the fusible foam, but I was too impatient to wait for it to come.
So, today, I made my way to my neighborhood Hancock Fabric.
(Hancock is going out of business and closing soon!)
I found a single-sided foam fusible, and I decided to try it out.
This worked fine, but the double sided is better when it comes to making the handles.

Vanessa demonstrated a technique for making handles that is easier and more precise
than what I have been doing.

I was having so much fun making this tote, that I lost all sense of time.
I started at noon, and completed the project by evening.
The tutorial does not demonstrate adding a pocket to the lining, but I chose to add two pockets.
In addition to the jelly roll strips, I cut some strips from some black and white remnants and some pastel prints.
I used the pastels for the lining and the black and white for the pockets.
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Tote Bags

As a teacher, I built up quite a collection of bags to tote books, goodies, and teacher stuff.
But, one can never have enough tote bags!
I found this excellent video from Missouri Star Quilting Company.
The tutorial demonstrates how to make three large tote bags from one jelly roll.
The bag can be made in one day.

I made two tote bags so far.
One is a gift, and a surprise, so I will post that one later.
I had ordered the Just a Speck jellyroll by Moda.
I used all of the shades of brown, grey, and black to make one bag.
I used the pastel colors with black polka dots to make the other.
The remaining pastel colors with white polka dots will someday be made into two smaller totes of some kind, as soon as I think of a design.
Since I had some black and white jelly roll strips leftover from my chevron quilt, I decided to use them with the black polka dot strips. At first, it reminded me of summer, so I named it Hello Summer.
Then, my sister saw the hibiscus black and white strip and said it reminded her of Hawaii, and she LOVES  Hawaii, so I renamed the tote, Aloha.
IMG_6726 You need 12 strips.
IMG_6727 Sew the entire length of the strips together.
IMG_6730 Add batting, and secure the fabric. I stitched in the ditch, and then also stitched two quarter inches on both sides of each ditch. As the tutorial states, it is your choice.
Trim the batting.
Trim off the selvage.

IMG_6732 You need 11/2 yards fabric for the lining, four 4″ cuts for the two straps, and also for the pockets. I chose to use leftover black fabric for the straps. I used the lining fabric to make pockets for the lining. ( Not mentioned or demonstrated in the tutorial)
IMG_6746  This is the finished tote bag.


Black and White Chevron

Pinterest is a resource for many ideas and patterns for quilts with the chevron design.
After studying a few of the online ideas and free patterns, I decided to make a chevron quilt with a black and white jelly roll I had purchased.
FullSizeRender (14) Black and White Jelly Roll Strips (20)
I had white fabric that I was using for a quilt that I decided I no longer wanted to make.
So, I cut the white fabric into 2.5 inch squares. (20)

FullSizeRender (15) Sew a white strip with a black strip.
IMG_6652 Cut  nine 4.5′ squares from each strip. Cut a total of 180 of the 4.5″ squares.

FullSizeRender (16) Arrange the squares in 15 rows of 12 squares.
IMG_6683 The top measures 58″ x 70″.
I will be using a white on black polka dot fabric for the backing.

IMG_6658  These squares were left over after I cut nine 4.5″ squares from each strip.
They will be used some how…



Jelly Roll Quilt

Jelly Rolls are versatile and can be used to make so many different types of quilts, totes, pillows, etc.
After spending a good chunk of time researching ideas and free patterns for jelly rolls, I visited Las Colchas. As I was oohing and ahhing all the new fabric, I spotted the table with jelly rolls.
My favorite was a Moda jelly roll, entitled Nomad.
I loved the fresh and simple design, and the pastel colors.
It made me think of “peace and comfort”…so I bought it.
Vicky, a great quilter who works at Las Colchas, pulled out her binder of quilts she has made.
There, I saw a quilt that was made from a Fons and Porter pattern.
The pattern calls for bright jelly rolls, but I consulted with Vicky about using the Nomad jelly roll.
She agreed with my choice, and helped me find fabric to coordinate with the jelly roll.
There is a great tutorial for making this quilt.
I was able to make this quilt in two days.
I worked four hours each day.

IMG_6589 Cut 2.5″ x 18.5 ” strips of a light fabric



IMG_6591 Sort Jelly Roll and cut selvage

IMG_6594 Sew one continuous strip, inserting a light colored fabric strip between each jelly roll strip.

FullSizeRender (9) Lay out the long, continuous strip, and cut 75.5″ strips.
This was difficult, since I do not have a long table. It is important to number each strip as you cut.
I used sticky labels.
IMG_6602 (1) I am holding the bottom of one strip.
The very next strip begins with the color of the previous strip bottom.
I do not have a design wall, so I tied some rope from one end of a book shelf to the other end.
This helped me to keep strips in order.
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I need visuals, so I made a chart to remind me to sew strips in different directions. I sewed strip 1-2 down, 2-3 up, etc.
FullSizeRender (13) Finished Quilt Top

The backing is a fabric with feather print.
There are strips with the same feather print, in different colors, in the quilt top.