Progress on 4-Zip Organizer

Sewing at Gerre’s house was great. In addition to progress on the gift bags, the Lobster and another Flapper apron, I also made a minute amount of progress on the 4-Zip Organizer.

Outside of 4 Zip Organizer, quilted
Outside of 4 Zip Organizer, quilted

My next step was to quilt it. Quilting is always a step that stalls me on a project. this was such a small amount of quilting that it shouldn’t have been a problem. It wasn’t a problem this time and I did the quilting at Gerre’s while chatting. It doesn’t look that different now – just quilted. I have to trim the quilted piece to its correct size, but that part is done.

I wanted to work on this project over the weekend, but I was absorbed by Flying Around. Also, DH and I went out to the movies. Still, I am thrilled that I have made some progress.

Cell Phone Wallets Finished

Solid Black and Dot Black Cell Phone Wallets - finished
Solid Black and Dot Black Cell Phone Wallets – finished

I finished the two Cell Phone Wallets I was making. They came out pretty well and I am pleased to be able to cross them off my list.

The only thing I am not happy with are the rings. They work well, but they aren’t very nice looking. The good thing about them is that they stay in place. Some rectangular ones I have used never stay put.

Cell Phone Wallets Again

Two more Cell Phone Wallets have been on my list for a long time. I got a new tunic 8 months or a year ago and I haven’t worn it as much as I want,because I didn’t have a pocket.

Solid Black and Dot Black Cell Phone Wallets in process
Solid Black and Dot Black Cell Phone Wallets in process

I have a number of projects going, but I am having a hard time focusing, because there are a few little projects cluttering up my mind. I decided to try and knock those off my list. Since I only had a little time to sew over the weekend, I decided to start with the Cell Phone Wallets.

Shockingly, this was much easier than I anticipated. Why I think these little totes are so difficult is another mystery. The pieces were already cut so I had to do a little sewing. I did the sewing. Now I have do a little interfacing, then I will be ready to assemble them. they should be ready to wear this week.

All Rolled Up Tote Again

All Rolled Up Tote - open
All Rolled Up Tote – open

I did finish the All Rolled Up tote, but it has been sitting unused while I contemplated handles. Many makers in the Crafty Gemini group have just added handles to the top using a box stitch. I am afraid such handles would be ripped away after awhile so I have been contemplating handles that went all the way around the bag. Because of the way the bag opened up, I had to be careful not to impede the opening and the zipper.

Finally, I came up with the idea, in consultation with other bagmakers, of making a loop and just sewing it to the areas where there were only three layers. See the giant flower in the front? That would be one place to which the straps were sewn.

All Rolled Up tote with sample handles
All Rolled Up tote with sample handles

I didn’t have much time to sew over the weekend, so I snuck in time where where I could and came up with a loop made out of pleather.

On the side with the seam I sewed some of the Philip Jacobs fabric I used for the inside. I love that fabric!

I think the idea has merit, but I am not happy with the execution. I don’t love the handles – the width and the material. I will probably make another set of sample handles from fabric.

Thoughts?

Chubby Charmer #3

Good Fortune Chubby Charmer - front
Good Fortune Chubby Charmer – front

I finished the Good Fortune Chubby Charmer I started last week. I was able to take some time while DH was out the other night to finish the last bits. It was a little tricky, because I stashed the pattern somewhere safe….

I couldn’t find it, but, fortunately, I have made enough bags to know how they go together. I may not have done it exactly the way the directions suggested, but the bag is together, looks good and will work. Also, it is on time. SIL’s birthday is tomorrow and my nephew has it to put out with the other gifts I helped him buy.

Good Fortune Chubby Charmer - back
Good Fortune Chubby Charmer – back

One thing I have to remember next time I make one of these is that the first square (top left) is on the side of the bag, so if I want to see a particular fabric, I need to put it in the second position.

The back (or other) side came out lighter than the front. I am not sure how that happened, but I should have mixed it up a bit more. There is always room for improvement in a project.

Good Fortune Chubby Charmer - lining
Good Fortune Chubby Charmer – lining

I also used a half inch seam allowance on the lining. This makes it lay really well on the inside of the bag. It was difficult to attach at the top. I wondered if I used a quarter inch seam allowance at the top and then graded the seam allowance out to half inch after about an inch, if that would solve two problems.

The pockets are large and a bit too floopy for me. Still they work really well for folders and large pieces of paper plus they fit a lot.

Good Fortune Chubby Charmer - lining with handles
Good Fortune Chubby Charmer – lining with handles

I also plan to make the pockets on my batik Chubby Charmer a little different than this one. I am not 100% sure of the exact configuration yet. I want to think about what would be useful. I also have to make the lining! I might make a slip pocket, which I learned to make (really well) in the Cargo Duffel project and have also made a few times for the Petrillo bags. The slip pocket would be for one side of the linking. Perhaps some smaller pockets for the other side, like a pocket with dividers for pens.

I also want to add a D-ring somewhere. Remember when I talked about clipping smaller pouches to different bags (AKA the lobster clip plan)? Well, I want to make a habit of putting D-rings in bags so clipping small pouches to different bags is a real possibility for me. Putting pens in a pouch might a better plan than having pens in each bag.

Now I can cross this project off my list and add the yardage to my spreadsheet.

Batik Chubby Charmer

Batik Chubby Charmer Quilted
Batik Chubby Charmer Quilted

I also made progress on the Batik Malka Dubrowsky Chubby Charmer. I am not as far along as finding suitable fabrics to go with the charm pack is challenging. I have made some progress, especially the quilting since I last spoke to you about this project.

I found another Malka Dubrowsky charm pack and used some of the squares for the missing pieces of fabric I needed to complete the bag. The second charm pack uses similar colors.

I did a few things differently on this bag. First, I remembered to put vinyl on the squares that will be the bottom. This is my small attempt to keep the bottom clean and dry.

As you know from my other sewing with vinyl efforts, I cover the vinyl along the seam line with tissue paper and sew. This time I had some problems, because I didn’t cover the entire area where my foot would touch the vinyl. The bit of the foot that touched the vinyl got caught up and made my stitches look icky. Fortunately, they are on the bottom, so they won’t be seen that much. Pulling them out is not an option, because the holes in the vinyl don’t heal. I would have to rip out the entire last row and remake the vinyl covered squares. I am going to live with a few tiny stitches.

Good Fortune Chubby Charmer Progress

Good Fortune Chubby Charmer
Good Fortune Chubby Charmer

I am making progress on both Chubby Charmers. I have made the most progress on this one.

After creating some new pieces of Soft & Stable, I spent most of the day on Sunday quilting. You might remember that I screwed up my shoulder quilting the Lights tablerunner, so I was extra careful about keeping my shoulder down. I tend to quilt with my shoulders up near my ears and that is a bad thing.

I have the inside pieces with pockets made as well as the handles. Now I just need to starting putting the bag together.

In for a Penny…

Yesterday, I talked about the Chubby Charmer I started for my SIL. I had some time leftover when I finished as much as I could with the Good Fortune Chubby Charmer. I had another charm pack and have been wanting to make myself another Chubby Charmer. I still love my Half Moon Modern Chubby Charmer. The original ME Chubby Charmer is filled with stuff in my fabric closet, so it doesn’t go anywhere at the moment. The Sugar Pop Chubby Charmer, however, is not a favorite. I tested out the pattern using leftover batting and the bag is really just too floopy. I don’t use it much and will replace it with this new bag. Also, there was really only a couple of fabrics I liked in that bag. I’ll donate it somewhere. Someone will like it. I did a good job when I made it.

Malka Chubby Charmer
Malka Chubby Charmer

The new in process bag is made from the newest Malka Dubrowsky charm pack. Again, I didn’t bring extra fabric to finish the last row. I did spent some time finding fabric when I got home, so I am well on my way to having the two sides done.

My other issue is Soft & Stable. I bought a new pack a few weeks ago, but I used it for the Good Fortune Chubby Charmer. I have some bits and pieces left from the giant pack I got from MassDrop. I am not sure how much I want to piece together little bits. I’ll lay out the bits and see what I have before I decide. I may have to go out and get more before I can finish this one.

Chubby Charmer Finally Started

May's Chubby Charmer start
May’s Chubby Charmer start

I have wanted to make a Chubby Charmer for my sister-in-law for a long time. I have a Kate Spain Good Fortune charm pack that I have been saving for the purpose. Yesterday was the day to start it.

I went over to Tim’s to drop off a donation quilt he will quilt and enter into the Fair. Before I left he suggested we sew. I had some bag project materials ready to go from last time we sewed, so I threw those in my bag, stopped to get some lunch and off I went.

Chubby Charmers require 48 squares. I neglected to bring the extra fabric needed for the last 6 squares. Still, I was able to cut pockets and handles and ‘baste’ one side to Soft & Stable, so it is ready to quilt. Yes, I have to quilt again. I hope it won’t screw up my shoulder again.

I know this is another project that I am starting, but I am pretty sure I can get through it quickly. SIL’s birthday is in a couple of weeks and I am pretty busy between now and then. I need to get it done before that.

Mondo Bag Start

You know that I often like to make projects multiple times to get the hang of the process. The other day, avoiding FOTY 2017 and having some time at Craft Night, I started on the Mondo Bag. I bought the pattern at Golden State a few weeks ago when I was in San Jose.

I have been wanting to make the larger size of this bag since I took the Scruffy Quilts Midi Bag class. I like the Midi bag and wanted to cement the process in my head. Recently I was thinking that my, as yet unstarted, new knitting project would fit better in a larger bag. Thus the perfect opportunity presented itself.

Mondo Bag start
Mondo Bag start

The process is that you press 2.5 inch squares on to an interfacing pattern, then fold and sew until you have a panel. Since I was at Craft Night, I pinned the squares to the interfacing. I did this for convenience, but also so I could contemplate the design before I pressed everything down permanently.

I am using Flow and Basic Mixology mini-charms. I had some packs from QuiltCon, I think, and they seem to go together well. Not perfectly, but well. So far, I am pleased with the results. The mini-charm packs have been hanging around for awhile. I was waiting for this project to come along so I could use them.

Classmates Tote Gift

Gerre's Classmates Tote
Gerre’s Classmates Tote

I decided to make another Classmates tote for my friend’s birthday. I didn’t mail it until Monday, so I hope she has it by now and the surprise won’t be ruined.

This one went a lot more smoothly than the first one. I learned different things this time, such as color placement. I am thinking I will make one to contain all of my random suitcase flotsam. I meant to see if it all would fit before I sent off the bag, but didn’t do it.

Gerre's Classmates Tote- open
Gerre’s Classmates Tote- open

I went through the pattern and marked the cutting chart up so I would know what I was cutting, which would help me with color/ fabric placement. My plan worked very well.

One thing that sent me over the edge in liking this project is the number of pockets. I knew as I was making it that I would get a lot of pockets, but I found, once I put the whole thing together, that there were even more pockets than I thought. This turned out to be because when I put the pockets I had made separately on the lining, additional pockets were created. The bonus pocket behind the center zippered pocket could hold a 6×6 inch ruler! Or nearly.

Gerre's Classmates Tote- outside cover, open
Gerre’s Classmates Tote- outside cover, open

I am pretty thrilled with how this one came out. I worked really hard and did my best work. The one thing I would change is the binding. It looks great on the inside, but doesn’t go very well with the ice cream fabric. I am not sure what I would use. I might need to change the linking to go better with the outside. I wanted to make sure the piece was cheerful, which is why I chose the lining fabric. I also wanted to use the ice cream fabric so this bag would go with the sewing machine mat and other items I have made for her. I thought it would be segregated enough to not matter, but I didn’t thinking about the binding and how that would united the outside with the lining.

Gerre's Classmates Tote- partially open
Gerre’s Classmates Tote- partially open

I think I would also change the handle a bit. I think it would be good to add a little padding to it. I am not sure my machine could make it through an additional layer of padding.

I am pleased with how the lobster clip and ring line up. That was a concern on the first one and this effort came out perfectly.

Drawstring Gift Bags

Finished Jeni Baker Drawstring Gift Bags - Snack sized
Finished Jeni Baker Drawstring Gift Bags – Snack sized

I finally finished all of the gift bags I started at Gerre’s house a few weeks ago. I know I showed one of them previously. Sometimes I just have to show progress in order to make it seem real. The gifts are in them and ready for Christmas.

Crazy, I know, but those gifts arrived late for Christmas 2018, so I’ll just save them.

I am not sure I will make more of these bags for gift bags as they take quite a bit of time. Still, I bought some twill tape so I wouldn’t have to suffer through making drawstrings and I want to use that up. We’ll have to see.

As mentioned previously, Jeni Baker sells the pattern, which includes multiple sizes including a laundry bag size which is good for those of you sending kids off to college.

Organizer Club So Far

After completing the All Rolled Up Tote, I thought I would layout the massive number of projects in the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club that I have completed.

Crafty Gemini Organizer Club completions, February 2019
Crafty Gemini Organizer Club completions, February 2019
Sewing Machine Mat from front
Sewing Machine Mat from front

Four.

Yes, I have completed 4 projects. I still have 3 more projects to go to complete the club. I do want to make all of the projects since I did sign up and pay for them. I did not sign up for the subsequent clubs since I have not yet finished the three projects left in the club. Also, I have a lot of other bags and organizer type projects I want to make.

I also want to make another Roadtrip Bag that has a vinyl window rather than using vinyl all the way across the front. I realize that is not the design, but I want to try my design change in order to not have to turn the vinyl. I am not sure how I will use the Roadtrip bag, but I like the design.

Crafty Gemini Organizer Club completions, February 2019-open
Crafty Gemini Organizer Club completions, February 2019-open

You can still buy the club (no affiliation). Check out the video showing all the projects.

All Rolled Up Tote – Finished!!!

All Rolled Up Tote - finished (closed)
All Rolled Up Tote – finished (closed)

I am thrilled to tell you that I finally finished the All Rolled Up Tote!

Yep. Finished. Done. Complete.

It was a big project. Not difficult, but with a lot of steps. The steps made it somewhat daunting. I say daunting only because the project was unfamiliar and the sheer number of steps seemed impossible to complete. I had done most of the techniques before, if in different patterns, so that wasn’t the problem. I have a new appreciation for video tutorials.

All Rolled Up Tote - size comparison
All Rolled Up Tote – size comparison

The Tote is HUGE. I didn’t really understand how huge until I had sewed the main parts of the project together. It is really hard to understand the size without seeing the thing in person. I have included a photo with my most recent Sew Together Bag side by side with the the All Rolled Up Tote for comparison. I know many of you are familiar with the Sew Together Bag.

All Rolled Up Tote - open
All Rolled Up Tote – open

I am thrilled that I made such a complicated and different project. It is similar to the Sew Together Bag, but the construction was different in some places.

The other thing I did differently was the front panel (see blue/turquoise vertical strips). This panel calls for a 1/4″ piece of elastic to be installed horizontally. I didn’t want any pens I might want to carry around to be accidentally opened and bleed on to my fabulous Philip Jacobs fabric. I also thought the 1/4″ inch elastic was not sturdy enough and looked a bit cheap. I decided to install wider elastic, which I happened to have, having bought it somewhere along the line. I measured out a few items that I might want to have with me, if I carry this around as a project bag, and sewed the elastic down. I think it looks nice.

All Rolled Up Tote - sleeve view
All Rolled Up Tote – sleeve view

One thing that was hard to understand without the video was the sleeve. I tried to understand it before watching the videos and it was a mystery. Finally, I watched the videos and could see what it was for. There is an extra area below the pockets (thus the changes in construction in comparison to the Sew Together Bag) where one can store flat items. I put a ruler halfway into the sleeve (see right), so you can see the sleeve. I haven’t tried filling this bag yet as I haven’t quite decided how I will use it, so use of the sleeve may change once I decide.

My pouches fit nicely in the Tote. Of course they are the correct size, but my lobster clip plan worked well. It was pretty easy to clip and unclip them from the D-rings on the tote. Crafty Gemini shows putting WonderClips into one of the pouches, which might be a good idea, since I could take the pouch out and put it somewhere if I knew I had to refill it because I had used my ‘on the go’ supplies (like clips) for a project. I also think that these little pouches might make good small gifts. They do require a lot of steps, but are unique as well.

One issue I had with the pouches was zippers. I happened to have zippers that were the exact right size. Crafty Gemini doesn’t say anything about having zippers the right size. In terms of whether we needed to secure ends or add a zipper tab. I might do that next time just to make sure everything was sewn together tightly. I am concerned that the zipper ends will come out.

Some of the problems I had with a recent Sew Together Bag were alleviated by the pattern’s suggestion that makers hand sew on the second side of the binding. I did hand sew the second side of the binding. It took me somewhere between 4-6 hours, I think. I am pleased with the way the binding turned out. No sloppy looking stitching because of multiple layers and a cranky sewing machine.

I am I still contemplating handles. Some of the other people in the Organizer Club who made this project added handles, but I wasn’t completely happy with their design. If I were to add handles I think that I would like to add them all the way around the bottom of the project in a loop design. I imagine that these would not go over the top of the bag, so access would not be impeded.

Off hand I can’t think of other changes I would make to another version of this bag, but I have the feeling I want to make another one. *I*, of course, don’t need another one, but I am sure I know someone who needs it as a gift.

All Rolled Up Tote – Pouches

All Rolled Up Tote - pouches (front)
All Rolled Up Tote – pouches (front)

Part of the All Rolled Up Tote pattern includes some pouches that can be clipped on to the D-rings I inserted when installing the pockets.  I worked on those over the weekend and was able to finish them up. I am not 100% happy with the zipper ends, but done is better than perfect.

They turned out larger than I thought they would. Yes, the finished dimensions were readily available, but somehow I had it in my mind that they were about 3/4s the size.

All Rolled Up Tote - pouches (back)
All Rolled Up Tote – pouches (back)

I am pleased with how they turned out. The fabrics are cheerful and they fit well into the Tote itself. I also think the pattern would be useful for gifts to others. Even without the Tote, they could be clipped to other bags.

The clips are the one thing I did differently than the pattern suggests. I put the lobster clips on the pouches rather than in the All Rolled Up Tote. I wanted to minimize interference with items I put in the Tote and thought the D-ring in the Tote would be less obtrusive. I also thought that I might want to fill these with something that I would want to transfer to other bags, so the lobster clip would allow me to clip the pouch on to other bags without needing that other bag to have a lobster clip. I’ll have to start adding D-Rings to my other bags!

I just have a bit more to complete before the All Rolled Up Tote itself is complete.