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.

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.

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.

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 – Serious Progress

The All Rolled Up Tote is finally starting to look like something. It is amazing to me how I can sew and sew on a bag project and it looks like a bunch of disparate parts, then all of a sudden it looks like something. It’s like magic.

All Rolled Up Tote - pockets assembled
All Rolled Up Tote – pockets assembled

Just as I needed the sides, the fabric arrived from HipStitch and I had time to wash it. For once I cut the outside properly and was able to move forward.

As I said, it is similar in shape and use to the Sew Together Bag, but much larger. The finished size is 15in./L x 9in./W x 6in./H. I placed my rotary cutter in the photo above so you could get some idea of scale. This bag is much larger than the Sew Together Bag.

I am also finding the construction to be a little different. For example, the pockets are assembled separately unlike the Sew Together Bag. I am sure I will find some other differences when I get farther along.

All Rolled Up Tote – Pockets

All Rolled Up Tote pockets
All Rolled Up Tote pockets

I finished the pockets for the All Rolled Up tote. As mentioned, this is part of the Crafty Gemini 2018 Organizer Club. You can buy the stand-alone pattern on her site. Above three of the pockets are shown. I have decided to alternate where the zippers start to lessen bulk.

The first pocket, which will go in the front of the bag has elastic on it for writing implements, glue sticks, etc. the pattern calls for a 1/4″ piece of elastic placed horizontally all the way across. I thought a thicker elastic placed vertically would work better for me. I didn’t want tips of pens to be too close to the fabric in case they should open and stain. I am also not a fan of that 1/4in. elastic. I think it looks a little cheap. My fat turquoise elastic (I wish I could remember where I bought it in case I want to make another) looks super fun as well.

Progress!

Boxy Bag Class

Boxy Bag - closed
Boxy Bag – closed

I took a class on Saturday at Sew Day. We don’t usually have classes during Sew Day, but we had this one. People were still allowed to come to Sew Day if they weren’t taking the class. They could listen in, but I didn’t see any of them trying to horn in on the class. We just aren’t that kind of group.

I did some of the home work during the week. I pulled the two fabrics off my ironing board and the pattern called for pieces almost the size of the fat quarters. This means I won’t have slivers of them in my FOTY 2018 quilt. 🙁 C’est la vie!

Boxy Bag - open
Boxy Bag – open

Lynette taught the class and she is a great teacher. Here handouts were stellar. Her teaching was really clear. The project wasn’t complicated, but a little tricky in places. She did a great job explaining  the tricky parts even when two sets of students diverged when a group went and had lunch while the other group kept working.

I like the way this project came out. It is fully lined and very nicely finished. I immediately wanted to make a bunch of them. I think I’ll finish the aprons first.

Tool Tote Finished

Finished: Tool Tote
Finished: Tool Tote

I finally finished the Tool Tote. Now I can just stare at it wondering, a little, what I was thinking.

Looking at in this photo, it looks great, but I am not sure about actually using it. The Tupperware box I have used forever works fine for tools and is hard. How would I fit this thing into my travel system? On the other hand, it has handles and handles are always a good thing.

Tool Tote: Zipper Tab with Soft & Stable
Tool Tote: Zipper Tab with Soft & Stable

I was almost finished the other day, but I put the zipper tabs on and they just looked terrible. Using Soft & Stable in a zipper tab is a dumb idea. I wouldn’t have known it was a dumb idea unless I had done it, though.

The photo of the zipper tab makes the thing look fine. It isn’t fine, though; it didn’t stay together and on the back the top hem was popping out and looking awful. I also went around the whole thing 3-4 times and couldn’t quite match up the stitching as the whole bag was attached to the zipper tab. The whole thing was a mess.

Tool Tote with new zipper tabs
Tool Tote with new zipper tabs

I ripped off the Soft & Stable zipper tabs and made some new ones with ShapeFlex instead. It worked like a charm and the zipper tabs look a lot better. I changed the fabric used and that helped make the tabs look better as well.

If you make this bag, definitely make it with fabric for the zipper tabs matching the outside pocket.

Tool Tote: big mouth opening
Tool Tote: big mouth opening

I had big plans to make a bunch of these, because of the Big Mouth design. I really like the way it opens up all the way, so you can see all of your stuff. It was a hassle to make and I didn’t think the directions were great. They were very chatty and friendly, but not very useful. I think I might be ruined by the Crafty Gemini style of learning. I do know that if I make more I will get better at making them.

As I said, I am not sure what to do with it. I could get another set of tools and fill the thing and keep it with my guild stuff. Not sure if  really need that.

Tool Tote Again

Outer Edge with Zipper
Outer Edge with Zipper

This tote has been moving around my workroom half made. Over the weekend, after finishing the Ends n.5 donation top and back, I got back to the Tool Tote. I am nearly done.

The inside and the outside were both made, but I had to put them together and install the zipper.

I just kind of got to it and began. It is hard to pick up after three weeks, but I just did it.

Weird Zipper Ending - Tool Tote
Weird Zipper Ending – Tool Tote

Fortunately, I have done a lot of zippers this year already with two Sew Together Bags, the BAM Pillow Swap, the Zip Away Organizer, the Roadtrip Bag, the Walking Foot Wow Pillow cover, my Sew Together Bag (for embroidery), and the Merit Hexie pillow, so I have plenty of zipper experience. It turned out that this zipper was no problem. I had no trouble with this zipper. I barely even registered that it was zipper installation. I didn’t really like the way the endings looked. I didn’t understand the ending – there wasn’t enough explanation for me. It worked, but I thought for sure I would have to rip.

Tool Tote - zipper in
Tool Tote – zipper in

It looked pretty good once I did the sewing. I think I didn’t think about it too much and that worked for this project.

I kept testing the zipper all the time and it kept working. It doesn’t look like the picture, but it works. We’ll see if it works when it has stuff in it.

The directions on this project aren’t as good as I would like. I thought that this pattern would be a good one for gifts, but the directions are a challenge. I can’t decide if I want to make other ones or if it is just too much hassle.

Tool Tote Progress

I was so thrilled with the cutting of the Tool Tote the other day that reporting today is kind of depressing.

The good news is that I am making progress. The bad news is that I am having trouble with the directions. This is a weakness of mine as I have mentioned, so I am willing to take some of the blame. However, I had Gerre try and help me interpret one step and she agreed that she thought something was missing.

As the pattern suggests, I emailed the designer and have not heard back. It is a sort of holiday week so she may not be at work.

Regardless, I will finish this bag. I know enough about bag making to make up some parts, if necessary. It won’t be done by this weekend, which is a shame, but can’t be helped.

In the photo above, you can see the pieces with their little tags as well as the work that I have done. Quilting on all the pieces is complete, though I would have made the pieces bigger, quilted and then trimmed, if I had been thinking. Some of the pockets are sewn on. Handles are partially sewn (this is the problem step).

So, yes, I am making progress.

Zip Away Organizer

Zip Away Organizer - closed
Zip Away Organizer – closed

Frankly, I never thought I could make something like this. This is another pattern from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club. It is one of the bonus patterns. I think it would make a great gift.

I did, though, and while I struggled with some parts, it wasn’t as hard as I thought.

I feel like I am becoming a zipper expert. I can certainly get my zipper foot on and off the machine (screwdriver is involved) with lightening speed. I can now shorten zippers with confidence (remember my fit about the zipper shortening with the Sweet Harmony bag?). I have put in 16 zippers, I think, in the last month. WHEW!

Zip Away Organizer - open
Zip Away Organizer – open

I am trying to think what I can put in this bag.

I reversed the pockets by accident, so the vinyl pocket is on the wrong side. It isn’t so wrong that I felt I had to rip it out, but I will get a zipper pull to help pull the zipper away from the spine.

The fabric for the outside and the inside slip pocket are both from the Cosmo Cricket line. I made the first Stepping Stone quilt out of that fabric. I am out of the typewriter key fabric in black, which is a shame, but I will use another black that works. I used the stripe on the inside, because it works so well in my handbag (purchased, by Pixie Mood). I’ll use it again in other projects in this club.