New Busy Bag

When we go to Hubby’s appointments I’ve been taking my bag….
I love my bag.  It’s the perfect size when we are staying overnight and I need the laptop with.  There’s room for magazines for the hotel room in the evening…room for stitching projects and my English paper piecing.

When we go to the actual appointments, the bag is a little too big…so, I decided to make myself a smaller busy bag that can go inside my big bag.  I’ll take that out and bring it with when we go to the actual appointment.

I thought about buying a pattern.  I thought about searching the internet to find a free pattern.  Then I thought WHY…you can sew Jo.  You can just work it out as you go…and that’s what I did.

I started with an orphan block left over from my Tulip Fields quilt.  I put a 1 1/2″ strip on each side.

Then I put 2 1/2″ strips on each side of that.
Then… a 1 3/4″ strip went on top and the 3″ strip along the bottom.
That’s when I got a little excited about the project and forgot to take pictures.  AHHH!!

From there I sandwiched the top-  It was the top, fusible fleece and a backing fabric.  I machine quilted it and made a wristlet type handle.

From there I started on the back side of the bag.  I wanted to use the mesh stuff so I could see into the bag without opening it.  So I cut a 11×7 piece of that.  Then I added pieces to the sides….The sides got 2″ pieces.  Notice how I have things sandwiched fabric/mesh/fabric.

Then I top stitched along the sides.

I got this far and then added pieces to the top and bottom.  I put 3″ pieces on the top and bottom too.  Again I top stitched.

Then I put the front piece on top of the bottom piece.  I cut the bottom piece to be the same size as the top piece.

Next I took a 12″ zipper.  I added fabric pieces to the ends.  I cut the zipper off as it was too big.   Then I sewed the zipper to the front and then the back sides of the bag.  I opened the zipper half way.  Then I put right sides and sewed around the edge.

I like bags with boxed corners so I did that next.  I folded the bottom corners and made a line 1″ in.

I sewed on the line and the trimmed off the end.
I turned the bag right side out and LOOK.  My bag was finished.  Here’s the front….
and here’s the back….

I took the bag downstairs and tried it out…


My cross stitch project is in there and so is Hubby’s Kindle.  There’s room for tissues or something else if I need it.

So now that it’s packed…I packed it in my big bag.

We’re ready for what comes our way.  Fingers crossed and prayers said for whatever comes our way.  We’re going to do this!!

Thanks for all well wishes.  We so appreciate all of the support.

Binding Tutorial

When I first started binding quilts one of my biggest fears was seaming the binding strip together at the very end.  At first I overlapped the seams and didn’t sew them together.  That was awful and looked like a bulky mess.

Then I got the binding tool.

I had watched Jenny from Missouri Star and she made it look so very easy.  I ended up ordering one and loved it.

Fast forward a couple years….I lost it.  I was too spend-thrift to buy another…so I started doing it on my own.  Being I had used the binding tool for so long, I could kind of make it work without one using about the same technique only lazily cutting instead.  Then I found my binding tool.  But by now I was using 2 1/4″ binding instead so it wasn’t working quite right.  So back to doing it on my own with no percision…but good enough.

That was working okay…then one day I was going through my Facebook feed and saw a video.  I watched it…then rewatched…then when I was binding my baby quilt, I decided to give it a try.

I was thrilled and tried it on the baby quilt I finished recently.  It worked splendidly and I decided to write blog post about it.  So I started this post…but…do you think I can find the original video I watched.  I couldn’t.  BUMMER.

So…when I went to bind the Daylilies quilt I took pictures so I could show you how.  If I can’t show the video, at least show you the pictures.  Here goes….Tack the binding down leaving a tail on each end.  The distance apart you stop isn’t a big deal, just be sure that they over lap for a minimum of 3″ and your space between starting and stopping is more than 7″.

Lay the fist strip down flat against the quilt as shown in the photo below.

Get another piece of fabric that is the same width as your binding strip.  I took one that was a different color so you can more easily see the piece in the tutorial.  My strips are cut at 2 1/4″ so my “other” strip is 2 1/4″ too.  For those of you who cut at 2 1/2″, your “other” piece should be 2 1/2″ wide.

Lay it on top of the first piece perpendicular as shown.  Align the edges as shown.

Now lay the other tail end of the strip on top of the “other” piece.

Now cut the top tail off even with the overlapped edge of the “other” fabric.  In the photo below, notice the “other” strip.  The bottom binding strip is even with one edge.  The top binding strip is cut even with the other edge.  Make sure the two binding strips are overlapping.

Remove the “other” piece of fabric.  Your tail ends should look like this.

Open up the binding strips.  

With right sides together pin them in place like you do to connect the strips.

Sew on the diagonal.

I purposely sewed with teal thread so you can see the seam.

Remove pins and clip the diagonal corner off.  Press sean open.

Lay the binding strip down and sew in place.  PERFECT!!

This is now my newly adopted method for connecting the final binding piece.  I love it and it’s SUPER easy….no tool needed.

What method do you use for this?  Inquiring minds what to know!!

A Tip of Sorts

I’ve gone to retreats and someone will say…”Oh thanks, that’s a great tip.”  I didn’t know I was offering one.  I was just busy sewing and they were apparently watching me and caught on to something I was doing.  It was something I do everyday and didn’t even realize it was something other people don’t do.

This is one of those “tips”.

Here I am busy ironing the pieces for my Tulip Fields quilt.  I leave them all together in a chain as I do it.

Then I go along with the scissor and cut them all apart cutting off the dog ear (hang piece) as I go.

Then my ironing surface.  Ends up looking like this….

…all those little clipped off pieces are there cluttering up my ironing mat.  I don’t want them on the floor.  I don’t want them stuck to my pieces so I take my scissor, close it, turn it on the side and scrape.

I corral them all on one corner of my mat.

I keep them all in one corner until I’m finished pressing all of my pieces then I scrape them into my hand.  It saves on mess and is quick.

My pieces are done…now I need to move them onto the next step.

I know someone will ask…

This is my pressing mat.  I ADORE IT!

Here’s an Amazon link for them if you want to check them out.  They come is several sizes.  Mine is 17″ x 24″.  I put it on the island in the kitchen and iron there.  The smaller 9 X 9 size with a small iron can be kept near your sewing machines.  I’m not a gimic/gadget girl but this I LOVE.

I don’t know if my tip was something you already do or something you might try….let me know.



Quilt Finishes!!

I’d love to tell you that all the quilt finishes were mine, but alas, they aren’t.

I am excited about them though!!

First up is a charity quilt that was sent out to one of our volunteer binders, Karen Green.  The top came to me from Nancy Clarke from Homestead, FL….and now the quilt will be donated to Quilts of Compassion.  Isn’t that awesome?  Another quilt going out to help someone in need.

Jellyroll race quilts like this one are fast and perfect for giving.  I’ve seen many and no matter the colors, I always like them.  Sometimes simplicity is fun.

Thanks ladies for helping with the charity quilt project.

Next up is a quilt from a blog reader who used one of our free patterns to make a quilt:

Cathy Witt writes, “I am from Tellico Plains, TN.  I have followed your blog for years.  When the red and green Christmas Star quilt first appeared I knew I had to make it. I was so anxious, I didn’t even wait for the tutorial.. I just jumped in and tried to figure it out.  Although technically what I figured out wasn’t exactly your method of assembling it,  it was working. Then life got in the way.  I put it away and haven’t touched it in quite some time.  This week a good friend was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and I knew I needed to send him a quilt.  I didn’t have anything at all suitable for a man.. Then I remembered your star quilt. I was using greens, blue and creams.. perfect for a man.. It was barely underway. I had only a handful of blocks and a number of “components” made up, but it was all there in the bag where I left it.  I started sewing and sewing and yesterday I had it ready for quilting.  I quilted it last night, bound it this morning and put it in the mail to him this afternoon.  Thank you for such a great pattern.”

Well thank you for sharing the photo.  I love to see what you guys do with our patterns.

Jo's star quilt (002)
As noted we made the original one in Christmas colors…boy does it look nice it these colors and as said, it’s a perfect “guy” quilt.

If you are looking for the free pattern to make this quilt you can find it here.

Quilters have such big hearts.  It so awesome to belong to a community of givers.  I couldn’t feel more blessed.