Monday, September 23, 2019

Fanny Packs, a Bag and More Window Wallets

After attending a bag making retreat at the end of May, I got off on a bag making jag.  Someone (well probably several people) at the retreat were making these "Dayna Packs" (find the pattern on Etsy).  I needed a couple of birthday gifts and thought these would be great for that so I got the stuff and made a couple.

I've seen a million pix posted of these bags and everyone does them differently in the sense that they choose different fabric, hardware, embellishments and added features (e.g., extra pockets, card slots).  I didn't want to make mine of quilting fabric - I wanted something a bit more substantial so I went to PacCana in Calgary and picked up some denier nylon with rubberized backing.   PacCana also has hardware, strapping and zippers.  The rivets are from Tandy Leather.  

Around that time I got my new Baby Lock Aventura II machine, which also does embroidery (I sold my two Janome machines - I had to call the technician one time too many to get my older Memory Craft 10000 embroidery function to work).  It turns out that denier nylon is amazing for embroidery.  I thought it might give me grief, but quite the opposite!  So I became hooked on making these darn fanny packs with an embroidered design on the front.

The first one went to bro-in-law Dan.  They have a gargoyle statue by their back door and my sister Chris told me she was going to make a gargoyle birthday cake for him so I thought why not a gargoyle fanny pack?  I found the embroidery file for the gargoyle on Etsy.  Dan is diabetic and carries certain supplies with him so there is a chance he might actually use it.

Then it was Carol's turn (Dan is her guy).  They have fish and there is this fish design built in to the machine.

Pam saw the pix of Dan and Carol's and thought she and her Andrew would each  like a fanny pack.  About that time I discovered a website where I can purchase millions of downloadable embroidery files (I initially got the embroidery function to make labels for my quilts and the 10000 was old enough that it was a challenge to do anything that wasn't pre-programmed into the machine - doable, but a hassle so I just didn't do it very much).  Pam wanted the Eifel Tower and Andrew wanted something related to music because he's learning piano.  And she wanted me to put their initials on the upper part of the front pocket.

After that, I just started making them!  I was trying out embroidery designs that I liked and figured I'd find homes for them eventually.

The dragonfly went to Alyssa.

I also started adding a "secret" pocket to the back and credit card slots to the interior.  After the first few - all the rest have these two additional features.

I still have the hot rod - it turned out a bit bigger than I envisioned.  But eventually someone will really like it.

Motorcycle went to Jason.

I still have this dog - I really like him/her!

Carissa wanted this one.

Kelly got the Sun-Moon.  Kelly and Jason's daughters got the baseball, roller derby and unicorn to reflect their favourite things.  The sports designs have their personal numbers and in the case of the derby, her derby nick name.

Above - the three girls' packs.  Note the unicorn is smaller - the youngest of the girls is just 5 so the regular size would be too big for her.

Chris gets the cupcakes - she's the fancy cake making sister.

Mom asked for one with a butterfly and she likes purple.

Bro-in-law Karl (Chris's guy) is the "Lone Wolf".  He is diabetic, too, so may actually use it.

I still have the fish - I did the same design three times so it becomes a school of fish.  😎

And a sun, surf  design.  Still have this one, too.  and the others shown below.  I'll be making at least a couple more that are "custom orders".

And "Pow"!

And here are a number of music related designs and an octopus.

I know I missed a few that got away on me before I got pix but you get the idea.  I like to take a pix of everything - it's for me to be able to track my stuff so I know this is a bit tedious if you just happened to tumble into my blog.

And in an effort to use up stuff....  I made some more of those window wallets.  I used up the last of the IKEA 8" squares - they are like a light weight canvas so not suitable for quilt making.  I did a tutorial on how to make these in an earlier post.

Finally - here is the bag that I made for myself.  

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Sugar Skulls and some Misadventures

Sugar Skulls!  It's a Tula Pink pattern from the book Quilt With Tula and Angela by Tula Pink and Angela Walters.  

This was the last quilt in my "to be quilted" box.  It took me almost two years to get through them all  (since I stopped doing customer quilts).  Of course I made more as I went.  But now I literally have no more quilt tops to quilt.  So I guess that means I have to get busy and make some more!  😎😎😎

Here are some close ups of the quilting - spider webs, a few spiders and some "wrought iron" inspired curves in the orange.  The border is one inch piano keys with grid in the corners where they overlap and one inch grid in the skulls.

I appliqued a few flowers in the bottom - I'll talk more about that below.


So what misadventure???

I started off with black thread and lofty ideas of "drawing" spider webs, spiders, rats, snakes and whatever creepy stuff I could think of.  These pix show a bit of what it was starting to look like.

But I decided I didn't like it.  It just looked "scribbly" and my "drawing" isn't good enough - the black thread showed all the glitches a little too much for my liking.  So I decided to rip it all out.  

And, predictably, it "left a mark".

The usual treatment of  spraying water and a finger rub took out most of the evidence.  However, the worst marks were where the spiders were - there were actually holes there.  I picked up some Bo-Nash earlier in June and thought I'd give it a try.  

This is the Bo-Nash powder before being pressed.

When I pressed it, it left a nice crunchy mend (I thought I'd taken some pix of that but I guess I didn't).  I think I used too much.  I need a Bo-Nash lesson.  Anyway, the holes were fixed in that the fabric will not fray out, but it was very visible.  I decided to go ahead and quilt the quilt as I was planning to - with orange thread this time and not be quite so adventurous with the drawing - also, I really just wanted to get it finished at this point!  I decided to hide the holes with applique once the quilting was finished, which is what I did.

I pressed some Heat'n'Bond to the back of some of the flower fabric and cut around the flower groupings that I wanted.  Then I pressed it on while it was still on the frame because I wanted to try stitching around the raw edge with the long-arm.  I did this.  Once I took it off the frame, I pressed it again to be sure it is stuck on really well.  I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out and it saved the quilt.  I wouldn't bother with stitching around the applique next time - I think it's quite well stuck on so it didn't really need the stitching at all.  If it turns out that this quilt actually does get some use, I might consider doing a satin stitch around the applique, but for now, I'm not going to bother.

One final note: I tend to experiment with my quilts - this is one experiment I would never do on a customer quilt! I do try new design ideas and usually like them - but usually the designs are a bit more conventional.  I rarely rip so this is a real exception - I usually don't hate it enough to rip.  I've quilted with contrasting thread before and really liked the results, but this time, it did not make me happy.  It was the glitchy drawing that was the deciding factor - I just was not happy with it.  Will this stop me from experimenting?  Nope.  That's what makes quilting fun - trying out new things.  Usually they work out just fine.  And it's not brain surgery so no one dies if things go sideways!  😎😎😎