Monday, 6 January 2014

More bags and a thank you

Before I get to the sewing and my first link up to the 2013 FAL Q4 finishes party with Leanne I'd like to give you all a big THANK YOU. I've been touched by all of your lovely comments (I will get 'round to replying, promise;-), writing that post wasn't easy (hitting publish was even harder) but I'm so glad that I did. Now that I'm better I hope that I can put the last few months behind me and just file it under 'Experiences that make you stronger.' However, we don't think that our family's complete yet so there's the possibility that it could happen again, but at least now I'll know what to look out for!

Anyway, pleasantries over, lets get on with this finish shall we?

Last week I showed you a bag/tote (could someone please explain the difference to me?) that I made for Anwen's friend's birthday.

I'd made the bag out of fabrics that I'd managed to source quite cheaply and thought that if I ever built up the guts to sell some things at a craft fair, something like this would be a good addition. One slight problem - this one bag took me seven hours to make! But I did wander, would making in bulk speed up the process?

Short answer - YES.

Long answer - I made four in 10.5 hours, so that's just over two and a half hours a bag. Still not fast enough to make these a profitable make, but better than seven hours apiece!

A horse for Anwen

So the first one is very similar to the one that I made for Elen although I used a regular quilting cotton instead of a home dec weight fabric and it shows (first lesson learnt)

I quilted this one in the same blue/green variegated Gutterman that I used on Get Shirty. Unfortunately I finished these on December 23rd and needed to get them wrapped asap so couldn't wait for some decent light to take pictures. You'll just have to take my word for it when I say that there isn't enough contrast between the thread and the fabric colour! I raw edge appliquéd a horse from the same fabric as Elen's bag but this time I chose a pink horse and I must say I do like it!


Butterflies for Esyllt

This one's the same size as Anwen's bag but as I didn't like the quilting on that one I decided to change it up a bit. I started off with a variegated pink Gutterman thread and quilted some organic straight lines at varying distances. I then filled in the gaps with different shades of pinks/purples/lilacs in whatever Coats Cotton, Coats Moon, Gutterman and Aurifil threads I could find in my stash.

Close up of the quilting (sorry again about the light)

I must say I really like the effect - it's changed the overall colour of the bag I'm sure that I'll be doing this again. It's just a shame that I couldn't get a decent picture to show you. Just to mix it up a bit and to stop me getting bored of the horses I raw edge appliquéd some fussy cut butterflies from Cocoon by Valori Wells onto the front of the bag and free motioned on some antennae. I only bought half a meter of this fabric but managed to get it into so many projects and I've still got loads left! I have to admit that I'd already fused the butterflies to some Bondaweb and cut them out in front of the telly a few weeks ago so the time taken isn't included in the 10.5 hours it took me to make these bags.

Number 3

Cute little heart bag

Now this one's my favourite. Main reason? The quilting. I used a 12wt variegated cotton by Aurifil (4663) that I got in one of those little sample packs in a giveaway. It's beautiful. The way that it catches the light is magnificent and it just brings the whole bag up a level. I have to get some more of this thread! For this one I just added two little felt hearts that I'd cut using cookie cutters as templates.

Number 4

Beautiful thread

Somehow I managed to forget to take an individual picture of number four but it was exactly the same as number three, I just swapped the colours of the hearts. So instead, here's a close up of the quilting on number three :-)

As I mentioned earlier, I made these as Christmas gifts. Anwen was really pleased when she opened her horse bag as she'd wanted to keep the one that I'd made for Elen.

Anwen gave the butterfly bag to her best friend Esyllt. Poor Esyllt, she was still waiting for her birthday present.....

Remember these UFOs?

Leap pad pouches

Goal number 2 on my FAL Q4 list. I started them in June/July last year and they were meant to be birthday pressies for Anwen and Esyllt who had their birthdays in July/August. I'd used a washable pen to write 'Esyllt' on the fabric before FMQing it but when I went to wash it away it didn't go - it just bled all over the fabric and looked awful. I threw them both to one side and decided to try and do something about it when I was in a better mood. I didn't get around to it - I think that I'd just lost the love for them.

But then, when I was going through my pile of ufos, compiling my Q4 list, I noticed that the blue pen marks had faded considerably and was barely noticeable. So I popped them on the list in the hope that the girls would receive them in the same year as their birthdays!

I only just managed it! After I'd finished making the bags I raw edge appliquéd the butterflies on, quilted some back panels and added a zip and lining.

Esyllt's pouch - Awful, awful zips

They are far from perfect - between the two layers of batting I'd used to give the leap pads extra protection and my lack of experience of making pouches, the zip ends are awful but their fit for purpose and most importantly finished!

Just the right size

As I don't believe in giving empty pouches/bags as gifts I put a little necklace with the appropriate initial pendant with both pouches and put the pouches in the bags (wrapping each layer of course!).

I gave one of the little heart bags to my niece for Christmas and Marged got the other one. She's been carrying it around lots since Christmas - today I even found a reel of dental floss inside it! - but somehow or another I haven't managed to get a picture of her carrying it :-(

All together - good for showing the different sizes - once again I forgot to write down the finished dimensions!

I might as well add one more finish to this post...

Now that horse fabric makes a very nice fussy cut but when I bought it it was with cushions in mind.

Yet another night time photo.

These were a very quick make, one and a half hours from cutting to stuffing (total, not each) and made ideal Christmas presents for Elen and her two sisters. And just to make sure that they didn't fight over which was who's I backed them in different shades of the same dotty print (also a home dec weight cotton) The one shown above is actually a dark purple, it's just the very bad light that makes it look brown, honest! The others were a lilac and a fuchsia pink. If I were to make these again I'd make them slightly smaller so that they's look a little more 'pouffy' but overall, I'm happy with them. I still have quite a bit of this fabric left over - I'm thinking home made lampshades for Christmas 2014?

And that concludes my Christmas sewing. Well, almost. There is the small matter of my Dad's Christmas gift.........(not yet started).

Linking up to Leanne

she can quilt

And because I think that it's a great idea to have a linky party for completed Christmas makes I'm linking up with Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts for Sew Cute Tuesday

Sew Cute Tuesday


  1. Lovely makes, especially like the butterfly bag...tote :-)

  2. Your bags are gorgeous! I hope you find a way to make selling them viable :)

  3. Well done you, great collection!

    I think totes are generally simple bags with no closure, so a subset of bags really :oD

  4. The bags are gorgeous and you got so much done!

  5. Beautiful projects. I love all the different threads you used for the quilting on the bags. I too want to get more 12 wt Aurifil, it is so pretty.


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