I thought it would be a good idea to give the instructions a test run before handing everyone materials at retreat. These little bags are a great way to practice free motion quilting – and as you can see, I clearly need more practice!
The blue one was first, and making it was a learning experience. First, I didn’t make the tabs on the zipper come up far enough. See how the zip is all crazy at the end?
I decided to run the side seam through the serger, but that resulted in the thread pulling and being more visible than I liked when I turned the bag right side out.
(And check out my quilting – you’re feeling better about your occasional wonky stitch length now, aren’t you?)
So, when I made the red bag, I sewed the seam on the sewing machine and then just used the serger to finish the edges. I used a narrower 3-thread overlock stitch for the finishing, especially on the zipper where there just wasn’t enough space to get in there nicely with the serger foot.
Also, because reading directions is not always my strong suit, I forgot to topstitch the first side by the zip before I had attached the other side. This meant topstitching both sides while it the bag was in a tube shape, which was not fun. It probably would have been faster to just rip out one side to at least topstitch the first side more easily. But where’s the challenge in that? Ha.
See how the top of the zip looks so much cleaner when I placed the zipper tab in the right spot? Directions. Crazy how much reading them helps! One note, though – as long as you have a rectangle, the dimensions can be whatever size you want. You just need a zipper that is long enough for your bag.
Don’t you love these cute little charms attached to the zipper pull? It took way too long to connect the pile of charms to split rings, but they are such a fun addition. Definitely worth it!
My daughter requested a couple of these. I told her she can have the one with the flowers, I’ll keep the slightly wonky blue one. She wants one for her basketball bag, one for her school locker, one for her backpack… I see zipper sewing in her future. :)
Pop over to the Moda blog, read the instructions better than I did, and have fun making some of these!
I am so excited! And nervous. Very nervous!
My confirmation for Spring Quilt Market arrived!
I signed up for Sample Spree, a class about Retreats and Social Marketing. I have no idea what to expect. I am really anxious about meeting new people, but after last summer’s Sewing Mamas retreat, I am trying really hard to remember that these are all people who love the same things I do.
Anyone else going to Spring Market?
We’re doing it again!
When I started setting this up last year, I was pretty nervous. What if no one signed up? But people did. Then my thoughts went to – what if they change their mind at the last minute and don’t come? What if it’s awful and no one has a good time? What if people don’t get along? What if they hate all the food?
What if there is a really big rooster?
People came. It was like seeing old friends even though we had not met in person before. We ate brownies and rice krispie bars. And other things that could be categorized as “real food.”
We embraced the rooster theme. Because, really, what else could you do??
We laughed to tears. We decided that one in the morning was the *perfect* time to find the quilt wall and work on the layout of Kathleen’s quilt squares.
And it was!
This year’s retreat is scheduled for July 17-20th.
The cost is $220, which INCLUDES lodging and most food! Check the forums for more info here.
I am so excited to see these Sewing Mamas again, and hopefully to meet some new ones as well. It’s going to be so much fun!
Hope you can make it!
Hope you’re not tired of these retreat posts. I have to share all these pictures!
There are roosters on almost everything at South Fork Farm. Rooster ceramics, rooster flatware, roosters everywhere. We should have had a contest to count them all. This should not have been a surprise since the one of the first things you encounter upon arrival is this HUGE rooster in the front yard.
Somehow Stacy and Sarah managed to sneak off without getting in a rooster picture, and I managed to get in two of them.
From left: Kathleen, Melanie, Kelly, Stephanie, Michelle, Melissa
Jane and Vanessa
Back: Rachael and Kelly
Front: Kelly, Ruth Ann, Jeri, Melissa
Love how we’re all squinting? The sun was pretty much spot on. My husband took that last picture – with about 5 different cameras/phones, so at that point we were all saying, “Did you take it yet?”
This is a great group of girls. I really hope everyone can make it back next year!
On Friday, there was a secret sister swap. I had opted out because I have been working very hard at being more realistic with my time commitments and didn’t want to sign up for a spot and then be scrambling at the last minute to pull something less than stellar together for my person. I knew I would miss out on something fun, but I didn’t want to disappoint someone, so it was okay.
After the swap, Mel said, “Wait, there’s one more!” In addition to all the goodies they had brought for their secret sisters, they had also brought me gifts. Here I was, so happy that they were all here, amazed that they had all been willing to make the trip and they thought they should bring me gifts? I was overwhelmed before I even looked at the contents of the bag Mel handed me. And when I pulled out this?
I cried. This is the wall quilt Vanessa made. See those white spaces in the border? The pen we had stopped to get earlier in the day was so that everyone could sign their name on it. It’s kind of like the quilter’s version of the camp t-shirt everyone signs at the end of camp, only so much more awesome.
There were so many amazing things in this bag, and I love them all. In fact, if you look at the pictures in this month’s challenge post, everything pictured came to me from a Sewing Mama that weekend. And those aren’t even all the things. I’ll show you the others in another post. I’m making a note to tell them no gifts next time, but wondering if we could all make and bring wall quilts to swap with white space for signing…
Perhaps if I start mine now I’ll be ready.