New Year’s Day Work

AKA Gift Post #6

I am pleased [with myself] to say that 2010 started out with a sewing bang. I finished the bag for my aunt (she never reads this blog as far as I know, so I don’t feel bad about posting it even though I haven’t sent it off yet).

Jeri's Bag
Jeri’s Bag

I started this bag way back in December 2009, but with one thing and another wasn’t able to finish it until Friday. I feel bad, because it was intended to be a Christmas gift. My aunt really loves purple, so I made this bag in purple for her. In terms of fabric selection I had a couple of things I wanted to accomplish and some limitations to deal with. First, I was limited in my fabric choices because of the size of the pieces of fabrics I had available. For a long time I have purchased half yards and FQs. These are fine for quilting, but I am finding that they are barely adequate for bag making. I intend to try the Mini-Multi (AMH’s pattern for the Multi-tasker tote that I resized)This limitation directed me to more plummy colored purples.

Also, I wanted to try a bag where I didn’t use fabrics with a ton of contrast. I think Marilyn’s Multi-tasker was pretty successful. That one wasn’t boring to make. Thus, I wanted to try another interesting combination of fabrics that were also not wacky looking and my aunt wouldn’t feel bad about carrying around.

I am pretty happy with the way this bag turned out. It looks nice and does not look wacky. I made the pockets and straps at the beginning of the process even though AMH says to make the straps at the end of the process, right before I am supposed to attach them. I think my process worked better for me, because once I got past the tedious, fiddly parts, I was able to put the bag together relatively quickly. I like to get all the fiddly parts done, so I can move through the process quickly as I tend to get bored if I have to keep going back to the fiddly bits periodically throughout the process.

Jeri's Bag - detail 1
Jeri’s Bag – detail 1

I think the combination of fabrics is a good one. The colors work well together and there is some interest in the combination. They are all older fabrics, so an added bonus is that I delved into the fabric closet and used some stuff that has been hanging around. I think Auntie would have preferred less plummy and more purply colors, but the bag is what it is.

Jeri's Bag - detail 2
Jeri’s Bag – detail 2

AMH does not make her pockets fully lined. Another change that I have made is that I make them fully lined [by cutting a piece of fabric, folding it in half (right sides together), sewing around, turning] before sewing them on to the bag. I think this method makes a nicer finished product and doesn’t take much longer. I want to remember next time to add a label to the pocket. It seems like a good place to include a label.

Jeri's Bag - detail 3
Jeri’s Bag – detail 3

I am still liking the cell phone pocket, which I learned to make from the Sweet Harmony bag, so I added one to this bag as well.

Cloth Napkins
Cloth Napkins

I have bought some of the fruit and vegetable fabrics, that seem to be popular, recently. I had a joint project with my mom in mind, but decided I liked certain ones too much to give away, thus I made napkins. Perhaps I am making a series after taking a look at the raspberry napkin I made in 2009? The cake fabric and the pots and pans fabric is from my collection of fabric for backs. Those pieces are large, so I can make FQ napkins with no problem and no piecing. In general, I don’t really like making napkins. Turning the pieces and getting the seam crisp are really frustrating and I am generally not successful at it. I tried a couple of different methods this time and am progressing. I do enjoy using the new napkins! I also enjoy looking at the cake fabric. My sister wants a set, but I don’t know if I have it in me to make a SET. Perhaps I can make one a month for her, then give her a set of 12 for Christmas? We’ll see.

In a way I wanted to set a trend for 2010 of major league sewing. In 2010 I want to make major progress in the sewing-quiltmaking-bag making department. I think I did well last year. Still, I want to do better. Not necessarily in terms of numbers of projects completed, but improvement in my processes. Oh, and I would like to see major improvement in my organizational systems. I am not committing to anything on that front, but would like to see it. We’ll see about that.