Julie’s Problem Zipper

Take a Stand - Problem Zipper
Take a Stand – Problem Zipper

In September I did a gift inventory as I worked on various projects for the holidays. It takes time to make gifts, so I do periodic inventories so I am not scrambling at the last second. During this excavation, I found that the zipper on Julie’s Take a Stand bag had the same problem as mine! Fortunately, I realized this in September, not November 30, and took care of the problem right away. It really only took me a few minutes, since I had already fixed the issue on my bag.

Take a Stand - Fixed Zipper
Take a Stand – Fixed Zipper

I took 15 minutes while DH made dinner and fixed the zipper. I was able to tighten up the size of the zipper tab at the same time, which made me feel better. I don’t like zipper tabs that are big and floppy. I realize that the one on the end was not big and floppy before I fixed it, but it was not the right size either.

Take a Stand opens wide
Take a Stand opens wide

Now the bag opens wide. Yay!

And I was able to admire the inside again, which came out very well. I am very proud of it.

I really felt irritated with myself. What was the deal with those two zipper heads? If I did it twice, there had to be something in the pattern.

Finished: Take a Stand Bag for Julie (Gift Post #4)

This poor bag’s post has been juggled around for at least two months now.

Julie's Take a Stand Bag
Julie’s Take a Stand Bag

I finished this bag back in May after I finished my Mom’s Take a Stand and before I finished mine. This was originally scheduled to be a gift for Friend Julie’s birthday. That meant I couldn’t show it to you until at least December 2. This state of affairs was terrible enough for me, but then I decided to give her this gift for Christmas and give her the Ultimate Carry All Bag for her birthday. That meant I had to wait. Then our New Year’s plans to go out with Friend Julie and our DHs were postponed, because of terrible weather. It is hard for me to wait to show you what I am making. It is so fun to read what you think. Also, I get to think about what I made when I am writing about it. Anyway, we made it through.

Finally, I gave her this bag over the weekend. I had filled it with a lot of little gifts.

Usually, I choose purple fabrics. Julie and I were out together and she mentioned this fabric, which gave me the idea to make her a bag from it. It won’t exactly go with her other bags because I usually choose a darker purple. I hope she likes it anyway.

Julie's Take a Stand interior
Julie’s Take a Stand interior

I am REALLY pleased with the inside. The fussy cutting came out really well. Also, the construction of the ByAnnie bags means the linings are really taut, which I like.

A happy accident is the lines at the end of the pencil points. The bottom matches up with the sides! The pencil fabric is from Crimson Take and I am really glad it is highlighted.

Julie's Take a Stand front pocket - interior
Julie’s Take a Stand front pocket – interior

I used an old Moda Marbles light purple for the main part of the bag. This is fabric that will mostly be covered. I found that to be true with the APfE v.2 as well, that is that most of the outside is covered by pockets so choosing a tone-on-tone rather than a special fabric makes more sense. This Moda Marbles light purple fabric ties the bag to her other bags.

I used the Tula Pink Scissor ribbon from the Homemade line for the interior of the front and back pockets to cover the zipper join.

Again, I used the Tula Pink webbing for the strap (see above). Mom’s was kind of my test bag so the strap for this one went a lot quicker. I am pleased with how well the webbing color fits with the colors of the bag.

I am still calling this the Without a Trace bag periodically. And I still don’t know why!

Gift Post #4: Project Bag for Julie

Julie's Project Bag
Julie’s Project Bag

Yes, another bag as a gift for Julie. I actually finished this in September, but couldn’t show it until now, after it was presented.

I chuckled to myself as I cut out the bag at Super Sew Day right under Julie’s nose! She may have noticed the fabric, but I just didn’t make a big deal out of it.

I didn’t have a good sense of how large these bags would be. I hope this one isn’t too small. It will work for a bag or accessory project for sure, but probably not for a large quilt project. Julie doesn’t knit or crochet, but she does have embroidery projects and this will work for one of those as well.

It is, as I may have mentioned, a fairly easy project. I think the ByAnnie patterns seem overly complicated sometimes. The directions are very complete and I have grown attached to the binding instructions, but in general I think they seem overly complicated.

Finished: My Project Bag

Finished: My Project Bag
Finished: My Project Bag

I have been wanting to try this pattern. I was thinking that a project bag might be a good gift for my bag recipients, but I wanted to try it before committing to another ByAnnie pattern. I think, in general, ByAnnie patterns seem overly complicated, but the projects usually turn out well.

I cut out the pieces at Super Sew Day, then finally sewed it together. I used one of the pieces of zipper I got for my birthday. I love it. It is so pretty. I also used more of the Philip Jacobs Chrysanthemum fabric like in the Without a Trace/Take a Stand bag and the APfE v.2.0. I am pleased with the binding, too.

Traveling with La Pass

View from Tahoe Ridge to NV
View from Tahoe Ridge to NV

Recently, we took a long weekend and visited Lake Tahoe. Our nephew was getting married. We tacked on a few extra days to make it a long-ish weekend. The YM flew in to see his cousin get married. That means we got to spend a few days with him as well. It was really great to have more than a day to catch up and get more of a sense of how our YM is doing.

Without a Trace/Take a Stand tote filled with La Pass
Without a Trace/Take a Stand tote filled with La Pass

I wanted to take La Pass with me on the trip so I could work on getting Month 13 finished. Month 14 had been shipped and I needed to get back on schedule. As shown, my pieces were in hearts and cones, so I needed a bag that would keep them flat during the drive and general chaos of travel. I also needed space for my Sew Together Bag and my Inside Outside Pouch, which contain various tools and supplies for La Pass. Eventually, I landed on the Without a Trace/Take a Stand Tote. Since I fixed the zipper and sewed the zipper tab closed, I have been looking for a use for it.

Unlike my trip to Portland earlier this year, travel was much easier with the rosette not yet sewn together.  I keep working on combining the smaller pieces into larger sections. Once each rosette is fully complete, it is a bit of a hassle to transport until I remove the papers.

It was a bit of a tight squeeze, but worked. I am really pleased!

Take a Stand Zipper Repair

Take a Stand/Without a Trace Bag finished & repaired
Take a Stand/Without a Trace Bag finished & repaired

I wrote about my unhappiness with the Take a Stand/Without a Trace zipper a few weeks ago. In a way this is the project that keeps rearing its head. Finally, though, I think it is finished, repaired and available for use.

It is a good, medium sized bag, so I hope to put it to good use in some way I can’t think of right now.

Take a Stand/Without a Trace Bag zipper tab updated
Take a Stand/Without a Trace Bag zipper tab updated

I changed out the zipper tab to match the binding. I haven’t checked the pattern to see if it calls for exterior (my first choice) or binding fabric for the zipper tab. I am pretty sure I cut what the pattern suggested. I like the zipper tab matching the binding better.

I also adjusted the size to match the width of the binding and the zipper. I don’t like the zipper tabs being larger. The  Quilts Illustrated Tool Tote pattern calls for a larger tab and it bugs me every time I see it. now that I have changed the zipper for the Take a Stand/Without a Trace bag, I might change that one as well.

Revisiting the Take A Stand Bag

Take a Stand Bag for Mom lining/inside
Take a Stand Bag for Mom lining/inside

I talked about finishing this bag back in May. The problem was that the zipper wasn’t working right. The bag is supposed to open wide, but the double zipper I had installed was preventing it. I don’t have a photo of this problem on my bag, but I do have a photo of what it was supposed to do. You can see from the photo of Mom’s bag that the whole bag is accessible. Mine didn’t do that.

Apparently, my subconscious was working on this, because one night last week I kept waking up in the middle of the night dreaming/worrying about this damn zipper. I didn’t even remember thinking about it during the day, but my subconscious was clearly dealing with the problem.

I shouldn’t even really call it a problem, because I could still use the bag. I wasn’t, however, actually using the bag.

Take a Stand - zipper tab removed
Take a Stand – zipper tab removed

After that night of dreaming about zippers, I looked at the zipper on the bag. If I needed to remove the zipper completely, which I didn’t want to do, it would require a lot of ripping. I thought I could take off the zipper tab, remove one of the zipper heads and put one zipper head back on.

I don’t know why I put two zipper heads on. I didn’t do that on Mom’s Take a Stand. If I had, it would have had the same problem, but you can see from the photo above that it doesn’t

Take a Stand - zipper tab removed annotated
Take a Stand – zipper tab removed annotated

During Craft Night, I started by removing the zipper tab. Then I removed both zipper heads. I could have just removed one, but they were not in the right orientation for one zipper head. I, then, followed my zipper head tutorial. I am so glad I wrote that tutorial, because I always forget I have to put the head in the towel holder** upside down and insert the zipper tape upside down as well. This was a little challenging since the zipper tape was already attached to the bag. I had to do a bit of wrangling, but eventually got the zipper head on.

It works perfectly!

Now I just have to sew the zipper tab again and we should be in business.
















**Obviously, you should shop at a local quilt shop. However, I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Finished Take a Stand Bag

My Take a Stand Bag
My Take a Stand Bag

I finally finished all the Take a Stand /Without a Trace bags I was making. This one is mine and it matches my A Place for Everything bag. I don’t know how I am going to use this bag, but I am sure I can figure something out.

I am kind of happy to be finished with the ByAnnie bags. She has great shapes and useful patterns, but they seem to unnecessarily complicated. 

Take a Stand Front pocket- inside
Take a Stand Front pocket- inside

There are also things I don’t like about the bags. ByAnnie doesn’t always finish the inside of her pockets. It might seem stupid, but I don’t like any raw edges showing.

After seeing Tula Pink cover the zipper joins with ribbon, I now do that, which also covers some raw edges. You can see the with grey dots ribbon at the top of the inside of the front pocket. ByAnnie does say to seal some of the edges, so I did that with the bottom before I assembled the whole back. I don’t consider those raw edges to be completely covered, but they are ok.

Take a Stand inside
Take a Stand inside

I didn’t do anything very special with the inside of this bag. I used some Zen chic fabric I consider to be a background fabric. I like it and I have used it for other bags I made for me.

The inside is light and airy and I will be able to see whatever I store in it.

My Take a Stand In Process

Take a Stand - pockets on, front view
Take a Stand – pockets on, front view

I keep calling this bag the Without a Trace bag rather than the Take a Stand Bag. Do you remember that TV show, Without a Trace with Poppy Montgomery? I liked that show.  I started the three on April 30, finished Mom’s in time for Mother’s Day and am on my way finishing mine. Yes, this one uses the same fabrics as my APfE v.2. They are a set. Will I make a Running with Scissors to go with them? I don’t know. I am done with ByAnnie patterns for awhile.

I was able to spend enough time on Saturday and Sunday getting the pockets on, concealing the strap holders and generally fiddling with the details.

I had to pay attention to covering up the strap that holds the shoulder strap. You can see it above because a triangle ring is hanging off the top. I originally cut those pieces of webbing too long. I couldn’t figure out what was going on when I attached the first one, on Mom’s. I finally did realize that it was too tall. I ripped it off, trimmed and resewed. Then I trimmed the straps for the other two. I checked the directions and know I cut them properly, so there was something I didn’t understand.

Take a Stand - pockets on, side view
Take a Stand – pockets on, side view

With that whole escapade fresh in my mind, I carefully placed these straps. Note they are placed so the end is covered by the pocket. That means that I had to be sure the end WAS covered by the pocket.

I eventually succeeded and now need to put the ends, the top zipper and bind everything.




**Obviously, you should shop at local quilt shops. However, I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Mother’s Day Gift

Take a Stand Bag for Mom
Take a Stand Bag for Mom

The Take a Stand** bag (which for some reason I keep wanting to call the “Without a Trace” bag) bag is done and I am on my way to give it to my Mom for Mother’s Day.

This is the first time I have made this bag and it has the usual things that annoy me about a ByAnnie pattern: quilting all the pieces and lots of binding. It is also a great size and shape. It might be a good replacement for my Travel / Go-to-Sew-Day Bag. Or at least a partial replacement.

Yes, I used the Tula Pink webbing for the shoulder strap. It isn’t the perfect color, but works ok and Mom can unhook it and use it for other things. Using webbing means that I don’t have to make straps. I seem to remember making straps with webbing as the inside a la ByAnnie, but I can’t remember (or find) what project they were used on. It wasn’t a completely smooth process, but the strap went together pretty quickly and I am happy with them.

I adore the rainbow hardware!

Take a Stand Bag for Mom lining/inside
Take a Stand Bag for Mom lining/inside

I am pretty proud of the inside/lining. It is hard to see in the photo, but easier if you make the photo larger. I used a text print with color wheel type paint blobs on it. It is perfect for my mom and came out really well in terms of placement in the bag.

I have two more in the works, meaning that I have two more cut and quilted (such a chore), so you’ll see at least one of those soon. I decided that I want to make the larger size as well, but will have to cut and quilt that one before I can decide if it will be a good replacement for my Travel / Go-to-Sew-Day Bag.

I hope Mom likes this bag. She is getting quite the collection.






**Obviously, you should shop at local quilt shops. However, I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Take a Stand Start

Take a Stand cut pieces
Take a Stand cut pieces

Finally, I started the three Take a Stand totes. Yes, I decided to make three.  I had all the supplies and, of course, plenty of fabric, but just couldn’t start cutting. I went on Saturday to sew with a friend and that was the impetus I needed to do the cutting.

One bag is due next month so I focused on making sure I had all the pieces for that. I am just waiting for one piece of webbing for that one, but it is already on its way, so I am not worried.

Take a Stand Straps
Take a Stand Straps

I am not making straps out of fabric.  I am using Tula Pink’s webbing. I wish ByAnnie’s patterns would say “if you are using webbing, start here –>”. Of course, I have only used webbing twice (this time and for the APfE v.2. Still, I am a convert. I really like it. Tula has fun colors, but they are not for every instance. I’ll have to explore some of the other colors available.

I am resigned to all the prep ByAnnie bags take. I am trying to teach myself not to want to get to the end as ASAP as I seem to demand of myself. It is that old problem for my brain of process vs. product. I can’t seem to get over it, though I do try.

I ran out of Soft & Stable so there are a few pieces of that I need to cut. Since I have that deadline, I quilted as many pieces as I could.  I have now started sewing. I want to do the three at once, but have to get the one done.

APfE v.2 Finished

A Place for Everything finished: closed
A Place for Everything finished: closed

I finally finished the A Place for Everything Bag. This bag is not for the faint of heart. If I had known what it would be like, I might not have made it, but I am glad I did.

I have a love-dislike relationship with ByAnnie patterns. There are a lot of them. Many of the bag shapes are interesting and useful. I can’t, however, wrap my mind around some of the directions. This is not a surprise to those of you who have been reading for a long time. My brain doesn’t work like others. Videos have been helpful. In this case, I found that Annie skips some steps that are considered very basic. After looking through the basics videos, I emailed them and they gave me some suggestions, but also said they don’t have enough resources to do full length videos for every project. Sigh. I blundered through.

Suddenly, the bag was put together and just needed finishing touches, as mentioned the other day.

I spent a couple of evenings hand sewing the binding down. I know that takes time, but I couldn’t stand the thought of cramming the bag through the machine. I had the time so I hand sewed the binding. I looks great.

APfE: pages strapped in
APfE: pages strapped in

The strap that keeps the ‘pages‘ in place was WAY too long. Instead of trying to figure out what was going on, I just cut it off, resewed the velcro and moved on with my life.

Despite the problems, I am pleased with the way this came out. I spent a lot of time on the details and it shows. The bag isn’t perfect, but it will be great for when I take the project to Sew Day next week.

APfE v.2 Nearing the Finish Line

After not working on this bag much on Saturday, I decided to do as much as I could on Sunday. I was quick to remind myself that there were too many steps and I couldn’t possibly finish.

A Place for Everything Bag almost finished
A Place for Everything Bag almost finished

I was right, mostly.

I was not able to finish the bag, but I made really good progress and the bag is almost done. I have to finish the binding.

The product came out pretty well. ByAnnie patterns do come out pretty well, though I wouldn’t suggest this bag for someone who hasn’t made a lot of bags. There are videos, but Annie skips over some of the parts she considers to be basic or easy. Of course, those were the ones I had the most trouble navigating.

A Place for Everything Bag - detail
A Place for Everything Bag – detail

I know the picture above looks weird because of the binding, but I am really pleased with how the bag looks, e.g. the fabrics that I chose. I am also pretty happy with the webbing, though I did have to make up some parts of using it as I went along.

I love this hardware, especially, as I said, the triangle piece. I don’t think I really need the carry strap, but I wanted to make it. I can always use it for a different bag.

I am tempted to make a Take a Stand Bag that matches this one. I have to make one as gift, so I might as well make two, right? I need to finish some other projects before I do that.

APfE v.2 Progress: Handles and Straps

I spent Sunday working on the A Place for Everything bag. I despaired at making any progress, because the handle instructions didn’t seem to make any sense.I know part of this was that I had lost momentum. It makes me think I need to make the Take A Stand bag that has been on my list while I am in tune with ByAnnie bags.

Fortunately, ByAnnie has a series of Handles and Straps videos, which were very helpful. I’d like to see a list of the projects that use the techniques included under the various videos. There may be a list, but I haven’t found it yet. It took me some time to sort through them to find the one I needed. I used:

APfE: Adjustable Strap
APfE: Adjustable Strap

I finally got the adjustable strap made and am pretty pleased with it.

I am also super pleased with the triangle hardware. I have known about them, but don’t think I have used them before. This won’t be the last time! They are great, because they don’t roll around after installation  like D-rings. I am in the process of installing them on the bag pockets. Once the bag is finished I will be able to clip the adjustable strap to them.

Webbing ends show
Webbing ends show

I didn’t follow the handle and strap making directions, because I decided to use the new Tula Pink webbing. I ran into a few problems. First, I ended up making handles from fabric and Soft & Stable, because I didn’t have enough of the webbing. Second, there were no instructions on finishing the ends of the webbing. The webbing frays/shreds like crazy, so some kind of sealing process needs to take place. I couldn’t find any tutorials or even any pictures of what others have done. I ended up using Aleene’s Tacky Glue** on the edges of some of the pieces and L’Oreal Miracle Base Coat** on others. I wanted to see the difference. I considered burning the edges, but was reluctant because of the smell and, also, I didn’t want the edges blackened at all. The webbing edges will show, regardless, and I wanted them to be as neat as possible.

Both worked well. The glue took longer to dry, but I worked on other things while it dried. I would recommend cutting the end and sealing it immediately. The cut end seems to spontaneously fray. I covered my work surface with wax paper**. I like the wax paper because one side is slippery-ish. It is covered in wax and while the glue sticks it doesn’t bond to the wax paper. I haven’t tried it, but parchment paper** would probably work as well.

In general, I found the webbing easy to work with. I was able to sew through two layers plus fabric and Soft & Stable pretty easily. I did put in a new needle and sewed slowly.

This bag takes a long time. Stay tuned for more progress!






  • ByAnnie A Place for Everything v.2 pattern**
  • Tula Pink video on how she deviates from the pattern to make more design decisions
  • Tula Pink video on applying ribbon to cover ‘connections’
  • #5-Making an Adjustable Strap Using a Widemouth Slider : Watch step-by-step as Annie shows how to attach a widemouth slider to make a strap adjustable for carrying over the shoulder or for carrying cross-body
  • #6-Making a Detachable Strap : Learn to attach the necessary hardware to make an attachable/detachable strap






**I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

APfE v2 Bag Progress

I felt confused and exhausted the other day when I finally got the pieces I needed quilted and cut. The prep on these ByAnnie bags are not trivial.

Zipper pocket installation
Zipper pocket installation

I spent time on and off prepping pockets, then all day Sunday making the ‘pages’, which are a big feature of this bag.

I chose to make all vinyl pockets, but with either type of pocket (mesh or vinyl), you have to add zipper heads to the zipper tape and then sew the zippers to the vinyl. There are a lot of pockets so it took forever. It took even longer, because, again, I used Tula Pink’s suggestion of covering the edges of the zippers with ribbon. I really like the effect, but it did take time.

Finished Pages - front
Finished Pages – front

I added a few more pockets than the pattern suggested. Fortunately, I was working on the project in little bits of time. This gave me time to think about the sewing before I actually did it. I realized that I would be sewing pockets to the back of a page that had pockets on the other side and that I had to be really careful. I only ran into problems one time and I was able to cover the part I didn’t like with ribbon. I am pleased, though, because I ended up with more pockets.

Finished Pages - back
Finished Pages – back

There are two sets of page. Each full page has two facing half pages. The pattern suggests you can play around with the pages and put they type of pages you want, but the choices are limited by the sewing.

You have to put one of the full page pockets (see pink back, bottom left) behind the two or three pocket pages, for the most part. If I make this bag again (or additional pages to swap out), I will make sure there is a full page behind a page of pockets with 2 or 3 pockets.

The pages are done and I am really pleased. This bag is taking much longer than I thought. Forget about the months I just thought about working on it. These four pages took me about 8 hours just to sew, not including prep. People will make these bags for you on Etsy for about $200 and the money is totally worth it!