Enigma #4 in the Wild

I had to go to the office twice last week. That sound so weird to say after years of going 4-5 days per week. Anyway, I always sit near a friend so we can chat if either of us can get a break.

Enigma #4 in the Wild
Enigma #4 in the Wild

She had her Enigma with her and was using if for all the computer bits and bobs we have to haul around.

I am so glad she is finding it useful.

Finished: Enigma #4

Pink Enigma
Pink Enigma

I finished the Enigma #4 and also gave it to my friend. She was so touched; it made me want to cry. I don’t think of giving bags to people as anything special. In my small quiltmaking/bagmaking world, everyone gives bags like they are napkins or something equally as mundane. I am always brought up short when I give a bag to someone outside of that world and see how amazed they are.

Pink Enigma #4: open
Pink Enigma #4: open

This one came out really well. I am still impressed by the matching stripe I was able to find. I cannot remember when I bought it or where, but it has been hanging around for awhile. It just goes so perfectly with the pink and green outer fabric. I used up all of the fabrics I used. All had chunks taken out of them when I started and were really just scraps when I finished.


Engima #4 - top view
Engima #4 – top view

Of course, I am still swooning over the diagonal zipper. Of course, I didn’t take a photo of the side where you can see in this version. You can see the diagonal zipper and how it works in the picture of Mom’s Enigma.

I am really pleased, also, with how well the handbag zipper color goes with the exterior fabric of the bag.

I am Miss Self Admiration Society today, aren’t I?

Pink Enigma - open flat
Pink Enigma – open flat

This one also lays flat. I still really like the way this design opens flat for accessing everything inside. 

This piece really came together well in terms of fabric. I am already thinking about the next one I want to make.

Mom’s Enigma

Paint Tube Enigma for Mom
Paint Tube Enigma for Mom

I briefly talked about Mom’s Enigma bag in the post I did about all the gifts I have made for her. It was so brief that you probably didn’t notice.

This is the third Enigma Bag I have made and I am especially pleased with how good the zipper looks with this fabric. You can see the other Enigmas I have made by looking at the Minikins page.

As you know, the Enigma is part of Minikins Season 4 from Sara Lawson at Sew Sweetness*. It came out in November or December – I can’t remember – late last year in any case. I am pleased that I have made 6 projects from this group. Yes, four of them are the same pattern, but still a good showing.

Paint Tube Enigma for Mom
Paint Tube Enigma for Mom

This is the bag that is great for handwork, especially in the car or on a plane, because of the open flat, completely enclosed design. There is a small pocket in the middle. It is a floating pocket, so your items fit underneath it. I want to try making it in vinyl.

Paint Tube Enigma for Mom
Paint Tube Enigma for Mom

As I mentioned, I am happy with the zipper. I used zipper tape either from  Sew Sweetness or Sew Hungry Hippie. The rainbow look is a favorite, but I also like how the zipper tape blends with the fabric color.

Paint Tube Enigma for Mom - end
Paint Tube Enigma for Mom – end

I am not that fond of these giant zipper pulls. They are easy to grip, so Mom won’t have a problem opening and closing the bag, but they do clunk together in an unattractive way. I have some other options coming.

You can also see that the construction of this bag using a similar accordion construction technique to the Sew Together Bag. If you have made an STB, then you can make this bag, no problem.

Mom's Enigma - side view
Mom’s Enigma – side view

One of the reasons I have made 4 of these is because of the diagonal zipper. I really like that look.

Mom seemed to like, though she is making noises about having too many bags. I still have a lot of fabric for gifts for her, so I’ll have to think about that.







*No affiliation. Just a happy customer.

Enigma #4 in Process

Enigma #3 exterior in process
Enigma #3 exterior in process

I worked hard on the Enigma Bag over the weekend, but, frankly, projects get easier the more often I make them. This project went very smoothly until the end, when I didn’t quite catch the lining bottom with the sides and had to do a lot of ripping. I think this goes back to the quilting when the fabric shrunk up and left some foam showing.

I wrote myself a note to quilt then cut the piece the correct size. Sara gives specific instructions about that, but my quilting isn’t up to par, so this is my new strategy as I expect I will make another one.

All the Hackneys…Again

I wrote a similar post back in April. I took a look at it and it seems quite paltry compared to the actual number of Hackneys I know I have made. I decided to write another roundup post so I could see all the Hackneys I have made in one place. I have to say, though, that I thought I had made more.

I really like this pouch, as I have said. Those for whom I have made one seem to like it as well.

I keep thinking about making one for myself.

All of the 2-in-1 Cases

2-in-1 Cases - officer gifts
2-in-1 Cases – officer gifts

Today is the day where we give the officers their gifts.

Carrie, Sue and I spent last Saturday at The Granary, a local quilt store that has a great restaurant nearby.

We bought gift cards for the officers and spent time, in between eating, looking at quilt supplies and wrapping the gifts. It was another fun time with Carrie and Sue.

Scrappy Celebration Ready for Quilting

Scrappy Celebration top
Scrappy Celebration top

Scrappy Celebration is finished. Well, my part is finished. Today I will bring it to Colleen for quilting.

This quilt was nowhere near ready to give to Colleen, but except for one mishap, it went together quickly and fairly easily (knock wood). I am pretty pleased with the way it came out. It is a lot more interesting to look at than it was to piece.

Scrappy Celebration back
Scrappy Celebration back

As usual, I used a lot of the leftover fabrics for the back. Friend Julie said the look of the back is energetic. I hope that is good and not just a nice way of saying “what were you thinking?”

Notice that I didn’t use the Philip Jacobs chrysanthemum print on the back. I wasn’t ready to use it up yet.

Scrappy Celebration Towards the Finish Line

Scrappy Celebration - all the blocks
Scrappy Celebration – all the blocks

The last time I talked about this quilt was in September! Since then I have been moving the blocks around my workroom in a desultory manner. I last had them all on the design wall in August and they don’t look great. I decided I needed to finish it and my deadline is on Friday. I have a date with Colleen and knowing my work schedule, will be unable to make another any time soon. So, I needed to get it finished.

Scrappy Celebration -what I had
Scrappy Celebration -what I had

I actually didn’t start from a bad place. I just needed to figure out where I was and where I needed to go.

The photo on the left is what I had when  I put all the blocks up on the design wall. I ignored the block labels I had put on based on where the blocks were in the pattern. I rearranged blocks so they looked more appealing and, then, decided what I additional blocks I needed to make.

I worked on it last weekend and made good progress. I am now ready to sew the piece together.

Tula 2-in-1 Case Finished

Tula 2-in-1 Case
Tula 2-in-1 Case

I finally finished the Tula 2-in-1-Case. The binding gave me fits. I am pleased, however, that it came out so well. Choosing a Tula Tiny Stripe for the binding made coordination easy.

The inside is an old feather print I had. I like it and it is light colored so the recipient will be able to see what’s inside. I suppose, however that is not as important with a bag that opens flat?

Tula 2-in-1 Case - open
Tula 2-in-1 Case – open
Tula 2-in-1 Case -back
Tula 2-in-1 Case -back

The back is fairly normal. It is just the back of a bag. There is an interesting bit of symmetry because of the way I cut the exterior panel so that the lady would be centered on the front.

I don’t yet know who the recipient will be. Stay tuned!

AngelaB’s 2-in-1 Case

AngelaB's 2-in-1 Case
AngelaB’s 2-in-1 Case

Angela is a relatively new member who volunteered to make one of the 2-in-1 cases for the officers. She did a really wonderful job!

The colors are really great. I think the binding picks up and enhances the purple in the dragonfly print really well.

I love the fussy cutting she did, though she claims it was a happy accident. The cover really looks like the dragonflies were placed intentionally.

AngelaB's 2-in-1 Case - interior
AngelaB’s 2-in-1 Case – interior

The inside mimics the outside, but uses a lighter print to still allow the owner to see what is inside.

She really matched the interior print and the zippers well.

AngelaB's 2-in-1 Case - interior detail
AngelaB’s 2-in-1 Case – interior detail

Angela’s zippers also went in beautifully.

I am completely impressed with this version of the case. You can see the other completed 2-in-1 Cases in a previous post and my, second, in process case in a post from earlier this week.

Tula 2-in-1 Case

Tula 2-in-1 Case exterior in process
Tula 2-in-1 Case exterior in process

I realized I needed one more 2-in-1 Case for the officer gifts so I decided to make a Tula version.

This is a really singular print and I wouldn’t normally choose it for a gift, but it kept calling to me for this project. I really hope one of the officers is a Tula fan!

I carefully fussy cut the image of the woman so that it would show up on the front.

Tula 2-in-1 Case interior in process
Tula 2-in-1 Case interior in process

I also made the inside first so that any seam allowance problems, as mentioned when I made the last case, could be dealt with by cutting the exterior a different size.

This version is really coming together quite quickly. I am surprised at how easy it is compared to how difficult the directions seem.

Tula 2-in-1 Case-sew in magnetic snap + tab
Tula 2-in-1 Case-sew in magnetic snap + tab

This time I am also using one of the sew-in magnetic snaps. I used the edge of the square-ish zipper foot to sew around the magnet part and it worked pretty well. I can sort of see the stitching on the outside, which I am not thrilled about, but am leaving and hoping for the best.

Revisiting Gifts for Mom

Here are the various gifts I have made for my mom. I have added the ones I made last year.


Gift Post: Couch Hackney

This is the bag that I made for Friend Julie for Christmas.

Purple Couch Hackney
Purple Couch Hackney

I finished this quickly back in October, which was fortunate, because I didn’t have much sewing time in October and November and December quickly became busy. When I was ready to sew, I surprisingly, found all the pieces already cut out. I don’t remember cutting them all out, but I must have at some point. 😉 It was like magic and reminded me that the prep for bags takes the longest time in terms of making the bag.

This bag matches the Mini-Maker Case I made for Friend Julie back when the mini Oliso came out. That was during the pandemic as I remember opening our gifts for each other in a parking lot! LOL!

Couch Hackney corner view
Couch Hackney corner view

This is one of the best Hackneys that I have made. It stands up very well. I filled it with almost all of the Christmas gifts I bought for her. It is amazing how much it holds.

I am not sure this is exactly the right color zipper, but it goes pretty well with the bag, overall. I don’t think the regular purple zipper available would match any better.

Couch Hackney - interior
Couch Hackney – interior

The interior is a completely different purple, actually more of a lavender.

In this version of the Hackney, I put a glitter vinyl pocket. It will be good for flat items, but does not stretch at all, like the mesh pocket and, thus, I think items might slip out. I hope not, but I thought of that later.

Couch Hackney interior - labels
Couch Hackney interior – labels

I am still working on making sure I put a label in each bag that I make. I was able to add two to this one.

My goal is to always put one of my AQ labels inside. I am also, every now and again, adding one of the labels that Julie gave me as part of the 2022 Advent calendar. I really like those labels. That was a great gift.

As I said, I am pleased with how this bag came out and the more I look at it, the more I want to make a Hackney for myself.


Gift Post: Book Carrier/Cover

Goldenrod book cover
Goldenrod book cover

I made this book cover for my mom for Christmas. I wanted to enter the Sew Sweetness challenge for the month, which used this pattern. I didn’t think I would ever make it as I don’t normally carry books around. Then I talked to my Mom about her book club and all the pieces came together in my mind. It seemed like a good opportunity to make sure she can take her Bible to book club (Bible study??) in a chic and personalized manner.

Goldenrod book cover - open
Goldenrod book cover – open

The Goldenrod Book Cover is one of the patterns that make up Minikins Season 4.

The idea is that you slip the cover of the book into each of the slip pockets and then zip the cover up. The handle is on the top (see above), which allows the owner to carry it. I thought it would be good to put a shoulder strap on it, but didn’t have the time to work out that change, so left it for another day. 

Some of the construction is similar to the Hackney pattern– the gusset and the piece under the handle that connects the ends of the gusset. I am sure it makes sense in terms of pattern writing, but I appreciate it as I feel like I am gathering a bunch of skills that can be interchanged between patterns.

Goldenrod book cover - handle
Goldenrod book cover – handle

I used a piece of cork (?) I bought from Sew Hungry Hippie. They don’t have the exact color any more, so I am not linking to the product. It is called cork microfiber backing. I had some trouble with skipped stitches while sewing it. I tried different needles and rethreading. Nothing worked so I have reached out to the team at Sew Hungry Hippie to see if they have any suggestions. Writing to them made me think that I had not tried different thread. As you know, I mostly use Aurifil and have a lot of colors. Of course, I have other thread, but not in the array of colors.

It is important that I figure out how to use this material since I want to use it for the Rockstar bag. I’ll need more of it for that pattern and don’t want to fight with it the entire time.

Mom seemed to like it and I hope she will be able to use it. She really liked the rainbow zipper.

All the Gifts

Haha! I am off work for a week. While I don’t get paid, I am excited to have some time off. The YM is home, so we are doing a lot.

I will post more about these projects, but I wanted to show you all the gifts I made for Christmas and December birthdays. It doesn’t look like a lot, but I have been busy.

I feel like I sewed more than are shown here, but I can’t find them if I did.