Petrillo Then & Now

Petrillo Bag Complete
Petrillo Bag Complete

I love it when people use and love the items I make for them.

I went to a conference recently, as mentioned, where SIL#4 and I shared an apartment at the resort. She brought the Petrillo Bag I made for her back in 2013.

The bag was beautiful and pristine in 2013. It was probably the first Petrillo Bag I made and may have been the first Sew Sweetness pattern I made.

I was reminded that I am a good bagmaker and the bag looked great when I gave it to her.

Petrillo Bag in 2022
Petrillo Bag in 2022

The bag is now well loved and well used. It has been to Australia at least once and maybe even to to Europe. Not sure. It has been through the wash and SIL even Oxycleaned it when the dirt from carrying it on trips got to much.

I am tempted to make SIL#4 another one. I don’t know if I still have some of the same fabric, but I think I might.

Petrillo Bag #3

Petrillo Bag #3
Petrillo Bag #3

My third Petrillo bag has been on the To Do list for a long time. Before I went on my trip, I decided to sew it, as I mentioned when I enumerated the bag hacks. I also worked on it, because the Peacock was acting like a beast and I wasn’t feeling the quilt love, in general.

I really was almost done cutting it out. I felt kind of stupid the whole time I finished the cutting for letting it lie so long. It took me a few days to sew it, longer than it should have, because I had to rip a few seams and make a new main flap.

Petrillo Bag #3 Inside
Petrillo Bag #3 Inside

I have used it a few times and am linking it. I haven’t filled it to overflowing, so I don’t know if it will really work for a long conference where I can’t easily return to my hotel, but so far so good.

The hack I sewed to the stabilize pocket makes a huge difference when I carry things around. The zipper pocket doesn’t sag. I am mad at myself for not adding vinyl to the bottom. I have to worry a lot more about where I set it.

Petrillo Bag #3: Hacks

I spent some days on the weekend finishing the Petrillo Bag #3 (Buy the pattern from Sew Sweetness). I have a few threads to weave in before I can say DONE, but it is close.

In this bag, I made a few more changes to the original pattern.

Elastic sides
Elastic sides

First, I made the bag larger again, but instead of using clips like last time, I bought some wide elastic and used that. The reason I need to use something rather than let the bag be free is because I want the front closure to still work. It is a magnetic closure and probably wouldn’t be strong enough to keep the bag closed if the shape weren’t similar to the original bag. I want it bigger to be able to get stuff out easier (this bag is GREAT for conferences) and be able to stuff a sweater in for cold conference rooms.

I didn’t have enough of the sew-in magnetic closures that Sara of Sew Sweetness recommends, so I bought one more at Joann. Big mistake. Use the ones that Sara recommends; they are MUCH better.

Saggy zipper pocket from Petrillo Bag #2
Saggy zipper pocket from Petrillo Bag #2

Next, I needed a way for the interior zipper pocket to be stabilized. I use the zipper pocket a lot and it was completely saggy. You can see the outside folded over to the inside from the weight. One solution was to lessen the amount of stuff in the pocket.I do like my stuff so I sewed close to the edge on the top of the pocket as one possible solution to keep the pocket stable.

Stabilize zipper pocket
Stabilize zipper pocket

However, I thought of a solution that would allow me to keep the same amount of stuff in the pocket and not be saggy. I thought of this at the last minute when the bag was almost completely together, so my options for making it super nice were limited. I sewed tabs on to the ends of the zipper. They were sticking out just enough to allow me to do so, then I sewed the tabs into the side seam.

Stabilize zipper pocket - detail
Stabilize zipper pocket – detail

I didn’t finish the tabs, but I figured it wouldn’t matter much since the stablizers were on the inside. I would finish the edges and make real zipper tabs if I were making the bag again.

Petrillo Bag Slip Pocket
Petrillo Bag Slip Pocket

In a further effort to stabilize the interior zipper pocket, I also added a slip pocket to the outside of the padded pocket. I got this idea from making the Cargo Duffle. I hope to put the pens in this pocket instead of in the zipper pocket, which should help the stabilization. I divided the slip pocket into two sections using my phone as a guide for size.

The slip pocket isn’t in exactly the right place. I should have put it down a little further, because in its current location, it interferes with the padded pocket flap. Thinking about this made me realize that I probably don’t need a flap over the padded pocket.

I think I will have to make this bag again with further refined hacks.

Finally! Petrillo Bag #3

The 3rd Petrillo Bag has been cut out and on my to do list for awhile. Last Sew Day was the day to start it. I worked on the donation and when I finished that, I started working on this bag. I decided that I needed to clear off my To Do list and I also want my first Chubby Charmer back. I have been using it as a storage space for the pieces to this bag.

I really don’t know why I waited. It has gone together fairly easily thus far even though I have had to do some ripping.

Petrillo Bag #3 in process
Petrillo Bag #3 in process

With this bag, you get a lot of bang for your buck quickly. Within a few seams, you get something that looks like a bag.

Is it finished? No, but I am making progress.

I had some trouble with the flap and after ripping a few times, I decided to remake. I am also making a couple of adjustments. I am making the bag larger again, but using elastic this time. I wasn’t careful when I sewed it in and needed to rip it out and sew it more securely.

Mom had a great idea, which I will also do. I have a pen problem. I always have several with me. I have been using the hidden zipper pocket to hold them and everything else, which makes the bag sag. She suggested I put a slip pocket on the padded pocket and put the pens there. Brilliant!

I am still trying to figure out how to stabilize the hidden zipper pocket. That is a bit of a holdup, but not terrible.

Pattern: Petrillo Bag by Sew Sweetness
Fabric: Home Dec, Pristine Poppies by Joel Dewberry; various dots for trim and Art Gallery Red (not sure this is the name of the colorway) solid for some of the pockets and other trim.

Petrillo Bag #2 Put to the Test

Petrillo Bag in Action
Petrillo Bag in Action

I finished the Poppy Petrillo Bag on June 6, 2014, then immediately left town with it for a conference. I had about a gazillion things to do that day, but managed a few minutes to finish the bag. I wanted to take it with me, because my Sherpani carry-on is too heavy and the straps are not that comfortable. It helps if I don’t bring everything I own, but let’s set that aside for a moment.

As I told you the other day, I made some changes to the bag to make it better to actually use. I liked using this bag, especially with the changes. I liked the straps, the size and the weight. It still isn’t the perfect bag, but it was really a good bag. It is lightweight and it fit well under the airplane seat, it was comfortable to carry and held the right amount of stuff. I also really like the shape.

I think there are other things the bag needs. More pockets for one and at least one outside pocket for a water bottle (or soda, if you drink soda) and the conference program. Given Sara’s excellent and stylish design of the bag, I am not sure it is possible to make all the changes I require.

I am not ready to give up, however. Stay tuned.

Petrillo Bag #2 Hacked!

Detail of Gusset
Detail of Gusset I added to make the bag bigger, if necessary

The BAMQG retreat was over Memorial Day Weekend. I wasn’t able to attend on Friday, but I had been cajoled for a couple of years and decided to join as a commuter this year. I really had a good time and will post some more of the fun in a different post. Short bit of advice: if you have the opportunity to go on retreat, GO! You get a lot done and really get an opportunity to get to know your guild-mates much better.

After working on the mystery quilt, I switched to working on the Petrillo Bag. This a Sew Sweetness (Sara Lawson) pattern. Pam and I worked on a Petrillo Bag-along last year. Since then, I had wanted to make another with some changes.

Since I commute to work by train and do not have a car at work to store stuff, I have to carry my stuff or leave it at work. Thus, I have developed very specific ideas about what I like in my bags.

Part of what I like in a bag is security. I don’t want people reaching into my bag and grabbing stuff out. Thus, the bag has to have some kind of flap and closure. I also like lots of pockets and a light colored interior so I can see all the stuff inside. Easy, quick access is also a must.

One of the things I didn’t like about the Petrillo Bag, as written in the pattern, was the skinny top. I liked the look a lot, but the functionality needed to be improved for my use. The side panels are shaped like ice cream cones. After you insert them the top access is very thin. This does help with security, but it makes it hard to stick stuff in and pull it out.

I had been thinking about changes to the pattern in my mind for awhile and had started cutting out pieces several months ago. As you know this bag has been on my to do list for awhile.

Petrillo Bag back
Petrillo Bag back

After being frustrated with another project, I started working on this bag and was able to get most of the outside done on Sunday, late, and Monday at the retreat. It is a good thing I was commuting, because I switched lining fabric midstream and was able to get some Michael Miller red with white Dumb Dots from home and start recutting lining pieces. I’ll use the previous lining choice for another bag.

I got to the point Sunday night that I was ready to construct the gussets and on the drive home, I turned over the process in my head, so I really felt ready to tackle it on Monday when I returned to my sewing machine at the Retreat.

A number of people at the Retreat had never heard of Soft & Stable, so we had a little talk about that. Many are not bag makers and since I never heard of it before the Petrillo Bag pattern, I wasn’t surprised.

When I got home I worked on the lining and, as of this writing, I am ready to start putting the lining together. I am not sure what I will do about the side panels of the lining. I don’t want to put another set of clips on the inside. Elastic, maybe?

I don’t know if this will be the perfect bag as I have just realized that I forgot to put on side pockets for a water bottle or my cell phone, but I will try it out and see if I like it enough to use it or if I will give it as a gift.

Finished: Petrillo Bag

Petrillo Bag Complete
Petrillo Bag Complete

Yes, I completed the Petrillo Bag.

Really and truly.

Cross my heart.

I sewed the inside bottom opening I used for turning and the bag is done. I haven’t used it yet, because I entered it in the Fair and don’t want to get it dirty or anything before that event. I will take it to guild this weekend and next and show it off.

It occurred to me that one good thing about this bag is that it wasn’t too easy and it wasn’t too difficult. There was the right amount of challenge in the making.

I have to say I love that Soft & Stable. I’ll have to see if they have it at Joann or Beverly’s. The way it makes the bag stand up is awesome!

Now I am thinking about the next one. My list of to dos or changes to the next version are:

  1. put iron-on vinyl on the bottom of the bag to protect the fabric
  2. make the sides bigger, but enable them to close so the same shape is maintained and it is easier to get stuff in and out of the bag. Tutinella suggested that it might be a good idea to add an inch or so to the flap to accommodate this change
  3. I may change the zipper pocket to a cell phone pocket or group of pockets that can hold things like pens and cell phones.
  4. add side pockets on the outside. Tutinella did this, so I can get tips from her
  5. make the padded inside pocket larger to accommodate my iPad AND its case. An inch and a half would probably do it.

I don’t know why I can’t just be happy with a bag as is. I can’t, though. I can’t help myself.

Other relevant posts:

For you Tweeps, you can follow Sara at @SewSweetness.

The Petrillo Bag Along Week 4

This week we are finishing. You may already be done. If so YAY!!! If not, keep at it! You can do it!

Petrillo Bag Complete
Petrillo Bag Complete

Me? Yes, I am mostly finished. I have a bit of hand stitching of the inside to do then I can say I really am finished. I will put up a completed project post when I am done.

As I have mentioned, I was out of town for part of last week including the time I usually spend sewing. That meant that I had to get back in the groove of where I was with this bag. I found that I rely on regular sewing time to keep me on track. Not having that time completely put me off my game.

It turned out that more ripping was in store for me. I had forgotten to, not only, cut the inside flap piece for the main flap used on the top of the bag, but also to sew it when I put the main flap together. Sara clearly says in Step 17 what to do and I just missed it. Sigh.

I ripped out the Main Flap top stitching, put in the inside Flap piece to line the Main Flap and resewed.

Then I thought I could make some progress, but when I tried to sew the flap to the back of the bag (Step 29) I found that I had sewed the straps too close to the top of the bag (Steps 24 & 25). Sigh. More ripping ensued. I would recommend stopping an 1″-1.5″ away from the top of the back of the bag.

Zipper Pocket
Zipper Pocket

I also started the inside of the bag. The inside of the bag starts with the zipper pocket (Step 33). I did Steps 33-36, which include cutting the opening for the zipper. As soon as I cut the zipper opening, I was sure I had the placement of the pieces wrong. I stared at the picture in Step 33 and the picture in Step 36 and they didn’t compute in my mind. I emailed Sara and she was kind enough to email me back fairly quickly to reassure me. I still was not convinced, but I soldiered on. As she promised, the zipper pocket worked out fine.

Do I seem like I am struggling with this bag? I am a bit. It is really hard for me to read directions and do what they say. I am much better when someone shows me what to. I got through it which gives me an image in my mind. I’ll be able to breeze through the next iteration of this bag. Yes, there will be a second bag. 😉

I have to say that I do like the shape of this bag. Good thing since there is so much ripping. 😉

Inside Petrillo Bag
Inside Petrillo Bag

The inside of the bag, which went together very well, after I made the zipper pocket and the padded pocket, seems a little big to me.

More Hilarity

Tutinella made a second Petrillo bag and wrote about it recently. The thing she did differently was add side pockets, which is a great idea. I might add side pockets to my second bag. I may also add inside side pockets.

Another thing I like about this bag is the opportunity to use new products. I have talked a bit about the Soft & Stable, but the Shape Flex is on my mind today. I still have the skirts I planned, to make. One thing that was holding me up was lining. The pattern I have does not call for a lining, but quilt weight fabric is not very thick, most of the time, so I will need something under. I am not sure my clothing skills are up to the task of a lined skirt out of the gate. I got to thinking about the Shape Flex and may try it to give a bit of weight to the fabric and to provide a kind of lining. I will have to give up some drape, so I will need to think about it. Let me know if you have experience with using Shape Flex on clothing.

I have to say that I am amazed at how Sara could have conceived of this bag and the way it goes together. I thought the same thing about the Anna Maria Horner Multi-tasker tote, which is a great bag, if you haven’t made one.

Other relevant posts:

For you Tweeps, you can follow Sara at @SewSweetness.

As a result of all this Petrillo-ing ;-), I have no updates to the Star Sampler.

The Petrillo Bag Along Week 3

This week we are working on the sewing. Before  we can get to sewing the bag together, there is still some prep to do. Please note that this is not a tutorial on how to make this bag. I am just recording my experience and noting things I had trouble with. If you want to make the bag (and I think you should), buy the pattern and read the opening post. Keep in mind that I don’t learn well by reading directions, so I have more trouble than most when reading patterns. My trouble is no reflection on Sara’s pattern directions.


I was so relieved to finish the cutting. What a lot of work that was! Anyway, I was so relieved that I got right down to the business of putting the bag together. Since adding the magnetic snaps is one of the first steps, I immediately realized that that I had bought the wrong ones. I didn’t buy the sew-in snaps. I bought the ones with the arms you have to bend. This is absolutely NOT Sara’s fault. Yes, I did read the instructions for purchasing supplies, but I didn’t know there was such a thing as sew-in magnetic snaps and simply didn’t see those two words on supply list. UGH! A delay!

I ordered them immediately from Tantalizing Stitches’ Etsy Shop, which is the vendor Sara recommneds. I received the sew-in snaps in about 2 days. I put them in relatively quickly using a small zigzag. The sew-in snap was covered with a clear plastic square and I had to sew over the plastic, which was odd. My machine did it, but I had to yank on the piece a bit to get it started since I was sewing the plastic covered snap to the Soft & Stable (=very thick!). I went around twice just to make sure it would stay in place. The hard part was keeping the snap straight. It didn’t end up completely straight, but since the important part is the circle, I figured it didn’t matter as long as it was in the middle. These are sewed to the Soft and Stable so there is no distortion of the fabric.

I know I could have used the magnetic snaps that you bend, which I think Pam did, but I did like the sew in snaps: no cutting of the fabric.

A lot of the prep was preparing to sew the whole bag together and some of the prep involved some top stitching and sewing parts together.


I was pleased to see the way Sara creates the straps. None of that turning tiny strips inside out nonsense. She creates them using the folding method that I like. Hooray!


Flap with Accent
Flap with Accent

I decided not to do the gathered flap after having some trouble with the gathers. I can’t remember whether I have done gathers before. This was not unexpected as I was a little unsure of the gathers from the beginning. They do add some interest to the bag, but I kept wondering if they would catch on something as I navigate my way through the public transportation systems I frequent. Sara suggested just cutting out a flat piece of fabric using the Flap pattern piece, which is what I did. I also liked that I was able to highlight one of the motifs of the fabric

I was a little confused by the directions in Step #14, covering the flap, but I decided Sara meant topstitching and went with that. I was able to apply the accent with no problems, though, as usual, turning under a small seam allowance, like you would do for applique’ was a pain. I think you could do a regular quilt binding around this piece, if you didn’t mind a little bit of dimension.

PICT3421sm Tutinella suggests topstitching the bottom, which I thought was a great idea.

I used my clear applique’ foot and just measured using the inside of the right hand side of the foot, which gives me a line of stitching about 1/8″ away from the bottom of the bag.

One thing about all the prep is that you don’t have to stop to do prep. Once the prep is done, the bag starts to go together very quickly.

Petrillo Bag
Petrillo Bag

I was really surprised at how well the Soft & Stable acted with my machine. I thought I would have to fight with the machine, because of the layers (fabric + Soft & Stable, occasionally 4 additional layers with the straps).

The first round of stitching was really satisfying because of the quick way the bag started to look like something. Yes, the above photo shows it being flat, but it still starts to look like a bag.

Finished Outside of bag
Finished Outside of bag

The directions say to draw a line 4 3/4″ from the top of the front of the bag. The purpose is to show you where to stop sewing the straps. You need to stop sewing, because the flap flap slides underneath the straps to keep it closed.

I missed that part of the directions and sewed the straps to the bag all the way around. when I realized what I had done, I knew I had to rip. Bleah. It is very hard to rip through all of those layers. I also had made the little squares with Xes through them at the top of the bag which made the ripping even more arduous.

I did it, though, and after an hour and a half I had the bag back to where I should have been.

Other relevant posts:

The Petrillo Bag Along Week 2

If you are just joining us, please read last week’s post or Pam’s post.

If you read between the lines of my last post, I was a little ahead of those of you, because I had already gathered my supplies back in March and had started to cut. I did want to be a little ahead of you, so I could give you some tips and tricks if I found any.

Nota bene: Kay at Tantalizing Stitches sent the sew-in magnetic snaps out the day after I ordered them.


The fun part was choosing fabric. You can see the colorways below, but the particulars about what I chose are:

  • For the exterior: Heather Bailey’s Pop Daisy  from the Pop Garden line (Westminster Fibers #HB02). It is a few years old and had been slated for a back, but called to me when I looked in the Fabric Closet – green, yellow, red print
  • For the lining: Savon Bouquet by Verna Mosquera for FreeSpirit – pink polka dots
  • Straps and accents: City Weekend by Oliver & S for Moda (Pattern #11165, I think. It might be L1165)- yellow

I am not sure what possessed me to choose these colors and this combination of the three. It was grey and foggy at my house the day I chose the fabrics, so, perhaps, I was seeking cheerfulness. I also wanted to use some dots for something. I do like a light interior for bags. It is hard to see what is inside if the chosen fabric is too dark.


Petrillo cut pieces
Petrillo cut pieces

Week 2 is all about cutting, so I did the cutting. It took me awhile to get the cutting done. I would say it took me about 3-4 hours. I was doing laundry, ate lunch and went to pick up the Young Man in between, so it is hard to say. It did take me a long time as I was trying to be really careful and not miscut. Don’t plan on doing it in a few minutes.

Additional supplies
Additional supplies

There are a lot of pieces to cut for this bag, so take the time to be organized. I would add the following to the supply list:

  • sticky notes, though paper will do as well
  • Wonderclips
  • pen

I like to pin a piece of paper or sticky note to each cut pattern piece with the corresponding name from the pattern, e.g. Lining Flap, and the size. Even if it doesn’t help me truly be more organized, I feel more organized.

I also felt like I needed a spreadsheet to track everything that I needed to cut. I think it would look like a main column of what parts needed to be cut and a main row of the materials out of which the parts needed to be cut. I might also put dual columns for each put a tick mark in one noting I needed to cut a part from that materials and the second column for when I had done it. I could have just ticked off the lines on the pattern. I didn’t because I didn’t want to confuse myself for the future use of this pattern.


Sara wants you to cut the fabrics in the order listed on the pattern. In some places, she has you cut a smaller piece before a larger piece. I like to cut all the larger pieces first, so I rearranged a few, but really tried to stick to her pattern directions. I would like to see a layout sketch for the pattern pieces on fabric in the directions.

There is enough fabric to cut all the pattern pieces. Sara did a great job estimating yardage.

I did cut one piece wrong early on and had to piece together enough of the lining fabric later for one of the bottom pieces. As I haven’t made this pattern before, I am hoping it will be ok. I am going to rummage through the fabric closet and see if I have another piece of the pink fabric (shown above) and cut a whole piece out of it. You could add an additional quarter of a yard, if you are worried about screwing up the cutting.

I just used my rotary cutter to cut the Soft & Stable where possible. I did notice, during cutting of the Soft & Stable, the sounds of paper being cut. I couldn’t feel any paper on it, especially something like paper covering a fusible. I am not sure what it is made of or if it was a good idea to use a rotary cutter, but I did want to speed the process along as much as I could.

Fun and Games

Other relevant posts:

Petrillo Bag by Tutinella
Petrillo Bag by Tutinella

This Petrillo bag by Tutinella is one of my favorites. I love the use of the map fabric, especially how she carefully placed the legend. I think Tutinella (great name, don’t you think? It is fun to say!) is a girl after my own heart. She writes “I’m a typical girl – no matter how many bags I have, I want more!” in her post about this bag. I also love how she calls her husband/significant other Mr. Right. I wish I had thought of that first! This is one of the great bags you can see in the Sew Sweetness Flickr Group, so go and take a look.

The Petrillo Bag Along

Petrillo Bag PDF Sewing Pattern  by Sew Sweetness
Petrillo Bag PDF Sewing Pattern by Sew Sweetness

The Petrillo Along is starting!

You might remember that I saw this bag a few weeks ago and extolled its virtues, most of which had to do with it being a vertical bag that was good sized, but not a Rotator Cuff Injury inducing size. I posted a ‘warning’ in a post on March 18 that we would be starting soon and Pam, of Hip to Be a Square fame, talked about the bag along in her episode 121 podcast. We have finally gotten our acts together, other projects in order and are ready to go. Pam already posted the notice of the ‘Along’ yesterday and I am following along in her footsteps to catch my readers as well.

Here is the schedule that Pam laid out:

  • Week 1 (week of 4/7/2013) – assemble pattern pieces, supplies, and get fabric cut out.
  • Week 2 (next week, starting on 4/14) – sew the bag.

I may have to modify it to:

  • Week 1 (week of 4/7/2013) – assemble pattern pieces, and supplies
  • Week 2 (week of 4/14/2013) – Cut out the fabric
  • Week 3 (starting on 4/21) – sew the bag
  • Week 4 (starting 4/28) – finish up

I know that we all have a different working pace and obligations. Pam works quickly, so don’t be intimidated by her pace. I have to be out of town a couple of times this month and I like to work slowly on bags. Pick  (or make up) the schedule that works for you. Pam is in the middle of her Labyrinth quilt, so the only hope I have of finishing the Petrillo bag anywhere close to when Pam does is to get started immediately and sew like a demon. 😉 I would advise you to focus on having fun.

If you need to buy the pattern you can get it instantly (or nearly instantly) as it is a downloadable pattern. It is only $8.

There are some specialty supplies you need to probably get online. Sara suggests different places to get the supplies. I had seen Soft & Stable at the Road to California quilt show I attended last year. I was interested in trying it, but didn’t buy any as I didn’t have a suitable project at the time. Thus, for this project, I ended up buying the Soft and Stable from I am not affilated with that site and don’t think it was the absolute cheapest site, but I was in a rush and wanted to make sure I got the right stuff. Amazon was out at the time. The package was sent out really quickly. I received the Soft & Stable in a few days.

I bought the snaps from AGraffSupplies on Etsy. I am not affiliated with that site. They had the snaps cheaper than Sara’s preferred vendor. I compared and I am pretty sure the snaps were the same. The confusing part about both Etsy shops was that it was hard to tell how many I was buying. I ended up with a big bag of magnetic snaps – many more than I needed. I’ll have to go on a bag making binge to use them all up. Nota bene: These turned out to the wrong ones. You need to buy SEW-IN magnetic snaps. I didn’t even realize such a thing existed.

I bought the Shape Flex, which seems to be muslin with fusible on the back from Beverly’s online.

Pam made the Aeroplane bag pattern and says “Sara’s patterns are awesomely written with clear instructions and lots of pictures”.  Pam is making one change to the bag construction; rather than using the Soft & Stable, she will be using “a combination of Pellon Decor Bond (a home dec weight interfacing) along with Pellon Fusible Fleece.”  If you want to make changes like that, then Pam is your girl. I wasn’t happy with the floopy results of changing out fusible fleece for two layers of regular batting and some interfacing when I made my last Chubby Charmer, so I am going to stick with the directions on supplies for the most part. It is also a good opportunity for me to try the Soft & Stable as well.

As Pam said, in addition to posting my progress here, I’ll be posting pictures to Sara’s usual Flickr group so she can see our work as well.

Go forth and make a Petrillo bag!




**Thanks to Sara at Sew Sweetness for allowing me to use her image.

Various & Sundry 2013 #3

WOW! I have reached over 90,000 visitors to my blog! Not unique visitors (don’t have really sophisticated software monitoring), but people coming by to read. Thanks for reading!

Special Notice!

My mom, Mary Carroll, will be teaching a Color Class called COLOR MATTERS on March 22, 2013 at QUILTERS QUARTERS 4343 PACIFIC AVE., STOCKTON (209-462-0161).

Learn how to get away with almost anything in color! Using the five primary color system developed for fabric and yarn make your quilts zing! Mary is an artist, quilter and teacher who recently relocated from the Bay Area. Join her in making a colorful wall hanging which you design yourself!

Call now to sign up! 209-462-0161

What I am reading: I just finished The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley. It is the second time around for me with that book and it was like reading comfort food.

Current Project(s): finishing up Calm, more blocks for the Star Sampler, getting ready to do some cat beds.

Software & Technical Stuff

Join in on the National Quilting Day Sew-in on Twitter today. Quiltin’ Jenny is the hostess.

In time for National Quilting Day, the Quilt Index now as an iTunes/iPad app in the App Store. Cost is $0.99 and the proceeds support the Quilt Index, which provides thousands of quilt images online and, now, at your fingertips. Can you say “inspiration in your pocket?” I tried to download it, but it didn’t work. I’ll have to try again later.

Barbara Brackman has a mini tutorial on how to use Blockbase to see how a block would look in a quilt. Great feature. It is a good day when I learn something new.

Threadbias has posted some tutorials for the new design tool they announced at QuiltCon.

Around the Web

Just a reminder that the world is amazing.

Remember I talked about the Quilt Awards the SewCalGal was doing? You can watch the awards ceremony on the SewCalGal site.

Darla, over at the Scientific Quilter, is doing a March-a-Long, which is 15 minutes of quilty stuff per day. Yes, it has already started, but you can still join in. She has some great graphics in the post and there will be prizes. I wonder if washing and ironing fabrics count?

Do you have monkey mind before bed? Lisa Fulmer has some ideas for quieting an overactive mind before bed.

Lazy Gal Quilter has a post on Quilt Mush. It is, essentially ,about color and how to make a quilt where you can see the parts. Well worth reading.

She Can Quilt has the winners from QuiltCon, parts 1 and 2.

Quiltin’ Jenny has a short review of the Crafty Garden Mom podcast. That is one of my favorite podcasts, but I haven’t taken the time to write a review, so I am glad Jenny did!

Great Projects

Have you seen Little Bluebell’s Swoon bag? I love the colors and the fact that she resized the block to make it fit her project.

I need another bag pattern like a need a hole in the head, but I don’t think I can resist the Petrillo bag by Sara Lawson at Sew Sweetness. It is a ~12″x15.5″ vertical bag, which I have been looking for. The blog post shows the bag in a number of different  and very current fabrics. I am thinking it would look great in a Philip Jacobs print. I wished she showed the inside and asked about that. Sara ran outside and took some photos of the inside and emailed me back right away. GREAT customer service. As an added bonus, Pam over at Hip to be a Square podcast liked the bag, too, so it looks like we will do a Bag-a-long. Head over to Sew Sweetness and buy the pattern if you want to join in.

Jill, over at the Quilt Rat (and sometime participant in the CPP) has been snow dyeing. She dyed some thread as well as fabric THEN she made a project with it. She made a gorgeous Dragonfly pillow. I love the design of the dragonfly. It is stylized and has a kind of Aztec (?) or Art Deco (?) look. I am not sure, but I like it. I am wishing ‘Dragonfly’ had been the prompt last week, because then I could take some credit for Jill’s project’s gorgeousness. I can’t though. Jill is an awesome artist without me. 😉

Fabric, Rulers, Tools and Notions

Aurifil Club Offering
Aurifil Club Offering

I joined the Quilt Bear Aurifil Club. That gives me two spools of thread each month. I have asked for brights, because I don’t want a hundred spools of beige. this month I got a green (#2892) and a yellow-orange (#2145). I wasn’t sure how I would like it, ,so far, I am really enjoying it and find that it is well worth the $20/month. The Quilt Bear folks always send a little treat with the thread. This month it was a yellow-green fat quarter. The packaging is also very nice.

Hey! Nobody told me Moda was coming out the Nancy Drew fabric! I loved Nancy Drew as a girl. Who wouldn’t love a girl who was smart and independent? I had to find out from Quiltin’ Jenny. Good thing I read her blog, do you? She is part of a Nancy Drew blog hop and shows the two great projects she has made. I don’t know what I would make with Nancy Drew fabric, but I have to make something!  I have patches and things from when I was a kid. With thos random memories, I was thinking of making a quilt called “My Life as a Quilt”. Perhaps the Nancy Drew fabric would work on the back? This means, of course, that I actually have to make the quilt!

Simple Sew made a wonderful dress form out of the Nancy Drew fabric. I would love one of those, but have no horizontal space, so I am glad she posted it and I can admire it from my computer screen.

There were a lot of totes that I saw on this blog hop. One that I liked was from Sewing by Moonlight. She made a normal looking tote except one side had some Nancy Drew fabric and the other had, what looked like, a paper pieced book block! Great!

While looking at the Nancy Drew projects, I saw this wonderful bag. Mostly I love the white on red dots. The combination of the red and white dots with the yellow is a very effective combination.

Camille Roskelley's Scrumptious
Camille Roskelley’s Scrumptious

And if all that weren’t enough. Camille Roskelley has shown her new line, Scrumptious. I wish I had designed these fabrics. Just getting bundles and bolts in the mail would be so exciting!

She and Bonnie are back to their Ruby feel. They got rid of that dark blue, which makes me happy. This will be shown at Spring Market and available in September. If you didn’t get me a birthday present, September is not too late. 😉 Otherwise, I’ll have to save my pennies.

Bonnie & Camille's Scrumptious dots
Bonnie & Camille’s Scrumptious dots

Part of this line includes a fabulous set of dots. Don’t tell me I have enough dots. One can never have enough dots and I am making an effort to use them this year. [As an aside, I’d like every project I make this year to include enough dots for people to day “Hey! Dots! Cool!” It isn’t really a goal or resolution; just something in the back of my mind.]The color combinations in this line might be her best combination ever. It is hard to say, but it is a thought that occurred to me.

Quilt World News
Today is National Quilting Day. Quiltin’ Jenny and the other Tweeps are hosting giveaways and a sew-in. Use #nqdsi as the hashtag. Check out Jenny’s post with all the fun and games. To add to the fun, The Quilt Show is offering 140+ shows for free this weekend. I am not sure of the link, but try this one. Otherwise just go to the Quilt Show and I am sure you will be able to find it there. The shows are good. I don’t watch them as often as I would like, but I always learn something.

The quilting world lost one of its favorite stars: Patricia B Campbell, beloved teacher and appliqué artist recently.

The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles has a new lecture series called FiberTalks, which will benefit the museum. Join in on March 24 from 2pm to 4pm for: Inspiration! How the Fabric of Ethnic Culture inspired my Quilting. Yvonne Porcella, a Quilter’s Hall of Fame artist and legendary quilter, will show slides of her work and be in conversation with Lilia Aguero, Director of Education at School of Arts and Culture. Select pieces from the collection will be on view. Porcella is Founder and served as President of the Board of Directors Studio Art Quilt Associates  from 1989-2000. She was also a 16 year member of the Board of Directors of Alliance for American Quilts and served 2 terms on the Advisory Board of the International Quilt Study Center, University of Nebraska. Yvonne is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. In 1998 she was inducted into the Quilters Hall of Fame in Marian Indiana and she was the 5th recipient of the Silver Star Award at Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas. Michigan State University selected her as a Quilt Treasure for an Alliance for American Quilts documentation project archiving the history of American Quiltmakers. She was filmed for a one hour segment honoring the 2010 quilting”Legend” by The Quilt Show, hosted by Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson, shown on their subscription internet program. A major retrospective exhibition of her art work shown January to April 2012 at the new Carnegie Art Center in Turlock, CA., curated by Rebecca Phillips Abbott showcased the depth of her artistic endeavors.

Other programs will include:

  • Sunday, June 23, 2 – 4pm Roberta Horton and Mary Mashuta, Internationally Recognized Quilters
  • Sunday, September 29, 2 – 4pm Leilani Bennett and Marcia Manzo, Wearable Art Creators Sunday,
  • December 1, 2 – 4pm Pam Moore, Artist and Lace Knitter

Each program: $20 Members/$30 Non-Members/$15 Students and Seniors Member’s Discount: $65 for the entire series if purchased by March 24. No refunds, No exchanges. / 408-971-0323 x. 14 PURCHASE TICKETS HERE:

Nota bene: The museum is in dire financial straits and needs a significant infusion of cash by the end of this month. Please give as much as you can. They have posted a link to information about the museum’s situation.


Kathleen, over at California Doodles and Designs, has posted 2-3 times about her adventures at QuiltCon. She writes well and has some interesting observations. Go take a peek. You might have to scroll down.

I celebrated my 24th wedding anniversary (DH did as well) a few weeks ago. We didn’t do anything super exciting. I was still suffering from my infection, so we just went out to dinner at a local restaurant that we like. We took the Young Man. He was home and we like him and he needed to eat, so what the heck? I think he came with us last year as well. I was thinking about how fortunate I am have to have such a great husband. It isn’t always easy, but we have worked through the hard parts. I like to think of our relationship as him walking down the street with a big red balloon (me) in his hand. I float and bounce around and he keeps me anchored. And there is a brilliant blue sky behind us.

Hope your day, week, month and year are going well!