Back in action!

My last blog post was about how I was so run down and un inspired that I hadn't sewn anything in a long time (like a week or two in my world.). Of course the universe had something to say about all this- as it usually does, and sent in Judy to intervene. Judy is wonderful. She makes beautiful things and is always so precise! I want to be that precise! But that's a different blog for a different day.... But Judy had come in with this great little quilting project that I couldn't help but get excited about. It was just a square of quilted fabric, bound, folded and turned into the cutest little bag. I couldn't believe how awesome this little bag was and was just the right kind of project to kick my butt back in gear. 

Of course the first problem I had was picking fabrics. I mean, I've got 'sewers' block and here I am in a fabric store filled with choices. It must have taken me a good hour to settle on these two fabrics from Art Gallery Fabrics. The whole collection is gorgeous- I mean great colors, funky patterns and even better, the quality of the fabrics are great. I've been itching to use these fabrics since the day they came in, and now I had to pick only two to use... 

100% cotton fabrics from Art Gallery. Perfect colors for summer into fall.

So now I had Judy's directions to guide me, but of course in my never ending quest to make things more complicated than they have to be I had to decide which machine to use, which accessories to use.... The list just went on and on. But I thought about it and finally I decided on the quilt expression 4.2. Why? Good question. The only answers I can give you are: I like the color of the machine. It has IDT (Pfaff's original built in walking foot.), there are a ton of cool accessories to use with it that can make this project even easier than it already is. AND, I haven't really played with that machine since it arrived. I just haven't had the opportunity to use it. And did I mention the color?

Pfaff quilt expression 4.2 in a new saturated pink color.

Oh, and did I mention the extension table with guide that's available for this machine? As you can see, I set that part up FIRST! The table is actually really cool because the guide can go to the left of the needle or the right! SWEET! So I had my fabrics picked, I had my machine of choice set up, now it was time to layer those fabrics with some batting and get to quilting. My fingers show the evidence that you should never take the lazy way and use straight pins to layer fabric and batting that you'll be quilting. I mean, it's only a small piece right? It won't take that long, right? How bad could it be... I'll tell you how bad it can be. I got stuck so many times. Next time: Note to self, just get the safety pins out and do it right. I decided to do the quilting part quickly and easily so I just did rows.

Here I am with my guide to the left of the needle. With so much room on the bed of the machine I can easily fit my 20" square in there.

Here I am with the adjustable guide to the right of the needle. All I had to do was sew a row of stitching, move the guide over 1" and sew again. How easy was that!?!?

Here's a side shot of the machine before I started quilting. As you can see I have my IDT (walking foot) engaged and ready to sew as well as the amount of light I have to work with. 

Once I was done quilting my square all I had to do was bind it. Easy! Until I remembered some magic binding technique I had seen on the interwebs some where... Was it on Facebook? Was it on one of the many quilting boards I lurk in? Was it in an email? For the life of me I couldn't remember where the heck I has seen this cool binding technique, or what the heck the name of it was to even look it up. Then it hit me! 'Magic Binding Technique'... yeah... that was it... Now off to the internet I go-

There it was!! Susie's Magic Binding Technique!!  To see the tutorial click here.   

There it was!! Susie's Magic Binding Technique!! To see the tutorial click here. 

Following the direction in the tutorial I cut my strips, pieced them together and pressed them accordingly: 

Sewing my two binding pieces together.

Here is my binding piece all pressed and ready to be sewn down. the little bit of contrast that you see poking out will make a little flange that will add a decorative element to my binding.

Here I am sewing the 'right' side of my binding to the 'wrong' side of my purse.

Now it's time to flip it to he right side and 'stitch in the ditch' by machine! I love sewing binding down by machine!! To make it even easier I used the 'narrow edge foot' available for the quilt expression 4.2. I just let the blade of the foot ride right in the ditch. And to make it even easier still, the foot is designed so I can use my walking foot to feed all those layers at once. No pushing, no pulling, and even better, NO PUCKERS!

You can see here that you're left with this great little flange when you're done. It adds a nice touch. 

A view from the wrong side once the biding was sewn down. You can see that little extra line of stitching... And please ignore the nail polish. Like I said, Judy came in and I just started sewing! No time to do my nails... Didn't wanna lose my motivation.

So after all that quilting and binding was done, maybe took me a couple of hours, it was time to fold and sew! According to the directions you just folded and marked and sewed and you got something that looks like this: 

Folding and sewing, and looking kinda odd....

But then we give the 'ol 'flippy-flippy' and you get this!:

First one side....

 ... and then the other... and now it's starting to look like something....

The final touches are some hand sewing to keep the flaps in place, a couple of snaps and a handle. I haven't gotten to putting a handle or a strap on there, but I have managed to hand sew everything that needed to hand sewn. And I'm working on putting some snaps on. In the meanwhile, here are some pictures that are o close to being done, you get the idea! And the more you come in and ask me about it, the more motivated I might be to get it done.  

I have to tell you, it's a great, easy project that is just a cool size. I'm looking forward to getting my finished and using it. If you would like to make one yourself you can find basic directions here.


Good Luck and Happy Sewing!!