Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Plan B

For those of you who are new to my sewing adventures, my plans for Christmas crafting were modest:

•    Learn how to free-motion quilt
•    Put that new skill to use on two lap-size quilts
•    Make a Sew Together Bag (this is scary because it requires installing many zippers)

I’ve been experimenting with FMQ, and it’s going OK. I still haven’t found my groove yet, and I’ve decided that before I devote too much time to the task, I should invest in a new machine. I love my current Janome, but it is a home décor machine and not designed for quilters. I need something with more throat space and an extension table, all of which will help me become more proficient at FMQ. (I truly believe this—buying a new machine is not a procrastination ploy!)

As a result, I had to devise a plan B:

•    Buy a new machine (learn to FMQ in the new year)
•    Put off one quilt until I’m competent at FMQ; quilt the other with my walking foot
•    Make a Sew Together Bag (yup, still scary!)

The postponed quilt is for my sister. She would understand if I presented her with a pieced quilt top on Christmas day with an IOU for a finished quilt, but I thought she needed something tangible to tide her over. So I made her a Mini Miranda Bag.


Eep! I love it! It’s so darn pretty, don’t you think? I pulled the Amy Butler floral and the eggplant Quilter’s Linen from my stash; both were left over from my Cosmo Bag. I had the Clover handles on hand as well. (Bonus points for using my stash!) All I had to buy was the Kona Plum that’s visible as the faux binding at the top.


I recommend this pattern. It’s well written and thoroughly illustrated. Just use your walking foot to help your machine get through the layers. The only change I make is omitting the flap; I just think the bag looks better without it. This is my fifth Mini Miranda Bag, the second for my sister. (My fourth was blogged about here.)

Time is ticking. Just 15 more days until Christmas. I hope I can meet my new-and-improved goals! Have you had to revise your holiday to-do list, too?

Linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday, Finish It Up Friday, TGIFF at Quilt Matters, and Bag Brag Tuesday (for the first time!) ...

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18 comments:

  1. I love everything about this bag!! Well done. :)

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  2. Those sew together bags are awesome. I am waiting for a lesson on the zipper foot on my machine. Then I can tackle zippers with ease and finesse (or that how it's going to go in my head!) Good luck on the machine hunt!

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  3. It's pure perfection! You sure made up for the postponed quilt with this bag. Your sister is going to love it! And if she doesn't, you have my address.

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  4. I love this bag! Those handles!! Your sister is one lucky girl. :)

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  5. I'm sure your sister won't mind a delayed quilt when you give her that gorgeous bag!!

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  6. I would be happy if this bag were all I got for Christmas. It is gorgeous!

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  7. The Sew Together bag isn't as scary as you think, use the Quilt Barn sew along for your first one and also hand sew the bindings to avoid frustration and it will be totally fine :) I'm on the binding sewing bit on my latest one and I've made three before this with limited zip experience.Also I hear making tab ends for the zips gives a nicer finish and helps avoid sewing through the zip teeth which some machines (like mine) get a bit hissy at.

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  8. Stop counting down!!!! :D A Sew Together bag is on my list too - not for the zippers, just the prep work of cutting! Silly isn't it? Maybe we should have a little get together and knock them out together? :) Which machine are you looking at? And you can FMQ on any machine. :D

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  9. Beautiful bag! I totally understand waiting until you have a new machine for FMQ. I learned FMQing on my 1980's slant chank singer that went from off to super speed (no slow sewing for me) and had no extension table at all. When I switched to my new machine FMQing was so much easier and more fun.

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  10. The bag looks great! For the sew together back - check out the tutorial at the Quilt Barn...helps alot!!!
    mumbird3(at)gmail(dot)com

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  11. Your bag is beautiful. Yay for stash using!

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  12. Michelle, the bag is a stunner! I love the way you used the Amy Butler fabric to bring added panache to the basic design!
    It's always good to be flexible in your goals - good luck with your FMQ-ing!

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  13. oh man that is just so pretty! My FMQ did improve with the larger throat and extension table!

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  14. That bag is gorgeous! Just my colours too. :) Good luck with your new goals. You can do it!

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  15. What a beautiful bag! I love your placement of the floral design. Good luck with your FMQ plans. A large throat and extension table is key. In fact I have extra tables behind the machine and to my left so the quilt is fully supported. Works wonderfully.

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  16. Plan B is a good idea. And don't be afraid of the Sew Together Bag. It's not bad. Just take it slow. The directions are fantastic.

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  17. Your bag is so gorgeous Michelle, I love the fabric and the quilting makes it looks so professionally finished. Your sister is going to love it! :o)

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