Wednesday, May 29, 2013

WIP Wednesday, 5/29/13

I'm leaving on Friday to go visit my long-time, very dear friend in western Kansas. She just retired. I'm envious so happy for her. In true procrastinator mode, I waited until yesterday to start making a little gift for her, the sewing circle tote by Elizabeth Hartman.

I have made the infamous Weekender.
I will never make it again. You couldn't pay me to make it. Well, maybe you could pay me, but it would be so astronomically expensive that there probably wouldn't be a good cost/benefit ratio.

After cutting all the parts and pieces for the sewing circle tote, which I actually started a few days ago as there are a LOT of pieces to cut, the first thing to sew was the straps. Let me just say this. If you are on the fence on whether to purchase Wonder Clips by Clover because you think they are only helpful for binding, I gave them a good workout today and they rate five out of five stars. Seriously. I might not have been driven to drink with the Weekender if I had had these wonder clips.

They are multitaskers, perfectly designed--flat on the bottom and lots of room on top to clip bulky layers.
This is the first time I have done quilt-as-you-go. I'm hooked. It was really fun. There are four exterior pockets on the sewing tote. Elizabeth gives you lots of options, but QAYG was really fun. And this is a small enough project that you can get your feet wet to see how you like it.
The exterior is completed (I won't turn it right-side-out until later). Elizabeth's pattern gives the most excellent step-by-step instructions, with hints along the way and lots of photos so you know exactly what to do. There are times when you are sewing through an amazing amount of layers, and sometimes my Elna got a little crabby, but we made it through. Look at the inside. Isn't it pretty? I totally amazed myself.

However....I am now working on the lining. Which has zippered pockets and elastic pockets. I despise doing zippers on my Elna. Hate the zipper foot that she came with. Ordered another one. Hate it too. Please, please, tell me. How do you make nice stitching on each side of the zipper? What am I doing wrong? I actually ended up pulling out my beloved Singer Featherweight. Unlike my Elna, she seemed to breeze through zipper installation. So until further notice, she will be my go-to zipper installer.
It was a long day (i.e., I have powered through four bobbins already!) but I'm ready to tackle the lining. Update soon...


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Susan said... #

You are doing a grand job of making that bag! I love seeing all the progress shots.....too clever!

Sarah @ FairyFace Designs said... #

Its looking so pretty! Off now to have a look at the pattern, I love bags :-)

Amy Friend said... #

It looks really great! What a lucky friend you have!

Mary Caldwell said... #

Do you have the super skinny zipper foot for the Elna? That's the one I use for making bags, it works better for me than the foot that came with my machine.

Nilya said... #

This going to be stunning. Love your qayg part and the lining

Debbie said... #

Love the tote you are making! And agreed about the weekender! Lovely, BUT!

Needled Mom said... #

I love the fabrics you are using and it will make a gorgeous bag. I agree with you and the zippers. I find that the older machines do a much better job on them. I think it is the older zipper foot vs. the newer ones. They seem so bulky and unstable.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said... #

Yikes - four bobbins!!! That is one mighty good friend! Can't wait to see the finish and hope you have a fabulous trip. You and Rene' sure have been traveling a LOT.

Unknown said... #

I use my acu-feed foot for most of my zipper sewing (a walking foot would work, too). I do have to stop and zip/unzip the zipper at some point to sew all of the way down, but it works SO much better than a zipper foot. I don't even have to baste or pin when I do zippers now. :)

Love the bags! I bought the sewing circle day I will have time to make it!

Terri said... #

For a self-proclaimed non-bag-maker, you sure do tackle some really complex and challenging bag patterns! How lucky your friend is to have you making such an elaborate bag for her! Hope you have a great visit together.

Pieced Brain Quilt Designs said... #

It is turning out so pretty... and you are one courageous woman! I have scores of patterns I want to make, but I do not like (to put it mildly) to install zippers. Period. Maybe now, seeing that you braved through it, I will be inspired!

Kerstin said... #

Hm, I have the Clover clips but never actually used them, but I guess I should! Your weekender looks great, and I love your qayg parts!

Katy Cameron said... #

Looking great so far!

Mrs Flying Blind... said... #

Love the bag so far, and love my Wonder clips. I just use a normal foot for the zipper top-stitching, with one side going flush up against the zipper teeth xxx

Vicki said... #

Totally LOVE it!! What a great fabric selection. Have a great time. Hope you are taking some ME time on this little trip.

Nancy@owensolivia said... #

You just make the cutest things! Love that bag!!!

Carla said... #

Please wave at me while you are in Kansas, Cindy! I will be in El Dorado (near Wichita). Love the bag!

CitricSugar said... #

The zipper turned out great - too bad you had to switch machines… They are tricky suckers. I usually use prayer as my go-to zipper method! :-)

That bag is going to be gorgeous. Stunning! And I know how you feel about those wonder clips! I won't bind with anything else every again. They rock for thick paper-piecing layers, too. :-)

Janarama said... #

Your bag is looking great so far. Can't wait to see the finished bag. You're friend is going to love it!

I read in several different places on the internet that Amy Bradley's pattern instructions are awful ... not just her Weekender bag.

Wonder Clips are the greatest invention ... wish I would have created them. I use them more than pins when sewing/quilting.

Unknown said... #

oh wow looks fabulous! can't wait to see it all done.

Archie The Wonder Dog said... #

I can't wait to see it! I use the zip foot that came with my machine and have never had a problem - sorry, that's no help at all, is it?! Sounds like it's best to stick to the featherweight for zips...

Heidi Staples said... #

I so agree with you about those wonder clips -- I'll never go back to pins again when it comes to making bags. LOVE your Weekender and that bag in progress looks fantastic, Cindy!

pennydog said... #

I just finished making my first Weekender and I would like to make another but spending nearly 2 hours attaching the side panels to the top because of all the bulk, and then having to hand stitch the corners wasn't my idea of fun. Maybe I do need some clips too. And thinner canvas, and less wadding!

Mama Pea said... #

Great looking bag! I use my zipper foot to do the first seam on the zipper. I have found I like using my edge foot to sew the second seam....after you fold back the fabric and you're doing the topstitching.