A new obsession? And other things

I’ve been wanting to try crumb quilting for awhile, and when someone recently posted a crumb pieced block on the Facebook Kaffe Fassett Collective page, it was just the push I needed.

So I went to Youtube and searched for tutorials on how to make these blocks. There were a lot of results, and after watching just a few minutes I had enough information to forge forward.  Here’s my first two attempts…


These were made from my Kaffe Fassett Collective scraps. It’s a really fun way to use up scraps and I know I’ll be making more blocks like this.

And something interesting… there is very little blue in my scrap pile. And very little blue in my Kaffe stash. Blue is not my favorite color, but I never realized that I might be actively avoiding it. I might have to give some thought to blues as I’m out and about in the local quilt shops.

My plan is to sew these blocks into a drawstring pouch made from my tutorial.I’ve started looking at fabrics for the bag body and was initially thinking black and white. So I dug into my Kaffe black and whites and kept going back to this combo…


Good lord… how I love those bright Kaffe colors with a graphic black and white.

But I think I may go a completely different direction on this one. Stay tuned!

I’ve been anxiously waiting for the new collection of KFC fabrics and finally ordered some recently. They came this week and they are gorgeous! The mosaic circles is crazy gorgeous! I bought a yard of each, plus some other new fabrics, and some pieces to replace some pieces from my stash.


After a wet December and January in Portland, February  has been pretty amazing! It was so warm and Sunny today that I had my lunch in the sun on the patio! What a glorious thing to be able to do in February!


And the next ten days looks pretty amazing too!


My brother and his wife are visiting this weekend. We’re going to go to Rico’s sheep herding lesson tomorrow, then for a field run and nice walk with the dogs. Followed by a visit to the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge in Washington. We may stop for dinner on the waterfront in Vancouver before heading home.

Sunday, I have an agility trial. Not sure we’re ready for it.

Weekend of Drawstring Bags and Dogs

We finished up our radio membership fundraising drive on Saturday, so I was really happy to have today as a Holiday and an extra day to recuperate. So I decided I was going to have a restful weekend at home with lots of sewing and hanging out with the dogs.

After the drive ended on Saturday I decided to take the dogs for a walk along the Willamette before heading home. So we walked from my office north along the waterfront for a little over a mile. Then turned around and headed back. It was a great way to get a little exercise in before heading home for a lazy two days. It just started to rain as we got back to the car.


Sunday was a day spent at home. I didn’t even shower, but I did take the dogs out for a two-mile walk after dinner.

Then today I made a couple of pouches, hit the grocery store, and took the dogs for a 3.5 mile walk along the Fanno Creek Trail. It was a beautiful day with some amazing sunshine. It’s been such a dark and wet winter that it was really nice to get outside in the daylight. the forecast for the next ten days includes five days of sun or partial sun!


I was really happy to get some time to do some leisurely sewing and ended up making four pouches over the two days. Here’s the link to my drawstring bag tutorial that shows how to make these knitting project bags.

The first was this turquoise and yellow bag made from Kaffe Fassett Collective scraps. I’ve wanted to put these colors together for awhile and I just love the result! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a quilt made from this color combo of Kaffe fabrics, but this make me want to make one!


And the lining…

Next I played with some batik scraps combined with some graphic black and white fabrics. I just love the bright colors with the black and whites. And that cow print is just so good! I’m not terribly crazy about the square block pocket panel. It’s just a little boring.


Added a really fun bright yellow batik lining.

On the second batik with black and white I completely forgot to add the fusible batting. It still works. It just has less structure and isn’t quite as comfy feeling. It will be interesting to see how differently the fabrics age and the bags wear.


The last one I made today is this batik wonky log cabin block combined with an indigo batik for the body. I used a brightgreen batik lining. I just love the bright batiks with the indigo.


I think I’m going to combine some pink and green Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics for the next one. I pulled a few fabrics in these colors from my stash the other day and it was pretty fun!

Now back to work.

Agilejack’s Drawstring Knitting Project Bag Tutorial

Copyright by Anne Ibach 2020

Here’s my very detailed tutorial on making Agilejack’s Drawstring Knitting Project Bag. If you have questions, or find errors, please leave me a comment and I’ll answer and edit the tutorial where appropriate. I hope you have fun making it and get creative and make your own variations!

The photos and video for this tutorial were taken as I made this bag. Click on any photo here to see a larger view.

The finished bag measures approximately 9.5 inches wide and 12 inches high when the bag top is open. It features a roomy zipper pocket on one side.

Here’s a batik variation I made for myself. The pieced block is made with 2 inch squares.


Here’s a yellow and red version I made for a friend.


Please feel free to make as many  bags as you want for yourself or for gifts. And feel free to send the link to this blog post to friends.

All I ask is that you don’t sell bags made from my design.

Also, feel free to make a paper copy for yourself, but please don’t distribute paper copies to others.


Fabric scraps cut into strips from 1.5 to 2.5 inches in width and in varying lengths.

Larger fabric pieces for bag body and lining, I like a different fabric for the lining. 1/3 yard each of body lining fabric is more than enough. 

Muslin for foundation for center block enough for two 9 inch squares

Nylon zipper, at least 10 inches or longer

Fusible batting, enough for two 11 X 12.5 inch pieces


Fabric cutting instructions.

I use mostly scraps, but like to use the same fabric for the sides, top, bottom and sides of the bag. But you could certainly make it really scrappy and use different fabrics for each piece.

Patchwork block– make two 8 inch square blocks (video tutorial linked below)

Fabric scrap strips of your choice,  cut into varying widths from 1.5 inches to 2.5 inches and varying lengths (2 inches to 9 inches long).

Muslin square for wonky log cabin foundation, cut two 9 inch squares

Lining: Cut two pieces, 11×12.5 inches

Casings – cut two pieces 4×11 inches (I like a fabric different from the body fabric)

Pocket lining – (Same as bag lining, or use something different) Cut one piece 8×18 inches

Bag sides – body fabric. Cut four pieces 2×8.5 inches

Bag bottom – body fabric. Cut two pieces 4×11 inches

Bag top – body fabric. Cut two pieces 1.5×11 inches

Drawstrings -body fabric, or choose something else. Cut two pieces 1.5 inches by 26 inches

Scraps cut into strips ranging from 1.5 inches to 2.5 inches, of varying lengths
Bag lining, fusible batting, pocket lining, strings.
Bag body pieces prior to assembly

Let’s Get Sewing!

Make the Wonky Log Cabin Blocks


Using the strips of scraps and the muslin squares, follow this video tutorial to make two 8 inch square wonky log cabin blocks for the front and back of your bag:

CLICK HERE for Agilejack’s Wonky Log Cabin Blocks Video Tutorial

This is just one type of block you could make for the front and back of your bag. You could piece a traditional quilt block, use another improve method to make a block, make a paper pieced block, etc… Get creative and have fun! All you have to do it make sure it measures 8×8 inches.

Make the drawstrings

Fold the two 1.5 inch x 26 inch strips in half lengthwise and press.


Open up the strip and fold one outside edge to the center fold and press. Fold the second long edge into the center and press.


Now fold the entire length of the strip in half and press, making sure the folded edges meet nicely. All of the raw edges should be hidden inside the fold.


Stitch down the open side of each strip, very close to the edge, making sure you catch both front and back sides of the folded edges.


Here’s the finished string:


Make the casings

Fold the short side of each piece over 1/4 inch and press. Fold over 1/4 inch again and press.



Stitch down this small hem on the four sides of the casings, staying close to the folded edge.



Fold the casings in half along the long side, and press.


Stitch a line along the length of each casing, 1/2 inch from the fold. Now stitch another line of stitching approximately 3/4 inches away from the first line of stitching.



Assemble the zipper pocket

(all seam allowances are pressed toward the outside, and top stitched on the body fabric.)

Lay one of the 8 inch pieced blocks face up on the table. Lay the zipper (keep the zipper closed) along the top edge with the zipper pull facing down toward the pieced block. (The zipper will extend beyond the width of the pocket pieces. Center the zipper so that the same amount extends on both sides. Lay the lining right side down along the top edge of the 8 inch block and zipper, being careful to line up the top edges of all three, and clip or pin along the edge.


Using a zipper foot, sew along the top edge with a 1/4 inch seam.


Fold the 8 inch block and lining fabric away from the zipper and press. Top stitch about 1/8 inch away from the seam, catching the lining, zipper, and pieced block.


Fold the pocket lining up behind the 8 inch block, with the pocket lining right side to right side.


Line the pocket lining up with the top edge of the  zipper, and clip or pin. The fold at the bottom of the pocket lining will be about 1/2 inch below the bottom of the pieced block.


Using your zipper foot, sew along the zipper tape with a seam allowance just shy of 1/4 inch.

VERY IMPORTANT — DON’T MISS THIS STEP!!! Slide the zipper pull so it’s over the pocket body, and stitch a vertical line across the zipper very close to the edge on both sides, making sure to stitch through the very edges of the fabric. I go back and forth several times to make sure it’s very secure. This stitching will secure the ends of the zipper in place as you assemble the rest of the bag.


Trim away the excess zipper ends even with the sides of the zipper pocket.


Assemble the bag front (the side with the zipper pocket).

(all seam allowances are pressed toward the outside, and top stitched on the body fabric.)

Sew the two side pieces onto the zipper pocket, aligning the short edge with the top of the zipper pocket on each side. They will not all line up on the bottom.


Fold the side pieces back, press, and top stitch along the side piece about 1/8 inch away from the seam. 

Trim all the layers of the piece along the bottom so it measures 8 inches high. (this trimming allows this piece to be the same size as the non-pocket pieces on the other side — you added extra height with the zipper.)


Sew the bag bottom piece onto the bottom of the zipper pocket piece. Make sure that you catch all the pocket layers in the seam.

Fold down the bag bottom, press, and topstitch along the bottom piece, about 1/8 inch from the seam.

Line the bag top up along the top edge of the zipper pocket and bag sides section and clip or pin. Sew a 1/4 inch seam using your zipper foot.

Fold the bag top up and press and top stitch about 1/8 inch from the seam.

IMG_5552 2IMG_5554

Assembling the bag back

This side of the bag goes together just like the front, except that there’s no pocket and no zipper.

Sew the bag sides to the left and right of the remaining pieced block, making sure to line them up with the top edge of the fabric. Fold back the sides, press, and top stitch. The side pieces will be about 1/2 inch too long. Trim off the excess so the bottom is one straight line.


Sew the bag bottom and top onto the back piece, fold back, press and top stitch. Here’s some detail of the finished bag front/back. 


Assembling the bag

In this portion of the project, you assemble the side with the pocket and the side without the pocket exactly the same way. So there aren’t separate instructions for front and back.  But I’ll refer to the bag front. You’ll need to assemble the bag back the same way.

Fuse the batting to the wrong side of the bag front and back according to the batting instructions. On the bag side with the pocket, you’ll fuse the batting directly onto the back of the pocket. See the photo below. 


Lay the bag front with batting fused on right side up on your table. Center one of the casing pieces along the top edge of the bag front with the raw edge of the casing toward the top edge of the front and the fold edge toward the bottom of the bag. Lay one of the lining pieces right side down on top of the bag front and casing, being careful to line up the top edges.



Clip or pin the top edge, then sew across the entire top with a 1/4 inch seam.   Then fold the lining and front away from the casing and press. DO NOT TOPSTITCH THIS PIECE .


Line up all the pieces and cut a 2 inch square out each of the bottom corners of the layered piece. (These cut outs will become the gussets on the bottom of the bag) I like to use a square ruler of some kind to cut this portion. Here, I’m using my 5 inch square and lining up the corner on the 2 inch mark to cut.


Repeat these steps with the second bag body piece, lining and casing.


Open up one bag side and lay right side up on your table. Open up the second bag side and lay it right side down on top of the first piece. Put the lining side on top of the lining side and the bag front on top of the bag back. Pin the sides and bottoms, making sure to match the top seams carefully.


Sew a 1/4 inch seam across the bottom of each side and along the two sides,  LEAVING ABOUT A 4-INCH OPENING ON ONE SIDE SEAM OF THE LINING. (When pinning this section I put two pins to mark the beginning and end of the side opening) Back tack on each side of this opening to reinforce the edges of the opening. DO NOT SEW ALONG THE SIDES OF THE 2 INCH CUT OUTS. 


This is a good time to press back a 1/4 seam allowance on both sides of the opening in the lining. This will make it easier to line up these sides to sew them closed once the gussets have been sewn.

Take each bag bottom where the 2 inch cut out is and open the cut out. Line up the bottom seam with the side seam so that the open sides create a straight line. Pin or clip along this line, then sew with a 1/4 inch seam and back tack on each end. You have just sewn one gusset. You’ll need to do this to all four corners.



Reach your hand into the open lining side seam and carefully turn the bag right side out. Put your hand inside and gently push out the corners of all four gussets. Finger press down a 1/4 inch fold on each side of the lining opening (this is a lot easier if you pressed them before making gussets).  Line up the two sides and sew a tiny seam to close the opening, making sure you catch both sides of the folded edges of the opening.



Push the lining into the inside of the bag and carefully mold the bag pieces into shape, being careful to line up the top edge of the bag and finger press well. Then turn the bag inside out. With the right side of the bag facing up, top stitch all the way around the top of the bag, about 1/8 inch from the top edge.  Make sure to keep it all lined up and neat as you top stitch. (I turn the bag inside out because it makes it easier to sew the topstitching from the outside of the bag. You get a nicer finish this way).


Threading Strings into Casing

Starting with the left side of the casing, thread one of the strings through each side of the casing, making sure that the two ends of the string end up on the right side of the bag.  Try to keep the string from twisting in the casing. I used a bodkin to pull the strings through, but you could use a safety pin or your other favorite method to thread the string through the casing.



Now pull the two sides of the remaining string through the casing from the right side, making sure that both ends of this string end up on the left side.

Here’s how the strings are arranged within the casings. This loop arrangement allows you to close the bag by pulling on the ends of the strings on each side of the bag.



Tie the two ends of each string into a knot and leave about 1/2 inch of the end of the strings beyond the knot.

You’re done!!! I hope you like how it turned out!

Copyright by Anne Ibach 2020

Knitting Project Bag Morphing

Several months ago I had an urge to make a drawstring bag, so I whipped one up from scraps. I recently started using it as a knitting project bag, and quickly realized that I was in need of a zipper pocket to hold extra circular needles, stitch markers, my scissors, and other sundry stuff — like my phone and my keys.

So the bag has to morph!

I whipped up another one, but added the zipper pocket on one side.


It’s made from fabrics left over from my turquoise Algorithm quilt that I completed in December. You can see it here.

Here’s the first one I made with fabrics left over from the first red and yellow Algorithm quilts I made. See the quilt here.

It’s basically a pattern I made up after seeing several pouches I liked, incorporating features from several bags and made in a size that’s good for the types of projects I make. I finally wrote down all the measurements for the bag pieces, so the next one should be a little quicker. I have several friends who want one.

I pieced the wonky log cabin panel on a piece of  muslin, which holds it all together nicely.

The pocket I added on the front is roomy and will be really practical.


It’s a great bag for a smaller project like a hat or socks. It has a nice deep gusset and is quite roomy. The drawstring makes it so the mouth opens wide so it’s easy to get things in and out.


I’m thinking of writing up a tutorial for this pouch, similar to my Zipper Pouch Tutorial, seen here.  Leave a comment if you’re interested in a tutorial for this.