A Little Experimentation and a Bag Finish… Finally

I had a sheep herding webinar today at noon, so I got up and took Bender and Rico for a nice walk after breakfast. When we got home I took my computer into my sewing room, logged onto the webinar, and got to work on my drab Aboriginal fabric bag. All I had to do was sew the lining together and sew it into the bag.

I swore I was going to finish this bag during that webinar!

It looks a little better photographed outdoors in natural light. But it’s still a little muddy. It really needs some contrast. Too bad it’s too late. Here’s the other side of the bag. Almost exactly like the other side. See if you can spot the difference…

I did do something a little different with this one: I sewed my tag on with the machine, rather than by hand. And it’s so much nicer… it looks more professional and has a better finish. AND, it was really quick and easy. And I didn’t have to thread a needle!

Here’s some detail photos for your entertainment.

There is one thing about this bag that I really like. This is the first bag I’ve made with the non fusible fleece that I purchased by mistake. If you remember, I used some fusible webbing to fuse the fleece to the bag panels and to fuse the quilt sandwich backing to the fleece. Well, all that fusing made the bag more structured. It’s a bit stiffer and I really like that. So that purchase mistake has turned out to be a good thing.

After dinner I headed for my sewing room to play with the curved pieced blocks that I showed in my blog last night. So I dug into some ugly scraps and cut four 9.5 inch squares. I stacked them up and started cutting some wonky arcs. I ended up with five pieces.

Here’s what I ended up with.

Each of those arcs has four different fabrics stacked up.

Once I had these pieces cut, I started sewing.

The first block went seriously wrong!!!

See that arc that my scissors are pointing to? Well, I sewed that one in backwards. The thicker end of the arc should be on the right side. No idea how that happened. But that little mistake made a crazy assed block!

Here’s the second one I made. It’s squared up at 7.5 inches. Aside from being butt ugly, it appears to have worked.

That turquoise arc is a really odd shape. I can fix that with the next set I cut. But I’m feeling pretty good that I essentially figured this out. And I’m wondering what other things I could do with this.

And, hey, aren’t those fabrics hideous??? Egad! I’m almost embarrassed to put this one into the land fill. Maybe I should just go ahead and burn it.

So feeling a bit of a sense of confidence I grabbed five of the blue and orange fabrics that I showed last night and cut a 10.5 inch square from each one.

Then I stacked them up and used a dinner plate as a ruler to cut my arcs.

I really like how these shapes turned out, with the exception of that blue one next to the orange corner on the right. Here’s the block all sewn together and squared up to 8 1/4 inches.

I really like how it turned out. but I am bothered by that odd blue arc. I think it will be ok sewn into a bag. Keep in mind, I have four more sets of these arcs to sew… so enough for a couple more bags.

I’m thinking I might take some time and draw out a template for the arcs and then make freezer paper templates to get the arcs cut the way I want. I’m not going to play with that immediately, but when I want to make more of these blocks, I’ll definitely give that a try.

A friend of mine who lives in Salt Lake City texted me this evening and asked if I was really getting snow. I had no idea we were SUPPOSED to be getting snow. But look at this…

It looks like we might actually get some accumulation over night. I just poked my head outside (12:15 am) and it’s still just raining. But it’s a good, solid rain that will give everything a really good watering.

Bender would like to say “hi.”

27 Replies to “A Little Experimentation and a Bag Finish… Finally”

  1. I love the dinner plate block idea, one never knows what amazing ideas your going to come up with ! Hi to Bender,, sweet photo of him . Your latest bag has turned out very nice, detail is awesome . If you only knew the hours I spent on a zipper placket last week, only to toss it aside and stay simple on my latest bag!! Your tutorial is great ! The zipper thing seems to be intimidating to me !! Niki

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry you had so much trouble with the placket. What part of it was difficult? I need to go in and update the tutorial because I have come up with a better way to place the placket on the lining that is so much easier!

      I lost my discomfort with zippers many years ago. You just have to put in a lot of zippers to get past it. Plus, my zipper installations are pretty simple compared to a lot of zipper techniques.



  2. The bright blue pockets in your bag add so much 🥰 I do like your arc blocks! Sweet Bender!!! Did he enjoy his birthday cake 🎂? Our Callie doesn’t like peanut butter 😳 have you ever? She would be happy with a good chicken strip and gravy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m ashamed to say that I have not yet made his birthday cake. That will have to wait until tomorrow night. But I did buy some of the ingredients I’m missing on my latest shopping trip.

      And I agree about that blue pocket. It is the pop of color I think this bag needed.



  3. Making curved blocks has been on my ‘to do’ list for a long time – using a plate is a wonderful ide, so thanks for that. Love the photo’s you post every day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The plate worked well, except the way it curves at the sides of the block. I want that arc to end with a bit of a straight line as it hits the side of the block. So I’m noodling that out. Thinking of using a combo of a protractor to get the arcs I want, but using a straight edge to finish the arc at the sides.

      I love this process of figuring something like this out!!!



  4. I keep hearing your dislike of the latest bag. Well, I love it! This one and the one previous that was similar… they remind me of the stars in the sky and all the constellations of suns and moons and planets. Someone will love to carry this bag! Keep on keepin’ on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe it’s just that I’m really drawn to contrast… in color and in value. This one is all so similar in its fabrics. But you’re probably… not everyone likes the same level of chaos that I like!



  5. Glad to read that you didn’t like those first fabrics for the curved pieces. You had me worried there for a moment. You are a Kaffe Fassett/Aboriginal woman so don’t don’t go changing on us now! Ha! Maybe using a compass will make better curves when you try it with paper?
    Bender … such a happy face! Thanks for that! I need to stick that photo on my computer screen so I can feel the happiness every time I come to the computer. I could have used that over the last two years as I am sure we all could have.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH yes. I chose some really ugly fabrics for that first block because I knew it would be a throw away! These will go directly into the garbage can… not my scrap bucket!!!

      I actually went on Amazon last night and ordered a compass and protractor.

      I have a huge photo of Bender printed on a canvas above my computer monitors. I’ll have to share a photo of it.



  6. I kind of like that blue arc and
    I love the sort of imperfect look of the arcs. Using a dinner plate instead of an expensive set of templates is a great idea. I’ve done a few pieces with “gentle” curved piecing and they weren’t difficult at all. You just have to sew slowly to get the curve done right. Can’t wait to see how this all works out. I’m sending you a photo from my Kindle and it may look like it’s from Amazon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I”m always more worried about sewing curves than is deserved. They always go together quite nicely. In fact, I went online and ordered a drunkard’s path template set last night… I’ve always wanted to make a drunkard’s path quilt, and all these curves have me feeling quite positive!

      I think this turned out pretty good for my first try. But there are a few things I want to change. I’m noodling it out in my head for the next one! Stay tuned.



  7. Bender is a handsome boy.
    Woke to deep (for Portland) snow. Hurried outside to shake heavy snow off young trees and shrubs. Bet Bender and Rico enjoyed romp in the snow.
    Love seeing your bags. First saw them on IG and then realized you were local. Look forward to making a bag using your tutorials.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m in Garden Home and we didn’t get much snow… barely enough to turn my shaggy lawn white. But the dog dish on my patio has a couple inches of new rain in it, so that’s a lot of rain!


  8. Hi Bender 😘😘😘 you are adorable and so photogenic!
    Congratulations on finishing your “dark” bag. It will be loved by someone! I am super inspired by your bright yellow, orange and blue curves / arcs.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Bender is my favorite puppy of all time! He ALWAYS makes me smile! And I love your blog – so much creativity going on in that head of yours! Very inspiring.


  10. Anne, whatever you put in that zipper placard update…(I can’t remember anything except my nightmare the first go-around)…it has worked like a CHARM. I’ve put 3 of them in now and no longer have “zipper intimidation.” However, when using directional fabrics…(another thing I should never do)…one must pay close attention to the orientation of sewing and zipper placement. The seam ripper and I are one. 🙄
    Giver Bender a pat for me! My Bianca is a little infatuated with his picture.♥️😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t work with very many directional fabrics but I do look at my plackets and decide which sides look best together.

      Did you use the fusible tape? It’s been a game changer for me!



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