Archive of ‘Bag’ category

September Roundup


Eeek!  It’s already the 4th of October and I haven’t done my round up for September yet!  This week I have been completely preoccupied with sorting out my long arm purchase.  Will you excuse my tardiness if I told you I have been doing such fun things as reading a 68 page tax document?  Yep, that’s how much I want this dream ;)

Clockwise from left: Cascading Quilt, Quilted 214 Tote, QAYG cushion front and back

As usual I pieced, quilted and was merry in September.

This is me as a show pony ;) L-R: Tova dress, Tova top, halterneck dress (drafted from store bought dress)

I had a whole heap of fun participating in Selfish Sewing Week and made myself three items of clothing!

I’m linking up very late to Fresh Sewing Day at Lily’s Quilts :)  I hope to see you there!  And big love to those of you who have linked up to my quilting linky party or plan to :)  I really appreciate the support and am super excited!  There are some really great posts linked up, you can find them here.


Lily's Quilts


Quilted 241 tote


I don’t remember when I first stumbled upon the blog Noodlehead, but I pinned her 241 Tote ages ago.  I love the shape and it’s a great pattern to use a number of different contrasting fabrics.  I recently purchased the pattern and made myself a 241 Tote to use as a travel bag for my trip to Australia.

Quilted 241 Tote

Almost all of the reviews of the 241 Tote mentioned that it is a little on the small size so I scaled up the pattern by adding about an inch to the pattern pieces (I kept the strap at the original length).  I did try to be clever and increase the print size but that was beyond me LOL  My tote ended up 15″ tall (in the center) and 17″ wide.

I LOVE the blue zippers! High contrast = fun

The bag ended up the perfect size for travelling but probably a little big for an everyday tote.  Mind you I tend to grab my phone, keys and wallet and not even use a bag most of the time!  It would be great as a Mum bag or a diaper bag once you’re not carrying around a HUGE amount, just a lot ;)

I love the pop of blue safety pins on the strap (my inner punk)

Being the quilter that I am I couldn’t resist the opportunity to quilt this baby :)  Using a gorgeous rich red (Aurifil 2260 in 50wt) I quilted one main panel in wonky SLQ and the other in a feather and some pebbles.  I really wanted the quilting to be free and natural rather than perfect and I’m so pleased with how it turned out.  I used the same red Aurifil thread to top stitch all of the sections of the bag and I love the affect.

The 241 tote makes a great travel bag with it’s numerous pockets

I had fun using some contrasting blue zippers and matching kona lagoon whilst using some loud oranges and yellows for the side panels and pockets.  In fact, all of the fabrics that I used for the exterior are favourites and I figured that this way I get to keep admiring them once I’ve used up all the rest in quilts and cushions.

pockets galore, key loop and a magnetic closure

I have a stack of interfacing but these days I much prefer to use wadding for bags to give structure.  I used some scraps (100% cotton wadding) and a furnishing weight fabric for the lining.  The lining isn’t the best match for the exterior but it does the job and saved me from dying of boredom whilst ironing on interfacing ;)

I’m adding this tote to the Selfish Sewing Group on Flickr and I encourage you to pop over and consider joining in.  Whilst I won’t use my 241 tote every day, it is my new go-to travel bag and I LOVE it!  We should all spend a little time sewing for ourselves occasionally :)


A finish (or two, three….)!


I totally have that TGIFF feeling this Friday!  I’m soooo tired after staying up late working on a Secret Santa gift for one of the Wombat Stew Girls.  Here is a sneak peek :)  Just a glimpse because I don’t want to give it away!

wombat stew secret santa peek

My big finish for this week was my Tree Skirt.  I don’t know if anyone had time to visit the original post with all of the giveaways happening this week for Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day.  It’s almost over, but worth a look if you have a hundred hours or so (and a time machine) to enter in all the fantastic giveaways!

tree skirt

I won’t talk too much about my tree skirt as I did already post about it, but I do love it.  It was my annual last minute Christmas project ;)  Last year it was my Advent Calendar which I love enough that I’m going to bore you with more photos of it :)

Advent calendar with all felt decorations

The idea behind the tree skirt was to practice my FMQ in preparation for Mr 6′s I Spy Quilt.  It has been basted and waiting for over a week but I want it to be just right so I figured some practice was in order.

tree skirt close up fmq

I am so pleased with how the tree skirt finished up.  The only thing I would do differently is use a pale blue thread for the FMQ next time.  The quilting just doesn’t show up enough being white on white.  The positive side being that I am now confident and happy enough with my FMQ that I can bravely select thread that stands out :)  Yay!

tree skirt fmq

The back is completely different and is a nice alternative.

tree skirt back

The other finish that I slipped in this week was the second thank you gift for our teachers.  I made this gorgeous one for Mr 6′s teacher (yes, it was hard to part with, but she is pretty special!).

iPad pouch front

I didn’t really have the option to invest so much time into the gift for Mr 4′s teacher, so I made her the same iPad pouch using this pattern but I didn’t piece the panels.

iPad pouch front
Apologies for the next three photos which were taken by Mr Husband
 who hasn’t discovered any settings beyond Auto on the SLR…  Really, I do love him ;)

I’m really happy with it!  I used snaps for the closure (just to try something different) and put two snaps on the pocket so that she can squeeze a few more items in there if need be :)

iPad pouch inside front
Again, apologies for the pic!

I used some Amy Butler scraps and then found a few coordinating pieces.

iPad pouch inside
I love the perspective, Mr Husband, PLEASE look at the settings next time! ;P

I SLQed the outside using my favourite Aurifil 50wt 2000 and used scrap bamboo wadding along with some medium weight interfacing on the lining.  Next time I will probably give the interfacing a miss.  I’ve kind of gone off iron-on interfacing…

The last finish I wanted to mention is another one that wasn’t this week.

cushion on bed

You may remember that I participated in the Travellin’ Pic Stitch Blog Hop.  I popped over this morning to vote for my favourite and was blown away to see that my very non traditional EPP “block” has 9 votes!  Wow!  I’m very grateful to those who have voted, it makes me rather proud to think that among such awesome company my item has attracted some votes.  I think the party is open for a few more days, so make sure you pop over and check out the projects.  You don’t have to vote (and I’m not asking for votes, please vote for your favourite:) ), feel free to just enjoy the gorgeous items on display!  We all used a palette generator to develop a template based on a favourite travel/location photo.

ilot maitre palette

It was so much fun!  My original post (with about 600 of my favourite photos LOL) is here.

Oh!  I have to squeeze in one last finish for the week (it happened way back last Saturday so I almost forgot LOL).  I designed and finished this PP block for Kristy as part of our Wombat Stew Paper Piecing bee.  Kristy was Queen Bee Wombat for November and selected a sewing theme.  This is Delilah, my Bernina 440.  Isn’t she lovely? :)

paper pieced sewing machine

Now I have to get back to my mad Christmas sewing list.  Anyone else feeling a bit frantic?  I’m not sure I’m going to get everything posted in time, eek!  Less computer, more sewing!

I’m linking up with TGIFF over at Quokka Quilts this week.

And here’s one last pic(I can’t stop typing today!) , this one is our Christmas tree.  Isn’t it pretty?  This is the first year I’ve let the kids decorate it with me (they have their own tree which is somewhat psychedelic .  I’d like to say that I’ve matured as a person and their taste and placement skills have improved ;)  We all had a ball putting it up!

tree skirt with lights

TGIFF… Let’s focus on the awesomeness!


I’m really glad it’s Friday.  Really, I’m glad.  But I’m not feeling the sweet relief of TGIFF *sigh*

I hoped to scrape in my November Wombat Stew bee block for Kristy.  I’m 3/4 of the way there, I’ve designed a Paper Pieced sewing machine block.  It’s big at 10″ x 10″ and I’m loving the machine.  Not so much the stripy wall paper!!  Who chooses stripes when PP???  Not me next time ;)

With that little frustration off my chest (it’s going to be awesome and I love Wombat Stew, I’m just having a few issues with matching my stripes) I can share one gorgeous finish this week :)

iPad pouch inside
Front inside pleated pocket (pen pockets)

I mentioned on Wednesday that I was working on gifts for our teachers for the end of the year.  I’m making both teachers and iPad pouch using this fantastic pattern from Michelle Patterns.  I have to admit, I’m not really a pattern girl, too many words LOL  but this one has come together really well.  The only thing that you should be aware of is that it uses templates, I prefer measurements, but of course you can take these from the templates for future use :)  I will happily use this pattern again and again!

iPad pouch front

I have finished the pieced pouch for Mr 6′s teacher but the second one is only half way there (I decided to jump to my bee block which remains unfinished…).  The finished one is awesome though ;)  So let’s focus on that!

iPad pouch front inside
Front inside

I did a combination of Quilt as you go and traditional quilting using both stash and scrap fabrics including some precious Liberty of London scraps that I bought a while back.  I used Aurifil 50 wt for both piecing and quilting (and had fun using my new colourful threads!) and bamboo batting.  I love how it came together.  Next time I will do more of the dense straight line quilting.  I love the look and it is rather therapeutic :)

iPad pouch back

The text print is really lovely and very relevant for an inspiring and dedicated teacher.  It has a number of sentences including, “The purpose of Life is to grow”, “The essence of life is to give”, “The joy of life is to love”, “The adventure of life is to learn”.  As much as I really love this pouch and dearly would love to keep it, Mr 6′s Maitresse is absolutely wonderful and I am more than happy to give her something that I would love to keep!

I also have to make a special mention of my gorgeous friend Melissa.  Until recently she was my scrap supplier, but she has caught the quilting bug and this week is joining up with TGIFF for the first time.  She has beautiful scraps so I’m hoping to see more gorgeous quilts from her :)  Pressure’s on Midge! ;P  How’s that for friendly encouragement? ;P

I’m linking up with TGIFF at Making Rebecca Lynne.

Work In Progress: Teacher Appreciation gifts


It’s a few weeks since I have linked up with Work In Progress Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.  With a two week holiday and then a frantic week of sewing for school, unpacking and flying solo whilst Mr Husband was out of town for work…  Well, not much of interest was in progress.  This week I’m back on track :)

We have about three weeks left of the school year so I’m focusing on thank you gifts for the teachers and possibly some farewell gifts for Mr 6′s class (they will be leaving l’ecole maternelle – preschool – and moving to Primary School).  I’m not sure if I’m up to 26 gifts in the next week though LOL

During all of the fun sales last week in the US I bought this lovely pattern.

Appledot blog image
Source: Michelle Patterns

It is an “Ideas Pouch” but fits an iPad or a few notebooks, pens and probably a few other bits and pieces.  Both Mr 4 and Mr 6′s teachers will be receiving one of these.

teacher gift wip Mr 4

I’ve chosen the above fabrics for Mr 4′s Maitress but I know Mr 6′s teacher a little better so I went out on a limb and got creative with some gorgeous scraps.

teacher gift slq

Hopefully I’ll have them both done by the end of the week.  I think the one for Mr 4′s teacher will come together much faster as I won’t be quilting and piecing quite so much.

teacher gift wip

Do you remember my current big WiP?  Mr 6′s rainbow I Spy quilt.

rainbow ispy with border

The top is complete and I’ve decided to go with grey on the back with the rainbow quilt.

rainbow ispy wip

The floor is clean (and the kids keep being told to keep off it LOL) and hopefully I will get to basting it tonight.  I would love to start now but I don’t think it’s a wise idea as I will have to leave the room whilst preparing dinner leaving three monkeys children in the same room as a quilt in progress…

I’m very excited to get back to this quilt and I hope to get started on the actual quilting this week.  I have collected a bunch of Aurifil threads in the rainbow, I’m going to get creative! :)  I don’t expect to finish as I have a few other bits that are further up the to-do list, but I just want to dip my toes in the water so to speak :)

I loved our holiday in Australia but I am really loving being back with my sewing machine and stash.  Does anyone else feel a sense of satisfaction upon returning home from holidays and diving into one’s stash?  My sewing room is a mess, but I’m so please to be creating again!

I’m linking up with Work In Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

End of Year Gifts


I mentioned the other day that I had started on some gifts for the staff at school to thank them for looking after our boys this year.  We still have a month of school left, but last year the auxiliary staff went on strike for the last few weeks so we weren’t able to give them anything.  This year I didn’t want them to miss out!

Mr 4 and Mr 6 actually have the same assistant teacher, she swaps between their classes, spending the morning with Mr 4 in the Section de Petit and the afternoon with Mr 6 in the Section de Grande.  Both boys have a Cantine lady that takes their groups to the Cantine for lunch.  Mr 6 also wanted to give something to the two ladies that serve the meals in the Cantine.  All of these women work really hard and the kids really like them.  I wish I had been organised a little earlier to give them something more, but considering I had to come up with 5 gifts and we have only been back from our holiday for less than a week, and I fit in sewing the class costumes….  Modest gifts it is :)

assistant teacher gifts
Oh dear, we have a wonky dumpling!

I made a dumpling purse for each of the ladies using this great tutorial.  I didn’t use interfacing.  Rather I used scraps of cotton wadding and quilted each of the purses, just the outside fabric and the wadding.  Each purse was filled with cute wrapped chocolates.


The tutorial is super easy and I will definitely make more of these.  Sal commented that they are the perfect size for holding mouth guards and of course the Roller Derby gal’s need funky covers for their mouth guards! :)  I’m thinking of changing up the pattern a little, but have a few things to do first LOL

I literally finished these off this morning and took the photos as we were running out the door to school (hence the totally dodgy photography, sorry!).  I wish I had taken a few more photographs as I did a heap of quilting on them.  The yellow one has SLQ on the diagonal between the flowers and the rest have a heap of FMQ.  It’s hard to see below, but the brown floral one has FMQ outlining some of the flowers, the green one has FMQ on the leaves and around the flowers and in the centers, the pink one I echoed the flowers in the negative space and FMQ the centres.  For the Blue purse I FMQ spirals and echoed them until I met the next spiral.  They have really fun lining fabric too.  I really should have taken more photos!!

dumpling purses fmq

Next is back to my to-do sewing list (which is growing).  Tonight is the Spectac (end of year concert) and I’m helping Mr 6′s class back stage.  AND!!!!  Mr Husband is coming back from his work trip early so he will meet us at school and will see the kids perform :)  :)  :)

September roundup


I’m a day or two late, I know, but I actually wasn’t going to do a September round up as I didn’t feel like I’d been very productive.  I have made a few things but the two main quilts I worked on in September remain WiP.  The first because I ran out of fabric, and the second because I dithered for quite awhile and only got cutting and piecing at the end of the month.

Work in Progress 

L-R: Triangle quilt WiP, I Spy rainbow quilt WiP

Looking back at my September posts, however, I feel a little more productive than I thought I was :)

September Roundup at Pretty Bobbins

Clockwise from top left: triangle girly quilt WiP, bunting for my new nephew!, Japanese Cuisine block for Wombat Stew PP Bee, heart bunting for a new baby girl, detail PP helicopter block, heart bunting for a new big sister, PP coffee plunger mini for Mr Husband, helicopter pillowcase, design wall/rainbow I Spy quilt WiP.

Turns out I did a bit!  I haven’t posted about the handbag yet, so I’ll include that here :)  My housekeeper (who I’ve written about on my Nouméa blog) Marie (not her real name) is a close friend of mine and asked me about some handbags that I had hanging on my clothes rack.  She was asking about prices and I knew that they were out of her budget.  I had almost finished this bag ages ago (it’s the Melly and Me Black Forest Bag, I purchased the pattern here).  I only had to sew on the buttons.  But when it was all sewn up (minus the buttons) I decided it wasn’t me at all so I left it sitting in the work in progress pile.  So I offered Marie the bag as a gift.  She was thrilled but I asked her to wait until I’d sewn on the button.


Once I’d sewn on the button I decided I did actually really like it but I wanted to really make it special for Marie.  She is Kanak and over the course of our friendship has told me a bit about her family history and culture.  The population of New Caledonia is made up of Kanak, Melanesian, Polynesian, Caldoche, Metropolitan French and Anglophone expats (there are some other groups, you can read more about the history of New Caledonia here). I feel very privileged to have an insight into Kanak culture through Marie.

Marie has told me that her totem is the lizard and that every time she sees one it is significant for her.  With the aim of personalising I hand stitched a little gecko onto the pocket for Marie.  She loved it and I’m so glad, because she is part of our family and it is important to let her know that we care for her.

lizard 2

Can you see the gecko?  He is twisted around and his head is facing downward.  I did French knots for his toes as they have cute little sucker type feet.  Mr Husband found this one in his shoe recently, if you look closely you can see his little toes :)

gecko in a shoe

Did you get much sewing done in September?  Did you find any lizards in your shoes?  Is it actually possible to post every day this month??? :)

I’m linking up to Fresh Sewing Day at Lily’s Quilts and BlogtoberFest at I Saw You Dancing.

Lily's Quilts


A weekend of sewing!


I can’t believe that it is Monday, last week was the longest week (sick children, Little Miss refusing to sleep, Mr Husband working late and finally, Little Miss ending the week with a huge bruised bump on her forehead) and it feels like groundhog day today.  We’re still sick, the sleep issues continue, but at least the sun is shining.  One upside to all this is that we decided to have a very quiet weekend at home.  I got to sew on both Saturday and Sunday!!

Even fitted in some modelling, ooh, ahh!

I was playing around with bag designs during the week and really needed to start sewing on Saturday.  After going through all my sketches I decided on the same structure as this bag that I made recently, but with more contrasting shapes and textures.

I’m really happy with it, the solid grey is a lovely cotton linen blend.  The inside features a phone pocket, zippered pocket and key loop.

I actually made the bag for a market night that has the theme “White Plus One”, you can find it here.  It is up to the organisers as to whether your item has enough white to quality so I was planning a backup item while I was stitching away.  Anyway, the bag ended up a lot more work that I envisaged (all that quilting, the centre panel, top panels and straps are heavily quilted) and I started to panic about finding a fair price so I decided to go ahead and make the back up item then decide which to submit.

I love the clutch!  Again, it is my own design (really though, how many ways are there to design a clutch?) and I was really focused on the structure and texture.  It came together exactly as I had imagined and I love the colour.  I’m not sure if I can sell this one, I might have to make a second just the same (I usually only make one of a kind)…

It has a card slot, little pocket for a phone or similar and a small zippered pocket.  I had fun with the wrist strap.  It is detachable, but I made it nice and wide and gathered it.  Again, I was playing around with different structures.  It

Sorry for the weird photo, I took it myself and it is all kinds of weird LOL

Anyway, I had so much fun making these bags that I’ve decided to enter them in Purse Palooza 2012…  Crossing all my fingers and toes!  There are some lovely entries, you can see them in the flickr group here.

Sew SweetnessSew Sweetness

Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday


Hello and welcome to Pretty Bobbins if you’re popping by for the first time :)  I’m hosting Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday (TGIFF) today and I’m so excited!  I was really, really hoping to be sharing Mr 3.5′s quilt as a finish today (you can see it as a WIP here and here), but as usual priorities had to shift (not much sewing has been happening as Little Miss is not sleeping this week!).  Instead I am sharing a lovely little Travel Sewing Kit that I finished today.

Do you like?  Originally I was planning on doing a patchwork chevron but after a little playing around I decided on this design instead.  I really enjoyed the straight line quilting.  I think I just enjoy quilting!  I mentioned a little while ago that I invested in some machine quilting needles, WOW, I love them!!  I wanted the red strips to really pop so I’ve left them unquilted and just caught them in the binding.  I think it works well.

Sorry for the strange angle, I was avoiding my shadow in the late afternoon sun.

I’m really into contrasting textures, shapes and patterns at the moment and I think the ric rac (the wavy red tie) provides a fun contrast to those straight lines.

This sewing kit is for a showcase that has the theme “white plus one”, it was a tough call whether to go with red and white or blue and white, but the red won out.  I love the little stripy pin cushion, it has a snap to keep it in place when you’re on the go :)

I also managed to get the reel holder tie thingy narrow enough to slip inside gutterman reels, now that was a feat!  There is a very, very narrow piece of velcro sewn onto that binding!

My other finish that I want to share with you this week is a custom order for a friend.  (Technically I finished it last week but we rushed off on a mini break to a beautiful Pacific Island, which you can read about here, and I haven’t had a chance to share it.)  

She requested a handbag with red in it.  I love making bags and this one is my own design.  Again, there is lots of straight line quilting in there to play with the modern hearts and the angles of the bag.  

I had so much fun with this bag that I’m working on another similar design, again with some straight line quilting, but a little different.  Hopefully I will have it ready to share with you next week :)  And just in case you were wondering what the inside looks like, here it is :)  

There is a key loop with snap closure, a phone pocket, a zippered pocket and the bag has a magnetic closure.  As always, it is going to be hard to part with this one, but it is so satisfying to make something that I love regardless of whether or not I get to keep it!

But enough of me :)  Now I want to hear all about what you’ve finished this week!  There’s a linky thing below, so please join the party and link up your finish as well as visit the other fabulous finishes this week :)  If you have time it would be nice if you could comment as you visit everyone :)  Please remember to include a link and/or button for TGIFF, you can find it here  :) 

Raspberry Ripple Handbag


Recently Mr 5.5 pulled a moldy lemon out of my trusty black handbag.  To explain, I’m not completely disgusting, we have a lemon tree that attracts thieves, so I tend to grab the lemons if I see a yellow one and pop it in my bag.  I obviously forgot about one…   I had bought the Melly and Me Raspberry Ripple pattern well over a year ago from Patterns Only and so I decided not to put it off any longer.  What do you think?

I added a couple of extra pockets and a key loop on the inside, but otherwise it is true to the pattern.

Don’t you just love the black and white fabric?  It’s Dressforms in Black by Michael Miller.  The red butterflies are another favourite of mine :)

You can find my review of this pattern here at The Oz Material Girl’s blog.

There should be a  review of the pattern on The Oz Material Girls blog soon, but I just couldn’t wait to share my new bag with you!

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