Tag Archives: Anny Bag

Flowers and Beyond!

Standard

Spring has sorta sprung here in Texas and my thoughts have turned to flowers–fabric flowers that is!

IMG_5482

Fun to Wear Fabric Flowers by Elizabeth Helene Searle is a wonderful resource that guided me through crafting all the flowers above.  A 96 page book with fabulous photos and examples.

IMG_5435

 

Four of the five flowers you see above were sewn from kits I purchased at International Quilt Festival.  The top left flower, though, was made from a pattern by Heather Bailey that’s attached to her purse pattern, “Marlo Bloom Handbag.”  This decorative flower is easily constructed following her well-written instructions and adding a vintage button.  Here is a closer look:

IMG_5484

And here we have the same flower styled with laminated fabrics and a hand-painted button from Mood.IMG_5551

 

Sometimes, as with the Heather Bailey project, the flower is a bonus from a purse pattern.  The same happy circumstance occurred with Carina Gardner’s “Dainty Blossoms Sling” which sports a lovely lush flower that I created for our Springer Spaniel, Kate, from laminated pink floral. She wears it proudly and everyone can see just how feminine she is! 🙂

For Kate

For Kate

IMG_5634

From that very sling pattern I actually fashioned a laminated bag with a casual vintage vibe that I titled “Welcome Back, June”!  in honor of summer approaching and a nod to June Cleaver. 🙂 “Now, Ward, don’t you think you were a little hard on Beaver?”  Oh, geez, showing my age again…  But it does just channel the fifties, don’t you think?

Welcome Back, June!

Welcome Back, June!

In addition to my journey into flowers, I also sidestepped into headbands.  And where did I find those patterns?  Just Google “how to make a reversible headband” and YouTube, of course, will have you stitching headbands before you know it!  Here are a few of about a dozen reversible headbands I created.  Such fun!  Easy and quick!  Now at Tina’s!

IMG_5478

 

During Spring Break, my adorable Gracie, The Fashionista, visited and here is a picture of her latest creation–a purse, and of course, it’s in animal print!  Girl after my own heart!

IMG_5587

My return to actual purse making came in the form of an Anny Clutch from a beautifully vibrant laminated Kaffe Fassett print.  Behold “Cheshire Garden.”

Cheshire Garden

Cheshire Garden

One of my favorite Etsy shops, Laminates, provided the fabric (Who’s That Girl? from Robert Kaufman) for this awesome Parisian bag which I deem “Shopping on the Seine.”  And the genuine leather handle is from another favorite I’ve mentioned before, Cindy’s Button Company.

Shopping on the Seine

Shopping on the Seine

Wanting to experiment with laminated fabric using one of my favorite patterns by Cindy Taylor Oates, I stitched a bag with elements from the sixties.  The flower child print is from Stella Dear Stella Designs which I discovered at an awesome Austin shop called Stitch Lab.  Dripping with tassels, fringe, and a large leather flower, I coined a new word for this lovely bag– “Fringeship.” 🙂

Fringeship

Fringeship

In the spring/summer season, it’s too easy for me to get caught up in the laminates.  (Although, that seems to be what the customers like.)  AND I was ready for a pattern that was completely new and different to me.  I chose a pattern called Laguna from The Quilter’s Dream.  When I saw the sample ready-made at Quilt Festival, it was sewn from all cotton.  Instead, I chose to fashion it from a teal floral heavy linen, then machine appliqued the large flower from a fuchsia chenille.  I placed a purchased light pink fabric hibiscus in the center, then topped the rim with a sage green ball fringe. I’m delighted with the outcome and titled it “Floral Magic.”

Floral Magic

Floral Magic

And now for the Anny Bags–all laminated.  The first is a wild Brother/Sister Designs fabric, alternating with a Michael Miller polka dot, which I named “Psychedelic Gardens.”

Psychedelic Gardens

Psychedelic Gardens

Then I reverted to my four ruffle Anny Bag pattern.  I am continually tweaking (not twerking–although that would be exercise) my Anny Bag pattern, usually fiddling with dimensions.  I always think, “Ah, this is perfect!”  Then, I adjust it again.  What’s that about??  Anyway, the following are three that I have delivered to Tina’s in the last week or so.

Black and White and Red All Over

Black and White and Red All Over

Garden Party

Garden Party

Flirty Flowers

Flirty Flowers

And there you have it, folks!  The fruits of my labor!  This week I plan to produce three more Anny Bags.  Yikes!  Actually, Tina’s on the Strand has chosen me to be the featured artist at Artwalk on June 6th, and fear of inadequate inventory drives me!  I text pics of the completed bags to my daughter who last night inquired, “Do you ever leave your sewing room?!”  Well, yes.  I go to Curves, Bunko, Mah Jongg, Lunch with the teachers, friends, and family, mani/pedi, etc.  But the REST of the time, I’m sewing.  Happily Sew! 🙂

 

Advertisements

What do you get with Dismal Weather?

Standard

What do you get with dismal weather?  Eight purses!  Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed sunshine, so I’ve been stitching up a storm!  Temperature down=production up!  Here are six that I haven’t shared with you…

Madison’s birthday was last month and she (like her Granny Anny) loves all things British.  I had seen an Indygo Junction pattern for a British flag pillow at Quilt Festival.  Madison’s room decor, however, wears teal and many other colors other than red, white and blue.  Aha!  I shall convert the pillow pattern to a bag!  Using Amy Barickman’s new Crossroads Denim (which is softly washed and available in many colors), I stitched the front and back following pillow directions, then added a gusset, handles, and lining of navy ticking to create this patriotic bag.  BTW, the front and back consist of layering red, white, and navy, stitching along pattern lines, then cutting through either one or two layers to expose the red and white and allow the edges to be rough and free.  Love this textured effect!  I’ve always been a huge fan of Amy Barickman!

IMG_5275

Not wanting to leave Europe I guess, my next two bags were fashioned from what I call my Paris fabrics.  Ooh La La by Jo Moulton for Wilmington and Salon de The’ Paris by Holly Holderman for Lake House Dry Goods.  Two Anny bags, one with a fabric handle and one with a purchased clear bamboo textured handle.

IMG_5278DANCING IN PARIS

IMG_5290 LA BOUTIQUE DE FLEURS

Since a bit of the luscious Downton Abbey fabric, licensed to Andover Fabrics, was spotted still lounging in a corner of my sewing cabinet, I decided to give it a whirl in a completely different pattern.  I harkened back to a Pink Sand Beach pattern called the Manhattan Bag, which allowed the various Downton fabrics to piece together in a lovely flow.  This time the gusset featured the castle fabric. The handle was purchased.  I replaced a jewel on the flower with a crown charm, and the necklace type embellishment on the front was a reclaimed charming but broken bracelet. Since this style has a wide bottom and the castle was a light colored fabric, it was the perfect time to try something new–purse feet!  

IMG_5338

DOWNRIGHT DOWNTON

Mardi Gras celebrations in Galveston are huge–second only to New Orleans.  So my next bag (an altered Amy Butler design) presented with deep purple velvet handles. The look was completed with dangling jewel plum beads and a lush blue violet flower. Did you know that Pantone’s Color of the Year 2014 is Radiant Orchid?  The perfect title for a bag fit for a Mardi Gras Ball!

RADIANT ORCHID

 RADIANT ORCHID

The sixth bag was created from a deep desire for sunshine.  I chose the most spring/summer fabrics available and fashioned a bag I call Gardens of Paris.  The blue floral is a heavy linen, surrounded by a buttery loop fringe and dazzling golden beads.  I love this gypsy style, which is a modified Cindy Taylor Oates pattern.

IMG_5361

 GARDENS OF PARIS

Am I gathering fabrics, trims, and patterns for bag number seven?  Tempting…  But I’m taking a break to “sharpen my saw” as they say.  More tutorials are calling my name, as well as books, patterns, and gorgeous ribbon (some vintage) for crafting fabric flowers.  As Jimmy Fallon would say, “Thank you, Dismal Weather, for enticing me to sew!”

DOWNTON ANNY

Standard

Are you a Downton Abbey fan?  After fighting the mobs at Quilt Market this year for the official Downton Abbey fabric (exclusively licensed to Andover Fabrics) I was determined to fashion a bag for Downton fans.  Thus, the DOWNTON ANNY was created!  Adding a feather embellishment to the band, and adorning it with a rhinestone crown, I whisked it off to Tina’s just in time for the Season 4 Premiere.  The faux leather handle is from Studio Mio and the interior is lined with the quintessential castle fabric seen here in the first ruffle layer.

IMG_5192

And so, still feeling those royal vibes, I designed my next bag, “Lady Berkeley.”  I’m so in love with the vibrant colors and textured body of this lovely bag, parting was such sweet sorrow.  Fashioned from upholstery fabric from Cowgirls & Lace, faux leather for the gusset, and a bold vintage tassel, this bag would feel just as comfortable on the Berkeley campus as it would at tea in Berkeley Square!

IMG_5186

So until next time, I’m wishing you Happy Times in the Kingdom!

Love,

Lady Anny

QUILTERS’ PARADISE

Standard
QUILTERS’ PARADISE

It is back to reality for me.  From Wednesday to Saturday Nannette and I were in P-A-R-A-D-I-S-E!  2013 International Quilt Festival, Houston, Texas.  This gallery of pics will give you an idea of our many ventures.  Let’s start here:

OPEN! OPEN! OPEN!  Quilters flocking to the door.

OPEN! OPEN! OPEN!
Quilters flocking to the door.

An overall view from the Window Up Above (Wasn’t that a Mickey Gilley song?)

IMG_4430Let’s go shopping:

Nannette and I with Kaffe Fassett and his new book, QUILT GRANDEUR.

Nannette and I with Kaffe Fassett and his new book,
QUILT GRANDEUR.

KAFFE FASSETT and LIZA PRIOR LUCY

KAFFE FASSETT and LIZA PRIOR LUCY

If Kaffe Fassett doesn’t ring a bell with you, you are probably not a quilter and that’s okay.  Just letting you know that he is the author of numerous quilting books and known all over the world for his brilliant color combinations and designs.  I so love to use his fabric in my bags.  And, oh my, he admired my bag.  MY BAG!  I can die happy now…

My new favorite booth:  ADORNit.  www.adornit.com  These gals (mother and two daughters) have developed an amazingly strong presence in the fabric, pattern, and quilting world.  You go, Ladies!

ADORNit.

ADORNit.

Snazzy contemporary fabric and a pattern book (plus some charm squares) were scored at ADORNit.  If you sew, plan to visit soon for inspiration.

You can always catch demos at the show.  Check out this lady’s sewing machine…

Gelaskin for Sewing Machines?!

Gelaskin for Sewing Machines?!

This next mother/daughter duo is a booth Nannette and I always take time to visit.  Brilliant colors and designs are offered on a number of projects like chair covers, floor mats, travel mugs, mirrors, lamps, shades, clocks and clipboards.  Did I say quilts?  And more. Dianne Springer finds ways to artistically apply scraps on anything–even mailboxes!  Don’t stand still too long–she may find a way to Scrap-o-Late you!!

IMG_4488

www.quiltinacup.com

You’ve heard me mention FRAMES.  Yes, I succumbed to one of my favorite booths, Mica’s Room.  On Halloween, no less.  My friends here entice me (doesn’t take much) to buy frames, patterns, clasps and fabric.  This year I’m trying coin purses.  They do have frames.  But isn’t that a great way to practice?

My friends from Mica's Room.

My friends from Mica’s Room.

This year I purchased  antique ribbons, lace, and vintage buttons and fabric at booths featuring embellishments.  Many more booths featured bags, bag patterns and hardware this year.  Right up my alley!  You know I was crossing my fingers for colored denim and I hit the jackpot.  Thanks to designer Amy Barickman, Crossroads Denim will allow me to fashion totes, slings, and clutches from a softly laundered denim in shades of orange, navy, blues, greens, and neutrals.  I’m so excited!

Some ladies at the show try their hand at longarm quilting.

Longarm quilting booth.

Longarm quilting booth.

It seems as though Nannette ran up a huge total at Quilts By The Bay.

IMG_4427

Oops!  Thankfully, that was just a mistake, but maybe it’s time to turn from shopping to quilts.  Hello–it is a Quilt Show!

The Best of Show Winner is …

IMG_4423

Close Up

Close Up

Meet the Artist

Meet the Artist

There were contemporary, traditional, charitable, whimsical, biographical, autobiographical, military and art quilts.  A sampling:

IMG_4475

IMG_4467

IMG_4468

IMG_4455

IMG_4478

IMG_4461

IMG_4462

Sparkles covered all the flowers on this quilt.

IMG_4463

Yes, Jack Nicholson.  The artist said she was studying expression and emotions.

Yes, Jack Nicholson. The artist said she was studying expression and emotions. 🙂

IMG_4464

IMG_4465

IMG_4466

IMG_4453

This year $102,800 cash awards were given (and the prizes also include airfare to and hotel accommodations for Quilt Festival.)  See all the winning quilts at www.quilts.org.

There were classes offered at Craftsy:

Craftsy University

Craftsy University

IMG_4448

A Craftsy Class.

Many specialties were offered in the upstairs classrooms (Nannette and I enjoyed one) and even classes offered right on the main floor amongst the booths.

IMG_4432

IMG_4434

For breaks and a chance to catch a breeze in our fabulous fall weather, attendees are welcome to stroll on the balcony.  When you’re in the midst of shopping and viewing, it seems the world is removed (happily so) but it’s occasionally beneficial to let your brain experience the connection of a view of downtown.

IMG_4452

Often we run into old friends that we usually see at retreats.  This year we had fun meeting old friends in the crowded aisles, trying to catch up on the run, waving, and signaling to meet up later.  Fortunately, I noticed Jo Packham in the Food Court, having just had two classes with the Where Women Create panel, and she joined Nannette and I for a fun and relaxing late lunch. We solved most of the world’s problems and then it was back to shopping. 🙂

At the end of the day, we welcome this sight:

IMG_4418

“Come into the light, Carol Ann…”  It’s the corridor that links the George R. Brown Convention Center to the Hilton Hotel.   Oh, yes.  That walkway reminds us that Starbucks is not a food group.  Without even depositing our treasures in our room, we head for the lovely restaurant where the food is actually quite good.  After dinner, drinks, and dessert, we drag our loot up to the room and share our awesome treasures.  We always vow to get plenty of sleep, but how do you do that when there is just so much to share??  And no sleeping in the next day because, hey, we need to find that fabric we glimpsed yesterday and hope it’s still there!

This year we took a class and it was titled, “Crafting an Ideal Day.”  It basically involved time management and we learned a lot from the facilitator and the participants.  Everyone seemed to have the same problem–not enough time to sew.  We lamented this and brainstormed solutions.  The main idea that Nannette and I took away from the class was this:  Get 20 minutes in your sewing area everyday.  This will lead to more, and if it doesn’t on any given day, at least you will have been twenty minutes productive.  Naturally, we left the show this year pledging to gift ourselves those twenty minutes.  And it may not happen everyday, but, well, it’s a start.  So here I go… I’ll bet I could get a small purse cut out in the next twenty minutes. 🙂 How do you get YOUR twenty minutes in?

COMING UP FOR AIR!

Standard

Well, it’s true I have been sewing like a maniac the past few months to build an inventory of bags for the Artwalk Show.  I am now officially Coming Up for Air!  Last Saturday night Artwalk was amazing!   I sold four of my favorite bags to lovely ladies–one shopping for Christmas, one shopping for her own bag, one shopping for an evening bag, and a pair of ladies who decided to buy a bag and share it–each one keeping it for six months!  So cool! 🙂  A huge thank you to all my friends and family who supported me in this venture!  I had a chance to visit with my daughter, granddaughters, sister, niece, and several friends!  Here are the four bags that sold:

IMG_2028 - Version 2

MIDNIGHT ROSE

IMG_3833

RENDEZVOUS

THE WESTERN ANNY

THE WESTERN ANNY

IMG_3955

LONDON FLAT

And now my focus falls to bags I have previously committed to sewing for charity events.  Next blog–charity and beyond…

This week “Coming Up for Air” consisted of:

Two Lunch/Shopping Dates with Friends–Cafe Express, The Hotel Galvez, & The Strand

Two movies–Gravity, and Rush.  We gave both an “A.”

One Dinner and Play–Downtown Houston with our good friends.  The funny thing is my  iPhone calendar read, “Dinner and Theatre with Bruce and Gayle.”  But “Location” said, “Burlap Pretties.”  Completely puzzled, I’m thinking, “Did I sign up for a craft class I forgot about??”  But apparently my iPhone had auto-corrected the name of the restaurant I had typed, Birraporetti’s, to “Burlap Pretties.” 🙂

Dinner, a play, and some Burlap Pretties.

DINNER, A PLAY, AND SOME BURLAP PRETTIES!

One BBQ Party – with Galveston neighbors

Catching up on TV – Castle, Blacklist, Chicago Fire, Nashville, Scandal, Grays Anatomy, Good Wife, DIY shows like Restoration Rehab, and I’ll admit it–Days of Our Lives.

Catching up on Reading – Dan Brown’s Inferno, Haute Handbags, Studios, Where Women Create

Surfing the Net – Pinterest, Blogs, NYC travel sites, Trip Advisor, and yes, those YouTube tutorials!

Baking – Monkey Bread, plus that Pinterest recipe for putting brownie mix and cookie mix in a muffin tin.  SO yummy!  Good thing I took it to the party or I would have eaten more than two!

Yep, I work hard and play hard–never a dull moment!  What do you read, bake,  watch, and attend when you’re not sewing?  What do you do when you “COME UP FOR AIR?” 🙂

 

 

Sleep? What sleep?

Standard

Imagine my surprise to find I’d been nominated for the Good Neighbor Blog Award!  Katherine from Pillows A-La-Mode (an awesome site) requested nominations for someone in the blogging world that you would most want to live next door to!  The winner was a fabulous blogger, Crafty Staci, that you will certainly enjoy reading.  And to the person(s) who nominated me, I send my deepest gratitude!  I consider myself fairly new to blogging and as they say in Hollywood, “It’s an honor just to be nominated.”  Amen to that!  Just for being nominated, I get to display a Good Neighbor Award button on my blog, and you will be seeing that just as soon as I learn how to display it. 🙂  Yep, I still have lots to learn about blogging, my friend. So in this world of widgets, buttons, and stats, please just bear with me!

This is Wednesday night and Saturday is my trunk show at Tina’s for Artwalk Galveston.  As noted in my last blog, I thought my fall collection was finished. 🙂  Oh, silly me!  They had requested 15 bags and I had 16 bags.  But when I mentioned that there was not an Anny Bag in the collection, I could read the disappointment in their faces.  While I consider the Anny Bag as something more suited to a Spring/Summer collection, apparently the customers have been requesting the Anny Bag, so… In the last four days, I have designed four Anny Bags!  Sleep?  What sleep?  I needed to find fall/winter type fabric that would also be able to drape for those ruffles.  I am pleased to say that without shopping, I managed to come up with the fabrics and trims I needed.  (That should tell you something about my stash.  Shh! )  Anyway, today I planned to make the tags (see previous blog) but after lunch, Tina’s called.  The newspaper needed a photo preview of my presentation by day’s end.  Whaaaat??  I know NOTHING about photo shoots.  So you should have seen me schlepping bags and lamps all over the house trying to figure out what to do next.  Too much light!  Too little light!  Too many bags!  Too few bags!  Too much background distraction!   I was mainly working with two coat racks.  After taking about 30 pics, I decided less is more, and since they just wanted a sneak preview, here is the photo that will be published:

IMG_4117

Bag #16 is a pattern I designed called the Jenny Bag.  (Publishing it is on my “to do” list.)  🙂  Here it is, fashioned from that sumptuous copper velvety fabric from Cowgirls and Lace, and the Roma Deco upholstery fabric I picked up in L.A. in silver and gold tones.  Embellished with four glass beaded tassels, and a beaded golden applique, I’m not sure what to name it.  Any suggestions?

IMG_4056

So…the four Anny Bags.  The first is created mostly from velvet and a leopard faux fur.  (Can you tell I relish that copper fabric?)  I had purchased the leopard flower but added a brooch from my stash from Trims on Wheels for the center.  This whole bag is so velvety smooth I could just eat it up!

The Fancy Anny

THE FANCY ANNY

The Western Anny was fashioned from faux leathers and a furry leopard print.  Yes, I had these western looking leather straps in my stash from Cindy’s Button Company.  The fringe completes the western look.  Would you believe the beautiful dangle on the front was from a broken necklace?  Don’t you just  love repurposing!!  Yeehaw!

THE WESTERN ANNY

THE WESTERN ANNY

The Autumn Anny (sorry about the pic lighting) is actually made of gold, tan, deep red, and rich chocolate brown floral linens.  The linens were purchased from various sources but worked well together.  The trim features alternating glass gold beads and silky tassels.  The tan leather strap was another past purchase from Cindy’s Button Company.  There is a gold brooch flower pendant that I’m making into a removable pin that has the same beads as the trim but it isn’t in this picture because I haven’t quite finished it.  Last minute idea.  Yikes!

THE AUTUMN ANNY

THE AUTUMN ANNY

I had fun choosing fabric for the Denim Anny.  After pairing two shades of denim with a blue leopard, I spotted a feathery trim from Mood Fabrics.  Perfect!  But, I’ve also been saving this sequined/beaded applique in shades of blue that I discovered last summer at the Pasadena Flea Market in L.A. where a lady was selling vintage fabric items.  It made the perfect focal point!  I wanted to leave the edges on the denim ruffles raw.  If I tried to hem them, they wouldn’t drape,  plus I just think it works as a fun denim look.  After washing, they came out nicely frayed, so I sewed an invisible row of stitching just above the fraying to lock it in.  I honestly don’t remember where I scored the handle fabric.  It was funky and totally matched the style of the denim look but the back was a little wonky looking.  The fix?  Take a navy webbing from my stash and sew the two strips back to back.  Voila!  Handles!  Dang!  My Job Is Fun!!!

THE DENIM ANNY

THE DENIM ANNY

IMG_4100

So, I now have one day left to make five tags, which normally I can finish two per day. Okay then…  It’s all a learning experience right?  Everything needs to be turned in Friday for readying the display and pricing.  Think I’m going to have to shift some priorities tomorrow…

But Hallelujah!  On Friday morning,  Jen, Madison and Gracie arrive and I will be basking in goodness and laughter and fun!  They are my good luck charms for a Successful Artwalk Show!  Hope to see you there!

Wow! Those YouTube Videos Are Addictive!

Standard

Just had my two week knee check-up and I’m healing great!  AND I’ve managed to complete bags number fourteen and fifteen for the Artwalk Show!  Bag #14 shall be named Merry Messenger.  It’s the same Ali Foster mini-messenger pattern that I used a few weeks ago and loved.  This time I stitched from an embroidered floral faux leather from Cowgirls and Lace, and just for fun, added a textured leopard print strap and a laser cut button.

IMG_3955

For Bag #15  I modified my Anny Clutch pattern, including adding a tan and turquoise beaded purchased handle.  After studying several YouTube videos on making fabric flowers I tried my hand at creating one.  Using a teal and tan French wire ribbon, I gathered it into a flower shape adding a vintage aqua and gold button.  A little netting that I happened to have on hand was an added touch, plus a circle of felt to cover the back and a pin so it could be removable.  There are so many awesome videos out there that it was exceptionally hard to quit watching them and actually try it!  (Just Google “Making Fabric Flowers.”  Oh, my!  A plethora of flowers–fabric, felt, ribbon, lace, sewn, glued–you name it! )  And this last bag was where I gathered the courage to cut that luscious silk velvet from Mood Fabrics, both the teal and soft floral taupe that seem to have an antique look. Forever in Velvet is the name of this bag.  But honestly, If you could touch that velvet, you would want to wrap yourself in it.  So yummy!

IMG_3990            IMG_3986

Oh, yes, and I transformed my sewing room.  I don’t know what got into me but the night before my knee surgery I felt the need to rearrange that room.  I’m sure part of it was that Rick is building me a bench with drawers (Farmer Rick is also Retired Engineer/Woodworker Rick) and you know how that goes.  Once you have a great new item, it starts that domino effect and suddenly you want to organize, purge, donate, and make everything more functional.  I did that, including the entire walk-in closet, and I’m very happy!  Sometime I’ll have to give you a virtual tour of my room. 🙂

So with three weeks to Showtime, I have “finished” my Fall collection.  Hmm, do we actually believe I won’t try to slip in another or another?  Anyway, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but with every bag comes a handmade tag.  And by tag I mean this is how I keep my hand in the scrapbooking department. 🙂  I compose a little blurb about the bag, then print on scrapbook paper and embellish with sparkles, florals, ribbon, whatever strikes my fancy to give it dimension.  Sometimes I incorporate some of the fabric from the bag.  Last night I stayed up very late (so what else is new?) and composed the tags.  Just composed the writing.  Now I need to turn them into little works of art.  That’s what I’ll be doing this week.  Here are a few samples from past bags:

IMG_2928        IMG_2870      IMG_2778

Talk to you soon, after I get things just a little more under control.    But for now I’m off to catch just a few more tutorials before bed!  Darn those YouTube tutorials!  They’re as addictive as Pinterest! 🙂

Pivoting in Downtown L.A.

Standard

Well, I’m two days post op from minor knee surgery–tear of the medial meniscus.  Doctor O’Neill says my left knee probably was aggravated by a lot of pivoting motion.  Pivoting?  So the final blow to my knee was from mucho pivoting??  Hmm, I don’t play sports, I’m not what you’d call athletic these days, and my only real exercise is going to Curves.  But wait–!  Where was I last month when it really starting hurting so much more?  That’s right–L.A.  And here’s where the pivots come in.  As I explore the Fashion District in Downtown L.A.  I see—a fabric store–pivot–another fabric store–pivot–a trim store–pivot–more fabric–pivot–pant pant–well, you get the picture. 🙂  I was in Fabric Heaven and this blog entry is to share with my fellow fabric lovers.

It actually started even before we left Galveston.  I was purchasing vintage velvet ribbons from a fabulous Etsy Shop, Rosa’s Creations, and I realized the seller was in L.A.  I contacted the seller and decided to pay her store a visit where I could actually see all the ribbons she had to offer.  Oh My!  What a wonderland of vintage ribbons, antiques, and linens!  I worked with Ashley, who was so very gracious, and before long I had a luscious treasure trove of exquisite velvet ribbons.  (I couldn’t even bring myself to check them through baggage on our return flight.  I managed to fit them into my carry on bag!  No parting with those beauties! )

IMG_3914       IMG_3607

Shortly after returning to Galveston, I fashioned what I’m calling the “Spend the Night Bag.”  This bag (a variation of my Anny Bag pattern) came together larger than I intended but it’s a fabulous travel bag.  Very sturdy straps with metal rings, six pockets inside, as well as another interior cross/bag secure strap and magnetic closure.   The fabrics are from Cowgirls and Lace in Dripping Springs, Texas.  Ruffles are a velvety upholstery weight, as well as a wonderfully textured faux crocodile turquoise band and strap.  But as I finished the bag, I realized it needed a certain something.  Velvety upholstery=velvet ribbon, right?  So, as scary as it was to actually CUT  aaaaahhh!  that sumptuous vintage velvet ribbon, I held my breath and reached for the scissors.  Hallelujah!  This was exactly what my creation was calling for!  And in the second picture, feast your eyes on the whole array of ribbons from that beautiful collection.  I’m sure you’ll see them in future creations as well.

After the visit to Rosa’s shop, what do you think I spied across the street?  MOOD Fabrics!!!!  Yes, except for NYC, this is the only other Mood Fabrics store!  As seen on Project Runway, this store is beyond belief.  The pictures do not do it justice.  It’s simply indescribable, and the staff was very courteous and helpful.  Wish I could just helicopter you all in to see for yourselves, but these pics will have to do.

IMG_3578    IMG_3579    IMG_3602    IMG_3599

I hope you can enlarge that first picture to see the detail, but keep in mind that you’re only seeing half of the store.  If  you could look the other direction, you would see a similar scene.  Nirvana!  The second pic is just a sampling of the vast assortment of beautiful embellishments they offer. In the third pic you will see exquisite patterned silk velvets that I actually mustered the courage to cut recently. Yikes!  And, yes, I’ve also used one of those gorgeous hand-painted buttons.  Here is a recent bag (an Ali Foster pattern) that I styled with one of those sweet buttons.

IMG_3909      IMG_3908

This blue leopard fabric has an ultra-suede feel to it.  The interior is a hot pink satin with pockets.  Embellished with a feathery row of black roses,  a black tassel, and hand-painted button on the reverse side.  Love this pattern and can’t wait to fashion yet another bag with it.

On the third day of our vacation, we headed right into downtown, L.A.  The Fashion District there is akin to NYC.  Blocks and blocks of nothing but fabric and trim stores.  (Hence the pivoting and pivoting and….)  Avant Trims  provided some beautiful embellishments, including the brooch that I added to a previous bag.  And Roma Deco had luscious fabrics including a multicolored over 100+ inch wide that I’ve already used for two linings.

Flowers and Brooches from Avant Trims

Flowers and Brooches from Avant Trims

An Avant Brooch on the flap of this bag...

An Avant Brooch on the flap of this bag…

Lining from Roma Decor Fabrics

Lining from Roma Deco Fabrics

More lush fabrics from Roma Decor

More lush fabrics from
Roma Deco

My favorite was  Michael Levine, a huge store that was having their month-end clearance sale.  Yeehaw!!  This Texas gal dug in and scoured every aisle.  I LOVE the discoveries I made, including these fantastic leather flowers and colorful faux ostrich fabrics!!

IMG_3619       IMG_3624

Aren’t they fabulous?  Here is a mini-messenger bag utilizing both.  (And one of the hand-painted buttons as well.)

IMG_3844     IMG_3845

This bag turned out so well, I can’t wait to make another!  You can bet your bottom dollar, I’ll be returning to Michael Levine on my next trip to L.A.  Thank goodness our son lives there!  When we weren’t shopping, we visited Bryan and his lovely lady friend, Liz. All in all, it was a fabulous trip.  And once again, Rick was such a trooper, taking his Kindle along and never complaining as I shopped to my heart’s content.  I am one lucky gal!

My final show-n-tell is yet another Ali Foster pattern that I love.  This fabric feels like someone embossed black suede onto white leather–nicely textured.  It styles so well with plenty of body to keep the shape of the purse.  The pattern called for sewn handles but I had some handles in my stash from a while back that I thought would work well.  So I just made some tabs to hold these handles.  A velvety, yet sturdy fabric created the bow.   Black and white damask with a zipper pocket complete the interior.  The pattern called for the bow to have a center of the same fabric but I liked the look of this rhinestone buckle.

IMG_3905

You probably wonder how this knee setback is going to affect my production of 15 or more bags for the Artwalk trunk show on Oct. 5.  Actually, I’m doing quite well (knock on wood) because I have now completed bag #13.  Whew!  Just writing about all this has tired me out.  I’m gonna go prop up this poor pivoted-out knee with some ice.  Until next time, HAPPY SEWING!

These Boots Are Made for Walkin’

Standard

Oh, Happy Day!  Imagine my surprise when I delivered a new bag to Tina’s on the Strand and  Fiery Fiesta was part of the window display!

Fiery Fiesta!   IMG_2929

Fiery Fiesta is the large version of the pattern I designed and now sell in my Etsy shop, Its Sew Anny.  It’s called “The Anny Bag Pattern” (a PDF pattern) and the idea originated with a glance at an apron from Pier 1 that had been cast upon the back of my sewing chair.  I had been dreaming of a pattern with ruffles but everything I searched to buy had too small and tightly gathered ruffles.  There was the perfect configuration in that ruffled apron, and thus, the birth of The Anny Bag.  The summery Fiery Fiesta bag was made from Kaffe Fassett laminated cotton.  The bag I delivered was Tropinkal Chic.  Fashioned from hot pink and tropical laminated cotton, with a flirty pink polka dot lining, this bag is the medium size version of the Anny Bag Pattern.

Tropinkal Chic

Tropinkal Chic

Recently I created another one of my favorite patterns (CraftApple’s Knotted Bag–“Afternoon” size) that I call Paisley Polka.  The laminated fabric is a Riley Blake design called Sugar & Spice by the Quilted Fish.  And the whimsical turquoise polka dot bow and bib is from Michael Miller.  Available in my Etsy shop.

IMG_2872

That same pattern from CraftApple’s Knotted Bag also offers an “All Day” size which I styled from an Amy Butler fabric from her Alchemy Collection, called Sketchbook Rose.  I named this bag Blue Skies and Roses.  The quilted weight cotton lining had been in my closet for some time while I searched for the same print in a laminate.  I finally discovered it at the online shop called Laminates–a very fun store with a huge selection of laminates, as well as quilted weight cottons.  This bag is large enough to even carry a laptop!  There is a generous pocket inside but a huge exterior section that they call a “magazine pocket.”

IMG_2861

And now for something completely different, last night I went back to using non-laminated fabric and created a design by Sue Kim that she calls Hobo Chic. I call it Just Plain Mod!  The fabric I chose is straight out of the sixties!  It is a durable canvas weight and I lined it with yellow polka dot with two pockets.  (This bag is also available in my Etsy Shop. ) As a finishing touch, I added a tan leather button right in the middle of one of the giant flowers.  All you need to complete this look is a pair of GoGo Boots!  Oh, I’m showing my age…  These boots are made for walkin’, right Nancy?  Well, that’s just what they’ll do–right up the stairs to my sewin’ room!

IMG_2952

“Do you have a pet hummingbird?”

Standard

Oh, Yes, I am a New Woman!!  Wow!  A lot can happen in just a few weeks!   Two weekends of Homes Tour were a great success;  literally thousands of people toured our home and nine others here in Galveston.  The first Sunday, Rick and I were enjoying breakfast at a neighborhood cafe while docents led guests through the tour of our home.  But–is it ever a good thing when the House Chairperson calls your cell and asks, “Do you have a pet hummingbird?!”  It was a beautiful day–bright blue skies, swift breezes, and perfect temperature.  So naturally, I wanted to leave all doors and windows open and convey to our guests a sense of coastal living–you know, those lovely tropical breezes drifting in.  Apparently, that wasn’t all that drifted in. There was a hummingbird flying around our kitchen.   By the time we arrived to help, the little fellow had taken himself back outside.  Just the day before I noticed the hummingbird feeder was empty, but didn’t have time to fill it, so Rick suggested that the hummingbird was probably there to lodge a complaint!  Needless to say, that issue has been addressed. 🙂

The Galveston Historical Foundation had also asked Rick and I if we would host a dinner on Saturday evening.  They sold tickets, they provided a chef (who was marvelous), they provided drinks, and Rick and I gave a private behind-the-scenes tour of our home.  I only had two stress points–the timing and the number of guests.  Including Rick and I, there were fourteen seated at our long, long dinner table.  Coming up with fourteen place settings, etc. was not an option for me, but Martha Stewart says you can mix and match, right?  So that is what we did.  I said, “I don’t even have fourteen napkins that match.”  My friends said, “But you sew.  Somewhere in that stash of yours, you will find enough coordinating fabric to make fourteen napkins.”  And sure enough, I had been collecting French fabrics that complemented the French Second Empire style of our house and our dishes.

IMG_2822

Yes, I seriously sewed fifteen napkins (just in case) and my friends had suggested using raffia for napkin rings.  I ended up tying raffia while sitting in bed at the hotel the night before.  Eek!  Then I decided they looked too Western and the next day I ran to Pier 1 for napkin rings which were perfect.  I said, “You know, hosting a dinner party for fourteen would be stress enough, but I don’t even know who I invited!”  Since tickets were sold, I had no idea who was coming but, oh, my, it was so much fun!  We had a very eclectic mix of guests, to say the least, and by the time we actually sat down to dinner, we were laughing and talking so loudly that the dining room echoed!   We made awesome new friends and had a blast.

I mentioned timing being an issue.  The Saturday tour ended around six, the chef arrived at six, and dinner was scheduled for 7:30.  After dinner, everything had to be restored to its proper place because at ten o’clock the next morning, the tours started again!  A very sad event occurred the evening before, which was that my father-in-law passed away.  He had been quite ill for a long time.  Rick was making funeral arrangements up in Houston during this same time, but welcomed the distraction of that Saturday evening.  With the arrival of relatives from Tacoma, we were soon grateful to be reminiscing with cousins and sharing awesome memories of a fun-loving, gentle family man, who lived to be 89 years and 5 days.

In happier news…  Due to a number of circumstances, we have decided not to sell our lovely home!  You know, it’s hard to part with something that has just received so many compliments.  Since Rick retired in April, he was anxious to get started on clearing the land we have in the Texas Hill Country and start building a weekend home.  The thought of moving was becoming an obstacle to other progress.  We really didn’t need yet another project.  Not to mention I will be keeping my awesome sewing room!

In sewing news we have the following:

I completed an Anny Bag that I call Rhapsody in Blue.  Created from Michael Miller, Phillip Jacobs, and Kaffe Fassett laminated cotton fabrics, this item was only at Tina’s a very short time before it was sold.

IMG_2777

Another laminated bag that I just turned in to Tina’s is an Abbey Lane pattern (The Lucille Bag) that I call Bali Dancing.  I seem to be stuck on Phillips Jacobs, Michael Miller and Kaffe Fassett. 🙂  This pattern came together so easily.  I have always been happy with Abbey Lane patterns and anytime you have a question, they will respond very promptly.

IMG_2840

A side note about the tours through our home… When we came home to deal with the hummingbird crisis, the upstairs docents asked me if I had business cards because so many people had enjoyed seeing the purses in my sewing room.  Long story short–I ended up selling two bags on Etsy.  I had to say good-bye to these little beauties:

IMG_2815

After receiving more requests, I’m currently working on a few more of the bow style.  A great pattern by CraftApple.

Our son was home from Minneapolis and since his plane left at six in the morning, he just took a nap from midnight until two.  So, of course, wanting to stay up and say good-bye to him, I just sewed.  Ended up sewing until 4:00 a.m.  Here’s hoping your spring has sprung and you’ll be visiting your sewing/crafting area often!  Don’t leave your windows open without screens, or a little birdie may fly in to help you…