Tag Archives: Anny Bag

Tradition Lives On!


Spring has sprung!  At least here in Texas…  And what color says spring like the color of sunshine?  My beautifully laminated yellow, gray, black, and white floral cotton was calling to me.  My first Anny Bag of the year, Daisy Dots, is complete!  I used a yellow polka dot for the lining and just happened to have that cute little black and white dot flower for embellishment.  The black polka dot ruffles are a Michael Miller laminated fabric that goes so well with many combinations.  Thank you, Michael!  Three pockets and a magnetic closure make it perfect for traveling and shopping.  The day I completed it I was watching The View and there were models dressed for spring in black and yellow:

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Another laminated Michael Miller fabric, Secret Garden was perfect for my next bag as well–both lining and exterior.  A popular Amy Butler pattern was used but with a twist.  I multiplied the inner pockets and adorned it with blush colored beading.  Speaking of blush, this bag was called Wine on the Vine.  The beading would have been simple to apply (and was) but the effect looked a little skimpy to me so I added a row of burgundy velvet trim to enhance the effect.  A Jennifer Paganelli design called Queen Street lined the interior.


Every year I donate a bag to the Salvation Army Benefit Gala’s silent auction.  This year I created Springtime in Paris from a Craftapple pattern called Tailored Bags, and yet another Michael Miller fabric along with his black polka dot.  The main fabric features vintage style scenes of ladies shopping in Paris.  The interior is a cotton called Barefoot Roses from Tanya Whelan.  This was the first time I’ve applied a swivel clasp closure which couldn’t have been easier.  The bag’s nice wide bottom and multiple pockets, including a large pocket on the exterior, would, indeed, be perfect for shopping along the ChampsElysees!  But, seeing as how the bag fits file folders perfectly, it could even be a tote for working at the office.

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We are taking a cruise next week to celebrate Rick’s retirement from Shell.  So exchanging summer for winter clothing in the closet occupied a day or two since there was a lot of trying on, making packing lists, etc.  But I’ve really been enjoying the posts on The Renegade Seamstress’s blog and took a note from her to modify an item I found left from last summer.  I had purchased a white linen J.Jill dress with a hood online and although I really liked the look, I was not comfortable with the length–too short.  So I cut off about 8-10 inches, leaving enough for a generous hem, and created a top!  Even used the cut off fabric to make pockets–yay!  Add a pair of capris and you’ve got a new outfit! 🙂  I forgot to take a “before” pic but here is the new top:


We’re having another Open House tomorrow, so Rick and I will take the doggies beachcombing for a bit while our trusty realtor does her thing.  Yes, I still need to keep the sewing room spiffed up and tidy!  Oh–last week the doorbell rang and this lady told me she used to live in our house.  So I gave her and her daughter the tour and she was SO happy to see that I was using the lightfilled upstairs bedroom for my sewing room as that was what she had done when she lived here.  And SEW…the tradition lives on!

Here’s hopping, er hoping, your Easter is fabulous!

P.S.  Had my first Etsy sale last week–a lady from Australia purchased The Anny Bag pattern!

Celebrate with Bags!


Galveston’s Mardi Gras celebration is the third largest in the country averaging more than 300,000 people each year.  Lavish parades are held in the historic downtown and beachfront.  What does this have to do with my bags?  Since the boutique that sells the bags is right in the heart of all the merry-making and parading downtown, I try to add a little purple, green and gold to the bags I offer.

Three of the four bags completed this month have had just that color scheme.  The most Mardi Gras of them all I call “French Quarter.”

French Quarter

French Quarter

This is a laminated Jenny  style bag with velvety black straps, sparkling feather trim, and a black rose with tassels dangling.

Next is Beaded Bliss created in the original Anny Bag fashion.  Of course it sports multiple pockets and a beautiful purple floral Kaffe Fassett lining.  Don’t know if you can tell by the picture but the print on the laminate consists of a variety of strands of colorful beads.  Mardi Gras–hello!  I purchased a large lilac polka dot flower to which I added a big purple jewel in the middle and backed it with layers of lavender netting.  It was fun doing the Anny Bag pattern again which had been on the back burner since warmer weather late last summer because  I like to use it with laminates and softer cotton fabrics that drape well.

Beaded Bliss

Beaded Bliss

Purpleicious was aptly named by my granddaughter, Gracie, who was visiting as I finished this bag.  (She told me her sister said she was “really good at naming” and she was!)  This elegant little clutch (pattern by Abbey Lane) has a feathery purchased purple flower centered on the Tencel pleats.  I believe this was the first bag that I lined with the same fabric as the exterior.  This time it just seemed perfect–not plain since I spiffed it up with three Kaffe Fassett floral pockets.  Another neat item, new to me, that was very appropriate for this interior was a purple magnetic snap.  I was surprised and happy to find these snaps in many colors at Joanne Fabrics.  You’ll notice that the interior also has a hand-sewn black floral embroidered trim which I found at Trims on Wheels at the Quilt Show this year.  I’d like to give a shout out to these folks.  They have every trim you could imagine, including jewels, buckles, etc.  Three visits to their booth at the show served me well in the embellishing department!   Great booth for my sister, as well, since she’ll be sewing some crazy quilts this year, right Nannette?

Purpleicious Interior

Purpleicious Interior



The latest addition to the inventory of  bags at Tina’s is called Midnight Rose!  It is fashioned from a fabulously chic textured floral on black.  What fun it was to embellish this shoulder bag from a Cindy Taylor Oates pattern.  Scarlet beading adorns the exterior pocket, a golden and black fringe trim outlines the entire body, and a hand-made zebra fabric button adds to the fun!  The handle consists of two pieces tied together (hence adjustable) and they’re made of sumptuous black velvet on one side and a very soft, thick golden textured fabric on the other.  I actually have a bag very similar to this and kept getting requests for it.  I have used it for over a year now and it has certainly served me well–from New York, to Indiana, to L.A.– that bag has been through many airport security checks, wild open jeep rides, pedicabs, carriage rides, crowded subways, you name it, and that baby has held up so well.  My favorite comment was from a Very Stylish gentleman rushing through the fashion district in SOHO who looked back and called, “Your Bag Rocks!”  Ahhh, the supreme compliment!!  I finally broke down and made one for Tina’s after I was paying for an item at their checkout counter and a customer really wanted my bag.  I took her over to show her some of my other bags there and she said, “No, I want one black with flowers, just like yours.” And so it is.  Midnight Rose.

Midnight Rose

Midnight Rose

Until next time, Happy Sewing!

2012 Houston International Quilt Festival


Oh, YEAH!  A three night stay at the Hilton connected to the George R. Brown Convention Center is JUST RIGHT for enjoying the largest quilt festival of all!  My sister, Nannette, and I had plenty of oohing and ahhing to do as we perused the twenty aisles (we’re talking over nine football fields of shopping and quilts!)  We ate at the Hilton and the Geo. R. Brown, which meant our cars never left the garage.  First night is Preview from 7:00 to 10:00 and then the next two days we spent all day (10:00 -7:00) at the show.  This is a seamstress and quilter’s dream come true.  We watched demos of new products and Nannette bought the battery operated ripper (which I now regret not buying every time I rip.)  One of our favorite demos was the foot and body massagers.  While your feet are on the foot massager, the salesperson uses the shoulder and back massager on you!  Ahh, heaven indeed!  By late afternoon each day, we were definitely ready for a mini-massage to get us through until after show and dinner time back at the hotel.  A little massage and a latte from the snack bar and we’re good to go again! 🙂

Nannette’s son’s fiance’s grandmother (did you follow that?) had a quilt and a wall hanging in the show!  Very exciting and we took a pic of her  with her lovely and entertaining quilt which you’ll see below.  The quilts seem to be more and more amazing each year and there are a number of charitable organizations affiliated with the showings.  From modern style (you could swear that some of the art quilts are photographs) to old style (the French Guild quilts were all antique repros and were pieced and quilted by hand), the assortment of techniques and designs was phenomenal and prize money this year totaled $94,250!

Speaking of antique quilts, let’s talk shopping!  I bought my very first antique quilt (top only) which is a daisy chain done in the 1930’s.  See pic below.  It is hand pieced and one could spend hours just studying the variety and placement of fabrics used.  Another first for me, I saw a demo, tried it myself, and purchased a lace painting kit.  I plan to artistically decorate small romantic antique looking bags with these new paints and lace trims.  Another purchase included several handles for my bags including some that are new to me so it will be fun experimenting.  And so as not to completely exit from the garment game, I purchased fabric and pattern for a winter vest that has an embossed paisley design on soft green fur.  I also found laminated fabric designs which work perfectly for the Anny Bag.  Of course there was a gathering of trims–ribbons, buttons, charms, feathers, lace, appliques, fringe, etc.

Nannette and I both made our first purchase the new Kaffe Fassett autobiography, Dreaming in Color.  We already own every book our guru has ever written.  When you open one of his books, you can spend hours leisurely pouring over the exquisite array of quilts he offers.  But the very best event to happen to Nannette and I occurred just before we started our Wednesday night Preview.  We exited the Hilton and were waiting at the traffic light when we turned around and noticed Kaffe, himself, behind us!!  We must have seemed like groupies as we tried to talk (stammering) to this international quilt celebrity, who, I might add, is very easy on the eyes–actually his are piercing blue.  Since we went directly to the display where he autographed our books,  we decided to concentrate on keeping our distance the rest of the night lest he deem us stalkers!  🙂

With dreams of next year’s festival, I bid you a fond farewell.

“Just call me Betsey Johnson…”

“Just call me Betsey Johnson…”

It’s Sew Anny Labels

Downtown L.A. Fabrics

Well a few weeks ago Rick and I were in Los Angeles visiting our son and enjoying the surf in Malibu.  But the very first thing I accomplished after landing was a trip to downtown L.A. to the Fashion District (new to me) to order labels for my handbags at Hi-Tech Printing.  And, lo and behold, as I’m perusing the samples and catching a glimpse of ready-for-pickup labels, whose labels do I spy but Betsey Johnson!  So very cool–hot pink with gold script–and, sorry Betsey, but I’ve become a copy cat.  Although I pride myself on very unique, one-of-a-kind bags, I am copying Betsey’s style for my new labels.  SO excited!!  And since we were in the fashion district anyway (wink wink) I had to visit a few fabric shops.  Thank goodness I have a husband who can sit anywhere and contentedly read his Kindle!  One fabric is a velvety patchwork which I’m picturing as a spacious gathered over-the-shoulder bag that would look awesome with dressy or denim.  Other catches that day included a beautiful flower embellishment and two elegantly textured autumn gold fabrics for my fall bags.

Two days go by and we visit Santa Monica and then a side trip through the canyon to Woodland Hills to The Quilt Emporium shop where I snagged a new pattern and some fall design laminated cotton I had never seen before.  I’ve already used it in an Anny Bag which I’ll include pics of later.  Then the “piece de resistance”–a visit to MOOD Fabrics!!  Not only did Rick have his Kindle but there was a Subway Sandwich Shop next door, so he was a happy camper as well.  I found trims of feathers which I plan to try on some bags that I’m planning of faux leather.  Also a few buttons, yellowish with painted feathers.  Only purchased one fabric but obtained samples.  MOOD is a SUPER fun playground for a sewer!

The next day was a visit to the Pasadena Flea Market where I visited a booth with tons of trims and buttons and appliques!  It was like a giant sewing estate sale!  I purchased several vintage items that I can’t wait to use.  Next we visited New Moon Textiles (as long as we were in Pasadena anyway…) and Rick sat in the classroom area reading while I shopped.  The shop owners wanted to know if they could have a lock of his hair to do a husband cloning!  As it turns out, I was carrying my large Anny Bag and they are now ordering the pattern for their shop!  Great quilt shop, a Bernina dealer, with many bag patterns and contemporary fabrics.

So when exactly did you visit your son? you ask.  Well, every day we would meet Bryan and his girlfriend, Liz, for meals at wonderful restaurants.  I can highly recommend Fig Tree Cafe in Venice Beach, Shutters on the Beach Cafe in Santa Monica, Geoffrey’s in Malibu, and Cafe Habana in Malibu.  As always, we stayed at Casa Malibu right on the beach.

Two exciting new developments for me here at home:  There is an electrician here this very moment installing a new circuit breaker for my sewing room.  Every time I tried to have all the lights on, plus my window unit A/C, plus my machines and iron, guess what?  The breaker trips.  Imagine that!  They were astonished when they asked on the phone how old the house was:  uh, 126 years?

The other new addition is my personalized business license plates for the Jeep:  They’re hot pink and say SEWANN.  I could only get 6 characters, including spaces, so that’s the best I could do for It’s Sew Anny.  Rick calls it Sue Ann just to tease me.  So today as he’s leaving for a haircut he says, “Well, let’s see.  I have the dubious choice of driving the Infiniti with kitty and doggy license plates, or the Jeep that says I’m a Boy Named Sue!  Good thing I’m secure in my masculinity.”  🙂  Oh, Rick.  Just for that I’m going to publish my favorite picture of you–asleep in my sewing room!

And now for some pics:

Vintage Items, etc.

Pasadena Flea Market
All Around the Stadium

Fashion District

MOOD Fabrics

Cloning Specimen

Venice Beach

Casa Malibu

Geoffrey’s in Malibu

I’m Sewing As Fast As I Can…


Since we last met, I’ve fractured a foot, traveled to New York City, had a home photo shoot for a magazine, and made seven bags!  My sister, niece, and I planned a trip to New York since they had never been and I wanted to show them all my favorite tourist sites.  But, right before the trip I started having pain in my right foot this time, and x-rays showed a fracture.  So…off to New York City in a clodhopper of a boot!!  It must have helped because latest x-rays show healing.  Yea!  It’s pretty amazing, though, because we had an overflowing agenda.  They were such troopers!  Examples:

  • One day we visited Good Morning America AND the Today Show in the same morning.
  • At some point, Nannette’s shoe came apart and she bought super glue and tape and kept on trekking!
  • The last night while having dinner in Little Italy, they said, “We haven’t done Grand Central or the Empire State Building.”  I informed them that the Empire State Building is open until 2:00 a.m. and off we went.  We sat on the balcony at Grand Central Terminal and enjoyed a beer, then taxied to the Empire State Building where the top felt like hurricane force winds.  And this while still carrying multiple shopping bags!
  • They can’t wait to go back!  🙂

Since we were visiting as many “must see” NYC sites as possible, I didn’t make it to the Garment District this time.  I did collect some charms and flowers in SOHO boutiques for embellishing.

My first visit to Tina’s (where I sell my bags) my manager pointed out I had sold all but a few of my bags and she needed more, especially Anny Bags.  So here are the bags you haven’t seen.

I call this bag Daisy for two reasons–the daisies on the bag and my grandmother’s middle name was Daisy.  Softly laminated Anny Bag with a pretty Amy Butler turquoise and yellow print inside.  The purchased handle is Inazuma from Japan.

This is Blue Skies Over Paris.  Not sure why except both fabrics remind me of a Parisian design.  This is the “All Day” version of the pattern by Craft Apple called Knotted Bag.  A shopper and traveler’s dream, this bag has a large outer pocket secured with a magnetic snap and more pockets inside.  Of course, being made from the laminated cotton, it is soft and lightweight.

Brazilian Dream is created from two Free Spirit/Westminster fabrics.  The toucan fabric, “Jungle Fever,” is very popular and I combined it with a complementary lime houndstooth pattern.  The flower is removable.

The final four are obviously all softly laminated  Anny Bags, and all flowers are clip on/removable.  Upper left is Cotton Candy with an exterior fabric called Poodle by Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit.  The interior is a beautiful Heather Bailey fabric called Swirlybuds for Bijoux.  The straps are fashioned from the same two fabrics.

Upper right is called Festival with an exterior and interior of Kaffe Fassett fabric.  The purchased handle is from Cindy’s Button Company.  NOTE:  I have been SO happy with Cindy’s Button Company.  The service is prompt and courteous and the package usually arrives with a little surprise item!  🙂

The lower left is called Wild About Pink (suggested by my daughter) and so appropriate!  This version of the Anny Bag is a bit larger than the others, having five ruffle layers, and is perfect for shopping–lightweight and spacious.  I adore this fabric but unfortunately did not keep notes on the designer.  Perhaps I’ll find some more.  The purchased handle is Inazuma which I ordered from Studio Aika.  NOTE:  Studio Aika has also been very helpful with my orders.  This type handle must be applied by hand and takes me almost two hours.  Maybe I’m just slow but I use DMC floss and the results appear very professional and the handle is very sturdy.

The lower right bag is called Carnivale, festive and fun!  This is the typical Anny Bag, lightweight and spacious, but this one has SIX pockets!  Perfect for traveling.  The fabric is by Heather Bailey and purchased handle is Inazuma.

Oh my, that’s it for now!  As I said, “I’m sewing as fast as I can!”  Actually, I’ve been pondering this business and would like  input from others who sell their bags.  My dilemma is that I’m very serious about the unique character of my bags.  While my designs may not differ much (yet), I do insist that every bag be original and one-of-a-kind.  Very time consuming, of course.  But the creative process is what brings me joy.  Any thoughts?

Happy Sewing!  🙂



Haute Handbags, published by Stampington & Company, has offered a website badge that features the issue in which my bag appeared and will send you directly to that specific magazine on the Stampington website.  Please enjoy!


<a href=”http://www.stampington.com/hautehandbags/index.html“><img src=”http://www.stampington.com/badge/2012/apr/images/HTE0412.jpg” border=”0″/></a>



Remember in The Jerk when Steve Martin found his name in the new phonebook and went running down the street calling, “I’m Somebody!  I’m Somebody!”  Well, that’s just how I feel!  The Anny Bag is in the new issue of Haute Handbags.  (I’ve included a photo.) They sent me a complimentary copy and copies will be on the newsstand momentarily.   Share with your friends!  

As for my feet, I’m almost there.  At one point I developed an infection in one toe and the doctor prescribed two antibiotics to stop it from spreading.  I shouldn’t read the medical articles on the Internet because one outcome would have been amputation.  If you know anything about astrology you’ll appreciate this.  I was poking fun at my daughter, the Cautious Capricorn, recently and she asked what Sagittarius (me) traits are.  So when I told her the outcome could be amputation, I also said, “Being a Sagittarian, I’m definitely counting on meds to do the job.”  I asked her what the Capricorn would do (wink, wink.)  She said, “Start researching the best orthopaedic doctors for amputation!  We plan for the worst and hope it doesn’t happen.”  And right there, folks, you have the difference between Sagittarius and Capricorn. 🙂  I must say, though, that girl knows her medical!  She knew the doctor would prescribe that second antibiotic, knew he would give me a Beta-something cream, etc.  Anyway, except for swelling, I’m great!  (And Dr. G., if you’re reading this, I think you’re super!)

Oh, but speaking of medical, I think I’ve discovered a pain technique.  Sitting about four stairs up recently,  I went to stand up and fell down the other steps to the floor.  My new pain relief technique is to focus on the part of the body that’s in pain and force myself to RELAX that area–really focus on relaxing those muscles.  I find the less I tighten up, the better it feels.  Well, I’m lying there thinking, “Oh, I better get up.  Someone will see me.  No,  I said, you will not be rushed.  Lie here and relax that shoulder.”  And about that time I glance up and the UPS man is peering through our all-glass front door asking if I’m okay.  AGHH!  Can you not relax in private??!!   Walking Buddy this winter I tripped, fell, and prayed no one would drive or walk by as I lay on the sidewalk practicing my relaxing technique.  I guess there are some kinks to work out.  Like creating an invisible shield…?

Sewing-wise there is progress.  The orange work pumpkin embroidery, which I plan to make into a pillow, is finished, and I completed all seven red work hats.  I started some blue work that could become embellishment for a bag.

My current project is a bag for Tina’s with a really colorful, contemporary design on laminated fabric.  After I picked up a check from Tina’s I spent it all on online fabric buying.  I am VERY happy with the site, http://www.quilthome.com for fabric and patterns.  Over $50 means no shipping fee and, of course, no tax.  They have an enormous selection of the best designers out there.  http://quilthome.com/index.php

So those are my tips for today:

  • Relax when you get injured
  • Visit quilthome.com for fabric
Until next time,

SCRAPBOOK: It’s Sew Anny Designs


Recently I compiled a digital scrapbook to showcase some of my creations and give a little background for It’s Sew Anny Designs.  Take a look…

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International Quilt Festival


Shopping Opportunity

Wow!  My sister and I have decided that staying two nights for Quilt Festival is just not enough.  (What you’re seeing in the pic above is actually about 1/4 of all the booths at the Show.)  Next year we plan to stay three nights so we can be a little more relaxed with our quilt viewing and shopping schedule.  Remember when your parents used to ask, “Haven’t you had enough fun for one day?”  Well, no.  Obviously, Nannette and I need Preview Night and three more days to have enough fun–as if there is such a thing! 🙂

The magnificent quilts are always inspiring and leave us awestruck.  And we’re very excited about the opening of the Texas Quilt Museum in LaGrange, Texas.

We visited our favorite booths:  Cabbage Rose, Material Girl, Abbey Lane, Dianne Springer, C & C Fabrics, Hannah’s Quilts, The Quilt Studio, Robyn Pandolph, Painted Pony, and stopped at antique booths to snag some awesome buttons and embellishments for my bags and Nannette’s crazy quilts.

What did I buy?    Some patterns:  an Abbey Lane “Long Tall Sally” quilt, Abbey Lane’s Pillow Book, and a Crabapple Hill redwork design of a pumpkin (guess it’ll be “orange” work.)  Picked up a few Christmas gifts, and a coat!  Yep, a coat.  Nannette chose a beautiful jacket and I chose a black and tan print coat.  Reversible!  This was at The Velvet Hanger booth.  And, last but not least, my favorite fabrics–mostly Moda’s new Basic Grey line, Robyn Pandolph, Kaffe Fassett, and Amy Butler for my bags.

Speaking of bags, I was stopped numerous times because I was carrying the large laminated Anny Bag.  I passed out several cards and hope to see the all those lovely people I met join me in sewing the Anny Bag.  What a heartwarming response!  Love you guys!

ANNY BAG additional info


In the Anny Bag pattern, I mention a few additional pieces of information that would be available on the website and here they are:

  •  Applying a Magnetic Closure – If there are no directions with your purchased magnetic closure, I can help.  On the right side of the bag lining, mark a dot where you want the snap to be.  (Note:  If you’re sewing the Anny Bag pattern or a similar pattern with a band, the magnetic closure will go on the lining band, not the exterior band.) Place the washer on the dot and mark lines through the slits in the washer.  Using embroidery scissors, cut along the slit lines very carefully.  Place the snap prongs through the holes.  Cut a one inch square of batting or thick interfacing and again draw and cut the two slits.  Place over the prongs.  Next place the washer over the prongs and bend the prongs outward.  (I use needle nose pliers.)  Repeat on remaining lining piece. (Note:  If you’re sewing the Anny Bag pattern, the “remaining piece” will be the opposite side of the band, not the lining.)  The batting is very important so that you do not tear the fabric when you pry apart the closure, especially on lightweight or laminated fabric.  This may seem like a lot of steps (it certainly did to me the first time), but honestly, it’s easy, and once you’ve applied one, the rest will seem like “a snap!” 🙂
  • Creating Fabric Handles – Cut 2 handle strips 29″ x 4″ and interface them.  Fold the handle in the middle lengthwise (wrong sides together), making a crease.  Fold each long side into the crease.  Fold in half  lengthwise (WST) again, with raw edges tucked in and pin.  Topstitch along both long sides of the strap.  Repeat with other handle.
  •  NOTE:  If you are using  fabric handles for the Anny Bag, they would be inserted between the ruffle bag and the band.  When finished, the handles will pass up across the band loosely on the outside.  Stitch across the handle to hold it in place on the outside at the top of the band.