Saturday, July 17, 2010

More Abbey Bag Finishes: Housework Whenever

Housework whenever, quilting forever!
-The Quilters' Motto

A long time ago {like last September}, my cute friend Angie sent me a fat quarter of the sassiest and most appropriate fabric ever. The women printed on the fabric say lots of funny {and sometimes snarky things} like:

Happiness is relaxing after the shop hop.
I told him it was unwise to make me choose between him and my fabrics. I will miss him though.
• Said over a sink of soapy dish water: Will the glamour never end?
Dating? I’d rather be sewing!
If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.
I sent my son to college so I could keep my fabric in his room . . . expensive storage.
If you can’t say something nice, come sit next to me.
I got a sewing machine for my husband! Good trade, huh?
When I learned to sew, I forgot how to cook!
• If I sit here long enough maybe they will fix their own dinner!

And my personal favorite
A clean house is the sign of a broken sewing machine.

I knew immediately what I wanted to do with it. It was perfect for an Abbey Bag! So I ordered some coordinates on-line {I hate to pay shipping, but the shops around here didn't have any} and started making plans. When my fabric arrived, I discovered I had enough for three Abbey Bags, so I got them all cut out and then they sat. And they sat. And they sat. Until this week when I have a pressing project that I'm procrastinating strategically planning. While I was procrastinating planning, I decided to occupy my hands and so I set to work and got these cute Abbey Bags done. Hooray! Three more July finishes!

I gave one to my mom for her birthday {Happy Birthday Mom! I you!}! and that left me with two.

Then I sent one to my cute friend, Wanda, because it was her birthday too. That left me with one. It was supposed to be for me, but I changed my mind and made mine out of Frolic instead. I wonder what I'll do with this one? {Hmmmm . . . my 200th blog post is coming up next week (Tuesday-ish) which may or may not involve a giveaway. You know bloggers and ‘events’ and giveaways. I’m just saying.}

These little Abbey Bag pincushions are so fun to make. I love mine and I think they make really great gifts! Here are a few notes on them.

• I think my favorite part about these are the covered buttons on the top. They are so stinkin' cute and really fun to make! Sewing them on is the tricky part because you can't go easily through the shank on the back more than one time and keep the stitches tight. To solve this problem, I used five strands of thread on my really long needle {the 6" one, so it had a pretty big eye}, doubled it over {so I had ten strands} and went up through the pin cushion from the bottom, through the button shank and then back down through the pin cushion, pulling the threads tight and tying it in a square knot at the bottom. I figured that ought to hold.
• I used crushed walnut shells to fill the pincushions. It makes them nice and heavy and they keep their shape well. The bag of walnut shells I bought was enough to make five pincushions and I think I have enough left to make at least three more. The pattern suggests emery sand as an alternate filling, which is supposed to keep pins sharp. In my research I discovered that emery sand isn't really necessary because pins and needles today are plated and they don't rust or get dull like the old ones. In fact, emery sand is more likely to dull these new-fangled pins and needles.
• The instructions call for fusible fleece. I had a hard time translating that in my head to fusible batting, so I bought Pellon Peltex 71F. It was really stiff, which gave a nice shape to the flowers, but it made the bag stand at attention {sorry, Iris. Yours was the guinea pig. If you want to send it back to me, I'll fix it. xo -E} instead of being all puffy and cute. Once I figured out what I was doing, I stuck with the Peltex for the flower, but used a bit of Warm and Natural in the bag itself and just used a walking foot for stitching up that part {using what I had on hand instead of hunting down some fusible batting}.
• The instructions said to glue the pincushion to the little flower it sits on and also to glue the bag to the connector strip that attaches it to the flower. I wasn't sold on that idea, so I stitched the connector strip to the inside of the bag before I sewed the band around the top. I also sewed it on the bottom of the flower and then hand stitched the pincushion onto the flower. I thought that would be more secure and hold up better.
• The instructions call for rubberized shelf liner. This is another one that I had a hard time translating in my brain. I bought a stiff, plastic shelf liner thinking that it went in the bottom of the bag {between the liner and the outside} and that is what made the bag all puffy and open and cute. After I finished the first one, I realized that what they really wanted was the no-skid grip-pad kind of shelf liner. {Another der :dunce: moment. I really did read through the instructions before I started collecting supplies}. I used glue to attach it to the bottom of the flower, covering up the stitches holding the pin cushion on and the end of the connector strip, finishing everything off nicely.

For some really amazing other finishes this week, click on the buttons below.

Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden giveaways


Shay said...

They are cute!

I'm waiting for Tuesday now...

Ivory Spring said...

These are just so cool!

pinksuedeshoe said...

So cute, and I love those red polka dots! Actually, I really like everything about this. My little threads are all over the floor of the dining room. Creamie will pick up all my "strings" as she calls them and put them in the trash. She's really big on having clean floors.

Michelle said...

These Abbey bags are just so adorable! You're on a roll, Elizabeth!

coley said...

Those are so stinking cute!! I always love seeing what you've made!

Yea for three more finished projects!

Jennifer Lovell said...

I enjoyed reading about how your abbey bags were made, they really are cool and cute. If I win one, I might go through and copy all of those quotes and modify them to say stamping though, ha ha!

Wanda said...

Happy Birthday to me! Wow, what an awesome birthday present. I really NEEDED one and it is so cute! The fabric is so perfect in everyway too. I really love it! And it matches either table in my house I could be sewing on. Elizabeth, your sewing skills are perfect too!

whimsyfox said...

Elizabeth, if you ever need to use fusible batting, or fusible anything, you can always just spray it with basting spray. And I just got a tip from America's Test Kitchen that would work for spraying it on without getting the floors/tables gummed up! Their tip is to open the dishwasher and spray into it whenever using cooking sprays to oil baking pans. The dishwasher will just wash it away in the next run. Heck, it should be able to wash away basting glue, which is meant to wash away anyway!

Jessica Kelly said...

so cute! I need to get the pattern to make some of your fabric choices!

trish said...

Gosh those are soo cute!!! Such lucky ladies to receive them as Birthday gifts.
Sincerely ~ Tricia

Lesly said...

The bags are just great and the fabric is beyond hilarious! Great finish - thanks for sharing!

Kimberly said...

Very cute! I love that fabric too! I need to make one of these also. I am constantly finding bits of thread everywhere...

Coloradolady said...

Sososo cute!!!!

Threeundertwo said...

I need to check back here on Tuesday! I love that fabric, so funny. I like "If I sit here long enough maybe they will fix their own dinner!" That's often my motto.

Interesting about emery sand. I'm not going to go out of my way to get it for pincushions any more. I do like the weight, but I want to see how walnut shells work.

Thanks so much for linking up to Finished for Friday! Have a great weekend.

p.s.phyllis sews said...

Terrific fabric choices and using walnut shells for the pin cushion is new to me. Thanks for giving us so much great information for making these.

Caroline ~ TrilliumDesign said...

These are really great! I so need to make something like this for my own sewing table ~ never enough time for the whole to do list. ;)

Leslie said...

these bags are awesome.

Larri said...

Absolutely love these...the fabric, the design, the functionality. Fantastic on all counts. Thanks for sharing. Happy Sewing! :o)

Angie said...

I LOVE that you used that fabric! I wish I had bought more of it when I found it. I got enough to send each of you a fat quarter but didn't have the fore-thought to to think "I wonder what I would make with it?" lol This is the PERFECT project...since you sent me the pattern, maybe this is what I will do with mine. ;)

Confused said...

I saw your comments on the abbey bags that you made. I'm in the process of making one myself and I'm stuck and was wondering if you could help me! For the Outer Bag the instructions say to sew the two pieces together to form a tube. I'm confused, do I sew the 9" x 9 1/2" to the middle of the 9" x 20" piece and have 5 1/2" left on each end of the 20" piece or do I sew the 9" piece to the end of the 20" piece and have 11" left on one end? And then after the tube is formed do you add the gathering stitch just the top and bottom (9" side) of the 9"x20" piece or do you stitch all the way around the two ends?

Elizabeth said...

Confused, I saw your question but since you did not leave an e-mail address I don't have a way to contact you directly. I've posted an answer to your question here: I hope you come back and I hope that helps :D.

xo -E