Sunday, October 30, 2022

Double Zip Gear Bag, Patterns By Annie

Island Batik's ambassador challenge this month is one of my favorites: It's In the Bag with By Annie.  Each of us got to choose one of Annie's fabulous patterns and the beautiful Island Batiks to make it with.  I chose the Double Zip Gear Bag and made all three sizes.  The fabrics are from the Bee Kind collection by Kathy Engle for Swan Amity Studios.  I was sent a bit with absolutely everything I need to make all three double zip gear bags!


Annie's patterns all have a page that you can photocopy with little boxes for each piece you cut out, so you know what it is cut out of, the size, and the role it plays in the bag.  Since I was making all three size bags and each would feature a different colored fabric, I photocopied each size onto colored paper that coordinated with the color of the bag.  This helped eliminate mixing up the pieces from the different sized bags.  I made the medium (green) bag first.


I quilted each of my three bags with a slightly different quilting pattern, though all used straight lines.  I matched my Aurifil thread to each fabric and used a Schmetz topstitch needle for the entire process. 

The products featured in this post were given to me by Island Batik, By Annie, Schmetz, & Aurifil.


Annie's bags have a lot of steps but that's part of what I love about them--they are so thorough!  And you end up with very professional looking bags.  Many patterns, including double zip gear bag, have an add-on video that walks you through the more difficult steps of the pattern.   These videos are really helpful.  Annie also has a series of general videos on her website that go over some bag-making basics, like working with zippers and beautiful bindings.


I love my completed bags!  They are really useful and have a lot of pockets.  Each bag has two large zippered pockets on the exterior, one made with mesh and one with quilted fabric.  On the inside, there are slip pockets with elastic on both sides, and those can be subdivided into smaller pockets as desired.  I think the medium is the most useful size, though I know I will be happy to have and use all three. And when I'm not using them, they nest together!  


While Double Zip Gear Bag is not the easiest of Annie's patterns that I have made, if you follow the instructions and go step by step, you will end up with a beautiful, useful, professional looking bag!

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Prize Winners!

I have some prize winners to announce!  First, I had many leftover 10" squares of Island Batik's powerful Positively Pink collection.  Sandy is the lucky winner!  I have sent an email and will get them in the mail as soon as I hear back.


I also have a copy of the pattern Arabella's Garden by Preeti Harris of Sew Preeti Quilts to give away.  Kathy E. is the lucky winner.  She should be hearing from Preeti soon.  If you are disappointed that you didn't win, you can get a copy of Arabella's Garden in Preeti's Etsy shop.  The pattern gives four different sizes and includes a coloring sheet for you to audition colors.

Monday, October 10, 2022

Pink Magnolia Buds for Pinktober

I am honored to be a part of the Pinktober blog hop hosted by hosted by Brianna of Sew Cute & Quirky and sponsored by Island Batik, Aurifil, and Quilter's Perfect Klip

I've playing with a flower pattern for a while and all these shades of pink were perfect for it.  The block comes from a book that I stumbled upon at my library (meaning the one where I work) called The Collector's Dictionary of Quilt Names & Patterns by Yvonne M. Khin.  The book is from 1980. This block is called Magnolia Buds and is originally from the Kansas City Star.  I liked the idea of a quilt full of flowers bringing comfort to someone fighting breast cancer. 


Island Batik sent me a 10" stack of their Positively Pink line and I could choose 2 coordinating fabrics from their always-available Foundations collection.  I chose Linen, a lovely warm neutral with yellow tones for the background and Raspberry for the flower bud centers, the sashing cornerstones, and the binding.  I also used two Foundations I already had: Chameleon for the leaves and Bermuda for center of the leaves/stems.  Aurifil send me a spool of a lovely pink thread, which I used for the serpentine stitch quilting.  Quilter's Perfect Klip sent two packages of their clips.  They are a little larger than the other clips on the market and I love the pink color!

I have known many people diagnosed with breast cancer.  A family friend.  An aunt.  A college friend.  A very close friend's mom.  A colleague.  A teacher.  Their stories are not mine to tell, so I won't give details here, but I do what I can to spread the importance of self tests, annual mammograms, and early detection. Early detection saves lives!

Like many women, I started getting annual mammograms at age 40.  Before Covid, my workplace brought the mobile mammography unit to campus twice a year.  It was great to be able to schedule in the middle of my workday, walk across campus for the exam, and then go right back to work.  No time off, easy to fit into my workday.  That's the kind of thing that workplaces can do to make it easy for their staff to take this important preventative measure.  But even now that the mobile unit hasn't come since Covid, I still make my annual appointment.  Early detection is so important.

I do not have a recipient in mind for this quilt.  I find that quilts usually know who they are meant for.  I'm sure a person or a cause will make themselves known to me.  I'd be happy with an individual, a clinic or mobile mammography unit, or an organization that raises funds for breast cancer research and/or treatments.  I'll hang on to it until the right recipient appears. 

With careful cutting, I was able to make two blocks with just one 10" square.  This means that I have a lot of Positively Pink squares left--18!  There are many things you could do to make a quilt of hope for someone with those squares, so I'm offering a giveaway for those eighteen 10" squares.  Enter via the rafflecopter; giveaway runs through the end of the Pinktober blog hop and I'll pick a winner on October 23rd.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks to Brianna for hosting a blog hop to spread awareness!  Be sure to check out all the beautiful quilts made for the Pinktober blog hop. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Giveaway updates plus Pinktober!

I can't believe it's already October!  Fall is my favorite time of year.  October is a busy month at my house, both Fire Monkey and Husband have October birthdays and our anniversary is in October.  Lots of celebrations!

October is also breast cancer awareness month, and I am thrilled to be participating in Island Batik's Pinktober blog hop, hosted by Brianna of Sew Cute & Quirky.  Island Batik has created two beautiful collections honoring the fight against breast cancer, Positively Pink and Hope & Heart.  


For most of the month, featured bloggers will be showcasing these collections and telling how breast cancer has affected them or their loved ones.  My day is October 10th, so come back and see the Positively Pink quilt I made. Other sponsors of the hop are Aurifil and Quilter's Perfect Klip. Here is the full list of participants:

Speaking of Blog Hops, September's Tool Talk blog hop was a success!  The winner of my giveaway of three beautiful blue Island Batik fabrics from the Prairie Blue collection is Maryellen!  I've already contacted Maryellen and will get her prize in the mail.

Looking for another chance to win a prize?  Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts is giving one of my readers a copy of her newest pattern, Arabella's Garden.  Check out this post and leave me a comment there by October 7th to enter.