24 September, 2014

Sewing With Faux Leather

I am sewing two new faux leather bags.
While on Internet I read that you need a special foot to sew this material (a non-stick foot, teflon foot - there are different names for different brands), I stitch perfectly with my walking foot.

On my Pfaff (Select), this foot is integrated, it's not a separate attachment. I use it to piece everything, not only for quilting. And I LOVE it! 

This machine is already 13 years old (and it was intensively used)!  It just needed a small repair and it stitches now better than ever.

Sewing With Faux Leather
I noticed how beautifully the foot glides onto the faux leather, much easier than before the repair. So if you want to try sewing with faux leather, make sure your machine is in good shape.  And try the walking foot.

Sewing With Faux Leather

Sewing With Faux Leather

23 September, 2014

How to Sew Quality Quilted Bags

If you are quilter, than there is nothing easier than sewing a quilted bag.
It's a cheaper version of a bag made with interfacing. And with a few tricks, you can make professional looking and long lasting quilted bags.

How to Sew Quality Quilted Bags

You need:
1. quilting weight fabric from your stash
2. lightweight (woven or non-woven) interfacing.

Cut the fabric and interfacing 1'' larger than your template; fuse the interfacing to the back of the fabric.

How to Sew Quality Quilted Bags
3. Then layer the top fabric with a piece of batting and a heavyweight backing.
The best batting is cotton, but if you don't have cotton to hand, any other type of batting work.

The backing must be a heavyweight fabric (I usually use the heavyweight cotton from Ikea): canvas (duck cloth), denim, heavy twill... Other home decor fabrics work too.  It is not absolutely necessary to be cotton. Also, keep in mind that this fabric is not visible in the bag, you could use recycled fabrics too, or piece scraps to make a bigger piece.

How to Sew Quality Quilted Bags
Quilt the sandwich; a dense quilting is desired. You could do it with the walking foot too. Then use the template and cut the quilted piece to size.

How to Sew Quality Quilted Bags
The added lightweight interfacing is important - it makes the pieces sturdier and flatten the quilting a little. It will make the bag look more professional. It's not like you cut away a piece from a quilt and turned it into a bag.

How to Sew Quality Quilted Bags
And here is my very large quilted bag.

It's sturdy and has a beautiful texture and structure.


If you are quilter, you might want to piece the front of the bag. Depending on how many seam allowances you have, you can skip the first step of fusing interfacing to the back. The quilting will be more visible.

What if you use heavyweight fabric instead of quilting weight fabric? Depending on how heavy is your fabric, you might need a lightweight backing (or no backing at all) and/or lightweight batting.

How to Sew Quality Quilted Bags


How to Sew Quality Quilted Bags


For a little girl a quilted bag is the best!!

How to Sew Quality Quilted Bags

If you want it to be softer, do not add interfacing to the back of the fabric and use a fluffy polyester batting.

How to Sew Quality Quilted Bags

How to Sew Quality Quilted Bags

How to Sew Quality Quilted Bags

  • Pre-wash all the fabrics used for bags.
  • Because you will work with heavyweight quilted pieces, it is a good idea to make a test first and see how your sewing machine handles this.
  • Jeans needles are required, the bigger the better (I use Schmetz #110/18 and  #100/16).
I hope this helps and makes you want to sew a quilted bag. At least one for a precious little girl.

See here my bag patterns.

Happy sewing,

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21 September, 2014

Shadow trapunto quilts- duplicating quilt designs

Do you duplicate the quilts you like a lot? Like making one more version, maybe with other type of prints, or other color palette, but keeping the same pattern?

It happened to me only a few times (but I do have a list of quilts I would like to make again someday).

Here is one example. You would be tempted to say it is not the same pattern- but it is. 

Shadow trapunto quilts tutorial

These are two shadow trapunto pillows. The pattern is the same, only the
batting is cut away in reverse!

Shadow trapunto quilts tutorial
And this is another shadow trapunto design.

Shadow trapunto quilts tutorial

Browsing through my computer, I found a few "work in progress" pictures. 


Shadow trapunto quilts tutorial
I love this technique more than anything else.

Shadow trapunto quilts tutorial

Tutorial here,
if you want to know more about the technique.

Shadow trapunto quilts tutorial

19 September, 2014

Inspiration for new quilt designs

Is that easy: from pictures to quilts!

I was also inspired by this mosaic quilt. I love the narrow white space between the pieces.
This is made with Kona cotton.

And the second design.

And this one is made with Fossil Fern fabrics.
Can't wait to quilt it (the first one is already quilted).

Could you suggest some names for them, please? Your suggestions will be appreciated. Thank you!

Have a great weekend,

18 September, 2014

Photography Tips

Last week I washed 130 fat quarters. Not a pleasant task, but folding them was ten times more boring!  And Pepe did not help me at all. Ironing? No way!

The frayed edges were inevitable!  A pinking blade to treat the raw edges would have been great. It wasn't an option this time though! 

She is Tina! Isn't she beautiful?

Black cat, 10 PM - the result couldn't be a good photo.

From this GREAT tutorial  I learned a few tricks and now Tina is looking better. See below the difference.
It is all I use to edit my photos and I can see a certain improvement.
I highly recommend this tutorial, it's for Photoshop users.

All the editing couldn't do too much for this photo, but I wanted to show you our third cat- Mocanel (and my hubby).

Now that all my fabric is folded, let's choose the colors for my next quilt.

16 September, 2014

Remembering Paris

September again. With great pleasure I remember September of 2013. One year ago, I and my hubby loaded the car with some stuff and we headed to Paris. Three days on the road and we arrived there. We loved out adventure on the road, we loved Paris, the Mylene Farmer's concerts (and oh, the feeling when I found out that our quilt  won an award at Houston) but most of all I loved that all my three sisters were there with us.

They arrived a few days later and we waited them at the airport. A few times in my quilting life I was proud of my work - and this moment was one of them.
I remember their happy faces and how proud they were with these bags hanging on their shoulders. Priceless memories!

tote bag patterns
We tested extensively these bags and we loved them.

tote bag patterns

Some of you asked about the pattern, here it is finally.

I am happy to share with you the "Bon Voyage" and "Bonne Promenade" bag patterns- my sister Nina suggested the inspired names.

Simple and chic bags- perfect for a weekend getaway. And quick and easy to sew.

tote bag patterns
 Here is the very large travel bag.

tote bag patterns
A quality quilted bag, practical, spacious and classy. It holds a lot of things, with style.

Wide zippered pocket on the back- perfect for valuable things. 

It securely closes with zipper.

 And this is the smaller shoulder or cross-body bag. It is made with heavyweight interfacing.

It also holds a lot, even a water bottle.

 The same secure exterior pocket.

Magnetic snap closure.

And here are the bags made by my testers  - as always, they help me make better patterns -  THANK YOU!

Made by Jan -  she quilted both bags; beautiful quilting and fabric choice.

Made by Susie. Look how beautifully she assorted the strap with the bag!

And how she quilted following the fabric's pattern.
Aren't they beautiful ?

Patterns available, if you want to make your own bags.

 tote bag patterns

I hope you like them. With so many beautiful fabrics out there, I know it will be hard to choose which ones to use first!

Thank you for your support.


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