Tag Archives: quilting

Flying Geese Patchwork Bag Designed by Giuseppe Ribaudo

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And now for something completely a little bit different.  I sewed a bag!  So…still sewing, but not my normal apparel sewing (although I do get to wear it!).

Flying Geese Patchwork Bag; designed by Giuseppe Ribaudo

I’ve seen a lot of cool bag patterns out there, but I never dove in.  I almost dipped a toe in years ago, before I sewed regularly, when I bought an Amy Butler diaper bag pattern, but I think it was one of those aspirational projects where you buy the supplies, tell yourself you’re going to do it, but know in your heart that you never really will.  Thankfully my best friend saved me from that whole scenario by making the bag for me.  Otherwise I guarantee it would still be sitting in my box of patterns, unmade.

Flying Geese Patchwork Bag; designed by Giuseppe Ribaudo

That aberration aside, though, no bag has tempted me.  Until now.  It may be that it was the right bag at the right time.  My shoulders were getting sore from carrying my normal messenger-style bag, and I was thinking I needed a change.  It was Instagram that did it.  I saw this bag in my feed under the hashtag #giucygiucebucketbagsewalong and I got kind of intrigued.  I wasn’t really planning on making one, but if I did, I would get the added benefit of learning a few quilting techniques since the designer, Giuseppe (“Giucy Giuce”), is a quilter.  I would also have a new bag that would distribute weight equally between my shoulders.  And I knew a place where I could get my supplies…

Flying Geese Patchwork Bag; designed by Giuseppe Ribaudo

So, I mulled it over, and finally decided to go for it.  With help from Maggie at Pintuck & Purl (We all knew that’s where I was going for supplies, right?), I picked out fabric in colors that would be neutrals for me, with a little bit of a surprise on the inside.  I found all the directions to make the bag on the Bernina blog.  Even if you don’t own a Bernina sewing machine (I don’t), this blog has a lot of good information.

Flying Geese Patchwork Bag; designed by Giuseppe Ribaudo

As an apparel sewer, it took me a little while to get my head around the quilting concepts, but I got there.  I realized as I went along that my creation wasn’t going to be “perfect”, so I made the important decision to *mostly* let that go.  I couldn’t get bogged down in perfectionism if I ever wanted to finish.  And guess what?  Once I moved on and actually finished the bag, I didn’t even think about the parts that had struck me as imperfect while I was making it.

Flying Geese Patchwork Bag; designed by Giuseppe Ribaudo

I was a little skeptical about using quarter-inch seams in a bag that would have to take weight.  I know 1/4″ seams are common in quilting.  I’m curious about what is standard in bag-making.  Is there a standard?  Is it 5/8″ like in apparel?  One inch?  Something completely different?  Either way, as my husband pointed out, the lining could carry a lot of the weight, and that wasn’t pieced beyond attaching the bottom to the body of the lining.  I like security, so I double stitched the bottoms onto both the inside and the outside for extra security, and it’s never given me any problems.  In fact, I’ve used this bag every day since I made it.  I felt a little disloyal to my old beloved bag that I had been using, but I haven’t had any sore shoulders due to heavy bags since I switched.  I love this bag, and I liked dipping my toe into quilting techniques without having to make a full quilt.  It was just enough.

Flying Geese Patchwork Bag; designed by Giuseppe Ribaudo

 

Flying Geese Patchwork Bag; designed by Giuseppe Ribaudo

 

Flying Geese Patchwork Bag; designed by Giuseppe Ribaudo

 

Flying Geese Patchwork Bag; designed by Giuseppe Ribaudo

 

Flying Geese Patchwork Bag; designed by Giuseppe Ribaudo

But you know what?  I love apparel even more.  I don’t think I’m going to become a bag-maker any time soon, but I’m glad I tried because now I know I can do it.  I can learn quilting techniques and, if I want to, I can also learn to make any bag that strikes my fancy.

Flying Geese Patchwork Bag; designed by Giuseppe Ribaudo

In case you are interested in my fabric choices, here they are, all from Pintuck & Purl:

Outer fabric strips: one fat quarter (I think) of each of these:  RJR Supreme Solid Carolina, Cloud9 Cirrus Solid Ocean, Cloud9 Cirrus Solid Sky, RJR Supreme Solid Teal, RJR Supreme Solid Seafoam, RJR Supreme Solid Bowood Green, RJR Supreme Solid Slate

Outer fabric triangles:  one fat quarter (I think) of Cotton + Steel Basics XOXO in Ghost

Outer bottom fabric and bottom tabs:  1/3 yard of Cloud9 Rainwalk Ripple Grey Canvas

Inner fabric:  1 yard of Cotton + Steel Mustang Canvas (Oddly enough, this link is the closest I could find on Cotton+ Steel’s website to the cotton/linen canvas I used, so it’s close, but not quite the same.)

My grommets and rope were purchased at Jo-Ann Fabrics.

Flying Geese Patchwork Bag; designed by Giuseppe Ribaudo

I was feeling pretty good at the end of this photo shoot.  I made my shirt, shorts, AND bag!  I love sewing!

Recommendations

  • Lately I’ve been listening to C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy on audiobook.  I’m currently listening to Perelandra, the second book and probably my favorite of the three.  C.S. Lewis always makes me rethink ideas and see things in new ways.
  • My Refashioners 2016 skirt was nominated for the Best Skirt Refashion in the Summer Skirt Awards for 2016 on the Skirt Fixation blog.  Thanks!
  • I love following @wingandaprayerfarm on Instagram.  Tammy White gives you a look into her farm in Vermont that is at once honest, loving, and beautiful.
  • How about a little ‘Mesmerizing Mass Sheep Herding’ to start your fall off right?
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Field Trip: Sew Loved in South Bend, Indiana

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Hi, everyone!  I hope you had a good July.  It’s been good to have a blogging break, and it’s good to be back.  Despite my break from blogging, I haven’t taken much of a break from sewing…except for during the road trip we took out to the Midwest.  We visited family and friends in Michigan, which was really nice.  My Mom is a long-time quilter (and an apparel sewer before that), and we often make the rounds of the fabric stores where she lives.  We didn’t have quite as much time to do that this time, so instead, she took me on a little field trip to learn about Sew Loved in South Bend, Indiana, where she has been helping out as a quilting mentor.  I thought I would share our trip with you.

Sew Loved in South Bend, Indiana

Sew Loved is located in downtown South Bend.  Here is what they say about themselves:  “Sew Loved welcomes all women to our Center.  Our mission is to teach sewing and quilting to underserved women and teen girls in the South Bend, IN area.  We provide a positive ‘hands on’ program for women to learn and practice a variety of life-enhancing skills, nurturing each woman’s self-confidence and self-esteem. Our sewing, quilting and other programs are offered free of charge.”

I had an opportunity to meet Vicki Miles, the director, as well as a few of the ladies who were at work organizing supplies or working on quilts.  Sew Loved is a nonprofit organization that uses sewing to empower women, teach new skills, and form community through sewing.  I was really impressed by Vicki’s dedication to the organization as well as how deeply she had thought through the best ways to serve the women who participate.

Sew Loved in South Bend, Indiana

It was really fun to see the new space they had just moved into.  They are still organizing and sorting through donations, but what organizing they have had a chance to do is really impressive!

Sew Loved in South Bend, Indiana

I got to look around at all the quilts, including several from “ugly fabric” challenges, and talk with Linda, a woman who has 30 years of apparel sewing experience, but has recently fallen in love with quilting (you can be sure I took the opportunity to ask her all my apparel questions!).

Sew Loved in South Bend, Indiana

Sew Loved in South Bend, Indiana

Sew Loved in South Bend, Indiana

(The two quilts below are from the “ugly fabric” challenge, where two participants used the same fabrics that they thought were ugly to make two completely different quilts.)

Sew Loved in South Bend, Indiana

Sew Loved in South Bend, Indiana

Linda also showed me their mid-arm quilting machine, which was really cool and something I hadn’t seen before, as well as the new lighting system that one of the ladies’ husbands had installed.  It’s amazing what a big difference a simple change like good lighting can make!

Sew Loved in South Bend, Indiana

Linda had made a number of the quilts hanging on the walls.  She also showed us some of the quilt tops she had recently finished, which were amazing.  When you talk with Linda about quilts, you hear an artist talking back to you.

Sew Loved in South Bend, Indiana

Sew Loved in South Bend, Indiana

I also met Janet who finished her very first quilt while we were there!  The women in the program make a table topper they can keep as their first project, followed by two quilts for donation.  The fourth project is a quilt of any size that they can keep if they choose to.

Sew Loved in South Bend, Indiana

Sew Loved in South Bend, Indiana

It was heartwarming to see some of the fabric donations, many sent by husbands whose fabric-loving wives had passed away.  Many people had spent large amounts of time organizing and systematizing all the donations so quilters could easily find what they were looking for to achieve their creative visions.

Next year Sew Loved will be partnering with The Crossing School for at-risk youth to teach a sewing class for girls, and they are currently writing a grant in the hopes of getting enough matching machines so that everyone will be on the same page equipment-wise. (UPDATE:  Since I began writing this, they have met their funding goal for these machines, thanks to donors and generous discounts from the company they are buying the machines from!)

My Mom (who is also a mentor at Sew Loved) showed me the Christmas Trees that they make as a fundraiser for the organization.

Sew Loved in South Bend, Indiana

Sew Loved sells the trees at various craft fairs and other events as a way to raise money for the organization.  These ones have been assembled but are still waiting to be decorated.

Sew Loved in South Bend, Indiana

All equipment and supplies at Sew Loved are free for participants to use, which translates into a lot of hard work for Vicki tracking down donations and supplies.  She definitely seems up to the task, however.  I got the impression that Vicki was a force to be reckoned with in the best possible way–the way that means she is fiercely loyal and devoted to the ladies she works with and the organization as a whole.  She also has some seriously amazing quilting skills!  She showed me some of her quilts in progress…and they were mind-blowing!  Clearly, she knows her stuff.

Despite my trip to the Midwest being light on fabric shopping (only a visit to Field’s Fabrics in Kalamazoo, MI), this trip to Sew Loved helped prevent any sewing withdrawal I was in danger of.  😉  If you find yourself cleaning out your fabric stash or sewing supplies, and want to make a donation, they accept 100% cotton quilting fabrics (fat quarter size or larger), Christmas fabrics for their annual fund-raising project, sewing machines in working order, sewing/quilting tools, or monetary (tax-deductible) donations for overhead expenses.  If you happen to be in the area, you can get involved as a participant in their sessions or as a sewing mentor and friend.

Sew Loved in South Bend, Indiana

Here is all the contact info:

Sew Loved

Women’s Center

103 W Wayne St., Suite 400

South Bend, IN 46601

 

Mailing address:

1320 De Luna Way

South Bend, IN 46614

 

Website:  www.sew-loved.org

Facebook:  facebook.com/sewlovedinc

Vicki Miles, Director:  vicki@sew-loved.org

Phone number:  574-329-2639

Maker Interview: Sue Schwabauer

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Today I’d like to introduce you to a very talented person.  I recently interviewed Sue Schwabauer who, I am convinced, can make just about anything.  She is one of my inspirations, and…she’s also my mother.  🙂

Sue and Dave Schwabauer; photo by Julie Shimer

Sue and Dave Schwabauer

photo by Julie Shimer

Tell me about your current medium/media for creative work.  What media have you explored in the past?
My current medium is sewing and quilting.  Other mediums I have explored in the past  have been painting (both acrylics and oils), stamping, jewelry making, crocheting, knitting and embroidery.
Jewelry by Sue Schwabauer

Jewelry by Sue Schwabauer

What project(s) are you working on currently?
Current projects are designing and making decorative pillows for my couch and making a cushion for a bench. I also just designed and made bridal shower invites. I am getting ready to make [one of my granddaughters] her big girl quilt and maybe make a couple of lap quilts for our family room.
What is the most exciting aspect of that?  What part(s) are you least excited about?
The most exciting part for me is designing and construction. The least exciting part is figuring out yardage for fabric and cutting it out.
How do you think your current work connects with/is influenced by your past work?
My current work connects to my past in a big way. As a teen I was unable to find tall size clothes so I learned how to make my own clothes from about age 14 or 15 on. As a young girl I loved to do embroidery.  So I have loved sewing and hand work for many years. Last year I did a quilted wall hanging that included hand embroidery, beading, and quilting. I really enjoyed that project.
Heirloom smocked dress by Sue Schwabauer

Heirloom smocked dress by Sue Schwabauer

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to try out sewing, and quilting specifically?  How should they start? 
For someone who wants to start quilting, I would say don’t be afraid of mistakes…get a good seam ripper and realize that everyone, no matter how long they have quilted or sewn, has to rip things out and start over. Take a beginner quilting course at a local quilt store…it helps so much. I still take an occasional course off and on and always learn something. Also realize that most quilts use a quarter inch seam for all the blocks, so invest in a quarter inch foot for your sewing machine…it makes life so much easier.
What are some of your favorite resources?
My favorite quilt author for a beginner is Eleanor Burns. She has very clear instructions and great illustrations, making it easy to follow her patterns. Another of my favorite books is: Sweet and Simple Baby Quilts by Mary Hickey.  She has the best and easiest quilt binding instructions of any I have ever used.
Lap quilt made by Sue Schwabauer; Flying Geese pattern by Eleanor Burns

Lap quilt made by Sue Schwabauer using a Flying Geese pattern by Eleanor Burns

How did you come to this type of work yourself?
I came to quilting in high school.  For one week every year starting my junior year we had a week where students set up the curriculum.  We had to choose two classes to take during that week.  One of the classes I did my first year was a quilting class.  I decided to do a cathedral window quilt.  I chose it because it used muslin, which was relatively inexpensive at the time, and this quilt used no quilt batting.  I also decided to not repeat any of the 2 1/2 inch squares of patterned fabric in the quilt, so I “raided” my mom’s fabric scraps, neighbors’ fabric scraps and my Grandma’s fabric scraps.  I did not finish this quilt in that one week.  I worked on it off and on through the remainder of high school, all through college, and into the early years of my marriage.  At one point, I couldn’t stand to look at it any more, so it sat in a closet for about 10 years.  During that 10 years I made my first log cabin quilt.  Then, when we lived overseas, [Lisa] asked me if I would finish the cathedral window quilt for [her] bed, which was twin-sized at the time.  I finished it, but left one side with the ability to add on to it at a later date if needed.  Well, [she] ended up with a full-sized bed a few years later, so I added on to it again.  Then [she] had a queen-sized bed, so I added on again and this time I finished the unfinished side so I would never have to add on to it again.  :o)  [Lisa has] loved that quilt, and it goes to show that eventually you can get the drive to finish just about anything.  I did not repeat any fabrics and the fabrics span from the 1950’s [or maybe even earlier] to the 2000’s.
Cathedral Window Quilt by Sue Schwabauer

Cathedral Window Quilt by Sue Schwabauer

Cathedral Window Quilt (detail)

Cathedral Window Quilt (detail)

Who/what are your creative influences?
My creative influences have been friends, family members, quilt shows, art museums, nature, and a variety of magazines and books.  Sometimes I even get ideas while reading my Bible and doing devotions.
Thanks, Sue (Mom) for sharing some of your creative history with us.  If you have any questions for Sue, feel free to leave them in the comments, and I will try to pass them on to her.