Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rip it out and Round 5 of the Secret Tote Bag Swap

I've finished quilting the centre of Bab's Yellow Bird quilt. Kathy had left a comment that the quilt looked like it is yellow and blue but in fact it is yellow with black and white. In some pictures it reads pale yellow but it is in fact a lovely, bright, zingy lemon-yellow. It is very dramatic and really pretty! I quilted a wreath in the centre and filled it with doodling. It flattens the area and adds great texture. I filled in the rest of the quilt (up to the black border) with feathers. All I would do is sketch a spine and quilt a feather to fill the space. Then I would draw another spine and quilt the feather. I really like the effect it created and it was so fast and easy.

I'm not sure what I'll do in the black border but it is ditch quilted so it can wait. Instead I moved on to the large yellow outer border. I wanted to quilt feathers. I quilted the feather that you see on the left and wasn't jazzed about it. To my eye is too large and boring so I tried something different and you can see it on the right. Much better! So I spent the evening ripping out the quilting on the right.

This is what the border will look like with the new quilting plan. I started by sketching a question mark in the middle of the border and quilted it. From there I divided either side of the question mark into three sections and in each I sketched a spine for a "C" shaped feather. I like the effect of this new design much better.

As heartbreaking as it can be, sometimes it is better to just rip it out!

Many of you will know that I've participated in Lia's Secret Tote Bag Swaps in the past. She has launched Round 5 and the theme is the Noodlehead 241 Tote. Everyone will work with the same pattern so it will be really interesting to see variations! If you decide to sign up you will complete a form with your likes and dislikes. Once the sign-up is closed you will receive an email with your partner details. You won't know who gets your name and your partner won't know you have her name. You have roughly a month to make your bag. Usually we tuck little goodies inside the bag!

 I've made several bags from the 241 pattern. It is fast, easy and very well illustrated. Here are some pictures of what I've made. This one was appliqued with butterflies and a grasshopper. I added beaded zipper pulls to jazz it up!

I made this one as a gift. The recipient wanted a bag that she could use to carry her knitting. I used upholstery fabric for the front and back panel. She loved the large graphic print!

The theme for this swap was geometric shapes so I appliqued some bright colours to Osnaburg that I quilted with straight lines.

I made this for my partner in a previous swap. I forget the theme but I loved the bag and my partner said she did too!

And this the tote bag that I received in the last swap! My partner tucked all sorts of wonderful goodies inside! I told her I like the 241 pattern so she got it and tried it out herself! It is a great bag and oh so summery!

To sign up for the swap you must be a FLICKR user. You will find the instructions for signing up here. If you are interested you have until July 19th.

Until I post again, happy sewing!
Karen H


  1. Karen, the quilting on Yellow Bird is just outstanding. I am sorry that you had to unsew your beautiful work because I am sure Babs would have loved it either way.

  2. the quilt is just so beautiful-sometimes it is better to rip out to get what you want in the end. love all the bags-enjoy the swap

  3. Your border is gorgeous. My fear of ripping out quilting is that it would show, but not so. The new quilting makes it disappear. Love the bags.

  4. I think you made the right decision with the quilting on Yellow Bird. It's no fun ripping out all those stitches but it was definitely worth it. The bags are gorgeous. You almost....and I said almost.....make me want to make one.

  5. Your quilting is beautiful. I found myself just admiring each picture of it!