Bye Bye Love Bag


I didn’t get much done this week, but I did manage to sew up January’s Bag of the Month bag from Sew Sweetness’ Bag of the Month Club.


I purchased some Denyse Schmidt Florence fabrics specifically for this bag.  For some reason, I absolutely love plaid bags, and I knew this bag would be perfect for showing off some plaid. The lining is Seed Pod in Taupe, and the back zippered pocket is Seed Pod in Carnelian. The outer fabric is Multi Plaid in Carnelian. I chose black yarn dyed Essex Linen as the outer accent fabric. I used Aurifil 40wt thread in Black/#2692 and Light Sand/#2000 (not pictured).

This bag gave me a few challenges, because I don’t like to read all of the instructions.  I mean, why should I pay attention to the details that are painstakingly written out for me so that I don’t mess up when sewing?  Psssshhhh.  Thoroughly reading the instructions is for people who don’t like their seam ripper.

Mistake #1:

Rather than making the outer panels of only one fabric, as instructed, I decided I wanted to have the bottom part of the bag be in the Essex Linen. That wasn’t the mistake, but my math was.  So, my outer panels ended up about an three-quarters of an inch shorter than my lining panels.  I decided to just trim the lining panels to match, as the loss wasn’t too drastic and it seemed like a rather tall bag anyway.

Trim it up, girl!

Trim it up, girl!

Holy Effing Are-you-KIDDING-Me Mistake #2:

I knew something was off about my zippered pocket when the bottom pocket fabric didn’t match up when sewing the pocket closed.  I only noticed this AFTER insertion, of course.  But, I just “went with it”.  And all was well until it was time to mark handle placement.

What?! No. NO! Oh YES. You did.  You totally did.

What?! No. NO! Oh YES. You did. You totally did.

Apparently when I made the zipper pocket I had my marked zipper fabric upside down.  So the zipper pocket was about 3″ too high.  And exactly where the handles were to be attached.  I. Wanted. To. Cry.  But, crying doesn’t effing fix it.  I looked at it for a few minutes, played around with the handles, and decided instead of making a new outer panel (which I had messed up to begin with… and there was no telling if I could mess it up ON PURPOSE again), I would just change handle placement. I knew it would be close to the top and the seam allowance, but by precisely measuring it with my eyeballs, aka “eyeballing it”, it looked like it would be okay. Apparently I have madskillz with eyeball measuring, whereas I have NO skillz using the maths to measure.

Left eyeball: Let's just sew 'em down about here, whatcha think?" Right eyeball: "sure. Looks good 'nuff to me."

Left eyeball: Let’s just sew ’em down about here, whatcha think?”
Right eyeball: “Sure. Looks good ’nuff to me.”

You’re-Almost-Finished-So-Let’s-Make-ANOTHER-Mistake #3:

I proudly held up my finished bag to show Mister and noticed that one of my handles was twisted.  And sewing this interfaced Essex Linen was not easy.  My sewing machine did NOT like backstitching on it at all.  Not even with a top-stitch needle.  Thankfully it didn’t take long to fix!

Let's make ANOTHER mistake.  Because that's fun and we have nothing better to do!

Let’s make ANOTHER mistake. Because that’s fun and we have nothing better to do!

I am so pleased with this bag!  I remembered to use my Emmaline Bags “handmade” hardware, and I even remembered to put my label in it!  After it was sewn up, of course (Mistake #4).  I just folded over the seam allowance and sewed it over the topstitching on the lining pocket.  I think it turned out okay that way. I also decided to go a little fancy and I added purse feet.  PURSE FEET.  Seriously. Proud. Of. This. Bag.

Proberly labeled up.  AND I added purse feet!

Properly labeled up. AND I added purse feet!

And here it is, all finished… front and back! I’m not too sure about my zipper choices… I probably should have done grey top and back zippers. Although, I think this will do. I really love this bag, but I’m thinking I may save it for a Christmas present.  It would be really great to have one present already in the bag.  Corny pun totally intended.

Love how these pleated pockets turned out!

Love how these pleated pockets turned out!


I started this project during the week, but so many errands and “life” got in the way.  I ended up sewing up most of it yesterday, and finished fixing the mistakes today.  Since I ended up doing most of my sewing over the weekend, I’m linking up with My Go-Go Life for SEWJo Saturday (er…Sunday).

SEWJo Saturday

To-Do Tuesday: 3-11-14

I can’t believe it’s another To-Do Tuesday!  Boy, the last seven days went by so fast!

A few things I managed to get done from last weeks list. Including a nice motorcycle ride!

A few things I managed to get done from last weeks list. Including a nice motorcycle ride!

I accomplished more than I expected to, but still had to move several things from last week to this week.  I won’t be blathering on this week, as I have been feeling a bit under the weather.  So, here’s my list and I look forward to reading about how your week went and what you have planned for this week!

  • Mail March Bee Block Done Mar 12th
  • Make my personal block for the March Bee Block Done Mar 11th
  • Call Black & Decker re: defective replacement iron Emailed them and arranged for replacement Mar 14th
  • Make Josh’s dentist appointment. (Don’t forget to arrange for orthodontist to remove wire before and replace after.)
  • Make Week 8 Vintage Quilt Revival Blocks
  • Make March Sugar Block Club Block
  • Finish embroidering blocks for secret quilt
  • Write up How-To Make a Quilt for friend (if any of you know of a great blog tutorial for this, please leave it in the comments for me… no sense repeating the same thing!)
  • Take pictures for, and write, Sunday Stash Post Only got the pictures done Mar 16th
  • Create a How-To/Tips page for the Brother PQ-1500S
  • Make January Bag of the Month Done Mar 16th
  • Make February Bag of the Month

Now it’s your turn! Write up your post and link up to this post using InLinkz linky below.


  1. Link up your To-Do Tuesday blog post using the InLinkz linky (below). The link up is open all week!
  2. Try to visit at least one or two other blogs and leave a nice comment!
  3. Please feel free to grab the blog button to show that you’re participating in To-Do Tuesday!

That’s it!  Now let’s get sewing… or whatever there is to do on your list!

Red's Needles & Threads
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Sunday Stash: A surprise gift! Also, Where I Say “BadAss”. A LOT.

Bad Ass Quilter Mug

One of my recent “quilting” related purchases is this completely awesome, dare I say “Bad Ass”, mug from Spool who sells BadAss Quilter merchandise. I love the whole concept of the BadAss Quilter Society, so I knew this mug had to be MINE.

From the BadAss Quilter Society About Page: “Little did I  know that there were  thousands of other BadAss Quilters out there looking for a place to hang loose, talk fabric and swap the occasional off color joke all the while being free from the oppressive notion of what quilters were “supposed to be”.”

Speaking of BadAss Quilters, one thing I have learned in joining the online sewing and quilting community is that sewists (or sewers/seamstress/whatever term you prefer) and quilters are not only Bad Ass, but are also some of the most kind and generous people you will ever meet.  Seriously.  They are generous with their time, with their encouragement, with their advice, with their gifts (hello beautiful handmade gifts!), and even with their stash.  I’ve seen Instagrammers post “ISO” pictures of rare, out-of-print fabrics and others immediately respond with offers to mail them fat quarter… some with no expectation of reciprocation.  However, I’ve yet to see a recipient NOT reciprocate with an overabundance of fabric, supplies, notions, or handmade gifts as a “Thank You”.  

Most of my personal interaction with this community is on Instagram.  There are obviously other online avenues where connections are made, but the majority of my connections have happened where the “pretty pictures” are.  (Unless you just saw the picture of the rotary cutter accident… that was NOT pretty. Please be very careful with your cutters!!).

Two weeks ago I received an Instagram notification that one of my fellow Instagrammers, evildemondevildog (Paul Hallinger), tagged me in a picture.  Paul is an amazing quilter, and a machine when it comes to whipping up quilts (STUNNING quilts)!  His Instagram pictures are always inspiring.  He is also always very encouraging of other quilters, and is a real asset to the quilting community, particularly on Instagram. So when I read the caption of the picture I was tagged in, I was completely shocked, and thrilled!

@redneedlethread I think it needs to become a mug rug to go with your badass quilter mug. What ya say?

Mug Rug from Paul H

He made me an AWESOME, nay… BADASS, embroidered mug rug to go with my BadAss Quilter mug!  It. Is. B.A.D.A.S.S.  And… I had it in my hands within one week of him tagging me in that picture!  Not only did he send me the most BadAss mug rug in all the land of BadAssery, he even included some gorgeous pieces of fabric and a fun little note!

What a fantastic addition to my “stash”!  I know it’s a mugrug, and I’m supposed to use it, but I simply cannot.  I do not want to risk ruining it!  I have it hanging in my sewing room instead. It’s perfectly represents me, and it makes me smile.  Thank you, Paul, for constantly inspiring the IG community with your creations, with your encouraging comments, and for making this awesome gift! Also, for sharing dog pictures.  Because #dogsofinstagram rule! Also, if you’re on IG and you haven’t followed Paul there, you really should! I’m not kidding about the great pictures and constant inspiration.  You’ll “wow” with every picture!

By the way, Paul blogs over at Quilting Adventures of Evildemondevildog and is part of a very creative and great group of men participating in the No Girls Allowed Quilting Bee (which is AWESOME)!  I love that there are some talented men out there creating stunning quilts, taking an active part in the quilting community, encouraging and inspiring us all to be better quilters!

Linking up with Molli Sparkles Alisa at A Stitch In Between.


Friday Finishes… Sorta

Good grief. These titles I’ve been coming up with lately. “Friday Finishes” “To-Do Tuesday” “Sunday Stash”

I’ve become an alliterating fool. *sigh* All I need now is to add a “WIP Wednesday” and come up with something for Monday (ohhhh..epiphany! “Motorcycle Monday”… Works for me!). I’m totally ignoring Thursday and Saturday.

Also, I don’t know if finishing blocks that were on my weekly to-do list count as a “Finish”, but I’ve decided that in my world it does!

Anyway, on to the blocks. I finished quilting the Stitches block from Pile O’ Fabric’s Skill Builder BOM series. Each “stitch” square within the block finshed at 3″. So there were some pretty tiny areas to quilt. I definitely got to practice working on my “straight stitch” when doing free-motion quilting.

Skill Builder "Stitches" block

Skill Builder “Stitches” block

I also completed my two Vintage Quilt Revival blocks for week 7. I am getting so excited to see this quilt finished.  I have a feeling it’s going to be SO awesome.  Probably my favorite so far.  And it will be MINE.  (Just sayin’.)

When I made the Wheel of Fortune block I was so very careful to be sure the colors were in the right place.  I even laid all the template pieces, along with the cut fabric pieces, around in a circle to be sure.  Except that I forgot that when you look at a paper piece template you are looking at the reverse side of the paper piece.  So I ended up with my color wheel going counter-clockwise. After having spent an entire afternoon sewing this block (while not feeling very well), I decided to go with a phrase I’ve heard recently from Nina With Freckles, “Done is better than perfect”.  Also, a big lesson was learned, so there’s that!

7 VQR Wheel of Fortune

Vintage Quilt Revival: Wheel of Fortune Block

The Tilted Star block was my first time sewing with partial seams.  I actually enjoyed it!  I did have to rip out the initial partial seam and a full side because I was doing too scant of a 1/4″ again.  I just breathed deeply, sewed slowly and was able to finish it nicely!

7 VQR Tilted Star

Vintage Quilt Revival: Tilted Star

Only three more weeks and all the blocks will be done!  I think I may start sneaking in some cutting time to get the sashing pieces ready for when the blocks are finished.  I don’t want to be tempted to put aside the blocks and have this be a quilt that ends up as a UFO while I try to “find the time” to assemble the top.  I may or may not already have three sets of blocks that are waiting for me to put together because of that very reason.

Linking up with Sukie — Don’t ya know who I am?

Vintage Quilt Revival Block Along