Sunday, September 22, 2013

Patchwork Halloween Bag Instructions

Hi Everyone,
I am so excited to put out this weeks Blog because I am working on a project with my friend, Sheri, who is an amazing Artist! Not a Music Artist but an Artist with many mediums. She has this Blog called "Sunshine in the Attic" which is all about her Quilting. This month she is doing a blog hop and has graciously asked me to be a part of it. Now, you may ask yourself why would a musician want to do quilting? Well as uncharacteristic as it may seem, I have always had a deep appreciation for hand made crafts. Probably because my Father was a true Craftsman who could do anything including sewing and yarn work! My sister inherited all of his creative "craft ability and patience" while I was the one who felt very intimidated by it. So now after many years I have decided I want to do things I have only dreamed of trying and doing a quilt project is an awesome start. Especially if you know Sunshine in the Attic!
So here are the instructions and a video from the lady who originally put out a video on making these bags...OH!!!
And MY VIDEO of ME making my bag for my daughter who is away at college! I hope you enjoy it. It was an amazing fun project and if I can you it SO CAN YOU!!!  


Finished Bag is approximately 10" x 10" x 3" (not including the handle height)

STEP 1:  Cut Out
(2) 10" x 13" pieces of cute fabric (front and back)
(1)  7" x 13" piece (bottom)
(1) 26" x 13" (lining)
(1) 4" x 36" (bag handles)
(1) 26" x 13" piece of thin batting (for the Outer bag)
(1) 26" x 1" piece of batting or you can use batting scraps (for handles)

STEP 2:  Making the "Outer Bag"
Sew the "back" and "front" pieces to the "bottom" piece.  (Bottom goes in the center and seam goes along the 13 inch side) Press.  (if you haven't already cut the lining and batting, you can now cut it the same size as this outer bag that you've just sewn)

STEP 3:  Machine Quilting
Lay the batting on the WRONG side of the "outer bag" and sew through both pieces making lines of stitching up and down the length of the bag, approximately 1 inch apart  (You've just quilted your bag!)

1.  Fold up with RIGHT sides together and Sew sides together of the "outer bag"
2.  Same thing with the lining:  Sew RIGHT sides together of the lining (leave 4 inch opening, midway on one side of the lining)

Box the corners of the lining and the outer bag.  (see pictures)  (Also you can find an excellent tutorial by the Missouri Star Quilt Co. for making a tote bag on You Tube -- this step is shown clearly on video at

STEP 6:  Make the handles
1.  Fold the 36" strip of fabric down the entire length.   Press.
2.  Take each raw edge again on the length and fold that into the previous fold.   Press
3.  Put the handle batting inside the inner fold.
4.  Sew the length of the handle so it is now sewn closed
5.  Sew 3 more rows of top stitching, the length of the handle approx.  1/4" apart

Sew Handles to RIGHT side of the bag 2 inches in from each side (front and back) or to your taste

With your lining sitting there, WRONG side out, place your bag with Right side out, into the lining bag, so the RIGHT sides are together.  Sew all around the top carefully connecting the outer bag and lining together.

Pull the RIGHT SIDES OUT through the the 4 inch opening in the lining (if you forgot to leave an opening, just pick out every 3rd stitch and pull it back open).  Press the top edge.

Top stitch 1/4 inch around the bag top to secure the lining in place and give strength to the bag and handles.

YouTube - Videos from this email

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Music, The Art and the Empty Nest

 I have a lot of friends who are going through what they refer to as "the empty nest" syndrome. It can be very challenging time when your child graduates and heads off for college. All the push, helping them get ready to leave, the SAT'S, FASFA, paperwork, supplies, parties, dorm rooms, $$$$ and more $$$$'s almost a pleasant exhaustion when it ends. The house just went from noisy and chaotic to quiet and still. The dog is still mopey BUT the house has never stayed so clean.
My daughter and I are very close and people keep asking me how I'm going to survive with her going away to college, which to me is an odd question. I am so excited for my daughter to experience her life and her own way without me being there to help remind her about EVERYTHING! I've worked very hard to put her feet on a good path and now I feel content knowing that she is on her way, so this blog is about doing things that you put aside because of the kids or lack of time.
So if you are having the blues over (yours) leaving, remember this is also your opportunity to do some really fun and cool things for yourself.
Start with making a list of all the things you've always wanted to do, AND DO THEM!
The Dove Experience Music Project ended last year so I am working on a couple new things musically.
I am getting into another aspect of the music world working on a friend's project.
I'm working on my Christmas Solo Acoustic Song for release
I am starting a new business - still top secret...
I have a board game group I am going to, I'm working on my garden, and I am cleaning the GARAGE sloooowly but it's getting done!
I am taking time to learn how to do a cool patchwork quilt project with my friend "Sunshine in the Attic" (check out her blog) which I am so excited to do and I am focusing on taking this time to create a happy and beautiful life. So I am going to be posting all the fun, positive things I am doing and I welcome you to also include things you are doing to create your beautiful and happy life too.