Okay - I admit it. I have been stuck in a rut. A quilting rut. I think it has something to do with adding two kids to my life -- suddenly when I have a few precious minutes to quilt I tend to want to do something I am familiar with and that is easy. The process of learning something new seems formidable at times. However, with each new year come's resolutions - mine this year was "Simplify" -- try to find things to make my life simpler. It started out with tossing a lot of things, organizing and cleaning -- and catching up on past due things (like quilt projects and UFO's....). A little bit of time can yield amazing results. So - this week I decided to get out of my quilting rut and try some new things.
The new things today included laminated fabric and a teflon foot. I have always admired the beautiful laminates that Jean has in her shop -- but honestly, I was too scared to try and make something out of them -- how would I sew it, how do you hold it together, can you iron it -- all kinds of questions. Well, today -- I just tried it. I love this new book that Jean has in her shop "Sew Serendipity Bags" that is a collection of totes and bags by designer Kay Whitt. I love it so much so that I will be teaching a class called "Sew Sew Bags" starting February 28th and for at least 6 months the class will journey through the book. I selected a "simple" bag pattern called the Foldable Shopper - but decided to not make it foldable. Because my laminate fabric wasn't quite wide enough I shortened the pattern my 1 inch all around for the large size bag. I decided to try laminate lining and also a laminate pocket. I selected a contrast fabric for the handle and the pocket trim out of a cotton fabric.
Laminate fabric is not bad to sew on. That was my joyous discovery. In fact, at one point I was using my regular foot and contemplating whether or not the Bernina Foot 52 (a teflon foot) was worth $61.90 --- I tell you IT IS WORTH EVERY CENT!! Once I got to sewing the trim and the bag - I put that foot on and I was no longer skating on laminate ice. That foot was AWESOME!!! I used scotch tape instead of pins and discovered use as little as possible and remove it as soon as you can. The fabric has no give whatsoever so be exact in your details and cutting. I didn't use any interfacing or batting in the bag and it stands up nicely just as it is. I followed the pattern (mostly) except I decided not to make it foldable so I left off the tab and the button and I cut 3" squares for the bottom so it was a bit wider but narrower. I ironed the trim on the pocket and just used a pressing cloth and cooled my iron a bit. All in all - worked like a charm. I tried something new and just loved the experience. And, I really love the bag!!