And a process this is! But I know it's going to be so worth it!
I'm sorta a speedy Gonzales (aka smoking needle) when it comes to wanting to make things...my thoughts have always been 'finished is good' -- well, I'm learning that sometimes rushing through things just to be able to check it off the to do list isn't always the best way to approach a project. Somethings just take time. My dad used to say, if you are going to do something, do it well. Actually I think it was more along the lines of do it right the first time because having to redo takes longer (grin). Being an instant potato sort of gal I'm having to really remind myself to be patient, to slow down, do it right, enjoy the process - that all this hard work is going to pay off and I'll have something to really be proud of....
Okay - so you ask - what am I making?!?!?! Well the photo above was the fun part at the end of a long day of cutting out parts and pieces, fusing that thick Pellon fleece in place, trimming to just the right size, keeping the labels on all the parts and pieces so I don't get confused....and then finally I could get to the fun part of embellishing a few of the parts.... parts for what!!!!????!!!!
I am learning sew much as I follow along with my newest favorite mentor Rosanne Campisi -- she's teaching me via DVD how to make a messenger bag. I've seen one of her originals, she designed it for Jamie Wallen and he carries it to all the shows and of course when he's teaching here in my studio. It's full of wonderful pockets - one for the iPod, one for the cell phone, a couple with zippers and a few more just for good measure. I have always loved bags and this is the bag among bags!
Jamie and Rosanne have teamed up for yet another quality DVD (she's the designer of Mrs. Kings Gallery Basket DVD that I've been enamored with). This one is 5 disks long plus a CD with PDF files for cutting and marking instructions. It's called Jamie's Messenger Bag and can be found at the same website as the fabric basket DVD.
Here's the front flap of my project!!
Notice the nice rounded bottom of the faux suede - I learned the secret to accomplishing that from the DVD (thanks Rosanne!) For the record, this is hand dyed fabric, a couple of pieces actually. Two of them were dyed last year when Jamie came for workshops here in my studio, and one that I will be using for the lining is from this year's workshops. I knew I was saving them for something special!!
As of tonight I've worked through 2 of the 5 DVD's - the longest ones because they included all the prep work. The sewing is going pretty fast and I love that I can have Rosanne on the TV in the studio talking to me and telling me what to do as I do it, and I love how patient she is if I have a question and need a review (rewind button!). It's like sewing with your best buddy. And I'm learning some techniques that make for better finished results along the way -- things I somehow missed in Home Economics (probably because I was talking!) I truly believe that once I complete this project that I'll not only be a better seamstress, but that I can take what I've learned and apply it to other bag construction (I'm a bag lady at heart!). I'm only half-way through but I do recommend this DVD without any hesitation!
I wish I didn't have to eat or sleep (or get back to other commitments) because I'd really like to finish up this bag. I truly hope to have it completed by the Houston International Quilt Market and Festival in October...several years ago I designed a tote bag that had a pocket on it with what has now become my logo (the butterfly). I enjoyed carrying it and meeting several of my internet friends (look for the bag with the butterfly!). I'm hoping this one will be completed and become this year's "how we will recognize karen O from Texas" bag. So with that in mind - here's a close up of my butterfly logo modified to fit the front pocket of my (soon to be finished) Messenger Bag! Stay tuned for more!
PS I forgot to mention my new LED light attachment for the A-1 in the top photo - it has a magnet and adds an extra light to my quilting area - in the photo it is the only light on even though I have two others mounted on the machine - I wanted you to see just how bright it is for such a little guy....I've been told that it will be fabulous for when I need to open up the throat plate to adjust timing, or even just having a better light to change the needle. It plugs in and has an on off switch. Available from A-1 Quilting Machines for $45 - should be able to fit any machine if you have a flat surface for it to attach...