Saturday, June 27, 2009

Test Drive

Ready for a test ride! My bag is finished!

I added grommets to the bottom of the bag and threaded the bungee cords through them. I never did find purple cords, but the green coordinate well. I added a strip of fabric to hold the hooks when not on the bike. I can also push the cords into the bottom of the bag so they won't catch on anything.

This bag is huge! I tested how much fabric I could put in it on a Shop Hop.
I might even be able to fit some clothes in it as well, in case I have to stay overnight somewhere.

Here's how it looks on my bike. Looking pretty good I think.

The final adjustments. I made a little do-hickey thingy to hold the straps together so they don't flap in the wind. I shortened the bungees a few inches so they are tight over the fender.
What do I have left to do?
Take it for a test ride and fill it with new fabric!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


My mother is a knitter. If you read her latest post, she talks about knitting rows and rows without the project seeming to get any longer. That's the way I feel the quilting has been on my bag. Then...all of a sudden, it's finished. I quilted the fabric in a cross hatch, using a quilting arm on the smaller pieces. I marked the larger pieces. I have a tendency to wander on bigger pieces. Once you start to wander, each row follows the last. It looks like I've been drinking. So, I marked the lines 1.5" apart.

I lined the pockets with matching fabric and added velcro closures so I don't loose things as I ride down the road. That would be very sad! I also added a band of Timtex. Timtex is a very heavy weight interfacing that added considerable body to the top of my pockets, right where the velcro is.

One pocket went on tonight, the other will wait until tomorrow. There are also side pockets that will get similar treatment. This is the pocket. I wasn't even trying to match the fabric on here and I find it difficult to find the pocket top. Lucky me! I'm sure that won't happen again.

Here are the little boys trying to help me out.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Off and Sewing

Although I have been distracted by class projects for this fall, I have also been assembling supplies to begin my motorcycle bag in earnest. Here are the changes I am planning in a little more detail.

First, The bag must have a way to attach to the motorcycle. I am going to use bungee cords attached to the base of the bag. I have metal grommets to put in the floor of the bag and will feed the cords through the holes and tie knots inside the bag. I also have a panel on the outside of the bag so that I can tuck the bungee cords with hooks inside the panel when it is not on the bike. I am contemplating putting zippers in to zip those pesky hooks inside. I've had bags before that got hooked on just about anything because the hooks did not have a safe home.

I have cut out the pieces roughly so that I can quilt first. I suppose it might have been easier to quilt the whole thing and then cut it out. Ah well. I have chosen a variegated purple thread for the quilting. It is a King Tut Cotton from Superior thread. The light purple dragonflies are the contrast fabric and the lining. I am using a fusible fleece as the batting and Decor bond interfacing to give the bag body. The quilting will be a simple grid about 1.5" apart. So, for a day or two I will be quilting, quilting, quilting!

My local quilt had their quilt show this weekend. I worked the admissions table on Saturday for a few hours. I also had 6 quilts in the show, mostly because of my absentmindedness. I turned in my list of 3 quilts at last months meeting. I was having a little trouble remembering the sizes of each quilt. I promptly forgot all about the list. After a gentle reminder in the newsletter, I called one of the kind ladies that was accepting quilts to take to set up. I had 2 of the quilts ready, I told her, but I couldn't remember the third quilt. When I dropped them off she told me who to call to find out what was on the list. So I called. Neither quilt I had dropped off was on the list. (Sigh!) I called another kind friend who was accepting quilts to take to set up. "I'll bring them right over." I said. Now, it also seemed a little silly to me to make them go through all the quilts in the show to find my quilts. So they ended up in the show anyway. Guess I had better pay more attention next time.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Sewing Gazette

It's official. I sent out the first issue of the Sewing Gazette. It is a newsletter in a PDF format that I hope to send out monthly. It is general sewing related information, not just quilt things. You can sign up for your copy at There is a great interview with Laurie MacDonald from Chili Pepper Quilts. She is doing some amazing things with paper piecing. Check her website while your browsing. If you have other people you would like me to talk to or little tidbits you think I should include, please send me an e-mail and I'll do my best.

What else am I working on? Placemats and table runners for my fall classes. I'll share these when I get them finished. I've been playing with paper piecing more and a few simple curves. I've been working through this idea that you can create any shape with a few simple lines and curves. This time of year I'm really thinking ice cream! You'll have to wait until next time for more on that.

My motorcycle bag. I've been collecting supplies. The fabric arrived for the exterior. It's amazingly beautiful. Love that Kona Bay fabric! I bought the fusible fleece and the decor-bond interfacing to give it body. I still need purple bungee cords to strap it on the back of the bike. Black will do, but I would love to find purple. I have D rings, zipper, grommets and fasteners. I still need a little bit of webbing.

I was originally thinking saddle bags, but my tailpipe is too high and I haven't been able to find a frame to keep the fabric away from it. I decided on a bag to attach to the passenger seat. I am using the Butterick 3934 Duffel to get started. It is the right shape and about the right size. I will have to shorten the straps, add cinch straps to the top and a panel on the bottom for the bungee cords. More pictures to follow soon.