Wednesday, March 31, 2010


originally uploaded by SquareBag.
Daddy made bacon this morning.  Maggie is haunting the hopes of a treat!  She is a 14 year old Cockapoo....who should really have a blog of her own.  Hmmmmm......

Monday, March 29, 2010

Whimsy and art for us all....

I found a website from IndieFix that gives you artwork to download at no these. Feed Your Soul is a free art project. Each month artists are invited to participate and to contribute a print which is totally free and available for download. I have downloaded some and printed them on water color paper.  They are lovely..just to frame, or make cards.  This work is not to be printed and sold...just for us (and our friends) .   Go take a look.  There is a ton of artwork that really tickles the imagination.....sometimes the funnybone.

Some of the art projects make wonderful artwork for children's rooms...and can be changed out since there is no charge for the artwork.

Alabama Chanin

I am having trouble wrapping my mind around Alabama Chanin and I don't know why.  I first read about Natalie Chanin on Anna Maria Horner's  blog the first of this month.  Then Heather Ross wrote about her and her label.  Alabama Studio Style looks like a book that would totally inspire me.  But there is something that makes me slightly uncomfortable.

I have changed my style and creative process a whole lot in the last half year or so.  Everything I do is much more organic and almost rustic.  My next quilt will be Daiwabo fabrics....and if that isn't earthy I don't know what is.

Alabama Chanin....hmmm.  Their line is beyond my pocket book, but I want to own some of the items, so I guess I need to make them.  Sort of like when I became overwhelmed with the Gee's Bend quilts and wanted to make one.  But I can't.  The patterns and kits are out there, but after reading their book and getting the feel of who these ladies are it is better left undone.  And certainly not a copy made by me.

I believe these ideas and designs will flop around in my head for a while and blend with 'me' and my own work will emerge.  I have moved from working with cloth to fabric to textiles and who knows what else I will call it (or myself)...a fiber artist maybe!  I do feel a bit full of myself and a definite 'wannabe'......this is probably what is worrying me about Alabama Chanin.  I'm gonna get the book tho!

Free Tutorials...
Anna Maria Horner, Annette Tatum, Denyse Schmidt, Heather Bailey, Erin McMorris, Tanya Whelan, Tina Givens, Valori Wells and on and on....Each fabric line puts out a free downlodable quilt pattern.  Take a look and go to stash and whip up some of these beauties!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Laurie is back...... in my box says Laurie Wisbrun had reopened Scarlet Fig Shop TODAY!!!  I run, digitally, right over and the shop is empty!  I looks just like it has every day this last three weeks that I have looked..empty!!  Then, when I try again, wham! there it all is.  I make purchases from my list...oh yes I was ready to is what I got:

Donkies In Wellies, for sure.....
Rhinos, Giraffes and Elephants.....

I have no idea what I will make with this.  Maybe a bag for my shop, but I could not part with it. 
Maybe this:  

Laurie has a link to this project on her post.  I have made it before, and it is really a cinch.  Give it a try:

Friday, March 26, 2010

in the shop...

Easter Bag...just in time to fill with goodies. In my shop today .

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Block in progress......

Block in progress......
Block in progress......,
originally uploaded by SquareBag.
I know someone will ask....the fried egg pincushion is from Etsy seller  the source of many a gift for fellow quilters. I must confess....I have quite a bunch of her pincushions since I get one for a friend....and up keeping it. (This one was intended for Elly last Christmas).

I used to have magnetic pin holders, but with computerized Janome, I need something non-magnetic.

The work space.....

The work space.....
The work space.....,
originally uploaded by SquareBag.
I used scraps from stash and friends for the prints and bought a Moda solid jellyroll for the 42 (yes...forty two!) 2.5 inch strips. There will be 84 blocks!

Some of the blocks on my design wall..

I am looking for setting ideas....I like the layout on Elizabeth's blog, but I think I would like to set these starting with a color chart type of pattern....moving through the color wheel. You can see the problem with this, however, since there is a positive and a negative block for each fabric pair and they would be right next to each other.

Ideas, please????

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Chinese Lantern Bag (parts by ETSY)

Someone has asked me again, where I get the fabric and all the parts that go into my bags and etc I make.  Almost everything is from fellow Etsians! The prices are very fair and consisent and I feel comfortable "keeping it in the family"........although I don't have to.  I will reveal some (not all) of my secret sources at the end of this post (no peeking now!...look at this divine bag first).
So....I used some of my favorite Laura Gunn “Chinese Lantern” fabrics to make this zippered wristlet with detachable key fob/handle for my shop. Inside, I made a  zippered pocket, a cash and credit card it is also a wallet.  The strap is removable so you can it as a clutch (with the handle as a key fob )or wristlet.

Bag measures 8.5" x 5" high. The corners are boxed, so that it has a 1.5" x 8" base.  A peek-a-boo pleat on the front expands so you can put as much of your girly stuff inside as you need.

The swivel hooks and D rings are antiqued bronze in color to give this bag some class...adding to the eye candy...check out the beaded zipper pull (made by a an etsy jewelry maker)!
 One new thing I am doing with my bags, is to use these "antiqued bronze" d-rings, swivel hooks and magnetic closures.  I really am happy with...more pricey, but give the bags and totes a a very classy look.  The other shinny-stainless hardware bothered me...they look cheap to me (and we all know they cost a bit too). 

FYI, everything in this bag came from Etsy..pattern from Lisa at, the bronze hooks and closures came from jennalou06 fabric is right off the TheFabricFarm,  zippers from kandcsupplies and the handmade beaded zipper pulls from about that!!

Stay tuned.....

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Blogging without obligation.....

Came across this blog on someone else's blogroll....put it on, mine...then thought what a good I got into the spirit of it all and took the author at her word.  I come across this all the time, about how sorry folks are that they have not blogged.  Like cyberspace is just hanging on your next post.  Really!!!

I quote:

"After coming across what seemed to be the 4000th or so post on someone’s blog starting with “I’m sorry I haven’t posted in awhile.” I decided it is time to rethink what makes a good blog and the expectations that have come to be part of it. I am thinking that no one should utter those words again . . .and with that thought I give you Blogging Without Obligation.

If you feel the same way feel free to grab the logo, make a logo or whatever you would like to do!
I release all the logos, thoughts and words mentioned here about this concept into the public domain. Take the idea and run with it. . .or walk away. It is all good.
  • Because you shouldn’t have to look at your blog like it is a treadmill.
  • Because its okay to just say what you have to say. If that makes for a long post, fine. Short post, fine. Frequent post, fine. Infrequent post, fine.
  • Because its okay to not always be enthralled with the sound of your own typing.
  • Because sometimes less is more.
  • Because only blogging when you feel truly inspired keeps up the integrity of your blog.
  • Because they are probably not going to inscribe your stat, link and comment numbers on your tombstone.
  • Because for most of us blogging is just a hobby. A way to express yourself and connect with others. You should not have to apologize for lapses in posts. Just take a step back and enjoy life, not everything you do has to be “bloggable”.
  • Because if you blog without obligation you will naturally keep your blog around longer, because it won’t be a chore. Plus, just think you will be doing your part to eradicate post pollution. One post at a time. . ."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tree of Life Pillow....

I found this pillow at Tea Ginny Designs
where I see a whole lot of creative and originalwork.  I see projects on the horizon.....this one in particular!  I have the scraps that would love to grow into a tree.....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Daiwabo Quilt

I had this urge to do something I have never done before.....make a quilt using Daiwabo fabrics. Daiwabo is a  Japanese heavy woven fabric using natural colors.   It has a a very substantial hand and is lush in a very organic way.   I have a feeling this will be the 'it' quilt for me.  the ultimate in earthy tone, and feel.
Here is what I bought....BTW, why is it that no matter what it is you lay down....your kitty needs to stand on it?

I found this at

I found this at
I found this at,
originally uploaded by SquareBag.
I think, in fact i'm pretty sure, that Ashley over at FilmInTheFridge will be cutting up her dresses for quilting. Told ya.....didn't I?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Super Simple Nightie....

I don't sew clothing.  I make bags for my shop and quilts, for my home and Project Linus.  However, I came across this little tutorial on Sew Mama Sew.   I had ordered some of Anna Maria Horner's   "Litle Folks" Voile...just to see what it was.  This is the sweetest, most elegant cotton I have seen.  It is akin to silk.  One of my quilting friends said that it was like the material in our mothers' good blouses.  So, this is what I made:

Just to see what it was like, I slept in it the day I made was soft and silky.  And when I got up, there was barely a wrinkle. 

If anyone has made a quilt from this I would really like to know about it.  It is a tempting thought.

Dots and Buttons PurseAmy Butler Fabrics by SquareBag on Etsy

Spring is coming, and my bags are ready and up in the shop!  I am not charging for shipping, so every bag is a real deal!  Come and buy me and I will get to your house all by myself.  This is where I am hanging out now..... Square Bag Shoppe.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Donkeys in Wellies... I found this quilt on flikr with a teeny block of what looked like a horse wearing rainboots.  Well sleuthing through here and there I found what it original design from Laurie Wisbrun at Scarlet Fig .  

There is a link there to her Etsy shop (closed right now...but I signed up to be notified the second she returns so I can buy tons of her fabrics.    Click on these links for all the eye candy.  I will let you know when it is time to shop....

Busy, busy.....but no sales

Get this....I got the taxes finished; made all the reservations for our trips from May through August (a total of five - four camping one B&B at the beach, booked the house-sitter, had a bone-scan, went to The Fountains (a very spiffy and beautiful outdoor mall,  took and posted photos of my completed quilt tops and cleaned the cat box!  All in the space of four days.
See....Clean kitty box!

What could possibly be left to do, you say?......well take a look at my sewing room...I have to get some order going on here...

The reason for all this action is that sales on my Etsy shop have ground to a halt.  If I don't sell bags, I don't get to make more.  If you feel the need for an on-line shopping experience keep me in mind.  End of Monday Whine.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

here is the backing....linen

here is the backing....linen
here is the backing....linen,
originally uploaded by SquareBag.

This is the block...

This is the block...
This is the block...,
originally uploaded by SquareBag.

Birds in squares quilt top

Birds in squares quilt top
Birds in squares quilt top,
originally uploaded by SquareBag.
Finished up this quilt very quickly....the bird print is a 5" square and there are just three rounds for the block. The sashing and backing are linen. After it is quilted and bound, I am going to wash and dry it for a whole new soft crinkly look. Love this new linen thing....

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Canasta Quilts Option 1: Natural Canasta

Elizabeth Hartman is tempting us with this new pattern series called Canasta Quilts.  I have decided to continue my 'square in square' series with this option first, then I will give the wonky a go.  The patterns will be in her etsy shop for download tomorrow.

Here is a blue variation.....Elizabeth's cat, Maeby, gives it the paw of approval.

Also, somewhere in the recent past I made a post about her incredible Paintbox Quilt-along.  My goal now is to start collecting the fabrics in colorways to do the whole quilt.  It may be a lifetime project, but my list is so long already that the end is not in sight.  That is positively positive, I think.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I'm Feeling Foodie....

CORNMEAL CRUNCH.......I am at it again in the kitchen. It must be the rain, the woodstove burning and quilting day coming up.  I am having my quilting mini group over and thought this would go well with Fire Roasted Tomato Soup and a little salad. What do you think? 

Heidi Swanson at 101 Cookbooks posted this recipe on her site quite a while ago and I have made it several times. 

Here is her recipe:
"I make an effort to buy whole grain cornmeal -this is cornmeal that still has the nutritious bran and germ included. You can easily make this recipe vegan by omitting the cheese.
1 1/2 cups (medium grind) cornmeal
fine grain sea salt
4 cups yellow onion, chopped (about 3 medium)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
3 cups water or vegetable broth
Preheat the oven to 400F degrees, racks in the middle. Butter and flour (or line bottom with parchment paper) one 9 x 12-inch baking dish or tart pan - or roughly this size.
In a medium bowl combine the corn meal with 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir and set aside.
To caramelize the onions, heat a splash of olive oil in a large thick-bottomed skillet with a pinch or two of salt. Cook over high heat, stirring and scraping the pan occasionally - more often as the onions begin to get increasingly brown. Continue cooking until the onions collapse and turn deep brown in color. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Bring 1 1/2 cups water (or broth) to a boil in a medium saucepan, add the water and cornmeal mixture, bring back up to a boil and stir until it is thicker than a heavy frosting - about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese and 2/3 of the onions. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, spreading it to an even thickness, and drizzle with about 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the bottom is golden and the cornmeal begins to pull away from the sides of the pan a bit. Serve topped with the remaining onions (and more grated cheese if you like).
Makes about 16 pieces."

caramelize the onions

 mix the cornmeal, cheese and 2/3 of the onions into the broth....

The only change I make is to put the last bit of onions on top before baking.  I like the nutty, dark flavor.

(Note:  the spatulas I am using are silicone, and if you don't have should.  They are impervious to the heat)