Thursday, July 30, 2009

Busy Bee

Phew...I have been busy today. I finished the bags, so I can get them sent out tomorrow. Usually I like to do quilting on my bags and a variety of colors, but this person just wanted single colors. I think the two little bags with the bows are cute. They are for two little girls.
Now I'm off to work out...P-90X!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fun Pictures

This past May, friends of my husband and I were married. Last night I got to see some more pictures from the wedding and it made me remember how much fun it was. It also makes me miss friends from Texas. Luckily, a lot of them have moved to Georgia too, so we will have to make a few road trips while we are here to visit people. One of the pictures that I liked the most was me with two friends from TX. I think its a favorite because it also reminds me of Thanksgiving. -Kim and know what I mean! I love you girlies!

Summer Serene Quilt

My first quilt is finished! I am quite proud of myself... I think mainly because it took me less than 2 weeks to complete it. (I was also working on other projects in between.) I think I will name the quilt..."Summer Serene" - I will have to make a label for it. I guess that means it isn't completely done, but that's just a tiny detail. The final quilt measures 63" x 63".

What should I try next?

For now, I have a few bags to finish, so once those are complete I will see where my imagination takes me.

Monday, July 27, 2009


I finished all the blocks for my lap quilt, so the last few days have been spent stippling the top. This is the first time for me to machine quilt something this large, but I am pleased with my progress. My quilting certainly is not perfect, but I"m getting excited to finish it. The end is in sight.

Once I finish this quilt, I may be tempted to start another. I guess once you do one, you get hooked. We will have have to stay tuned to see what strikes me next.

I have a few bags to finish up and get sent out this week too. I think it's time to get to work. More to come later!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Quilt Crazy

The past few days have been very productive! What started out as "just trying" out a couple of quilt blocks has turned into a fairly large lap quilt! I have made 64 blocks total, which will make a quilt measuring roughly 64"x64". I don't think it looks bad for my first quilt. Now I need to get batting and backing fabric before I can quilt it. My dilemma is, what color thread should I use to quilt it? I think I will look for red backing, so should I use red thread? What do you think? I also need to think of a name for this quilt. I love the vibrant colors mixed with the ACU. I think this quilt will make a lovely picnic blanket and matches the ACU tote I blogged about previously. Decisions...decisions...

New Fabric! Fabrics from Hong Kong arrived today! They are all Vera Bradley fabrics. These tend to be difficult to find, but the person I bought these from was quite reasonable. They are 60" wide yards, which is fairly large too! I don't know what I will make with these fabrics yet, but I'm thinking they will be put to good use. Perhaps Christmas gifts? I know it's only July, but I've started to think about Christmas. I have some time now to complete things, so I need to start thinking!
Aren't these fabrics gorgeous? I love the colors and mixture I selected.

Bags? Quilts? Gifts? What will you turn in to? Do you have any suggestions?

Well, that's all for now. I am off to create some more!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sewing Casa

My Sewing Casa! Well, it's not my dream room, but in time, I am sure it will get there. I love having the quilt cutting board easily accessible. For years, I had the huge mat on the floor and was always cutting things on the floor. Now it is up on a board cut for the mat's size and I can easily stand (or sit) to cut fabric. Ideally, I would like to have the cutting board in the middle of the room, so I could easily walk around the whole thing, but right now I just don't have the room to do that. I would also like a separate counter area that I could set up my sewing machines. (I have 3 of them!) I use each maching for different purposes, so it would be nice to have a spot for each and not have to shift them around when I need to use them. Again, space is the issue.

The "Bags From The Heart" banner arrived this week. I hung it up to give me inspiration to keep working. I really love the playful font and graphic that I chose for it as well. I got if for free from That website is amazing! I am on their email list, so I am always getting offers for free items. You have to pay shipping, but it is definitely worth it!

I ordered some amazing fabrics before we left Texas, but I never had the opportunity to use them, so this week I decided to put them to use! The finished bag on the chair is what I was made with some of the fabrics. I haven't decided if I want to keep the bag yet. I don't have a bag like this one, so I don't know what I will do.

These are the fabrics before I put them to use. I will need to get some pictures up close of the details of the finished bag.

I also tried a little bit of quilting this week. I used scraps to put together some blocks (9 patch and log cabin) I'm not sure what I will make with it yet, but I like the vibrant colors. I think I'm inspired to make more blocks.Well, that's all for now. I'll be back again soon.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Why Bags?

I sometimes wonder why I am slightly obsessed with sewing bags. I don't really fancy making clothes, blankets, or other sewn items. I generally stay in the realm of handbags and accessories. I think my desire has been a part of me since I was very small. I always had a ton of bags and I still do!

When I was young I was involved in many things; ballet, soccer and skiing are just a few. Each of these activities required a specific outfit or gear, so to make life easier my mom designated a bag specific to each activity. Ballet had a ballet bag, soccer had a bag, and skiing had its own too.
Each bag was perfectly proportioned to the activity it matched. My ballet had a separate compartment for my slippers to keep them easily accessible and enough space to hold a change of clothes for afterward. I played soccer for roughly 18 years and with many different teams, so needless to say, I had multiple soccer bags over the years. I would often be playing soccer all weekend long so my bag would have different compartments to keep things separate for each day. My soccer cleats even had their own compartment, so my things wouldn't get dirty. Finally, my ski bag. This bag was probably the most magnificent bag possible. It could be slung over my shoulder, held my boots and all other items (I was a downhill racer, so I had a lot of stuff), but it allowed me to keep track of all my items. Each bag I owned also proudly donned my name (first or last). I love having my name on my things, maybe because in the US it is difficult to find ERIKA spelled with a "k" but I also think it is because it labeled that bag as my responsibility.

I think the details and purpose of the bags I had at a young age inspire my bag designs today. I try to think about their use and make their design fit their purpose. I like to personalize the things I create to match the person they are going to. This is sometimes difficult when I don't know much about the person. I don't like to be "tied down" to specific details, but I like some loose guidelines.

Okay, so maybe you didn't need to know all that information, but utility and personalization are my inspiration. I think I need to thank my Mom for that!

One of the popular styles of bag. It can be used for a diaper bag, scrap tote, day-to-day bag, gym bag, overnight bag, school bag. The possibilities are endless. The bag's name is Marjorie. Named after my great aunt who stood the test of time living to be 103 yrs and an incredibly wonderful woman.

For more styles check out my webpage:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Taking a Crack at This

Bags From the Heart has been "in business" for about 2 years now, but I figured it was time to start a blog because what better way to keep everyone up to date? I don't know how well I will do at this, but I will take a crack at blogging.

Currently, we are living in Georgia and I am let's say in-between jobs. I have been teaching for the past three years, but since we aren't sure how long we will be here, I am taking the summer off to see what will happen. I love the uncertainty of military life! Right now, it looks like we will be here until December, so I may need to obtain some part time work (at least) for fear of going crazy. Sewing and creating can more than fill my day, but that doesn't really provide for social interaction.

My husband isn't really complaining with me not working. He comes home and the house is spotless, the laundry is all done, folded and put away, and dinner has also been more elaborate than ever. It is amazing how much you can find to do during the day.

Well, I think it is time to get started creating. I'm working on a gift right now, which I love doing because it gives me the ultimate freedom. I will need to take some pictures of my latest creation but for now, I will just add a picture from a craft show my business: Bags From The Heart was in last November.