Tag Archives: tote

Rami Kim Perseverance


It was waaay back in the Fall of 2016 that our local sewing guild had Rami Kim, Queen of Fabric Manipulation present a workshop.

She showed us many, many different ways of folding, stitching and otherwise twisting fabric to achieve texture and depth.

The workshop project was a tote.  We were instructed to prep our fabric before-hand, cutting various pieces to size.  Rami was quite the task master.  She would demonstrate a particular technique, then we would have 45 minutes.  Or 30 minutes.  Or 15 to replicate things.

This may sound a bit stern, but it was necessary if we were to learn everything she wanted to teach us.  Goodness there was a wealth of knowledge to acquire!

Each section of the tote featured a different type of fabric manipulation.  And once the fabric was cajoled in to the appropriate shape, it could be further embellished with beads or embroidery.  I chose beads.

We learned different types of smocking, fabric pinwheels, a new take on flying geese triangles, and many, many other methods.

By the time Saturday evening rolled around, we were exhausted, educated and very happy sewists.  We all swore we would finish our totes, and have  a show-and-tote at a meeting in the future.

Perseverance was key in completing the tote.  There was considerably more hand sewing (see smocking mentioned above) than I had done in years.  All that smocking?  Yup, sewn by hand.  All those beads?  By hand again, though adding beads was my choice.  By the time it was finished my hands cried uncle and my fingers felt blistered.  Perseverance may be overrated.

The future is here!  I’ve finished my bag!


Islander Bag


To whet our appetites for Sew-In 2012, there was a Pre-Sew-In workshop this year, and of course, I signed up.  Similar to the 2011 workshop, we would have a guest instructor, and the opportunity to learn new techniques and methods.  This year our guest instructor was Penny Sturgis of Quilts Illustrated.

The whole time leading up to the Sew-In there were all sorts of hints about what the workshop would be…but no actual data. We’d be the first group to try out a brand new pattern.  Penny would be assisting each and every one of us.  But…until just mere weeks before the Sew-In, no one had any idea what our mystery project would be.  The anticipation made for very itchy fabric fingers.

The big reveal was the Islander Bag…and we had homework to do!  That’s right we had to select fabric , cut out pieces and quilt them.  I actually had to purchase fabric!  There was nary a thread in Casa Thunderpaws suitable.  What a catastrophe, having to buy more fabric.

As you can see, I went for something bright.

Penny took us through the assembly, one step at a time.  No one was left behind, though everyone had to pay attention.  In the end, there was a veritable Bevy of Bags.  Every one was different, unique and stylish.

I don’t usually like quilted bags – they are either too shapeless, too large or just not my thing.  This one I do believe I will use.  It has enough structure to hold it’s shape when full of the requisite “stuff” we all have to carry.  There are all sorts of additional pockets, both outside on the front (under the flap) and back.  There are pockets on the inside as well.

For a pocket junkie like myself, this is pure heaven.

I also made the most of the fabric I chose, switching the pieces around.  That’s one of the great features this bag’s design – you can really play with pattern and color if so inclined.  Or you can go all sedate and business-like.  I don’t think we had any like that at the Sew-In.

All in all, it was a great experience.  A wonderful prelude to three more days of sewing nirvana.