Saturday, August 25, 2012

Welcome, Blog Hoppers!

Hello!  I'm Joy and I own A Joyful Soul Fabrics.  I am so excited for this Blog Hop Party organized by The Quilting Gallery!  I met so many new friends during the last hop and have enjoyed reading a slew of new blogs I wouldn't have ever found if it wasn't for this little party.  Enjoy!

We are a military family-owned business.  Our shop specializes first in stellar customer service!  Second, we want to offer you only the best in fun, funky and contemporary fabrics and patterns.  Among our fave designers are Amy Butler, Tula Pink, Anna Maria Horner, Heather Bailey, get the picture!  We love to come up with original project kits, everything you need to FINISH a project! 

Our Fat Quarter Club is our most popular item in the shop.  For $35 a month, you'll recieve 12 fat quarters from a new line of fabric.  The collection will always be a contemporary selection.  Some of our past collections are Amy Butler's Cameo, Art Gallery Fabrics LillyBelle and Rhapsodia, September will be Birds and Berries by Lauren + Jessi Jung and October will be Gypsy Girl by Lily Ashbury. 

September's Fat Quarter Club will be a selection from Birds and Berries

Our Blog is loaded with awesome information, tutorials, pattern reviews and is the place where I mostly interact with people who need help with a project.  Here are some of our most popular posts:
Okay, so now for the best part!  Last night, we ordered Chinese take-out for dinner and as we were eating we were discussing what to offer as our giveaway.  I opened my fortune cookie and it said:

"Focus on the color purple this week to bring you luck."

So, that's exactly what we're doing because honestly, who couldn't use a little bit of luck?!  Our giveaway is a Tula Pink Fat Quarter selection from Nightshade and Parisville guessed it....PURPLE!

(International readers, I am happy to ship anywhere!  Just be aware that you may be responsible for customs fees and taxes.  Declared value will be $22.00 but will be marked as GIFT since it IS!)

In order to win this awesome prize, just answer this question:

Stop and look around the space you're in right now.....What's the first PURPLE item you see?  We are ALL focusing on purple this week! 

Want a second entry?  Follow us on Facebook and leave a second comment telling us you did so!

If I can't contact you via Blogger, make sure to leave your contact email so we can let you know if you've won!

I just found a purple combination lock that my daughter will be taking to her first year in Junior High. Oh gracious, I hope this luck thing works...I'm gonna need it this week so I don't have a breakdown when I see her get on that bus bound for the big world of Junior High!

Giveaway will close Monday, September 3rd at midnight CST.  The winning comment will be picked by a random number generator.  Thanks for stopping by!  Good LUCK!


Friday, August 17, 2012

POP! Bags

Yet another long absence from you all.  I am so very sorry.  Too many irons...on the pressing to speak.  I've been promising this tutorial to my very good friend Amy for a long time.  I've actually been spending the last couple weeks tweaking the pattern for a class I held today and I think it's good so I'm going to share it with you all! 

The POP! Bag
2 coordinating fat quarters or ¼ yards (figure out direction first)
¼ yard Thermolam Plus
2 9.5” lengths of metal measuring tape (measuring tape should be no more than  ¾” wide)  Make sure measuring tape is rounded and wrap a few times around edges as they will be SHARP!  PLEASE be careful here!  I used masking tape but painters tape would work as well.
Coordinating thread for top stitching 
Cut your main exterior fabric (paying attention to direction of fabric print) into two pieces measuring 10.5” x 7”.  The 10.5” measurement will be the width of your bag to help you with print direction. 
Cut your lining/trim fabric into two pieces measuring 10.5” x 9”.  (Also pay attention to direction here but it is less important as the majority of this fabric will be inside your bag. 
Cut two pieces of Thermolam Plus (my favorite fusible fleece) measuring 10” x 7.5”
Fabric used in this sample is from Amy Butler's Cameo Quilting Weight fabric line by Rowan. 
Find it at our shop:
All seams are ¼”.

Paying attention to direction of fabric, place one exterior main piece to a lining piece across the 10.5” length right sides together and sew a ¼” seam.  Repeat for second set.  Press seam toward lining fabric.

Fold these pieces in half, wrong sides together, matching the raw edges, so your finished piece measures approximately 7 ¾” x 10.5”.  You’ll have a 1” trim of your lining fabric going across the top of your main exterior fabric.  Press a crease at the top of this trim. 
Matching raw edges at bottom of bag.  This view is the back side of your piece. 
 Pressing a crease on the folded edge (top edge).
View from the right side of piece.  Notice that by matching the raw edges across the bottom, you have now given yourself a one inch trim across the top of your piece.  This will be your channel for your closures.

Open up this piece and place your Thermolam Plus rectangle, with fusible side (rough side) against the wrong side of your exterior piece.  This Thermolam needs to be placed right up against that crease you just made in the trim.  It will be cut ¼” shy down the sides and across the bottom to alleviate the bulk in your seams.  Fold your bag piece down again and flip it to the front, using a dry iron, press the front of your bag piece to adhere the Thermolam to your piece.  Repeat for second piece. 
Piece opened back up after pressing.  Notice the nice crease at the top of your trim.  This will be your Thermolam Plus placement guide.
Thermolam is placed right next to the crease and is 1/4" shy down each side and across bottom to alleviate bulk in the seams.  Fusible side goes down on top of exterior wrong side.

Fold piece back down over Thermolam and press to adhere from the right side of exterior piece.

If you’d like to use pins to hold the lining to the exterior piece even at the raw edges, that would be a great idea.  As you sew through Thermolam, it will pull at the fabric from your seam....kind of like batting.  You will sew an edge stitch (super close!) on the top edge of your trim. Sew a second top stitch, on the trim side, as close as you can to the seam attaching the lining and main exterior.  You’ve now created the channel for your measuring tapes.  Repeat for second piece.
Edge stitch at top of trim.
Edge stitch at bottom of trim.

Take your measuring tape pieces, already rounded and taped, and slide them in the channels you just made.  The side with the numbers will be facing OUT to enable the POP sound.   Ensure that your measuring tapes will not interfere with your ¼” seam down each side.  If they feel a little too long, go ahead and take them out and trim them a bit, place a little masking tape around your new cut. 
Measuring tapes inserted into channel.  Taping off the ends will stop that sharp edge from slicing through your fabric.

Now that your tapes are placed in the channels, place both pieces right sides together.  Try to line up your side seams as best you can and pin all the way around.  Sew these pieces together with a ¼” seam allowance pivoting around the bottom edges.  Trim these raw edges so they are even, I like to trim to 1/8”. 
Right sides together.
Pinned!  Yes, Amy, use your pins!
I've sewn a quarter inch seam all the way down one side...pivot...across bottom...pivot and up the other side.  Because the Thermolam takes up a lot of room, your raw edges are probably not going to be even.  Go ahead and trim out your seams so the raw edges are as close to even as possible.

Finishing raw edges:
I like to use my serger to finish the raw edges but if you don’t have a serger, no worries…ZIGZAG it!
Put your machine to a zigzag stitch (close and short) and starting at the top right corner place your bag under your presser foot so that the right swing of your zigzag stitch just catches the edge of your bag.  It will work just like a serger, grabbing that raw edge and pulling it into your stitch.  Go forward and backward a few stitches to lock.  Zigzag all the way down the side edge.  If you’re not comfortable navigating the corner on a zigzag, go ahead and lock your stitch at the bottom, cut threads and start fresh across the bottom and then again down the other side.  Trim threads.
Just to prove that a zigzag is just as good as a serger, I've done each sample above differently.  The one on top is zigzagged and the bottom is serged.  As long as those raw edges are overcast somehow, doesn't matter how you do it!
Optional square off:
At this point, you can either be done or square your bottom off like the samples that were brought to class.  To square off, open out your corner, place a measuring tape across the opened corner.  With 0” at one edge, the 1” mark at your middle seam and 2” mark at the other edge, draw a 2” line.  Sew across that line and trim your corner out to ¼”.  Serge or zigzag that new raw edge.  Trim threads and turn right side out, carefully using the tip of your scissors to make a nice sharp corner.
Open out your corner.  Place on board or use a ruler to mark your 2" line, making sure that it's square.
Once the corners have been sewn, trim out to 1/4" from the seam and serge or zigzag over the raw edge.
You have a cool new POP! Bag.  I dare you to not sit there and open and close it over and over just to hear the POP!!  Don't let the kids get hold of'll be poppin' all over the place!
Top sample is squared off and bottom sample has been left flat.
So, let's talk uses for these little beauties.  We give them for school teacher gifts every year.  Christmas rolls around and each teacher gets a bag filled with dry erase markers, antibacterial gel, lotions, a Tide pen....anything that would be useful being kept in a desk at school!  I have a friend addicted to Sharpies.  (Still not entirely sure if she uses them as writing utensils or maybe sniffs them.)  I filled a beautiful bag full of the craziest Sharpie colors I could find!  This particular size you just made, if kept flat and not squared at the bottom corners, is a perfect size for an eReader.  I keep my Kindle in one floating in my black hole of a purse.  Of course, I have a second bag filled with "unmentionables" that floats around my purse for about a week every month....yes, I went there!  One of my students in today's class is an electrician.  She made hers to keep her drill bits joke!  And she used the girliest fabric to make those men on the job site even MORE uncomfortable! 

The sky is truly the limit with these cuties!  I am also working on some patterns that I'll have available for sale in my shop that are a little more demure and suitable to carry as a small handbag or clutch.  They'll be a tad more difficult than this but you'll be ready for a challenge! 

Thanks for reading my tutorial today!  Feel free to Facebook, Tweet, Pin, Instagram...whatever you're www heart desires, I would just really appreciate a link back to my blog for credit.  Have fun poppin'!!  Be careful, it's addicting!