Hello! Thank you for stopping by Lemon Tree Snippets.  Today we are kicking off the First Island Batik Ambassador Alumni blog hop.  The blog hop theme is Use It Up.  This is inspired by the phrase “Use it up, wear it out, make it due, or do without.”  This phrase is said to have originated during the great depression, when then president, Calvin Coolidge, encouraged Americans to be frugal.

Our mission is to put together some projects that will inspire you, as we Use Up some of the pretties in our Island Batik stash. Although some of these fabrics you’ll see during the #UseItUp hop might be out of production, we think you will find inspiration perfect for any of the newer collections available now.

I am a huge fan of byAnnie patterns, so today I’ll be making one of her projects called Open Wide!  I won’t be giving you any cutting instructions; if you want those, you’ll have to purchase the pattern.  What I will share with you today are  construction tips from my experience working with this pattern.

Lets get started!

I’ve selected a few coordinating prints from my Island Batik stash.  The large print is from the London Fog collection and the small prints are from the Sea Salt Sandy collection (2016).  I am also using some of my favorite threads.  For the quilting, I used Superior Threads Halo  40Wt Poly/Metallic and two UltraBright Trilobal poly colors
(1068 and 1082).  I’ve also purchased an 18″ zipper in a coordinating color and  byAnnie Soft and Stable.


The cutting instructions in the pattern are very clear and easily broken down by the size of the bag you choose to make.  Before you begin any cutting, I recommend you read the entire pattern through and review the assembly instructions.  The pattern includes a sheet with pattern piece markers.  I didn’t cut the original pattern, instead I made a copy.  I purposely left those pieces off of the images to protect the copyright.


I quilted the outside and inside fabrics together with the soft and stable between them.  The metallic thread, usec foe quilting, added just the right amount of glitz to the finished look.  When using this thread for quilting, make sure you change to a needle designed for use with metallic threads. These needles have a larger eye that minimizes friction.  Also, ease your foot off of the pedal and take your time. There is no hurry and you’ll have less thread breakage.


The pattern has an optional pocket on the inside of the bag.  The instructions suggest using a mesh fabric with an elastic binding.  Instead, I’ve decided (in the spirit of #IslandBatikUseitup, that I am going to make a fabric lined pocket and stabilize it with @InnerFuse from my stash.  InnerFuse is a stiff fusible product designed to add body to your dimensional projects.  It worked great in this bag for the pocket!


Once your fabrics are quilted, cut your body and sides according to the sizes on your pattern.  You will be rounding the bottom edges of the pockets before attaching them to the body of the bag. For this, I used the round edge of a cup.


After adding the decorative band, and the pocket to the bag, you are ready to put the sides on.  Begin  by pinning the side to the bag at the bottom.  From there, I recommend placing one pin at the top of each side of the bag. You want to make sure, as you are sewing, that the distance from the top edge of the bag to the top edge of the sides remain equal.  The zipper will be attached to the top edge in a later step.


On the second end, I used binder clips instead of pins. This made sewing a little bit easier as I could slide them out of the way as my fabric went under the needle.


You have now completed the front band, the inside pocket and both ends and you are ready to attach the binding to the body of the bag.  The pattern instructs you to use a bias binding.  The bias cut strips are easier to attach and allow you to ease them in around the curves on the end.  Don’t skip this step, cut those pieces on the bias and you will have a much nicer finish.  Looking pretty good!


I attached the binding to the front of the bag by machine and finished by hand stitching the edges on the side of the bag.  You can try this by machine, but I prefer the neater finished look of hand stitching, and it really didn’t take very long to do it this way.


After the sides binding was finished by hand, I installed the zipper.  The zipper extends out on the right and tucks under the band.  The zipper binding is extra long and provides and easy to grab handle on the left side of the bag.  The best tip I can give you for adding the zipper is to use the zipper foot on your machine as this will allow you to get the binding up tight with the zipper teeth.  Be sure to put your zipper pull in the middle when you attach the binding.  You may have to move it side to side as you stitch.

But wait – there’s more!

I added two things to finish off and personalize my bag.  A snap and a zipper pull.


I added a snap to the inside pocket.  This is totally my add, and not required or specified in the pattern, but I felt it needed a snap to help the contents stay in place.  I had the snaps in my sewing stash and I’m just trying to use it up and make it do.


There is a reason for my Bead Addiction…  I like to add small embellishments to my projects.  I dug in and found just the right thing.  Take a look at this little touch of dazzle.


Below is a snapshot of all of the great products I used in this project.  I purchased nothing new and made due with everything I already had.  Great way to be frugal, I think.


Dont’ forget to visit all of us who will be posting in the Use it Up Blog Hop this week

#IslandBatikAlum  #IslandBatikUseitup

Here is a list so you can follow along:

Monday April 16

Tuesday April 17th

Wednesday April 18th

Thursday April 19th

Friday April 20th

Saturday, April 21st

Sunday April 22nd


Thanks for checking out Lemon Tree Snippets today!

~ Patti