Giveaway: Soft and Stable from ByAnnie

Lazies, Today let’s get to know Annie Unrein of ByAnnie, pattern company. Annie shares her unique Soft and Stable batting and offers a giveaway.

Greetings, Joan and Fellow Lazies!

I’m so thrilled to be asked to submit a guest blog post for Joan and her readers. I have long been an admirer of Joan’s products and love reading her blog and newsletters.

Let me begin by introducing myself: I am Annie Unrein, a quilter, pattern designer, teacher, and product developer. Please visit my website to see my patterns and read about my newest product, ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable™.

I developed Soft and Stable™ because I was looking for something that would give good body and stability to my purses without making them heavy or stiff or hard to sew.

Several years ago, when my favorite quilted designer handbag wore out, I noticed that it was made using a foam stabilizer rather than batting.

I promptly went looking for something like that to use in my projects and finally found a foam-type product. I used it for several years, but it had a number of drawbacks: It was stretchy and not very stable. It had fabric only on one side of the foam, so I had to be careful when sewing. (If the foam side was against the feed dogs, it wouldn’t move!) And, I couldn’t buy that product at a price which would enable me to provide it to wholesale customers. I got yelled at by more than one store for having a supply list in one of my patterns calling for a product that they couldn’t offer!

I finally decided to fix what I didn’t like and went to find someone to make the right product for me. I spent months working with various manufacturers, testing and re-testing products until I got what I wanted: a dense yet resilient foam with a soft, napped fabric on each side that sews easily without stretching out of shape.

I introduced ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable™ in black at Fall Market in Houston last fall to great reviews.

Customers are loving it and many pattern designers are adding it to their projects as well. NOTE: Due to popular request, Soft and Stable™ is now available in white as well.

I am often complimented on the professional appearance of my bags and purses. Though I’d love to say that they look good because I’m such an excellent seamstress, I really can’t take all the credit. Using the proper tools and supplies makes all the difference between a project that looks store-bought and professional versus one that looks homemade.

ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable™ is by far the most important element used in any of my purses, bags, or other projects. Using Soft and Stable™ in place of batting or other fusible interfacings gives my project a firm foundation. The bag isn’t slouchy or wrinkly. Yet, because ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable™ is so lightweight, the purse (when it’s empty anyway!) weighs hardly anything.

I love using ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable™ in handles, too— that soft, cushiony feeling is so nice for shoulder straps or handles.

The other advantage to using Soft and Stable™ is that I do not have to quilt the fabric to the batting/foundation unless I want to. I often choose to quilt the fabric to add a decorative element to the finished piece, but it is not an absolute necessity.

For instance, when I designed the Serenity Shoulder Bag, I wanted all of the focus to be on the texturized flap. Had I used batting in the bag, I’d have had to quilt the fabric in the body of the bag. Not only would those quilting lines detract from the finished appearance of the bag, but the bag would be slouchy when put together.

With ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable™, I am able to attach the fabric pieces used for the body of the bag to the Soft and Stable™ by sewing just around the edges. No quilting lines! When I’m done, my bag stands up beautifully, supporting that gorgeous textured flap.

That extra support is especially nice when you are using wooden fashion handles, such as I used on the On the Town handbag pictured above. Even though I’ve attached some relatively heavy handles, the bag holds it shape and stands up beautifully.

If I do choose to quilt the fabric to ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable™, that’s easy, too. I just layer the lining fabric (face down), the Soft and Stable™, and the main fabric (face up). Pin the layers and you’re ready to stitch.

The slight texture of the fabric finish on the Soft and Stable™ slightly grabs the fabric pieces, so there is little shifting of layers as you sew. And, as you can see in the photo below, I can quilt a large piece and everything is still nice, flat, and stable.

Sometimes, I skip the fabric layer on the bottom and just sew the main fabric to the ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable™. Again, because Soft and Stable™ has fabric on BOTH sides, I don’t have to worry about the foam catching on my feed dogs. Everything moves easily through the machine.

ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable™ is also wonderful for home dec items, such as placemats or table runners, too. My friend, Ricci, made this set of placemats using my Set A Pretty Table pattern and a selection of fruit and vegetable fabrics from her stash.

A modified quilt-as-you-go technique and foldover self binding make assembly quick and easy. In fact, Ricci got up on Saturday morning, decided she wanted something fun for her dinner party that night — and made a set of eight placemats (and cooked and cleaned) in time for the party!

Using ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable™ in place of batting makes beautiful, sturdy placemats that are extra easy to make and that will wear beautifully.

It’s easy to mark lines on the Soft and Stable™ using a chalk marker. This helps align the pieces for the flip and sew assembly. And, because Soft and Stable™ is polyester and not a fusible product, it’s easy to press the pieces with an iron as you go.

So, if you want your purses, bags, and other projects to look like you bought them, not like you made them, give ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable™ a try today!


Annie is offering two prizes:
1) Serenity Shoulder Bag pattern + half-yard package of black Soft and Stable
2) On The Town pattern + half-yard package of WHITE Soft and Stable

Leave one comment below to enter. Annie will pick winners and notify them directly.

You have until 10PM EST on Friday July 15, 2011 to enter. Simple as that!!

Also, Annie is also offering a 10% discount on all Soft and Stable sizes to all Lazies through JULY 18, 2011. Just enter the code LAZY in the discount field at checkout at her website to get the discount.



You’ll find lots more info about Soft and Stable as well as a number of video tutorials showing how to use it in your projects at my website:

Leave a Lazy Comment

532 Responses to “Giveaway: Soft and Stable from ByAnnie”

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  1. Shanna Browning — July 11, 2011 @ 7:22 am

    Oh how I would love to have some of this. I am a sewer who loves to sew as you can tell by my e-mail.

  2. Liz — July 11, 2011 @ 7:28 am

    Wow! I will be looking for Soft and Stable. Looks awesome!

  3. Phyllis — July 11, 2011 @ 7:29 am

    Beautiful bags…. cant’s wait to try the product. Such a good idea!

  4. Wendy — July 11, 2011 @ 7:30 am

    Sounds like a WINNER to me!!

  5. Lynn — July 11, 2011 @ 7:36 am

    This product sounds great1! I can’t wait to try it on a bag of my own!

  6. Kim Greaves — July 11, 2011 @ 7:38 am

    I love crafting purses, so your stabilizer is just what is needed for wonderful, full bodied construction. Thank you.

  7. Gladys Insko — July 11, 2011 @ 7:38 am

    Soft and Stable sounds like a great new product. I look forward to trying it in a project in the near future!

  8. Jane Koch — July 11, 2011 @ 7:42 am

    This sounds like a wonderful product and much easier to use than conventional heavy weight interfacing I’ve used in some home dec projects.

  9. Ingrid — July 11, 2011 @ 7:42 am

    Wow! This looks like the coolest new product!! I would love some to try. Pick me, pick me!!!

  10. Pam — July 11, 2011 @ 7:43 am

    Hi Annie- I will definitely have to try your new Soft and Stable. I teach purse classes at the quilt shop where I work. This product seems like a must!!!! Thanks for being so persistant in developing your product! Pam

  11. Debbie Weiler — July 11, 2011 @ 7:46 am

    This sounds wonderful!!! I can’t wait to try it. It sounds like the perfect partner to a light weight bag and such a time saver.

  12. Ophelia — July 11, 2011 @ 7:46 am

    Love it! Thanks for thinking about us and sharing what you know about bag stabilization, since there is really a need for a better way. I’m in, baby. Hook me up.

  13. Sheryl — July 11, 2011 @ 7:47 am

    This looks like what I have been searching for. Want to give it a try.

  14. Gwyneth — July 11, 2011 @ 7:47 am

    Love the bags, nice to know that a new kind of batting can be purchased.

  15. Linda Burton — July 11, 2011 @ 7:50 am

    Can’t wait to try your new Soft and Stable. I make purses each year for my 4 girls for Christmas and will certainly give it a try. Thanks for this giveaway.

  16. Suzanne — July 11, 2011 @ 7:51 am

    I haven’t seen it in the quilt stores yet — I would love to try it — is sound awesome and would make my bags stand up! Thanks for the offer.

  17. Laila L S — July 11, 2011 @ 7:51 am

    I would love, love,love to win any of the two prizes. I like making bags and this sounds like something I need to try.

  18. Ellie — July 11, 2011 @ 7:52 am

    I would love to try this product. I know it will be good if recommended by Joan.

  19. Deb Dickerson — July 11, 2011 @ 7:52 am

    I have tried it and will use it again. Works much better than the iron on that never seem to stay ironed on.

  20. Kathy Cookson — July 11, 2011 @ 7:52 am

    Looks like the perfect product, can’t wait to try it! Hoping it’s available in stores near me.

  21. Judi — July 11, 2011 @ 7:55 am

    This is the product I’ve been dreaming for! Annie ,Thanks for developing it.

  22. Jean Graham — July 11, 2011 @ 7:57 am

    My daughter in law and I each made a purse a few weeks ago. It was so hard to sew with the recommended batting. I told my daughter in law that this was the last purse I would ever make! Your Soft and Stable introduction on Lazy blog made me think that maybe I should try making another purse and this time with your product. Thanks for giving me some hope!

  23. Susan Pittman — July 11, 2011 @ 7:58 am

    This looks like a fabulous product. I can’t wait to try it. Joan, thanks for having Annie as your guest. Annie, thanks for being so creative. I love, love, love the shoulder bag in the photo above. It is just gorgeous.

  24. Linda Kozlenko — July 11, 2011 @ 7:59 am

    I have been waiting for a product like this! Can’t wait to try it.

  25. Deb H — July 11, 2011 @ 7:59 am

    Sounds like an amazing product! I would love to try it.

  26. Carol Trott — July 11, 2011 @ 8:03 am

    I will look forward to trying your product, as I’ve been wanting to make my bags to look more professional. Your bags are beautiful! Please enter me in your contest, plus send me the discount. Thank you very much! Carol

  27. Janice Pezzullo — July 11, 2011 @ 8:04 am

    I am always looking to try new products for my quilting and my bag making. I like what i read so far and like what you have made. Please think of me when you pick a winner!

  28. Debbie — July 11, 2011 @ 8:05 am

    Oh my goodness I can’t wait to get some for me and my mother. This sounds like a wonderful product. Will be just the ticket for my purses….

  29. Joy — July 11, 2011 @ 8:06 am

    This looks exactly like what I’ve been looking for!! And I need a new purse. Thanks!

  30. Karen — July 11, 2011 @ 8:07 am

    I love to make bags, and have encountered many of the same problems. I can’t wait to try your product! Thanks for inventing Soft and Stable. Nothing like a quilter to come up with a solution for other quilters!

  31. Bonnie Kane — July 11, 2011 @ 8:08 am

    I would love to try your product Annie, as I make bags too and it seems perfect.

  32. Nerida — July 11, 2011 @ 8:08 am

    Thank you for all the information about ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable it looks great for all the different uses. Love the quilting on the flap of Serenity Shoulder Bag too. Looking forward to getting some to try.

  33. Luanne Clunie — July 11, 2011 @ 8:09 am

    Can’t wait! I see a new purse in my future.

  34. Marge — July 11, 2011 @ 8:09 am

    I absolutely love making the purses and small sewing projects for my friends and own use. This product looks wonderful and I am looking forward to trying it!

  35. Laura L — July 11, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    Soft and Stable sounds like just what I have been looking for. I have several projects in mind that I could use it for.

  36. Wanda — July 11, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    I enjoy making purses, I would really like to try this product

  37. Erin Robinson — July 11, 2011 @ 8:11 am

    I am excited to try it. Thanks for letting us know!

  38. Nancy — July 11, 2011 @ 8:11 am

    Sounds fantastic.

  39. Kim B Dolan — July 11, 2011 @ 8:12 am

    Love purses, winning would be great, the product sounds great to work with…thank you!
    Kim 🙂

  40. JudyW — July 11, 2011 @ 8:12 am

    I enjoyed reading your interesting blog and wandering over to take a look at your patterns. They handbag/tote patterns look fabulous — I need to try one soon! Thanks for the offer of a giveaway! JudyW

  41. Barbee Walker — July 11, 2011 @ 8:13 am

    I cannot wait to try soft and stable. Is this available yet?

  42. Kaethe M — July 11, 2011 @ 8:13 am

    I haven’t had time t sew lately. Your product would be just the thing for a shot of inspiration!

  43. Mickey Pierson — July 11, 2011 @ 8:14 am

    I just made my first purse with it, and absolutely love it! I need to get some more to make more purses for my friends!

  44. Joyce Denning — July 11, 2011 @ 8:14 am

    This sounds like a dream product come true! I’ve made a few bags, but they have never turned out quite as good as I would like. Sounds like Soft and Stable would make the bags turn out just about perfect! Can hardly wait to try it!

  45. Karen — July 11, 2011 @ 8:15 am

    I just ordered it! Love your website!

  46. Charlie — July 11, 2011 @ 8:16 am

    This looks like it would be great to make bags for my daughter’s bridesmaids. She has given me some ideas on some. Hope I can win this great new product. Thanks for your hard work, Annie.

  47. Sue Baker — July 11, 2011 @ 8:18 am

    Want to give this a try. Sounds just like what us bag makers want & need. SB

  48. Margaret — July 11, 2011 @ 8:18 am

    I would love to have some of this stuff. I have heard of it be am not able to find it any where. It would make my bag making so much easier.

  49. Barb — July 11, 2011 @ 8:21 am

    I love making purses and this is definitely something I will be checking out. Thanks Joan for introducing us to Annie and this great new product.

  50. Sharon Aitchison — July 11, 2011 @ 8:21 am

    AT LAST!!! A really new and innovative product of tremendous value to the home sewer. I’ll be looking for this product in stores! Black and white choices makes it all the more exciting. I do make quite a few purses in a year’s time, and this sounds just the ticket vs. batting. WOO HOO!!!!