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”

  1. Denise — July 13, 2011 @ 8:42 am

    Dear Annie: I am inspired by your story….proving that “necessity is the mother of invention”. Your insight, ingenuity, and perserverance to bring SOFT and STABLE to market is greatly appreciated. My creative wheels are turning…….I can’t wait to incorporate it into my bags,purses, ……and to go “beyond” into the home, office, car, and fashion accessories. Thanks!

  2. MelodyJ — July 13, 2011 @ 9:04 am

    I love that Serenity bag! I’ve been wanting to make another bag so see myself ordering several packages for my daughter and I

  3. Terry Sandoval — July 13, 2011 @ 10:19 am

    I love the purses! The product sounds heavenly! I will definitely try this on my next project!

  4. Roberta — July 13, 2011 @ 12:22 pm

    This looks like an awsome new product !

  5. Elena — July 13, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

    Wow! Looks like a fantastic product. I visited Annie’s website and was amazed at number of tutorials available. Planning to order some Soft and Stable and purse pattern very soon. :0

  6. Kathy — July 13, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

    I just found your site after joining a bags and totes Yahoo Group. I LOVE making purses and will try your product. You are very ambitious to have created such a product!!!! I will be searching your site for some new patterns to add to my collection!!!

  7. Wendy Hatton — July 13, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

    Wow, what fabulous bags. Obviously Soft & Stable is the perfect thing for great bags. I’d love to give it a try.

  8. Gill — July 13, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

    This looks a great product!
    I would love to try some!!

  9. Glenda in Florida — July 13, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

    Sounds like a great product.

  10. Ellie — July 13, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

    Looks like a great product. I definitely want to try it!

  11. Jen B — July 13, 2011 @ 10:19 pm

    Sounds like a great product. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for it!

  12. Marianne — July 13, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

    I would love to give this a try. I like your post. Is this something that can be purchased on line only? or in stores or quilt stores. I also love the idea that it isn’t just for purses, but basically anything you can sew like hot pads, placemats, etc

  13. Sherry MayLee — July 14, 2011 @ 12:37 am

    Will be checking out the Soft and Stable & share with my sewing class. Thanks Sherry

  14. Barbara — July 14, 2011 @ 12:44 am

    I LOVE making purses of all shapes and sizes. It would be great to try your product.

  15. Christina Obregon — July 14, 2011 @ 1:43 am

    What a great product – and so many uses too! I cannot wait to try it! Thank you!!

  16. Cheryl — July 14, 2011 @ 2:31 am

    I have been planning a project for displaying my BJD’s (ball-jointed dolls) and have been pondering how to quilt the trees so that they stayed perfect. Sounds like Soft&Stable will keep those trees from sagging and I am very excited to use this. And maybe I will even be inspired to get all of those purse/bag/handbag patterns out again without worrying about those frustrating layers of batting and interferfacing. Thanks for the 10% off too!

  17. Binks — July 14, 2011 @ 2:52 am

    I would love to try this out. I make purses/clutches and would love for a more finished/polished store bought look.

  18. Kathlene — July 14, 2011 @ 3:23 am

    I would likt to try your product. Sounds good. Thank you

  19. Agneta Ekholm — July 14, 2011 @ 4:55 am

    I would love to get my hands on this material, as I have had kind of the same search for the perfect batting for bags, stable but not stiff. I don’t think I can find it here i Sweden yet, though …
    The patterns Annie offers look just wonderful!

  20. susan — July 14, 2011 @ 6:49 am

    a new product, that’s not just an amended copy of an old one, but seems entirely new- I’d love to try it

  21. Denny — July 14, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

    I just learned about this and want to try it! And your purse patterns look like lots of fun, too!

  22. Linda — July 14, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

    Annie,so nice to meet you!
    I’m Linda,quilting away in Montana!
    I’d certainly like to try ‘Soft+Stable’ – THANKS for sharing!

  23. Joanne Raczynski — July 14, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

    I am new to sewing, about 6months and this product looks great. I can use all the help I can get to get me past that “homemade” look.

  24. Anne — July 14, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

    Just what I’ve been looking for!!!

  25. Sandra Davidson — July 14, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

    Wow this is exactly what I have been looking for for my bags etc. Thanks for bringing it to my attention and giving me a chance to win some.

  26. Allison C — July 15, 2011 @ 12:02 am

    Very cool! I would love to try it!

  27. Katherine A — July 15, 2011 @ 12:32 am

    What a brilliant idea. I’ve sewn lots of things, but never bags or purses. please enter me.

  28. Wendy — July 15, 2011 @ 5:17 am

    Looks a great product – any plans to bring it to UK?

  29. Peggy — July 15, 2011 @ 6:41 am

    Looking forward to using Soft and Stable in my next handbag project.

  30. susan — July 15, 2011 @ 11:04 am

    This seems like a fabulous product! I usually quilt the fabric for my bags out of necessity, so this will be a real timesaver!

  31. Donna — July 15, 2011 @ 11:47 am

    This sounds amazing. It will be great to try something for these projects that don’t make it so stiff but still do the job you need for bags & totes. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

    Donna in MO

  32. Sandra Hedrick — July 15, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

    Am I ever glad I turned on my computer this morning. Would love to try this. I make purses all the time, & I’ve tried all kinds of different things, fusible fleece, warm & natural, peltex, (which I won’t be revisiting, because it was a nightmare to turn) anyway I sure hope you draw my name. Thanks, Sandie

  33. Kathy — July 15, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

    This sounds so interesting. One of my favorite things to make is a purse and of course coin purse or wallet to match. I would love to give this a try especially since this year I’ve vowed that everyone is getting a purse for Christmas this year.

  34. Bettina Elliott — July 15, 2011 @ 4:44 pm

    omg…i can’t believe it….my same thought, only i didn’t go out & invent it….i hate the bulk of other fleece/batt options. this sounds PERFECT!!! we will definitely need to order this for the little shop i work at. oh how i love lazy girl patterns…..

  35. Elizabeth McDonald — July 15, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

    Wow! You have my utmost respect for seeing the need, and then having the determination to develop the product to fill the need!

  36. Rita. Projecta — July 15, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

    Soft n stable for my SUzi

  37. Alice — July 15, 2011 @ 10:29 pm

    Your items using this new product look wonderful!

  38. Judy — July 15, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

    I’d love to try this product on a table runner……wow!! I will be looking for it in the stores.

  39. Joyce in NC — July 17, 2011 @ 12:36 am

    I would love to try this product. Please enter me in the drawing.

  40. CatMyers — July 17, 2011 @ 11:25 am

    I’ve never heard of this product before. After watching the video, I’m eager to try it!

  41. Lynne Brown — July 17, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

    Hi Annie–Your Soft and Stable product is just what I have been looking for! I make lots of purses and seem to be a true “purse pattern collector”! I would love to have the opportunity to try it, so I hope you will think of me when selecting someone to receive your new product! Thanks!

  42. jojo — July 18, 2011 @ 8:46 am

    genial bravo annie tu es douee bisessssssss

  43. debbi Blair — July 18, 2011 @ 11:08 am

    Went into my local quilt shop here in Jackson, WY to see if Kim carried the Soft and Stable. Nobody here had heard about it. A lady from St. George, UT was in the shop and told us that she had tried it and loved working with it! I’m sold! I’ll be ordering directly from Annie since I have not found a shop close to me that carries it. (100 miles from nearest city) That lady also explained to us about the texturizing. Wonderful and easy! I like to keep things easy (lazy tecniques?) I wish I could remember her name. I need to thank her again for the info….giggle.

  44. wanda spain — July 18, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

    I have never heard of this product but it is very much needed, I am glad to have found this product before I make some xmas presents, the only problem is to find it. LOL Thanks for the chance to win.

  45. Sheesh — July 18, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

    I’m ready to try it. I have a couple of bags to make. Count me in.

  46. lisle — July 18, 2011 @ 10:14 pm

    This looks wonderful!

  47. karen — July 19, 2011 @ 2:33 am

    this looks like a great product!!!!!!!!!!!

  48. Pat Kelley — July 19, 2011 @ 3:29 am

    I love making bags and totes. This sounds like a wonderful project. Can’t wait to try it out.

  49. Candy — July 20, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

    sounds really wonderful. I would love to try it in all the purses and bags I make each year at Christmas. I live 60 miles away from a major city and I haven’t seen any of this in any stores that are close to where I live. What stores are carrying this?

    Thanks for the opportunity to enter this give away.

  50. Linda — July 21, 2011 @ 8:24 am

    Sounds like a great product. I’ll have to try it, in my next project.