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. Kay — July 11, 2011 @ 9:10 am

    This looks like a wonderful product!! I make bags to give as gifts and am always struggling with the problem of sagging. I can see how the soft and Stable foam batting would help that problem! I would love to try it and thanks for developing a product like this!!

  2. Deb Frey — July 11, 2011 @ 9:11 am

    I got to have some! I have been making purses for a while and I have the same problems as you have had, I have tried it all. I also teach classes and I know if the ladies see the results they will be sold on this product. This would even save be a few steps to put in all that stabilizer I use and I think much cheaper, if I figure my time and money I have in all the stabilizers I use. I need to know where I can buy some of this wonderful stabilizer.

  3. Marilyn Klein — July 11, 2011 @ 9:13 am

    Sounds like the answer I’ve been looking for. Can’t wait to try it.

  4. Robbie — July 11, 2011 @ 9:14 am

    Looks like a wonderful product. I am anxious to try it. And I want to try the placemat pattern very soon. I love making placemats almost as much as I love making bags.

  5. Mirja Marshall — July 11, 2011 @ 9:15 am

    How wonderful, I would love to try it out.!

  6. Maria Swain — July 11, 2011 @ 9:15 am

    I think you have a winner here, there is nothing more satisfying than to see a nice clean structured bag. Living in the UK we have to wait so long before we can obtain the products that you have so I would love to be in with a chance of winning. Fingers crossed

  7. wintu nancy — July 11, 2011 @ 9:16 am

    How right you are that sometimes our purses are so full of ‘stuffing’ that they are hard to sew. What a gem this product will be for making purses. Thanks for a chance to win some of this product.

  8. Barbara — July 11, 2011 @ 9:17 am

    I have been trying to find a way to make handles for my bags with more body and now I think Soft and Stable will be the answer. It will also make the body of the bags firmer and it sounds like it will be easier to use and require less sewing. Hope I win a pattern and some Soft and Stable.

  9. Peg Cooper — July 11, 2011 @ 9:17 am

    Wow thanks for taking the time to develop this. I want to try it. I can think of a few projects that I have been wanting to make.

  10. Iris — July 11, 2011 @ 9:17 am

    Would love to try and soft and stable – and the bag patterns look great. Especially since I’ve become hooked on making my own handbags.

  11. Jennifer P — July 11, 2011 @ 9:19 am

    I used Soft and Stable in a Miranda bag which I gave to my daughter to use as a diaper bag. It has held up well and looks very professional in finish. It was a dream to use in the construction too. I’d love to get more to use in another bag and would really like to try the white as well as try the Serenity bag pattern. Thanks for the opportunity. You can’t go wrong with the Soft and Stable in any bag.

  12. Suellen DiMassimo — July 11, 2011 @ 9:19 am

    This looks like the perfect stabilizer! I can’t wait to try it.

  13. Sandy — July 11, 2011 @ 9:20 am

    Soft and Stable is an awesome product. I just finished my first bag with with and I love it. I made Annie’s MiPad Case and am using it as a purse instead of an iPad case. I love it. Try it… you will like it.

  14. Malana — July 11, 2011 @ 9:21 am

    I can’t wait to have my retailer get this new product in stock. It sounds like the answer to all of our prayers. Thanks

  15. Phyllis S. — July 11, 2011 @ 9:22 am

    Wow! This sounds great!

  16. Lori Smith — July 11, 2011 @ 9:22 am

    I have been making my own purses for years, and struggle with what type of stabilizer to use for professional results. I would love to try your product.!

  17. Diane — July 11, 2011 @ 9:23 am

    What a great product! Definitely going to try it. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Laurel Lloyd — July 11, 2011 @ 9:24 am

    Wow! This looks like a wonderful product; I love to make bags & totes – keeps me sane during big quilt projects (sometimes a girl needs instant gratification).

  19. Linda Davis — July 11, 2011 @ 9:24 am

    Hi Annie, I love the idea of this product. I make purses that I design for my custom bridal business and have had a hard time finding a product that gives them the shape that I would like. I can not wait to try this product.

  20. Bonita — July 11, 2011 @ 9:26 am

    Annie I am a big fan of your patterns and cannot wait to get hold of this new product. Keep up the good work.

  21. Linda F. — July 11, 2011 @ 9:26 am

    This sounds like a great product!

  22. Donna — July 11, 2011 @ 9:27 am

    Wow! This product sounds wonderful, and I can’t wait to try it. I love the Serenity Bag that is pictured. Just beautiful. I am so glad to have found out about this product!! Thanks!

  23. mary machado — July 11, 2011 @ 9:28 am

    What a great product! It sounds like your research and development of this will benefit all sewists looking for that final fine tuning professional touch when stabitlity and softness are desired. Congratualations!

  24. Bonnie — July 11, 2011 @ 9:28 am

    I’m often disappointed in the way my bags look, so I am excited to learn about your new product. I can’t wait to try it.

  25. MimiW — July 11, 2011 @ 9:29 am

    Wow! Can’t wait to try this. I love making bags and totes. I think this product is just the thing I’m looking for!

  26. Gayle — July 11, 2011 @ 9:30 am

    Sounds like a great product! Can’t wait to try some! Will share this info with my “sewing” friends!

  27. Sarah — July 11, 2011 @ 9:30 am

    Great story! Love that can do attitude!

  28. Mary Vukusich — July 11, 2011 @ 9:31 am

    I make a lot of purses and I am so excited about this new product. I cant wait to use it. thak you very much for all your time to develop it. Mary

  29. Jean Della Vecchia — July 11, 2011 @ 9:32 am

    I love purses and handbags and have made quite a few. I am anxious to try your product.

  30. Valerie Rothert — July 11, 2011 @ 9:35 am

    Wow! What an answer to prayers!

  31. Eileen Ostrowsky — July 11, 2011 @ 9:36 am

    Already ordered some direct from Annie, but would love the pattern.

  32. Linda L. Davis — July 11, 2011 @ 9:38 am

    I make a lot of pocketbooks for friends and family and would love to try some.

  33. mary gontjes — July 11, 2011 @ 9:38 am

    I would love to try this awesome batting. It looks like it would be great on my purses.
    Happy sewing,

  34. Marion O — July 11, 2011 @ 9:40 am

    I saw some beautiful bags the other day made using this product. Would love to try it in my next project!

  35. Cindy — July 11, 2011 @ 9:41 am

    This sounds like a great product. I love making bags so I can’t wait to give it a try!

  36. Annette Crain — July 11, 2011 @ 9:42 am

    Sounds like just the product we seamstresses/quilters have been hoping for!
    Can’t wait to buy some to make some more “mug rugs” and purses. My daughter has a new Kindle e=reader and I want to make a sturdy cover for it.
    Thanks so much for the great giveaways!

  37. Sally D — July 11, 2011 @ 9:43 am

    Just what I have been looking for. I can’t wait to try it.

  38. Shirley Westveer — July 11, 2011 @ 9:45 am

    Between you, Joan, and Annie, I am inspired to try new things and ways fo doing them. Appreciate all you do to further our industry!

  39. betty spoonemore — July 11, 2011 @ 9:46 am

    I have a sewing and quilting learning center…Willing Hands…we have classes on bags all the time and this would be awesome to try before purchasing. i will check out your web site!

  40. Judi S — July 11, 2011 @ 9:48 am

    This sound like a super product. I intend to order smoe right away!

  41. Jane McKay — July 11, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    Well, I missed the discount by ordering from the Lazy Girl Blog link last week, but I am SO excited to try this new product. Sounds like a winner!!! Thanks for your work and research.

  42. Monica J — July 11, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    Can’t wait to try this, am currently working on a Margo and wish I had the soft n stable to try. Will have to order and make a new “fall” bag!

  43. dona kremer — July 11, 2011 @ 9:52 am

    Wish this had been available when I made bags for my grandaughters laptops! They needed more stability.

  44. JackieS — July 11, 2011 @ 9:52 am

    I have only been sewing totes and bags for a short while, so have been experimenting with the different products that are available. This is new and I do think by what you say it will be the solution to my problems and the end of my searching, so thank you for telling us about it..

  45. Anne — July 11, 2011 @ 9:54 am

    This looks so good. I am glad that you also make it in white. Can’t wait to try it!!

  46. Terry Sams — July 11, 2011 @ 9:55 am

    I love trying new products. Would love to have either of the patterns and the batting. Love making bags and purses.

  47. Wendy Tiano — July 11, 2011 @ 9:55 am

    This product looks great. I’m always looking for something that will give my purses a little more support. I hate when they slouch . lol

  48. Bev S. — July 11, 2011 @ 9:55 am

    You are speaking to my heart. Several years ago, I took apart an old bag and there was the foam. I tried using a 1/8″ craft foam but like you said, the feed dogs were fussy. Even tried auto head liner but it’s a bit heavy. Thank you so much for developing the new product. I can’t wait to try it.

  49. Deborah Adams — July 11, 2011 @ 9:58 am

    I love to sew and bags are my specialty.

  50. Joan Thomas — July 11, 2011 @ 9:59 am

    Would love to win this. I have made Pocket books for my Mom, and would like to make some for myself.