Friday, August 16, 2019

Retreat Bag with Handles and a Tab Closure

I made this Retreat bag with handles and pockets last year and sold it at a craft show. I tried making this one with a closing tab with a magnetic snap instead of a zipper closure. It works okay, but was tricky to get it just right to keep the bag closed fully.

I quilted the bag to a foam stabilizer so it stand up nicely. I added front and back pockets, handles, the closure tab on the outside and inside are more pockets. I love making patchwork bags, especially out of batik fabric.


Side view.

The other side.

This is the back of the bag. I goofed on adding the rivets and the tab! It looked fine from the front, but somehow (don't ask, I don't remember) I got the placement of the tab and rivets off! So I discounted this bag. A woman bought it and I did point out to her the reason I was discounting the price because of the tabs. She didn't seem bothered by that. I was glad it sold to someone who liked it in spite of it's flaw. It is still a great looking and so useful bag! I think I will stick to the original zipper closure from now on, lol!

Inside there is a zippered pocket and a divided slip pocket. I love how this bag opens and stays open so wide with the internal frame. 

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Large Zip Top Knitting Bag

I made this knitting bag last year and sold it at a craft show. I forgot to post about it. I combined a few bag designs into one to create this large knitting bag.

The exterior fabric is a home dec fabric in a Paris print. It has dressmaking tools in the print too.

I used a foam stabilizer to make the bag stand up and I quilted it too.

Nice wide depth to the bag.

The back side also has a slip pocket.

Inside I added a lot of pockets, but I forgot about the boxed corners! So some pockets are going around the corner into the sides of the bag. On one side I made smaller pockets on top of the larger pockets, so there are lots of places to put tools. I even quilted the larger pockets. I discounted  the price of this bag because of the pocket goof I made. A knitting friend of mine bought this bag, so I know she will put it to good use.  

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Monday, August 12, 2019

Basket Made with Selvages

I taught a class several months ago on how to sew selvages and first I showed how to make a mug rug and then how to make a basket using selvages. This little basket was one of my samples I showed.
These are fun to make and a great way to use up selvages and some small scraps of fabric too (for the base, top binding and lining). These baskets can be used for all kinds of things, such as a thread catcher, a pen and pencil container, small project container and more.

I like to add some button embellishments where there is a white space on the selvages. This not only looks good, but covers up such a large white space.
This is the back side.


The side of the basket.

The bottom of the basket. I used a white thread to topstitch because I was showing how to make this basket in class and only brought white thread to sew the selvages with. It won't be seen unless someone picks it up to look at it.
If you would like to learn how to sew selvages and make a mug rug and a basket, you can purchase my pdf pattern on Makerist. I show you several ways to sew the selvages. My way is a bit different than others I have seen.
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Sunday, August 11, 2019

Patchwork Marilyn Zippered Pouch

I made a blue patchwork Marilyn zippered pouch (by Imazz Patterns). The bag features a removable wrist strap, so you can carry it like a clutch/wristlet bag, or use as a cosmetic bag or put whatever you want inside it. These zippered pouches are so useful for all kinds of things. The pattern includes the patchwork version as well as making it out of one fabric. You can add a pocket inside too.


This is the back side of the bag.

Inside is nice and roomy.

I used denim for the base and the strap.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Quilted Market Bag

I made this Batik Patchwork Quilted Market Bag (from Annie's Quilting) and added a lot of my own changes (of course!). It looks great in the patchwork and especially the batik fabric. My friend gave me the batiks that were wide cut strips and I have made 3 different bags with these batiks so far and still have batik strips and pieces left.

This was a free pattern last month if you signed up on Annie's Quilting Facebook site. The pattern shows the handles differently, going from the back to the front, instead of one handle in the front and one on the back, as I made mine. The handles going the other way is supposed to be for putting on the racks to fill your groceries. However, I wanted a normal carry handle and I am not certain we will even have those racks here when they do away with plastic bags. Sewing the handles traditionally makes this bag more versatile so it can be used for other things besides groceries, like a knitting bag or just carrying whatever needs to be carried.

The pattern is for sale on Annie's Quilting site. You can see what I mean about the handles when you click on the link.

So here is my version of this bag. I will point out my changes in the caption of the photos.

I quilted this to fleece and not batting. I added strap tabs, rings, straps and rivets instead of the handles shown in the instructions. I also made my handles narrower for easier grabbing.

Side view on one side of the bag.

I also added a zippered pocket on the back of the bag. Whether this bag gets used for groceries or not, it is nice to have a place for keys to access easily or a phone.

My signature zipper pull that I make and add to all zippers.

Inside I added a slip pocket that I divided with a pen pocket. This makes a nice place to have a pen or pencil and your shopping list, ins case you need to add something to the list before you forget. The bag is rather roomy as you can see also.

Closer look at the pen pocket on the left and larger pocket.

I also added a heavy interfacing (Peltex) to the bottom of the bag for stability and some purse feet to keep the bottom cleaner too.

Closer look at the purse feet. I quilted the bag in a diagonal grid with variegated thread as you can see better here too.

I put some of those packing pillows inside to show how this bag would look with something inside it.

The bag stand up nicely. I also added interfacing to the handles for a sturdier handle.

The other side view of the bag.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Large Retreat Bags in Blue Patchwork

I have made Retreat Bags before, both large and small and have added my own changes to the bags. I bought a dozen or so frames last year  from Emmaline bags for the large size, but these bags look just as nice without a frame too, they just look different. So I thought I would show you the look both with a frame and without a frame. The frame is the last thing that gets inserted into a bag, so if you prefer without a frame, just don't add it.

I made these two Retreat Bags by sewing strips together and then quilting the bag front and back. I added handles and pockets and a frame to the bag too. The basic bag is a free pattern from Emmaline Bags, which looks like a Dopp bag (with the frame), but I like to add handles and pockets to make it even nicer looking and more useful.

I used foam stabilizer to help the bag keep it's shape too. Some rings and rivets add to the look and function of the bag as well.

Using blues from my scraps bag of blue fabrics, I pulled out strips of all widths to sew together. This is the front side of the bag with the frame inserted.

Here is the same front side without the frame inserted. It looks wider at the top, but I like this look too.

Side view with no frame.

Back of bag without the frame.

Inside divided slip pocket.

Bag with the frame shows how wide it can open up. Like a nice big box.
Inside zippered pocket.
Without the frame, the bag still opens up nice and wide, but doesn't retain that box look.

Front of bag with the frame. The sides fold down and the zipper pulls don't stick out as much with the frame.

Here are the 2 bags I made. The bag on the right without the frame and the bag on the left with the frame so you can see the difference side-by-side.

Here they both are with frames inserted.

I made this second bag with blues and touches of green and aqua too. Here with the frame inserted into the bag.

Without the frame here.

The back of the bag without the frame.
Side of the bag without the frame.
Inside divided slip pocket.

Inside zipper pocket.
Bag wide open with the frame.
Bag wide open without the frame.

Do you have a preference for the bag with the frame or without the frame? I love them both! But when I use up all the frames I have, I will continue to make these bags without a frame. I make the small size without a frame because I didn't buy frames in small. 

I have added pockets to the front and back of the retreat bags I made before, but because these are patchwork, I didn't want to cover up the patchwork on these. I like to vary how I make these bags by adding pockets, straps, frames or not, and more. That way all of my bags are truly a one-of-a-kind bag.

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