Thursday, March 29, 2012

How not to make a bag

12March29bag I finished my new tote yesterday, and I think I understand the basic design now. This one looks better than the last one, but not exactly as it should have. It’s made from a free pattern at Blank Quilting's website. I don’t know if this link will take you right to the pattern – it might just be the pattern page, in which case you have to go to page 8 (I think) and call up the Crab Bay projects. (Besides the bag, there are also placemats, bibs and other things for your crab feast.)

If you do look up the pattern, you’ll see a simple but nice long, low tote bag. Mine is, uh, tall and narrow.Have I mentioned that I can’t read instructions? Can’t follow them, either. I didn’t even notice until I was putting the last stitches on it and suddenly though, “hey… wait a minute!” Don’t you hate those moments? My orange stripe was meant to be vertical. I cut it so that it would be up and down, not horizontal. But I guess gravity won out again. And since I placed it  horizontally, the direction of my bag changed. No big deal, really, at this stage of the game, but not what I was planning.

12March 29fancy I wasn’t paying attention to the direction of my free motion quilting, either, so my leaves point up and down on one side of the bag and from side to side on the other. Another no big deal, but it’s all stuff to keep in mind for the next bag. The original pattern didn’t call for gussets (a squared bottom), but I like that look and so I added them. The striped material is a pocket. And you can never had enough pockets. But because of the gussets, the pocket extends from the sides of the bag to its bottom. Not much use for a pocket on the bottom of the bag! Makes finding the change you tossed in there really hard to find. I put stiff interfacing between the two layers of pocket material and gave it a fancy stitch along the top just to hold it in place.

12March29fmq I told myself to make the lining a little smaller than the outside this time, but forgot, and now there’s too much of it inside the bag. Make it look soft though. Probably just right for Rusty or Ginger although they haven’t tried it out yet. I used pellon 987F fusible fleece for the main bag. I attached it to the outer material and then quilted it. I don’t know whether it was the pellon or my machine, but every once in a while the bobbin thread would stick as I was quilting and pull the thread into a mess if I didn’t stop right away and “unstick” it. Pulling the fabric up from the needle plate would usually free it. I changed the needle at one point but it didn’t make a difference.

I think that about does it for “lessons learned” on this project. I’m onto my “retirement bag” although I haven’t picked a pattern yet. I think I’ll be adding a zipper or two and some inside pockets to the next bag.

12March29pfaff For any antique fans who may be reading, I saw this at one of our thrift stores yesterday. Could have been mine for $10 but I don’t collect sewing machines. I do admire them, though, and I was told that this one runs fine. But I’m quite happy with my Horizon, thank you very much!

Until next time,

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