As the very warm and nice weather is approaching (75-80 is the forecast for tomorrow) it gave me more energy to jump into my to-be-finished list and actually get something DONE. I always Ooooh and Aaaaah those quilters who post several new finishes every week and kind of envy them for their skills to stay organized along the way cause that's the way to get things done. I get so many distractions and find excuses all the time, not mentioning the biggest one, Twitter... Not that I mind, but just sayin'.
So after I was done with the N Blu quilt I was kind of clueless what's next. If you can remember I recently made a huge progress on Easy Street just to get set back with numerous missing blocks. And there's the monkey quilt hanging over my head that I want to finish and have it out of my way. It's been 4 years I started that sucker and I'm tired of it! But, on the other hand I had this bag started last spring when I wanted to make 2 of the same, but didn't have enough fabric to make the handle for the second one. So I just had it in a half done stage without lining and handles. I made fabric Easter baskets last year and after the Easter gathering was cancelled I stuffed all the baskets in this bag to have them out of my way. It was sitting on my shelf and I was looking at it every day.
Now that I had to decide what to do next I was kind of asking around on Twitter and Carol was suggesting to finish the bag to have a quick satisfactory feeling. So I went with that. I pulled the fabric for the lining and measured how big I need to make it (it's been awhile and I had no idea of the measurements, plus I changed the size so the pattern would not have been helping). I wanted pockets and sewed that on the lining first, but forgot to do the dividing vertical lines so I had to do that after the whole lining was together. DUH! Topping that I didn't bother putting my hand on the pocket, just eyeballed it and what do you know, my hands don't fit into the pocket all the way. Guess no chap sticks and small stuff in those 2! :))
With the inside pockets (left and right pockets are too small even for my child size hands):
Then came the handles. I didn't have enough fabric to make a long enough handle so I looked on Pinterest for options. I found a very good tutorial here which was using duck cloth and another fabric to cover the seams. I realized I had duck cloth bought earlier for making shopping bags so I just took it out, pressed it with a lot of water to get the wrinkles out and cut out the 2.5" strips I needed. Later I realized I wanted to make the handles a little wider so instead of folding the sides all the way to the middle I only folded about 3/8" in. I'd put the other fabric on top and it looked kind of stupid to have a hole in the middle even though I couldn't see it. I had an the idea to put some batting in the middle to make the hole disappear. Started to sew the layers together and my walking foot just gave me a fit. It only took itty bitty stitches and seemed like it didn't push the fabric through. Ripped out the stitches, tried again. Still didn't work. Okay, I figured it might be too thick (even though this machine should stitch twice the thickness, but at that point I was like whatever!) I took the batting out and started again just to realize that my walking foot couldn't move properly because the handle that's supposed to move on the side was blocked by some parts of the machine (that I moved earlier to get it out of my way). And then it'd hit me! Fixed the problem and stitched the handles in 5 minutes, tops.
By that time it was midnight. I was cursing those people who say they can whip up a bag like this in an hour. :))))) Okay, maybe after I have everything cut. I had to adjust the size of the lining a little since it was too big, then sewed the lining to the outer fabric leaving a gap and turned it inside out. After pinning I called it a day because I just knew at that stage if I started to stitch the top stitching which should not take more than 5 minutes something would go wrong and I would not be able to sleep :)
I finished it this morning without a hitch and really glad I did, it feels awesome to finally have it done.
In full glory:
Smoky from the Quality Control department was supervising me as I took the photos:
I like this bag a lot and I was thinking I will try to make one with a zipper top. Now I've never made a lined bag with a zipper top so that should be interesting. But, I got an email from Craftsy today that they still have their Spring sale going on and I found a free mini class about zippers and I quickly signed up. I'll watch the lessons before my attempt...Oh, have I mentioned it was my second finish in the 2nd Quarter Finish Along? Oh yeah, baby! And it's only April 8th!
Linking up to the Craftastic Monday linky party at Sew Can Do