I've made quite a few bags over the years, but they have all been pretty basic. I can either do a tote bag or one with a box gusset like the one above. Regular readers will know that I have serious problems following patterns and therefore am doomed to 'make things up as I go along' often to mixed results! But it is actually easier for me that way than trying to do as I am told!
A few months ago I made this workshop bag to take to QuiltCon and tried out an inserted zipper pocket to stretch myself. I used this tutorial.
So that brings me to this bag which I made earlier this week for a friend's special birthday. The blocks were made as samples for a new course of my Modern Sampler Quilt class. They are what I call Japanese x and + and there is a great tutorial for them here.
I also used up some Karen Lewis Textiles fabric I had left over from a recent Love Patchwork and Quilting commission (you will get to see this in July!). Each side of the bag uses different fabrics but hopefully with a cohesive overall vibe.
The background fabric is the gorgeous Manchester Linen from Robert Kaufman. I love the look of this fabric but boy does it fray!
I decided to try matchstick quilting for the first time here too. I love the look of it but you can see just by looking that it is quite a commitment, so trying it out on a bag seemed sensible. I used an Aurfil 50 in a variegated yellow. It didn't take too long but used up so much thread!
I left some spaces between the quilt lines so that I could add some hand quilting with perle cotton 8's afterwards. I had been inspired by a quilt I saw in Austin with the same quilting, I am very sorry but I can't remember which quilt now!
I really love the texture this achieved.
As this is for a special friend I embroidered a felt label for the inside.
I also used a magnetic snap for the first time, pretty self explanatory really, though I did check out this tute first and found it very useful.
I'm pleased with how this turned out and am already feeling more confident about the zip pocket. Nevertheless expect a few more bags popping up here during May!