Every year my sister, Nannette, and I just cannot wait for the International Quilt Festival here in Houston. Even though we live nearby, we make a true celebration of the occasion by getting a room at the Hilton Americas with the walkway connected to the Convention Center. We start with Preview Night, then go all day from open to close on Thursday. On Thursday night we have Show & Tell in our room to share what goodies we found at the show and decide what we need to do on Friday–did we miss anything? What were the booths that we really wanted to revisit? Friday is also the day that we suspend shopping long enough to admire the vast array of incredible workmanship to be found in the magnificent quilt entries. Then…Back to Shopping!! In past years, my sister and I have both purchased sewing furniture at the show and are so happy with the pieces we chose. This year Nannette is in the market for quilt kits. Since I’m so into my bag-making, I’ll mostly be shopping for fabric, trims, and bag patterns. Hope my pattern sells well at Quilt Market! Maybe I’ll see you there! 🙂
WHY IT’S A GOOD CHOICE
- Easy to clean; wipe off surface.
- Great for bags, aprons, hats, etc.
- No edging or hemming required; no fraying.
- Be very careful if you are pinning. When you make a pinhole, it stays! I have been using the little doll clothespins instead of pins. Or you could use tiny binder clips.
- Use a longer stitch length. Too small stitches could cause a perforation effect.
- Be sure to always press on the wrong side! Breaking this rule will turn your fabric into a sticky mess as well as your iron!
- Your project will go infinitely smoother if you use a Teflon presser foot or at least a Walking Foot.
In the Anny Bag pattern, I mention a few additional pieces of information that would be available on the website and here they are:
- Applying a Magnetic Closure – If there are no directions with your purchased magnetic closure, I can help. On the right side of the bag lining, mark a dot where you want the snap to be. (Note: If you’re sewing the Anny Bag pattern or a similar pattern with a band, the magnetic closure will go on the lining band, not the exterior band.) Place the washer on the dot and mark lines through the slits in the washer. Using embroidery scissors, cut along the slit lines very carefully. Place the snap prongs through the holes. Cut a one inch square of batting or thick interfacing and again draw and cut the two slits. Place over the prongs. Next place the washer over the prongs and bend the prongs outward. (I use needle nose pliers.) Repeat on remaining lining piece. (Note: If you’re sewing the Anny Bag pattern, the “remaining piece” will be the opposite side of the band, not the lining.) The batting is very important so that you do not tear the fabric when you pry apart the closure, especially on lightweight or laminated fabric. This may seem like a lot of steps (it certainly did to me the first time), but honestly, it’s easy, and once you’ve applied one, the rest will seem like “a snap!” 🙂
- Creating Fabric Handles – Cut 2 handle strips 29″ x 4″ and interface them. Fold the handle in the middle lengthwise (wrong sides together), making a crease. Fold each long side into the crease. Fold in half lengthwise (WST) again, with raw edges tucked in and pin. Topstitch along both long sides of the strap. Repeat with other handle.
- NOTE: If you are using fabric handles for the Anny Bag, they would be inserted between the ruffle bag and the band. When finished, the handles will pass up across the band loosely on the outside. Stitch across the handle to hold it in place on the outside at the top of the band.
Hot diggety dog! On October 29 at Quilt Market (just before the International Quilt Show) in Houston, Texas, the Anny Bag Pattern will be available for shops to purchase. After that date, you may contact Quakertown Quilts, Inc. and order online or purchase at their shop in the Woodlands, TX. This is my first pattern for sale and I’m super excited!!
One of the best ways to make your bag more functional and totally customized to your needs, is to add the number and size of pockets that are just right for you. Whatever the pattern dictates for pockets can be altered. If you’re adding more pockets, you’ll just need a little more fabric. I have had as many as eight pockets in one of my larger bags. Think about sizes and shapes appropriate for the following:
- Cell Phone
- Sunglasses/regular glasses
- Water Bottle
- Consider a manufactured handle or strap. Many companies now offer simple- to-attach handles/straps in varied colors and sizes. This also adds a very professional look to your bag. This is true for assorted closures as well.
- Jazz up that lining! Whether it’s just you or the whole world looking in your bag, it’s worth adding a lining that will bring a smile to your face. 🙂 Even the most neutral bag can be fun with a surprisingly colorful and/or whimsical lining inside.
- Experiment with Fabrics. Once you find a pattern you enjoy, don’t be afraid to experiment with various textured fabrics such as faux fur, velvet, wool, suede, chenille, tapestry, or corduroy for winter, and linen, satin, or a laminated fabric for summer.
- Embellish with relish! Some of the most interesting bags are those that have been personalized with touches of jewels, buttons, fringe, or beadwork. It’s often fun AND a challenge to incorporate that special vintage item you’ve found for a truly custom look.