Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dress-up Schlep Bag

Last May I was shown a great bag called a Schlep Bag. I made one out of 5" squares of coordinated fabrics and was quite pleased with the results. The pattern I used is referenced here. Recently I was given a challange to make somehing from twenty different home decorating fabrics with at least five of them showing on the public side of whatever was made.

I was given a sample book of fabrics and have been staring at them for several months without any inspiration. Finally I came across a bunch of lovely fabrics in the giveaway pile at the ASG Houston retreat and have substituted them for the original fabrics.

From my new pile of decorating fabrics I have created a new Schlep Bag to be used for carrying around knitting projects in style. Sixteen of the twenty fabrics are on the outside and the final four are used in a little zippered pocket to hold small bits and pieces. The lining is silk dupioni that was originally sold as drapery fabric. I used six inch squares for the exterior and created the interior as you normally would for a tote bag. The base came out to be nine inches squares and the whole bag is about thirteen inches high. I added a pocket on one side of the interior for instruction sheets a small zippered pocket on the other side of the interior for scissors and things.

What do you think?

I did not decide to make a Schlep Bag out of the blue but from an article in one of the quilting magazines I have been getting for the Quilt Guild Fish Pond. It was from the early nineties and used strips of Japanese fabrics for the exterior rather than squares of fabric. The interior was a regular bag and there were little loops along the top for a drawstring handle arrangement. Obviously there is more to discover about this design and I am strangely satisfied to know where this design originated and how clever quilters transformed it into something that can pieced.

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