This past Saturday the Strip Club group had another sewing session. Instead of a quilt top, this time we worked on tote bags. One of the group had always wanted to make a tote bag so I presented the Schlepp Bag which can be made from almost any size squares and works well with pre-cut charm square packs from Moda. These are inexpensive packs of about 30 five inch square cuts of one line of fabric. Here's what the Fat Quarter Shop offers in the way of charm packs. There were six of us at the sewing session and here is a mug shop of the whole group: (I'm the one in the back who couldn't figure out how to get in the picture)
The instructions we sewed were from here with a few modifications inspired by an article, in Quiltmaker magazine from the Sept./Oct. '01 issue, called Japanese Twist Bags. The interior and the batting were cut as for a traditional tote bag based on measuremens taken from the exterior. The instructions had you cutting five inch squares of batting and that is way too finicky for me. Three of us used charm packs, one of us used a charm pack mixed with stash fabrics, one used upholstery scraps and I used stash fabric in a larger size. The best part about this is that we all went home with a completed project.
We had scheduled a second bag to be completed but we just did not have enough time for all of us to get it done. The bag we were going to do was this one from an Australian magazine. Myself and one other got to the final step of adding a button. One woman got to constructing her lining and one other got to finishing the basic exterior layout. Two others never even started it which was a good thing as it eliminated the possibilty of another UFO going in to their sewing pile. Here's a picture of the bag I made from a charm pack I had in my stash:
This bag really needs a good press but while looking at one side of it I realized that the whole thing is like a square duffle bag. I wonder what it would look like if those triangles that the handles are connected to were trimmed off and a zipper added. Definitely something to explore some other day.
These once a month gatherngs are good for my soul. There is no pressure to get anything done and we always seem to end up with an interesting project. The last two were quilt tops, this one was a tote bag and the next one will probably be the French Braid Quilt as shown in this book and this one as well. This quilt looks like a study in value but can probably be made using a jelly roll of fabric like this.
I hope your weekend went well. I've become obsessed with watching the early episodes of the television show 24. Whenever I can convince myself that I can let the dishes, laundry and vaccumming wait, I am curled up the dogs and the remote watching Jack Bauer save the world.
Life is good!