Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Schlepp Bag Revisited

Next to my cuttting table is a pile of fabric. It is not the only pile of fabric in my home but it is the one I go to when I need to get away from bigger projects and get some almost instant gratification from making something useful. The other day I was getting sick of working on my pink Angotti quilt and went to the pile to see what caught my eye.

On top of it were two pieces of upholstery weight fabric that were crying out to be made into a wheeelchair bag. Wheelchair bags are a quick sew (Instructions I use are here) and these bits of fabric seemed perfect for one. There was one problem. I had already cut a chunk out of one of them (I don't rememeber why) so I went onto to Plan B.

Plan B in this case was a Schlepp Bag.

I have made several in the past (here, here, and here) but this time I decided to make one based on the original design I found in an old magazine. In that one, the sides were not made from squares of fabric but from strips of fabric. I cut my fabric into 6" x 24" strips, serged them together, top-stitched the seams down, trimmed the top straight by eye-balling the edge, added a lining, reinforced the bottom with part of a worn out cutting board and here's how it came out:
The bottom is the classic square and the points sort of match even though the fabric is fairly heavy:

After it was done I started using it as a library book bag but it has morphed into a travel knitting bag for knitting guild meetings and such when I am taking more than just my current project.

What I didn't realize before I started working on this project is that I do have a specific stack of fabric for fill-in sewing. For those times when I just want to get something done, whether for charity or for my own use, there is this stack that I go to to find the building blocks. I've been doing it for years, I just didn't know I was doing it.

If you have time some day, look at your fabric stash and find those fabrics that are a usable size for various quicks projects. Gather them in one place and you will also have your own stack for fill-in sewing. Wheelchair bags, Anti-ouch pouches, Chemo caps, Operation Care Package Christmas Stockings and other charity sewing projects are all good uses for fabric that no longer has a specific use.
After all, we can all use a little instant gratification once in a while.

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