It’s the time of year here at Aurora Sewing Center when minds start to wander towards Quilt Market. We attend the International Quit Market in the spring, although it’s held 2 times per year- we don’t attend the fall market as it’s our busiest time at the Sewing Center. This year market will be held in Pittsburg PA, from May 16th-18th. “Market” is a international trade show where we learn all about whats new and exciting in fabric, notions, teaching techniques and machines. As when attending any trade show you need a good tote bag, because with 1500 vendors the one thing you can be sure of is that you will collect a TON of “stuff”.
Last week I was in the classroom and one of our dear customers showed me a bag she was working on called The Bayport Bag, by Scrap-Bags. You can visit the Scrap-Bag blog by clicking HERE.
What drew me to this pattern is that it allows you to show off (or practice) your freemotion quilting skills. The pattern starts with a 22″x36″ quilt sandwich and instruction to “Quilt as Desired”. The great thing about this is that you could pick a fabric with a strong print, and then use that print as a guide for your quilting. It would be a great way to practice new quilting techniques on something you’ll actually use! (a class for the next semester perhaps??)
I picked out one of the gorgeous new fabrics from the “Botanics” collection that we just got into the store (seriously you have to see this stuff in person- it’s got these little touches of metallic that are amazing), and I decided to play with practicing my feathers and pebbles, which are two of my favorite quilting motifs. I was really happy with how it turned out!
So after you quilt your sandwich you trim it to 20.5″ x 35″ then make some pleats in the short ends to give the bag a little shape. I made my pleats a little less dramatic than the pattern called for, just because I knew that I wanted to to be a little more “tote bag” like than pursey. (I don’t think “pursey” is a word- but just go with me on it ok?)
As you can (sort of) see in the shot above, you make some simple pockets, and when you bind your pleated quilt sandwich you just attach them in the binding- genius! So what you are left with is a strange looking quilted table topper!
The straps come next- they are a really interesting technique that I had never done before, and they add a really interesting look to the outside of the bag. I didn’t take step by step photos of the process, but the pattern is written very clearly and was easy to follow.
The pattern gives the option to put yo-yos on the empty space on the handles, but I haven’t decided if that’s what I’ll do yet. It might be a neat place for some embroidery, or even a covered button!
The last part of this quick bag is to fold it in half, tuck in the corners and sew up the edges! (How easy is that??).
I really enjoyed taking a quick break from my May quilt of the month to make this great tote, I hope you enjoyed reading about it- the sample will live at the Williamsville location until mid May when I steal it to fill with market goodies, and the patterns will be for sale at both locations by next week!
So tell me, would you make this bag?