Kind of quilting :o)

vacuumfreakMay 8, 2012

I decided that I needed to have a tote bag so that when I start going to classes or guild work shops, I can easily take my shears, foot pedal, rotary cutter, pin cushion, travel iron, presser foot lifter bar, and whatever else I may need...

I've never made one of these before, so I watched and read a few tutorials online, and then just did my own thing, using info gathered from several online sources as "suggestions"!

The hardest part was turning the straps right side out, but once I remembered I had a long knitting needle, it went much easier/faster... I also did a few things I'd never done with my machine before... top stitching, twin needle sewing, using the stop/start button (don't like it, I like having control of my machine, it's OK for long strips though), using the knee lifter (kept pressing the "gas pedal" by mistake though when I was using it!). This took me all day, but I really enjoyed the entire process and got some real quality time with "Benny" (the sewing machine) today!

Also got some quality time with the seam ripper as I sewed the straps on upside down the first time :o)

The reason this relates to quilting instead of just sewing is because the lining is part of what was going to be a quilt many moons ago. I started a quilt like 10 years ago, but that was before I learned to measure, cut straight, or sew straight.... I also sewed strips instead of blocks, and my work was so sloppy that I knew I'd never make it into a quilt.... but for the lining of a "sewing notions" tote bag, it worked well. I sewed strips together to create the lining.

I got the outside fabric at the quilt shop that I took my first quilting class at 2 years ago, and I'd been wondering how to use it all this time. Glad I finally found something useful to do with it! When I took that class, I brought all my "stuff" in a plastic grocery store bag.... it will be so nice to have something that I made myself and that isn't as tacky and is more sturdy (my shears poked a hole in the plastic bag last time, and I was chasing bobbins in the parking lot!)....

Here are some pictures of what I accomplished today :o)

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That's really cute. Now go all the way and put a big pocket on one side. It comes in handy for a note pad or small ruler. Good job.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 11:26PM
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Very creative!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 11:48PM
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Very the fabric......but be careful, you will get hooked on making bags and totes and you will need one for everything! I haven't bought a bag or tote in years!
Toolgranny is need a big pocket on the outside or inside. Pockets are extremely handy in a big ole tote!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 6:53AM
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Ah, the beginnings of tote bag addiction! Watch out, it's hard to stop! LOL I think tote bags are a 'gateway' project and can lead to more dangerous projects: purses, backpacks, dog costumes, teddy bears, lunch bags... and of course, more and more TOTE BAGS.

Very cute bag and I love the fabric. Great job!


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 7:01AM
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Really cute and perfect fabric choice. Good job.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 8:54AM
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Cool tote! And great choice of fabrics. Your "recycled" lining is serving a good purpose. Those are some long strap handles, lending themselves well for a shoulder tote.

Where did you use the twin needle stitching?


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:05AM
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Thanks ladies.... what nice responses to wake up to :)

Geez, now you tell me I was supposed to put a pocket in after I get it all together! Next time I guess...

I had more fun doing this than quilting... maybe because it wasn't so repetitive and I didn't have to measure anything. I can see this becoming a "habit"! I sent pictures to a friend and he wants one too... I told him to pick his fabric!

Julie, I used the twin needed sewing on the top edge where the opening is, kind of like a finishing top stitch. I'm really getting wild and crazy with twin needle sewing... I think I need to go to some "stitchers anonymous" meetings :o) You can almost see it in the first picture if you know that's what you're looking for... and you can see the zig zag from the bobbin in the last picture :o) The straps are really long! I was scared of making them too short so I went a little too far the other way, but they work well... with my height (5'11") it goes just below my hips. I bet I could rig some kind of "do dad" to adjust them.

I should be back to quilting soon (or attempting to quilt :o) My quarter inch foot should be arriving any day now and hopefully that will help me with matching seams. My machine has a piecing stitch, but still there's room for human error.... this new foot has a guide on it, so hopefully it will be goof proof. I was going to get it on Amazon, and it was 15 bucks, shipping 5 dollars.... but I found the same one on Ebay for 6.25 with free shipping! To think I almost spent all that extra for no reason! With the money I saved, I got a guide bar for the walking foot since my machine didn't come with one... same price and same seller, so it worked out pretty well :o)

Kate, do you know who this Joyce lady is who is giving the apron class on the 22nd? I e-mailed her 2 days ago with some general questions and to ask if the class still had any available openings and she hasn't responded... if it's still available I'd like to know because I've got to get to Joanns or The Sewing Studio for fabric and I'd like to get the stuff then! Maybe she thinks its freaky that a guy wants to make an apron and didn't respond because of that :o)

Boy did I digress :o) Thanks again for the responses... half the fun of doing things is sharing them with people who have the same interests!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:06AM
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"...half the fun of doing things is sharing them with people who have the same interests!" AMEN!

Joyce is one of the regulars with the guild but I don't really know her. I just started going to meetings again after a hiatus of almost 2 years. I'm pretty certain she's the same Joyce who is the show chairman this year. Big job!!! Donna or Gwen may be able to tell you more.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 11:10AM
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Thanks for your response, Vac.
I had purchased a twin needle a while back when I needed to use up a 50% off coupon at Joann's, but haven't used it yet. (I've accumulated way too many things that I don't use because of those darn addictive coupons!)

I have thought about using a twin needle to top stitch binding, but not sure how to turn corners, since you can't leave the needles in a "down" position in order to pivot.

I can't see your twin stitching in the first photo, but I'm sure it makes a nice finishing touch. I can, however, see the zig-zag in the fourth photo.

Nice job!


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 12:51PM
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