I am happy to say that I BARELY squeaked through round 1 of Sewvivor and now it's on to round 2! Our instructions were to make a quilted bag. I needed a new purse anyway so I was excited from the start to make something that I would really love. I'd say that I succeeded!
When I first started designing this bag I decided I wanted a big area of negative space just for quilting however I wanted. Recently I became acquainted with the amazingly talented Karlee Porter and her Graffiti Quilting style, and I wanted to include my take on that in my bag. That vision ultimately became what I'm calling "The Graffiti Tote." I had so much fun quilting many different designs on each side. I'm still not a natural doodler, so I had my laptop open with several different pages of inspiration pulled up while I was quilting, so I could pause and think about what do do next. I had hoped to go take some photos in front of some amazing graffiti but just did not have time to work that into my family's schedule. I've decided that close-up photos are probably best for this one anyway.
One of my favorite motifs to quilt right now is one that I'm calling "Twisting Triangles." I happened across this YouTube video a few months ago, (which has cool doodling, but is kind of odd) and wondered if I could turn it into a quilting design. Yep, it totally works! It's slow but SOOOOOOO worth it. I use a straight ruler with my longarm, but it could be done with a walking foot on a domestic machine if you don't mind turning your quilt a lot.
The effect of this design is best when you're using it to fill a hexagon or larger space. When you alternate the direction that you "twist" with each triangle, it makes a tessellating fan shape. I love it. I had originally planned on putting two different sized hexagons on each side of the bag, but there were so many other designs I wanted to try that I didn't have room. So I just did one.
I used Kona White on the back. The quilting shows up so well.
Even though I wanted a lot of negative space I definitely wanted to include some piecing. I decided to frame the quilted area on the top and bottom with paper-pieced equilateral triangles, which I referred to as "waddling puffins" for a working title because they are squattier than flying geese. And puffins are cute.
I used my favorite prints from Emily Herrick's Rustique line and I love the saturation of the colors! I stitched in the ditch around the triangles, which was just enough quilting in relation to the heavy quilting in the center panels.
I decided to try leather handles for this because they are so sturdy and won't wear out quickly like fabric handles often do, and the leather just seems to go with the general feel of Rustique. I purchased a piece of leather meant for making a belt at my local Tandy Leather, as well as some screw-in rivet things. I'm sure they have a real name but I don't remember it. I was nervous about cutting the leather and putting the handles on but it was actually really easy to do. I used a box cutter, a ruler, and my older cutting mat and couldn't be happier with the results. I'm sure I will use leather handles often on bags that I make in the future--possibly even the same ones because they may last longer than the bag itself!
Last time I used a magnetic snap half of it eventually ripped through the lining of my purse. I was not happy with that, and didn't want it to happen again. This time I stabilized the lining with two pieces of fusible interfacing and a small batting scrap. I think it should hold pretty well.
To get the side panels to fold around the corners of the bottom piece, I did a stabilizing stitch and clipped up to it. A combination of pins and wonder clips worked really well to hold everything in place.
The finished bag measures 4" by 12.5" on the bottom and it is 10.5" tall. This has been a really fun challenge for me and I now have what may be my favorite purse that I will ever own. I really love it that much. If you haven't already, please go visit the main Sewvivor Round 2 Post and vote for your favorite entries! I would appreciate your vote very much!
Linking up to LAFF.