Monday, August 25, 2014

Sewvivor Challenge #2 - Quilted Bag

Hello, everyone!  Before I show off my lovely quilted bag for round #2 (YES, I MADE IT THROUGH!), I really need to thank you for all your encouragement and support for me in this Sewvivor competition.  I can literally say I wouldn't have made it if it wasn't for all of your votes and kind words, so keep them coming please! 

I picked Amy Butler's Weekender pattern for this project and my muse was the cathedral window.


 I have started calling this bag "My Precious".  If you don't recognize the literally or theatrical reference I am speaking of, where have you been?! And please go read or watch The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings Trilogy, like, now.


I have been OBSESSED with cathedral windows since I started quilting last year.  There is something so beautiful and complex about them that draws the eye.

How to Make A Cathedral Window:

There are a couple different ways to make cathedral windows, but I created mine by piecing origami style fabric squares together, layering colorful fabric, and pulling back the folds to reveal peeks of fabric underneath.  I used this tutorial from the Moda Bakeshop and modified it a little to make the size window that I wanted (3" x 3").  To make the two large pockets, I used 2 charm packs and 1 1/2 yards of white fabric.  I cut 36 7.5" x 7.5" squares from the white fabric and folded it according to the tutorial.  I then pieced the squares together in rows and then pieced the rows together.  One suggestion I would give is that where you piece the rows together, make sure then is not a gap between the your stitch line and the squares as this will leave a hole in between and squares that is noticeable.



 I then cut 36 charm squares to approximately 3" x 3" (I used only aqua and green charms for this step and measured each charm according to the size "window" it was going into).  I put those squares into each of the windows and topstitched them into place.


Then I stitched an "+" in the middle of each window to hold the corners of the white fabric together.  I just takes a couple stitches in each point.


See all those diamond shapes that it creates?  I picked 24 charm squares (I used orange, pink, red, and white charms) and cut 3 1.5" x 1.5" squares from each charm and placed them on those diamonds.  The kids and I were all working on projects together :)


Here comes the magic part.  You then fold the white around the 1.5" squares and topstitch the outside edge. (I didn't get the best pictures at this stage, so refer to the Bakeshop tutorial for outstanding step by step photos.)


Those little "+" stitches that you made keep the whole thing together.



Back to the bag . . . .


I really wanted to accentuate the cathedral windows and make them the stars of the show, so I paired them with a red bias stripe fabric for the main panels, handles, and side pockets.  I also used a blue Moda solid for the piping, and another blue and green print to make the lining and removable shoulder strap.  (All fabrics used, except for the piping, was from Scrumptious by Bonnie & Camille for Moda).

I really wanted to make this bag into something I would use myself (because it is my own and my precious) and so I added a lot of personal touches.  One of my favorite things I did was piece my initials on one of the side pockets.  I also added a 9" zippered pocket to the inside of the bag, metal feet to the bottom, and another favorite, a removable 3" shoulder strap that is double lined with batting to make it, oh, so comfortable!





And here's the kicker . . . . this bag fits my sewing machine in it!  So, whenever I get together with my sewing buddies, or if I go to sewing retreats, I have a gorgeous bag to tote around my machine and all my sewing accessories in!  Here you get a little peek of the green zipper and hand stitched lining.




I hope you guys are enjoying all the eye candy from this challenge as much as I am!  I am so honored to be among this group of quilters/sewists and am humbled to have made it to this round.  If you would like to see what I have up my sleeve for the next challenge don't forget to throw a vote my way!  Thanks all! (Oh!  And a special thanks to Brittany for pictures and my gorgeous sister-in-law, Maddie, for modeling!)

UPDATE:  I won immunity on this challenge, so no need to vote for me. Please check out the other amazing entries and vote here!

14 comments:

  1. How much yardage do you think one would need of the stripe?

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    1. I think I used 2 yards. Sorry, it was part of my stash, so I didn't measure it exactly. Maybe get 2 1/2 yards just to be safe!

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  2. Basically AMAZING!!! Like, really really AMAZING!!!!

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  3. So beautiful! Thanks for the tutorial link and extra pictures.

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  4. This bag is beautiful! I am buying the pattern on payday. (And then it will probably sit until I get the guts up to try to sew it.) This post makes cathedral windows look achievable. I will check out that tutorial for sure! Congratulations on immunity! Can't wait to see what you do next.

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  5. Gorgeous! I love the simplicity of the stripe with the complexity of the cathedral windows! Fantastic job and congrats on immunity!

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  6. You bag is so fresh and happy. Best get cracking on the hexies!

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  7. I saw this bag in the sewviver challenge. love it! Even if you didn't have immunity, you would have gotten through to the next round, for sure!

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  8. Your bag is AMAZING!! I totally understand why you call it your "precious"!

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  9. Your bag is so beautiful! You do amazing work!

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  10. Your bag is drop-dead gorgeous!!! I've been sewing for years (sorry, probably since before you were born, LOL) but bags scare me!! I'm so impressed at what you did, knowing that you haven't been at it for too many years!! Great job, and I wish we lived closer (I'm in Calif), cause I'd take lessons from you for bag making!! Hugs, H in Healdsburg

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    1. Thank you so much, Helen! This bag was definitely on the more advanced side, but you should try it! I'm sure with all your experience you would be just fine :)

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  11. I LOVE your bag! When I first saw this in the Sewvivor competition, I knew immediately I needed to make a version for my Mom for Christmas. I've got all the goods to make the cathedral windows, but have a question: when you cut your 7.5 inch square from yardage, how much did you fold in the edges? The tutorial has you make a 9" template--what template size template did you use? 6"? Thanks for your help!

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  12. You got it, Erin! My template was 6" so that when the neutral fabric was folded it measured 3". I would love to see you finished bag! Send me a link to your pictures if you post on Facebook, Instagram, blog, etc. when you are finished :)

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