Honestly, this is one of my favorite challenges! There are lots of great challenges, but making something like a bag is different!
Island Batik asked the Ambassadors to choose a bag, and pick fabrics from an assigned group, and By Annie would send us all of the supplies needed to make that bag. Island Batik includes the fabrics.
My fabric collection is called Limerick. It was designed for Raija Salomaa by Kathy Engle. Some precuts are in shops now, and yardage will be available soon.
This was the Surprise bundle included in our June boxes, but we got the yardage needed for the bag as well. So generous, and simply gorgeous. My Irish heart loves the Celtic theme tjaps, and the purple, teal, navy and green are so pretty together. You know I love purple, and Teal is also a favorite.
By Annie had packaged everything I needed for my pattern, Divide and Conquer, a great organizer tote, including the vinyl, zippers, interfacing, mesh, Soft and Stable foam batting, buckles and slides, and strapping for the handles.
Included with pattern is an Add On Video coupon, so you can watch the videos specific to this bag, free. They were SOOO helpful. They always are. This bag is a little different from other By Annie I've made, but I'm always up to a challenge. I opted for the larger size, which will be about 11 by 16". It has 2 clear vinyl pockets on each side, and 2 double sided pockets attached in the center, with mesh and zippers.
I picked the dark purple square print tjap for the outside, the white and aqua Celtic design for the inside, and teal Celtic triangles for the accents, which include binding, handles and trim sections.
I put the main fabrics on my Handi-Quilter Amara with the Soft and Stable in the middle and used Pro-Stitcher to quilt the layers for the bag. I think next time I'll baste extra trim on the backing yardage so I can really quilt the whole outer fabric. Island Batik did give us a little more for getting it on the long arm. Again, so generous.
The Surprise bundle. No, I didn't need to use any of these, I'm saving them for a sew along with my guild.
So after quilting, and cutting all the pieces, I added stickers to keep them organized. Annie provides a page you can copy to tag the pieces. I printed it on my shipping label page, and cut out the ones I needed, and could stick it right on the pieces, then clipped the sections together (bag front and bag back have one sticker, so clipping them with Wonder clips helps!)
Although my bag isn't completed yet, I have a good start. As some of you may know I've had some health issues lately, and was sick again last week. I got an appointment with an ENT who works with an allergist to see if there's something that we can do to help me feel better more often. Unfortunatly, the medicine he wanted me to try, an inhaler, caused several side effects, which knocked me down again. I need something that isn't medicine, but I have so many allergies. Anyway, back to the bag.
Since I haven't sewn clear vinyl lately, I really was happy to try the By Annie version. It's wonderful. It's thick, but clear, and sews pretty easily. In the video, Annie suggests using painter's tape to cover the bobbin cover on her machine, which is the only place the vinyl seems to "cling". I didn't have painter's tape handy, but did have a post-it note, and used that over my bobbin cover, and the vinyl slid through the feed dogs like any other fabric. I was impressed! I also used my Janome 9450's walking foot with the skinny foot, because I know that foot is 1/4" from the needle. I usually use the zipper foot on zippers, but this worked just as well. Of course, I used a Schmetz Microtex needle for the parts I've done so far, and will switch to a Denim 14 when I get to the thicker parts of the assembly. I'm using a matching aqua cotton thread in 50wt and a 40wt purple for sewing, and changing often to match the fabric I'm sewing. Both are from Aurifil.
Bag front, with zippered pocket.
Bag back, with a zippered pocket, and the teal section is actually a strap to slide over the handle of a wheeled bag. It's attached in the center by hook and loop tape, which was also included in the supplies.
This is one side of the inside of the bag, showing my quilted design, but the clear vinyl zippered pocket will be attached by a side strip, so it becomes about 3" deep.
This is the front and back of one of the inside flip pockets. Both sides have mesh and zippers, so smaller items like a seam ripper, needles, thread, etc can go in here, and fabric or blocks or other larger supplies can go in the clear vinyl sections. If I choose to use it for sewing, that is. I haven't decided yet!
Keep watching my blog for updated finished photos. I'll share again.
While you're waiting, I hope you visit the rest of the blogs for this hop. Leave a comment here before the end of November for a chance to win some fabric from my overflowing Island Batik stash! USA has free shipping, but if you live outside the US and agree to cover the balance of a flat rate envelope, you can enter as well. Thanks!
Leah and Emily are also sharing this gorgous collection and their bags today, so please go to their blogs
In addition to all the lovely bags and inspiration, Island Batik is giving away 2 bundles of fabric, including Limerick. Click on the Rafflecopter link to enter, and remember to leave a comment. The full schedule of the blog hops are available at Island Batik's blog.a Rafflecopter giveaway