Thursday, August 22, 2013

Field Study Bag

For a long time I'd been wanting to try Elizabeth Hartman's quilt-as-you-go technique for creating bag panels, and this week I finally got around to it.  I really loved doing this - it's so fun to build your panel as you go, deciding which piece of fabric to use next. 

I selected some leftover bits from my scrap box in mostly pinks and purples.  I love it that even the small pieces are useful in this technique - some of my bits are only about 2 inches square.  Here are the two panels I created:


On both my panels, I decided to use pieces of the printed selvage.  The first one says "Field Study No. 2" -




And on the other side, I decided to keep the feathered edge on the outside.  When I showed the finished bag to Hubby, he said that was his favorite detail.  It's mine too :-)



 And here is how the quilting looks from the back.  The bits of fabric are quilted directly onto a layer of batting with a backing.  My backing is a heavier muslin.


To make my bag, I roughly followed the directions for the Style B bag from Elizabeth Hartman's Perfect Zip Bags pattern.   However, I changed my dimensions and the inside pockets based on how I wanted my bag to be.  After my panels were quilted, I cut them to 10.5" x 7".  On one side of the lining I sewed a 2-slot card pocket, and on the other side I made a single pocket.  I'm proud of myself that I thought about what kind of pockets and strap I wanted before starting, and then did all the maths to figure them out.  I usually just delve in, and then have to make corrections later, or get an outcome I'm not happy with!



For my strap, I decided I wanted a D-ring at the side, but a swivel clasp that could be connected either to the D-ring or the zipper pull.  About a month ago I ordered a bunch of swivel clasps from this Etsy vendor, and D-rings from this one.  The swivel clasps aren't that easy to track down, because they go by a lot of different names!   Now I have plenty to last me a while :-)



My finished bag measures about 9.5" x 6", and is quite sturdy.


And here's the finished bag from each side:



And the pockets on the inside:


Can you tell I love my new bag?  This one has room for a packet of tissues and a lip balm!  And all the different fabrics make me happy - they're all leftovers from garments I've made.

Have any of you ever tried this technique?  I think I'm a little in love with it!

25 comments:

  1. I brought up your blog to comment on the Tiny Little Pants post and you've already posted something else you've made! The pants are very cute by the way. Please, please start an Etsy shop for bags! I really love this one and you and hubby are right - the fringe detail is unexpected and I really like it! You are the bag making queen!

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    1. Hahaha! It's feast or famine around here, I tell you! I wrote both these posts last night after a full day of sewing :-)

      Thank you so much for the compliments on the bag! I've been leaning more and more toward selling right from the blog and creating custom orders similar to things I've made for myself - that way I won't have to create a lot of inventory that may ore may not sell. I just haven't had the time yet to set up a page. So if there's a bag you really want, let me know and we can talk :-)

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    2. And I'll try to get the page set up soon!

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    3. I'm so glad to hear that! I would definitely love a similar bag to the one you've posted today. My sewing queue is so long already (and my bags would not turn out near as nicely) that I don't think I would ever get around to making one. I'm currently in trouble with my husband since I'm sewing instead of packing for our vacation which starts tomorrow. But I just 'needed' a knit Scout and a Hemlock for the trip!

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    4. Hahahaha! Make sure you tell him that you're not the only sewer who does that kind of thing! Have a great vacation!

      I put a page up top with contact info in case you (or anybody else) wants it - and also to remind myself to work on that page!

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  2. Gail, I love this bag and think using the selvidge is inspired! I am going to try and get around to trying out this pattern- if possible before you make another one! Impossible, but I'll try:)

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    1. Thanks! You'd better hurry up then, LOL! I LOVE making the quilted panels - it's so meditative!

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  3. Very nice! I love the colors you put together. You're sure making a lot of bags lately!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I am! I think I'm going through a phase! I don't actually have a need for most of these, I just really enjoy making them!

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  4. cute bag, and well done for working out the pockets etc, I tend to do the chop and adjust method, measuring seems more logical!

    I made a panel a while back for the outside of a sewing case but I then stalled trying to figure out how to sew the inside of it so that I had pockets etc. One day I will find the brainpower to figure it out and do it!

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    1. Hehehe - not only did I measure, I made myself a little diagram! I find it so hard to wrap my brain around this kind of thing - really, constructing a shirt collar makes more sense to me!

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  5. gosh you are just churning out these adorable bags! using the selvedge is a genius detail i would never have thought of! and now you're making me want to start shopping the quilting cottons...

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    1. Thank you! I can't really take credit for using the selvage though - it's a "thing" in quilting. But using the fuzzy bit is all me :-)

      These are all actually voiles, except for the purple chambray and the pink dotted swiss. But my next one is going to be quilting cottons. Oh yeah, I'm already thinking about the next one!

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  6. That is so cute! I've often thought I'd like to try the quilt-as-you-go technique... I think that might be the only way I could tolerate much quilting at all, haha! So many things to try, so little time... ;)

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    1. Thank you! I really had fun with it. I always kind of wondered how it worked, and now I know!

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  7. You always make such great things! I love the colour combo and the pockets :)

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    1. Thank you! Hahaha, yes these are your colors, aren't they?!

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  8. The pieces of fabric really go with one another. You have a super cute result. I find quilting is almost like tapping into your inner child because you get to go all out and mix and match different printed fabric together to create wonderful art.

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    1. Thanks, Stef! Most of the time I have a hard time choosing fabrics for quilting projects, but this time I just took out all my pinks and purples and that made it a lot easier.

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  9. i love your bag, i wish i could sew as beautifully as you gail! this will get so much use i bet!

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    1. Thank you, Lori! It probably won't get much use to tell the truth, because I have a gazillion bags! But I enjoy looking at it and petting it!

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  10. I love this bag! I've done quilt as you go for quilts and cushions, but never for a bag. Your's looks awesome.

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    1. Thank you! I had a feeling you would like this one! I can see some of these in your future . . .

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