Thursday, August 08, 2013

Pacific Northwest Tote ~or~ What Craftster Means to Me

I'm entering this bag into Craftster's cross category 10th anniversary challenge in the Purses, bags, and Wallets board.

To me, Craftster means friends and swaps. Those two things come full circle in this tote bag. I met my friend Kim over 5 years ago on Craftster through a private swap, and now we are good friends and this year we are both officers for our local quilt guild! We're currently organizing a giant Pacific Northwest meetup for various quilt guilds, and part of the meetup includes a fun tote bag swap that Kim has worked very hard on. We had the lovely chambray fabric donated by Robert Kaufman.

I decided to make my basic tote bag (lined, 2 handles that are long enough so the bag can tuck under your arm, magnetic snap, boxed corners, double sided handles for a peek of fun). For a little extra contrast, I pieced in a few sections of fabric I am liking right now. I also did a bit of hand quilting. For a last little touch, Kim helped me insert an inside zippered pocket, my first one!

After making the bag, I realized it can be a kind of symbol of weather here in the Northwest. The dark  chambray would be our typical cloud cover, the umbrellas for our rain (although locals don't really use umbrellas, we just duck our heads and walk fast), and the yellow birds and pink chevron for the eventual sunshine and bright days that always come back! I know that's a bit cheesy, but a bit of cheese now and then is ok!

The bag pieces were approximately 16 inches tall x 14 inches wide before seams, boxing corners, etc. Next time I would probably make it a smidge wider and shorter, maybe reversing those measurements. I used medium/heavy weight iron on interfacing on the bag lining and low loft batting on the bag shell. I used only one layer of interfacing in the handles, 2 would have been better. I also interfaced the inside pocket, but that probably wasn't needed, it's a bit stiff now.

No comments: