Monday, August 25, 2014

Sewvivor 3: Quilted Bag Projects + Voting!



Fabric Depot is one of the largest, most complete, locally and independently-owned fabric stores in the country. They stock a vast array of brand name, first quality fabrics, notions and crafts in an enormous, well-maintained store. You'll be inspired by 20,000 fabrics in our various departments: Quilting, Bridal, Home Decor, and Fashion. Fabric Depot also carries a great selection of quilting supplies, sewing notions, books, patterns, yarns, gifts and even specialty foods! Fabric Depot has plenty of free parking in our lot, including parking for RVs and buses! You can shop with them online too!
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And now Sewvivor presents the Top 10 Contestant's projects for Challenge #2. These people are so talented. I am once again blown again by their creativity and sewing skills.



Scroll through their amazing work, then VOTE for your Top 5 favorites at the bottom of this post! Polls close Wednesday at midnight EST. The results will be announced next Monday. Five Contestants will advance to the next Challenge.
{Projects appear in the order they were submitted}.


CONTESTANT #1: Crystal from Two Little Aussie Birds

Sometimes, a design will jump into your head and you know you just have to make it. The washi bag was one of those ideas that I just couldn't shake. No matter how hard I tried, it had hold of me and I had to make it. And I am so very glad I did.


In the absence of a round bag pattern out there on the interwebs, I set to designing my own based on a vintage canteen style bag. The shape might is simple, but its certainly not boring. It's a unique but classic, which stands up and makes you take notice!


For this challenge, I knew I had to crack out the big guns, which meant using my carefully stashed washi fabric. Inspired by the washi print, I made the front panel using the improvisational technique slash and insert. I love the dark grey text fabric, it bring another dimension to the background. I quilted the panel in a simple echo pattern, which really makes that washi pop. The other side of the bag features a patchwork design featuring some fabulous prints with a criss-cross design – in pink of course.


A zipper provides access to the main body of the bag and an external pocket keeps your phone handy so you will never miss an instagram opportunity. Finished off with killer hot pink webbing for the strap and you got yourself a statement bag!


Now, every bag’s gotta have some sweet bling, so I added a minty tassel. You want to make one too? Follow my quick and dirty tassel DIY and you can make one (or more) out of your favourite embroidery floss.


CONTESTANT #2: Barbie from The Quilting Mill
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 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. I used my favorite prints from Emily Herrick's Rustique line and I love the saturation in 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 was nervous about cutting the leather and putting them on but it was actually really easy to do. 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!


A few months ago I learned a fun technique called pin weaving and I really wanted to include something made this way in my finished tote; it involves embroidery floss and 1" strips of fabric and is really easy to do. I decided that a flap to close the top of my bag would be the perfect place to include some pin weaving. This is one of my favorite elements of the whole bag! I'll have to do a tutorial on it soon because the ones I found online were uber-complicated and quite different from this method.


I wanted the inside of the bag to be really user-friendly, and I decided that making specialized pockets was the way to go. On this side I included a cell phone pocket and water bottle pocket, sized to fit my phone and my favorite water bottle, and a pen pocket. I didn't use a pattern for any of these but they were quite easy to make. The other side has two zippered pockets, one of which is waterproof for holding things like lotion and hand sanitizer that could possibly explode and make a mess. I also attached a fob to attach my keys to so they don't get lost in the abyss anymore.


The finished bag measures 4" by 12.5" on the bottom and it is 10.5" tall. I used Soft and Stable instead of batting and I love how tight and firm the quilting appears with it underneath, especially on the triangles. 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. Please click over to my blog to see more detailed photos!



CONTESTANT #3: Amy from Sew in Love Quilting

***THE FOLLOWING CONTESTANT HAS WON IMMUNITY! 
She will not leave the island this round. That is the big Sewvivor twist for Challenge 2- the third person who mailed their project to me was the lucky immunity winner. So even though you may love her project, she will not appear on the voting poll, because she is immune from being voted off! Congrats, Amy!***

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.  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").


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!)


CONTESTANT #4: Jessica from Euphoria Jessica

A bag. Hmmm, lets get clever Jess. Like outside the box. {brainstorming} What do you think no one else would do?- So, a sleeping bag was on the agenda.Yup, a sleeping bag with a full on tent just for the photo shoot- coolest idea ever. My kid was on board for the best twinsies pajamas, smores, photo shoot ever. All of it!  Except it was a HUGE FAIL- I mean I cut out fabric and pieced blocks together that took a whole day to finish. A WHOLE DAY!!! So, whatcha gonna do, right?? Make a bag. That was the point after all! A bag that anyone can rock and by anyone, I mean anyone!


I busted out my Heather Ross/Munki Munki stash and got to sewing. Heather Ross/Munki is where it's at. I love all of her awesome prints! So I broke out my slim stash and got to sewing. I wanted to bring something different to the table and thought pairing my HR/Munki with some denim was something cool that I have never seen before. So...


In all transparency I felt like my original photo shoot sucked. I was mega bummed. But, I had a family obligation in downtown Portland, so on a whim took my bag- who knows, right? It rocked!! I asked some random strangers to pose with my bag. All but one said yes!! It was awesome!!! I met so many amazing people, it was one of the best opportunities ever!! And, they all ROCKED it!!


It ruled! Like serious. These peeps were awesome! It was not only rewarding to make a bag that I've never tackled before, but the people. The people- they made this challenge even better. They took me so far out of my comfort zone. They gave me praise for my bag not even knowing what it was (HR/Munki heeeelllllooooo?), or the time it took, or the anything. It was the best. The best challenge, the best stretch, the best everything! If this is as far as I come in this competition- I'm so pleased with it. I'm grateful for the people who appreciate handmade. The people who want to support, who give me joy by just rocking it! Isn't that what it's all about? Just sewing. Sewing to bring people joy with what my hands can create. Making them smile. Making others happy. Those random people, that I will never see again gave me what I was hoping to bring to them - Joy in craft. Joy in handmade. Joy in sharing. That's the most rewarding feeling ever.



CONTESTANT #5: Angie from GnomeAngel
gnomeangel-4-granny-mac-daddy-trolley-bag-sewvivor

 Never let it be said that I won't take on a challenge in middle of undertaking a challenge (it's like Inception!). I had a bag planned, I'd ordered some awesome fabrics, I had downloaded the pattern and I was just fooling around on Instagram when I put out the call for bag ideas. What ensued was just crazy and ended up with me taking on a challenge to transform the humble shopping trolley bag. What was I thinking (clearly I'm like Marty McFly and I can't be called chicken)?

Granny-Mac-Daddy Bag made by Angie Wilson of GnomeAngel.com for Sewvivor Season 3: Quilters Edition.

 I picked up a shopping trolley bag on special at our local big chain craft supply store and then set to trying to reverse engineer it. I've never done a sewing course, I've never made something without having a pattern and I sure as heck have never inserted a zipper around a seam. I had a plan to do the bag in the same style as the bag that the trolley came with, I'd just add some bling inspired by Patchwork Threads flying geese shirt. I foolishly purchased some stretch black denim and some gold foil denim (yep, gold foil!) and set to work making flying geese.

gnomeangel-20-granny-mac-daddy-trolley-bag-sewvivor

Oh yeah, did I mention I've never worked with anything other than quilting cotton before? I struggled for a couple of days to make flying geese in denim before realizing that the dream was just not going to happen and I'd have to go back to the drawing board. Inspiration struck after I'd been lucky enough to be in close proximity to this year's Canberra Quilter's Modern Quilt Award winning quilt; Primary Plus by Pretty Bobbins. I decided to make my bag fabric by constructing a plus quilt in black, white and a touch of that gold foil denim. By the time I'd finished making and quilting my bag fabric I really just wanted to see a whole quilt done in this palette.

gnomeangel-5-granny-mac-daddy-trolley-bag-sewvivor

 I decided to ditch the plain old drawstring bag that the trolly came with and make a bag that could be used as either a trolley bag or a duffel (because I like to make life hard for myself!). I set a zipper in the end seam (surrounded on either side with piping!) so that when the bags on the trolley you can open it up and pop your shopping in there without issue. I made the bottom of the duffel bag (or the back of the trolley bag depending on how you're using it) appear as if the patchwork is not disrupted by the trolly needing to be inserted (I even made sure that the velrco flap that secure the bag to the trolley lines up and matched the plus patchwork). I offset the velcro flap so that the shoulder strap from the bag can be attached to the trolley handle via the bag clips and then the strap can be used as a security strap (hook it around your shoulder like a Beauty Queen Pageant Sash) for anyone worried about having their trolley stolen (because who wouldn't want to steal this awesome bag!).

gnomeangel-9-granny-mac-daddy-trolley-bag-sewvivor

 I put a full length zipper in so that it can also be used as a duffle bag (I made it a little bigger than the original bag so that I could get my roller derby gear in it). The shoulder strap is long enough to work as a cross body strap (my favourite) so that your arms and hands can be free, but I also made carry handles in case you just want to grab it and run. I even made a velcro mini strap to wrap around the handles and body strap so that they don't get caught on anything while the bag is being used as a trolley bag (would hate for it to get caught on something as you casually stroll the market aisles). I'm calling this my "Granny Mac Daddy Bag" and I'm super proud to be seen with it cruising the aisles of our local supermarket. Read more about it here.


CONTESTANT #6: Nicole from Snips Snippets

You underestimate the power of the Dark Side. If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny. -Darth Vader

star wars bag

And folks, i can say after this challenge that making quilted bags is not my destiny! I lost count of how many ideas i tried to build on and how many bag options there are to work with. In the end i stuck with my original bag choice, the Dorothy Day Tripper from Swoon Sewing Patterns. I like that it's the same shape as the Weekender, just smaller. So there's still a fair bit of surface space to improv piece with, but not be overwhelmed. (which was nice for my first foray into quilted bag making!)

star wars bag

After pulling stack after stack of fabrics i finally decided to work with my rapidly dwindling collection of Lizzy House Constellations. And what works perfectly with the starry prints? Star Wars of course! So a Storm Trooper was whipped up using Kristy from Quiet Play's fantastic and free Lego Star Wars pattern. And what Dark Side Day Tripper would be complete without some wonky stars to run alongside the zipper!

star wars bag

I matchstick quilted everything using Sulky invisible thread and i absolutely love that it's just complete texture without the lines from thread. Despite that fact that it blew up two of my bobbins and was an absolute pain to sew with! But when the light hits it right, it sparkles! And every bag needs a bit of sparkle, right?!

star wars bag

I eliminated the pocket on the back of the bag and replaced it with a caravan of AT-AT walkers that i appliqued on after the quilting was finished. Need i say more? AT-AT walkers people! You can never go wrong with AT-AT walkers!

And finally, what Star Wars bag would be complete without a patchwork
Death Star zip pouch! 

star wars bag

This little bit of awesome was made using Melinda from Quirky Granola Girl's Patchwork Death Star pattern printed out at 75% and hand sewn with Aurifil in Dove Grey. For my first time hand sewing curves i think i did pretty well!

With that, i'll leave you to go and enjoy the other entries! I can't wait to see what everyone else has made :) And if you feel inclined to vote for my little Dark Side Day Tripper, thanks in advance! I would love to carry on to the third round! For more pictures come on over to the dark side ;)


CONTESTANT #7: Chrissy from Sew Lux



I have to admit that this Challenge was one that I was most excited about - I love a good bag!  I originally thought about another Weekender but decided to try out a new tote pattern for this challenge.  Turns out I love it and can't wait to make another one!  It's no secret that I love a black and white polka dot background as well as incorporating mini blocks whenever possible on a bag and this one is no exception.  This particular pattern calls for a canvas bag with a featured block for the center front pocket; however I pieced nearly all of the bag. 


It all started with a mini Thimble Blossoms Swoon block.  One of the reasons I have enjoyed mini blocks lately is they allow me to work on precision piecing and my technique with all the small pieces.  The mini Swoon is the star of the front pocket of the bag and I flanked it with strips of coordinating prints.  For the back, I used four mini Spools and then made twelve scrappy hourglass blocks for the center panel.  There was a fair amount of math involved to make sure that everything would line up correctly after the straps were attached. :-)


This was my first time using Soft & Stable for a bag and I really love how the bag maintains a great shape even with nothing in it.  For the front panel, I quilted a piece of Essex linen with straight lines so that the pocket panel would be the main focus.  The straps and bottom of the bag are also Essex linen and lined with Soft & Stable as well.  I fused SF-101 behind the linen and the pieced panels before quilting to help add more stability and keep the pieced panels from shifting too much while quilting. 


Since I had piecing on the back and the front pocket panel meeting at the sides, I decided to add a strip of piping down the sides of the bag.  I love how this adds a little something and gives that "break" I was looking for between the two panels. The top of the bag, inside pocket, and front exterior pocket are all bound with a red print and finished by hand on the inside of the bag. 


The bag is fully lined and I added a couple of features here as well.  I sewed a panel on one side to make three pockets across the back inside of the bag.  The bag is a great size (about 20 inches across at the top and about 15 inches tall), so I also added a key fob so I wouldn't have to rummage for my keys when out and about.  Overall I love how it turned out and hope you'll stop by my blog to see a few more pictures and details about my new bag!  (Original bag pattern by Mahriam of Three Owls Handmade - to be released soon.)


CONTESTANT #8: Christopher from The Tattooed Quilter

thank you so much for your love, support, and votes on the first challenge--i made the top 10!  to be honest, i've been blocking out the second challenge for weeks now--moving right along to the third.  a bag?  i had no idea how to make a bag.  sure, i've seen patterns and photos, but to make one for myself?  nah, i'll stick to quilting.


after several conversations with friends about what i should make (a wine tote...those boozers), i decided to create something simple, modern, and universal for any gender.  i wanted a bag that i would carry.  a bag that fit seamlessly within my routine.


after a few issues (a.k.a the lining), "the city" tote was born.  completely simplistic in design; "the city" tote includes three small lined pockets on the inside and one large pocket on the outside.  these are perfect for your phone, keys, magazines, or other accessories.  over 50% of this bag is green.  i reused a canvas indigo ombre window element (majority of the bag) and all natural wool (for lining and the handles) that i purchased from purl soho.  for a surprise element, i used michael miller's neon fabric as well as cotton and steel's tiger print.


staying true to my own style aesthetic, i keep the colors neutral, which compliments my everyday wardrobe of basics.  i love an unexpected splash of color.  is neon out of style yet? #hopenot



and continuing with fitting seamlessly in my day-to-day routine, i took "the city" tote out for a stroll on, honestly, a pretty average sunday.  the morning started with coffee at blue bottle (literally across the street from the "dude" billboard), a visit to the nursery (#nogreenthumb), a stop at sullivan street bakery (deliciousness), and ended the afternoon brunching and catching up with our neighborhood bartender (who you'll probably meet if you come to visit).


with "the city" tote, i'm fully equipped for the next challenge (i can fit a lot in those pockets).  bring it on!

cut, sew, repeat...
the tattooed quilter


CONTESTANT #9: Jade from Stitch Mischief



For my quilted bag, I chose to design a bag that would be perfect for my impeding return to work, post maternity leave. I've called it my "hope tote" as it will serve as a reminder that there is life after work, and that I can get through the next six months, after which I will hopefully return to my life as a stay at home mother with my babies. I LOVE color, and decided to use only fabrics that made me happy, and instead of keeping them on the shelf, I used my absolute favorite fabrics.


While I used equilateral triangle piecing on the first side, I chose to let this side focus on the fabric in all it's happy, floral gorgeousness. I made the straps nice and wide, as well as comfortably long enough to easily throw over my shoulder. This tote is so big and functional. There are four large pockets on the outside, perfect for a book or magazine, and easily accessible. I'll be able to bring my current hand projects, knitting, books, etc, to work, all in one tote, just waiting for that free moment.


Since this tote was a present for myself, I decided to make my first dresden plate block, which I absolutely love. And of course, there needed to be a healthy dose of aqua involved.  


The last side incorporates a half-inch hexagon panel that I hand pieced. I can't tell you how much I love this pocket.

This is my new favorite size of hexagon. I foresee lots of hexagon lunch breaks. There may have been some fussy cutting involved, as a direct reminder of what is truly important.
I want to thank everyone that voted for my last project. I am so honored to be a part of such an awesome competition with such talented people. 
For more information and pictures, head on over to www.mischiefmade.ca.


CONTESTANT #10: Amanda from A Crafty Fox

I don't have too much to say about this weekender, except it is perfect. It is exactly what I hoped it would be when I started this project. It has some very special pieces of fabric in it, including a tiny scrap of Daysail from the upcoming Bonnie and Camille collection that was shared with my by a friend. Friends are the best part of sewing, I think.

Weekender - Amanda-9

This was not an easy bag to put together. Weekenders never are. But they are completely worth it. I usually touch up by hand once its all put together, and this bag will be no exception. But all the little fussy cuts make it work!

Weekender - Amanda-17

Weekender - Amanda-12

Weekender - Amanda-22

Weekender - Amanda-6

If you are coming to Fall Quilt Market, you will definitely see this bag. I can't wait to use it!


Vote for your top 5! Voting closes Wednesday August 27, at midnight EST.
FYI, the competitors are allowed to use patterns. The bags could be either pieced, quilted, or both. Contestants are allowed to recruit from their blogs, social media, family, and friends. One vote per device is allowed. The public vote counts as 50%. The other 50% of the vote comes from our "tribal council" aka Judges. The Top 5 will be revealed next Monday, September 1. 

Contestant #3 does not show up on this poll, because she has won IMMUNITY! The third person to email their project to me was the Immunity winner. So, this means she automatically advances to Challenge #3!



Are you sewing along with the contestants for fun? We'd love to see your work!  Upload to the Sewvivor Sew-Along Flickr group. Or post on Instagram, tagging @sewvivor and @familyeverafter and use hashtags #sewvivor and #sewvivorsewalong! A "SewPrize" will be given to a random sewalong participant, announced next Monday. Until then, keep working on your Quilted Bags!

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