Monday, August 25, 2014

Sewvivor - Bag Challenge

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.  I contacted Mahriam of Three Owls Handmade to see if she'd let me use her pattern and was thrilled when she agreed.  (I believe it will be available to on her website soon!)  The Nova Tote 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 can't wait to carry it all over the place!

I hope you'll stop by Rachel's blog and vote on the Bag Challenge Round!  See all the entries here

Happy Sewing!  :-)

Project Details: 
Patterns Used:  Nova Tote (to be published soon) - Three Owls Handmade; Mini Swoon & Spools - Thimble Blossoms
Fabrics: RK Essex Linen Yarn Dye Black; Moda Essential Dots White Black (block background & pocket linings); Daysail by Bonnie & Camille for Moda (blocks - due out in February 2015); Miss Kate by Bonnie & Camille for Moda (bag lining); April Showers by Bonnie & Camille for Moda (bindings)
Notions/Other: Soft & Stable - By Annie; Pellon SF-101, Aurifil 50 wt thread


  1. This bag is just fabulous...... from the fabrics and patterns that you chose, down to that cute little key fob! Wonderful job!

  2. I just love this! So clean and fresh!

  3. I absolutely love your bag and I won't lie, I want one EXACTLY like it!
    I'm going to have to get the pattern!!!

    Will you be kitting it up ?

    Peggy in NJ

  4. I knew I'd love it and I do! All your blocks are fantastic and love this bag pattern. It will be fun to try one when the pattern is released.

  5. Your bag is awesome! AWESOME!

  6. Perfect bag! You've got my vote!!:)

  7. Super gorgeous! I love everything about it :)

  8. Absolutely lovely bag! You mini blocks are just perfect and i love the Essex linen with the Bonnie and Camille prints. Fantastic work!

  9. Love all the little extra's you have added. Good luck with round 2 :)

  10. Love the use of mini blocks in this bag, and all the pretty details. Another winner - good luck with Round 2!

  11. Love your bag! I voted for you :)


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