This week’s Project Quilting theme (Brighter is Better) called out to me and I wanted to make sure I participated. I wanted to try something different than just a quilt or mini-quilt for the contest, so I decided to make a bag. The rules state that there must be piecing or applique involved, or have three layers stitched together in your project to qualify. With this knowledge, I decided I wanted a bag that would feature a quilted section with a rainbow of colors. I stumbled upon this messenger bag pattern by Andrie Designs (formerly Two Pretty Poppets), and knew this would be perfect. What’s even more perfect? This pattern is a freebie on her website!! Even though it’s free, it is chocked full of detail and photos to help you along the way. The bag has a basic assembly, but would be perfect for someone just starting out with bag making. Her instructions are excellent and you can’t beat free if you are unsure as a sewist! I have another of her patterns that I have not yet made, but am anxious to do so…just need to get to it!!
Back to my bag…. I pieced a rainbow using Alison Glass Sunprint 2016. (I found a FQ bundle on Etsy for a really great price and this bundle has been used in at least three projects to date, with more goodness leftover!) When I do rainbows, I am very simple. I literally lay out the pieces in ROYGBIV (I actually say Roy G Biv when I’m doing this.) I am envious of others who create such beautiful rainbow effects with their fabrics, but I’m not there yet! For the back of the flap, I used a black and white fabric I’ve been saving because I love it a lot! I created the flap just like a mini quilt: made a quilt sandwich, quilted straight lines through the rainbow and then bound three sides of the flap (knowing that the 4th side would be sewn into the bag). I had also been
hoarding saving the multi-colored diamond fabric used in the binding, lining and strap. It is so colorful and fun!! (The theme is, afterall, brighter is better.) It picks up every color in my quilted flap perfectly.
The rest of the bag was basic construction. I altered the pattern in a few ways to make it my own though. For instance, I made the inside slip pocket bigger and sectioned it to hold more items. I also made the strap adjustable so it can be used over the shoulder or as cross-body. Lastly, I added more interfacing to the bag to make it a bit more sturdy. I figure if this is a messenger bag, it’s got to hold quite a bit of weight. I used lightweight interfacing on both the lining and the exterior fabric (rather than just one of them) and I added Soft and Stable to the inside. I feel like that really helps the bag keep its shape as well as give it more stability.
I plan to make more of these messenger bags. They are a great size and can be modified in several ways to make each one just a little different. Making the quilted flap was really simple (faster than the rest of bag construction), so I think I would consider doing more with quilting in the future, or even a paper pieced flap! So many options 🙂
This is my first Project Quilting submission. I think I went outside the box a little bit, and I’m pleased with the outcome. Check out the other submissions and the website for future projects. P.S. I would love it if anyone would submit a vote for me!!
This bag will be for sale in my Etsy shop.