Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Making Little Bags

I've had a good time the last couple of days creating a stack of quilted checkbook covers and small wallets. They are a wonderful "in between" quilting project because they use a lot of the creativity I invest in my quilts, but they are done quickly! I thought I would like to talk about what I do to make these little bags just for the fun of it.

The first thing I do is find a piece of fabric that inspires me. I like to choose a novelty print, or maybe a pretty floral. Stripes work, but the fabric definitely needs to be non-directional or the back of the wallet is upside down! I like to use a piece that is about the size of a fat quarter because it's easier to quilt. Trying to quilt something really small can be frustrating for me. The next step is to choose a backing fabric. Then I pin the layers together with batting and have fun quilting! This is a great way to try out new designs, or just perfect a technique. Monday I did some free motion fans on oriental fabric, spirals on tie-dye, flower designs on what else - floral fabric, and feathers and ferns on a Laurel Burch stripe. The feathers were my favorite, and they looked pretty darn good, too! I may work up my courage to actually put some on my next machine quilted quilt!

Yesterday I took my quilted fabrics and decided what to make out of them. There was a gorgeous dragonfly on a black background that I used to make a quilted tote. It is so pretty! I decided to also make a bag out of the oriental, and have enough to make a checkbook cover and wallet to match. All the other fabrics I cut into various bags and checkbook covers. The next step is choosing fabric for binding and pockets in the checkbook covers. I tried to cut out and make all the binding, but ended up short in the end and had to make more. It's fun and challenging to have to go through all my fabric to find stuff that goes well and accentuates the focus fabrics.

Today was sewing! I like doing the checkbook covers because when they are bound they are done. The bad part is that they require a join in the binding. Not my favorite thing, but I am really good at it now! The snap bags don't need a join, but I have to add a snap to them after they are sewn. That's not much fun, and I have to watch myself because I tend to put snaps on the wrong way, or put two male parts instead of a male and female. I made about 8 sets today. They are all very pretty, and I had fun. Tomorrow I will be starting cutting out for a quilt, so I probably won't be making any bags for a while, but it was a good week!

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