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Sunday, 2 October 2011

Free Motion Bag is Done

This project has been sitting around for far too long, so in the spirit of a tidier sewing room I decided to finish it before I allowed myself to start anything else.
The background is that I went on a free motion course in June  (this year). We practised free motion quilting on squares for making up into a raggy bag. Afterwards I was really disappointed with how my efforts turned out, didn't like the fabrics and was inclined to abandon it.
Then I needed some free motion practice before completing Beach Huts, managed to finish all 27 squares and by the time I got to the side and bottom gussets was really enjoying it and quite pleased with the results.This was due in no small part to the guidance in Christine Maraccini's 'Machine Quilting Solutions' as recommended by the course teacher.

 Later still I looked at putting them together into a bag and decided only 18 were useable.  I started along the *raggy bag lines but soon realised I hated the look with the fabrics and *sewed all the seams to the inside and neatened them by hand.
The final stage was to *decide on a binding and apply it. (*Pictures previously posted). Applying it was very awkward as there is a gusset on three sides so had to bind a box shape. Of course it worked better at the bottom than the top and I had to try to conceal a certain amount of rather crummy hand sewing, but I'm so relieved it's finished. I even like it now.
 I was a bit stumped on how to create a tough strengthener for the base until I came across a reference to pelmet vilene. A curtain shop sold me some iron on buckram that I thought would be stiffer when ironed. It worked beautifully because it was self adhesive on both sides so I could iron all the raw edges in, once I'd cleaned off the iron and board. That's definitely a technique for future use, not that I need an excuse to make more bags. 

 The different colours of panels on each side are total serendipity - the result of using the only decent free motion samples but they're proving quite useful. If anyone asks, I'll say it was a cunning plan! Yesterday I wore a red jacket and today an orange shirt so could just wear the best side out. Of course the binding had to work with the panels and provide a good contrast, so I went for yellow against red and turquoise and orange against brown and blue. The binding fabrics are batik scraps from my Calabash Quilt, more on that coming soon. Modelled pictures show the sewing room is back in use again
Brown and blues 

 Red and turquoise

 Just in time to beat the minimum 5p charge on plastic bags that started in Wales yesterday, yippee!

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