Even though I did not finish the repro quilt I decided to work on a new project. It is going to be an overnight bag. I have been wanting a cool overnight bag instead of the boring Nike duffle bag that I have. Here I have the pieces cut out and marked. The “circle” fabric is on the outside and the diamonds is the lining fabric. The gray is an accent piece for the outside of the bag.
Since this has to be quilted I decided to make a sample piece to see what kind of shrinkage there would be and how much larger to make the pieces to allow for that shrinkage.
I am only going to quilt across the piece in parallel lines to make sure that I get very little distortion in the pieces. Heavy quilting would certainly cause distortion. Of course the next problem is how to mark the lines without having markings to wash out. The answer? Blue painters tape.
I decided to quilt the lines 3/4 inch apart because I thought 1/2 was too close and 1 inch was too big of a spacing. Sometimes when I can’t decide about the spacing I pick the value in the middle.
In this photo I have the ruler on the previous stitching line and then I butt the blue tape against the ruler to mark the next stitching line which gives 3/4 inch spacing.
Here is the piece with the ruler removed and the blue tape in place and ready to stitch.
Here is my practice piece all stitched out. It did shrink a little from the original dimensions. Why is it that the lines are perfectly straight in the areas that blend more with the thread and not perfectly straight when the thread contrasts with the fabric?
Do you make bags at all?
I find that the directions for things like bags written by quilters are not the best directions. I come from a sewing background and use to sew lot of clothing, curtains, and Halloween costumes so I am used to the directions from companies like McCall's and Simplicity. They are much clearer directions. I had to read the directions for this bag about 6 times before I understood what I was supposed to do. The directions even had photos and still was vague in several places. They are not the directions that I would have written. I have written lab manuals for several of the classes that I used to teach so I know how to write directions.
Speaking of teaching I heard from a student yesterday that I had written a letter of recommendation for back in January. This is what she said:
I am writing to let you know I finally got my letter from CU Boulder and I was accepted. Thanks for writing my recommendation letter and being a great and engaging teacher of astronomy. I signed up for the course because I thought it would be very interesting and cool and you definitely made it so.
So you see why sometimes I miss teaching. Well back to bag making. Linking to Off the Wall Friday.
Thanks for reading.