|Rowan Three-Quarter Patch Tote|
When you order the kit for this new item, you get the pattern sent to you as a PDF. I like this feature which is the case with most patterns these days. I do not print them out. I download them onto my MacBook Pro. Tip #1: Then I email myself a copy of the PDF, so I can open the email, and enclosed PDF on my iPad or my iPhone and have it beside my sewing machine. I kill no trees.
I have made a TON of bags in my quilty and pre-quilty life. So I consider myself an expert. ;-) Just so you know.
This pattern is pretty easy, but maybe not for the first-time bag maker, unless you do go for it, and bookmark this post, wink, because I can save you some frustration.
|Strips laid out in a pleasing ararngement|
Tip #3: Alternate the sewing direction. Don't always start sewing from the same end. This prevents "bowing" where the strata will end up in a bit of a curved shape rather than square. Fabric is a bit stretchy remember.
Tip #4: Note the placement of fabrics within the strata; the ones you love should be towards the centre of the strip set. This is because you cut a portion of each bag body on the 45 diagonal. I didn't realize this when I made my strip set; I was concerned with alternating the oranges with the pinks and the florals with the geometrics. The orange polka dot is not my favourite fabric, so I wouldn't have had it front and centre had I realized this. This is one of the places where I feel a diagram would be helpful to show you where this strip set is headed.
|Pressing with the Steamfast Travel Steam Iron|
|Side by side so you see how small it is. But don't be fooled; this little gem packs a serious punch, no lie.|
Tip #6: quilt in alternating directions here too, which will help keep the piece nice and square.
|Quilting complete: straight lines down the centre of each strip as well as in the ditch|
|a closer look|
|And here are the feathers in orange rayon on the opposite side where I have the wavy lines in pink Holoshimmer|
It was easy to trim the batting strips to about 1.25" and place them inside the folded straps. This gives a bit of a cushion to that strap on your poor shoulder! I top-stitched them 1/8" from the folded edge, as per the pattern, but I also did the same along the folded edge, and then stitched a straight line down the centre of each strap. Looks nice. Helps hold that batting in place.
|Two bag bodies done with straps attached|
When you attach the straps to the bag body, you want to position the strap carefully. Centre it over the black/purple strip; this helps create the illusion of one wrap-around strap and one not. The pattern just indicates how far from each side to place the straps.
Tip # 8: This may be one of the most important of my tips. There is no indication other than "sew the vine panel to the left of the strip set" when it comes to sewing the 3 sections of the bag body together. You can't tell from the picture on the front of the pattern whether each side is like this, or whether each side is a mirror image, which is what I decided to do. This ensures that the vertical panels will be beside each other at the side seam. I preferred this look. You may prefer the angled side meeting the vine panel at the side seams. Totally up to you. Again, a diagram might have helped here.
The vine print has large zinnia-like flowers randomly over it; it is a crapshoot as to where the flower falls on your bag; one of my vine panels had a flower near the top, the other had none. I'm glad I got one, so I wanted it to be near the top of the bag, nice and visible. I quilted it out in Holoshimmer of course!
|Total serendipity that the vines matched there...|
|I could not, could NOT crop that adorable little pittie puppy bum out of this photo! Cuteness overload.|
One other note is that the tab they refer to for closing is actually a loop! I pressed it, thought nope, that can't be right, must be pressed the other way, thinking I was making a buttonhole in it, and then I realized, oh! It's a skinny loop that goes around the button! Cool. I like this better than making a buttonhole.
I did find a couple errors in the pattern instructions and have let Craftsy know about it: instruction #17 says to "turn bag right side out." NO! Don't do that! Leave it wrong side out before you sew across the bottom to "box" the bottom. There could be a nice diagram there too I think for the sewists who have never made a boxed bottom bag. The other error in the boxing the bottom of the bag is that they omit doing this for the lining. Oops, unless you want a bunched-up lining in the bottom corners of your bag, you should box those corners as for the main body.
|There's a nice-sized pocket inside and I just LOVE the fabric for the lining!|
Tip #9: in order to help your lining stay inside your bag, I like to match the sideseams as best I can together and then sew in the ditch of the side seam right side up, for about 3-4" on each side.
|You don't see a thing on the right side, well if you scrutinize you'll see a few stitches on the left in the seam|
On the inside of the bag:
|not as invisible, but it's the inside of the bag|
Threads. I went to town:
Joy's Quilts in Windsor, Ontario, that Mettler is Mettler in every country in the world except for America, where it is known as Isacord. Huh? Okay.... Anyhow I like it, it's great quality German thread, and I didn't worry as I usually do, about piecing cottons with a polyester; after all, I'm quilting on them with polyesters and synthetics! Here's the back side of the bag:
|Vibrant colours in the Florida sunshine!|
|Selfie with bag...or is it Bag with selfie? LOLOL|
Today, besides finishing up this bag and writing this rather lengthy post, was a special day for another reason: Naala, our beloved Rottweiler mama bear dog, turned 9. NINE!! Cannot. Be. Possible. She's aging so well. :-) Here's to the next nine, sweetheart!
Pattern: Rowan Three-Quarter Patch Tote from Craftsy
Size: approximately 17" wide by 12" high by 5" bottom width
Fabric: Kaffe Fassett for Rowan Fabrics
Batting: Pellon Nature's Touch 100% cotton
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads: pieced with Mettler; quilted with Coats and Clark variegated in reds 40 wt, Sulky Holoshimmer, Sulky rayon and YLI variegated in purples 40 wt
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts, with TGIFF at Quokka Quilts and with Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Head on over for a tons of
Here is a link to what I think may be the same product on Amazon, a 3/8" thick closed cell foam pad but I got mine at Canadian Tire. When I am back home in Ontario, I will search this out; great stuff and fully washable.