Monday, September 21, 2020

It's in the Bag Blog Hop: Back At Ya Backpack

Today is my day to present the bag I made for the Island Batik blog hop.

I chose to make the backpack 'Back At Ya 2.1'. It's a smaller sized backpack, and the perfect size for me. I was given four pieces from Island Batik's new line Nouveau Soul with which to make the bag. Read on to find out how you could win some of this gorgeous line of fabric for yourself!

Okay I just have to stop right here and say, Nouveau Soul was made for Sandra!! I have said several times how DO they do this, as in choosing the perfect fabrics, colours, but this one? A name with a French word in it, uh bonjour, c'est moi, Sandra, professeur de français, and Soul just makes me think yoga...

All the notions required to make the bag, along with the pattern itself, were supplied by By Annie, the threads by Aurifil, except for a couple that are my own purchases, and the machine needles by Schmetz Needles, except for the jeans needle which I purchased some time ago. 

Well I just had to take my backpack out into the neighbourhood for a test run!
Lee & Maria's On-Farm Market, just 0.5 km from home
I've carried many a bag of produce and other groceries home from here, (ouch my cramping fingers) so having a backpack in which to put my purchases is now a welcome addition to my homemade bags collection.

How about a little closer look?
Annie chose well! Do you see the Art Nouveau styled tulips? Love!

You may have seen some of the photos in this post on my Instagram feed. 😇 I started by layering the backing, Soft and Stable (terrific product-it is what its name says and I will be using more in future!), and then the Tulips fabric. I loaded Avril, my Avanté, with Aurifil thread in a vibrant turquoise I got in my most recent Island Batik box, and went to town with a swirl design by Christina Cameli, 'Winsome'.
Once that was done, I cut out all the pieces for the quilted components of the backpack. Annie supplies a page of labels you can photocopy in order to keep ALL the parts straight. I highly recommend doing that; it saved me several times when I was like, "'side strip facing B' what the heck, where is that, what is that," kind of thing.
Isn't that turquoise thread perfect?

Not shown: purple 1243 and white

Bella was rather pouty at this point; she was tired of getting shooed off these lovely cushy sit-upons, perfect for pussycats.
All the parts ready to go

I used 100% Aurifil thread for the entire backpack, quilting, and assembly. I came across the little wooden 'Handsewn' label when I was looking for something else, and knew it would be perfect to go on the flap! I hand-stitched it down with Aurifil 12 wt.
I love that Annie faces areas where there is a magnetic snap, as in on the flap, and for mine, the little tag, so that the inside is kept all neat and pretty. I also used another weight of Aurifil, one of my own, a 28 weight, to FMQ my initials in an unquieted space on the backpack back.

It took me several sewing sessions over the course of more than a week, but I finally had everything assembled and down to the three main parts to the backpack to put together.
You get a glimpse there of the lining, which I just love. Those dragonflies--! Those colours--!

Once you sew the back onto the zipper side strip, you bind the seam. There are something like 16 layers there, pretty darn thick. My Bernina handled it beautifully, walking foot steadily sewing along, using a Schmetz Microtex Chrome 80/12 needle at this point.

It looks sooo professional from the inside! And yay me, I remembered my satin label!
You know, I debated on whether to use the Dragonflies as the backpack outer layer, as I love it so, but I thought it may show the dirt a lot faster than the Tulips fabric, so I went with it as lining. Those two pockets hold a cellphone perfectly. That chop is called Dots-Sweet Pea (my birth month flower!). Like can it be any more perfect?
Here's a shot of the bag before the final seam to attach the front, was sewn.
That was my stopping point for that day, and let's just say I had to hide it overnight because that is just a most perfect Bella-nest.

The place where I did use my jeans needle was topstitching the binding down after applying it to one side. I have to say that I love how Annie does her bindings. They are bias, well, duh, they have to be to go around the curves, but you do not press the binding to get a nice crisp fold. You read that right. You pin them to hold the raw edges together. Everything else is the same as for binding a quilt. What this does, is make a soft edge as you roll it over those raw edges in preparation for top-stitching it down. It just flows smoothly around the thickness there, no ripples whatsoever. I was amazed. I also love how she has you shape the backpack so it has a bit of a pear-shape flow to it rather than being a box. As for topstitching the binding down, yes there were some skipped stitches as my Bernina gasped several times at the work I was making her do. It sounds like most ambassadors had this issue along with breaking thread and needles. I didn't have any breaking of needles and just one break of thread. If the machine skipped a stitch, I was sewing slowly enough that I just backed up a couple of stitches and moved along forward again. No biggie.

And ta-da! Here it is 'in the wild' so to speak, looking all smart and perky and mod amongst the pumpkins, and mums etc. I love the modern fall fabrics that have soft turquoises and soft oranges these days, and well, here we are with those very colours! The skies even cooperated, ha!

Lee & Maria's certainly knows how to decorate for fall. You can even buy a Fall Package from them to decorate your own home, which consists of a bale of straw, pumpkins, gourds, cornstalks and mums. 

Here is the backpack back:

Annie recommends 1" polypro strapping which you cover to make the straps. It's pretty slick. Slick, too, is the handle which you make with a double layer of Soft and Stable.

I have two magazines, two books, and two other handmade little bags, one a makeup one, one for pencil crayons, tucked in there and I could still fit more inside.

Here it is empty so you can see how professionally finished-off it is inside. I like the mesh pocket too! That was new to me, sewing with mesh. Easy.

Wait; there are even more pockets. I am like my grandson Brady in many ways, and a love of pockets inside a bag is just one. There are spots for six credit cards, library cards, etc. under the front flap pocket. That pocket is nice and large itself! This shot also shows you how neat the underside of the flap is, and how smooth that binding is.


Ready to go!
I love it. I've made lots of bags over the years, though none as intricate and detailed as this one. However, the pattern is very well-written, and you get a code when you purchase a pattern to download the accompanying Add-On videos which I found extremely helpful for some of the more involved assembly areas. I recommend using By Annie's Soft and Stable as well as her other notions. The zippers are a little wider, and the magnetic snaps are really unique and easy to sew in as opposed to punching holes in your fabric and pushing prongs through which is what I have always used and never knew of these plastic-encased ones. Speaking of plastic, that is my one beef with this project: there is too much single-use plastic used as wrapping and cases. The magnetic snaps and rings come in their own dedicated little plastic case, and could easily have been on a cardboard card such as those for buttons, no plastic needed. Although I was able to use one for pins because the original case got broken, I have no use for the other two at present. They were taped shut with packing tape on top of having their own little snap to close, more unnecessary plastic. The zippers didn't need to be in skinny single-use plastic bags either, nor did the interfacing or Soft and Stable for that matter. It doesn't take much really to reduce our plastic use and here are several ways to lessen the impact within just one bag project. Will I let her know of my concerns? You betcha. I see plastic wrapping embedded in the sands, plastic containers of all kinds, on the beaches of Lake Erie. It's gross and negligent of humans, and it's beyond high time we do better.


Giveaways!!
There are two Rafflecopter widgets, one for my giveaway, and one for Island Batik's giveaway. I am giving away four fat quarters of Island Batik fabrics, a blue-themed bundle. Sadly, I only have enough of the blue to make a fat quarter, but I did find two others to coordinate, and then cut off a fat quarter of my neutral yardage to round out the bundle. I will ship it anywhere in the world. I will draw a winner at the end of the hop, September 29. I won't be responding to but I will be reading, all comments.




I hope you'll pop over to my sister ambassador Carolina Asmussen's blog to see the bag she made with Nouveau Soul for the hop today.

Island Batik is giving away two fabric bundles, one of Nouveau Soul and one of Urbanization. To win, enter the Rafflecopter widget below. Be sure to answer the second Rafflecopter AT ISLAND BATIK'S BLOG NOT HERE! Sorry to 'yell' but already some are commenting here instead of at Island Batik blog. There is their link again!


Here is the rest of this week's lineup:

September 22:

September 23

September 24:

September 25:

Blog Hop Round-Up Week 3 and Giveaway


Linking up





79 comments:

  1. Sandra, your backpack is just fantastic! I've made lots of quilted bags, but nothing quite that involved. Beautiful fabric and neat design!

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  2. TJ (somanylegalpieces)September 21, 2020 at 9:30 AM

    I love the backpack!

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  3. Sandra, this is so pretty! I love all the pockets. And you are right, they picked out perfect fabric! I also love the dragonflies but agree that I would be worried about white on the outside. I'm impressed that you sewed through so many layers and appreciated the photo showing just how high they are all together! I think that's more layers than were in my bag, and there were a few sections of struggle. Beautiful, beautiful bag, and I'm so glad that you are already using it!

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  4. I have made simple bags and will make a quilted purse when I find a nice smallish pattern.
    Thanks for sharing how you made your bag. Beautiful fabric.

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  5. That is a gorgeous backpack. I have completed a few bags to date, but, nothing as involved as this. You did a tremendous job. Thanks

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  6. wow but your bag is just gorgeous. I love how you put the light fabric on the inside. so much easier to see what is in there to my way of thinking. No i have not made a quilted bag. but this looks like it would be a fun "out of my box" project. thank you for sharing and inspiring quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

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  7. Nice job on the bag, Sandra! It's perfect - or, perhaps Bella would say, purrrfect! Bella is looking beautiful, as always.

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  8. Yes, I've made some quilted bags as one of the instructors at my local sewing machine stores often used bags to teach techniques. I've never attempted anything as complicated as the backpack.

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  9. Quilting is creative and that feeds my soul.

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  10. Your backpack is gorgeous! I have made one quilted bag-a small cross body bag with a mesh outer phone pocket. My granddaughter loved it!

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  11. I have sewn/quilted most of my life and it is my happy place! I can quietly sort out all issues while I am alone in my sewing room and emerge refreshed and calm. It is also a way to make marvelous handmade gifts for family and friends!

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  12. Pretty backpack. I would like to make a bag to help organize projects. Quilting expands my creativity. 24Tangent@gmail.com

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  13. Beautiful colors in that back-pack!! I did make a quilted bag many years ago--remember it as being rather difficult, but the finished project looked nice!

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  14. Love the backpack with all the great pockets.

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  15. Very pro bag, Sandra!!! I've made Annie's "On The Go" bag--DD traveled around the world with it. I love making bags with Soft & Stable and have a roll of it.

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  16. Think I am a no reply blogger so here is my e-mail--barbkaup(at)(yahoo)(dot)(com)

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  17. I love making quilted bags, too many to count!

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  18. I haven't made any quilted bags, but lots of totes and grocery bags have been sewn. I want to get the pattern for Case in Point.

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  19. Love the backpack. The zipper and the accent fabric add so much interest. The bold contrasting color for the zipper! The handsewn label adds a special touch. Nice autumn photoshoot.

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  20. I made quilted purses about 40 years ago. I have to say the patterns available now are more detailed and stylish.

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  21. I have never made a bag of any kind, but I am very interested in the backpack bag that you made.
    Nancy A: SewingGranda@gmail.com

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  22. I did make a quilted tote a long long time ago and almost wrecked my machine. That was before I had a walking foot and a few smarts I have learned along the way. Have always wanted to make a backpack with all you great help it might just get done!

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  23. You did an awesome job making your bag Sandra. I really love this one. It has so much room and lots of pockets---just what I like. The fabrics are absolutely beautiful. This backpack is the one I would like to try to make. I have never made any kind of bags except for the small zipper pouches. Thank you for sharing and for youe giveaway.

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  24. Fabulous bag! I really like all the pockets to keep everything organized! I have never made a bag and I think I would start out smallish... like pencil/pen zipper bag! :) tks!

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  25. You did GOOD! So professional looking! I love the colour, the tag, everything about it.

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  26. I've made several bags, but never a quilted one. I would love to try an Annie bag. Your bag looks professionally made.

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  27. Love your bag and all the pics to show the progress. Yes, I did make one quilted bag, a duffle type with round ends. But the bag had to be gathered, and the quilting made that part way too fat, so it was all undone and made a beautiful table runner, which, funnily, was posted to a friend in Ontario!!!! The Annie patterns look amazing and so detailed to make all the pieces go together smoothly.

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  28. Sandra, such a beautiful bag in lovely colors and the details are so well executed. Thank you for all the information. I've made a couple of quilted bags but don't know that I want to make more. Thanks for the opportunity to win. Love all the photos in the fall themed stand. And Bella would have loved that bag as her very own bed!

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  29. The backpack is incredible Sandra and when I see this fabric line my heart speeds up! It is gorgeous and yes, your colours. I have made quilted totes, backpacks for my grands and a couple of quilted bags to carry my Accuquilt dies to the Guild or retreats.

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  30. I love your backpack. I have started trying to make the free bag from By Annie because of this blog hop; the bags all look so professional and beautiful. I'm looking for a pattern for a new purse/handbag because the last one I made is starting to fall apart. I suspect your backpack won't fall apart for many, many years.

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  31. Love the backpack - such detail! I've made lots of pouches as sweet little gifts. I like using a continuous zipper technique with 2 tabs that meet in the middle.
    basaran.family (at) rogers (dot) com

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  32. I made trick or treat bags with batting in between. Not much quilting on them. I would love to learn how to make "real" bags.

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  33. That bag is just so lovely & backpacks are great for when out walking or travelling (if we can ever do that again). Thanks for the kink to By Annie & I'll have a look later. Take care & huggles.

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  34. I have made small bags...nothing like your beautiful backpack. I have a pattern for a purse, but so far it's still a pattern! Thanks for sharing.

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  35. Many bags have I made and many more to make. You are right about the single use plastic....a good perspective for them to hear.

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  36. You have made yourself a backpack that is strikingly gorgeous! It really is a well-made bag and looks so professional. Perfect size too without being too boxy and cumbersome. I have made a quilted tote bag with pockets for a swap a while back and I've made a cross-body bag for myself this past summer. I loved both projects!
    duchick at gmail dot com

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  37. I have made a quilted bag/tote. I love your backpack.

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  38. I have made bags in the past but never a quilted one, mostly just make quilts

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  39. I love how your bag turned out. Great job. I used to make my Grandsons back packs not so much these days. I may need to check out a new bag pattern.

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  40. Looks fabulous and
    love the colors!
    Carla from Utah

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  41. Your bag is amazing. I have a UFO quilted bag I started way back. I need to finish it. Enjoy your day! angielovesgary2 atgmail dotcom 🌻🍁🍂

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  42. The bag is beautiful. I love how you quilted it, and agree, the little cases for buckles are cute, but unnecessary. I have to find another use for mine. I'm thinking they can store pins and buttons. I like to use medicine bottles for broken and used pins and needles, so maybe I'll switch to the little case for that, and smaller rotary blades. When I dispose of them, I tape them and mark the container that it has sharps and needs special handling. But I do recycle my plastics.

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  43. I love making quilted bags and have made many of them - from diaper bags to Christmas gift bags to lunch bags to purses and even wallets. Thanks!

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  44. I have made a quilted bag or two in my day. I made my mother a purse early on once I started quilting.

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  45. Yes I have made loads of bags over the years. Great job on yours Sandra.

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  46. I have not made any bags, too intimidating. I am new at quilting but loving it. Your bags are beautiful!

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  47. I am just getting into quilting and since I started, I'm becoming obsessed!! I don;t want to do anything else.

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  48. Oh, this turned out just SO cute! I love the size, similar to one I carry as a purse every day. And of course the fabrics are so YOU :) Yes, I have made a quilted bag, a very simple tote bag with boxed corners. And a few zipper pouches, too. Nothing as complicated as this cool pack, though.

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  49. I had fun catching up on your blog this morning. I absolutely love this bag, your star quilt, and positive spin. I really want to doodle those floppy feathers and see if I can get them to meander. Happy Fall!

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  50. I have just made simple grocery bags, and one simple purse. I love these "By Annie" bags - they look so good and the Island Batik fabric is wonderful with them. Yours is great!

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  51. I have made a few simple zipper pouches, none of them quilted. I'm about ready to "up my game", especially after this blog hop. I want to commend you on your comments about the single-use plastic and all the waste. I think it is important to share our opinions on these issues, because it can cause people to think about things they might not have, and can make other people feel not so alone in their opinions and passions. Thank you.

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  52. Your bag is gorgeous Sandra - and Oh-La-La Oh So You!! Lovely setting for your photos too :-) I have made several of Annie's caddies and found the detailed instructions so logical and they came together fabulously, as you found with this pattern. And I liked the binding method too, although some friends hand sewed the last step.

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  53. I have only made one quilted bag before, with the help of a friend.

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  54. Your backpack looks so perfectly made, Sandra! And yes, that fabric is perfect for you :) That's a lot of layers to be stitching through, though. I'd be curious to see if my Janome could manage it as I've never tried that many layers before.

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  55. I just found your blog and I love it. Your latest project is adorable and you make it look easy enough for even me to do it. You inspire me!

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  56. I have not made a quilted bag. I tried once without a pattern and got stymied by the pockets, so it never got finished. I would try one with one of these amazing patterns, though!

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  57. What a fun back pack! I made a zippered lunch bag a couple of years ago, but it isn't nearly as detailed as your bag. Nice work!

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  58. Such a lovely backpack in your colors for sure!! The details are impressive. I’m with you. I love all the pockets and divisions. But I usually don’t have the patience to sew them myself. You did a wonderful job, and I’m glad your machine rise to the occasion of sewing through all those layers. Yay for you taking the time to make packaging suggestions. I hope they will be able to incorporate them.

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  59. What an impressive backpack. It is so well made!!

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  60. Hi Sandra, what an amazing bag - so intricate and professional looking! The colours are fabulous! Take care.

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  61. I Give it the cutest backpack ever award and favor it displayed with the pumpkins. That is a lovely photo! I should consider making some for my grands for Christmas. Are they a ton of work?

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  62. I made the Back at Ya as well and simply love it. Your fabrics are gorgeous, and the quilting divine!

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  63. I love how your bag came out! And those fabrics....sigh! So lovely. You are blessed to have a produce stand close enough to walk to. Lucky, lucky! Have a fabulous weekend.

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  64. Love that backpack! The colors are great and all those pockets. Excellent.

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  65. AMAZING! This is so lovely...the colors, the construction, the design, the functionality! This is the one I made as well and just love your colors!

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  66. I have made a backpack before and it was very time consuming! Yours is so pretty, I can see why you are keeping it to yourself! Sandra, thank you for linking to TGIFF!

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  67. Great work on the backpack. Very professional job.

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  68. Kathy,
    The backpack is beautiful! The time you put into it is worth it. My bag making is simple, tote bags for knitting supplies. petuniakr@aol.com

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  69. Your backpack is great. I did make a rucksack and it was a lot of pieces. My granddaughter uses it for sleepovers now.

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  70. That is an awesome backpack - and your right - those colors were made just for you! how pretty they are with the fall colors as their background for a photo shoot!

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  71. i love all things aqua and these batiks are gorgeous! the backpack looks very professional and love all the pockets.

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  72. I love the colours of those batiks. They would fall right into my stash. good job on the backpack. Backpacks can be very tricky.

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  73. Lovely project! Too hard for me, though! annesimonot@sasktel.net

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  74. Great backpack! I have made quilted bags, but usually something simple like an open tote or a simple duffle.

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  75. Everything about this is gorgeous!!

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  76. Incredible! You are such a great ambassador.... I'll have what she's having! Your bag is so well made, such a lot of details all done to perfection - well done you. I had to laugh at your poor fur baby.... mine drooled just looking at the pics of those lovely soft sewing pieces to sit on, and the nest! My cat is wondering why you had to go spoiling such a masterpiece by putting the rest of the bag on. Love the colours, and love that they suit you so well too. Many happy wishes for hours and hours of hands free shopping. Thanks for sharing at Clever Chameleon!

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