Saturday, February 10, 2024

Project Quilting 15.3 Inside Out

For this third challenge we were to create something that thematically or literally shows the aspect of being inside out. I think of expressions like Wear your heart on your sleeve, or My eyeballs fell out of their sockets. You could have exposed seams, which made me think of the old jeans and flannel-backed quilt I made years ago with raggedy edges from sewing the layers wrong sides together. A bag would work, Trish said, because it gets sewn with right sides together and then, as she said, 'birthed', pulling the outside of the bag through the inside-out lining. That bag idea was it, and I knew right away what one I would make. After last challenge's challenges (ha) and missing the deadline by a few hours, this one was going to be Simple Simon, no getting all fancy.

As soon as I read the directive for this challenge, I knew I would make my Positive Flow bag pattern. I sold the one remaining in my shop a little while ago, so with the intention of making one to replace it, I was off. Well, as much as one can be off with a dog recovering from ACL surgery and tag-teaming with one’s husband so that one of us is with her 24/7.

This ensures her safety and keeping her as quiet and immobile as possible for the first 3-4 weeks. Still, I got it done on Friday in time for an outside photo or two in the (are you sitting down?) sunshine!

Yes I’m in flipflops in that outdoor photo, and yes, our grass is green. It is green all winter here, not that it grows, but it doesn’t go all brown/yellow and die off like it does in Alberta. We have pretty mild winters here; the only two months we are colder than Vancouver are January and February.  We were 17C in Windsor yesterday, though only 14 here by Lake Erie. They broke a 100+ year old record in Toronto yesterday. Although it’s wonderful to have these temperatures it is also not wonderful because it’s yet more evidence of global warming. If Lake Erie, which hasn’t frozen much at all this winter, just a bit along the shore, gets too warm this summer, there are all sorts of repercussions, from worse storms to algae blooms, which deprive the aquatic life of oxygen, so they die, which affects the fishing industry…

Whew! I digress. This is another challenge dreamed up by the clever Trish of @quiltchicken for Project Quilting which is the brainchild of Kim at

Two of the fat quarters I used came from a bundle I'd bought a few years back from bluprint. The gold is Ruby Star Society 'Spooky Darlings'. I don't know what the plaid is, but it was in the same bundle. Pulling fabrics to tone in with those two was fun; often my favourite part is doing the initial fabric pull. I found the perfect pink in Contempo's 'At Home' by Cherry Guidry for Benartex Designer Fabrics, and the cream is a 'vintage' David Textiles designed by Beth Ann Bruske that I just love, ahead of its time as far as the blenders and grunge softer fabrics with its hint of pale blue amongst the creams and super-pale yellows. The navy is a basic from Connecting Threads, and the final colour, since I needed six, ended up being a half yard of soft pink Downton Abbey by Andover Fabrics I got several years ago that has tiny dots of copper that were 'pulled out' because of the gold RSS fabric. Lovely, and a good balm for my creative soul, pulling the colours. But then I love the cutting and stacking/organizing of pieces...

and then making the initial block, which, in this case is the interlocking plus panel. Because I decided to quilt this bag onto the batting only, no muslin for the third layer (which I didn't have, gotta buy some next time we're in the city), I started by doing some of the quilting on my Bernina. What colour of thread to use over the wide variety of fabrics? I settled on a soft gold by Aurifil. Then I loaded it onto Avril. I've never quilted on my longarm with just two layers, so I was curious how it would work since the batting, which is Hobbs 80/20 cotton/polyester, is not as stable as cotton fabric. It went well!

I did use three layers to quilt the bag bottom. I found a quarter yard chunk of Game of Thrones fabric in my 1/3 - 1/4 yard drawers organizer that had a 5" strip attached that was perfect. It got quilted on my Bernina.

Bella supervised the outer bag construction.

I always make the straps myself, though I did pick up some webbing in my last order from Zipper Valley, which I'll try on the next bag. Working to a deadline is not always the time to try new techniques, especially when it's not dedicated time, but constantly interrupted by keeping an eye on Xena. When I was an ambassador, Hobbs had sent us a roll of fusible batting strips, which I had never used, but when I was going through my tub of batting strips which I save for the express purpose of handle-making, I saw the roll and thought, okay, let's give this a go. Ignore what I just said about trying new techniques, ha! Actually this was not that revolutionary, and wow do I like this product!

I cut the 2.5" wide strip in half width-wise since my straps are 1.25" wide. Then I trimmed back a further 1/8" so they'd fit nicely inside the strap. Sometimes I do my straps inside out and turn them with a turner tool; at other times I do them as for this bag, pressing them in half lengthwise and then turning under the raw edges 1/4".

So it was easy to line up the fusible batting strip, press it into place - love that - beneath the 1/4" fold,

and then, as I always do, use a second batting strip from my stash of strips on top, fold in the second 1/4" edge, take it to my sewing machine and topstitch each edge as well as a third line down the strap centre.

From there the bag gets assembled quickly, the lining much the same. 
‘Birthing’ the bag because it is sewn with the insides out so it needs to be turned right sides out through the opening in the lining.

The lining! I had the two outer shells of the bag all done when I started really looking through my stash for a good lining. Was I ecstatic to find this piece, a 'vintage' one from Concord Fabrics. I had used it many years ago to make my aunt in England a runner and a cushion cover, and still had a yard left, and it's just perfect. This is when I was seriously debating whether to NOT list the bag and just keep it because the colours, and now meaning of the lining, were making my heart sing.

My bags always get a good quality Dritz magnetic clasp inside. For this one I decided to add some lighter weight interfacing to the inside pocket for a little stability. I'm not sure it's really necessary, but it does make for a firmer pocket. My SandraJaneQuilts label goes between the outer edge of the pocket and the right side of the lining. The pocket fabric matches the bag bottom.

The bag is unique, I think, because it is not symmetrical: one side is interlocking plus blocks,

and the other is patchwork squares using the same six fabrics. Très chic alors!

Well, the bag didn't last long in my Etsy shop; it's already sold! Now I will need to make another, a good problem to have. Maybe I should make two at once this next time... Sadly, or perhaps happily, this one is totally unique, as I do not have enough of either the gold or the plaid to make another, so the buyer truly has a unique bag.

They make a great ‘take to yoga class’ bag, for which I mainly use both of the ones I’ve made myself, though I did also take to Cuba the original one which I made when I was a Blogger Bundle Designer at Bernie’s Needle and Foot when she had her fabric shop...

and designed this bag!

By the Caribbean Sea in Varadero, Cuba

You can make one yourself: the pattern, Positive Flow, is in my Etsy shop, SandraJaneQuilts. Along with the bag pattern, it includes the pattern for two sizes of quilts, baby and throw.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Positive Flow by me, SandraJaneQuilts
Size: 20.5" wide by 16.5" high
Fabric: Stash
Batting: Hobbs 80/20 cotton/polyester
Backing: Concord Fabrics designed by the Kesslers
Quilted: on Avril, 9981 stitches, as well as my Bernina, walking foot and FMQ
Threads: pieced on my Featherweight; quilted on both my Bernina as well as Avril my Avanté with Aurifil, Bottom Line in the bobbin

And?! I’m a sponsor this week! Look at the pretty graphic Trish made:

Therein lies my dilemma about being SandraJaneQuilts (my Etsy shop name) and dropping the mmmquilts for my blog—I bought my logo for mmmquilts…my brain hurts trying to figure out what exactly to do. So I’ll think about it later. Let it percolate in the background of my brain. 


  1. Very cool bag. Not surprised it sold right away. Now you can have fun picking out fabrics for new ones.

  2. yea! you did it! Poor puppy, I know what it is like keeping an active dog still for weeks, Milo had to wear a shoulder brace, no running no jumping no playing for 4+ months when he was 4 months old! ACK adding in a $5000 surgery cost was insult to injury.
    I'm stunned by the sandals. Snowing here (finally) as it should in February in CO

  3. Love the bag & found your strap info great. Hope the dog is well on the mend by now.
    I'm late again with catching up on posts due to tech difficulties. Take care & hugs.

  4. It seems that Xena is getting a lot of great love and affection while she recovers. Hooray for getting your project for this week's challenge done in plenty of time and congratulations on the quick sale, too!

  5. Wonderful bag with all those colors. Congrats on finishing in time and for getting a quick sale. I used to have that Concord fabric in browns. I even used it in some turkeys made as Thanksgiving door hangers. Xena is looking perky so you have your work cut out for you keeping her calm. And Bella was chief inspector, I see!

  6. That is such a beautiful bag! I love every different aspect of it, and really appreciate the tips you used to create it!

  7. Love the bag; although I have two I have made from your pattern. You reminded me I still haven't made a plus quilt from your Positive Flow pattern. Glad to see Xena looking so perky and Bella keeping a watchful eye on you :-) I will have to look out for the Hobbs fusible strips. Well done for the quick sale in your Etsy shop.

  8. What a lovely bag and perfect for the PQ prompt! Good news and bad news on it selling so fast! I know you will whip up another original in no time!

  9. Your bag is perfect for the inside out challenge! And it looks great!
    Thanks for linking to TGIFF!

  10. Love your bag, Sandra!! I think it's perfect for the challenge. I hope Xena is much better and Bella appears to be a great supervisor! LOL Thanks for linking up with Monday Musings.