I recently joined the new Crafty Gemini Quilt Club. My friend and fellow executive board member of the Gainesville Modern Quilters, Vanessa Vargas Wilson, started the club to build an awesome community. I don’t normally join these types of organizations, as I am kind of a solo quilter. The club offers monthly projects, monthly swaps, annual Mystery Block of the Month Quilt, weekly live streams/online chats with Vanessa, monthly give-aways, retreats, weekly tips and tricks and interviews with other quilters all in video format. I must say, the community she is building is awesome and I am loving getting to know a lot of new quilty friends.
The February project is the Big ‘Ol Tote. It was so much fun to make and I have a received so much positive feedback and asked where a pattern can be found that I thought you might like to know a little bit more about it. As you can see, this is an improv project using mostly Cotton + Steel fabrics, but you will also see fabrics from Denyse Schmidt, Carrie Bloomston, Carolyn Friedlander, Michael Miller and Lotta Jandsdotter. You can totally make an awesome bag from scraps and minimal yardage in your stash.
What gives the bag such nice shape you ask? Well it is Bosal’s In-R-Form Plus. It is a foam product similar to Annie’s Soft-N-Stable, except it is double sided fusible. It is easy to sew through and awesome to use. Vanessa recently did a video tutorial with Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company of another improv bag and the foam sold out everywhere. You can generally get at Amazon.com, MSQC or your local quilt shop. Currently the online shop, Home Sew, has it in stock.
Unique to my bag is the binding I have added to the top of the bag and the top and bottom of the pocket. People often ask me how I get such perfect machine sewn binding. It is glue baby! Yes, plain old Elmer’s Washable School Glue. I got my glue tips from the online shop Pile ‘O Fabric. These are stainless steel tips with a top that screws on so you can take to quilt classes and retreats. I love the tips. Also, Pile ‘O Fabric is going to be a vendor at QuiltCon, so if you are going you can get her own and save on shipping.
My bag features straps made from 1-1/2″ webbing that I picked up at JoAnn’s. I think it added a nice touch and gives the bag bottom additional stability. Also a 4″ x 12″ quilting ruler will fit perfectly in the bottom of the bag, how is that for stability? My bag is a little narrower than Vanessa’s bag because I messed up with the handle placement and rather than un-sew, I just cut off the end. How is that for improvisation (or maybe lazy)? Hey, I was just wanting to get finished!
Anyone that knows me, knows I love bias binding. I have a bias binding attachment for my Bernina and I am always cranking out projects that take advantage of this awesome attachment. The bias binding closure and button is a unique addition to this bag and I just happened to have the perfect turquoise button in my stash.
Oh, one last thing, my quilting buddy, Linda Hungerford of Flourishing Palms, and I made a quilt together that will be in the show at QuiltCon. If you are there, check it out. I would love to meet you if you are going to QuiltCon, you can spot me by my Big ‘Ol Tote.