Welcome to Sew in the Snow Blog

This blog is about my passions in life: family, quilting, and new adventures. Quilting is my main passion! I also love my family tirelessly and devote most of my energy to my young preschool girls and my husband. This blog will be about my creative process in quilting and some about being a Mom in this busy world. Being of Irish descent, I love a good story. So buckle in, here we go!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

WIP: Summer Schlep Bags

Schelp Bag made from April Bali Medley Fabrics
Summer IS HERE.   To celebrate the glorious profusion of colors in the wild flowers and in my garden I have been making some incredibly bright Schlep Bags.  A local shop here--Blueberry Baby-- is carrying my schlep bags and I got some great feedback from the owner.  She wants more bags and smaller bags (which are still rather large) and in brighter colors.  Perfect!  It's time to celebrate  the festive color of summer in a new line of batik bags.

I love a good bag!  I have many bags already but you can never have too many!  I'm in the process of making 4 reversible bags.  I have designed one side so that I can use fat quarters, and the other side was already workable for that.  I have lots of fat quarters to use up!

Made from my June Bali Medley Fabrics
Where do I get all of my fat quarters you ask?  Well, my stash has several of course.  And, I have signed up for a Bali Medley of fat quarters  (a set of 5) to be sent to me monthly from Keepsake Quilting.  It's like Christmas each month!  I open the package and there's 5 coordinating batiks just waiting to be used.  they are lovely!  I highly recommend it to anyone that loves fabrics!  They have all sorts of cool monthly clubs you can join, something for everyone.  There's fat quarters, charm packs, 10" squares in many popular styles.  So much fun!

I digress... so, I'm using fat quarters in my bag.  It takes at least 4 fat quarters to make one bag.  I have used more to accent the colors in the bag.  I am using Carol A. Coski's Schlep Bag pattern.  I have made several like she did out of 8" squares.  However, they are extremely large, so I have adapted the pattern.

Like most quilters, I love to adapt patterns to fit my style and needs.  I am now making them in 6" squares.  Of course, I'm a strip-quilter, so I actually sew it in strips, then cut that into 4 sets of 6" squares.  MUCH faster and more accurate for me.  The front calls for 4 colors or 4 sets of squares.  Sometimes, I like to cut out a solid bottom square to save time and effort (it's 11.5" bottom for the 6" square bag).  Then, you only need to strip 3 colors or fabrics together.  Of course, you still need to cut out 4 sets from this strip set, one for each side of the square. 

Strip with 3 6" squares-- will be a green and orange bag
Center 11.5" bottom and 4 sides--sew as seen

Bright Blue Summer Bag

Purple and grey blue summer bag--this one's mine!

Blue and gray summer bag--still needs liner

Then, I made a second bag that is cut from 2-3 fat quarters or scraps.  I cut one fat quarter in half to equal a 11" x 31" strip.  I sew on a coordinating 3" strip to the top of that.  I add a 6" pocket on the right side of this bag.  Press all seams and press a medium weight interfacing to the bottom square.  This interfacing adds some extra stability in the bottom of the bag.  It makes it a little stiff, but it stands open better instead of crumpling up so much. Then sew on a coordinating 8.5" square to the bottom of the strip, turning at right angles to make it form a square bag. (Yes, this is a different bottom size, but it works!) Finally, I sew up the sides.  This can be made from either 2 or 3 colors--your preference.    Once it's completed and pressed, I turn it inside out to place it in the outer Schelp Bag as a liner.  After sewing on the handles, it's done!
3" dark green strip, cut striped fat quarter = 11"x 18" each and 8.5"yellow bottom

Sewn 2nd bag--see it's a square shape--then tuck into the schlep bag as a liner
 I find that the 6" squares make a more reasonable size for every-day schlepping.  And, that's what my customer wants.   They are such a great size and such delightful fabrics that I've decided to keep one. 
Thanks for tuning in.  If you'd like more exact details on how to make this, just let me know!  Thanks.

I have also linked this with my Etsy Team Quiltsy blog.  You can see what the other team members are working on!  It's always fun!

Have a Happy Independence Day.  Thank a soldier today for our freedom.  They are the true heroes of this holiday.  We are still free.  Thank you all military personnel!

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