Friday, October 12, 2012

Mama's Bag

There was a good bit of retreat and regrouping with this particular improv project.  I really wanted the colors and fabrics to feel like "me", but also didn't want a super dark/all-saturated mix.  Over a couple of days, taking my time, this is where I've ended up.

Quilt-as-You-Go bag outer

This quilt-as-you-go block is 19" x 22", designed to become the outer of my new purse.  I've worn out my Patchwork Style quilted purse from constant use, and decided that something improv-style would be fun to wear.  The dense quilting makes a hard-wearing bag outer that needs no interfacing.

from Handmade Home

For the bag style, I'm taking inspiration from this "Mama's Bag" in Amanda  Blake Soule's Handmade Home.  Amanda's book was actually my first sewing book, and her blog lead me to the blogosphere.  It's cool to be making this project actually mine after years of admiration.

w.i.p. quilted bag

I know it's hard to tell, but I've put in four knife pleats towards center, as shown in the book, as well as a box pleat at center.  Plus, I also boxed the corners for more shaping.

what for Handles?

This is the "front", my favorite side.  Now I'll work on creating pockets and such to attach to the lining before assembly.  Meanwhile, what do you think about handles?  Amanda used felted wool handles in the book, which I may be able to dig up in some random color.  Or I could do patchwork handles, thin linen handles, or.....?

Sometimes handles make a bag.  What would you do?

47 comments:

  1. I think linen handles would look great.

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  2. I would even recommend leather handles and grommets. Very sturdy.

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  3. I think leather would look awesome!

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  4. Beautiful! I agree that leather would be a nice touch. I am just about to add some handles to the quilted bag I just made too! I'm doing a coordinating fabric and quilting them as well...it's for a shopping tote, I want it to be as comfy as possible as I load it down with purchases. :)

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  5. many times I've used thrifted leather belts as the handles on my purses....I think some coloured stitching running on the handles would bring it to a new level too :)

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    1. What a neat idea to repurpose belts! I need to see what I might have on hand.

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  6. it's going to look fantastic, Rachel. I think some combo of linen and patchwork would look great for the handles.

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  7. A combo of quilted and leather, quilted on the shoulter for comfort and leather at the attachment area for style. ;)

    Love how your block color wave came out. Very YOU!

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  8. For some reason I am seeing colourful leather handles that draw out one of the colours in the patchwork. I could see linen working too though. It looks really great!

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  9. Since you used fabric scraps and that to me is a great way of recycling I would use old men ties for the handles....don't ask me why it just came out this way and I might do one for myself so I can finally some of the old ties from my father and husband.

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  10. Gorgeous! All those older Anna Maria Horner prints really shine. I wonder if freespirit will ever do a re-release of one of her lines?

    I love the idea of leather handles, especially repurposed belts. If that doesn't work I say go with the linen. The felted wool looks good on the cover of the book but would really make the bag a fall/winter bag only. I love wool but not up against my skin in August!

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    1. Oh good point! I hadn't thought about how the wool would feel in summer!

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  11. This bag made me sigh, it's just so pretty. I love the leather handle idea, but if you can't do that then I'd go with the linen handles. :)

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  12. I would add some simple one color handles. I used canvas belt and it looks good and it's cheap and practical too.

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  13. I think that leather handles would look very chic! I know that can be fussy though. Second thought would be to continue the scrappy-ness like the front of the bag.

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  14. I like the idea of a simple leather handle. Or if it MUST be fabric, something dark to contrast with all those bold colors.

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  15. Rounded leather or leather strap handles.

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  16. It's perfect and I love the mix of fabrics and how you have used them.

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  17. I like the idea of linen or leather too! We have Amanda Soule in common, she was my first introduction to the sewing blogworld as well. I love her books!

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  18. Great bag, and super choice of fabrics, I love it!

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  19. it's looking great, Rachel! Love the colours and improv look.

    I'd probably go with linen for the handles. ;)

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  20. It will surely be a wonderful bag. I think leather or linen handles will be great

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  21. I think linen handles would be perfect.

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  22. It looks so pretty so far! Love the improv piecing. :D

    I think leather handles would look amazing.

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  23. Super cute Rachel! Love Amanda's blog, have all her books. What a great spin on this pattern! Linen handles for sure :)

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  24. Love the colours that you have in the fabric. Looks like an awesome bag .... really like it.

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  25. Leather handles, and, I agree, they should be rolled. I find they take a purse from looking homemade to haute!

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  26. I think thick quilted linen handles would complement this bag nicely. It's beautiful so far! Nice job! Thank you for the inspiration...I have a small fat quarter bundle of Cameo by Amy Butler that I'd like to make a bag out of, but I was having trouble finding a pattern for a large purse that would accommodate fat quarters...this may be just the thing!

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  27. I think that quilted handles make nice strong handles. I guess I like my bags to look handmade. (Not sure why I think "homemade" is a slur, because I love home, but I think your bag looks handmade rather than homemade!) I think that handmade is a euphemism for bespoke!

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  28. I think the leather handles will look amazing ! Otherwise solid color handles in linen .

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  29. What a pretty start to your bag!

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  30. Hopefully I can describe what I'm seeing here...Linen handles, yes, but top with a strip of complementary printed fabric, may be even a combination of the prints used in your bag. That is, if the handle is 1.5 in wide, it has a stripe 3/4 inch wide down the center in the prints.

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  31. Was it difficult to make those pleats with the thickness of the quilting? It's so lovely!

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    1. No, it really wasn't! I just pinned the pleats in place and then sewed along the top of the bag to baste them. Totally easy.

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  32. i'd go for leather handles if you can find some, or use belts like someone else recommended. it's beautiful, rachel.

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  33. Linen or patchwork ~ wool, not so much.
    The bag is going to be incredibly lovely!

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  34. I am in the minority...no leather. I say linen or patchwork. I am sure wha ever you do will be beautiful.

    Denise

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  35. Love it! I vote for thin linen handles. I have made several felted bags and the straps end up stretching out if the bag carries much weight.

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  36. Be careful with the linen handles! Make sure they're nice and wide... If they're to thin they'll dig into you shoulder and hand like crazy when you're carrying your pretty bag- which would be a terrible outcome....

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  37. I have made 2 mama's bags and have used wool blanket on one and some re-purposed baby cord on the other...I love both of them but think I like the lighter feel of the cord best. (oh I just checked on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=35445471@N08&q=mamas%20bag and actually I made three - two with cord handles, so I guess I do reccommend the lighter option!):)

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  38. My most recent bag was with leather handles and I think they look fantastic! But for a shoulder strap I'd go with a long handle made from a co-ordinating print.

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  39. personally I think wood handles would be fabulous, it would give a bit of a retro vibe. I have a purse I am currently using with wood handles and I am converted to them. Thanks for sharing the quilt as you go technique, I have a bunch of orphan blocks I am going to try with this. Of course after I finish my projects from camp this summer.

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  40. Beautiful purse. Love the colors and patterns. Very Earthy to me, so I would use wooden handles.

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  41. Just have to say I love this! Love the colors, love the layout, love what you're making it! I'm feeling some linen handles... thin, but not too thin.

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