It seems I often underestimate how long a project will take. Do you do that too, or am I the only one? I was overly optimistic on my last post that I might have photos to show you of the new totebag that night. Ha! For one thing, I forgot about the quilting... that takes time. Actually I did make good progress on Thursday and by that evening I had the "top" all together and quilted. I had the lining and pockets all made too, but when I went to put them together, I had goofed on a measurement somewhere along the way and my lining was just a bit too small/tight. So, take out a seam, add in another piece (it's on the inside so who's going to see it? And you won't tell, right?). After several more little incidents (running out of thread, etc...) and several days of working on it off and on - it's now done. I am pleased with it, it's a good size and will be useful. I think I will cover a stiff rectangular piece of cardboard with the lining fabric and insert in the bottom to give the bottom a little more "shape".
As I told you on my last post, I used 16 squares from one of my Bali Watercolor Batik collections for the Twister section. Two of the other fabrics are batiks and the one on the bottom and side is a Fossil Fern. The very narrow 3/16" flat piping is a bright yellow/green batik for contrast. The "batting" is fusible fleece. I quilted the Twister section with monofilament in the ditch and the flat piping with an opalescent metallic, also in the ditch. I echo-quilted the curves with 3 different shades of teal Sulky rayon thread. The top-stitching along the top band and the handles is navy cotton thread.
I always learn something with every project... even if it's just that I don't want to do that again!! The lesson learned with this project was with the strapping I purchased for the handles. I bought polypropylene strapping at Fabricville and covered it with one of the batik fabrics. I cut my fabric strips almost three times the width of the strapping and after wrapping it around the strapping, thought I would give each one a quick press with the (steam) iron to give the fabric a good crease before I stitched it. Big mistake! As soon as I ran the iron up the first 12", even though the strapping was covered with the fabric and the iron did NOT touch it directly, the strapping immediately shrank and went ripple-y and wonky. I thought I might be able to flatten and straighten it once it was cool, but no such luck. So that was another delay- another trip back to Fabricville the next morning for another length of the strapping. So now you know- don't iron polypropylene strapping...
The buttons were the final step, once the straps were finished. I stopped in to the
Christmas Crab Quiltery in Woodstock on Saturday morning, on my way to Houlton and Smyrna Maine. Although these buttons are a tiny bit larger than
I wanted I decided they were the right choice. Last night when I got back, I added them and the bead "dangles" for a bit of bling! I just used a variety of beads, crystals, pearls, lentil and dagger beads. They seemed to add the finishing touch - because of the size and bright color of the buttons, the dangles seem to "deflect" away from them somewhat...
So there you have it. Done. It took longer than I wanted it to, but I would rather put time and effort into doing something as well as I possibly can, so that I am pleased with the outcome. Linda has a new totebag.. and it's blue. Color me happy.
Okay, back to work with the reds...
"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." ~ Beverly Sills