Friday, June 7, 2013

My First Messenger Bag Post 1

Front Flap Panel - Bare
Well, after completing my first crazy quilted purse, I decided to try making a messenger bag.  This will be my first attempt sewing a messenger bag, but I decided to modify the pattern with some crazy quilting.  (The pattern I used was Butterick B4147 - I took advantage of a $0.99 pattern sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics last year.)  The front, back, sides, and strap will all be crazy quilted using a variety of pink and black fabrics. 

After adding my first seam treatment, I decided I should plan the block out better - so my seams would not compete with one another.  My sketch also gives me a basic idea to follow, so I spend less time staring at the fabric wondering what to do next.  However, it is not a concrete plan, and I have already deviated from it a bit...
For the first seam, I used 2 strands of green DMC cotton floss and buttonhole stitches.  Next, I added 2 green lazy daisy stitches at the base of each "stem," using the same floss.  After that, I used a single strand of a variegated pink Iris EdMar #018 floss to make 2 alternating flowers.  One consists of 3 lazy daisy stitches.  The other uses two straight stitches with a French knot in the center.

The second seam was an alternated chain stitch using 2 different threads on the same needle.  I used Finca Perle No. 8 in "Light Pale Geranium" #1724 (I discovered this at Canby Quilt and Fabric in Canby, Oregon  - next to their EdMar floss selection) and DMC Perle No. 12 cotton in Black #310.  (I thought I bought No. 8... Oops!)
You can see a bit of the 3rd seam in the photo above.  Using pink RiverSilks 4mm ribbon (#20), I made a herringbone stitch.  (In the future, I think I will take the time to measure, rather than eyeballing those stitches.  My husband tells me it looks fine, but I find myself very critical of my work!) 

Then, I used the tracing method described in Marsha Michler's The Art of Crazy Quilting: A Complete Resource for Embellished Quilting.  I centered quarters along a line I planned to match to the seam and traced them in hopes of achieving evenly rounded arches.  (I think it worked!) 

The lower halves use a single strand of black Lola Edmar #206 and 5 straight stitches to create spokes.  The upper arches use a single strand of a light pink Glory EdMar #218 floss and a chain stitch.  5 straight stitches were made within the pink arches, using the same pink.  The same black was used to make a straight stitch within each pink triangle.  Next, using a single strand of a pink variegated Glory EdMar #043 floss, a lazy daisy was added between each black spoke. 

The arched seam is not complete, but I am saving the beads for later.  The green stem-stitched stems you see above will be completed with some SRE (Silk Ribbon Embroidery.)
As you can see, I skipped the arch that would have interfered with my first seam.

Using pink variegated Glory EdMar floss #083, I made a stem-stitched seam.  Then, I went back and added 3 straight stitches on alternating sides of the seam.
Using DMC No. 5 Black #310 cotton floss, I added the chain-stitched seam (seen above the spider web.) 

I found a DMC pink cotton floss similar to the color of the flower trim, and used a single strand to stitch it into place.

In the lower-right corner (not pictured here), I began working a green chain-stitched vine on the marbled pink fabric (using 2 strands of a green DMC cotton floss).  However, I stopped as I approached the black fabric pictured here, as I knew I wanted a spider web in this section.  I wanted the vine to cross over the web, so I needed to stitch the web first.

A single strand of DMC No. 12 White perle cotton made the web.  As this will be a bag I intend to use, I ignored the advice I have read on many tutorials about making spider webs.  The longer strands are couched down, and the smaller web stitches do poke through the fabric, rather than wrapping loosely around the longer threads.  (I did not want to increase the odds of the threads catching and snagging on anything.)
I picked up a fat quarter of the black fabric with the pink rosebuds (barely visible above) at Every Thread Counts, a lovely quilt shop in Hood River, Oregon.  My desire to use that fabric and the pink OSU fabric inspired the pink and black theme for this bag.

This seam was created with (somewhat) evenly spaced fly stitches (with 2 strands of a green DMC cotton floss.)  I have always wanted to attempt wisteria blossoms, so I added them here.  I also took the liberty of making the blossoms blue using a single strand of variegated Lola EdMar #034 floss to make bunches of French knots.  (Shaping these little clusters was a bit trickier than I imagined, but I think they turned out!

Front Flap Panel by June 7, 2013
This is how the panel looks this morning.  I cannot wait to see this one finished!
Hmm... I forgot to mention that I added the light pink ribbon with the white polka dots along the lace seam.  I believe it went on just before the herringbone ribbon border.

I have also been busy working on two more snowballs for the CQI swap.  And, I have been procrastinating the work on my April block for CQJP 2013.  I am attempting some needle-painting on that block, and I am not sure it is turning out.  Time will tell...

Thank you for stopping by!

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