Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My CQJP 2014 February block is now a purse!

I finished this purse late last night and thought, "Look what I did!"

My Crazy Quilt Journal Project goal this year is to make 12 crazy quilted purses using the blocks from each month.

This is quite a bit of a challenge for me...  As I have said in the past, sewing is not my strong point.  In fact, if you look closely, you might notice... never mind.  I'll keep my opinions of what I need to improve on to myself today.  I am still basking in the fact that I made a purse without using a pattern for the first time, and I am thrilled with how it turned out!

(For larger views, click on the photos.)

I had several ideas in mind for this purse.  Then, I stumbled upon a book at Powell's and decided it was just what I needed to put those ideas into action.

After buying The Bag Making Bible: The Complete Creative Guide to Sewing Your Own Bags by Lisa Lam at Powell's, I spent the evening reading and jotting down notes on how to add the pockets I wanted to make, how to make the handle the way I wanted to, and ideas on what kind of fastener I wanted to use to close the purse.  (The link above will take you to Amazon to see the book.  I am not affiliated with any of the books, beads, flosses, etc. that I share with you.  If you go to Amazon from my blog and make a purchase, I earn credit... toward a gift card, I think ~ it has been ages since I set it up and I do not remember.  I just like sharing the links so you can easily find details about items I like.)  Lisa Lam also has a website where purse making items are available for purchase, and she has a blog at u-handbag.com.  (I have only made a brief visit to the site, but look forward to checking it out more in the future.) The book has patterns for purses, too.  I just focused on the tips and sections related to my plans.

I was gung-ho and ready to go after finding this book.  However, as I began cutting fabric and gathering my supplies together, I felt a little intimidated.  So, I set it aside.  I suppose that worked out for the best.  My sister surprised me for my birthday.  She was WAY too generous and sent me a personalized mini i-pad.  So, I decided I should make sure one of the interior pockets would hold my new toy.

Then, life got crazy.  On the 16th, I awoke just after 5 a.m. to a phone call letting me know my mom was in the emergency room.  I was there before 6 and learned she needed to be admitted, but the hospital had no beds available.  So, I followed the ambulance that transported her to another hospital that is a 45-minute to an hour commute from my home.  She had surgery on the 19th, and I brought her home with me on the 20th.  On Sunday, the 23rd, we got her all settled in back at her house, where she is recovering well.

Yesterday was really my first chance since the 16th to even think about my purse.  After finishing it, I must admit that I am not quite sure why I was so intimidated. (Okay, maybe because I was not quite sure what I was doing.  Next time, the D-ring I added will be smaller so it is not so heavy and the magnetic snap will be slightly higher, but overall, I am thrilled with how it turned out!)
Close up of the front.
The denim is from a pair of jeans I wore until parts were threadbare. The purse is about 8-inches tall and 10-inches wide.  I turned my CQJP 2014 February block into the front pocket.
Back of the bag
The back is very simple. Just denim.
Interior pockets and magnetic snaps.
This was my first time using magnetic snaps.  They were so simple to use, I felt silly for being nervous about it!  (My husband assured me these small magnets would not be a problem with my mini i-pad, but I just had to ask.)

The pocket viewed on the top is sewn into 3 sections.  The two larger pockets on the side sections hold my checkbook and my cell phone perfectly.  The skinny part in the center is perfect for my pen.

The pocket viewed at the bottom has a pink fleece lining, to add more protection for my mini i-pad.  This pocket extends the length of the purse.
Close up of loop with D-ring and clasp.

And, I added a small loop with a D-ring. (I plan to flip the key chain with the clasp around, I was just too tired to monkey with it last night.) I thought this would be a perfect place to hang nail clippers.  Even better, I can clip my car keys on here.  That way, there is no risk of them falling out of the semi-open top.  And, I will not have to worry about them getting lost in the bottom of the purse.  I hold no illusions that it will remain this neat - lol!

Thank you for letting me share my excitement with you!

(Now, maybe I can transform my CQJP 2014 January block into a purse. I am not quite as terrified that I might ruin it!)



Updated April 13, 2015:
This post has been linked to the Stitchery Link Party at Super Mom - No Cape. And photos of how it looks after nearly 14 months of use may be viewed here.

20 comments:

Elizabeth Braun said...

Excellent job! I'm not a very experienced seamstress/sewer either, but I do want to learn...

Pamela said...

Beautiful block and great finish!

littleorphanskein said...

What a great idea to make a purse with your crazy square!

Kippy SoMature said...

your block is beautiful and the BAG IS FABULOUS!!! your first one? WOW!!

Kippy SoMature said...

and I am so thankful Mom is OK!!! (embarrassed I got carried away by the purse, the magnetic closure, the mini ipad, the fleece, the different sections...oh my! how you have engineered and constructed the bag like an architect!) MOM is IMPORTANT!!!

Renee said...

Thank you!

Renee said...

Thank you so much!

Renee said...

I was nervous, but it was fun!

Renee said...

Thank you! She is doing very well.

I have made a few purses from patterns, but this was my first attempt of just making the one I envisioned. I have learned I definitely need to put the magnetic closure closer to the top. And, I am very thankful the slot for my pen is wide enough for the pen to sit at an angle. Centering that pocket seemed like a great idea. Centering the snap was a no-brainer. Um... both of them centered? Again, it is great that the pen does not have to stand straight up, so I can clasp the bag - lol!

Wendy said...

Beautiful! Your block is gorgeous and you've made a great job of that bag. I love The Bag Making Bible, I'd recommend it to anyone. I do find UHandbag very expensive though and she hardly ever updates the blog so I lost interest in it.

Gillie said...

So what part aren't you satisfied with, for goodness sake? It looks wonderful and yes, I did enlarge the photo, lol! Seriously, it's good! Do hope your mum is well on the way to recovery.

Wilma said...

Lovely bag, Renee!

Renee said...

Thank you! I love the book. I would love to hear about other suppliers for bag making products!

Renee said...

Ha! Gillie, I had to stop to think... what wasn't I happy with? LOL! I feared the pocket was a bit off center and not quite square. Next time I use a magnetic closure, I will put it a little higher and will probably move the spot for my pen so they do not coincide. ;) I do like the purse though. And my mom is feeling much better, thank you!

Renee said...

Thank you!

cq4fun said...

How did I miss this post??? I love the cq block, and the idea of the totes is great. I looked closely. I didn't see anything wrong. =)

Stitches said...

Your stitching is beautiful and I love your bullion roses! I am trying to learn to make them and not having the best of luck, they always seem to have a little loose thread at one end. I haven't advanced to a rose yet. Love your purse too!!!

SuperMomNoCape said...

No one would ever know that this was the first purse you'd ever made. It looks great!

Thanks for linking up to my Stitchery Link Party!

Mdm Samm said...

YOU can never go wrong when you stitch your heart into anything

creativity amongst chaos said...

What a creative little block. I love the little spider web. I love the freedom of this type of stitching. A very cute project despite your troubles sewing, it looks wonderful.