Tuesday, June 28, 2011

WIP Wednesday #33: What I am and what I am not

What I am: a quilter. I love cutting fabric into little pieces and then sewing it all back together again.

(My second Supernova block--could have used a better pressing--sorry, Lee. I LOVE these blocks!)
What I am not: a bag lady.

That being said, the Amy Butler Weekender Bag is finally done. Finished. Complete. Never to be done again. At least not by me.
It looks like it is ready for a tropical vacation.
 I know I sure am ready for a vacation after making this bag.
Alternatively, I'll just take one of these.

(NOTE: I cut the tulip fabric straight. The crookedness at the bottom happened during the construction. At this point, I don't know how it happened, nor do I care. And it's not because I had ordered one of those special cafe mochas.)

What I love: The fabric. Jessica Jones' Outside Oslo is gorgeous. You can see the Weekender that her mother sewed here. She was my one-person texting support group throughout the whole process. Hers turned out perfectly. And here is why. She is not a quilter. She is a bag lady. In fact, she just finished this bag. See what I mean? She also knows who she is. Plus she has the perfect little model for her bag.

But I digress. I had one-yard cuts of the entire line (you can order from Marmalade Fabrics) so I ended up using four different fabrics--three for the outside and a different one for the lining.

What I wish I had done differently: other than not starting it in the first place (oops, did I really just say that?), I wish I had made the straps longer so I could use it as a shoulder bag.

I also wish I had done the piping differently. Rather than going to my dad's house and using his industrial sewing machine (he used to do upholstery), I would have used fusible interfacing to fuse the raw edges together, as someone suggested. Ultimately you end up with three lines of stitching, each one getting closer and closer to the cording. Because his machine sewed so closely to the cording itself the first time, it was really hard to cover up that stitching when I assembled the bag.

I previously posted pictures of binder clips needed to hold all the many layers together. Also be prepared for a pile of these totally misshapen pins.
The fun little "surprises" I added: In the picture on the front of the pattern, the bag has an Amy Butler tag. So I decided to do a little "branding" of my own. That's what selvages are for, right?

So, once again, just to be clear:

What I am: a quilter.
What I am not: a bag lady.

I think it's important to know these things about yourself.

Now go see what everyone else has accomplished this week!


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Kylie Lloyd said... #

I'm with you. I'm a quilter not a bag lady. I have the same pattern but have not attempted it yet. After reading your post, I think that it will remain a pattern forever and not a finished bag.

Lee said... #

Oh, Cindy, it's just beautiful! Love the bag, love the fabric you did it in. I never would have noticed the crooked flowers on the bottom if you hadn't pointed it out.

And I'm right there with you, I am SO not a bag lady. Not at all. If I had tried this pattern, I guarantee more than the flowers would have been crooked. : )

Thanks for linking up to WIP Wednesday!

Lee said... #

Oh, and the Supernova blocks? Soooo fabulous! Love 'em! : )

Annie Bee said... #

Love the bag. I have never made a bag so can't say whether I would enjoy it or not. A least you can say you did make a bag....LOL

felicity said... #

That bag looks pretty effing fantastic to me! Way to go!!

Elizabeth Dackson said... #

Well, I think it looks pretty darned amazing!! I can't even tell about the tulips, really, either. I think the fabric you used for this is just amazing, I adore it, and I love the selvage tag you made for the zipper, it's a perfect little touch.

Elisa Black said... #

I would never have noticed the ever so slight crookedess along the bottom of your bag had you not pointed it out! Congrats on finishing it and kudos to you for your persistence. You stretched your boundaries and learned from it. I love your supernova blocks!

Cindy said... #

The bag is beautiful! What mfg and/or designer is for the tulip print?

I too am not a bag lady. I thought they would be nice, simple weekend projects, but they ALWAYS turn into a horror for me. I am a quilter. Not a bag lady.

MB in MI said... #

the bag is AWEsome! good work! and those supernova blocks are great!

CityHouseStudio said... #

Even though you're not a bag lady, your bag is GORGEOUS! Wow!
Love the supernova blocks, too!

Melinda said... #

I actually started making bags before I started making quilts. HOWEVER, with all the "joyful" accounts I've heard of people attempting to make this bag, I have yet to try it and probably won't. Yeah, not a glutton for punishment. But really, your bag turned out lovely!

Becky (My Fabric Obsession) said... #

YAY! you finished the bag and it looks fantastic! I love it. I can't see the 'crooked tulips', but I'm glad I've chosen a non directional print for mine. The little selvage touches are adorable! Plan your trip now so you can use it!

Marjorie's Busy Corner said... #

LOL too funny!! your bag looks wonderful...as does your supernova blocks

Anne at Film and Thread said... #

A lot of people seem to have that same reaction to that bag, but the results are just tremendous. Stunning choice of fabrics. And your supernovas are gorgeous, too.

Unknown said... #

Its still gorgeous though! I have been following you bag lady tribulations as I really want to make a weekender bag myself... probably not the best project for a first-ever-bag right? haha!

Mrs Flying Blind... said... #

I think the bag looks great! Worth the perseverance! I always worry that if I ever got good enough to make anything perfectly, I wouldn't want to use it in case I spoilt it!

Letterpress said... #

I think Ben Franklin said it best: Don't look for a worm in the apple of your eye. So that's why we quilters (who by the way, all LOVE your bag) don't see the crooked flowers that you point out.

I have done both, but there are days that I wonder if making a bag is all it's cracked up to be. Then I see yours and I love it and change my mind. (Plus I also see the prices in the shops. . .) I like the selvage touch--perfect.

Funny sign, but beautiful Supernova Blocks. It's fun when they start coming together.

I enjoyed reading your blog post today--you have a way with words and images that is always fun to read.

Elizabeth E.

Katie B said... #

Whew. It looks awesome! I'd say it's worth all of your effort...but it sounds like maybe not! :)

If I were you, I'd be carrying that dang bag every day for the rest of my life--and I'd attach a big label saying "I MADE THIS!"

Bree said... #

Oh, I quite like that bag!
I'm so not a bag lady either. I've made one. I hated the process, lol.

Jennifer said... #

Yay for finishing it! It looks like quite the bear but the results really are stunning.

I enjoy sewing the occasional bag, NOT designed by Amy Butler. Love her fabric but her patterns are tough.

Jennifer :)

Jessica Jones said... #

Cindy, hooray! You conquered! And oh my goodness, the little Jessica Jones tag kills me. I feel so flattered. :)

Terriaw said... #

I love to cut apart fabric and piece it back together for a quilt project, but I would RATHER make a bag! I will still be your personal bag maker, if you want. That said, your Weekender looks fabulous! So happy to see you finished it and it's ready for a trip. Love love love your quilt blocks too - those colors really rock!

Anonymous said... #

Your bag is beautiful!

Yours is one of many accounts I've read that basically conclude that this pattern s*cks. I wish someone (a quilter!) would design a better pattern for a weekender bag.

Riel Nason said... #

Cindy, the bag looks cool to me, bag lady or not. Your skill level is way beyond mine, I wouldn't even attempt that. I am happy to stick to the straight lines of quilting. Cheers, Riel

Amy E. said... #

those supernova blocks are GREAT! i'm loving the use of the grey solids i see in so many blocks now-a-days. grey doesn't have to be drab, especially not in your supernova blocks!

Unknown said... #

Your bag looks fantastic, but I am with you...I'm a quilter, not a bag lady. :)

Rene' said... #

Well said!!!! I'm glad to know I'm not the only quilter that is not a bag lady. I love all the bags made out of "quilting" fabric that I see out there, including yours, and I have purchased patterns to make one myself, but can't seem to get motivated to do so. Now, I have a perfectly good reason not to...."I am not a bag lady"...thank you for that!!!! At least you can mark this off your list. I love the tulip fabric you used, and your bag turned out beautifully! Love the addition of the selvages. Supernova blocks are awesome too!

Tammy Vasser said... #

You finished it! Yay! It really is awesome! I hope you can forget all the pain and enjoy it. (kinda like childbirth huh?) Thanks for sharing!

Grandma G said... #

I commend you highly for finishing that bag!! You listened to me complain about making mine all the way through, and despite that, you went ahead and did it anyway! Yay for you! I KNOW what a great accomplishment it is! So it isn't perfect? Neither is mine, but only I know where the imperfections are (as well as the blood in the seam allowance). Heheh. It's a terrific bag!!! Pat yourself on the back and ENJOY it!! It's coming to MN with you, right? :)

Your one-person support group (haha... love that term!) bag lady friend

Katie said... #

Well, at least you have something beautiful to show for your efforts! Great job for finishing it :)

Grandma G said... #

P.S. I know you have an adorable assistant, too! She must not have been available for the photo shoot, huh?

Doris said... #

Perhaps I should bring my Weekender pattern and fabric to St. Cloud next week?

Lindsay Conner said... #

Love your weekender bag!

Clair said... #

Thanks for stopping by my blog. You'll like Minnesota summer compared to Fresno (I lived in Bakersfield and fled during summertime so I didn't fry or dehydrate).

Bree said... #

For what it's worth - I think your bag looks fantastic, especially if you don't consider yourself a "bag lady!" I wouldn't have even noticed the uneven tulips if you hadn't pointed that out.

Carla said... #

Thanks for the heads up to NEVER attempt this bag, because I'm not a bag lady either! But, yours looks wonderful...have fun using it and make sure everyone around you knows that you made it YOURSELF!

Leanne said... #

I love how your supernova is coming together!

acandiedapple said... #

I am so glad to see you finished! I love it! I said I would never make another one too but I'm seriously considering it... It has been about 2 years since I made my first one and I still love it! The tulip fabric is by far my favorite!

ellesquare said... #

you know, I bought that pattern. and the more I read what people have to say about making that bag the less I want to do it. But it's BEAUTIFUL!!!!

Cheryl Arkison said... #

I like to BUY my bags too. And funny, as much as I love colour, pattern, and fabric, I'm not a fan of fabric bags for myself.

Jenniffier said... #

Great job on the bag and your supernovas look great. I too have trouble with bags but I keep trying anyways.

Melinda said... #

Congratulations on finishing your bag, not a quilt. Your version is spectacular. I absolutely love your fabrics. I am also a quilter but I also enjoy making bags and tackled the Weekender bag a year ago or so. Yes, I struggled with the same issues as you and would definitely make the straps longer IF I ever make it again. And I might make it again as I never say never. But I think senility will have to have set in before that happens. LOL

Laurina said... #

Supernova blocks are AMAZING and I love your color choices. Can't wait to see more.