Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Camelback Carryall Bags--Fifth Finish 1st Quarter

First completed bag

Sunday, I started stitching the  Camelback Carryall bags. This is a Janine Babich pattern. I've had it for a number of years. I've made at least four bags; but, that was when I first purchased the pattern. The pattern calls for two fat quarters, fusible batting, interfacing, thread and a 12 inch zipper. I've had the fabrics and zippers sorted to make three bags for years in a basket. I decided this month was the month to turn the fabric into bags!

Quilting around the motifs

The first bag that I stitched helped me get reacquainted with the pattern, the sewing terms as well as the process of sewing a bag. I quilted the fabric with an overall circular free motion design.

The bags, that I had previously made, had tabs which I found helpful to open and close the zipper. I decided to include the tabs on these bags. I also liked using the tabs as a handle to move the bag. The pattern calls for ribbon tabs; but, I prefer the fabric tabs.

For the second bag, I quilted around the cats. If you want to improve your free motion skills, quilting around the motifs in a fabric is a good skill building process. Between the motifs, I stitched some loops. 

Zipper placket of second bag
For the second bag, I used batting instead of interfacing for the zipper placket. I cut the batting half of the width of the placket. I pinned the batting to wrong side of one edge of the placket. I folded the other edge to the pinned edge and pinned all three layers together. The pinning helped the batting to stay centered in the placket.

Quilting detail of the second bag and lining
I liked the results better using the batting because the weight of the placket matched the body of the bag. For all of the bags, I used a scrap of thin polyester batting. It wasn't fusible; but, it work great to give the bag a bit of shape without becoming too poofy.  I like using what I have on hand! 

When I layered my fabrics to quilt the body of the bag, I laid the bag template on the fabrics and traced a line about three eighths of inch larger than the template. I have found that quilting draws the fabric up about that much. I also have found that it is faster to quilt a smaller item and easier to "reclaim" the leftover fabrics if there aren't a bunch of quilting stitches in the layers!

Quilting in the body of the third bag
I also topstitched a few lines the width of the presser foot on the placket. I liked the texture that the few lines of topstitching gave to the bag. I also edge stitched the seam away from the placket on the second bag. (On the first bag, I edge stitched the seam toward the placket.) 

I forgot to insert the tabs which I made a little shorter and a little wider on the second bag, when I stitched the zipper placket to the bag body. I stitched them in place like a belt loop instead. I like the look of stitching the tab into place before adding the placket.  

Quilting in the lining of the third bag
On the third bag, I used my walking foot to quilt straight lines. I used a sulky rayon thread in the needle and a cotton thread in the bobbin. I used a 2.75 stitch length and I stitched diagonal lines the width of the pressure foot. I liked the texture the straight lines produced on this bag. I liked experimenting with different machine quilting techniques. 

Many people avoid machine quilting. This is the part of the process I enjoy the most. I don't do a lot of quilting with my walking foot. This year, I decided that I would play more with the walking foot. The stitch length is sure easier to achieve consistency when the feed dogs are pulling the fabric through the machine as opposed to my hands moving the fabric though the machine!

Three finished bags
For the other bags, I used cotton thread in both the bobbin and the needle. In all the bags, I matched the thread color to the fabric as closely as possible. I also used an overlock type of stitch on my Bernina to finish the edge of the seam where the zipper placket attached to the body of the bag.

For all of the bags, I added a piece of ribbon to the zipper pull to make opening and closing the zipper an easier task. These ribbons came from the guild free table. The zippers are from my grandmother's stash. The prices marked on the zippers ranged from 15 cents to 75 cents! The fat quarters were given to me so the only "real" cost of materials in this project was the thread! 

During Zoom sews with a couple of my small groups this week, I finished the three bags. I used one and half yards of fabric which brings my total use of stash this year to negative two yards. This is my fifth finish this quarter and goal number eight on my first quarter list

It is great to finish the three bags. Likely the bags will become vessels for holding gifts. My granddaughters would like bags one and two. My teacher daughter would like bag three. Now. . .what to put in the bags? I like them all. They were fun to stitch and it was fun to try different techniques on each bag. I imagine that I'll make more of these bags as I think that they would make good hostess gifts. For now though, I'm happy to have emptied a little project bag!

I've the selvage bag yet to make to meet goal number one for March. I may stitch that soon. I am planning to finish paper piecing the green string blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge next.


Luann Fischer said...

Those bags are going to be so handy for the girls to keep things in for when they come over to sew with you. said...

I hope the girls will enjoy the bags, Luann. My fingers are crossed!!!

Janice Smith said...

Those bags would be great to make and have on hand for gifts.
Your granddaughters will love theirs! said...

I do hope that the granddaughters enjoy their bags, Janice!