Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Quilted Clutch Bags

Somewhere along the Quilting Road, I never learned what a walking foot was, or did, because I had always sewn on a Pfaff. That wonderful old machine with an integrated walking foot! Mine is on the older side now, over 20 years old, and I'm still just as thrilled with it as I was the first day. The only thing that I can't do is quilt a bigger piece on it with the tiny 6 3/4" throat. For that, I need my new Janome. 

All my quilting is done on the Janome now, but I had never just straight stitched a quilt. Once I learned how much fun it was to do free-motion, I couldn't see why someone would even want to do straight stitching. While I love the creativity of free-motion, Fiona's dog bed required a straight stitch because of the bulk. So last weekend it was finally necessary to learn how to use the Janome's walking foot. I 505'd together two cute scraps, and figured it out. Not tough at all, but now I had seen how it could transform my fabric with just that straight stitching, and I was really impressed with the look. I just had to find something to do with my test piece!

So, this little clutch was born, and the idea continued to be refined, ...

and more bags were created, as you see. 
Let me show you how easy this is.

I started with a 2 fabrics, each 9"x19" , and used 505 to adhere them to the batting. I used my walking foot, and straight stitched (quilted) vertical lines about 1/2"-5/8" apart over the whole piece.

Square it up using your grid, trim off excess, and put pins in both long edges at 7" and 10".

Fold as shown. Match pins to pins.

Then fold the half to the right over once again. This creates the extra fabric necessary for the bag to stand up on its own, and gives you more room inside. 

               You can tweak this measurement to make the bottom as wide as you want.

Bind the inside horizontal edge first. Sew to the inside edge, and machine stitch, then turn to the outside, and machine stitch. I used a 2 1/4" binding strip folded in half for all my binding.

It should look like this.

Baste the sides of the bag together through all the layers. I used a 4.0mm stitch length. 
The bag should stand up now.

Starting on the back right at the what will be the bottom, pin your binding on. Leave at least a 1" piece extended past the edge on both sides. Stitch, starting at the edge of the bag, mitering both corners at the top flap, and ending at the other edge of the bag. The 1" strips should be left free.

It should look like this from the back side.

Now the flaps. Looking at the bag from the front side, and laying the binding flat as shown, clip the Outer corner of binding on each side. Do NOT clip the Inner corner. 
You are reducing bulk here.

Fold the flap up even with the bottom edge. 
Then fold the binding in as you would to bind a quilt.

When you come to top of the flap, trim just the tips of the corners off to reduce bulk. 
Miter your corners.

Use the same procedure on the left side. Turn up. Pin. 
Turn the binding over to encase your seam.

Sew binding on by machine. I use a 2.0 mm stitch length.

I used a No. 4 snap on this bag, but went looking for something easier to close for the next.

This bag is very similar, but I began to change the dimensions so my flap would be longer. I started with 2 fat quarters, a pink and a print, each 18"x21", sandwiched batting between them, and machine quilted the whole thing. Then I cut it down the middle, and had enough material to do 2 bags! These I sewed with an Omni-Tape Velcro from Jo-Ann's that was new to me. More secure, and easier to open and close. It was a breeze to sew on, and doesn't snag. I love it!

My dear daughter #2 chose this color combo.

I think it needs a little cording so it can be slung over the shoulder.

My sewing friend, Michelle, spent the afternoon here working on one of her many eclectic quilts. I hope to show you sometime soon how someone with no real sewing experience has blossomed into a dynamic, creative quilter in a matter of a few months! We talked, and laughed, and sewed. Quilting and sewing--it's all about the Social Thing, right? She loved the little bag, so one has already found a new home. It was a perfect day.

Doxie Girls, let's do some couch time.
Mama's all tuckered out now.

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