I last wrote about how I became a quilter, and received a couple comments (thank you!) that didn't get approved until today. Apologies for that inattention.
I made my first bags for Christmas gifts in 2019. These were Crescent tote bags with outer and inner zipper pockets. I was intrigued with the idea of making a tote because I often saw great bag patterns and fabrics while following quilting sites. I feel a lot of quilters enjoy switching over to bag-making now and then. I have gone on to make more of Anna Graham's Noodlehead bags, like the Range backpack, Buckthorn tote and Sandhill sling.
The Crescent tote bags I made, by Noodlehead patterns
I have enjoyed bag-making because, like quilting, it requires some precision (which keeps things interesting for me), and because you can finish a bag in a day or two, unlike a quilt. Being able to quickly create a finished product that looks professional is quite satisfying!
I've also enjoyed sewing with different fabrics like cork and waxed canvas. This has elevated my sewing skills, for sure! I have learned quite a bit and also have found my machine can handle a lot of weight and texture. And I've added some quilting elements, like foundation paper piecing, to some of the bag designs. See my bags for sale here.
Last summer, I discovered the Bag of the Month Club, where various bag designers, or "bagineers," introduce a new surprise pattern and a large group of international sewists participate in making their own. There's a Facebook group and random prizes, too! I have enjoyed challenging myself to make every bag in the series, whether it's something I would use or not. This has helped develop my bag-making knowledge.
I would love to teach bag-making classes and plan to do that in person when the pandemic is over. If you'd like to try a virtual bag-making class, I will gather a group and set up something online. Let me know! Email me at email@example.com