Another swap item, would you believe it? Of course you would. I really am cutting back but this was a very small private group and we were going to be trading in person at Quiltcon. So of course I was in.
We were to make a bag that our partner would be able to carry around Quiltcon (collecting swag, of course) while we were there. I had had my eye on Noodlehead's Maker's Tote for awhile and I thought it would be great for this purpose. My partner Kelly was a huge Tula Pink fan and I happened to have a piece of these much coveted trees that was just wide enough to work for the pattern. I was also wanting to use a little bit of pleather to make the bottom more durable so I adjusted the outer pattern piece a bit to account for that.
As with all of Noodlehead's patterns, the directions were clear and easy to follow. I did lengthen the straps a bit so the bag could be easily carried over the shoulder. I considered making one longer strap as well but decided that was not necessary. I left out the front snap pocket as well - it would only have blocked part of the print. There is still a zippered pocket on the back and all of the interior compartments. I also added some pleather tabs to the end of the separating zipper to make it easier to use. Plus, it looks good.
The only place I ran into trouble was the binding. Part of it was just the bulk of the bag, the other part was the pleather - it was of course tough to sew through. Don't worry, Juki took care of it. But when it was time to sew down the second side of the binding there was zero chance I was going to try hand sewing through the pleather. I also didn't have a lot of confidence in my ability to sew nice straight lines while trying to manage all that bulk. In the end, I glued it down. I used only a tiny line of permanent textile glue so it would not bleed through and did small sections at a time, holding them in place with clips while it dried. It wasn't quite perfect but definitely far better than it would have been sewn.
I was pretty happy with the end result and Kelly was thrilled. I was hanging out with her during the day before we had the swap and she asked if was for her. Apparently I had my poker face on because she believed me when I said no. Hah! She was pretty excited when I gave it to her at dinner. I had unknowingly used her favorite Tula print!
In return. I received a gorgeous Noodlehead Poolside Tote from Angelina. This bag is amazing! It's soft and flexible because it's lined with Soft N Stable (even the handles - an excellent idea) and it holds a TON of loot. Believe me, I stuff it full while I was walking around. I've been using it back at home too. She also used some really fun decorative stitches on this. I was stopped by several people at Quiltcon to tell me they loved this bag. Thank you Angelina!
There was one more bag I made before I made the trip to Pasadena - a 241 tote for me! The handle top stitching on my Bonnie Bucket bag had come loose and so I either needed to fix it or make a new bag. As someone with a ton (literally) of fabric and dozens of bag patterns, I opted to make a new one. I had wanted to make Noodlehead's 241 Tote for years anyhow. I couldn't decide between my Blueberry Park or Sunprint fabrics but thankfully I had a few that worked well together so I was able to use both. I even managed to sneak some old Summersville in there!
I did change the handle on this one as well, making it adjustable so I could wear it either over my shoulder or across my body. I also added a flap to install the snap on the outside to leave more room inside the bag. The bag pattern was great but a little smaller than I was expecting once it was finished. Especially since I was taking it to Quiltcon, I would have liked it a bit roomier but since then I've realized the size it just right. It's definitely a good pattern - it's been out at least a few years and there are still new ones popping up all the time. I would make this one again.