Crafty Gemini Organizer Club Complete

Crafty Gemini Organizer Club - all the bags
Crafty Gemini Organizer Club – all the bags

After finishing the Retreat Bag on Friday, I have FINALLY finished all of the projects in the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club.

This club started in the 2018, so it has been awhile in the making. I really did pretty well with the first few projects. The last three were the ones that took me longer than I thought they should. Still, life gets in the way.

I have so much more experience now with bags. I suspect that Vanessa, of Crafty Gemini, does as well and she would make these projects differently if she were designing the club again.

I haven’t used all of the projects. For some reason, I was saving them until all were done. I don’t know what that was about, but I am going to put them into circulation.

I keep looking at the Zip Away Organizer and thinking that the construction is similar to the Day Trip Wallet from Sew Sweetness. The Day Trip Wallet is a project I have been putting off because of the tight curves required in the construction.

These are the projects in gallery form. I don’t have all of the projects anymore.

I am not sure which ones I will make again. I think I will make the Project Bag again, but with some modifications. I am finding project bags to be very useful. Not only do they use up fabric, but they keep all the pieces and parts of smaller projects together.

I won’t make the Road Trip bag again, though I like the size. It is very similar to the I Spy pouches from Sew Sweetness and I like the I Spy pattern better. I like making a window of the vinyl and not having it in a seam that needs to be turned. Of course, I have better vinyl now. I do like the leash on the Road trip bag, but I don’t like it next to the zipper. In fairness, I could have put it on the wrong side.

Retreat Bag FINISHED!!

Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag: Finished
Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag: Finished

Yes! After YEARS I finally finished the Retreat Bag from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club. WooHoo! I can’t tell you how excited I am to cross this one off my list.

Why? I think, mostly, I am glad to have it done. I have not found a bag yet that I am SUPER excited to use and this is no exception. I hope that it will be a good bag to use, but I am not optimistic. Sad but true.

Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag -full interior (finished)
Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag -full interior (finished)

The inside uses that fabulous Brocade Peony fabric from Philip Jacobs. I LOVE* that fabric. I have a lot of it, because I love and have used it quite a bit, but have never found the exact perfect project for it. I’ll keep looking.

As you can see (and I partially showed before), this bag has three interior sections. The top section is divided into three pockets. The middle section is open with pockets on the edges to hold a long ruler and other long things. The bottom is a mesh pocket. The mesh pocket is the one I sewed on upside down and had to rip out.

Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag ruler pocket
Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag ruler pocket

As soon as I finished the bag, I tried the ruler pocket, because I like that idea. Predictably, it is not sized well for Creative Grids  6.5 inch x 24.5 inch rulers.** I was able to get the ruler into both pockets, which holds it very well. It wasn’t easy to get it in and getting it out meant straining the pocket seam almost to ripping. As you know, Creative Grids rulers are half an inch longer than most Omnigrids rulers and that half inch makes all the difference in this project.

Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag - partial interior (finished)
Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag – partial interior (finished)

Now, I should have known that this would be a problem and constructed the pockets differently. If I were to make this bag again, I might make one of the center pockets a flap with Velcro.** This would mean that I could slip the ruler into the top, then press the flap over the rest of the ruler. I’ll have to look at that pocket and see if I can still do that. I have an Omnigrid 24 inch ruler**, but I almost never use it. Frankly, it probably doesn’t matter as the long ruler I bring with me to Sew Day is the Karen Kay Buckley Adjustable ruler**. It is less likely to get broken in transit, because it breaks down into 4-5 pieces. Really, I don’t even really need this pocket.  Again, I should have thought about that in advance. It is possible that I could remove the “ruler pockets” and add another zipper pocket to the center  even with the binding already stitched down. If I don’t do something, then that center area is just wasted space.  Bleah!

Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag - top zipper pocket
Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag – top zipper pocket

The zipper pocket will, I hope be useful. It will definitely be more useful made out of vinyl than it would have been made out of fabric. The “out of sight out of mind” adage is alive and well in my life.

I think dividing it into three was a good move even though I can’t put larger items into it. I think packing a large pocket full would have made it misshapen eventually. I am not sure what I will use this bag for, so that could also never have happened.

Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag - mesh pocket
Crafty Gemini Retreat Bag – mesh pocket

The mesh pocket is one large space. The problem described above might happen below. Oh well. I don’t want to worry about it until I have to worry about it.

I like how the white mesh works with my Brocade Peony fabric. I can still see the design, but it tones down the Brocade Peony colors (motifs?) just a little.

In general, this pattern was pretty straightforward to put together. It was on my list for 1,000 years, because I just didn’t get around to it. As is usual with Crafty Gemini patterns, the written instructions are very basic and, for me, almost unusable. There are no pictures, because the videos that come with the Clubs and projects are very detailed.







*What is it with me and CAPITAL letters today?



**N. B. : Obviously, you should shop at local quilt shops and small businesses. However, if you are too busy or can’t find what you need there, I use Amazon affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

More Retreat Bag

Retreat Bag mesh pocket
Retreat Bag mesh pocket

I made some progress on the Retreat Bag over the last few days. This is the mesh pocket shown where it will go on the bag. You can see where it is if you compare the Brocade Peony fabric on the top and the bottom.

I used white mesh, so the colors in the bottom of the photo are a little duller.

Retreat Bag interior
Retreat Bag interior

I actually sewed this on to the main part of the Retreat Bag, but I sewed it upside down, so I had to rip it out and now it is just clipped where I want to sew it.

I thought about not ripping it out and opening the bag like a book, but decided it would be handy to be able to hang the bag up and not have the zippers on the bottom.

Retreat Bag Once More

I had to clear the Retreat Organizer off the design wall, which encouraged me to start working on it. I made small amounts of progress after work each night last week. I feel well into now and was sad not to be able to work on it yesterday.

First, I was on the hardware step, so I added buckles and made straps. In the photo above (left) I have the female side of the buckles attached to the exterior. On the right you can see the male side of the buckles with the straps attached, but not attached to the exterior of the bag.

In this pattern, the straps are appliqued to the exterior not appliqued and sewn into a seam.

Retreat Organizer interior vinyl pocket
Retreat Organizer interior vinyl pocket

I also worked a little on the interior. This is one large pocket that has been divided into three.

This was originally supposed to be a fabric pocket. For me, out of sight is out of mind, so I made the pocket(s) out of vinyl. I put some fold over elastic** over the edge to avoid looking a raw edge.

On the picture you can see some tape and tissue paper, both of which I used to sew the dividing lines on the vinyl. These are pockets you could customize. I almost left one big pocket, but decided even a vinyl pocket might become a black hole of doom.

This project is off the design wall, which is great, but it is now spending most of its time on my ironing board. I really need a larger work table.

You can find this pattern with all of the videos on the Crafty Gemini website as the Retreat-in-a-Bag project.




**N. B. : Obviously, you should shop at local quilt shops and small businesses. However, if you are too busy or can’t find what you need there, I use Amazon affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Started the Retreat Organizer

Retreat in a Bag Start
Retreat in a Bag Start

Yes, I made a start on the Crafty Gemini Retreat-in-a-Bag project. In the 26 Projects list, I call it the Retreat Organizer. It doesn’t look like much because it is only two large pieces of fabric sandwiched together with Soft & Stable**.

I stopped working on it so I could finish Christmas gifts and haven’t gotten back to it yet. This may be the oldest bag ever. I really have to finish it.

In addition to Christmas gifts, I was also stalled because I was trying to decide whether to embellish the webbing like I did with the handles for the All Rolled Up bag. I finally decided just to finish the %$#@ bag. once I get back to it, I will just put the webbing handles on as is. If I decide to make another one, then I’ll think about embellishing the handles. I am not sure fancy webbing was available in 2018 when I bought the kit. Now, I can choose from Tula Pink webbing and the various webbing offered by Sew Hungry Hippie. I am sure a lot of other places have fun webbing as well.

One of the things about this project is that very large pieces of fabric and foam have to be cut. With my small cutting table, it is a big challenge. I could have used the dining room table, but didn’t think of it at the time.

Perhaps I’ll have time to work on this project next weekend.






**N. B. : Obviously, you should shop at local quilt shops and small businesses. However, if you are too busy or can’t find what you need there, I use Amazon affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Ultimate Project Bag in Use

Ultimate Project Bag in use
Ultimate Project Bag in use

I just posted about this bag the other day, but had to show you how I have already started to use it.

In the photo, you can see the pieces of the Crafty Gemini Retreat in a Bag, also from the 2018 Organizer Club.

I am still not happy with the Road Trip pouch, but haven’t done anything to fix the position of the clip. At the time I took the photo above, I wasn’t using the pouch for anything. I am not sure where the hardware is for this project, but have another box with all of the 2018 Organizer Club bits and pieces in it, so will look there later.

Finished: Ultimate Project Bag

Ultimate Project Bag - exterior
Ultimate Project Bag – exterior

I finished the Ultimate Project Bag! After 5 years, I finished it. I am annoyed, because this was not a difficult project. It may have been more difficult 5 years ago, but my skills have improved tremendously since then. I was also swayed by the other members of the club saying that it was such a difficult project.

I am pretty happy, not only to have it finished, but also with how it came out. I have some ideas for changes, (of course!), if I make this again. I should make it again just to remind myself that it isn’t a very difficult project. It could be very useful for toting around bag projects in process!

This is the exterior and you can see the quilting pretty well. I talked about it a little in the in process post I wrote a few weeks ago.

The exterior is like an Essex Linen, but by Figo. It feels like a very lightweight canvas, though drapey. It looks like the photo above on both sides when closed.

Ultimate Project Bag - interior
Ultimate Project Bag – interior

When opened it is about 39 inches long. I don’t know why 39 inches and not 40. ~\/0\/~ On one half of the bag (top in the photo, right) is a zippered mesh pocket.

In the middle is a tab with a D-ring.

On the other half in a vinyl pocket where I used glitter vinyl (because I love it). The vinyl pocket also has a zipper.

The pockets are quite large – around 16×16 inches, which definitely holds blocks.

Ultimate Project Bag - interior - with Road Trip bag
Ultimate Project Bag – interior – with Road Trip bag

As I mentioned, this was part of the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club and one of the first projects we made was the Road Trip bag. The Road Trip bag was designed, from the beginning, to be attached to this Ultimate Project Bag. It is a good idea, because I often need a place to store bag hardware I have collected as I am assembling supplies to make a bag. I put a Lobster Clip on the Road Trip bag and a D-ring in the Ultimate Project Bag, because I prefer to be able to clip the smaller bag to larger bags. Crafty Gemini designed the patterns to have the D-ring on the Road Trip bag and a Lobster Clip on the Ultimate Project Bag. It is really preference. Neither is right or wrong. I try to remember to put a leash/tab and a D-ring on my larger bags just in case I want to clip something to it.

Ultimate Project Bag: detail-mesh pocket
Ultimate Project Bag: detail-mesh pocket

I am not happy with the position of the clip for the Road Trip bag. As I carry the Ultimate Project Bag, the Road Trip Bag falls out and drags on the floor. I am thinking of adding a separate tab and D-ring to the top side, under the zipper, of the mesh pocket. If I do that the Road Trip Bag will still jut out a little bit, but at least it won’t drag on the floor.

Taking the binding off the mesh pocket, will be less destructive than taking it off the vinyl side.

As an aside, you will notice that the Road Trip bag looks very similar to the Sew Sweetness I Spy Pouch from Minikins Season 1. The pattern designs are very similar.


On to the Ultimate Retreat Bag!

Working on the Ultimate Project Bag

I was pretty excited about this bag and my reward for hosting 27 people for Thanksgiving was working a project on which I really wanted to work. That is the Ultimate Project Bag.

I said in my previous post that there wasn’t much to cut out. That was true, but there is a lot of prep. I had to quilt it, but I took my lessons from when I visited Mary M and used the automatic cutting feature on my machine. OMG! even on my machine it makes a huge difference. I really don’t know why. Something about not having to pick up my snips, I guess.

The quilted piece is made up of lining, foam and exterior. Vanessa (Crafty Gemini) suggests quilting a big X over the whole piece. I didn’t want to do that, so I drew some random lines on the exterior.

Do I say that about all bags? The prep never gets easier. I know I said was Zen with it one time. I have to get that feeling back.

Exterior with handles ready to sew
Exterior with handles ready to sew

I didn’t really like the way Vanessa told me to make the handles, so I made them the way I usually make them. I cut the fabric 15×5 and folded the pieces into quarters the long way. I did put a piece of foam, which she suggested, inside and that was a good idea. I usually forget to do it. Now, the handles are nice and comfy.

Zipper pockets in process
Zipper pockets in process

I also worked on the zipper plackets. I am not excited about how she says to make the zipper plackets. As I have said, I like my zipper tape covered. Only part of the zipper tape is covered. Granted, you can’t see the tape, because it will be too high up, but still.

Pockets on lining
Pockets on lining

The pockets go over the lining. They are sewn down at the bottom and then the excess is trimmed. Vanessa goes into a long explanation about why she adds extra to the end of the mesh and vinyl. She just trims them and leaves the edges raw. I was a little shocked by this, but I don’t really like raw edges. I think what I would do next time is sew down the pocket on the top, then mark the spot on the vinyl or mesh where the piece will be topstitched, then trim and put doublefold elastic over the edge. Finally, I would sew that edge down. I am not sure if it would work, but the edge would be bound. I guess I have to figure out if the stitching line for the bottom of the pockets has any wiggle room.

Vinyl pocket sewn down
Vinyl pocket sewn down

I was able to get the mesh pocket sewn on. I worried the whole time I was working with mesh that everything I put in that pocket would get stuck in the mesh. If I make this project again, I can make two vinyl pockets.

As mentioned previously, this is one of the projects from the Crafty Gemini Organizer Club. I find that some things don’t age well with these videos. For example, many people use Sew Tites** now, especially when working with vinyl. There is no mention of them in the video. I think they must have been released after, though I thought maybe it was at a QuiltCon in 2015 or 2016. I don’t know. If you make this project, definitely get some Sew Tites**.

I made good progress and will be able to finish soon. This isn’t a difficult project. I am a little angry at myself for not getting to it sooner.

You can still buy the club (no affiliation). Check out the video showing all the projects.







**N. B. : Obviously, you should shop at local quilt shops and small businesses. However, if you are too busy or can’t find what you need there, I use Amazon affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Roadtrip / I-Spy

I went on another organizing rampage this morning. I decided to gather all the fabrics and supplies for several bag projects I have planned. This task has been on my list for awhile, so I decided today was the day. In the course of this effort, I tidied up some project bins that were stuffed full of fabric, patterns, etc.

I-Spy / Roadtrip pouches
I-Spy / Roadtrip pouches

In one of the project bins I found two of the smaller, completed Crafty Gemini Organizer Club projects. I know I left them there so I could put them together with the last two projects. The last two projects, the Retreat in a Bag and the Ultimate Project Bag have not yet been made, but are on the list. Thus, they were two of the projects for which I gathered supplies and materials.

One of the projects I found, which will be clipped into the Ultimate Project Bag was the Roadtrip bag (right, photo above). Seeing this project again made me think of the templates for which I made a number of pouches.

The Roadtrip bag (pouch) was not used for the templates, but it could be. It looks very similar to the I-Spy pouch by Sew Sweetness (left, photo above), which I did use for the templates. Not counting the size differences, the main difference is the side strip on the Sew Sweetness bag. I made several of the I-Spy pouches for acrylic templates.

The reason I am talking about these is that I thought I would make a larger one, adjusting the size, to suit two sets of templates which don’t fit in the sizes given in the pattern.

The Sew Sweetness I-Spy pouch comes in 3 sizes. The largest size is 10.5 in x 8.5 in high, which is great except that it will not fit the larger templates that need a home. I want to make a pouch for the Chickadee Backpack templates I bought last year when the pattern came out. The templates need a pouch that is about 8 in by 19 in.

Yoko Saito's Natural Patchwork bag
Yoko Saito’s Natural Patchwork bag

I know I talked about the bag from Natural Patchwork**, which I still want to make, but I don’t think today is that day. I do like the idea of handles (makes me think of the Grab & Go pattern, also from the Minikins patterns) and I may use foam instead of batting since the templates are quite large and I don’t want them to break.

What did I gain by today’s organizing effort? 1. I have everything ready when I decide to cut new projects out; 2. I have zippers on order, which weren’t already in my bin of zippers; 3. I have more of an idea for securing some templates; 4. Bins with less junk in them.




**Obviously, you should shop at local quilt shops. However, if you are too busy or can’t find what you need at quilt shops, I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item when you click on an item’s link in my post. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.

Finished: Westchester Top

Finished: Westchester Dolman Top
Finished: Westchester Dolman Top

I finally finished the Westchester Top. Really Mary C. finished it for me. I went to her house with the full intention of having her tell me what to do then doing it. She was able to finish most of it very quickly.

One problem I had is that I couldn’t find the directions. I think I must have made a folder for the project and left it somewhere (or hidden it) in my workroom. I’d like to find it and see if the directions are included in the hard copy pattern or if the directions are in the video course only.

I knew the course was in my account, but on my phone, I could only see the hack parts of the course. Fortunately, Mary knew what to do and just serged the whole top, the put the neck and armbands on. She top stitched some of it and I top stitched the rest at home.

I think the top came out pretty well. I have a pattern that fits. I would make the neckline higher if I made this again.

This is a free pattern from Crafty Gemini. You do have to print and tape together the pattern pieces. I bought the hard copy pattern so I wouldn’t have to do that (laziness and printer ink).

Sunset Bag Finished

Sunset Project Bag Finished (from top)
Sunset Project Bag Finished (from top)

I finished the Sunset Project Bag not long after my last post. I like the shape and how well it stands up. 

The fabric is one I unearthed when I was looking through my fabric for the correct colors for pieces for Orange You Glad. I thought I had used up all of this old Philip Jacobs fabric. Even though it doesn’t match my Take a Stand bag or my A Place for Everything v.2.0 bag, I like the way it came out. The fabric seems cheeful and light to me.

I really like the way the zipper came out. It works as expected. I was a little disappointed in the zipper on the my Take a Stand bag. It just seems weird to use.

I fussy cut the front and back panels to take advantage of the beautiful roses. The yardage I have left now looks a bit like Swiss cheese, but I am more interested in a good looking bag than non-Swiss cheese fabric.

I would have preferred pink or light blue handles, but I don’t think the darker turquoise looks bad. The handles came from some cotton webbing I have had around for a long time. It was time to use it.

Sunset Project Bag: inside full
Sunset Project Bag: inside full

The inside came out particularly well. The True colors fabric I used looks great. I thought that I would want to save it for something special, but what? I don’t have a lot of it left, but I decided to use something that would make me happy when I opened the bag and now I am really glad I did. I need to remember to use the good fabric.

As you can see the bag opens flat. Vanessa from Crafty Gemini uses this bag for knitting (or maybe crochet?) projects. Opening flat provides good access to the contents. With balls of yarn, however, they might roll away if the bag was opened flat.

Sunset Project Bag: inside mesh pocket detail
Sunset Project Bag: inside mesh pocket detail

The mesh pocket works well and will allow me to see what is inside.  The pocket is a good size, I think. I wonder if there are other pockets I should have added, but I think just tossing in a pouch with additional supplies will work. What are pouches for anyway?

Sunset Project Bag: inside binding detail
Sunset Project Bag: inside binding detail

The other side has no pocket, but you can see that I had to bind the raw edges on the inside to cover them. I machine sewed one side of the binding, then hand sewed the other. It wasn’t as much of a hassle to hand sew this bag’s binding as it was to sew the binding on my Take a Stand bag or my A Place for Everything v.2.0 bag. I still stabbed myself several times. One of the risks.

I am struggled with the finishing. I like to poke out the corners and make the bag nice and finished looking. In this case, I have rolled the seam joins, I have also pressed them and poked them out. Nothing I have tried will get them all the way out. I am not sure why, but maybe the binding since it is on the back of the joins.

I think it came out pretty well, though there are some things I would like to change.

Sunset Project Bag Progress

I spent some time over the weekend working on the Sunset Project Bag. As you saw, I was ready for assembly, after getting everything cut and quilted. In my mind, at least, I was ready for assembly. As I found out, I had more prep (prep plus?) to do.

Sunset Project Bag: Front panel
Sunset Project Bag: Front panel

First, I had to add the mesh pocket. Generally, this is no problem, but I immediately found a problem: my beautiful quilting would be ruined. Ok, ruined is a little bit dramatic, but one of the lines of stitching needed to keep the mesh pocket in place would go through and show on the front. That line would not fit in with my previous diagonal lines. 🙁

Sunset: mesh pocket
Sunset: mesh pocket

There was no way out. I had already quilted what I had quilted, so I just had to move on. I know that the Muggles won’t know.

Sunset Project Bag: mesh pocket detail
Sunset Project Bag: mesh pocket detail

The line of stitching across the top of the mesh pocket is the area that shows through

Note to self: if I make this again, use horizontal lines. I do think the diagonal lines look nice.

I will say that the mesh I chose goes really well with the pink and turquoise True Colors fabric I used on the inside.

Sunset: Out of place quilting line
Sunset: Out of place quilting line

You can see how the top line of stitching now shows through on the front. Sigh.

Fortunately, it is only one line not the top stitching for the other parts of the zipper assembly.

I did think about what I could do to hide the line, but I couldn’t think of anything that didn’t require remaking the front panel or unpicking a lot of stitching.

Sunset Project Bag: main zipper end detail
Sunset Project Bag: main zipper end detail

In order to assemble the bag, I had to make the gusset into a loop. I have done that before. It isn’t difficult, though the detail of the zipper end was something I hadn’t done before.

Sunset Project Bag: gusset and handles detail
Sunset Project Bag: gusset and handles detail

I should have used the True Colors fabric, but I think it looks fine. Also, the way the raw edges are enclosed within the zipper are very clever. I had to watch the video to completely understand it. I don’t always watch all the steps in the video, but I usually go through a few of the steps and the videos are always helpful.

The handles are attached to the gusset, which I thought was a good idea. I had the opportunity to sew over them several times as I completed the bag.

I also added a piece of vinyl to the bottom, now incorporated into the gusset, to keep the bottom clean when I use the bag. I wanted to try that technique after seeing it in a Tula Pink Tuesday video. I only used the vinyl for the bottom, not for the whole bag. It was sticky on the bed of the machine, as is usual for vinyl. I am out of practice with vinyl and needed to reorient myself to sewing with vinyl.

I struggled with final assembly. The bottom corners had a bit too much fabric in them for me. I wonder if I could round the corners to make the assembly easier. I found that to be a real help with the Andalusian pouch, the Andalusian does not have a gusset.

Sunset Project Bag

Last Autumn (sheesh! Has it been that long???), at the urging (temptress-ness) of Angela I joined the Crafty Gemini 8th Bag club. I liked the bags and some of the techniques I would learn, so it was a good idea. I tried to keep up, but cutting (which you know I dislike) really kept me from keeping up. I made the Flagler backpack and that was it.

Sunset Project Bag cut out and quilted
Sunset Project Bag cut out and quilted

The Sunset Project Bag has been on my mind and I finally started it. Cutting, of course, takes me so long. I tried get into a Zen frame of mind about, but almost lost it when I realized I had to quilt a bunch of pieces, too. I started and then after four lines of stitching, I decided to vary the design to leave a 1.5 inch space between four lines of stitching. I really like the way that design turned out. I think it looks like I actually know how to design quilting designs rather than just wanting to get it over faster.

I just did straight line quilting horizontally along the gussets. I didn’t want to stop and start after 20 stitches over a 35 inch wide piece.

Sunset Project Bag - fussy cutting?
Sunset Project Bag – fussy cutting?

I lined up the pieces and noticed that it looks like I fussy cut some pieces to fit together well.

Those pieces don’t go together and I didn’t plan it, but it would be nice if they did.

I am in the process of sealing the edges of the quilted pieces and will be ready to start assembly soon. There aren’t very many pieces so I should be able to finish quickly. Fingers crossed anyway.

Starting the Flagler

Flagler Bag Pieces
Flagler Bag Pieces

The Flagler bag is the first bag in Crafty Gemini’s 8th Bag Club. I took some time to cut it out over the weekend.

The bag really doesn’t have a lot of pieces, unlike the A Place for Everything bag, so it didn’t take me very long to cut it out.

I wasn’t going to make this bag, because I didn’t think I would use it, but then I thought it would be great for my nephew. He has a new baby and may need to carry around a small amount of her stuff for quick trips.

Flagler in process
Flagler in process

I had seen that spot fabric recently and looked for it for a long time. I almost gave up finding it, but am glad I kept looking because I think it will look good with the stripe.

I was able to get some of the sewing in, too.

All Rolled Up Tote Yet Again

Some projects never die.

I told you that I finished this project back in January. According to the pattern, I did finish it. However, ever since then, I have been contemplating handles. Mostly, I have been thinking of adding handles because of the way Vanessa (Crafty Gemini) stuff the thing full of tools, notions and everything sewing imaginable in the video introducing the Organizer Club**. I just couldn’t imagine how I could carry this thing around.

I thought about handles a lot and finally, months later, had an idea. I bought some pleather and tried making handles out of that, but it just didn’t look good on the bag. I saved the strap for possible use with another project.

So, the bag sat until last weekend. Post Flying Around, I am finishing up bag projects. I talked about the 4 Zip Organizer and the Running with Scissors tote. On Sunday, I turned to this bag and decided that Sunday was the day this bag was getting handles.

All Rolled Up tote with handles
All Rolled Up tote with handles

I thought I would make really good progress on the Poolside tote I am making, but I spent most of the day slowly working on the handles for this bag.

For some reason, I am convinced that these bags need to be supported. Part of it, again, is the videos showing how much stuff can be stuffed into these bags. The other part is that I don’t want to be trying to repair bags whose handles have ripped off. Thus, you may see some similarities between the handles on this bag and the handles on the 4 Zip Organizer.

Taking good photos of these handles was a challenge. In the above photo, you can see how far they extend off the top. I made the initial strip about 80 inches long. The black & white Peony Brocade fabric acts as an enhancement, but the outside of the strap is meant to blend into the outside of the bag itself.

Adding the handles also made the bag have more of a defined round shape. I tried to install the handles so they wouldn’t interfere with the wide opening of the bag. I think I achieved that. I think, though, that the bag takes on a different shape once holding the bag by the handles.

I am still not sure how I am going to use this bag. I wrote a dissertation about that before so I won’t got into it again. I do think that I will put Wonder Clips in one of the pouches.







**N.B. The Organizer Club is still available for purchase, but this is the club that was new in 2018, so any announcement of early bird specials is no longer valid.