Ultimate Carry All Bag Review

I decided that I needed to get busy on the Ultimate Carry All Bag. The BAM Virtual Retreat is this weekend and that would be a good time to finish- or at least make progress- the bag.

The last thing I worked on was the front pocket. I did it wrong and it is still in that state. That is the first thing I need to work on once I get going again. I also want to make one of these for myself, to replace my current Quilt To Go bag, and I am thinking of making the front pocket for that bag at the same time I finish this one. I know I would be skipping a bunch of steps, but at least one piece would be done.

Lynette said that she is working on a different way to add the binding. Since I am scared of that binding based on Cyndi’s and Mary’s experience,  I am waiting for her to try it.

Mary’s bag looks really good and she went around the binding by doing part of it by hand with some exceptional detailing. Her example is one I am considering. I have done a number of bag bindings by hand when the bag was too unwieldy for me to do it by machine. I also get better results by hand on awkward shapes. I am not scared to sew the binding by hand.

Writing about this project makes me want to work on it. Of course, I have to keep up with the Journey2Nebula as well.

UCAB Front Pocket

UCAB Front Pocket
UCAB Front Pocket

I worked on the UCAB again the other weekend. Last weekend? I don’t remember. It started off so well, then I got lost. I couldn’t figure out how to finish the front pocket.

I really tried hard to understand the pattern, but just didn’t get it, so I contacted the designer. I still couldn’t understand the explanation, so I asked Lynette.

Lynette sent me some info she had sent to another bag maker. It didn’t answer my question, but I woke up the next morning with an idea of how to make the pocket. It may not be the way the designer intended, but it will get the job done – as long as I do it!

Pockets

Ultimate Carry All large Pocket #1
Ultimate Carry All large Pocket #1

I spent the weekend working on my Ultimate Carry All Bag. I really needed to get on it since a few people have already finished it, like Cyndi. I am supposed to be one of the leaders, after all!

I already made the small front pocket, which is actually the third sewing step. As I think I mentioned, I don’t recommend skipping steps, but I needed to create the tutorial. Needs must.

Ultimate Carry All large Pocket #1 back
Ultimate Carry All large Pocket #1 back

With the small front pocket done, I only needed to create the two larger pockets. The one shown above is pocket #1 and is almost finished. I haven’t sewn up the sides or made the pleat in the bottom.

The green pocket with the pink binding on the mesh is the back of pocket #1. This is a hack I added. There was nothing on the back of this pocket. I know I might put stuff in it and forget about it. Still, why not have more pockets? More pockets are better IMO.

Pocket #2 has the pen holder. I don’t like white elastic, so I used more of the ByAnnie double fold elastic. I like the variety of colors and the elasticity. I wasn’t sure I would put the pen holder elastic on, but I did. Actually, I shortened it and added another Clippy pocket I thought it would be useful.

I made a ton of t mistakes and a lot of ripping went on over the weekend. These pockets are not difficult, but the instructions are unique. Also, I am experiencing a low level of anxiety generally and that is making it hard for me to focus on something as complex as bagmaking. Working on the HRTs is satisfying and not too difficult.

Cyndi’s Ultimate Carry All

Cyndi's Ultimate Carry All
Cyndi’s Ultimate Carry All

As I said, I went to Sew Day the other day. Cyndi blew us out of the water. Neither Lynette or I have made much progress with our bags. Cyndi brought her FINISHED and filled Ultimate Carry All Bag. Yep! The rockstar finished her bag.

This is part of my unhappiness at not being able to work on my bag: I wanted to be a model cheerleader. I am glad it is Cyndi who is the cheerleader.

Cyndi's Ultimate Carryall Bag -closed, front view
Cyndi’s Ultimate Carryall Bag -closed, front view

Cyndi retired recently and said that she became obsessed with the bag. We wanted people to be able to make the bag with support, so could feel successful. I thought people would do it a little at a time.

Cyndi's Ultimate Carryall Bag -closed, back view
Cyndi’s Ultimate Carryall Bag -closed, back view

She has not made the bag exactly as the pattern suggests, which seems to be the norm for our group.

She did a great job and I love the fabric, the changes and the fact that she finished already. I need to get my act together!

Cyndi's Ultimate Carry All-with ironing pad
Cyndi’s Ultimate Carry All-with ironing pad

One thing she did was put fabric on the inside bottom of the front (fall down) panel ( first photo above). This allowed her have a useful space and create a separate ironing pad. Having the ironing pad separate means she can remove the ironing pad to use it outside of the bag (photo left). GREAT idea! I think I may do this.

As I may have discussed, this bag has a lot of pockets. I want to say it has 37 pockets, but I might be making that up. You can see some of the pockets in good use in the  photos of the open bag. Cyndi said she didn’t make all of the pockets. I plan to make them all, having made a start with the short front pocket, because I think I will eventually use them. Cyndi added a Clippy pocket after the fact by hand sewing it to what she has already made. That pleased me very much.

Cyndi has made good use of her pockets. I am really pleased.

Cyndi said the binding was the hardest part. I found that to be true with the Running with Scissors Tote. I need to get on this project so I can give advice.

 

 

More on the Clippy Pocket Hack

Pieces for the Clippy Pocket placket- ready to sew
Pieces for the Clippy Pocket placket- ready to sew

Yesterday, I talked about the Clippy Pocket hack and how my version came out. You can incorporate the Clippy portion into anything – pincushions, other bags, needle books. The key is making the placket/”flap ladder” then incorporating it into an existing project. You can make the placket into a piece that can be appliqued to another project.

Try to think about how you can incorporate something like this useful section into a project on which you are working. You can find the original instructions in Love of Patchwork & Quilting , issue 39. It is available digitally in the Apple and Google Play stores.

UCAB Front Pocket

I skipped over the two larger pockets in order to make sure the Clippy pocket hack worked when incorporated into the overall pattern. It took me awhile to get this pocket made even with the pieces all cut out. Adding the Clippy pocket means that there are a number of extra steps needed to make the Clippy holder. Still, I am pleased with the way the pocket came out.

UCAB: Short Front Pocket
UCAB: Short Front Pocket

It is a bit of a riot of color. πŸ˜‰ I didn’t really mean it to be as riotous, but I didn’t think through the backing for the side pockets with regard to the Clippy hack when I was cutting. I hope the rest of the inside won’t look crazy.

Still, I have been making such minimal progress on sewing in general that I am pleased with this small amount of progress.

UCAB Clippy Pocket – prelude to a tutorial

We are moving full steam ahead on the Ultimate Carry All Bag. members of the guild who are participating worked on cutting out pieces of the bag on the last Sew Day. Next we will begin working on pockets. To that end, I needed to work on an alternative/hack to the vinyl badge holder pocket.

Clippy Pocket Test
Clippy Pocket Test

I don’t want or need the vinyl badge holder pockets Natalie uses in the pattern. I also don’t like the idea of vinyl being so close to an ironing surface (front of the bag). I do need a place for a few WonderClips, however. To that end, I took the pattern for the Clippy pincushion, which was in Love of Quilting, issue 39 and adjusted it for use instead of the vinyl badge holder.

The photo shows one of the three test pockets I made. If you have the pattern, this is one of the end pieces of the front pocket. The directions for that section start on page 14. I am still working on perfecting the construction. I think I have the sizes down, but I am still tweaking the construction to take bulk into account.

I was absurdly pleased with my work on this pocket. Of course, part of that feeling was that I was relatively successful. If the Clippy/Wonderclip pattern sizes had been off, I might have felt differently. Still, I didn’t resent the time I took working on this piece of the bag.

 

 

 

 

N.B.: I will not tell you how to make the whole bag. In order to make this bag, you need to purchase the pattern from Quiltessa Natalie. She also has an Etsy shop where you can also purchase it. We would love to have you join us in making this bag.

UCAB Pockets

Lynette and I met about the BAM Bag-a-Long  at Sew Day the other day. We went over the sketches she made for cutting and she also made a test pocket.

It turns out, from the test, that we need to make sure the participants buy the zipper sizes that are given in the pattern. The way Natalie finishes the zippers is a lot easier with zipper tape than it is with zipper teeth. This thought/method of making is contrary to the way most bag patterns are written.

UCAB test pocket
UCAB test pocket

It was interesting to see the large pocket finished, because you can see the flange (look for the WonderClips) in a big way. It is very clear that there is a different construction going on to finish the secondary pockets and keep them away from the edges.

Lynette said that it made the directions a little difficult to understand. Still, the thought of keeping the bulk away from the edges is a good one.

The bottom of the pocket also has a pleat so that larger non-flat items can be included.

I plan to make a sample of the small front pocket so I can test out making a WonderClip holder. I hope to get it done by the next meeting.

Resources

  • Purchase the pattern and sew with us-N.B.: we will not be providing step by instructions, but will be posting here with tips and tricks
  • Tour of the bag -Instagram
  • Bag-a-Long project post – 9/27/2019
  • Thoughts behind the bag – 8/7/2019
  • Free video instructions
    • UCAB episode 1 : preparing for sewing pockets
    • UCAB episode 2 : sewing pockets, discusses thickness of pockets
    • UCAB episode 3 :badge holder pocket technique
    • UCAB episode 4 : Large pocket, installing zipper
    • UCAB episode 5 : installing a swivel hook, front and back of bag, front and back pockets
    • UCAB episode 6 : insert pockets into side panels
    • UCAB episode 7 : very brief video showing how the piece looks after installing the pockets in the side panels
    • UCAB episode 8 :Brief video showing the finished bag. No sewing.

Another Guild Project: Bag-a-Long

I talked about the Ultimate Carry All Bag the other day. After that, Lynette and I got together and decided to lead a Bag-a-Long for the guild. We both want to make the bag and we want to lead other guild members over to the dark side. πŸ˜‰

We rolled out the project on Saturday. We aren’t completely prepared, but prepared enough and we really only have to stay ahead of the rest of the group.

I was gratified that 20 people are participating. I did a group order for the pattern and sent 19 of them off to the participants.

Lynette is creating a cutting layout and I am going through the pattern and creating a list of what fabrics are needed for which piece. If you are creating a pattern, take the time to give your patterns a label and be consistent about referring to that label.

I don’t know that I will do a Bag-a-Long on the blog. Natalie, the designer has a series of mini how-to videos and you can buy a full length how-to video on Bluprint.

Sew Day Progress

Sew Day for September was Saturday. I know I always say this, but I really enjoy seeing what other people make. I was focused on a couple of projects of my own, so I didn’t even really get a chance to see everything that people were working on.

Patti's Class Project
Patti’s Class Project

Patti’s Project caught my attention right away. She had the pieces from the guild’s recent Latifah Safir class on her table and I loved the look of the block! I loved what she had done, because of the HRTs I have been playing with on and off over the past several months. I know the design is not original and came from a Latifah Safir pattern. It is cool and makes me wonder if I could do something like it with the Split Recs ruler by Studio 180 Designs.

The class must have been great, because a number of people had brought their pieces to work on. I haven’t seen that before at a Sew Day – or I hadn’t noticed.

Runs with Scissors Tote
Runs with Scissors Tote

I worked on cutting out pieces for the Running with Scissors tote. I had pulled all of the fabric on Friday after work, so I got the whole thing cut out except for one piece, which I will cut next weekend. I hope to work on this at the mini-retreat I am attending next weekend. I am thinking of making a couple of them as gifts depending on how the project goes.

So far, the directions are very clear. I have some experience with bag directions so I was pleased. I don’t think I have made a ByAnnie’s pattern before and perhaps the good directions are a sign of quality. There are a lot of aspects to this bag, so I was a little worried. I was surprised that there was less to cut out than I though.

Lee Anne's donation quilt
Lee Anne’s donation quilt

Lee Anne is a major donation quilt maker and she was working on a really cool quilt at the retreat.

As you can see this is a lozenge quilt. I am not sure if she had the fabric or used fabric from the Community Quilts stash. It is a great looking design and wonderful quilt.

Another member, who we call Baguette, and I are planning a Bag-a-Long for the guild. We had a meeting during Sew Day to organize ourselves for the next meeting. We will all make the same bag using the same pattern. Baguette and I will stay ahead of the others (or try to!) and offer clarifications and modifications to the pattern. The pattern is the Ultimate Carry All by Quiltessa Natalie. I wrote about it a little bit in my Quiltmaking Go Bag post a few weeks ago. I will definitely talk about this bag in future posts as we make it. The creator, however, has video tutorials, so I probably won’t do a Bag-a-Long on the blog.

I also had a meeting with Mary about the retreat this weekend. It will be held at the church so we had to coordinate.

Quiltmaking Go Bag

At Sew Day the other day people were asking to borrow various items from each other. I dont’ mind loaning thing, but am a huge proponent of  quiltmaking Go bags. Even if you have a Go bag, there is always something not included. One of the advantages of Sew Day and group sewing is being able to continue with your project because you can borrow something. This whole scenario led me to think about quiltmaking Go bags.

A ‘Go’ bag is just like what they talk about in spy films except with quiltmaking supplies you take to class, retreat or Sew Day rather than clothes and new identity credentials. I have one that I have developed over the years. It is a great help to just pick up the bag and know I have a rotary cutter, mat, rulers, snips, and other basic supplies that I need for my projects. I like not having to hunt for them around my workroom to take to class. I like not having to cannibalize my workroom supplies to go on retreat. The downside is that I have duplicates of a lot of tools and they have to live somewhere.

Small Go bag supplies
Small Go bag supplies

The way my system works is that my Go bag has static supplies. As mentioned, I consider static supplies to be things I won’t use up like fabric or thread. Rulers, mats, rotary cutters, scissors, etc are all static supplies. I can just grab this bag when I am packing for a class or Sew Day and know that it is ready. For supplies like fabric and thread, patterns, etc, I toss all relevant items for a project into one of my Chubby Charmers. When I return, the Go bag is slotted back into its home and the Chubby Charmer gets unpacked.

I don’t like to have to hunt around for static supplies, which is why I have worked on gathering duplicates. Having duplicates is also helpful when someone comes over to sew.

Quilting Go Bag
Quilting Go Bag

My current, actual Go Bag bag, made of some kind of washable slick-ish fake leather/plastic, was a premium from some makeup I bought about 1,000 years ago. It has one main section and six pockets around the outside. The main pocket zips closed although I have no idea when it was last zipped closed. It can be set down on a damp surface with no harm to the contents. It looks ok, but it is showing its age. The handles are getting especially worn.

Small travel sewing supplies
Small travel sewing supplies

In the bag I have a Tupperware box that has a removable tray. This box holds all the small static supplies I might need such as rotary cutters, snips, writing implements, latex gloves, WonderClips, etc. All the small things that need to be corralled are contained here. This box is starting to be too small and I am considering replacing it. I made the Tool Tote last year with the intention of replacing the box, but never made the exchange. I am not sure why. The making drama I experienced sewing the Tool Tote, perhaps?

Runs with Scissors Tote
Runs with Scissors Tote

After the Sew Day discussion, I started to think again about replacing my Go bag and the Tupperware box. I think I really need to upgrade my bags and totes. The problem is that they are working fine, except for the Tupperware box tight squeeze, but are showing their age.

During this thought process, I remembered the Runs with Scissors tote I mentioned in a January Various & Sundry post last year. Mrs. K was kind enough to gift me the pattern. It might be the right tote to replace the Tupperware box. The problem is that I need a bag that will hold the tote. I need this imaginary tote to be large enough to fit everything currently in my Go bag and made of a material that will not allow damp to seep through. A special Chubby Charmer might work, but I am thinking that I might need to buy something.

Quiltessa Ultimate Carryall Bag
Quiltessa Ultimate Carryall Bag

The other bag I am thinking of is the Ultimate Carry All by Quiltessa Natalie. Natalie was kind enough to allow me to post one of her photos. I bought the pattern and have started to assemble the supplies, but haven’t dedicated much time to this project yet. In terms of going to class, I am thinking that the Runs with Scissors tote could hold more flat items like scissors and this Ultimate Carry All could hold more dimensional items, such as the small iron, extension cord, light, pincushions, etc. If I used both, I would still need a larger bag in which to place them.

This is still a work in progress, as you can see. Questions:

  • Do you have a quiltmaking (or other craft) Go bag?
  • Do you have duplicates of your static supplies or do you have a system for swapping them in and out.