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Purse contest entry #4

You may ask why I am telling you about the steps to create these bag contest entries. Partly because I want to show you the steps required to create such bags (specific instructions might follow), and partly so you would have a better idea of the product quality should I put them up for sale.

Today's bag was a fun one to make, but didn't take any less time to make than the others. Like the others, I had to use some of the inspiration fabric in the construction of the bag. This time, since the bag was being entered into a contest sponsored by a quilt show, I decided to take a riff on a crazy quilt. That would allow me to use various images from the inspiration fabric.

I had previously purchased fabrics that coordinated with the inspiration fabric colors. I had quite a bit of the coordinating fabrics left, so I had plenty to work with. The first chore was to cut the images from the inspiration fabric. I decided to make those shapes as irregular as possible, working around the images.

It's hard to explain how I decided to sew which fabrics next to whic

h others. Partly it depended on the size of the coordinating pieces available, partly on which fabrics looked good next to each other, and partly on getting the images in the general area where I wanted them. Gradually I

built up sections the height of the bag, then sewed the edges together. Finally I had both sides of the bag completed. The outside bottom was also made from several pieces of fabric. Before sewing the sides together I added black polyester webbing for handles. Then I sewed the whole outside together.

Once the bag sides were sewn I had some decisions to make. A bag as large as this one would be rather floppy if it were made only of quilting cotton - some stiffening was in order. I decided to make the sides sturdy, and chose an ultra heavyweight stabilizer. I fused the stabilizer to the sides at this point. The seams, however, were not stabilized because they were seams, after all. To connect the seams to the backing, and to continue the crazy quilt theme, I chose a variety of fancy sewing machine stitches, and sewed along most of the seams. I didn't sew every seam, thinking that it wasn't needed. I will admit to being a bit obsessive about the start and stop of every fancy stitch seam, this was a contest after all.

When I looked at the fabrics available for the inside of the bag, none of them had enough "yardage" for the complete interior. Even two together weren't enough. Since the outside had a crazy quilt / Frankenstein theme, I thought I'd continue that by using several fabrics inside. I ended up using 2 pink, 3 yellow/orange, and 4 blue fabrics. They all had about the same amount of color saturation, so when I added a blue and teal zipper insert, it still looked good. The inside has two large pockets that I didn’t want to just flop all over the place. I used blue grosgrain ribbon in addition to a bit of cream and some blue hook and loop tape.

After sewing the inner bag, I inserted it into the outer bag. Finally I bound the edge with blue handmade bias tape. TA DA! Another entry into the contest.

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