Fabric to Crave and a Cute Tote Bag

Are you an Uppercase fanatic? I learned about this amazing magazine while on a business trip to Calgary, and subsequently met the creative genius behind it all, Janine Vangool. If you are not familiar with the publication, run to the website and check it out… http://uppercasemagazine.com/…each quarterly issue has a different core theme (surface texture, calligraphy, color) and contains endless creative inspiration.

In addition to the magazine, Janine has written/edited several marvelous books…judged quilts at QuiltCon…and, in all of her spare time, designed a fabric collection which will hit our local quilt shops this summer. The source of designs for the collection is the spines of the magazines – how cool is that?

Janine sent me some yardage so that I could make up a class sample tote bag for a class I’m teaching this week…pictured above 😍. I thought I would share some step-out photos for my students’ reference.

When I first taught a bag class as part of Quilters Take Manhattan, I selected this pattern, and it has remained a favorite:

The only difficult part of this project is finding the patience to finish all of the pressing- each piece of fabric (outside top, outside bottom, lining and straps) are backed with a mid/weight fusible interfacing.

The straps are stitched first…conveniently, Auriful will release a coordinating Uppercase thread collection :). 

It is fun to use a contrasting thread (and a Topstitch 90 or 100 needle will help with all of the layers in this project.) Then, the straps are stitched into the outside top fabric (see pattern for instructions… http://www.sewmanycreationsny.com/store/p1/PDF_Pattern_Tourist_Tote_Bag_.html

The next step leads to this…

Following the directions again, squares are marked off…

Join the outside and lining layers…then the pincushion comes out. Art quilter that I am, this is pretty much the only time I use pins πŸ™„…except for loading quilts onto my longarm of course. The pattern gives lots of helpful tips so that you end up with something that looks like this:

And when this stitching is done, the most entertaining part…pulling the entire bag through one small opening so that it is right-side OUT. Just try doing this without hysterical laughter…

I like to add a pocket to the lining…

I thought it was only appropriate to make up this bag in the perfect size to carry…what else, my issues of Uppercase magazine 😊.

These days I pretty much focus on solids and hand-dyed fabric…but I cannot wait to get my hands on the rest of this collection AND the corresponding Aurifil collection…how about you?

Published by neonkittyquilts

Laurie is a fiber artist who combines her passion for animals and quilting by producing pet portraits though a technique she calls "Pet-lique." A frequent teacher at IQF's Open Studios and The City Quilter in NYC, she has been published in Quilting Arts magazine and The Canadian Quilter. Her art quilts have been juried into special exhibits in Houston and the National Juried Show of the CQA. She sits on the board of the Quilt Alliance and is an enthusiastic member of SAQA. Laurie lives in NYC and Connecticut with her husband, their two angelic German Shepherds and three mischievous felines.

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