Gathered Fabrics Tote Bag - The Perfect Whatever Bag!

August's Maxie Makes Subscription Sewing Box featured a paper pieced mini quilt, designed by Sarah Overton. The project used Gathered fabrics , Bonnie Christine's newest line for Art Gallery Fabrics. This bundle of fabric consists of seven 4" strips, one fat 1/8th and 2" binding strips. Because I had leftover bundles I put my thoughts toward an alternate idea that might be accomplished using the same cuts. I came up with a version of The Perfect Whatever Bag, using four fabrics for the outside and four for the lining. The binding strips became handles, and adding one more fat 1/8th to the mix allowed for the inside and outside pockets. I've added this bundle to my shopping page, including the extra fat 1/8th, if you're inclined to make your own! Click the photo to enlarge.

The Perfect Whatever Bag by Maxie Ramey

To prepare the strips for the bag and lining, leave the strips folded in the center and trim away the selvage edges. Measuring from that cut edge, make an 18.5" cut, creating two pieces, 4" x 18.5" from each strip. If necessary, trim the strips to 4" wide. Discard the trimmed folded area of fabric. Repeat with all 7 strips, and cut two pieces this same size from one of the fat 1/8ths.

I don't have instructional photos, but here are the steps I followed to alter from the original pattern:

  • Choose four prints for the front and back of the bag and arrange them as you like, and 4 strips for the lining.
  • To make the outside pocket, cut two 8" squares from the remaining fat eighth and place right sides together. For stability, layer an 8" square of canvas beneath them, then stitch together the top, leaving the sides and bottom open. (Remember, this text fabric is directional.) Turn right side out and press. Set aside for the next step.
  • To make the front, sew the top three strips together. Center the pocket on the front, with the lower raw edge of the pocket even with the bottom raw edge of the third strip. Pin or baste the two pocket sides in place. (The sides will be secured later when the handles are sewn in place.)
  • To make the handles, wrap a binding strip around a 3/4" wide strip of canvas and a 3/4" strip of batting. Press under the long unfinished edge and stitch close to both long sides. Use two strips to make two handles, each about 40" long.
  • Working with one handle strap, layer the ends over the edges of the pocket. Pin and stitch the handles, stitching through all thicknesses (including pocket), stopping at the top of the second strip. Back stitch well.
  • Finally, sew the bottom strip in place, through all thicknesses. Press well.
  • Repeat for back of bag, omitting the pocket. Center handles so that they mirror the front handles.
  • Create the lining in the same way (omitting handles), and if you want an inside pocket, make a square, lined pocket and sew in the center of one of the sides.
  • Layer the bag front pocket side over a piece of canvas cut the same size as the front. Layer these two layers on batting, cut the same size. Baste around all four edges and stitch in the ditch of the seams to hold it all three layers together.
  • Repeat for back side.
  • Cut a 2" square from the bottom corners of all four pieces. This is for boxing the corners later.
  • Place the front and back quilted bag right sides together and sew the sides and bottom with a 1/2" seam allowance. (Don't sew in the 2" square area.) Press seams open.
  • Repeat for lining, but leave about an 8" opening in the bottom for turning.
  • Sew the "boxed" corners by aligning the side and bottom seams, and fold the raw edges even to form the corner. Stitch with a 1/4" seam allowance. Repeat for all corners on bag and lining.
  • With the bag turned right side in, drop the lining in place, right sides together.
  • Matching the side seams, pin tops together and stitch around the top with a 1/2" seam allowance.
  • Turn bag right side out. As you push the lining down to the inside of the bag, let the top lining strip wrap around the top of the bag to the outside 1/2". Press well and stitch in the ditch. This makes a "mock binding".
  • Bring the handles straight up and pin to the top of the bag. Stitch the handle to the bag's top edge, in the ditch of the mock binding seam. This makes a "belt loop" effect, perfect for a scarf or key chain!
  • Close the bottom opening.  Click to enlarge the images below. Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by! Happy sewing and God bless!

Maxie

Maxie Makes Subscription Sewing Box - August 2018

Want a peek inside the August 2018 Maxie Makes Subscription Sewing Box?  Click the video below! This month features Bonnie Christine's newest fabric line, Gathered, for Art Gallery Fabrics. We brought a project that was requested several times when I polled earlier subscribers: Paper Piecing! Whether you love it or avoid it at all costs, with the help of my friend, Sarah Overton, you'll overcome any hesitations quickly with her expert tips and attention to detail in her original patterns. This month we make the Tony Danza Mini Quilt!

Just to give you a glimpse of the planning that went into this month's box, one of the first steps I usually take is to create a mock up of the project. The one above, left, was made in EQ8, quilt design software. I imported images of Bonnie's fabrics and and had fun creating with Sarah's block design. With a few final changes, the outcome, right, was fairly predictable!

Maxiemakes

Because Sarah is such a great teacher of paper piecing, I asked her to help with the video tutorial and we had so much fun that day! There were plenty of giggling bloopers, but we ommited them for the sake of respectability.

Join the learning fun! Click here to subscribe! Thanks for stopping by!

Happy sewing and God bless! Maxie

Gathered Fabrics & Free Quilt Pattern by Bonnie Christine!

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I always get excited when Art Gallery releases a new line by Bonnie Christine, but...have you seen the new Gathered Look Book? Click here to take a walk into Bonnie's garden and to see other's presentations of projects with her fabrics. (Ollie makes an appearance!) Do you like that quilt on the cover? It's very easy piecing and you can grab the free pattern, Harvest, here! Quilted by the amazing Andrea Walker. Also, be sure not to miss the beautiful quilt by Sarah Overton on pages 28-29. You can find her pattern, Elinor, on her webpage, or directly linked in the lookbook.

And...if you like the looks of this line, you'll love August's Maxie Mail Subscription Sewing Box! I loved working with these fabrics for this month's project...and...if you love Sarah Overton's work you'll doubly love this month's Maxie Mail!

This line is as delicate as Bonnie is. As her mother I can see her personality in every design, but I especially love the print (below, left) and metallic (right) that quotes Claude Monet's "I must have flowers, always and always" because it's written in her own handwriting. It is pretty sweet, right?

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I made these Folded Star Hotpads by Plum Easy Designs for Bonnie's kitchen (pattern here). I must say that sewing with Bonnie's fabrics always make me happy. I told Bonnie a long time ago that when her dreams come true, mine will too. I celebrate that every day. Watching both my daughters' dreams and aspirations come true are the biggest blessings. So true for every parent. The journey isn't always easy and, as a mom, watching the hard work along their journey isn't easy, either.  But, it makes me ever thankful when the pursuit yields the objective.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy sewing and God bless! Maxie

What's in July's Maxie Mail Subscription Sewing Box?

Because I get lots of requests to see what's inside...

Click above to play, or to view it on Youtube click here.

Never fear a curved seam! I'll show you every step of the way in my video tutorial for this fun, easy and accurate technique! Are you subscribed? Each month box includes fabrics and supplies for a specific project, and a video tutorial with the goal of building your sewing skills. For more information, click here!

 Orange Blossom Quilt, made by Maxie; pillows by  Sarah Overton . Pattern by  Plum Easy Patterns .

Orange Blossom Quilt, made by Maxie; pillows by Sarah Overton. Pattern by Plum Easy Patterns.

Happy sewing & God bless! Maxie

Alphabet Lovelies Quilt Kit!

I've been sitting on this pattern and kit for a while now, and today's the day to share it with you!  The fabrics are designed by Bari J for Art Gallery Fabrics, and she had a quilt very similar to this one in her booth at quilt market when these fabrics, Joie de Vivre, were released. She had not created a pattern, however, and gave me her blessings to do so! This is my version, using her Joyeux Alphabet panel (included in kit), and other fabrics from her line, with a couple of Katarina Rocella's tossed in as well! Fabrics are Art Gallery's 100% Pima Cotton, and the kit includes all fabrics for the top and binding. Backing is not included, but note in a photo below that I used Bari J's knit as a backing! This quilt is so soft, and at 45" x 63" it's perfect on my chair. At this time I only have two kits, but if I have enough requests I will restock to make more. If you find it's sold out just message me and I'll start a list to see if I have enough requests!

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Want a matching bin for your quilt? This month's Maxie Mail Subscription Sewing Box was all about bins! Subscribers received fabrics and supplies to make a set of two matching bins from Dana Willard's pattern, "Hold it Bin", and access to video tutorials by both Maxie and Dana! Have you subscribed yet? For more information, click here!

 All fabrics are 100% Pima Cotton from  Art Gallery Fabrics , designed by Bari J and Katarina Roccella.

All fabrics are 100% Pima Cotton from Art Gallery Fabrics, designed by Bari J and Katarina Roccella.

 For a soft and snugly quilt, try using  knit  as a backing! Art Gallery's excellent knit is about 56" wide, so smaller quilts don't require piecing. At this time I don't offer knit on my shopping page...just check your local quilt shop.

For a soft and snugly quilt, try using knit as a backing! Art Gallery's excellent knit is about 56" wide, so smaller quilts don't require piecing. At this time I don't offer knit on my shopping page...just check your local quilt shop.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy sewing and God bless!

Maxie