my bag confession.

27 May 2011

the truth about bags.

i used to be anti bag girl.

i never wanted to make bags.
seeing bags on blogs kinda annoyed me.
yeah. i had issues.

then i went to texas. {see my san antonio post here.}
all these ladies had the bestest bags in the world.
bags that made me wish i was cool and had bags of my own.

the ladies of the uumc quilt guild roped me in.
i'm addicted now.
like way addicted.

my lovely sponsor claudia {& her sister marci} had bags of every shape & size.
we carted everything from food to quilts to a spare change of clothes & shoes.
and that's just to name a few.

i loved their bags.
i needed their bags.
heck i was jealous of their bags.

so what was a girl to of course!!!
i needed to make my own bags. like pronto.

i bought lots o' stuff.
fabrics for bags.
buttons for bags.
bag patterns.
& then more fabrics for bags.

then it hit me...i'm SO not a bag maker.
*mini panic attack*

so the night before i left texas, claudia & marci prepped me on making a real bag.
we cut out all the pattern pieces, fused it & even added the button.
they talked me through what to do once i got home to actually finish it.
they even told me to call if i had trouble.

and yall know what?!?! i did it!!!
i came home and made a real bag.

the truth about bags.

i use this bag every single day. without fail.
it's my "go to" bag.
all yall should have one of your own.
*for size reference: there were 2 folded lap size quilts in the bag when i took this pic*

bag = eco market tote by favorite things
fabrics = bliss by bonnie & camille for moda

i should add that while in texas...
one guild member offered to make me a bag that every uumc guild member had.
another guild member gave me one of her bags that i had complimented in class.
marci offered to make me a bag while she was making herself a new bag.
we prepped a whole other bag for me to complete here at home.
AND we completed a super easy bag that i just couldn't live without.

to say my bag collection is growing might be an understatement.
not to mention i currently have patterns & fabrics ready for at least 4 more bags.

yall feel free to feed my bag addiction & tell me YOUR favorite bag.
link to the pattern {or your pics} if possible.

♥ rachel

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Blue Is Bleu said...

I love this pattern! I was just eyeing it at work and I might have to make this soon. Just pondering fabric choices :) Yours is too cute!

KrystaLyn said...

HAHA! I literally just sat down to start researching bag patterns after I realized at the park today with my kids, that my mommy bag could be WAAAYYY cuter! Ive never been a bag girl, either, but I am jumping in, so this post was seriously, the most perfect. timing. eva! Can't wait to see what others post!

Patrice said...

Love this post! That bag is super cute! I am sooo a bag girl, but I've never made one. I think now might be the time. Looking forward to some pics or links.

Sarah@PingsAndNeedles said...

I'm exactly the same ... my desire to make a bag is overwhelming, despite years of disinterest!!

Just got to bite the bullet I guess.

Yours is fabtastic, great post!

Karin said...

I don't like bags. Seeing bags on quilting blogs annoys me.


Love your bag, the wavy top edge is great! (and love love love Bliss!)

I've been resisting making bags, because I'd never want to stop!

Anonymous said...

How funny! Over four years ago, I started noticing bags...and when I noticed the price tags, I realized I could make my own for FAR less! That's when I started my bag making endeavor. I don't even know how many bags I've made/sold/given away...but I still enjoy throwing one together every now and again!

That bag is adorable. I'm going to check out the link. I'm happy that you were blessed with so many donations. =) Bags are fun! =)

Kimberly said...

Your bag is awesome! My first bag was the Birdie Sling (Amy Butler) and it was a blast to make... my girlfriend walked me through the process because apparently I can only read quilting patterns!

Have a peek at Keyka Lou patterns... the bucket bag is a snap and so sweet!

Raechel said...

I never thought I would be a bag girl either, but I did make this one and it is super easy. I leave it in my car and use it for a reusable grocery bag, really i use it for lots of things.

Kimberly said...

Ha! I just realized I have a couple of their patterns (my favorite things)... the wallet on a string has always looked to intimidating but maybe I whould give it a try!

Tiffany said...

I like purses better than bags (aka smaller bags :))... keykaloupatterns has some REALLY great ones. I bought her bracelet bag pattern and while it was time consuming (about 8 hours start to finish) it was SO worth it :)

Mary Grace McNamara said...

It's so nice to know that there is yet another bag addict in the world!

That is a link to a list of all my posts with the label "tote bag". I had to click 'older posts' at the bottom 5 or 6 times to see them all! Yep, I'm addicted!

I love them all, but this one is my favorite... I think the fabric is awesome, and this bag design is so versatile. I've made it in so many different variations and it's fun to come up with new ideas every time!


Becca P. said...

Amy Butler's Birdie Sling is my absolute favorite bag. You can find it here(and probably many more online shops). This was my first bag. I was so nervous, but her instructions are very clear and easy to follow... I actually ended up making one for all the girls in our family one Christmas!

Brenda said...

I love bags. Lucky girl to have so many people offer to make you a bag. What a treat!I'm searching for the perfect bag. I have a mid-size one now but really need a large one for summer. I like your bag a lot but no money for a pattern right now. I'll put it on my wishlist!

Kelly O. said...

I'm not ready to make a fussy bag but I can make simple totes--someday I might tackle something but it just looks too hard...too many steps.

Rhanda said...

Rachel, you are forgiven. ;-) I am just glad you have converted!

Wendy P said...

I made a few Charm Party totes, and diaper bags, a lunch tote and this one: is my favorite. I made it in black and whites with a few very bright colors here and there. IT IS HUGE. As in, I could put my 2 yr old grandson in there and have room for other stuff. It is our beach bag/overnight stay/all purpose.
Your Bliss bag is too cute!

Erica said...

Gorgeous bag & so well made. I love that Moda Bliss fabric line.

Amy said...

I have SO MANY & SO MANY MORE to make - I'm beyond an addict I think. I sort of came up with my own pattern by looking at several on several blogs. I have at least 3-4 to make for myself & I have about a dozen started that are for friends. If the pellon would just fuse itself, I'd have it made! That's where I tend to put them down for the "time being". I esp. love to make bags using jelly rolls - I think most that are sitting here are made from Moda Jelly Rolls!

LOVE your bag - way cute!! Can't wait to see more! :-)

Layne Bushell said...

This is exactly what I was looking for....want to make one. Love the size, the shape and of course the fabric. Yum...I'm gonna make one of my own!

Renee said...

My favorite bag is the Buttercup Bag from Made by Rae (free pattern!):

I even made some for all my girlfriends last year as presents. Next I want to make a 30% larger one for me :-)

Anonymous said...

I unsuccessfully tried making a bag or two in the past, but it took discovering Lazy Girl Designs' Margot Handbag pattern for me to make a successful bag. I made a matching bag and wallet (with her Wonder Wallet pattern) when I went to Las Vegas earlier this year.

I posted about it on my blog:

I'm a total bag addict now!

prairiewhisper said...

I love bags too. I recently bought Amy Butler's book all about bags and I want to make them all. I'm restraining myself and I made a diaper bag instead. But I will be sewing one bag from that book one of these days.

Quilting Yai Yai said...

I love your bag!
I love bags, too.
Never made one. Probably won't, but I won't say I never would. :o)

Mary Jane's TEAROOM said...

Love this bag is so pretty and yet practical!
Susan x

Meg said...

What?!? Hate bags? Shame!

I actually started sewing because of my love for bags and never understood the quilt obsession. Quilting was for grandmas! So I understand. ;0p

I just made this bag that I love, love!

MonikaC said...

I love bags. I mean LOVE bags. I see a new pattern, then I have a new favorite. It's bad. I have so many bags and I keep making them! I always have at least fabric and patterns for 4 bags in my sewing queue. Good luck with your bags!

Jennie {Clover and Violet} said...

I love bags too, but I sometimes find that the patterns are a little too tedious for my personal preference. That is why the bag patterns in my shop are all designed like pattern pieces, etc., and I love to use precuts to make them. I'd love it if you stop by and check them out!

Katy (France) said...

This is my absolute favourite bag because it is easy, the pattern is free and I managed to make two of them, no problems!!
My versions:

Pamela said...

I just made the most awesome bag (but not for me):

It's the convertible purse and I am definitely going to make one of these for myself, it is awesome!

Jessica said...

Great post! I love bags too and am still trying to decide which pattern will be perfect for my next bag.
To those of you who like the Birdie Slings, do your items get thrown around inside? I think it's an adorable bag, but I'm also looking for organization inside. Thanks!

GerryART said...

Welcome to the world of Bags, Rachel.
I've made so many and given away many and still have so many I am running out of room for them all.
Again, Welcome to the love of Bags.

Bobbi said...

I'm a bagaholic!!! A very friendly pattern maker is penny sturgis at quilts illustrated! her bags are fantastic! Try the charm tote. Uses a charm pack :):):):):):)

Gail's Card Cafe' said...

Your bag is super cute! I made only one bag so far. I wasn't happy about it although it did bring in some money at our family reunion! It's a Savannah Bag... I found the pattern at Chicnscratch...

Stephanie said...

Nice bag - I love the fabrics you chose.

Of all the bags I've made, my favorite is definitely this one: made the smaller version and it's perfect for what I need.

I also love these (and they are free!):

And if you want some extra fun, make yourself a matching wallet:

Stephanie said...

Also, after seeing the lovely fabric combinations used here:
and here

I REALLY want to buy the pattern:

Lorraine said...

Bags .. yep , I love to search for the perfect but not too cutesy bag .
The latest I've tried is 241 tote by Noodlehead
& here are 2 I've made , this bag is a good size for everyday use & the outside pockets are really handy .

Kari said...

I just made the Phoebe bag from Artsy Craftsy Babe. You could totally do that one and the shape is really nice. Here is the link to mine:

WoolenSails said...

That is a beautiful bag, love it.
I hope I can learn how to make them, someday.


Melissa @Lilac Lane said...

I have something in the neighborhood of a jillion bags. Once you make one, you can't stop. :)

Anonymous said...

I used to feel the same (although it was more about fear than dislike!), but I finally got the guts up to make the change bag from Anna Maria Horner's handmade beginnings in linen and Liberty print (here: and I was converted! Hoping to find time to make an updated one soon.

Love your bag, looks like a fab pattern!

Kelly Rachel said...

Wow this is absolutely stunning! You have done an excellent job, and I especially love the colours!
Yes, bags are very addicting. I don't WANT to make bags, I don't WANT to be a 'bag lady' with a trillion bags, but making them is so fun and rewarding and quick! And they are useful! I love any project that serves a purpose.
Welcome to the dark side. Mwahaha

b said...

My name is Beth, and I'm addicted to bags.

Seriously, your bag is sooo cute. I have way too many bags in my "to do" pile (fabric purchased of course).

Enjoy your new addiction!

Peach Rainbow said...

I love Pat Bravo's Patterns!

tmgrable said...

Never made a bag before but since seeing this post I'm starting now!
But a few questions... What is/where do I find cotton belt webbing?
what thin cotton batting did you use?

Already online getting the pattern and fabric! thanks!!!

amylouwho said...

once i found out how easy making a simple tote bag was I made a bunch. And then I decided I wanted to change it up a bit and subsequently designed a 'diaper' or everything bag that I sold a bunch of. Currently I am trying to get the guts up to get it ready to sell and see if people will buy the pattern.... If you go to my blog and click on the tag for bags, you can see a lot of them. There is also a group of them on my flickr.

Love Bears All Things said...

I have all kinds of bags hanging off the book shelves in my studio which I grab for whatever. I've only made one and I wasn't too happy with it but someone wanted it and so I gave it away. I love the one you posted with the curved top.
Mama Bear

Aud said...

Love your bag!♥
I've recently started to sew again after a long break, and bags and purses are a fav to make, I must admit. =0)

I've got a new book, The Bag Making Bible by Lisa Lam, and the first bag I'll make from the patterns is the Reversible Bucket Bag, it looks so nice, I think! Here's the free pattern:


Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

I love bags, but I'm so particular when it comes to my purse. I have to have the right size, handle, closure, etc. I've even tried making my own, and I'm so particular that I can't please myself. What's up with that? No, don't say, I think I know.....
Back to bags--your is just so cute and looks about the right size. I'd probably enjoy making that bag!

Jeni said...

I LOVE your bag. I am afraid of a bag but seeing your makes me wish I would try. Enjoy that beautiful bag!

Di2Quilt said...

This is a wonderful bag!! Once you start making bags, you'll not want to stop. I usually make 2 to 3 bags a year, one for the summer and one for winter.

Here's the link to my favorite bag!

Chef Mama Lori said...

Rachel, I'm giggling about this. In Texas everything is bigger---or MORE! LOL! So glad some fellow San Antonians helped you with your new addiction. ;) I had made a few bags over the years, but it was when some friends started talking about a certain brand name quilted bag that I started quilting fabric & making bags. I am SO hooked!

You WILL come back to SA, right? Or maybe even Houston in the fall? PLEASE!!!!!! I'll mark my calendar right this time! LOL!

Dorian said...

I love bags! I love making them, well designing them I should say :)

Here are some I have made. The top one is my very, very favorite.

Wendy said...

I'm intrigued, why did seeing handmade bags annoy you??

I'm glad you've come round as your bag is lovely. Love that Bliss!

I've taken to making bags recently, there are a few on my blog - here's a link to the latest:

corners of my life said...

Absolutely charming!

Becky said...

Rachel....I have never made a real bag. I have done a rag quilt bag which was fairly easy...was this bag easy enough for a beginner? And is there a pattern out there for this because I would love to try my hand at this bag with some new fabric I just got :)

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Lots of bags on my blog but you've GOT TO Make one of these:

Susan said...

I love bags - all shapes and sizes - in fact the bigger they are the more I like them. Weirdly enough, I've yet to make a quilted bag - is definitely on my list.

*admires new shiny bag*

Linda said...

Enjoyed your "bag post". I love bags, they can serve so many purposes, you can almost never have too many, and if you do, just swap the ones you don't use for new ones! Here's my latest bag:

I really prefer something hard in the bottom of my large bags, to help keep the shape. Did you put anything in the bottom of your bag? What have you seen others use?

Tasha said...

I absolutely love that bag!! Which size did you make?

Leena Salleh said...

Love the bag and material you used for fresh and bright! One of my favourite project is making bag...I have quite a number of bags ranging from tote to small pouches and clutches to handbags...but alas, I did not take pictures to share.... mostly which I learn from classes from the local teachers available around my are going to love making they are fast results projects.....

kristyne said...

You're so funny! I never even carried a purse until I made a quilted diaper bag for myself after my second baby. Next thing I know, I'm teaching tote/purse classes at a local quilt shop and became known as "the bag lady" .. oh sweet irony! I will say I try to make bags that don't make the carrier look like a middle-aged "Holly Hobbie". I think you've done a great job. (Addicting, isn't it? ;)

Melody said...

My newest find is this Journey Bag by Kati Cupcake Patterns.

Second favorite is the Amy Butler Birdie Sling. I have made both and use these bags every day. I get compliments all the time...

Karen said...

It is somehow the usual happening, make one bag and then make a pile of bags and you can't stop! I ADORE the Birdie Sling by Amy Butler. I made one and want to make a whole bunch more!

→lisa said...

As much as I enjoy seeing pretty bags like yours on-line, in my daily life I prefer hard-wearing utilitarian bags, like canvas book bags and grocery totes.

I live in a city, so I just need big bags that I can cram with shopping and plop down on the floor of a crowded subway train without having to worry about keeping them "nice." If I made a bag out of fabulous quilting fabric, I'd be afraid to *really* use it.

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