Thursday, July 15, 2010

It's in the Bag!

I had an unexpected "free day" today (yippee!), so I kept working on the game board case for my sister's school project. It's basically a quilted envelope style bag large enough to fit a game board she's designed that measures 12" x 18" folded. She also needed 14 pockets inside for the stacks of game cards, which are the size of a business card, one large pocket for her instruction book and a pocket to fit a kitchen timer used in the "lightning round" part of the game. (It's really a fun learning game for medical-type stuff. I hope to show you the whole thing when she's done, before she hands it in for her class at the end of July.)

I used stash/scrap fabric throughout, all Lantern Bloom by Laura Gunn, except the brown with the black swirls. No clue where I got that one, but I sure had a lot of it!

Here is the outside, pin-basted to the batting. I ditch-quilted the inner design and then straight-line quilted the rest of the bag, mostly vertical lines but some horizontally in the flap.

I drew the rows of pockets out on graph paper to make sure they'd all fit. Here they are sewn onto one of the inner lining pieces. Since I didn't have a pattern for this bag, just the dimensions of the board and the other elements she needed, I made it up as I went along, making sure to measure, measure, and measure some more. I found the design-as-you-go process pretty enjoyable, actually. Those purple things in the pockets are just cardstock cut to business card size so I could double check the fit.

For the kitchen timer pocket, I played around with folding the paper to make side gussets, because the timer is kind of thick. Then I translated that to fabric. It worked!

The most difficult thing was figuring out how to sew the lining to the bag so that when turned right side out, it would fold down inside the bag and the pockets would be going the right direction, etc. I actually had to make a mock-up on a small scale with some scraps and play around with that. I swear I used to be better at grasping spatial concepts with just a mental picture or glancing at a diagram, but now? Not so much. I haven't made any lined bags recently, so I felt like a total newb.

The moment of truth: Turning the bag...*drum roll*...*cymbal crash*. Yes!

Front with flap open:



So there it is! My sister was elated to see it this evening, and the stuff fit inside great! Now I just have to make a drawstring bag and another small pouch for the little game pieces--no big deal.

Now let's see what everyone else is up to on Sew & Tell Friday at amylouwho!


  1. Wow! That is marvelous. I love the fabric choices/colors. You should make some purses and sell them at a flea market.

  2. That is fabulous ...seriously. I just love it !

    I once made a bag that ate the handles when I turned it right side out...

  3. Great job!! :o) What a useful bag! :o)
    Sincerely ~ Tricia

  4. It's gorgeous! Thanks for sharing. Happy Sewing! :o)

  5. Wow! What a nice sister! Looks great!

  6. this is so nice...such pretty colors too

  7. I'm just bowled over by that! It is really amazing. I love the colors and the design you put into the outside. That is amazing! I made a note of the fabric you used and am going to see if I can find some. Beautiful job! Your sister is very lucky!

    xo -E

  8. Totally awesome! I can see why your sister was thrilled. Talk about "custom made". :-) Not to mention, it's really pretty!

    Thanks for doing such a detailed description. I've been noodling around with a purse idea and it's helpful to see how someone else worked through her design issues.

  9. Just love this and that you're making it for your sister! The colors are very pretty together and the inside looks so tidy!

    Great Friday Finish!

  10. Fabulous! Stunning on the outside, clever design inside-a really great bag!

  11. That is great! You have a lucky sister - that's lots of work, and a fabulous end result!!

  12. Lucky sister! Luv the scraps you used.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

  13. So beautiful! Great fabric and design work. Your sister owes you big time!

  14. Love the zig zag pattern. You did a great job, no wonder your sister was thrilled.


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