I just like to go off and do whatever takes my fancy. So when a Bluprint offer came along for Annie Unrein’s Ultimate Travel Bag kit I couldn’t resist the temptation, especially when I could get the online class as part of my subscription. The kit was fantastic, even including the plexiglass base stabiliser already cut to size.
The big decision was how to quilt the fabric pieces. There are quite a lot of embroidery designs for squares but not many all over patterns. I found a free stipple design by Embroidery Garden which would fit my large hoop. I then used my PE Design to fit to the right size for the last hooping at the edge and bottom.
I have tried a variety of methods to quilt using my embroidery machine and struggled with both placement for multiple hoopings and the sheer bulk of the quilt sandwich.
Unless you have a long arm quilter the patterns suggests quilting in two pieces. The issue when using the embroidery machine is that with the fabric quantity supplied you need to get right to the edge of the fabric which makes hooping difficult. After a lot of research I thought I would try and use Madeira Super Film Iron Away Stabiliser. I hooped the film and then pinned the fabric sandwich in place. Each piece took eight hoopings of my largest frame (200 x 300). This was very time consuming but the big challenge came when I had to iron away the stabiliser. A hot and messy process and I am still finding bits of hardened plastic! However, well worth the time invested for someone who is not very good at free motion quilting.
All the quilting done, then comes the task of cutting the many pieces. The pattern comes with a sheet of labels and it is really helpful as there are many similar pieces. I watched the class all the way through before going any further.
I worked my way through the pattern in order, strapping first, pockets, bottom and then zippers. My machine did struggle with the bulk when attaching the binding for the shoulder pad. A lot of layers to get through but it did come together pretty quickly once I got going.
Then on to the bag front and back. As all the preparation had been done the construction was relatively simple and the end was in sight.
There are two paper circle templates to shape the top and bottom of the front and back pieces. However, I cut these out in very thick card using my cricut so I got a perfect circle and I could use my rotary cutter.
I was extremely careful to double check all the measurements to ensure the zipper strip fit. I was so relieved when everything fit together perfectly. Wonderclips are your best friend for this job - as long as you remember they have a flat side! Let’s see how it holds up on a weekend trip. It certainly looks the part.