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Portland, OR


Handmade quilts and home accessories by fiber artist Linda Nussbaum. See samples of past projects as well as pieces available for sale and inspirations for custom orders. To see what is currently available for sale, please visit my Etsy Shop.

Blogger Archive

Message in a bag

Linda Beth

Several years ago I picked up a great looking book, Quilted Bags and Totes, by Denise Clason. This book is filled with a wide variety of interesting, attractive bags, but the one I kept eyeing and was intent on {eventually} making is her messenger bag.

But there are all these zippers, clips, pockets, attachments... you get the point. Have I mentioned that I'm a lazy stitcher? The fewer steps involved, the happier I generally am. Plus, I have to admit, I kind of forgot about the book until I rearranged my sewing room, as mentioned previously.

Anyhoo... I've been working on putting together some cool items for my {Urban} HOME goods swap partner.

The market bags here were easy enough. In fact, I had fun making them and was glad to be reminded how EASY and QUICKLY they go once you just get down to it. So, I figured these both could be considered the "second," peripheral gifty. But what to do for the main object?? My swap partner has not been the most interactive with feedback and inspiration, which is fine, but does make the selection of a fitting craft item that will be enjoyed a little more difficult. So, I took verbatim one of the things she had suggested in her initial form entered at the beginning of the swap - a messenger bag. But can I ever do things the easy way? Use a pattern someone else has already labored over and figured out? Follow instructions?? NOOOOO. I have to WING it, go all intuitive and make things up as I go.
Now, I will say that I am happy with the outcome, short of a couple of minor points (I think it ended up a smidge too big/wide, and the one layer of batting between the lining and outside twill is not sufficiently form-stabilizing). However, this was not a short process. I went to town on the pockets in the lining (though I think I might have put the separate sized pockets on the wrong sides of the bag, once I tried it on for size... hope my partner can get used to it!) But there are pockets to fit a composition notebook, an eyeglass case (or pair of sunglasses without the case), 3 pen/pencil holders, a smaller pocket for wallet or such and the bag itself is of ample size to fit a laptop computer and a couple of other books - let's just hope it's sturdy enough for all of that!

And after some mental gymnastics, I recalled how to connect the 3-dimensional lining to the 3-dimensional outer casing, flip it all around and THEN actually had to worry about those pesky attachments for the strap (as you may notice, I did decide to skip any zippers or clips - ooops). But, in the end I do in fact have a bag that seems to wear well (if a bit floppy) and I hope that my secret swap partner enjoys!

And another package is ready to get together to take to the post office, most likely this coming Monday. Whew!