Category Archives: Bag Making

Zipper Pouch Demo for Quilt Guilds

Noodlehead Wide Open Pouch

Last fall I put together a demo for the Cincinnati Modern Quilt guild on how to make a zipper pouch. I used the free and excellent Noodlehead Open Wide Pouch as my example and walked our guild through the steps. At the end of the demo I had people share their own tips and tricks for making better pouches.

Afterwards, we did a sign up for a pouch swap. People were allowed to use whatever pattern they liked, but it was helpful for people have an example pouch to get started. Zippers can be intimidating, so most of the talk focused on zippers!

I also gave out this hand out which I am sharing here in case it is helpful to anyone else. 

It is nothing life changing, but I thought it might be helpful to anyone else planning something similar for their guild!

Coral Linen Patchwork Caravan Bag

A while back I did a swap – even though I swore off on-line swaps years ago after several in a row where I didn’t receive anything in return, and also the anxiety-inducing fear that my recipient would hate what I made. Not my definition of fun. But the #OhCraft group had a bag swap, and I just couldn’t resist.

My partner made a collage with linen, coral and embroidery and requested the Caravan Tote by Noodelhead. I can do that! The pictures aren’t great, but this bag was really fun!

Coral Linen Patchwork Caravan Bag Continue reading

Pouches! Baskets! Noodlehead, Oh My!

Before baby, I made a handful of cute pouches, and then waited for them to become useful.I’m sharing how we used them for our new baby, in case that is useful for any other new parents thinking about using up their fabric stash for baby storage purposes!

Anna at Noodlehead makes amazing patterns.

Noodlehead Wide Open Pouch

Her wide open pouch is actually a free pattern –  I think it’s my favorite pouch to make and use – so handy.  I use this one to keep my hand-sewing kit in – thread and notions for whatever project I am working on. That may not sound like a “baby” use, but our baby likes to sleep in my lap, which means I do a fair bit of hand sewing during nap time. It’s peaceful.

The design on the outside is made from taking the cut off triangle endings from making a quilt binding – including some precious Tula Snails and roughly sewing them down. I used gold metallic thread for the quilting.

Hot tip! If you put the metallic thread in the BOBBIN and sew with your fabric UPSIDE DOWN it’s wayyyy less finicky in the bobbin than when you run metallic through the needle up top.

Because bobbin thread has so much less work to do, fussy threads, like heavier weight threads and metallics work smoothly in the bobbin. When they are threaded up top, they have so many places to get messed up tension when you run them through the needle.

ANYWAY, I also made several of her Divided baskets, which is another great pattern!  I have had a lot of friends recommend these as baby shower gifts, and they are right! They are perfect for everything baby. Read on to see all my Divided baskets and how I use them!

Noodlehead Divided Baskets for Baby Storage

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Go Anywhere Bag – Diaper Bag and Pattern Review

Go Anywhere Bag Diaper Bag

I made the Aragon bag by Sew Sweetness for our major diaper bag – and it has been great for plane trips and day trips. But for just running around town for a few hours, I knew I wouldn’t need a bag that big. Especially now that we’re able to breastfeed on the go (thanks in part to our awesome baby carrier!) we really only need a few diapers, a changing kit and a change of clothes. And sometimes blankets, extra burp cloths, paperwork for doctors visits – and snacks, water and lip balm for me of course! Lucky this bag is actually big enough to hold all of that – granted at that point it is stuffed to the gills!

Here it just has a cloth diaper and a craft box that I use to sort pills in it. I added basic pockets to both sides of the inside, and I wish I had made them both bigger! They are great for sorting things!

Go Anywhere Bag Diaper Bag

Basically this is an oversized purse. Or a regular sized purse, if you’re like me and don’t like to leave the house without an arsenal of things you might want.

I used a Melody Miller cheater print – the lovely telephones! I love this fabric! Maybe it’s ironic to use an old school phone for a baby bag – since the baby will never probably use a rotary phone in her life! Check out this video about rotary phones if you want to feel old!

It was stressful for me to find basics to go with it that weren’t too matchy-matchy – but I didn’t want the whole thing to be the cheater  print either. I lined the large outside pockets with a basic linen. The inside is a dot I got at Joann fabric eons ago, and the burgundy I think is Kona Burgundy – but don’t quote me on that!

Go Anywhere Bag Diaper Bag

I made the handles longer by 3-4 inches, which is standard for me on any bag pattern, as I am almost 6 feet tall and find most bag handles to short for me to comfortably sling over my shoulder.

I love the long narrow outside pockets for dropping in my cellphone, my wallet and keys. They are deep enough to feel secure, and the perfect width for fishing around to pull them out. and it’s great to not have them lost in the depths of the main body of the bag!
Go Anywhere Bag Diaper Bag

This pattern was easy to follow and went together quickly. I want to make more of them now, but other projects have to come first. My only regret is not being more careful to match up the side seams on the pockets when I was cutting – if I had been fussier about it, the fabric would have matched up perfectly.

I’m always amazed by bag pattern designers. I can’t imagine how one would go about constructing a bag like this and it always seems like magic when the pattern just comes right together!