Monday, August 31, 2015

Travel Duffle Bag

You got a peek at the Travel Duffle Bag I was making at the retreat with my friends at Uncle Bucks Lodge in Brewster in June.  It is finished now and I have even used it once.  I started out with this pattern "Travel Duffle Bag" that can be found here at Patterns by Annie.productimage-picture-travel-bag-1429This is a very large bag 21” L x 13” H x 8” deep.  I followed the directions and pattern but… my friends say….. with changes.  I never can make a bag just like an original pattern and have favorite features I like in any bag I make so just make the changes if the pattern doesn't include them if possible.  I have made enough bags over the years that changing the construction of a bag doesn’t seem to be a problem and more of a puzzle if I am not sure how to accomplish what I want.  2015-06-22-11.17Ok, now to see the details on the bag.  One change I made to the pockets on the ends was to make one of them from mesh fabric with an elastic casing on the top.  I also made navy blue cording to be seamed into the seam around the ends.  I stitched in the cording as I thought it might help the fabric wear less on these seams and do like the accent of the navy.  By the way I just love the fabric I chose for this bag.  I purchased a pre-quilted double sided fabric for the outside and another coordinating print I used for trim and lining.2015-06-22-11.18This end is just like the pattern, no changes and the view of the front below is also made just like the pattern.20150622_112508The backside did get one change though.  Instead of putting the patch pocket in the center I made it open on both ends and placed it a little higher on the back of the bag.  As you can see it will slip over our rolling suitcase to make moving it a bit easier when we are using a rolling bag.IMG_5010Now for a look at the inside where I made quite a few changes.  The original pattern has you seam the ends and then cover the raw edges with bias tape but I like a lined bag so made a lining to fit the inside of the bag.  To enable you to see I turned the entire bag inside out.  One long side has a zippered pocket.  Oh, by the way I quilted the lining fabric to a piece of soft and stable to help give the body of bag more shape. IMG_4995The opposite side I added a mesh zippered pocket so it will be easy to see the items I pack in this pocket.IMG_5006Now for the lining ends – don’t want to waste that space so more pockets -  I love pockets so guess what – they have pockets!  One end has a mesh pocket that has a casing with elastic at the top.  I made this pocket pleated at the bottom so it will hold lots of socks or what ever I want to stash there.IMG_4996The other end I added a pleated fabric pocket with a tab and magnetic snap.   It will also hold lots of things and hopefully keep me organized.  That will be an accomplishment if it works!IMG_5002That is pretty much it but I do want to show you my zipper pulls on the front of the bag.  I found and purchased a cheap necklace so took it apart and have two cute zipper pulls that make it look like they were made for my bag, the colors are perfect.  IMG_4993IMG_4994Here is one more look at my wonderful bag.  Looking forward to using it more so if you see me carrying my unique bag just give me a shout out.IMG_5009Until Later,

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Quilt Retreat With Friends

IMG_2000 2Three of my girlfriends and I decided to spend several days together in a beautiful, peaceful place in the sandhills of Nebraska called Uncle Bucks Lodge in Brewster NE.  We decide we all needed a bit of a break from our real life and time to sit and visit and do some stitching or work on other projects too.  If you have never been to the sandhills region of Nebraska and you are passing through our state I would highly recommend you take day to drive through if nothing else.  Wikipedia has a short history of the area and if you are driving head west on highway #2 from Grand Island and you will drive right through the heart of the sandhills and a jog off to highway #91 will take you to Brewster and Uncle Bucks Lodge2015-06-09-16.33
IMG_1942We were so fortunate that we got to spend our sewing and visiting time in this large room in the lodge.  We had lots of room to spread out and it had great lighting for our projects. IMG_1963 22015-06-09-09.40We took walks around the small village, Wikipedia says the population of Brewster is 17.  It is also the county seat with the court house situated in the village, would guess it is the smallest town that is the county seat in the country.  We took walks each morning to stretch our legs and to smell the spicy aroma of the sandhills that hug the edges of town.  If you have ever been in pastures in the sandhills you will recognize the smell.  Have tried to figure it out and think it is probably a weed or grass that gives off the pleasant smell but it is very distinctive. 2015-06-10-07.20Someone made the greatest street signs, each one a different silhouette.  We tried to find them all but we may have missed a few.

Another treat we had every day was homemade goats milk ice cream across the street from Uncle Bucks and it was so yummy.  It is self serve and you put your money in the cup in the freezer.  This couple also had a self serve refrigerator with fresh eggs, goats milk, soda and treats.  Small town and rural trust at it’s best.2015-06-09-16.27Here are some other views from the edge of town and some of the village that is right in the middle of cowboy country.2015-06-10-07.19.21
IMG_1973Shirley is working on a hexagon quilt.  She had lots and lots of hexies basted and was starting to put them together but it may be a while before she is done as it is going to be a bed sized quilt.IMG_2014Janet chose to bring along a cross stitch project and she also spent some time doing some ripping for me.  I had a quilt commercially quilted once and it was not a good job so have been trying to remove it a bit at a time.  I appreciate friends that will rip for me.IMG_2016Fay is a fantastic beader was working on some of that plus she picked up a couple rocks on our walks and was felting wool roving around them and when dry she was going to embroider them.  Anxious to see them finished.IMG_2017I was the only one that brought my sewing machine but I got lots done on a large fabric duffle bag.  I had precut all the pieces and had them labeled at home.  We tidied up our stuff each night but could leave it all there to work on the next day.  IMG_2013We had such a great time that we have plans to go back next year.  We arrived on a Monday and returned home on Thursday and  the other guests that arrived or departed were interested in what we were doing and would sit and chat a bit.  One family with three little girls were there two nights and the little girls were so delightful.  They had questions about what we were doing but also just sat with us and told us all kinds of stories.  They had us four adults rolling with laughter at times.

If you haven’t figured it out we loved Brewster, we loved Uncle Bucks and we loved spending time together.

Until Later,


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