Bags Bags Bags

Three Part “Harmony” and Experimenting with “Mass Production”

I continue with making project/drawstring bags (little obsessed) for my imaginary reopening of my tierneycreates Etsy shop. While making the latest group, I thought I would try something: making them “mass production” style. Okay well small scale mass production style. I would cut all the pieces out, fuse the interfacing, and sew them production style one step at a time.

The first three bags to come out of this experiment was three bags in different sizes (small, medium, large) made from Figo Fabric’s Harmony line, with the word “Harmony” from the selvage stitched onto the bags.

I decided to name this series of three bags – “Three Part Harmony”. Get it? Or perhaps the name is silly but it made me smile. I will sell them as a set on my Etsy shop.

I didn’t have enough of the word “Harmony” in the rest of the fabric’s selvage to continue to stitch it onto the rest of the bags, but I finished them up also “production style”. Here are the rest of the bags in progress:

What I learned from my “mass production” experiment:

HATED IT!

And if you’ve ever seen the comedy TV show In Living Color you can hear the inflection in my voice in your mind, ha!

Something about the magic of completing a bag got taken away when I was doing each step production line style on 7 bags.

I guess I just enjoy making one bag at a time and being in the process of completing one bag. I would be very poor if I tried to live off the proceeds of selling on Etsy – ha!

But this is to be a hobby not the way I make a living. Unless I could sell each bag for $1000….ha!


Postscript

My friend Judy (the one who got me in to quilting in the late 1990s) and her husband came for a long weekend visit this past weekend. We did a little Denver area “quilt shop hopping” during her visit and stopped at Treelotta Fabrics which I discovered during the Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop. While at this shop we discovered a different take on the drawstring bag that we really liked:

Instead of ribbon or cord, they made the drawstring from the same fabric as the bottom of the bag. Also they added some rick-rack to the seam between the two coordinating fabrics – very creative!

This gives me future ideas for bags. Of course I do need to make other things for my Etsy shop besides bags! (I do actually have a stash of other things I’ve made that I will share in future posts).

Bags Bags Bags

Returning to the bags…

I missed making drawstring bags like I did during the retreat I attended in August (A Drawstring-bagalicious Retreat, Part I), so over the past couple of days I’ve been making more bags.

I have a fantasy still that I am going to reopen my tierneycreates Etsy shop and I am making stuff for my shop (shhhh don’t mention I’ve said many times in the past I was going to reopen that shop…but this time I might really do it…maybe…)

Here are the bags I’ve made so far and I have 6 more cut out to sew.

Repurposing Words/Label from the Fabric Selvage

A Little Butterfly Bag

Black and White Bag with a Pop of Color Inside

Since finishing that art quilt for the exhibit I mentioned in the post Secret Quilt and Design Wall Struggle, I am enjoying just making drawstring bags. Thank goodness I have a large stash of interfacing as these bags use a lot of interfacing to make them stand up. I

I am sure I will tire of making them eventually and move on to other stuff but right now I am enjoying playing with fabric combinations.

Bags Bags Bags, Quilt Retreats, Quilt Shop Tours

A Drawstring-bagalicious Retreat, Part II

Good Morning and here is part two of my story of the “Drawstring-bagalicious Retreat” I attended August 9 – 12, 2021 with my Washington based friends Judy and Dana. In Part I (A Drawstring-bagalicious Retreat, Part I) I shared that what began as a “bring your own project to work on quilting retreat” turned into a “let’s just make drawstring bags for 3 days obsession”!

We did do other things than make drawstring bags during our stay at the Riptide Retreat on the waterfront/beach in Shelton, Washington.

WE ENJOYED OUR COZY RETREAT CENTER

It was cluttered at times (this is what happens when you get a bunch of crafters together) but here are some scenes from the quilt retreat center (including while creativity was in progress):

In addition to the upstairs and its deck overlooking the water, the retreat center also had a downstairs with a cozy seating area, additional beds, and access to the downstairs deck.

There were only three of us at the retreat so we had plenty of space (the Riptide Retreat is set up for up to 10 attendees). Judy and Dana took the upstairs bedroom and I had the downstairs to myself – I had my own apartment! I would wake up each morning and look out on the water – it was pretty yummylicious (another fake English word like “bagalicious”, ha).

WE ENJOYED GORGEOUS VIEWS

One of the challenges of being at the Riptide Retreat (okay it was the only challenge) was not getting distracted by the gorgeous views. We keep being lured outside to sit on the upper deck and look at the water, instead of working on our drawstring bags.

I sat outside each morning with my tea and when I was not too distracted with the quiet peaceful views I worked on a blog post or two.

WE WENT SHOPPING!

The owners of the Riptide Retreat also own Annie’s Quilt Shoppe a very reasonably priced quilt shop in Shelton, Washington. We got a discount on some items because we were staying at their retreat center.

All I can say is we might have visited this shop more than once during the retreat!

During one of our visits to this quilt shop (oops I just gave our secret away) I discovered that there is actually a National Sew A Jelly Roll Day on Sept 18, 2021. So quilters get your jelly rolls ready to participate – ha!

WE HAD YUMMY FOOD

The three of us are pretty laid back when it comes to our food selections and when we eat, so we had whatever/foraging for breakfast each morning among what Judy and Dana brought (I didn’t have to bring any food since I flew to the retreat). For lunches and dinners we either ate out, ate leftovers, or Judy/Dana made a wonderful meal.

We discovered this wonderful sort of “hole in the wall” place in downtown Shelton which was actually an awesome (and super delicious) family run eatery – T’s Cafe. There I discovered the most scrumptious meatball sub on the planet:

We enjoyed dining “al fresco” on the upper deck of the retreat for several meals:

And yes, those are homemade frozen margaritas in our glasses (and I am happy to report all three of us are of legal drinking age, ha!).

WE WALKED ON THE BEACH

From the downstairs deck you can walk down another level to the beach along the water. I had a nice solo walk and with my friends on the beach.

WE DID A LOT OF RELAXING

I think some people consider a quilt retreat (or a drawstring bag retreat, ha) time to get all those projects done you could not get done at home. Well we consider a quilt retreat time to actually “retreat” from the busy world and do some relaxing.

We spent a lot of time on the upper deck reading, blogging, playing iPad games, walks around the neighborhood, catching up with each other, and watching boats go by on the canal.

Sometimes I forget just how beautiful the Pacific NW is (and I lived there for over 20 years between Washington and Oregon) until I visit it again.

Bags Bags Bags, Quilt Retreats

A Drawstring-bagalicious Retreat, Part I

Before I get into this post, I just want to clarify for anyone reading this in which English is not your primary language, that “bagalicious” is not a real word – ha!

“Drawstring-bagalicious” was the best way I can describe a small quilt retreat I attended at a beautiful location in Shelton Washington in August 2021 with my friends Judy and Dana where we ended up making drawstring bags for 3 days!

We stayed at The Riptide Retreat, a house/retreat center right on the waterfront:

I think for this post I will focus on our drawstring bag making obsession during our retreat and next post share the photos of the beautiful waterfront, the inside of the quilt retreat center, the awesome quilt shop we visited, and the yummy place we ate.

We each brought projects to work on at the retreat, and I brought some pre-cut and pre-fused fabric to make a couple drawstring bags.

Well you know how crafters are when we get together – before you knew it everyone wanted to make drawstring bags and put their planned projects aside.

Judy made several lovely bags (5 or 6 total) but the photo I took of them included some surprises/gifts for mutual friends, so I am not going to post the photo of her bags.

I will just share images of some of the bags Dana and I made.

Here are Dana’s first set of drawstring bags, including some fun photoshoots she did with her completed bags:

Dana started out making one extra large drawstring bag with the Ruby Star/Sarah Watts fabric – Purl (which I now own in several colorways the fabric is so yummy!) and then she became obsessed and made them in every size from on the pattern (we all got the pattern for the drawstring bags by Sotak Handmade)!

I plan to totally copy Dana’s interpretation of the pattern design and make the same drawstring bag. The photos do not do it justice – it was so freakin’ cute!

She went on and made more and along the way we worked out ways to make the drawstring bags faster and more efficiently. We basically had a Drawstring Bag Workshop! I can now make them in my sleep!

Here is an example of a trick to make sure the seams stay flat that Judy came up with and Dana used on one of her bags – press the seams open during early assembly:

Dana also got creative on her drawstring bag design and started added labels made from the fabric selvage:

Another idea I am totally stealing when I make more bags in the future.

Here are more of Dana’s completed bags and her fun photoshoots on the deck against the waterfront:

And here are some of the bags I made and some fun photoshoots I took with the waterfront in the background off the back deck:

If you haven’t figured this out from the photos, part of the fun of making the drawstring bags is not only selecting the external/outside bag fabric but also choosing a coordinating interior fabric. We had fun sharing fabrics and picking up more from the local quilt shop! We also had fun selecting the ribbon/cord for the drawstrings and went on shopping adventure one day just to buy more drawstring materials! Yes we were obsessed!

We even made the same bags when we’d seen another’s completed drawstring bag and want to make it also (any everyone was so generous with sharing their fabric and our dwindling supply of interfacing).

More to come on our retreat to including what we did when we weren’t sitting around making drawstring bags (and photographing them)!

Bags Bags Bags

Adventures in Bag Making: Drawstring Bag

Earlier this year several quilting friends and I decided to make a different bag each month (well sort of each month, we all fell behind at times) and to do a fabric exchange where we provide the fabric and supplies (like zippers, ribbon, cords, etc) for the bags.

We’ve been purchasing/using patterns by s.o.t.a.k. handmade , we love her wonderful videos on YouTube at her channel – Sotak Handmade. Below is an example of one of her fabulous videos:

Someday I’ll post about my used Juki sewing machine I bought off Craigslist – influenced by watching her sew on her Juki machine.

So far my “bag making group” has made: 1) The Devon Pouch (see post If at first you don’t succeed… ); 2) The Boxy Tool Pouch (see post More Adventures in Bag Making); and now most recently 3) The Drawstring Bag (this post).

Last night I finished my first Drawstring Bag and I have two more to finish (I decided to make three at one time, production-line style). My friend Kathy provided me with absolutely beautiful fabric – some purple Moda Grunge and several fabrics by Anna Maria Horner (you should check out her website I’ve linked, the fabrics are SO GORGEOUS).

Here is my first drawstring bag:

I could not decide whether to make the lining the outside and the fabric I used for the outside of the. bag – they were both so gorgeous!

The drawstring bag stands up on its own thanks to interfacing on both sides of the outside and inside/lining fabric. The pattern was quite easy to follow (especially since this is my third time using one of the Sotak patterns and I see concepts are repeated) and except for the prep work (like cutting and ironing on all the interfacing) it did not take long to assemble.

My friends Kathy and Dana posted their completed drawstring bags on Instagram and here are screen shots from their feeds:

I love their bags too and all the fabrics were generously provided by Kathy!

I hope to finish my next two bags today. They are pretty fun to make and I already had like 25 different fabric combination versions in my head for future drawstring bags, ha!