So it’s Tuesdayish, right? I’m a couple days behind, but the patterns are now finished and I can go pick them up at the printer later today. That means I can ship out patterns for the winners from my last post. The random number generator selected the following people:
#1 – Ashley – commented on January 30 at 11:30 a.m. (Ashely was the first commenter on the post and the first number that the RNG picked – weird right?)
#2 – Kate, commented on January 30 at 5:56 p.m.
#3 – Kiki – commented on Feb 1 at 1:21 p.m.
Please send your shipping addresses to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to everyone else who commented. I hope you all know how much I value the feedback and hearing about what aspects of the design that you like.
I have had e-mails and phone calls from people looking for the pattern. When I posted the photos, it actually hadn’t been released yet, which is why nobody could find it on-line. I just didn’t want to wait any longer to start posting some photos! Today the samples are going out to our distributors and a postcard will be mailed to the quilt shops on Friday. That means the patterns will start shipping out next week and should start appearing online and in shops shortly after that. For those of you who can’t find it anywhere in your area, you can just drop us an e-mail and we can help you.
Many of you asked about the grommets I used and if they required any special tools. Well, some do . .
but they are now making plastic grommets that don’t require any special tools! It’s so easy, you just snap them together with your fingers. They are available at a wide range of places. Many of the quilt shops carry them, as they have been popular for bags and curtains. You can also find them at craft and hobby stores in the drapery supplies department. This is the brand I used:
They are available in several sizes and colors. When I had my test class, some brought pretty colored grommets too. I liked the colors, but I didn’t think they were as sturdy as the Dritz Home brand. They were unmarked, so I don’t know what brand they were . . . I just looked on Checker’s website and they have lots of new grommets that I’d like to try, in lots of fun shapes and colors. ( They are different than the colored ones from my test class). As soon as I get a chance to try them out, I will let you know how they work!
I also wanted to show you a little about the process I got through when I refered to the “prototypes”. These are the first four bags I made –
I started with this little clutch
It’s cute, but the bag needed larger tucks at the bottom to allow for more room within the bag.
My second problem was what to do with the ends of the handles. I tried to just tuck the ends under. That turned out to be really difficult and you can see from this picture how bad they looked.
So, after several days of brain storming, this idea came to me –
I liked the look of this much better and it was much easier to sew. Plus, it’s a chance to show off some really cute buttons!
Here’s the first prototype of the larger size bag and convertible handle. It’s made using my Wildflowers fabric.
On this prototype, I decided that the bigger tucks helped, but that the fusible fleece wasn’t as permanent as I’d hoped.
I started adding simple quilting, like straight lines or cross hatching. I found that it not only stabilized the fleece, but it gave a nicer, more finished look to the bag. This picture shows that simple quilting, and the fact that I haven’t finished this one yet!
After all this trial and error, I was ready to test the bag with quilters. I teach every year at Lake Beauty Bible Camp, and these gals have helped me out with this several times with testing projects. It’s great because I get feed back from about 125 quilters. Here are a few shots from the retreat –
I picked up lots of helpful hints from the gals and it was really fun to see all the different fabric combinations. Each and every one looked different!
Then the final test was having my Mom make the bag. She still found a few helpful hints for me! Very good ones, I might add, and I now felt ready to publish the pattern.
So there you have it! After lots of tweaks – The Bella Bag!
Here’s a hint for my next post –
It’s Palmer Printing’s van delivering a new book!