The Bella Beach Bag

Good Afternoon ~

In my last post I promised a bit about a beach bag.  In fact, I think I said I would be back “shortly” with the beach bag.  Now a week has gone by and I am just getting to it.  Somehow a quilt retreat, family wedding, birthday party, and a lake day got in the way of my good intentions.  A week is shortly, right?  Don’t answer that.  Just say “Right”.

So, speaking of that beach bag, the thing that got me started was the fun oil cloth fabrics that are in quilt shops now.

Here are a couple of the pieces I have picked up –

Aren’t they cute?  I bought them to make a simple grocery bag, as the fabric is stiff and a little hard to do much detail work with. So far, the bags are yet unsewn, but I have still enjoyed admiring the fabric.

I got sidetracked from the oil cloth when a new, yet similar product called laminate came out.  It is much softer and I thought it more suitable for making a bag with a few more details.  I gave it a try with my Bella Bag pattern.

The pattern was written for our regular quilting fabrics, but I decided to use the laminate and make myself a beach bag.  By the way, the coating on the fabric makes it shiny and hard to photograph!

I made the large size, so I could fit a suit, towel, flip flops, sun screen, and book all tucked neatly inside.   The laminated finish means the sandy water just slides off, keeping it from getting wet and dirty.

I was surprised to find the fabric easier to work with than I anticipated.  All I did was lengthen my stitch, and then it fed through the machine easily.  The pattern calls for a fusible batting to give the bag some body.  I left that out with this fabric, as it prefers not to be pressed.  In fact, I used finger pressing throughout, which I don’t normally recommend.  In this case, it was better than having the fabric melted to my iron!

One other thing I changed was the handle, as shown here.  The laminate fabric that I used was wider than your typical quilting fabric, so I had enough fabric (by cutting the full width) to run the handle through the grommet and tie it in a knot.

The original pattern used a button, as shown below.  The knot shown above takes a lot more fabric, so it works well with the wider laminate fabric.

So, for those of you who have the Bella Bag pattern, you can make note of those changes –

Then get yourself some laminate fabric –

So you can start enjoying more of this –

(Shot taken last night from our deck.  I thought it was just gorgeous!)

PS – If you are wondering where I got the fabrics shown in this post, I got them here.

About Heather Peterson

Quilt pattern designer
This entry was posted in Fabric Trends, Quilting and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Bella Beach Bag

  1. Your bag looks great… I live in Shakopee and have made several of their oilcloth grocery bags and love them.

  2. Mary-Kay says:

    Very nice! I love your choice of fabrics. I can’t wait to see what you make out of the fabrics in the first photo.

  3. Nancy L says:

    Great idea! I was just at the Shakopee quilt shop yesterday and saw the oilcloth and wished I’d had a reason to buy some. Too bad I didn’t think of the Bella Bag! It would be great for grocery bags too!

  4. Rene' Sharp says:

    I have only recently started quilting, and therefore only recently discovered your blog. I have been hooked ever since and visit here on on daily basis just to check if you have updated!! Your quilts and everything you create are simply stunning and so inspirational!!! And your house, and that view from your deck make me GREEN with envy. It looks just dreamy. Thanks for the wonderful inspiration. Your South African Fan!

  5. Leslie Schmidt says:

    I also got some of the cherry oilcloth at Eagle Creek along with a red polka dot on white. It, too, is still waiting since May to be made into one of their grocery totes. I didn’t know what the difference was between the oilcloth and the laminate. But I can see a definite difference in your photos. Thanks.

  6. Betty says:

    Since I have the pattern, and since I am going on a shop hop to that shop next week, what else do I need to get some laminate? I really like the knotted handle. I recognize your fabric as Nicey Jane which I also used for a quilt.

  7. Ashley says:

    Forget the bag, LOOK at that view! Oh, I am so jealous that you have such a beautiful view! I live in the desert near a nuclear site. blah. Oh, the bag is cute too!

  8. Anita says:

    Wow, what a view. I’m so envious!

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