Island Batik August Challenge: Quilt as You Go

The challenge this month for Island Batik Ambassadors was to make a quilt as you go project.

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I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to use the Pressed Petals collection by Island Batik.

As soon as I found this adorable pattern by Pink Sand Beach Designs, I knew I had my quilt as you go project. The pattern is called the Riviera Handbag.

As you can see from the cover of the pattern, it’s not designed to be quilted. That didn’t mean however that I couldn’t replace the outside lower pocket panel (the blue paisley fabric) with a quilted panel. Easy peasy, if you use quilt as you go!

First, I cut some muslin and batting a little bit larger than the outside lower pocket panel listed in the pattern. The pattern calls for two pieces of fabric cut 9” x 17” (one for the front pocket, and one for the back) so I cut 2 pieces of muslin and batting 10” x 18”. Cutting my backing and batting larger than specified allowed me to trim my pocket panel to the exact size needed after it was quilted. (Quilting often causes your fabric to shrink up a bit so I wanted to allow for that.)

After selecting the Pressed Petal strips I wanted to use, I layered the muslin and batting and placed two 2-1/2” strips right sides facing along the batting's right edge.

I sewed along the left edge of the strips to quilt them. I know, sewing along the left edge of your sewing machine foot is different, but I chose to do that so I could have the bulk of the QAYG piece to my left and not under the tiny opening of my machine. About halfway through quilting the panel, I switched things around and sewed along the right edge of my sewing machine foot.

Next, I pressed the top strip to the left.

Then I laid another strip on top of the left strip (RST) and sewed along the left edge as before. I kept this up until I had quilted both of the lower pocket pieces. And that my friends is quilt as you go!

When they were done I cut my quilted panels to the size called for in the pattern, then simply followed the steps to make my bag. This pattern was clearly written, with photos for every step so even if you’ve never made a handbag before, you would have no trouble making this! One warning however—there are 30 steps. Yeah I know. 30!

Just go slow and look at the photos to double check yourself after each step and you'll be just fine.

I’m planning on using the bag to carry my tablet and my bee bag (which contains graph paper, a notebook, and pencil for designing quilts on the go). The outside of the Riviera bag has two pockets—one in the front and one in the back. You sew across the top edge (that tiny orange strip on my bag) of the lower pocket panel to create the pocket. This means the pocket is open all the way across the panel. I decided I wanted the pocket to be the same size as the pocket opening, so I sewed some side seams.

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Inside, there are more pockets. You can make these whatever size you need.

And look! I even put in a zipper! If you want to read about my previous zipper adventures, click here, here or here.

I really needed this bag. As soon as it was finished, I put my tablet and bee bag in it. So glad I got to use my Island Batiks to make it!

Riveria Bag
16-1/2 wide (at the top), 9-1/2" tall, 4" deep
Pink Sand Beach Designs
Fabrics: Island Batik Pressed Petals collection
Batting: Warm and White
Piecing Thread: Aurifil 50 wt #2610 Light Blue Grey
Quilting Thread: Aurifil 50wt #2150 Pumpkin and #2740 Dark Cobalt
Pieced and quilted by: Jennifer Fulton

If you haven’t already, be sure to link up to my Wednesday Wait Loss. I’m having a giveaway!

Also, be sure to come back on Tuesday for the next two blocks in the I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along. Yep, there will be two block patterns this time and one of them is mine! Hopefully that's an incentive to come back. <grin>

And be sure to post your version of Block 2 by midnight EST August 28th. To learn more about the quilt along, including where to get the block patterns and what you might win, click here.

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Tell me...have you ever made a bag? What do you use it for?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!