Tote-ally Fabulous Bags! AiBM – Part 4


Last but not least in our Christmas run-down of bag related presents, we have the Elizabeth Hartman quilt as you go tote, and the Poppy Treffry Knitting Bag.


I watched a video on YouTube a while ago about quilt as you go and have been itching to have a go ever since. I still have quilting on my wish list of things to try and this seemed like a nice simple way to start. Although I know that ‘proper’ quilters may frown upon this method, it seemed like fun to me.

You basically just choose strips of fabric that go together and starting in the middle (in this case) you sew each piece on either next to or above or below the first piece and work your way out until you have filled your quilt area.

In this pattern you sew horizontal lines straight across each piece, but you could sew any quilt pattern you like really.

I won’t lie to you, it was quite labour intensive and when I got to the top and bottom sections and realised you had to sew the horizontal lines across them too, I was starting to get a bit less patient with it! But it was good practice for sewing straight lines, which I do really need as my lines are rarely ruler straight!


I like this bag as it is nice and roomy for all your shopping bits and bobs and has some nice pockets inside and a magnetic snap closing.


I sewed this one for my mum in colours I know she loves like peach and minty green.

Of course it did not go 100% smoothly – the issues with this bag are just that the facing piece that flaps over the top edge got a bit puckered up around the magetic snap as you can see above.

And I sewed on my SewHappie label before realising how wide the facing piece was and then realised it would be partially hidden – so I snipped it off and accidentally nicked a hole in the lining which you can see just above where the label is now, and I also tried just using fabric glue to stick the label back on as the bag was now pretty much made I couldn’t sew it in without stitches showing on the outside – and I just bought some special fabric glue recently and wanted to try it out!

Sadly it didn’t really work and just looks soggy and scrappy. I wish I had just left it off now, but oh well… am sure my mum will forgive those two little mistakes!

Everything else went really well, except that I lost my dressmaker’s scissors in the middle of making this bag, just after I had sewn it together and turned it right side out and sewn up the turn hole… I really badly thought for a long moment that I had sewn them INTO the lining!!!

Luckily they turned up later in a drawer, but not before much massaging of the bag and searching around the house to check where they might be! – doh.

The knitting bag is for my sister-in-law who I never really see without knitting in her hands and she never seems to have a nice bag to carry it around in, so when I saw this pattern in my Poppy Treffry ‘Free Machine Embroidery’ book, I thought it would be perfect.

It includes pockets for your knitting needles and a bit of felt for your sewing needles and loads of room for all your yarns of wool and your current project, and some nice tie handles to keep everything snug and safe.


I thought she would appreciate the funky bear fabric for the interior to add a bit of a pop inside the bag, and I made the handles out of the same fabric.

And then I had a lot of fun ‘free machine embroidering’ the exterior on some nice plain linen.


It’s the same pattern I used on my peg bag many moons ago, which is quite odd really as the patterns both came from different sources! I probably ought to have spent a bit more time thinking of something a bit more personal or knitting themed to embroider on there, but it was getting very close to Christmas by this time and I just wanted to get something nice made for her, and I do like this washing line pattern.

My husband was home while I made this one on a rare day off and kept me company while I was merrily sewing away which was nice. He suggested the finishing touch of cutting out one of the bears from the interior fabric and sewing one on the back of the bag.


Everyone notices him and likes it – he’s very creative really my hubby! I might have to get him to hang around while I am sewing more often!

I certainly might use this idea again.


I was really glad I made this bag, it went together like a dream with no big boo boos –  and it was really interesting with both these bags to use a pattern by someone different, who I have not followed a bag pattern with before. Everyone has their own ways of doing things so you can learn lots from not being too loyal to one pattern designer!

The Poppy Treffry bag had a totally different method for joining the exterior to the interior which I still cannot quite get my head around now without looking it up again, as I am so familiar with Lisa Lam’s method now of putting the exterior inside the lining with right sides together and sewing around the top. But I remember as I was doing it thinking, wow this is a clever way to do it. Much more simple.

I think I will have to look it up again before I make too many more bags!



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