I know I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again. The last couple of weeks leading up to Quilt Market can be CRAZY!
First of all, there’s all that planning….
- what hotel should we stay in?
- when should we buy airline tickets to get the best price?
- how should we layout our booth this time?
And, all that preparation….
- our supplies and products have to be mailed to Market about 2 weeks before we fly there, that means it has to be ordered and on hand MANY weeks prior.
and the fact that we’re staying on for that extra 4-day Quilt Festival this time just intensifies this whole process. For example, we normally send ~350lbs of supplies to Market, but the total shipment weight this go-round was a whopping 800 pounds, and believe me when I say that takes a long, LONG time to pack!
So… when a package arrived in the mail from Clothworks a week or so ago I was clicking my heels with delight, because I knew it contained some brand-new fabric (by one of my all-time favorite designers, Laurel Burch) with which to make a show bag for Quilt Market!
These pieces are part of a much larger collection appropriately called “Sea Spirits”. I loved it from the moment I saw the first promotional announcement and since I have a very good collaborative relationship with Clothworks, I naturally requested some in exchange for making a sample of our newest design, the Cosmo Convertible for display in my Booth!
But here’s the deal…Most of the time, when I make arrangements like this it’s pretty close to Market when I actually get the fabric to work with (because the manufacturers are always cutting it kinda close). But you know what? That doesn’t bother me in the least. As a matter of fact, this is just what the doctor ordered for me!
Why, you ask?
Sure, the last few weeks leading up to Market are stressful and extremely busy, but that’s not the main reason that the timing for this project is perfect! It’s mostly because the very last week before Market is just plain weird. Look at it this way… our stuff is all shipped off, but it’s too early to pack suitcases and it’s kinda dumb to start the next pattern since we’re going to be out of town for a couple of weeks. So that leaves me with a little unaccounted-for-time on my hands, and since sewing something just for the fun of it is a complete luxury for me, it’s probably the most relaxing thing I can do at the moment.
After all, how often do I get to sew up ANYTHING just for the pure enjoyment of it. I’m not critiquing the instructions. I’m not testing out new notions. I’m not looking for my cover bag and I’m not trying to build on a particular color story
I’m just playing around with some fabric I LOVE, creating something I’d like to have for myself. What a treat! And since I was in the mood to play, I took the lead from my testers and decided to isolate the print to just the center section of both the front and back of the bag. Besides, the large print coupled with the busy background might have been rather overwhelming if I had used it for the entire exterior.
The wavy blue fabric was an obvious choice to play against that fabulous print and originally I had decided to use the orange wavy fabric for the lining AND the straps, but the closer I came to actually making the straps, the more I thought that straps that were totally orange might be just a little tacky, so… I opted instead for using the print on the straps. I’m glad I did it this way though, because now there’s SOME orange on the straps, but not TOO much! Then, I used the translucent zippers to let a little of that yummy orange interior show through and I opted for an un-trimmed Flap as I didn’t want to obscure any of that delightful face print.
It took quite a bit of tinkering to fussy-cut these pieces this way (mainly because I only had one repeat of this print), but overall I’m VERY satisfied with the look of this bag. Actually, truth be known, it took me longer to cut out the pattern pieces than to sew them together as I had to pin, and re-pin and then move and re-pin them again before I ever made a cut. As a matter of fact, the strap exteriors had to be pieced together, but it was time well-spent and I really love a fussy-cutting challenge anyway!
But now… what I’d really like to know is…
Is anyone else out there as big a Laurel Burch fan as I am?
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