Monday, October 22, 2012

The Long Weekend Blog Hop

If you missed the kick-off of The Long Weekend Blog Hop hosted by Fabric Mutt and Lori H. Designs, do check it out here or here. It's all about making Amy Butler's Weekender Travel Bag. And if you've ever even slightly considered it, now is the time. What better idea than to make it along with others. Watch The Long Weekend flickr group for fabric choices, bag progress, and tips along the way.
I had just finished my own Weekender when Heidi asked me to join the blog hop and share my experience. You can read my reveal post here, where I share all about the construction, but since using my bag, I've come up with a few more things for you to think about:
  • Add a label. If you have them to add to your quilts, for sure add one to your bag.
  • Add a zipper pull. This bag has one long zip, and a pull just makes sense.
  • About that zipper length - I've read some complaints that it's too long. It does go down into the end pockets a bit, which I really don't mind as the bag is intended for travel. But just the same, it's good to know before you start and is something to consider.
  • I made a patchwork version of the bag, as you can see, layering quilting cotton on batt on duck and using the quilt-as-you-go method. So for the lining, I naturally used quilting cotton, and in reality, it seems quite light-weight and a tad baggy. "Next time" (totally hypothetical!) I would definitely consider using fusible interfacing on the lining.
  • Lastly, and this is a biggy for me, I experienced a strap fail. This is a big bag, which means it holds plenty. I found the straps too skinny and 'lightweight' when I actually used the bag. Some threads even popped. If you read my Oh, My Weekender! post, you'll know I added to the length of the straps, but I'd also definitely make them wider, interface them heavier, and maybe even use polyester thread for some 'give.'

Well, I think that's plenty to contemplate for today! I hope some of it is helpful! Meanwhile, I'm pleased to host a giveaway as you gather supplies, do all the cutting (and cutting), and begin to construct your bag!
*** This giveaway is now closed! ***

Here's a beautiful fat-quarter stack of Amy Butler's Cameo from sew fresh fabrics!
 

Just leave a comment on this post by Thursday night and I'll choose a random winner on Friday! If you'd like, share your plans for your bag, your biggest apprehension, or any adaptations you are planning on making. I can't wait to follow your progress and see your bag come to life!

112 comments:

Alyce @ Blossom Heart Quilts said...

I had wondered about the straps - knowing how much I'd shove in, lol!

Wendy said...

I think I'd love to make this bag, but at the same time I'm a bit scared! I'd love to know how much it holds, I know it's a "weekend" bag, but I usually go away for 4-5 day periods with work and was wondering if it would do for that?

Cille said...

Love your Bella weekend bag... but you already know. And Cameo... don't even get me started. I just bought a half metre bundle and keep gazing at it all the time.

Gill said...

I love this pattern and making it together is a great idea - I definitely need some hand holding!

Kacey said...

Thanks for the strap info...and the chance to win!

Shannon said...

Perfect timing on the blog hop! I'm just starting to gather the ingredients for my weekender and I know I'm going to need all the tips I can get!!

Jamie Lee said...

I've never made a bag before! All of it intimidates me.

Patchwork and Play said...

What beautiful fabric! Frankly the whole process scares me- choosing the right interfacing, length and width of straps, zip lengths... decisions, decisions!!

Tina ~ Seaside Stitches said...

I really do love all these bags. Maybe someday I'll carve out a big chunk of time to tackle one myself.

Angela Bullard said...

I've seen so many great patchwork versions of the bag that I'm thinking I might give that a try. I hope to get started on it tonight!

Rachel Booth said...

I'm terrified about the project but I'm trying to overcome those fears. I've never made a bag before but I figure if I start with this one, the rest'll be easy. :) Haha. I'm going to do a patchwork outside as well. I can't tell you how helpful it is to have everyone's tips and posts about the bag.

Karen Vail said...

I've been seeing this pattern around and I am just loving it. I'm a bit intimidated by it tho.. looks like such a challenge. I'd like to try it.

s2br11 said...

This looks like it is a bit (a lot) out of my comfort zone, but the fabric is so pretty. I think maybe a very pretty quilt would be made from this fabric!
Thanks for the chance to win.
Mary Malone
mary and russ at wi dot rr dot com

Leanne said...

Thanks for all the tips. I was leaning toward wider straps and now I will do that. And my zipper is a little short so I am glad to know that won't be a problem too. I am not sure I get to enter but it is a lovely stack of fabrics.

Lee said...

Thank you for all the tips. I have been on the fence whether to tackle this bag or not! I love the design ~!

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

beautiful bag, thanks for the tips. I love all that fabric. Sometimes straps need to be adjusted to each person don't they.

Georgi Sears said...

I've had my eye on this bag for really long time ~ I guess now's the time to do it! I'm thinking about doing the quilt-as-you-go method like you did ~ LOVE that!

btheisen said...

Thanks for all the tips....especially the straps. Glad to learn from the best! Fabric is, of course, beautiful! Fingers crossed!

Anna said...

It took hours, but I got every single thing cut for my Weekender yesterday! Because I read it numerous places, I did increase the handle length by 3". I'm excited - and a little scared - to get moving on it.

Patti said...

Thank you so much Deb for all this information. I am going to make it into a pdf which is really easy to do as I explained on one of my blog posts. Also thank you so much for the chance to win this wonderful fabric bundle.

Leila said...

I have loved all of the bags that I have seen so far! It certainly is inspiring!

MugglePuggle said...

Love your patchwork version of the bag! It looks so happy :) I would love to join in on the fun. I'm afraid of sewing anything but a straight line, but I think I can gather up the courage and try something new for such a lovely bag!

Dawn said...

I have several bag patterns but, have been too chicken to try any of them. This Blog Hop is such a terrific idea. Thanks for the tips and the giveaway!! :)

Kelsey said...

I really want to make a patchwork bag!! Something scrappy I think...

Heather D. said...

Do we have to be participating in the sew along in order to enter the giveaway?? ;)

I still love your bag, and I'm sure it will be so useful to those making it to hear from you especially having made AND used the bag.

Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

These bags are so cute. I would be afraid to actually use it though and would just want to constantly admire it!

Kati from Kati's Quilting said...

Thank you so much for the great tips, Debbie! I'm so glad there are people who made this before and I don't have to experience their "hiccups", I'm sure I'll have plenty on my own :)))

Debbie said...

In response to Heather's question, no you don't HAVE to be making a Weekender to enter the giveaway. Just appropriately 'ooh and ahh' with those who are! ;-)

Lisaleh said...

I remain terrified of trying to make a Weekender, maybe the blog hop will help!

aangto said...

Your weekender is just lovely! Thanks for the tips!

Marjorie Nath said...

Beautiful fabrics in your giveaway. Biggest apprehension about attempting this bag is, can I do it and have it look good.

Toni said...

Thanks for the great tips, Debbie! This is definitely on my list of have-to's once I get some down time!

barb said...

I really appreciate all the info, it is so detailed!! Thank you for a great giveaway babscorbitt@gmail.com

Grandma G said...

Since I've already made the Weekender, I won't be making another, at least not for a while. I do agree about the zipper... I'd use a shorter one next time. It seems unhandy to have to reach into the pocket for it. Jess has had no trouble with the straps (which I'd also lengthened a bit)... maybe because I used canvas for them? Regarding straps, I think I would sew them all the way to the bottom of the front and back pieces, just so stuff put into the pockets didn't get caught on them.

Julie said...

Well since I have never made a tote bag, this one is a bit scary. I still haven't decided if I will join in or not. Thanks for the chance for the giveaway.

cherylj said...

What beautiful fabrics. I have never made a bag before so I would use those pretty prints to make a beginner's bag so that one day I could make something like that.

Linda said...

HI! THANKS FOR THE HINTS ON MAKING THE BAG! HAPPY STITCHING!

msstitcher1948@yahoo.com

Erica said...

I really like the shape and design of this bag. I have one from a Canadian brand called Lug which is very similar and I adore. I have made some of Amy's bags before and the one thing that put me off is the interfacing and such is quite costly (at least here in Canada) and difficult to find so for those couple of reasons, I am a bit gun-shy on this project. However, seeing how lovely yours is (and the others) and having a "support group" of sorts is definitely making me rethink my apprehension!

Sandra :) said...

I love reading all the tips and hints about this bag - it's nice to go into a new project with a bit of extra information, for those of us who can be somewhat *nervous*, lol.

amys said...

I am willing to give this one a try...but then I will need somewhere to go for the weekend!!

brooke said...

I love the advice on modifications. I'm getting closer and closer to deciding to go for it and make this bag. I know it would be totally worth it!!!!

brookeali(at)hotmail.com

Kelly said...

I love your version of the weekender! Thanks for the great tips and modifications, I am still thinking about making it ;-)

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the suggestions! I'm now planning on making my straps using 5" strips and getting some stiff interfacing!

legato1958 said...

Your patchworked bag is so beautiful! thanks for the tips.

I hope to make one someday.( I sort of dislike piping....)

Susie
legato1958@aol.com

Happier Than A Bird Quilts said...

I'm starting mine - patchwork (not really sure how that differs from quilt as you go, and using batting and canvas - so thank you for the tip about using interfacing for the lining.
Your bag looks great!

Sallie said...

Thanks for the tips and the giveaway!

Poppyprint said...

There are so many great tips for this bag. I'm getting closer!! Thanks for the gorgeous giveaway!

Patti Moore said...

I have been drooling over the weekender bag for some time now. I have the pattern and am collecting the fabric for it....or them....

Katie B. said...

I love seeing all of the great Weekender tips! It definitely makes the process seem less scary. Seeing the patchwork versions like yours definitely makes me want to give it a try!

The Patchsmith said...

Thank you for all your recommendations and observations. Your bag looks lovely but I agree - the straps do seem to need some reinforcement. It is a very popular pattern/bag so any suggestion is always welcome.

Celine said...

Such a tempting quilt along. I am trying to resist but I don't for how long... thanks for the tips and giveaway.
Celine

B Greene said...

Wow - the tips are invaluable! Thanks for sharing. I am just afraid my sewing skills are not up to par. The fabric stack is just gorgeous!! Thanks for the chance to win!

Jennifer said...

woohoo, fabulous, i never tire of seeing this bag!

Patti said...

Great post, Debbie! Thanks for all the useful tips, and I really plan to make the bag at some point in time! I think the piping has me a bit worried, and possibly the zipper! Thanks for the great giveaway.

Jennie said...

Your advice is invaluable. I wondered about the straps being on the skinny side.

I'm wanting to make two - a plain one and a patchwork one. Because I'm ridiculously crazy like that.

Thanks for the great giveaway!

Stephanie said...

I am a little worried about the bag making, but I am hoping to make it through and thanks for the giveaway!

bruinbr said...

Sorry to hear about your straps! I love the look of this bag, but so many people have issues with it that I'm afraid ti try it since I don't have much bag making experience! Thanks for the giveaway though!

Beth said...

I've seen your bag a few times now and I think I like it more each time! I'm still in the picking fabrics stage.

Bunny said...

Thanks for your suggestions for improving the bag. It's nice to find these tips BEFORE I begin a project.

Jo said...

I'm really loving that bag..i'm trying to resist, but i think i'm losing. Thanks for a lovely giveaway!

SewLindaAnn said...

My apprehension is that I've read so many comments about different things people would do on this labor intensive bag. I don't want to screw it up after all that work.

sandyb said...

Thank you for the suggestion on the straps - I purchased this pattern a while ago when my daughter dropped a BIG hint about liking this bag and with Christmas coming I thought I would make it for her and when this hop started I thought OH BOY. I am a little behind already having things to finish for our grandson's birthday but I am glad that I did because my daughter will fill it to the top, so I will take your suggestion and widen the straps and strengthen them. Thank you. I love your fabric choices.

sandyb720 at gmail dot com

jmniffer said...

I love the look of this bag but having never made a bag or sewn a zipper I think it is a bit beyond my skill set right now. I am enjoying vicariously and putting it on my someday list. Thanks for the chance at your giveaway.

Holli said...

Thanks for the updated info. I had intended to have my bag cut out today but "real" work got in the way. Haven't yet committed to fabric but I have several candidates. Thinking I might make two at once - is that crazy? In a way, it feels like it would be less pressure. The zipper issue is confusing - if it's long like the pattern says, then the bag would open further and it's a BIG bag, so that seems good. But accessing the pull tab from the pocket seems a bit off. Photos of the bag opened with a shorter zip and a longer zip would be helpful. Oh, and thanks for the chance to win the Cameo!! hlofgren(at)gmail(dot)com

MaterialGirl2003 said...

I don't need another bag !!!!!
But I can't help myself. I love making them and this one is a great size and can be used for so many things. Thanks so much. Just call me the original Bag Lady.

Kirsten said...

Love your bag Debbie - the QAYG seems to be a good way to make this. And thank you for the tips about the straps and zipper.

DanaK ~ WaterPenny said...

What a great idea for a sew along - yours is excellent inspiration! I have some of the Birch airplane fabric I've been meaning to make a travel bag with...

Carmen Nuland said...

My biggest apprehension is that I've never done anything this difficult before. You did a beautiful job on your bag - I love the colors!

Heather Wambach said...

This looks difficult but amazing!

Judith said...

Thanks for the info about the handles. I'm an over-the-shoulder as opposed to an in-the-hand person, so I think that wider straps would definitely be in order to keep them from digging in. Thanks for the great giveaway opportunity.

Carla G said...

I love your bag! I always check the strap length as I'm tall and usually have to add length to all bags. Thanks for the advise about the strap width. Thanks for a chance to win! :)

Pat V. said...

Thanks so much for sharing your insights on this bag. I'm still waiting on the pattern, but my fabric is ready to go! I love Echo and Bella, you chose great fabric!

Susanne said...

I just sewed my straps and thought they could be wider too. But I think the peltex gives good stability. :)

Susanne

Beth said...

I learn so much from sewists who blaze the trail ahead of me. Thanks very much for sharing your tips.

Barb said...

Thank you for sharing your experience! Knowing that the straps need to be stouter is very helpful. Your result looks awesome.

Deb said...

I have never made a bag before, but the more I see this bag, the more I think I *have* to make it!!

the girlfriend gap said...

This is a beautiful bag! I have not made a bag in a really long time. Wishing I had bought some Bella when it was on sale yesterday. Thanks for a chance to win. Janita

the girlfriend gap said...

This is a beautiful bag! I have not made a bag in a really long time. Wishing I had bought some Bella when it was on sale yesterday. Thanks for a chance to win. Janita

andri. said...

Didnt notice abt the straps until you pointed them out! And yes, I agree that they should be wider:)

Simone de Klerk said...

Well, I know where to go, once I plan to make the bag. BTW it was a big surprise for me to see how big it is on your summit pictures.
What a great chance to win the bundle (:

elnorac said...

Woooo! Your bag is gorgeous! Am curious if you think Pellon fusible fleece would give the bag enough more of an uprightness???? Thanks for the chance at the giveaway!

Deb said...

This bag scares me...but yours is so beautiful that I may have to give it a go! Thanks for the chance - Cameo is gorgeous!

Bea GarcĂ­a said...

Hi Debbie! Love your bag... thanks for the straps' tip, hope you can do something about yours...

Svetlana said...

great advice, Debbie. Your bag looks gorgeous!

Montseta said...

wow! Your weekender is so beautiful! Perfect use for some pretty fabric!
That pattern is intimidating but someday soemhow would love to try it.
Terrific giveaway! Thanks for the chance to win.

Devon said...

I always find that bag patterns never have enough inside pockets! I like to add one or two for specific things, like cellphone or pens! Thanks for the giveaway!

Shirley said...

What a fantastic bag and wonderful colors-they just pop!
This bag is a must to make, just hope I can get it done before Christmas.

As for changes-none, I like it just the way you made it!

Thanks so much for the chance to win the beautiful array of fabrics!
Can't wait to see who won....

Heather A said...

I'm quite terrified about sewing a bag ... the layers, the stabilizers, piping, zippers, handles, pockets, lining ... all of it. It's a real step up from quilt construction, I imagine. Still, the more I see, the more I want tot make one. While I've never taken a quilting class, I think I would be best advised to make my first bag via a class. I would love if someone would offer a class in this particular bag. Yours is truly lovely!

DKB said...

Met someone this weekend who had made a weekender. She replied 'yes!' When I asked her if it was as bad as everyone says. These bags look like soooo much work, I'm very intimidated. I am an experienced sewer and i want everything to look perfect

Quiltsmiles said...

Thanks for the tip on the straps. I hate a strap that is too thin especially when hauling a heavier load. Great FQ that you're giving away. Thanks for the chance.

Jane

Ali said...

Ooh a good excuse to shop for a pull! I plan on only using mine for short trips (into trunk, into hotel, back into trunk) so I think I'll be safe using quilting fabric instead of home decor, and probably will combine this project with the tula pink QAL!

Thank you for the giveaway!

Amorette said...

i love the pull and the fabrics! there are so many helpful tips for making this bag- has anyone condensed them all on one page? my apprehension is all the interfacing (as usual with any AB bag) but i know Oh Frasson! published a tip to avoid that too.

Gina said...

I've made a few bags and pouches, but nothing like The Weekender. It will no doubt be a challenge! Thanks for the tip about the straps.

Lyanna L. said...

I am so excited to make the weekender bag -- I just haven't settled on the fabric yet. I do know I want to make a patchwork version -- and I am LOVING your bella bag but we'll see what happens. =)

sweet diesel designs said...

I just started my weekender yesterday! And now that I read your post, I realized that I forgot you told me to make my straps bigger. Oh well...I guess that means I'll have to make another. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

april said...

I love your weekender! The recent patchwork versions I've been seeing are beautiful! They add so much to a bag! Great job and thanks for the chance at a sweet stack of AB!

quilt for fun said...

I ordered the pattern, and it arrived today. I'm trying to figure out which fabrics to use. I love Elizabeth's bag and would like to use her QAYG method. This fabric bundle could be a great beginning.

Marcia W. said...

I worry about some of the things that you mentioned: strap breaking, lack of shape, making a mistake requiring throwing it away, terrible top stitching, homemade (not handmade) appearance. So must tell myself - get over it! It's only a bag. Thanks for the giveaway.

Nancy said...

I love your bag. I especially like the zipper pull. It's like a little flourish at the end of a beautiful sentence. My biggest hesitation about making a bag like this is the zipper. I fail miserably at machine-stitched zippers, though I've successfully put hand-picked zippers in skirts and dresses. Do you think a hand-picked zipper would work?

Ginny said...

Love your bag!I have never tried the quilt as you go method, and I would add inside pockets I think for all those little things that fall to the bottom and you have to dig to find!

Ruth K said...

I haven't made a bag yet. I love this one - I guess it's time to jump in.

Laura Jane said...

I love your bag so much! It was great meeting it, and you, in salt lake!

Deb said...

Your bag turned out beautiful! Thank you for all the tips and suggestions. I ordered my pattern today and it's going to be my quilt retreat project... can't wait to make it !(And in the mean time, I'm absorbing as many tips to make it as possible!)

CarrieM said...

I'm eager to try quilt as you go, but not currently planning a weekender bag! carrie dot hare at gmail dot com

Dawn said...

Great pattern and great giveaway! Thanks for sharing!! :)

barbara woods said...

great pattern and i love bags thanks for the giveaway

Di~ said...

I just found your blog and am thrilled that I did! Thanks for the chance to win some lovely fabric!

Lori said...

I love your bag. I personally like the zipper going all the way down like yours does. It is easier to open and get what Im looking for on the inside. Thanks for a chance to win so wonderful fabric.
quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

Lisa @ Sixmunchkin Stitching said...

I've seen so many versions of this bag and would love to make it, eventually! I just have too much on my plate to even contemplate it right now. :)

Fiber of All Sorts said...

This is so lovely. I haven't done piping so I'm a little trepid to jump in. . and zippers are intimidating.

Anda W said...

Help! I have never attempted to make a bag! awolk at rogers dot com

Nati said...

I hope I am not too late, thanks for the chance to win!