Sunday 20 October 2019

Odd Fellow's Treat Bag

While I don't personally choose to celebrate Halloween, my daughter does take my grandson out trick or treating. So, I decided that he should have a proper treat bag. A quilted treat bag, of course. But I didn't want it to be specifically Halloween. So, while the colours are Halloween-ish, there are no jack-o'-lanterns, witches, etc. featured on this bag. And as for the colours, well, orange is his and his mother's favourite, and purple is Grandma's favourite. So, he can use this bag any time he wants to. 
Originally, I had seen a bag pattern in a quilting magazine and intended to use it to make this bag. So, I purchased the fabric (guestimating the yardage, since I didn't have the magazine with me) that was on sale at Fabricland. I don't know if I forgot to buy the magazine or just forgot which one it was in, but I haven't been able to find it in any of my recent purchases. As my mother used to say, necessity is the mother of invention, and I figured it wasn't that difficult to make a tote bag. I just had to determine size and what block to use. I suppose I could have googled to find a pattern or at least what size to make it, but I decided to wing it. I felt that a 12" bag would be too small and an 18" bag would be too big, so I took middle ground and made a 15" bag, with the sides 6" wide. It might be a little big for a 7-year-old, but he definitely won't run out of room for his treats.
As for the block, I decided to use one of the many quilting books that I have picked up at thrift stores. I chose Odd Fellow's Chain from this book: As the title indicates, this is a dictionary of quilt blocks, not an instruction book. So, once I chose a block, I had to determine how to make a 12" block from a 2" line drawing. Yes, I probably could have googled the block name and found instuctions, but too often I find the patterns come with templates. And I am really not fond of templates. I'd much rather just measure and cut. I only had to determine the measurements. It's been a while since I have done a more traditional quilt block, and an even longer while since I've made one "from scratch." And I'd forgotten how much I enjoy doing that. It's a good thing I'm good at math, since EQ8 is not yet in my budget. 

I produced two of these quilt blocks. I added 1½ borders to the blocks, and stitched them together with the side pieces, leaving the bottom piece separate. And I loaded it on my longarm for quilting, laying the bottom piece beside the main piece. It's the smallest project I've done yet on the longarm. The main part of the bag was 42½ by 15½, with the bottom piece measuring 6½ by 15½. 
I quilted it using the Pumpkin Fest pantograph. 
I used Glide Halloween for the top thread and on the bottom, I used a prefilled bobbin of orange thread that came with my machine. I didn't know what I'd ever use that orange bobbin for. Now I do. 😃 
I made quilted handles as I think the handles will be more comfortable with batting in them. 
Next project will be one for my niece. Not that she needs a tote bag for trick-or-treating - LOL, but even as adults, we could all use a little treat now and then. And she just had a birthday, so I plan to make her a quilted gift bag to hold her "treats."

Just in case you're wondering why I choose not to celebrate Halloween, see the video below.

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