Tuesday, June 14, 2016

To Quilt, or Not To Quilt the Weekender...

My progress on the Weekender Sew Along is clipping right along.  I'm waaaay ahead of the leisurely schedule for the sew along, but I need this done by June 25.  11 days.  I'm sure I can do it, but I have to stay strong and work on it every day!

Although I linked up all of the tutorials I used for a lot of these steps, I also saved awesome pins to my "Weekender" Pinterest board for links to the fabulous Weekenders of other crafty peeps.  I picked out a bunch of links that had lots of process pics and/or helpful tips.

So far I finished both linings, and added pockets to each.  The in-lining zipper pocket was a first for me.  I followed this tutorial, and it was a relatively painless process:
 As planned, I added a zipper along the top of one of the outer pockets:
Pocket front & lining, with zip attached

I love how it came out!!  It was super-easy, and I based it on this Zippered Pouch tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Co.  I've also added magnetic snaps to both exterior pocket linings as per this Craftsy tutorial.  Sorry, no pics of that process.  

I made the handles out of a layer of 1 1/2" wide canvas strips topped with a strip of Pellon Flex Foam, and layered them so that the foam would be on the bottom/wrong side to pad my shoulders.  I constructed the handles like the Crafty Gemini makes hers in the Improv Tote tutorial, and I added extra length so that they ended up being 53" long:

In the pic below you can see that I added the extra length to each end of straps so that the seam lines would be hidden under the exterior pocket.  It was a little more work, but well worth the smoother finish.  I mocked them up on the main exterior panels as per the pattern instructions.

Now, you may notice that my main exterior isn't quilted.  That's because I found that when I quilted this combo of linen, foam and canvas, it seemed to make the panel more prone to folding in on itself.  Here's what happened when I stitched one line down the middle, and then put some pressure on it:

 Here is the other panel, without the quilting line:

Much more sturdy without the quilting, IMHO.  The foam simply doesn't need quilting to stiffen it up, and it seemed to make it less-sturdy.  So I picked out the quilted line, steamed the living daylights out of the panel, and now both are un-quilted.

I sewed the handles down, and added piping to the top of the other pocket.  I cut 1 3/4" strips for my piping and followed this tutorial to make 6 yards from a fat quarter!  Then I made the piping with 1/4" Steam a Seam tape as per this tutorial.  Only took me 3 passes to get the piping just right:

You can see I sewed little "X"s in the handles for extra support.  I also sewed the handles down all the way to the bottom.  Those suckers aren't going anywhere!  I was also dealing with skipped stitches as my machine struggled through 2 layers of canvas, 2 layers of foam, 1 layer of interfaced linen, and 4 (from the folding over of the edges) layers of quilting cotton.  I used a size 16 jeans needle, even tried a size 12 "normal" needle, used a walking foot and then a patchwork foot, and nothing helped.  So I just went back over the areas where the multiple skipped stitches looked like they would be an issue. *UPDATE* - I had set my presser foot pressure very light so that it wouldn't shift the layers too much as I sewed, but I found that when I increased the pressure, I had no skipped stitches!  YAY! 

And here I am, ready (I think) for Step 7:

I have to sew the pockets on, and then have to add piping all along the outside.  Better get cracking...

No comments:

Post a Comment