Monday, November 11, 2019

Travel Handmade - November 2019 Aurifil Artisan Challenge

Happy November!

I'm excited to share my November 2019 Aurifil Artisan project with you.  Our theme for the month is "travel handmade", and nothing says travel handmade to me more than a bag.  I've made quite a few bags that would fall into this category over the years, so I really wanted to make something that I hadn't made before.  After auditing the bags that I like to use for travel and what I needed/wanted to carry, I decided to make ByAnnie's Bowl Me Over 2.0.  It is a purse-sized bag that will be my "personal item" (aka the bag that needs to fit under the seat in front of you) when I fly, but I also like the size of it to use as a regular purse.

Bowl Me Over 2.0 in Skull Camouflage

Annie released the updated pattern at Fall Quilt Market 2019, so it's hot off the presses.  I think what really sold me on making this bag was that the updated pattern included an option to have handles and an adjustable, detachable strap or the original version's long over-the-shoulder straps.  I really like having the option to hand carry a bag, but I also love the flexibility of being able to wear it crossbody or on my shoulder.  This bag gives me the adjust how I'm carrying it based on what works for me at that moment.

With my fabrics selected (Skull Camouflage by Timeless Treasures, Swiss Dot in Grey by Riley Blake, and a black solid), it was time to select thread.  I chose 40wt Aurifil thread in colors 5012 (Dark Green), 2311 (Muslin), and 2692 (black).

40wt Aurifil in colors 2311 (Muslin), 5012 (Dark Green), & 2692 (Black)
When I'm making bags, I like to use 40wt. It is a heavier thread than the 50wt that I use for piecing quilts.  The extra bit of durability is super important especially when you get into larger bags, but I also like how it looks when it is quilted, especially when it is quilted on Soft and Stable, my favorite sew-in stabilizer.  I kicked off the project by quilting a 1" grid before cutting the individual pieces for the bag as the pattern instructs.

A few months ago, I saw an Instagram post with the coolest skull zipper pulls from Emmaline Bags.  Even though I didn't know what I would use them for at the time, I had to buy some.  When I pulled the fabric for my Bowl Me Over 2.0 bag, I knew that this was the right project for them.

Skull zipper pulls + the gunmetal hardware from

The bag has some seriously great pockets.  There is a full-sized mesh pocket (instructions are included for making the pocket with mesh or with fabric) + a divided 3-compartment slip pocket on the inside and a magnetic closure flap pocket on the front + a 3/4 height zippered pocket on the back of the exterior.

So many pockets!

Here's what I have in my Bowl Me Over 2.0 bag from my regular purse:  a small wallet, cosmetic bag (it's a ByAnnie small Ditty Bag), glasses case, soft sunglasses case, backup battery pack for my phone, and my car keys.  In addition to the regular bag stuff, I've also added my iPad (which I don't always travel with), my Kindle, a phone cable + power brick, and my somewhat bulky Beats headphones.  I admit that I'm pretty good at making stuff fit in bags (put things in vertically rather than horizontally often makes a huge difference), but this all fit without drama.  There's probably a good 3" or so that is empty when measured from the top of the stuff to the top of the bag.

Yup, it all fits!

Overall, I'm super happy with how my bag turned out.  I haven't had the chance to actually take a trip with the bag yet, but I can tell you that I'm happy with how my travel must-haves fit and how well the bag functions as a purse for normal use!

I'm bowled over by my Bowl Me Over 2.0 bag.  How about you?

If you're curious as to what my absolute favorite bag for travel might be, I'm more than happy tell you all about it!  It's the Travel Duffle 2.0 that is also from Patterns by Annie.  I made the original full-size Travel Duffle pattern back in 2016, and I loved it from the very beginning.  It's a bag that I use quite frequently for trips in the car or for using as my carry-on when I fly (as long as you aren't on a small regional jet or a turboprop, I have had zero issues with the bag fitting in an overhead bin).  When I go to Quilt Market, I usually collapse the bag inside my large suitcase so I have an extra bag if needed.  Who am I really kidding?  Of course I will need to use it!

I decided to make the updated Travel Duffle 2.0 bag in 2018 before I was departing for a quilting cruise to Alaska.  Why?  To be honest, I really wanted to use a specific fabric that I had just purchased.  There was nothing wrong with the original bag, so I tossed it in the washer/dryer and passed it along to my mom before we left on the cruise.

My Travel Duffle 2.0 bag is made with fabrics by Alexander Henry, Timeless Treasures, and Alison Glass for Andover using 40wt Aurifil in colors 1154, 2021, and 2692.
My original Travel Duffle bag is made with fabrics by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery using 40wt Aurifil in colors 2625, 2692, and 1243.
The pair of Travel Duffle Bags as we waited to be picked up from the cruise terminal.  Mom's duffle is actually turned so that the front is toward the handle of her suitcase.

That's all I have for you today because it's time to get back to making plans for my next sewing project!  Thank you for visiting.