Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Ultimate Travel Bag Progress

I had a good time participating in this past weekend's online quilt retreat, offered by the Northwest Quilters guild. It gave me an excuse to sew all weekend and it was fun to hear other folks chattering away about mostly quilt-related topics.

I decided to work on my Ultimate Travel Bag during the retreat as I had almost everything ready to get started. I didn't take any in-progress photos, sadly, because I was determined to finish the bag during the retreat so I was quite single-minded in my focus.

But, I haven't quite finished. Everything is ready for the last step of sewing the pieces together
but there are so many layers my sewing machine can't sew it. On that final seam where I need to sew this bag together I need to sew through the 5 layers of cotton on the panels, 2 layers of cotton on the handle, 4 layers of batting, and the poly strapping. I had to replace my needle three times getting to this point and re-thread the needle due to broken threads at least eight times. 

I was thinking the new plastic machines just aren't up to it, so I actually bought a used older Pfaff machine with metal guts and it can't handle it either. It's just too thick to fit under the foot. 
I may try squishing the layers flatter with a tool, but I don't have time right now. This project will have to wait for the finish. I may also ask around my sewing friends and see if any have an industrial machine I can use.

I was hoping to make several more of these bags while the process is fresh in my mind, but I'm definitely going to need to omit some layers.

I also finished making quilt labels and binding my Morris Garden Quilt. I've submitted it to the Festival of Quilts for display so I'm looking forward to being able to get a better photo of it.
This coming week I actually need to work on some painting in the house, so it may be a couple of weeks before I post again. 

But when I have time, I would like to quilt up fabric for more of these bags. LOL I'll have to figure out how I can simplify the project because I want to make at least two more insulated shopping bags.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm quite pleased how it turned out as this was one of the more complicated patterns I'd ever tried.

  2. Ditto! That "Morris Garden" is gorgeous and will look wonderful on display at the show. By Annie recommends Size 14 Topstitch needles when stitching their bag designs, is that what you are using?

    1. Yes, I put in a size 14 needle. My main problem is that the bulk of off the layers isn't really fitting under the foot. I have to really cram it in there, but I've gotten to the point I can't get it to fit. There's just too many layers. I substituted batting because I was trying to make an insulated bag, so that's probably the problem.

  3. I agree, the quilt is gorgeous! Have you tried using a walking foot to machine those layers together! It's what I use when there is a lot of bulk. Good luck with finishing the bag, the fabric is gorgeous. xx

    1. My Pfaff machine has a walking foot. My problem is that the layers are thicker than the space between the bed and foot. I think I've found a used machine that can sew these bulky bags though. I'm going to check it out on Friday.