Birthday Duffle Bag

This is a truly just-in-time TGIFF post, because today was Isobel’s birthday, and she scored a new duffle bag:

Quilted Duffle Bag
Finished! A Quilted Duffle Bag

This bag was very challenging for me! The hardest parts were inserting the top zipper:

And creating the completely reversible straps (thank you, epic Ikatbag tutorial series!):

Reversible straps
These straps look brilliant no matter how they flop around.

And don’t even get me started on this positively evil welt pocket!

I was in my comfort zone with piecing the patchwork sections, as I was inspired by this excellent pillow tutorial from Crazy Mom Quilts (I love that pillow!):

I've left a channel for the handle anchors between the contact prints, but you get the idea ...
I’ve left a channel for the handle anchors between the contact prints, but you get the idea …

I tried out some spiral quilting, for the first time ever, inspired by another tutorial from Crazy Mom Quilts (again! Gotta love Amanda Jean’s stuff!):

Spiral quilting
The spiral quilting was easy to start on the firm denim fabric.

I put the centre of the spiral quite off centre on the bottom of the bag, and worked outwards, with only one dodgy spiral that needed unpicking. Verdict: fun! And I wouldn’t want to try this with a King Size quilt. 😉

I thought it would be oh-so-smart to balance this quilting with a square spiral onto the “round” ends of the duffle (I starting off thinking they would be circular, but they ended up trapezoidal):

I put an elasticised pocket into the inside of the duffle, to hold plastic bags for keeping sports shoes away from other items:

Elasticised pocket
Elasticised pocket

And, of course, a special label for my special girl:

Duffle bag label
Label up near the zip, so she can show off her “exclusive” design to her friends 😉

I finished off with an improvised adjustable shoulder strap:

I used two D-rings because the bag I took all this hardware from had the wrong kind of adjustable doodad (a buckle, with metal eyelets). I didn’t want to mess about making my own thread-bound eyelets, so I borrowed a D-ring belt-fastening trick instead. It worked really well! Doesn’t slip at all due to the sturdy straps I made. I’m a bit chuffed with those!

I have been so flat out sewing this bag that I’m dog tired tonight. But I’m pleased with the result: the bag went to school already today and held up well, and it was a useful size (I was worried it would be too big).

Next time — and I know there will be a next time for bags — I will plan more in advance so I can add more pockets. I just ran out of time! And the learning curve was steep. I will probably also use some kind of stiffener for the base such as a plastic canvas, to give more rigidity.

Happy birthday Izzy! I hope the bag lasts you until at least next year. 😀

(Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts other Friday Finishes … and TGIFF 🙂 )

4 thoughts on “Birthday Duffle Bag

  1. Thank you! She asked for purple, which is my least favourite colour: I’m glad I managed to create something tasteful and a bit grown up in this colour scheme :). She’s very pleased with it!


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