Ever since I saw my friend Michelle's Queen Bee Bag, I have wanted to make one. She told me about the tutorial at the Moda Bake Shop, and I went to find it. The tutorial is done by Polly of Aunt Polly's Porch. The tutorial uses a charm pack and has pieced panels, but I wanted to keep it simple and show off the cute daisy fabric I found. So while I used the tutorial for dimensions, I also changed quite a few things.
This is my first bag.
One thing I did differently was quilt big panels and cut them down to size. The nice thing about using Kona Black for the main part of the bag is that it is a little extra wide. I was able to quilt 7/8 of a yard and cut out two panels 22 x 27 inches.
Another thing I changed was making the pocket designed to hold a 18 x 24 inch cutting mat taller. The tutorial has a 14 inch tall pocket. (I don't have a mat that size, so I put my June Taylor Cut-n-Press in the pocket.) My pocket was cut out at 22 inches square. This makes it not so floppy. Once again I quilted 2/3 of a yard of the daisy fabric and cut out the sizes I wanted. So the red line you see at the top is binding, not just the lining showing.
I still did the two pockets on the other side, but wish that I had used velcro or a zipper on the bottom pocket. When things are in the main part of the bag that bottom pocket really flops open. But I love that tall pocket for rulers.
Originally, I wanted the lining to be quilted like this reversible bag I recently made.
I love how strong it feels, so I quilted a gray panel for it. What I didn't consider was how thick the bag would already be with the outer pockets, so I decided to use a plain lining instead. For the inner pockets, I just zig-zagged around some left over quilted pieces. The black pocket is divided in half, and the white pocket has a velcro closure.
This bag nicely fits my Pfaff Plexiglas extension table which measures 18 x 24 inches. I am excited to take this bag to a class or retreat.
The one thing I was dreading making was the 80 inch handles. She has you iron each side in 3/4 of an inch before folding it in half, adding batting, and topstitching. That was 320 inches of a 3/4 inch hem. I tried an experiment and used my Hera marker to crease a line at 3/4 of an inch and then iron it. (This red is Kona Chinese Red - one of my favorites.)
This was a technique I have used when making cards. You score the paper before folding and end up with a prettier fold. I was amazed at how well it worked with the fabric. Ironing that 3/4 inch hem went so fast!
So after the first bag was finished I had two large quilted gray panels (about 22 x 27 inches). I didn't want it to go to waste, so I decided to make a second bag. :)
I ended up cutting it down to 21 x 27 inches so I could make two big 21 x 22 inch pockets with that Studio E Essentials vine fabric. I kept one pocket big to hold cutting mats and large square rulers.
And divided the second pocket in half. (There is a seam between those two rulers).
I ran out of the Northcott solid gray, so I lined the second bag with Kona White. There is just one pocket made out of the white fabric which has a velcro closure.
This bag is slightly smaller and fits my Janome extension table very well.
Right now they are both in my craft room. I may or may not give the second one to my mother. I may just keep it and store rulers I don't use as often in there. We'll see. :)
When I talked to my friend Michelle and told her about the changes I made, she said the one change she would make is boxing the corners a bit. But all in all the tutorial for the Queen Bee Bag at the Moda Bake Shop is excellent. One thing to note is that Polly says it is a 120 minute gift idea. Even after I quilted the panels, it took me a lot longer than that for each bag. She must be speedy. :D
I hope everyone has a Happy Easter!
P.S. I will be linking up with some of the parties on my sidebar. Check them out. There is something fun for every day of the week.