Thursday, April 09, 2009

San Diego Purse

In February, on my last foray as a traveler, I accompanied a friend on a buying trip to...Las Vegas! I took my big old Coach bucket bag as I figured it would make a good carry on, one that would hold snacks and water, sunglasses and mints, vodka and Kleenex. Well, it did all that, but was a big brown weight on my shoulder. Ouch.

So, for our Spring Break trip to San Diego (o.k., lets get LEGOLAND!) I knew I’d want a big ‘ol bag to again carry the aforementioned stuff, but with room for sunscreen, granola bars, fruit leather, maps and hats. Clearly, what needed to happen in the week before we left, was to make -- and quilt, a purse!

I was limited to fabric on hand and had a choice of red or green corduroy for the outside, with a tasty selection of big-patterned juiciness for the inside. After dithering, red won out.

The pattern is from a great little book called Hip Handbags. Great directions, lovely diagrams, lots of great sample photos. I keep on making the same style from it, the “Tuck”, but that’s o.k., it has a pleasing trapezoidal shape and works well as a shoulder bag, even when I bump up the size a little.

I first started quilting the linings of my purses this Christmas, when I made small “Tucks” for my nieces. I hadn’t been liking the prescribed fusible interfacing (it just kind of gave a wan stiffness, with no body) that the book described, so I simply quilted some batting directly to the lining fabric. I ended up with a just right amount of stiffness and body, with of course, the added delight of quilty goodness.

I like my finish project, but now back from our trip, I think I would have liked a slightly smaller bag, one with a shorter strap that would hug in closer to my body, giving me freer motion to pick up children, cocktails or a People magazine at the airport newsstand.