Thursday, February 20, 2020

Scrappy Market Tote

The Scrappy Market Tote is a class by Christina Cameli on Bluprint, and I have watched it quite a few times, but I kept procrastinating on making one of my own. Improv terrifies me, and scraps intimidate me. So imagine how I feel when I'm faced with a project that's both improv and scraps.

But I finally decided to give it a shot. I'm using a palette of yellows, blues, and greens, and I combed through only the top of my scrap bins and already I was shocked at how much scraps I have accumulated over the last few years.

I then made a variety of improv patchwork, just putting things together however I want. Bias edges? No problem! Weird angles? No problem! Chop up whatever, add whatever. Anything goes. It's both terrifying and freeing at the same time. Improv completely goes against my usual factory assembly process, so it's challenging but also exciting because I never quite know how it's going to look.

After that, I auditioned which of those will make it into the final bag. This is the part I really had to rely on instinct, to tell me what works where, and especially if I need to insert extra things here or there to break up a space, to unify a space, or to add more jazz.

Since the panel is quite busy, I'm really glad for the big solid piece at the bottom of the bag to help tone it down and tie it together, and the matchstick quilting also helps unify it. However, I haven't done walking foot quilting on this scale in years, and now I remembered why I learned to free-motion quilt: because I hate doing walking foot quilting.

After all that, assembling this bag was the easy part. I also made a false bottom for it to give it a bit of structure. I'm super proud of this bag, because it far exceeded my expectations. I didn't think I could handle scraps or improv, so I'm quite amazed at how it turned out. It's a really gorgeous and happy bag to look at, and it's quite big too!


  1. Good for you, Liz, having a go at improv and scraps. It's my happy place, honestly, along with walking foot quilting. It turned out great! A really nice bag I'm sure you'll use often! Are you using it at QuiltCon?

  2. It is beautiful. Maybe I'll take that class and give it a try.

  3. By George, I think she's got it! :)

  4. Your new bag is AMAZING!!!!!! love it! and I am with you - I hate quilting with a walking foot.

  5. I have been looking at Christina's class as well. She makes it look so easy. I have struggled in the past with improv piecing. I tried it and decided the project was a fail. Now that I have seen her class I am wiling to give it another go, especially since you have shared your bag here, It's gorgeous! You have given me a nudge in the right direction, thank you!

  6. I love it!! It's beautiful, I'm working on one myself.

  7. Replies
    1. I measured and it's around 12" x 15" x 6".


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