By Annie Bag Challenge

As days get shorter in Alaska, the temperature starts to drop, it is colder, the fall storms start, and in a regular year we would start moving our outdoor gatherings to more indoor activities. It would be a time to start considering retreats and sewing at friend’s homes.

This, again, is not a regular year. It’s time to start checking with friends about vaccinations, about how comfortable they feel with and without masks, AND THEN making plans to sew together! Hopefully, you all are vaccinated and so is your friend and family bubble. For me, working with the main group of unvaccinated, 3 to 11 year olds, I am super cautious about where I go, who I see, what I do. After having been so careful for over a year and a half, being vaccinated, and then casually getting Covid, I see how easily it can be passed and how important it is to protect each other. As I look to gathering with friends I am excited to have this challenge under my belt… AND in my hands!

September’s Island Batik Challenge just happens to be to make a bag from a By Annie pattern. For me the selection of a pattern was super easy! I was excited to make a Ultimate Travel 2.0 bag so I could drag around my sewing machine.

Now this isn’t the first bag I’ve made, but I have to say, the pattern was so NICE and easy to follow–especially with the video support that it was a JOY to make. I also cannot get past HOW LOVELY Soft and Stable is. It make making this bag SO EASY! To say I am sold on using it from here on out is an understatement! I pledge to use it EVERY TIME!

Island Batik asked us to pick fabrics in order to complete. In my case I needed a main fabric, a lining fabric and an accent fabric. I selected from Fancy Feathers, which has rich beautiful jewel tones, for my main fabrics and pool for my accent fabric from Island Batik foundations.

The first step was quilting my fabric on to the Soft and Stable and cutting the correct size for the construction. The beauty of quilting both outside and inside at the same time is multifold: my lining fabric stays where I put it, it looks so professional, and it all doesn’t get misplaced as I work!

Once all the major bag sections were quilted, measured and cut I moved on to making the accent pieces–the handles, the straps, the pockets, and placing the zippers.

After watching a few By Annie videos I feel like I was well educated to begin the construction on this bag. I was worried (although I later understood I had no reason to be) that this bag would be hard to put together–it’s a little large and I was concerned about joining all the bits together. HOW WRONG I WAS! It was a SNAP! It felt like it flew together.

The joining all the front and back to the center piece was so easy! I was really impressed how well the big gentle curves sewed together and my bag turned out GREAT!

It is the PERFECT size for my 350 Bernina–all the bits and pieces fit nicely in and I actually have some room to spare. I am ready for getting together with my bubble to sew!

This Ultimate Travel 2 bag was made possible by By Annie and Island Batik. I was so impressed with the pattern and Soft and Stable I ended up making a second bag for my other 350 Bernina! I am ever so grateful for this fun bag making opportunity.

P.S. I did end up running up to Anchorage last weekend for a doctor appointment and took it along. I was a great bag for a quick run to Costco to get a few things. Here it is, in the wilds of the Anchorage airport!