Nova Tote : Stitched With Love

By Christine Lux
on November 01, 2018
With 4 comments

Hello there! 

Its Quilt Market Time once again and so as usual, I decided at the last minute to make a new bag! 

I love making the Nova Tote - it is definitely my go-to bag pattern. But recently, I made the Stitched With Love mini (designed by Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms) and as soon as I finished it, I knew I’d be making another and turning it into a bag! A few folks on IG requested a bit more info, so I took some photos - which aren’t in great lighting due to late night sewing 😂 - but I hope they will help!

For this one, I used a lot of leftovers from our Stitched With Love kit, but added in some favorites from my stash as well. the mini was made as called for (I did clip the corner on the top left of the machine and did some special fussy cut piecing for Sew Lux using this print). Instead of the border, I used more of the background to make it wide enough to quilt the bag front. 

I made the main part of the bag as called for in the pattern, including straps etc. The major difference here was I put the strap on the front before attaching the pocket. This is because I didn’t want to put the straps over the piecing on the pocket. 😁

Since this machine “block” is much larger than the pocket size the bag pattern calls for, there were a few other adjustments to make. 

I covered the bottom of the straps on the front of the bag in a similar fashion as the bottom panel before attaching the pocket. The top of my pocket is approximately 1.25” from the top edge of the bag. 

Then the bottom panel of the bag was cut 3” shorter than the original measurements called for. This allowed me to cover the raw edge of the pocket and also the raw edge of the straps on the back side of the bag. 

Then the only other major change I made was to the measurements when boxing the bottom. It was one inch shorter since the pocket comes down so far in the front. 

I did make this using Soft & Stable and bound all my seams as shown in our Nova Tote Sew Along last year.

I used a fabric on the back that had a grid in the design - I quilted in the lines and you can barely even notice the quilting. 

I did add a magnetic snap closure (Sew-in) to keep the pocket closed since the straps over the pocket on the original design typically do this. 

I hope you enjoy checking out my new bag! If you have questions, feel free to reach out. 

Happy Sewing!


Nova Tote Sew Along : Making the Parts & Assembly

By Christine Lux
on January 31, 2018
With 1 comments

Whew!  The end of 2017 certainly got away from me over here. Something about holidays, travel, and you know ... life. But Santa loved it and enjoyed gifting this bag to a sweet friend of mine.

I did finish my Nova Tote quite a bit back and posted all these details on Instagram, but was slack about getting it added over here.  Ready?

Make the Parts: 

Once you have pieced the exterior pocket, you'll need to get it quilted along with the other parts of the bag. But first, let me say you should be sweet to your machine and give it a good clean out, some oil, and go ahead and wind some extra bobbins. 

I chose to spray baste my pieces to the Soft & Stable (S&S). I like to use 505 spray and will occasionally use Clover clips around the edges, but I prefer spray on smaller areas that I am quilting. Additionally, pins through S&S are a little difficult. 

I spray basted both the front and back to the S&S. 

You'll see that I left the space between the front and back exterior open - not a big deal as it will be covered by the bottom panel later.

I chose to quilt the exterior pocket with some concentric circle loopy things. 

For the back of the back, I marked a grid using a ruler and chalk and quilted straight lines with my walking foot. 

This was really easy to do. And I like the look of this. Note that really dense quilting will make your bag "shrink" so keep this in mind as you are choosing a style - you'd had to lose an inch or two in the width of your bag!

For the front side of the bag, I did some big chrysanthemum type flowers. I think they turned out really pretty :-) 

To make the inner pocket, sew the lining and the front together on the long edge. Then bring the top of the lining up to meet the top of the front and press the fold. We'll be binding the top edge later, so its fine that it is "open." 

Tuck the S&S piece in to the fold and baste and quilt. I did some of those large flowers again. 

Trim the pocket and the main bag panel to size after quilting. 

Next, let's make the straps. 

I cut my straps per the pattern and added some woven interfacing (SF-101) to the wrong side. I tucked in a length of S&S that was 1.25" wide by the same length of the strap inside one of the folds.

I like to use Clover clips to hold everything in place.

Then I sew 1/8" from the edge all the way around the strap and then come back and do a lap about 1/4" inside the first pass of stitching. 

Trim the completed straps to the appropriate length per the pattern. 

Bind the Pockets

For the binding, I cut one 2.25" x WOF strip and then cut that in half.  I folded each strip in half lengthwise. Attach the binding like you would a quilt -stitch to the front using a 1/4" seam and then finish on the back by hand or machine. 

I elected to use my Edge Stitch foot and finish by machine. After adding the binding on both pocket edges, I ran around all the edges of all the bag parts (pockets and main panel) with a line of stitching 1/8" from the edge just to keep everything nice and tidy. 

They look all pretty now and ready to go!

Assemble the Bag

Follow the directions in the pattern for the placement of the exterior pocket and the straps. 

I secured the straps at the top with some extra stitching. I have found that I am a little rough with my bag at times, so this is always a good idea for me. ;-) 

Attach the inside pocket next. I made this so that it was on the back side of the bag (still on the interior).

I placed the pocket 2.25" down from the top of the bag. I secured this with a line of stitches along the bottom. ** Be sure to more the pocket out of the way when you stitch down the contrast bottom panel next. **

Almost done!  Make the bottom contrast panel as per the directions. I used SF-101 on the wrong side here too. 

A tip for folding over an edge is to draw a line on the wrong side 2 x the width of the fold. So if you are folding under 1/2", draw a line 1" from the edge and fold to the line. 

Next, we're gonna finish this thing! 

I cut a 3" x WOF strip and bound the side seams after cutting out the bottom squares per the pattern. I used a 1/2" seam and then sewed right on the edge catching the other side to enclose the seam. (I did a few extra rows of stitching in the seam allowance to flatten all the layers down a little.) 

For the bottom corner seams, I didn't have quite enough left of my binding fabric, so I cut two 3" x 8" strips from the lining fabric leftovers to make the binding for these.

I folded the ends over and stitched it all down. 

I used a 2.25" x WOF strip for the binding on the top of the bag. I finished it to the inside of the bag by hand. 

Ok ... so that is pretty much it!  I did add a few lines of stitching (following the previous lines I stitched into the straps to add some dividers to the interior pocket. (To be up front, in hindsight, I would have made this pocket a little shorter as I didn't want to stitch through the bottom panel so my "divider" stitches don't go all the way to the bottom of this pocket. But this also doesn't necessarily bother me for how I planned to use this bag.)

Here are all the glamour shots ... 

Thanks for sewing along with me!  If you have any questions, send us an email at sewlux at gmail!

Happy Sewing!

Nova Tote Sew Along : Cutting Tips

By Christine Lux
on November 15, 2017
With 0 comments

Hi again!  Hope you are having fun making your pockets!

This weekend we will quilt and prepare all of the bag parts and then next week assemble it all and bind the inner seams. 

I am sharing some cutting tips for those of you who are making the large tote using Soft & Stable and planning to quilt in your lining and bind the seams. You will still need the pattern from threeowls as the cutting tips will refer to it. You'll note that some of pieces are larger than the pattern calls for and this is to allow for some shrinkage when quilting Soft & Stable.  We'll get it all quilted up and then trim it to size and assemble as called for in the pattern. 

Hope that all makes sense!  The cutting tips sheet can be accessed here.  If you have questions, let me know! 

Nova Tote Sew Along : Piecing the Pocket

By Christine Lux
on November 10, 2017
With 0 comments

Hi everyone!

It's time to get started sewing our the Nova Totes!  The pattern is from @threeowls and you can purchase the pattern to download from her shop on Craftsy here

I had a lot of questions about the measurements, etc for the pocket I pieced in my last bag, so I decided to make this pocket in the same way. Ready?

Select 24 charm squares (5" squares) and cut them as follows: 

You will then shuffle the fabrics up and sew them back together. Blocks should measure 3.5" once sewn back together. 

Next, arrange your blocks so that you are happy with the color and print placement. You should follow the diagram in the photo below. 

Five blocks will be cut in half on the diagonal as shown to create a "top half" and a "bottom half" as referenced above. 

You will also cut one block in half on the opposite diagonal to create a "left half" and a "right half." 

Place the half blocks in the rows as you layout all the blocks. 

You will sew diagonal rows together and press rows in opposite directions. Then sew the rows together. 

You will add the two bottom corner pieces (made from half of a 3" square). 

Your finished pieced pocket should measure about 10.5" x 21.5". We will trim it down after we quilt it to the Soft & Stable next week. 

You are welcome to piece your pocket however you like! This method is a fun way to show off lots of different prints or to even use up some precious scraps!

I will share some additional cutting/prep information later this weekend to help you get ready for next week's task of making all the parts.  We will quilt the pocket, main bag panel, make the straps, bottom panel, and inside pocket.  Then the week after we will put it all together! 

Happy Sewing!

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