This past February I took a class at my local quilt shop on Anna Graham’s (Noodlehead’s) Explorer Tote pattern. It was a four-hour class and I had to hustle every minute to stay up with everyone else, but with some work at home afterwards, I finished the bag.
The pattern was very well-written, but I was glad to have an instructor to guide me through it. It calls for a recessed zipper but I left out that step. When I make another one of these totes, I will definitely try the zipper.
The bag comes in two sizes. Mine is the smaller one (18″ wide, 13″ high, 4″ deep). It holds books, a purse, notebooks and even a laptop (if I squeeze it in). The larger size is 22″ wide, 14″ high, and 7″ deep. It’s sturdy since I followed the pattern directions and used ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable as an extra layer of interfacing on the bottom.
Making the pattern introduced me to two new techniques — installing rivets on the back pockets and using a turn lock on the front. One of the women in the class urged all of us to try using rivets and even shared her supplies.
It was the first time I used them and I love the professional touch they add.
Installing the turn lock took multiple tries. I watched this video by Anna Graham over and over until I got it. The trick was to keep trying to install the screws until everything fit snugly.
I’ve used the bag a couple of times and love it. It goes well with many colors because of its neutral shape and fabric.
I’ll be linking to Crazy Mom Quilts (Finish It Up Friday).