SATURDAY SEWING: Pre-Quilting fabric for a tote bag

The blue lines show where I traced my pattern to gauge how much fabric I needed for my bag pieces.

Have you ever tried pre-quilting your fabric for a project? It can seem like a daunting task, but in reality, it is a ton of fun. Recently, I designed and stitched out a continuous line quilting design on fabric, and then turned the fabric into a super awesome tote.

When it comes to quilting on my Janome 550 Embroidery Machine, I almost always turn to my stash of Hilos-Iris and Madeira threads. And this project was no different! It was a lot of fun to make this project, and it has formed the basis for one session of our online Artistic Digitizer classes through some Janome Canada Dealers . Ready to see it?

After the design was finished in Artistic Digitizer, I printed out the design at 100% so that I had a “map” of how it would look once stitched. Using the AcuFil ASQ18b hoop, I taped the paper template to the plastic template that comes with the hoop. This made it so easy to line up my fabric with each hooping.

I used a spool of Hilos-Iris thread from the “I Love My Janome” gift set, in white, to accent the neutral background of my fabric. I wanted the quilting to show, but didn’t want it to take over as the focus of the project. This thread is stunning. It’s thick without being heavy, and one of my favorite features is the way that the bottom and top of the spool pop open to tuck the thread tail into.

Once my fabric was quilted, I cut out my pieces from it and completed the bag. I used a free pattern from Blue Calla called Larkspur. You can click here and download it too!

The inside of this bag is so roomy! And the best part, is it’s turned right side out through the zipper pocket!

The Polyneon set of threads from Madeira is my other go-to for simple yet bold stitching. The straps of the bag feature two fabrics, and I used a hot pink neon thread and did some cross-stitching on each edge to give it a splash of color.

Acufeed Flex makes strap making quick and simple.

If you haven’t had a chance to try out these amazing threads, I totally encourage it! They are a definite staple in my sewing room. Have you tried any of them? Let us know in the comments!

Until next time,


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