The retreat we go to is held at Camp Lebanon in this teeny tiny town in Central Minnesota, which means road trip! We went through St. Cloud, MN and we shopped until we dropped. And all fabric/craft stores... how fun is that?! Mill End (a big fabric outlet-type store), Grubers Quilt Shop, JoAnn's, Craft's Direct (think a combo of Michael's/Hobby Lobby/JoAnn's on steroids)... and a stop at Panera for lunch! Our town is severely lacking in the "cool craft store" department. We have Hancock. But come January, Hobby Lobby is coming to town! But as for our St. Cloud visit... I didn't take a single picture. Oops. (This is sort of the theme for the retreat)
At camp we got to work right away and my Weekender Bag was hit hard (which is one of the reasons I didn't take squat for pictures... I was in the zone. The quilting zone.) The first night I was up until 2:30am (but I wasn't the last one up... someone in our group was up until 4:30am!)
The bag was finished in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday at 1:30am. And then I proceeded to stand there for a half hour - petting the bag, opening zippers, and gazing longingly at it!
And here it is:
Ended up going with the quilt as you go method of construction with cotton duck and batting.
These were a lifesaver, holding all the layers together...
I made the straps wider (cut them at 5 inches and placed a piece of Peltex inside). The straps were also secured them with an X between the two stitching lines.
I added two extra pockets...
One on the inside lining... (The lining fabric I found at Mill End and it was a lightweight home dec fabric found on the remnant table)
And the second one...
On the inside of the outside pocket piece. Thought it would be a handy spot to put my phone or boarding pass while traveling, making them easy accessible but secure. (Side note - The Robert Kaufmann Safety Pin fabric I found on Mill End's Remnant table. For $3/yard I believe! Score!)
Somehow I managed to make the whole thing without breaking a single needle. I can hardly believe it! I came prepared with a bunch of extras but the denim needle I put in for the construction portion held up!
Things I would do different if I were to make another one? I would cut the batting to the right size (1/2" smaller than the pattern piece) and then oversize the cotton duck and piece work. Then once the quilting is done, center the pattern piece over the batting, and then cut to pattern size. Things got a bit off and my pieces weren't quite the right size.
It was a ton of work but totally worth it! I loved having all the dedicated time to work on it and it was the perfect project for the retreat. It's already getting lots of use!
Here are a few pictures of other projects that friend's worked on (I didn't pull out my camera until almost everyone had packed up...)
Katrina's King Size Gigantic Shoe Fly
Holly's Hexagon's (a quilt for her daughter!)
And Sophia's Christmas Wall Hanging (and hot pad!)
What an awesome weekend! I love the dedicated time to sew and the camp takes such good care of us. The food is amazing and the having massage therapists on hand? Genius! This camp knows hospitality!