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What to Make Next?

What to Make Next?

I find myself in a bit of a post-project slump. I finished binding the Ritzville quilt over the weekend, and as often happens when I get a big sewing project done and crossed off the list, I am not quite sure where to go next. I’ve still got apron projects in the pipeline, but I feel like it’s time to start another “big” sewing project.

I used to turn to Pinterest for inspiration, but lately, my Pinterest feed looks like it belongs to someone else. I am not sure what happened to the algorithm. The feed is clogged up with ads, recipes, ads, knitting and crochet patterns, ads, travel tips, etc.—things I’m only marginally interested in. Even when I search for a topic like “vintage apron pattern,” I have to wade through a ton of detritus to find what I am looking for. I’ve gone back to Google image searches.

I’m leaning toward making another waxed canvas bag pattern. I am not sure how much longer my term of joint custody of the Singer 78-1 is going to last—I need to check with Tommy and see when he needs it back—and if I need that machine for a project, I want to make it soon. Here are the current contenders (each link should open in its own window):

Two Klum House bags:

  1. The Fremont Tote: I’ve already made this one and liked the design very much. If I made it again, I would probably leave off the grab handles as they really get in the way of me getting into the bag.

  2. The Oberlin Tote: This pattern is being re-released soon with an expansion pack for a recessed zipper. I know, I said I wasn’t going to make any more bags with recessed zippers, but I like them better than the top zipper style on the Fremont Tote.

The Metro Hipster Bag: I hate the word hipster, even thought it is often used to describe a bag worn at hip length on the body. (My purse should probably be called a “rural feed sack.”) Semantics aside, I love the look of this bag. I also like that I could get creative with some of my cotton canvas, combining a print with solid waxed canvas. And having made Betz White’s Ravenwood Messenger Bag successfully—which is by far the most complicated bag project I’ve ever done—I know that Betz’s patterns are well done and easy to follow. (I wouldn’t mind making another Ravenwood bag, to be honest. That was a fun sew.)

The Noodlehead Campfire Messenger Bag, either in its original form or upsized into the diaper bag version shown here. The only hesitation I have about this style of bag is the front flap. I know that anything fiddly—like front flaps or grab handles—that keep me from getting into my purse quickly will make me nuts.

The Bonnie Bucket Bag was one of the first bag patterns I ever purchased. Don’t let the cover photo fool you—although the original was done in fabric, I have seen this bag made up in vinyls and leathers (which are not slouchy) and some of them are really stunning. I think I would almost certainly need to sew this on the 78-1, so it’s a strong possibility.

I also found this online tutorial for a small waxed canvas travel bag. I’d leave off the embroidery, but it would be a great way to use up some of my waxed canvas scraps.


I don’t have a good picture of the finished Ritzville quilt at the moment. It’s a king-sized quilt and it looks funny on our bed. I am going to take it to church with me on Sunday and see if I can enlist a couple of people to hold it over the balcony so I can get a good hero shot. The Mennonite Country Auction organizers like to have pictures of items ahead of the sale for the website, too. In the meantime, I will show off my friend Pat’s beautiful, tiny hand-quilting stitches. This is the front:


And this is the back:


You know something is done well when the back is as pretty as the front. I had lots of time to admire Pat’s work while I was sewing down the binding.

Monkey Mind

Monkey Mind

The 2019 Bean Report

The 2019 Bean Report