DIY Patchwork Hobo Bag by Susies-Scraps

 

This year was the 40th anniversary of the North Country Fair. I’ve been attending this annual solstice celebration on and off since I was 16. It’s a music fest that’s all about community, with plenty of food, craft vendors, workshops and all around good vibes. The music goes till dawn and guaranteed you’ll make a friend or two.

This was the inspiration for my patchwork hobo bag. I wanted to make a comfortable crossbody bag that was large enough to stash all my fair paraphernalia in, that also fit the bright and eclectic hippy scene.

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I discovered the perfect tutorial on susies-scraps.com. Her QAYG Hobo Bag Pattern (QAYG stands for Quilt As You Go) is easy to follow and an excellent use of scrap fabric. Projects where I can use materials I already own are the best! Susie’s tutorial suggests machine sewing an X across each square to quilt the fabric and batting together. I wanted my bag to have a more homemade look so I decided to handstitch each square in a variety of patterns using 3 different colors of embroidery floss.

Handstitching was the most time consuming part. And I was trying to go quickly, not caring too much if my lines were straight! The finished result turned out better then I thought so it was worth it in the end. The only other change I made from the original tutorial was to add one more square to the strap. After basting the strap together I found it sat just a bit too high on my tall torso and adding that one extra square puts it in the optimum spot.

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For the closure I didn’t want to keep tying the strings together so I threaded on a toggle so I could cinch the bag opening tighter when needed. I added the bead on the end to give the string some weight. It’s made out of Sculpey.

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It took me awhile to pick out the fabrics. Creating eye catching color pallets is something I find challenging, and I’m happy I rose to the occasion. Not only was my bag a win at North County Fair, but it’s also been on heavy rotation all summer. I prefer fabric bags over leather on hot summer days (I find leather can feel sticky), and this one is washable and will also fit my water bottle!

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conclusion:

I’ve just started dipping my toe into quilting this summer, but with the success of this project I may have to take the plunge!

 

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