Rona the Ribibiter: Using Travel to inspire Quilters out of their comfort zones and come alive!


What Bag Should I Make For My Trip?

The Barbados Bag, of course!

I love to travel! I love it almost as much as Quilting. So much so that I’m making them a career. But, when going place to place through airports, on tour buses, I wanted a little bag that could hold a LOT of stuff. Luckily, I stumbled upon the Barbados Bag pattern. The first one I made was for a trip to the Quilt Show Reno in June, 2019. I was headed to the desert for the show and to celebrate my mother’s birthday. However, my purse at the time (Locked and Loaded Bag by Sew Sweetness) just seemed a little too bulky for the trip. Plus, I wanted something with a longer strap that I could wear cross body style. So, I went in search of a new pattern.

What to see in and around Reno, Nevada.

While walking through one of my local Quilt shops (Quilt Patch in NC) I happened upon the Barbados Bag and thought it was too cute to pass up (I’m a bag addict). So, I picked out some adorable Kaffe Fassett fabric and got to work.

How do I make a travel bag?
The Barbados Bag is the perfect travel purse!

Usually the bags I make are larger sized. Purses, grocery bags, gym bags, I love them all. But this was the first smaller size bag that piqued my interest. And it definitely did not disappoint. I enjoyed making this bag so much that I made three of them!

Y’all, this thing was perfect! The long strap allowed me to wear it cross body and have my arms free for more mischief and shenanigans. My cell phone fit perfectly in the back side pocket so no worries about wandering thief hands. And, my phone is so easy to slip in and out as needed.

And the pockets. For such a little bag, there are SO many pockets! Of course, the giant open inside pocket, 2 more smaller inside pockets and a total of 4 outside pockets (2 in front and 2 in back). The designer did a brilliant job adding in the squared corners because it allows you to fit SO much inside! Literally, we were walking around the Quilt Show Reno and I carried my wallet, keys, cell phone, pens, first aid pouch, gum, emergency sewing kit (I always carry with me), chapstick, pamphlets from the show, and even a bottle of water! All of that went into this little bag with room to spare.

The Barbados Bag pattern was super easy to follow. Some patterns can be a bit clunky and hard to follow where you almost have to fill in the blanks. But, not this one. The directions were straight forward with plenty of pictures for those of us who are more visually inclined. I did, however have to add a little ‘Ribbit style’. So, I used a decorative stitch to top-stitch along the front and back pockets. Here’s a quick little video of the first Barbados Bag. Aren’t these machines mesmerizing?

The trick is to let the machine do 99% of the work. Your job is to merely ‘steer’.

Tip Corner:

The only thing I would mention about the Barbados Bag pattern is when stitching the straps to the body of the bag, make sure you add in some extra zigzag stitches for reinforcement. If you carry some heavier items (like a water bottle or your spouse’s wallet and giant phone) it will put added pressure on those areas. Over time it will lead to the stitches giving out. I wish I had thought of that when making the first one. Nothing a little time and patience can’t fix!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I highly recommend making this bag. If you are a bag addict like me or just want some bag making practice for a gift, this is the one. I’m also working on creating a class to teach y’all how to make it. With the zippers and optional hardware, there’s lots of simple techniques to get out of this simple pattern. Nancy Green from Pink Sand Beach Design really nailed this one!

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