Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Beware the Procrastination Vortex!

One of my preferred approaches to dealing with a particularly frustrating WIP is the time-out. When a project is put in time-out, it leaves my sewing space and goes to live elsewhere, preferably somewhere I can’t see it, like tucked under a bed or buried at the bottom of my scrap bin or shoved in the back of a closet. I pull a project out of time-out out when my brain can deal with a challenge.

My latest finish, the Cargo Duffle Bag pictured below, was in time-out for almost 18 months. First, I couldn’t decide on a fabric for the pockets, then I misplaced the zipper and was waiting for it to turn up, and then I had difficulties shortening the replacement zipper I bought when I accepted that the original one was lost forever.

Here’s the Cargo Duffle in all its glory!

These obstacles messed with my perspective: How would I ever be able to finish this project and finish it well? This lack of self-confidence was completely unfounded because I had made this pattern before! (For real. See that version here.) With all sense of reason out the window, the time-out morphed into full-fledged procrastination!

If only I knew how beautiful the bag would be in the end, I think I would have shortened the 18-month time-out to 8 or 9 months. (Ha!) It’s the combination of fabrics that do it for me. The main fabric is from August Fields, an old home-dec line from Amy Butler. The bottom gusset and accent pieces are a denim-linen blend that was fabric-y love at first sight. It’s the most amazing shade of blue, with gray undertones that give it an air of sophistication. As for the pocket fabric ... after scouring my local quilt shops for the right print, I found this one in my stash. The bright salmon fabric is from Lizzy House’s Catnap line.

Isn’t that Amy Butler print divine?

Each of those fabrics is lovely in its own right, but together they’re even more striking. Truly, fabric is meant to shine in completed projects and not live on a bolt or in a stash!

Should you want to make a Cargo Duffle of your very own, you can find the free pattern, by Noodlehead, on the Robert Kaufman website. It is not for the beginning sewist. The instructions, although well written, presume you have experience following patterns.

As I mentioned earlier, I used home-dec fabrics for the main bag. This was in addition to the canvas layer indicated in the pattern; the home-dec and canvas worked well together to give the bag some substance and structure. The pattern uses two fabrics for the handles, but the denim wasn’t working for me—it didn’t lie nicely—so I stuck with just one, the August Fields fabric. (Even though I went rogue, the handle construction in the pattern is brilliant. I’ve used it elsewhere, like here.)

The handles also feature August Fields.

The pattern calls for binding the exposed seams in the bag’s interior. I chose to add a lining instead. I sewed together a bottom gusset, two zipper gussets, a front, and a back in a quilting cotton to create that lining. I couldn’t hand-sew it in the bag easily (the canvas was unpleasant to poke a needle through), so I Wonder Clipped the heck out of it and, following a line of quilting on the zipper gusset, sewed into the bag’s interior. For more ideas on how to pimp out this pattern, I recommend Coconut Robot’s post here.

You can see how the quilting line along the zipper is extra thick.
That’s where I attached the lining.

OK, it’s confession time! Who else has been swallowed up by the procrastination vortex?!

Linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday, Let’s Bee Social, and Finish It Up Friday ...

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  1. Sometimes decisions seem too hard, or the perfect fabric hasn't shown itself! Procrastination can be good, but sometimes I can't remember what I was doing with an older project! I've found how much better I am at sewing when I visit an older UFO:) it feels good to know I'm improving!!

  2. I still haven't finished the hand quilting on my first quilt. Whoops. I love this bag -- not much of a bag maker myself but this one is fabulous.

  3. Gorgeous bag!!! I'm pretty sure I live in the procrastination vortex. :D I still haven't bound a 5 yo mini quilt, or quilted a 6 yo quilt top... Ha. :)

  4. Gorgeous bag! I’m sure I’m swallowed up by the procastination vortex. My excuse is that I work really hard on other and mostly new projects. Since 1,5 year I’m part of a group at my LQS that’s only working on time-out projects. We set a goal for the next month to have finished... and... it works! I finished 3 quilts, one top and I’m handquilting a quilt now.

  5. Great bag! I have lots of time to sew right now, so catching up on a quilt along.

  6. It is beautiful!! The colours...wow. I'm glad you finally took it out of time-out and finished.

  7. it's beautiful! Love the fabric choices. I really don't like bags with inner seams bound, I'd always insert a lining, it's so easy to do, why wouldn't you! I could procrastinate for England. And I do!

  8. Love your version of the cargo bag. I'm pretty sure I saved that pattern and someday, maybe, I'll attempt it. Glad to see how nice it can turn out.

  9. what a beautiful bag! The fabrics are stunning. I too have had the procrastination bug....just finished a flismy that was put away for awhile.
    I also love your quote about fabric.
    "Truly, fabric is meant to shine in completed projects and not live on a bolt or in a stash!" TFS!

  10. Oh my goodness, this bag is gorgeous! Those fabrics are just so pretty together (I'm a sucker for a pretty salmon color!). I don't know if I'd trust my procrastination vortex to ever return my projects if I let them leave my sewing room. Better to keep them confined to just one room.

  11. Fabulous bag!
    My Dear Jane is in the procrastination vortex. I only need to get moving on quilting it, but I keep procrastinating now that the fun part of block piecing is all over.

  12. Fabulous bag! Sometimes what seems really hard one day seems positively easy the next day. Coffee and rest will do that! Great finish!

  13. I'm so glad you did finish it because it's absolutely gorgeous!! My procrastination tends to be when I know I need to think about the next step and I feel too tired to do the thinking, and yet when I get down to it it always turns out to be easy!

  14. Thanks for the link-back, Michelle! I LOVE LOVE LOVE how this one turned out! Makes me (almost) want to tackle another cargo duffle!!!

  15. Beautiful bag! I started an Amy Butler pattern over five years ago and stopped in the middle of construction (don't remember why!). I don't even know where it is!


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