Wednesday, October 12, 2022

The Ultimate Travel Bag


The Ultimate Travel Bag

The October 2022 Island Batik Challenge is "Its in the Bag", sponsored by Patterns by Annie.

I chose the bag, I chose the fabrics and everything was sent to me. Gosh, I am spoiled!!!

Soft & Stable - For Bags that Stand Tall

Pattern and the Hardware

I chose fabrics from the Spring 2022 Sunset Plains Collection. It is a beautiful collection with bright greens, reds and maroons designed by Kathy Engle. I love the Cactus print.

Flowers on my morning walk - Collection Inspiration?


On second thoughts, I should have chosen a non-directional print.  Keeping the cactus print upright was an additional challenge in making the bag. 

Annie's patterns are extremely detailed. This means that they require total attention and complete concentration. Unlike my usual cutting/sewing/quilting, I could not listen to the radio or an audiobook. Proceeding one step at a time, I checked each box as I completed that step.

Quilting the Pieces

Completed Shoulder Comfort Pad

Binding the Shoulder Comfort Pad was a challenge but the Add-On Video was really helpful.

For the bottom of the bag, I chose to use a non-directional fabric, also from the Sunset Plains collection, leftover from making the Stars and Swirls quilt.

Buttons to limit wear and tear

Straps and Handles

Front and Back, Top and Bottom - Ready to Assemble

I used Schmetz 90/14 needle to make the bag. Going through several layers of fabrics and Soft & Stable is tricky and a lesser needle will cause you to skip stitches. 

Once the four parts - Front, Top, Bottom and Back were assembled,  I turned the bag inside out and attached the handles. Admired my handiwork and felt supremely pleased.

Paul: Looks fantastic.
Me: Um Hmm.
Paul: It is finished, right?
Me: Mostly
Paul: What is the matter? 
Me: It is ready for pictures. And I have other things to do. I have been working on this for two weeks. 
Paul: Oh, I know. You did not finish the insides.
Me: I am done.
Paul: Don't you need to protect the seams.
Me: No. That inside binding step is purely cosmetic.
Paul: So you have an ugly bag inside.
Me: Possibly, but no one needs to know.
Paul: You know it.

Damn the man.


It took me two days to hand bind the insides and my index finger hurt for two days after the bag was completely finished. But I can proudly share the inside pictures.

Large Inside Pocket

Neat on the Inside :-)

Speaking of  inside, the design includes a sleeve to hold an acrylic stabilizer (also provided) in the bottom for added stability.

Sewing the Sleeve for Acrylic Stabilizer

Inserting the Stabilizer in the Sleeve

Annie has taken care of every detail and the design includes every step from making the zipper pulls and bias binding to the shoulder pads and trolley sleeve.  I cannot recommend this Ultimate Travel Bag 2.0 enough. Many thanks to Annie and Island Batik.

And now it is time for the photoshoot!

Bottom Buttons

Big & Beautiful

Is that my plane?

Hey good-looking!


So Happy!

I like Big Bags

Beautiful on the Inside

Side Pocket

Top View

Back with Trolley Sleeve

When are we leaving?

Do you like my choice of green and maroon. What colors would you choose, if you made this bag? I'd love to hear from you.

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.

Did you see the latest issue of Quiltmaker Magazine? Not only does it include my quilt, I am also featured in it :-)  That blogpost is next.


  1. I LOVE your bag! I'm going to be making a different one of Annie's bags later this month. That's a great idea to put buttons on the bottom for protection.

  2. That is a lovely bag - inside and out. My patience with bag making is very slim as I have trouble with thick seams coming out straight. You did a beautiful job on this!

  3. What a great bag! It is screaming to be taken on a trip! Your colors are vibrant and perfect, Preeti! Oh, the places we will go....

  4. Oh my word! That bag is gorgeous. I have the pattern but not enough nerve to try it!

  5. I love your choices of green and maroon - and the attention to detail in keeping the print right side up and finishing the interior was so worth it. I also love the photos of Paul with the bag! :)

  6. It's time to take that beautiful bag on its first trip - where will you go? Now that you have one Annie bag done, the next one will be easier! Nice modeling, Paul!

  7. You deserve to be spoiled, Preeti - you do beautiful work! Paul is the perfect partner in crime, too. Your bag is amazing!

  8. You did such a great job! This will be such a useful bag. Love that little zipper charm you added. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

  9. so very pretty! kudos for sewing the extra miles on the inside of your bag!

  10. I love the green and maroon, Preeti!! This is a cool bag and I really like the buttons on the bottom! Yes, those men......LOL

  11. looks like you did a great job inside and out - and what a model you have :) he did a great job as did you

  12. Beautiful job! I knew you could do it! Your bag is gorgeous!

  13. I really love your bag. And I find your pictures and stories so fun. Maybe I should try a bag once? I think I would have made it blue.

  14. Your bag is absolutely gorgeous, Preeti! I love that cactus print so much, and the hot pinky-purple sets it off dramatically. You are so great with color!

  15. I love the way your bag came out! I see you used fabric for the inside pocket instead of mesh. I chose that option, too. I did not do the buttons on the bottom. They look nice. You are lucky to have a husband that is interested and involved in what you love to do. You are blessed! Have a great day.

  16. Your bag turned out beautifully! I need to give one of Annie's patterns a try.

  17. Gorgeous bag, Preeti! I probably would have paired that cactus batik with orange. Congrats on your magazine feature!! I'll be looking forward to grabbing a copy at my local craft store.

  18. Gorgeous! And the bag is, too! :)

  19. Nice bag, I know you are glad you finished the inside seams. This way you don't have to worry about the seams coming undone, shredding as the bag is used. I like the button bottom.

  20. Beautiful bag. I made one of those for my daughter. Yes, very detailed instructions. But a beautiful end product.

  21. You did a fabulous job making this bag, Preeti! I love the fabrics you used on the outside. Inside, I would’ve used the medium green with the little circles from the same collection instead of the orange & for the bottom. It was likely a ton of work, but I’ll bet you’re very happy you finished all the seams inside your bag!

  22. LOVE this color combination! Great job on this bag - I’ll be looking for this pattern.

  23. This is beautiful! I know the value of good directions; I made a bag from an Etsy pattern and the directions and order of making things was really not good. i got it made but it was infuriating!

  24. That cactus print is really fun! Sure worth the extra hassle with the directionality. I am not the most fond of sewing bags with all those layers and then handbinding. I am out ;) But I am proud of you for sticking with this project. And I am sure it will be a fun companion on your next trips. xo

  25. Beautifully done. Your stitches are so neat and perfect. I can see why they picked you to try it out. The pockets of this bag look like a pain to make, but worth every stitch in the end. It's a very usable bag. Congrats on your finish. ~~ Kathy S.

  26. Amazing work Preeti and that husband of yours is so funny. What a good sport. I have said it before but I bet these photo sessions amuse your neighbors endlessly. I would put a chair on my front lawn and watch the whole time!

  27. Lovely bag, and I love the color you choose! Hmmm, did you plan to keep it for you? I would not be surprised if Paul wants it for him too ;)) Fun photos!
    Congratulations for being featured in the magazine!
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful bag, and linking up ;)

  28. Oh my gosh -- I am just in awe of the amount of work and detail that went into making this bag. This isn't just a bag -- this is legit LUGGAGE!! The curved binding on the shoulder strap looks super professional as do all of your finishing work. What an undertaking! Now, are you going to make another one for Paul or will you share? ;-)

  29. Oh wow!!! That is stunning... and very very detailed. I am sure you are glad now you finished the inside - but I might have told Paul to go watch football haha!!! Thank you for linking to FInished ( or not) Friday!

  30. Great job on your bag. They are a lot of work but everyone loves their Annie bags once they are made. Love seeing you and Paul playing with your new creation. Where will its first trip be?

  31. Such a fun and colorful bag! You'd know it was your's for sure if it was on the luggage carousel. You did a wonderful job with all the details.

  32. Good job keeping those cacti upright! The bag looks beautiful.

  33. Kudos on the finish. It's a great looking bag. Well done.

  34. Your bag is beautiful - it looks fabulous in those fabrics! I have also made this pattern and loved how it came together.

  35. Your bag is faboulus. Are you on Etsy?