canvas portside duffle

next in the gifting line up, the thing i was most excited to make – a portside duffle!

portside duffle

when Jen of Grainline Studio released her Portside Travel Set pattern a few months ago, i really wanted to get it for a “someday in the future” project (the pattern includes a duffle, dopp kit, and small zippered pouch – awesome value, really, and would make a great wedding/father’s day/graduation gift!).  i exercised restraint and held off on buying the pattern, though – until i drew my brother-in-law’s name for our family gift exchange and i knew it would make a great gift for him.

portside duffle

he’s a tall guy (it’s a huge bag!), he’s a musician (needs to haul stuff around!), and he’s a creative person (appreciates handmade!).  plus i feel like i have a good sense of his taste.  it just seemed like the perfect thing.  when he opened it he seemed to really like it, and didn’t even realize i made it until he saw his initials inside (see below), so it paid off for sure!

portside duffle

i’ve been interested in sewing with heavier materials lately.  i bought a beckel tote for my mother in law for Christmas and the thick canvas and the heavy duty topstitching was fascinating – i bought it at this awesome bazaar in town where i could talk to the woman that sewed it (on an industrial Juki, she said), so this was sort of my chance to put my Bernina 380 to the test and see if i could make something similar in style.

portside duffle

i bought heavy thread, cotton webbing, and a bunch of metal zippers at JoAnn, plus natural and camel colored canvas duck in the outdoor section there.  some of the hardware was harder to find and i had to get it at Mill End.  the bag is lined with yarn dyed essex in leather, which i got as a remnant at Bolt.

portside duffel

my husband said the machine sounded different as i sewed this bag – i honestly don’t think my old machine could have handled the super heavy material!  walking foot, size 16 needle, i pulled out all the tricks to keep it running smoothly.

i quilted the bottom with a layer of batting to help it sit upright if he set it down.

portside duffel

and skipped the dopp kit, but made the little pouch…easy and quick:

portside duffel

i ran into just a couple snags – i think there was a missing pattern mark on the end pieces as to where i should place the straps, and i found the lining a bit too large for the bag, which may have been due to the fact that it’s linen and stretchy versus the decidedly non-stretchy nature of the outer.  not sure, i’d have to make it again to find out.  and my husband has requested one, so it’s on the horizon once he figures out the colors he wants!

portside duffel

pretty fun making such a heavy duty, masculine bag though!  it just feels so LEGIT, you know?  when you finish a project and have that sense of “wow, i actually made that!”, it’s always fun.

camp quilt for the husband

i tried to buy something for my husband for father’s day, i really did!  i went to our favorite home / random cool stuff store, schoolhouse electric, with the full intention of getting him something there.  problem is, that place is a bit spendy, and everything i wanted to get was out of budget.  what happened next is what usually happens – i get inspired, and decide to make something instead.  so i went home and knocked out this quilt mostly during naptime (with some sneaky finishing touches the next day).

camp quilt

the vibe they have at schoolhouse is sort of a arts & crafts era meets midcentury modern meets industrial meets summer camp, which is what i tried to recreate in my quilt.  the reason i made a quilt for him is he tends to fall asleep on the couch most evenings…and he’s a taller guy, so i thought he needed something to keep his feet cozy as well as his shoulders, ya know?  it’s always a bit frustrating to watch a person try to cover themselves with a too-small-of-blanket.

camp quilt

i’d also wanted to make a quilt that looks like a pendleton national park blanket for a while (still plan to eventually make a quilt for O that looks like the crater lake blanket), and decided this was my chance to practice.  it was really tough picking “manly” fabrics from my stash, but i stuck to mostly linen and it worked out.

camp quilt

the quilt measures 43″ x 66″ finished – sort of random, but that’s what i had, fabric-wise.  the fabrics are a navy linen (from JoAnn i think), red canvas from Bolt (most famously used on little red), natural linen (from fabric depot), with essex linen yarn dyed black center panel.  it’s a strip quilt, which came together really quickly.  i omitted batting, both because i didn’t have enough on hand, and because i wanted it more summer blanket-weight.  the backing is Denyse Schmidt for JoAnn from last year.

camp quilt

the binding is two packages of store-bought double fold bias tape (sent to me by Cherie, thanks girl!) and the non-matchingness of it gives it that extra “summer camp” element i was looking for, plus takes it away from flag territory a bit.

camp quilt

i quilted it with mustard thread on both sides of each stripe, and zigzagged the binding to finish it.

camp quilt

the center of the quilt also has a quilted concentric diamond shape which doesn’t really show up in photos (or real life for that matter) but it subliminally ties in with the backing.

camp quilt

my husband seems to really like his quilt/blanket and uses it almost every day, and when i surveyed him for his favorite project of mine for Sanae’s blog, he said this!  i don’t sew for him much, but i really should do it more often.  look how happy his two fingers are there, peeking out from the side!  😉

camp quilt

GREAT SUCCESS.