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How Fray Stop helps your quilting projects

 

The panels are quilted and the tote bag looks nothing like a bag yet but never fear by the end of the week it will. It’s much easier to do everything while the bag is in pieces because once it becomes a whole unit getting it maneuvered under the machine becomes quite a feat. Today I’m going to be embellishing the quilted designer tote bag. This is the fun part.

I collected all kinds of cording and couching materials in red, black and white from my LQS to match the feature fabric and be a great accent on the green burlap. As well as thread to match the cording.

 

Mix of couching materials
Mix of couching materials

 

Plus a whole array of buttons.

Array of buttons
Array of buttons

 

To begin I’m going to couch a piece of each color of cording onto the green burlap stitch using Sulky Rayon threads to match the cording. For an in-depth look at how to couch check out my post on couching I did last year.

Couched cording of red, black and white
Couched cording of red, black and white

 

I found that the cording does fray a lot and since I didn’t want it to unravel I figured I had best put some Fray Stop on the the cording.

 

Fray Stop to stop the cording from fraying
Fray Stop to stop the cording from fraying

 

Just apply a small drop to cover the ends to prevent any unwanted raveling. It will dry clear and the ends will be a bit hard when done. I did it over a disposable tissue so that I wouldn’t get any liquid on my cutting mat.

Fray Stop stops fraying with only one drop
Fray Stop stops fraying with only one drop

 

When I was thinking about the design for this bag I drew a sketch out on a piece of paper and then went from there. Because the floral fabric is so curvy and flowing I wanted something to contrast with it like straight lines which are bold and definite.

I pulled out those squares that we cut back on day one and have placed them on the front and back panels along the burlap strip. I place them no closer than 2″ from the edge of the bag. Once happy with the placement I used fabric glue such as the Heirloom fabric glue stick to glue the white and black squares to the green squares and then the green squares to the bag panels. This way I didn’t have to deal with pins nor have to worry about them moving out of position.

 

Squares glued in place with fabric glue
Squares glued in place with fabric glue

 

You may notice that the fabrics are fraying slightly in the photo above. Some stitching on the edges will need to be done to keep the fabrics from fraying and falling off the bag as they have only been glued in place. I used a small close satin stitch around the white and black silk pieces in rayon thread. A shiny look to match the silk.

Next I stitched vertically through the pieces about a ½″ apart in bright red rayon thread using a stitch that looks a bit like a hand embroider stitch. You could use any decorative stitch for this part. Each square could be the same or they could all have different stitching.

And finally a wide satin stitch around the edge of the green squares that looks a bit wispy as it’s not a tight satin stitch.

 

Stitching done on squares
Stitching done on squares

 

Finally for the last of the embellishing I added buttons to the center of each square. Beads would also work and as I write this I remember that I had some red heart beads that I was going to audition and forgot to – oh well, next time.

 

Embellishing complete with buttons
Embellishing complete with buttons

 

Embellishing the quilted designer tote bag has been a lot of fun and tomorrow as we move onto the next step in the process the bag will finally be taking some shape. Happy Quilting!

 

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2:  3 solutions to stop thread breaking when sewing

Go back to part 4:  5 sewing tips make a quilted tote bag perfect

Jennifer runs Quilts by Jen, a fantastic educational resource for quilters with many great free tutorials ranging from how to choose fabrics, understanding the value of fabrics, pressing, building Bargello runs, pinning, binding, sandwiching, couching, quilting, and much more. Check them out!

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