Nothing but net

cargo duffle final

You know it, that feeling of satisfaction and victory, of getting the basketball in the net right at the buzzer. And what else but another finish for my 2016-Q1 Finish-A-Long! (goal setting link here). I started this Cargo Duffle bag (free pattern by Anna Graham/Noodlehead) over a year ago, by cutting out all the pieces, but it never made it onto the sewing table. The lining fabric is a home decor weight, with some stains, that I picked up at the thrift shop for four dollars for a generous one metre piece–I think someone had used it as a tablecloth, although it wasn’t hemmed.

cargo duffle inside detail

I’m really glad I did the bias finish on the inside, it does make it look nicer, and for sure it’s now super strong with three lines of stitching all the way around :). The bias fabric is a cheap, not-quilt-shop-quality fat quarter from my stash. I also made the handles 29″ long, rather than 22″ per the pattern, so that I can throw it onto my shoulder even with a heavy coat on. The fabrics are all from Priory Square, by Katy Jones for Art Gallery, from a bundle I won from Gotham Quilts in the fall of 2014.

cargo duffle quilting detail

I had a lot of fun with the quilting, using various free-motion motifs such as feathers, pebbles, swirls, and lazy eights. And all that quilting gave it a really good stiffness too (well, except for the front and back contrast sections where I used a few measly straight lines.) When it came to thread for the quilting, I was having trouble seeing what I was doing with matching thread, so the dark pink/red aurifil was a good match for the pink flowers in the navy collage print, and really pops off the Kona Nautical I used along the bottom. I had received the spool in my swag bag at Glamp Stitchalot, and I never thought I would use it, but it worked out perfectly here. For the back, I found a silver rayon thread I had purchased when I first started quilting, not realizing that rayon is not as sturdy as cotton, but I figure I won’t be washing this bag so much for it to be an issue.

cargo duffle side quilting detail

If you have made this bag, tell me, what do you use it for? At the moment, I have put my laptop in it, I may add a padded bottom, but the laptop is in a sleeve and there is lots of room for paraphernalia like a mouse, card reader, and the power cord. It seems a little fancy for my sweaty shoes and gym clothes, *wink*.

Linking up to TGIFF, Finish it Up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts, and of course the Finish-A-Long linky party for Q1.

2016 FAL


  1. You’ve done a wonderful job on the bag. It looks like it will be really useful. My bag usage these days is tote bags dragging groceries home or schlepping quilt stuff to friends’ houses for stitching days. Enjoy your bag.

  2. Yours is a great bag, with really fun quilting designs. I use my similar bag (don’t know how big yours is, but mine’s like a full backpack size, just turned on its side) to schlep around all my trips. I have taken it overseas a couple of times, and just now washed it. It’s doing just fine and I love having it where I go. Great finish!

  3. Thats a nice bag Lisa. Bright and colourful, looks a useful size too. I do like your quilting.

  4. You did a wonderful job on your bag and your quilting is very nice. I’m envious of your skill! I made two of these this year for my grandchildren for their visits to our house every week and up to the cottage They hold a lot of stuff! I was very pleased with how mine turned out as well. I made them with linings and a zippered pocket on the outside and one on the inside. I also increased the width of them by about 4″. My daughter has asked for one too and I just might make one for myself. I love your fabric choices for yours Lisa.
    P.S.- We are almost neighbours. We get off the hwy at Port Hope to go to our cottage on Rice Lake! Cheers!

  5. I’m very impressed with your skills used putting this bag together. Your quilting also looks great. I find it impossible to quilt dark thread on dark fabric.

  6. Wow Lisa! Yay! You finished it! It looks amazing. I like that you quilted it “properly” instead of just straight lines 🙂 I use mine for the kids when they go to their grandparents or when I need to take clothes somewhere overnight or to have extras around for the kids if we are going out all day. It’s also a great snack/activity bag for road trips!

  7. Your bag has turned out lovely, you have made great use of those thrift purchases and freebies!

  8. This is a lovely bag, I love the fabric choices! Thank you for participating in the FAL, on behalf of the 2016 global FAL hosts.

    1. Thank you, i think i will come back to this pattern in the future for a quilted bag, it would be fun using patchwork or improv piecing.

  9. Oh my goodness, this is fabulous! Did the bag go together pretty easily? You did a super job! great finish!

    1. It was a bit challenging to sew the front and back panels to the sides due to the thickness of the assembled panels, but definitely doable. Next time I would also press the lining fabric to crease it along the zipper before i sew it on, because of course i can’t press the plastic zipper to create the nice crease afterwards.

  10. […] to say this seems like my best ever quarter in the finish-a-long. I finished the Refracted Quilt, Cargo Duffle Bag, and Windows Sweater. Then, to squeak in at the last minute, this shining star pillow (goal-setting […]

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