I had an e mail last week about the requirements lists in 'Fabulous Fat Quarter Bags'. A quilter couldn't work out how much fabric was needed for the backing, wadding and lining fabrics. At first, I thought she meant there were no amounts given at all, which was a bit puzzling (how could that have escaped the eagle eye of my technical editor?). I had another e mail today, so what she meant was a bit clearer -
We have decided to try making the Stripping Handbag which starts on page24.
But we’ve got a bit stuck over the You Will Need section, in particular with the amounts of material needed for the backing, wadding and lining. Is it possible to use a ‘fat quarter’ for each of the backing, wadding and lining? We’ve found it quite difficult to figure out exactly how much of each we will need in total. I’ve attached a copy of the You Will Need section I’m referring to so that you can see what we mean.
Now I could understand what she meant, I sent this reply -
The reason we give each piece separately for the wadding, backing, lining etc. is because a lot of quilters use up scraps and remainders to make the insides of their bags, particularly the wadding - a lot of quilters use up the long, thin pieces trimmed off when layering their quilts for example. If I said that quilters needed a 20 x 20in square of wadding, which they might not have, only to tell them to chop it up into smaller pieces which they did have, I'd be getting a lot of complaints! Also, they might be able to get all the pieces out of a 20 x 20in, but also a 10in x 40in, or a 12 x 8in piece, so it would start to get very confusing indeed.
In the case of this one, you'd easily get the two bag side panels from a fat quarter (each part of the cutting instructions tell you which part of the bag that piece will be), but the longer piece for the bag gusset would be too large to cut from a fat quarter at 24in long. You could cut them all from a thin quarter. Or you could piece the 24in long length from two shorter pieces. If you lined the bag in plain calico as well as using it for the backing fabric, you could do the whole lot from a half metre. These are all standard width patchwork fabrics by the way.
Some of the larger bags I made for that book actually have different fabrics used for the lining pieces - they don't all have to be from the same fabric, so you can continue your patchwork theme inside the bag as well as outside.
So here it is, just in case anyone else has got stuck on this point.