Hey, sewing buddies – let’s go on a Virtual Quilting Retreat together! We can dream, right?!  It’ll be you, me and several thousand other quilters who are reading this post. We’ll have a great time together, but first we’re going to sew a set of Quilting Carryalls so we can pack up plenty of supplies. Let’s get started!

Image Source: Tilda’s World blog

First we need a BIG TILDA TOTE with lots of room . . .

The perfect Quilting Carryalls should have a little patchwork in the design, so I chose this ample tote just for us. Designed by the Tilda Team, it uses two identical sets of six blocks for the front and back. You can line your tote in one of the patchwork fabrics or pick a coordinate to stand on its own.  In addition to your lining fabric, you’ll need eight coordinates for piecing and the handles and batting (called wadding in the tutorial). Even though Tilda is a European company, the measurements given are all in inches, so that makes our job easier!  The step by step instructions for cutting and assembly are great, so your Big Tilda Tote will go together nicely. The finished tote will be approximately 17” x 23” and have plenty of room for all the supplies we’ll need! Click here for the tutorial on the Tilda’s World Blog.

Image Source: You Sew Girl blog

Then let’s sew a ROLL UP CASE for our important tools . . .

If we’re going to stash lots of goodies in our tote, we might as well have a cute Roll Up Case for our cutting and marking tools! I chose the Roll Up Bag designed by Nicole of the You Sew Girl blog because it’s sturdy and holds plenty. Nicole is the author of The Better Bagmaker Book, so she really knows her way around a bag. You’ll need to translate metric to inches on this one, but it’s well worth it. Nicole’s instructions for pattern making and assembly are superb! And, here’s a little more “translation” help. . . Vilene S320 is a non-woven, semi-stiff, fusible interfacing. Stiff enough to hold it’s shape, but flexible enough to allow the roll up to fold in thirds. H640 is also known as fusible fleece. Click here for Nicole’s wonderful tutorial.

Image Source: Simply Notable blog

Of course, we’ll also need a NOTIONS BAG for more supplies . . .

Emily of the Simply Notable blog designed a Notions Bag I thought would fit right in with our Quilting Carryalls. The super-cool thing about these bags is the clear window that will let us find what we need quickly. I think you should plan on several of these to pack in your Tote! If you choose to use laminated cotton as Emily did for her bag, be sure you have a Teflon Foot for your machine. It will make sewing SO much easier! In addition to your fabric, choose a good zipper and thread for all the top stitching. Emily’s steps for creating the vinyl window for the bag are excellent, so sewing will be lots of fun! As a last step, she lists 30 suggestions for filling your little bag. You can probably come up with even more! Click here for the Notions Bag tutorial.

And, we should probably have a FOLD UP NEEDLE HOLDER to put in our tote . . .

This Fold Up Needle Holder is just too adorable. And, when it’s folded, your needles have no chance of falling out! That makes it perfect for our Tote and a great addition to our Quilting Carryalls. Lindsay of the Diary of a Crafty Lady designed the Needle Holder along with a downloadable PDf cutting template. In addition to fabric for the front and back, you’ll want a nice piece of wool felt for needle holding. Wool will keep your needles from rusting and we wouldn’t want that! Lindsay gives great instructions for stitching and ironing so that your Needle Holder will fold up well.  After stitching, trim your ¼” seams down a bit and make lots of clips along the seam allowance. That will help those curves be nice and curvy! Click here for Lindsay’s tutorial.

Image Source: Deb’s Journal blog

Next,  we need to make a MAT CARRY CASE . . .

Our last two projects are glued and stapled, so you can take a little sewing break. Not for long, though because the whole point of these Quilting Carryalls is so that you can sew!  Deb of Deb’s Journal blog used just one fabric for her Mat Carry Case, but you may want to piece yours or use several prints. You could make it coordinate with your Tilda Tote! You’ll be doing a lot of cutting and measuring as you go, so I suggest you sit down and read through the tutorial first. Deb included an ironing mat in her case, so along with fabric you’ll need a heat-resistant batting like Insulbright. You’ll also need batting (Deb calls it wadding), a foam core sheet from the craft store and a small cutting mat. This is really the case of your dreams! Click here for Deb’s tutorial.

Now, let’s add a little extra pressing area for our retreat, with a TV TRAY IRONING TABLE . . .

Lynn , from the Sewing Secrets team, saw a little board like this on a retreat, just had to have one and found this tutorial on the American Quilting Shop blog. It’s SEW cool and we’ll love having it on our retreat, too. There’s a great supply list in the tutorial, but be sure to start with a Wooden TV Tray Table. The size of the table will determine the amounts you’ll need for the rest of your supplies. Carefully follow Deb’s instructions for layering the batting and fabric on top of the tray. Proper layering will make a real difference in the success of your Ironing Tray. I’m so glad Lynn found this tutorial for us and I’m hoping she’ll come along on our Virtual Quilting Retreat, too! Click here for the Ironing Table tutorial.

Well, that was a lot of fun, but a lot of work, too – we really do deserve a retreat now! So, print out all the tutorials, gather your friends and take off for a fabulously quilty weekend or maybe even a week. In fact, a Carryall making retreat would be lovely, even if you’re just staying at home. Have fun and quilt and sew on!!

About the Author


Annette Millard began sewing at the age of three, made her first dress at ten and is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands. Annette feels very privileged to have spent most of her work life in the sewing industry and loves teaching, making her own handmade wardrobe and writing about sewing. She spent over ten years as the newsletter and web site content writer for the Pacific Northwest's largest locally-owned family of fabric stores and is now thrilled to have the opportunity to share her passion for sewing with the Sewing Secrets community. Follow Annette and more of her sewing adventures on her own blog, www.sewfullife.com.

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