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Thread: Help! Turning the handle on a quilt bag

  1. #1
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    Help! Turning the handle on a quilt bag

    I am having difficult pressing the seams flat on a handles for these quilted Bible Bags that are going with our missionaries to the Philippines again this fall I am just getting an early start. The handle is a cut 2.5" x 28" and I fuse interfacing inside before turning. But I can't figure out how to get that seam pressed flat when turn right side out so I can have it place on the side. I looked for some bias pressing bar but none were wide enough. When I press the seam flat, there seems to appear some wrinkles caused by the interfacing moving. I stuck a large wooden knitting to press the seam flat but concern about getting burned with the iron. Any suggestion??

    Also if anyone can come up with simple pattern that I can make the pattern into 3" finished blocks, I would appreciate any suggestion. The size of the unfinished bag is 12.5" x 18.5"

    THANKS !!
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  2. #2
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    Hey ManiacQuilter, I can't help with the sizes, but for the handles, I would just put the interfacing on the wrong side of the fabric strip, press sides in to center, then fold in half and stitch instead of trying to turn inside out.
    Oh, love the bag, pretty. Love the square in a squares too.
    Last edited by Latrinka; 05-12-2015 at 01:32 PM. Reason: forgot something!
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  3. #3
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    Latrinka, that is the way I do it but I make the strips 4" and the interfacing 3" so that when I turn them in twice, the width of the handle is about 1.5". I've given up trying to turn the handles on bags.

  4. #4
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    When I make totes/handbags, I use a 5" strip the desired length....press in half, wrong sides together, lengthwise...then open up the strip, bring the long edges to the crease and press again....then fold in half along original lengthwise crease and stitch 1/4" from each long edge....no turning required, simple and fast.

  5. #5
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    What Latrinka said. I have also had issues doing it the way you have described. I also have better luck with a stiffer home dec type NON fusible rather than a soft batting. Using a fusible makes the process less forgiving because the fabric is trapped by the adhesive.
    As far as the 3" blocks are concerned, how about if you used two 9" (finished) blocks, then put a 3" X 18.5" solid strip on the bottom? You could coordinate the bottom fabric with the handles. You would need to seam the bottom so the sides come out on the seam between the blocks, not the center of a block as in your top photo.
    Or you could also use two 6 inch blocks surrounded by 3" plain strips, then seam the bag as in your top photo so the plain strips are on the sides. Sorry about defacing your beautiful square in square example, but this is what I am thinking of
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  6. #6
    Super Member franc36's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye Rose View Post
    When I make totes/handbags, I use a 5" strip the desired length....press in half, wrong sides together, lengthwise...then open up the strip, bring the long edges to the crease and press again....then fold in half along original lengthwise crease and stitch 1/4" from each long edge....no turning required, simple and fast.
    That is the way I make my tote bag handles. I agree with Buckeye Rose that it is simple and fast. Also, the handles look good and hold up well. In addition to the 1/4" stitching down the sides, I stitch down the middle.

  7. #7
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    Before turning right side out, try a wooden broom handle (or length of dowel)and see if it will fit down inside it. Iron the seam open before turning and once ironed open, put a few dabs of glue stick along the seam allowance and press again to dry the glue. Turn the tube right side out and if necessary, put the broom handle back inside and press again.

  8. #8
    Super Member Girlfriend's Avatar
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    Your batiks are gorgeous!!

    When I make handles, I sew 2 - 2 1/2" strips, plus one strip of batting of your choice. The 2 fabrics are right sides together and the batting on the bottom. Sew all the way down both sides. To turn the handles, I use a 4" very large safety pin (blanket pin) from Joann's. Pin one edge, stick it through the hole, and start pushing and gathering until you can pull the safety pin through the other end. Iron flat, stitch 1/8" from each side. They always turn out great! Good luck with your bags. What a great thing you are doing.
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