16 Queen Sized Quilt Archival Bags
Sewing Project

16 Queen Sized Quilt Drawstring Bags {whew}

On August 26th, I was contacted by a person who had been scouring the internet looking for archival bags for queen size quilts. She had previously been able to find and purchase them without a problem, but the largest size she could find from her usual resources only fit up to a twin size quilt. Because she saw that I made simple drawstring bags to use as gifts for baby quilts, she took a chance and contacted me to see if we could work together. She knew that she needed at LEAST 10 bags, so I knew up front that the work was going to feel a lot more like a production job. I was definitely interested in seeing how the process would work out. One of the key features of the bag is that it has a vinyl exterior pocket that fits a standard 5″ X 8″ index card for noting pertinent information about the item(s) stored within the bag. I was excited to work with a new material and try my hand at something new that wasn’t a huge departure from techniques and skills I know I possess. 🙂 I found a You Tube video that I watched in preparation for sewing with vinyl: Making a Clear Vinyl Pocket. (Tip from video: use the tissue paper that the vinyl comes on to help keep the vinyl sliding along your sewing machine.)

16 Queen Sized Quilt Archival Bags

16 Queen Sized Quilt Archival Bags

In another act of kindness and trust, once we had tentatively worked out an agreement, she sent me one of her previously purchased bags. This turned out to be very helpful for me – I would never have thought to sew down a pieced of vinyl directly to the bag first and then to cover that with the “pocket” of bound vinyl. After the fact, it makes sense (the paper can easily slide on both smooth surfaces), but I do not think I would have done that without seeing the product in hand.

Simple Drawstring Archival Bags - Bag Sent by Customer on Left, Test Bag on Right

Simple Drawstring Archival Bags – Bag Sent by Customer on Left, Test Bag on Right

I ended up ordering all the materials I needed online instead of purchasing from a local store – I did try to find 28 to 30 yards of 36″ wide muslin in my local area, but most shops could only give me a few yards at most. Purchasing an entire bolt online worked out as a very good solution. The materials all arrived at the tail end of last week, and over the weekend I made a test bag. It turned out a bit shy of the final dimensions I was targeting, so after a quick adjustment in my initial cutting, I quickly set up a production line in my sewing room.

Simple Drawstring Archival Bag

Simple Drawstring Archival Bag

Overall, it took me around 13 hours to make 16 of these bags, and I am happy to see them shipped off to the customer. A few things that I did that really helped speed up my assembly process:

Pre-Made Bound Vinyl Pocket Windows

Pre-Made Bound Vinyl Pocket Windows

  1. I pre-made all the bound vinyl pocket covers. It took about 3 hours to get the binding prepared and sewn on, and I am glad I just got that work out of the way before starting on the bags.
  2. I quickly learned that muslin is not the same as quilting cotton. To ease my frustration with fabric cutting, I over cut when I cut Width of Fabric (WOF) x width of bag off the bolt. I then ironed the material flat, smoothly double folded, and trimmed to the exact panel dimensions.
  3. I purchased the cord stops sight unseen, and I had some really strong parachute cord on hand. When the cord stops arrived, my heart sank. I did not have any idea how I would get two ends of my parachute cord passed through… but after some initial trepidation, I found a great solution. First, I melted one end of the pre-cut parachute cord on my gas stove top. I passed that end through the cord stop and used the cord stop to feed the parachute cord through the drawstring pocket at the top of the bag. Then I used some masking tape to wrap the second end of the cord to the end already passed through the cord stop. I eased the cord stop over the tape (sometimes it took a bit of arm strength), and then removed the tape and melted the second end of the cord. See images below. Voila!
Pulling Cords Through Cord Stop: Step 1

Pulling Cords Through Cord Stop: Step 1

Pulling Cords Through Cord Stop: Step 2

Pulling Cords Through Cord Stop: Step 2

Pulling Cords Through Cord Stop: Step 3

Pulling Cords Through Cord Stop: Step 3

That was a grand new adventure for me, and now I am really excited to get back to quilting! I have some really fun projects in the queue. In fact, I am going to be working on 3 different queen sized quilts in the near future. One of them needs to remain pretty secretive, but I am going to be able to show a few sneak peaks here and there. I think I am going to work on the next instructions for the Foothills Mystery Quilt this afternoon to ease back into fun quilting projects, and then I might just add a 5th WiP for myself in the form of either a music lap quilt or a black and white lap quilt. Goodness, look at me piling on projects, that is pretty unusual for me!

Current WiPs

  1. Foothills Mystery Quilt (last month of instructions: April 2015)
  2. Cocoa Leaf Drum Lamp Inspired Queen Sized Quilt
  3. Pretty Secretive Queen Sized Quilt (fabric arrives next week!)
  4. Tessellated Leaves Queen Sized Quilt (fabric selection starting!)
  5. Lap Quilt – TBD

0 thoughts on “16 Queen Sized Quilt Drawstring Bags {whew}

  1. sally says:

    What a great solution to the cord problem. I’m feeling very interested to see all of your quilts progress, they all sound either exciting or intriguing in some way.

  2. Judy says:

    How awesome that you got a customer from one of your tutorials! That’s really cool! She is going to love the bags and does this mean you have a repeat customer?

    I’m very impressed that you were able to whip out all of those bags in that amount of time! I made ONE quilt bag this week and I’m not even going to admit how long it took! LOL

  3. very nice! The bags are lovely and it is so nice to work with a customer who also wants to work with you!

  4. Beth S. says:

    Wow, look at you lining up the projects! 🙂 I’m so glad you finished your bags and are pleased with them. I can’t wait to see the progress on your other projects!

  5. Vera says:

    Oh well done! I was gettting curious what are you going to use these for. So now I know 🙂 The hours it takes are pretty impressive too. Who knew!

  6. Jasmine says:

    You are so productive! Congrats on getting the utility sewing out of the way, so that you can quilt. Looking forward to seeing your progress on your WIP. I want to make some more bags, but 16 all at once is a lot.

  7. Awesome! I’m sure your customer really appreciates all your hard work!

  8. The bags turned out super great! Very simple, yet perfect! I love the idea of having it sent away and presented like that in gifts as well. :o)

  9. Cheryl says:

    Those bags are great! You have so many helpful hints in this post. I have tried to sew once with vinyl and your tips would have definitely made it easier.

  10. Joanna says:

    That’s amazing you found a customer through a tutorial! Really shows how your SEO tips work 😉

  11. Wow, you are quick! This is such a great idea 🙂

  12. Assembly line stitching always makes things go fast. They look awesome!

  13. Nurdan says:

    Well done Yvonne! By the way, I have to say- just to inform you- that your posts didn’t appear in my bloglovin feed therefore not sent to me in an email as notification. I have missed lots of posts from Riddle and Whimsy as well. Keep an eye it maybe and see if your other followers have experienced the same thing?

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)