Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bicycle Bag Tutorial

I am so in love with riding my bicycle right now.  The weather has been co-operative and I have put quilting on the back burner to make more time to be on my bike.  This happened to me a few years ago.  It's hard to find a balance when the 2 things that you love to do on pretty opposite ends of the spectrum.  I made a small quilt to depict my dilemma.  I called it Crossroads.
It measures 24" x 24".  I used lots of my hand dyed fabric and did a lot of handstitching. I felt then, the same way that I feel now. Balancing quilting with the joy of being on my bike is a challenge. I won't ride when it is raining or if the temperature is below 40 degrees. Then there is always the concern about car traffic on the roads.  I try to be smart about when and where I ride. So I try to seize every opportunity.
I own 4 bikes.  One of them is a folding bike and that resides in Key West.  I fold it up at the end of our stay there and store it in the owner's closet.
For 2 months, I ride it all over the island, usually with Bailey in her basket that hangs on the handlebar. I try not to get get behind the wheel of  our car the entire time we're there.  It's a good thing my hubby does all of the grocery shopping.
In PA I have a hybrid bicycle that I use for riding with Bailey, only places where there are no motorized vehicles allowed.  I also have a carbon fiber, high performance road bicycle that I "graduated to" in my previous incarnation as a crazy, obsessed cyclist. Then I have my beautified road bike that I ride most of the time now.
 The bike used to be a white Bianchi.  I searched high and low and could not find a pretty bike at that time.  The manufacturers were not catering to women.  I really wanted a pretty bike.  Instead after riding it for about a year, I beautified it.  I brought it to a special shop that paints cars.  They painted it blue (my favorite color), added my stickers of 2 things that I loved(spirals and dragonflies) and sprayed clear coat on top.  I named my bike "Dragonflyer". 
Of course a girl needs a place on her bike for the essentials like a cell phone and camera, in addition to a storage bag for those necessary tools and spare inner tube.
I made this one about 5 years ago out of tapestry fabric. Velcro kept the flap closed and the raw edges were zig zagged.  It did the job, but it was time for a new fun one.
This one was fun, fast and waterproof!
I bought the laminated fabric at City Quilter in New York several year ago
and it was waiting for just the right project.
If you want to make one, here are my :
 You will need :
Fabric for outside: 12"x16"
Fabric for lining: 12"x16"
1 - plastic zipper (>16")
5/8" Velcro - 2 pieces 3" long
Walking foot or a Teflon foot
Layer the Velcro so that the hook side is up and the loop side is up. 
This will allow it to catch when you wrap it around the handlebar.
Baste across the top.
 Layer the fabric and the lining wrong sides together.
Mark a chalk line 3" down from the top across the bag.
Make as vertical mark so the Velcro can be placed 7" apart.
Baste the Velcro in place.
Mark another line 1/2" above the first line.
Then fold up the both layers of fabric to encase the Velcro and stitch across,
using either a walking foot or a Teflon foot.
You can see how I had a bit of trouble stitching with a regular foot, so I put on my walking foot.
The next steps are for inserting the zipper.  If you need more detail go to this blog:
 Place the zipper along the top edge of the bag, right sides together.
Make sure the tab end of the zipper hangs at least 2" off the end.
Stitch  with a 1/4" seam allowance.
 Trim about 1/8" from the seam allowance and fold the zipper to the inside.
Stitch a scant 1/4" from the edge on the right side.
 Sew the other half of the zipper to the other side of the bag, starting with right sides together.
Trim, flip and top stitch just as you did with the first half.

Turn wrong side out.  Make sure the zipper tab is located on the body side of the bag.
 Stitch up the sides.
Either zig-zag to finish the edges or serge them.
 To create the side gusset, fold the bottom edge to meet the side seam, at a 90 degree angle.

 Stitch across the triangle 3/4" from the point.
 Trim and zig-zag or serge to finish.
Turn it right sides out.
 I love the look of a gusset and it is so easy to do!
 The finished bag.  It is just adorable.
Attach it to your bike with the Velcro straps and wait for your fellow riders to say
"Hey, where did you get that cute bag?"  ;-D



  1. Cheryl, WHAT a great post! That quilt is FANTASTIC!!!! And the bike bags are genius. You're making me want to get on my old bike (which I haven't been on in years!) My conflict is similar, between quilting and going to the gym, the latter of which I don't particularly enjoy, but need for sanity and good health! Afterward, I'm always glad I went!

  2. Wonderful bike bag and tutorial. I bought one years ago and it still works, lol.
    I carry a lot with me since I do trail riding, even a spare tire, just in case.


  3. Love your art quilt! Just wonderful! And, your bike bags are just way cool, and useful! Going to look at your quilt again. Lovely!

  4. OK, shall do soon!


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