Canada’s 150 Years: The Big Celebration. It’s in the Bag!

Welcome to my version of the  Canada 150 – In the  Bag! Blog Tour. I’m pretty stoked to be part of it as the designers and participants (bloggers) are Canadian, with most of the fabric being bought in Canada, wherever possible. The tour started on Sunday, June 4th and goes to June 10th. There’s a huge giveaway, details of which are at the end of the post. Additionally I have two prizes to giveaway here. 

Prize Update June 9th, 2017 @ 2100hrs:

22 people have signed up to my blog. Thank you all so much. This post has drawn an awful lot of people to my site. I hope they continue to come, read, and enjoy. 

I have given all the followers a number, including those who are already on the list.  There are 37 all told. I am not publishing the list as some are registered by email.

Screen Shot 2017-06-09 at 20.53.29The random generator for a metre of the BC tartan is Essence Underwood. 

Screen Shot 2017-06-09 at 20.55.10

The random number generator for the Forest Glen Satchel pattern is Luiza Marinela

I have both emails so will been touch to arrange your prizes. Thank you all for joining in the fun! Happy Canada 150 to you all!! 

  • If I get 10 people to sign up to my somewhat infrequent blog, I will send the lucky person a metre of the BC Tartan fabric used in my bag. Do sign up or I will have to make a BC tartan top to wear on Canada Day! 
  • I will also randomly draw a number from the comments, with that person being sent the Forest Glen Satchel pattern. It has been donated by Thread Riding Hood and is a pdf pattern. It will need downloading and printing off before use. 

I live in BC and am proud of it. As such I thought I’d celebrate our country’s 150th anniversary by making a bag using my provincial tartan. A bit about the tartan … British Columbia’s official tartan was designed  in 1966, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 1866 union of Vancouver Island and British Columbia (who knew?). Its main colours are blue and red, for the Pacific Ocean and the maple leaf. A variety of greens represents forests. Tiny hints of white for the province’s official flower, the Pacific Dogwood, and gold from the sun in the provincial coat of arms. The more research I did, the more I realised everything comes back to nature here. 

Six more of BC’s symbols are the Dogwood flower, Jade (natural gemstone), Salmon, Stellar Jay, Western Red Cedar, and Spirit or Kermode Bear. For more information follow this link History of BC influences

Did you know BC has 3 different tartans? There are the Ancient colours, the Modern Colours and the Reproduction Colours. I used the modern tartan, and you can see the different colours here. The tartan I bought from Fabricland in Kamloops is a cotton blend and actually looks quite different to the wooly one. It’s a fine clothing fabric. As such I interfaced it to give it more structure and prevent those squares from distorting! In real life its a cherry red. Sadly my photos don’t all bring through those vivid hues.

But on to the bag … My bag is the Forest Glen Satchel; quite appropriate for my theme and designed by Thread Riding Hood. Sherri, the owner and designer is lovely, and has kindly donated to the Big Giveaway, and again through my blog. She has some good patterns including a few freebies if you want to try them out before buying anything. One feature I learned was how to make the strap so the slider lays across my back. I wasn’t aware beforehand that it was side dependent. Now I know! The instructions are clear and it came together in many parts before assembly for the final item.

I made the bag twice, not because I made some goofs with the first one – no, that happened with the second one. I wanted to make sure the tartan would work within the confines of the pattern. As it happens I love the bag and will definitely be using it more. I altered the second bag to add some features and am pleased with the results.

My first bag is my spring bag. It has vibrant hues and the left over poppy fabric is from a dress I’d made. I actually bought it to make bedroom curtains but my husband vetoed that. He’s not a morning person … need I say more? The lovely yellow rose fabric was a birthday present from a friend. Yellow roses are a known as friendship roses. Thank you Lita. I like light coloured linings, as it makes it easier to identify those ‘lost’ items hidden in the depths of my bags.

To be honest the size is great, and if I had a small person at home I’d put back pack straps on it and it would be a good child’s back pack. Internally the bag has an open pocket, which I split into two, with one of the slots being sized for my trusty iPhone. The other one takes whatever paraphernalia I need to keep separate.

I thought making the second bag was going to be a breeze, but there’s a lot going on (like moving), and my brain has been in overdrive mode. I made mistakes and did a lot of unpicking. It’s not usually a problem, but as I said earlier the fabric is quite fine and I had to be careful not to pull (too many) threads. This pattern uses four fabrics, which I initially chose to match the tartan. The more I read about BC’s history, the more I realised I wanted to include some of my personal BC influences, so the fabrics changed.

I chose to put Mr Moose on the accent corners, side chevrons and inside flap. Moose are amazing animals and my son’s nickname was Moose for a long time. My husband saw a moose the first time we visited Sun Peaks. It was a sign to move here.

BC has one of the largest bear populations in the world. We have a lot of black bears, though grizzly bears aren’t local. Its lovely watching bears from afar. I used a lovely bear Batiq fabric as the lining. With all that busyness I decided the strap should be plain to match the tartan fabric.

I like a boxy firm bag and used car headliner fabric instead of fleece. I often quilt the headliner in, but using Heat n Bond secured the headliner to the fabric, adding more structure, meaning I didn’t need the other layer of interfacing. Bonus!

My hacks? I added a zippered pocket to the inside front. It is invaluable for secreting stuff. My bag is always full, and scrambling round for keys is a pain, so I put swivel hooks in every bag I make; they are one of my essentials. Lastly I put feet on the bottom. They were a breeze to install; so much so I don’t know why I hadn’t done it it before! I bought my hardware locally at Katja’s Quilt Shoppe, but you can buy it on line from its’ source, Emmaline Bags.  I meant to add a lovely Emmaline “Made in Canada’ label but forgot to. Darn!!

That’s it from me. I hope you enjoyed reading about my satchel and learned a bit about my adopted homeland in the process. I was given the Forest Glen Satchel pattern to use in this blog, but nothing else was required from me. Here is a list of the sponsors … and below that the giveaway instructions and other blog tour links. Enjoy! Please also check out Sherri’s blog post here


Each blog has an exclusive giveaway, so be sure to visit them all.

Tour Discounts

  • 10% off!
    Tangled Blossoms Design
    is offering 10% off anything in stock for the duration of the tour. Offer expires June 10, 2017. Use discount code HAPPYBIRTHDAYCANADA
  • 15% off!
    Bringberry Handbag Hardware and Design
    is offering 15% off anything in stock for the duration of the tour. Offer expires June 10, 2017. Use discount code LOVECANADA150

Tour Stops

(These links will be active on and after the day they are scheduled.)

June 4

Emmaline Bags

June 5

Tangled Blossoms Design With Love in Every Stitch Happy Okapi

June 6

Michelle’s Creations Barabooboo Soca Sewing

June 7

Glitter in my Coffee Michelle’s Creations Seam of my Pants

June 8

Seam of my Pants Creative Roots Sewing Happy Okapi

June 9

Seam of my Pants

June 10

Giveaway ends at midnight EDT (North America)

July 1


Giveaway Prizes

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please join us in thanking our tour sponsors by visiting their websites.

* Jewellery is the Canadian spelling.

135 thoughts on “Canada’s 150 Years: The Big Celebration. It’s in the Bag!

  1. As a fellow British Columbian I really appreciated the trivia and I LOVE your bag. It has been a crazy bear season so far this year!


  2. Isn’t it funny how the English language adapts itself to different spelling from time to time! Love the tartan…having a Scottish Heritage (My Maternal Grandma was from just outside of Stirling) I love tartans.


  3. I love your bag!!!! A friend brought me back some tartan material from her visit home…….now I know exactky what to do with it, make her a bag!! Thank you for the idea!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love that moose fabric! I don’t see too many of them in the Calgary area, but I always see them (and bears) on my way to visit my inlaws in Sechelt.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Those are fabulous bags! Thanks to the ‘Canada 150 – In the Bag’ Tour, I have seen some awesome Canadian Fabrics, shops, designers and sewers……you are all so wonderfully talented.

    Wishing you and all your fellow Canadians a Very Happy 150th Birthday for July. Have a good one, eh?

    York, England

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have learned loads on this tour, but what has had most impact is the sense of camaraderie we have shared through the planning, creating and publishing process. Happy 150th to you, wherever you are!


  6. Gorgeous bag-I only found out about Canada’s provincial tartans this year-they’re all beautiful. I do have a scarf in the Maple Leaf tartan-Canada’s official tartan, and I love it. 🙂


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