Monday, May 1, 2017

R2CA Blog Hop Theme and Judging

Today begins a bi-monthly meander around the web visiting some amazing quilters and sewists in the handbag-makers world.  The trip is inspired by the 2018 Road to California Bag Challenge and we’ve asked each to share some of their favorite tips for bag making and embellishment with us. We hope these tips expand your bag making skills and offer new creative insights.

At various stops along the way, you’ll have the chance to win some fun bag-making supplies, from stabilizers and fabrics to bag hardware and zippers. All you have to do is follow the instructions of each participating blogger for your chance to win.

For your chance to win a prize in this blog, please see the instructions at the bottom.

Thanks for playing along and for joining us on this journey. patterns (left to right): Carry On! Travel Bag, Bowl Me Over, Every Day Every Way, Bowl Me Over, Ultimate Travel Bag
Contest entrants are competing for $1200 in cash prizes and merchandise. As part of these awards, will be providing a $200 Gift Certificate to the person who, in the opinion of the three judges, best interprets the theme of the " On the Road" contest.

How will you interpret that theme? Will you make a big travel bag for carrying everything you need for a weekend away? Maybe you’d prefer to make a garment bag with lots of pockets for all your accessories?

Will you use fabrics depicting sights and sounds seen when you are “On the Road”?

How about an organizer to put on the car seat to hold all your toddler’s toys and snacks?  If you’re a parent to a small one, your idea of “On the Road” might be pushing a baby in a stroller through the park or zoo. Patterns: Ultimate Travel Bag, Going Place Garment Bag, Road Trip, Backseat Babysitter
However you choose to interpret the theme, we look forward to seeing your creations!

Today also begins your creative process in the 2018 Road to California Bag Challenge. We hope this post will inspire you to plan the process of making an amazing bag. Will your bag be the winning entry in 2018?

To start the process, let's talk about creativity itself. 

Many major thinkers of today agree that there are four major stages in the creative process: preparation, incubation, insight, and evaluation.(Source) For the purposes of this post we are going to also include a fifth stage: elaboration. (Source)  Let's delve into these now!

The Creative Process

Creative ideas and even ideas themselves don't appear out of thin air. Quite the contrary! 

Great ideas build on relationships that the creator recognizes in the world and then rearranges to make something new. 

Along the course of this blog tour, you will see lots of fun ideas:

May 15: Sew Sweetness will use an innovative new material. 
June 5: StudioKat will share ideas on great bag exteriors. 
July 1: will show a variety of ways to use zippers. 
July 15: A Quilting Life will adapt patterns to include patchwork pieces. 
August 1: Emmaline Bags will put bag hardware on full display. 
August 15: will go through creating handles and straps.
September 1: Renaissance Ribbons will create texture and color with ribbon.
And finally, will close with a must-see binding tutorial.

Don't forget to visit your local quilt shop or hunt through your stash along the way to make sure you have your color and pattern library in mind, too!

Use all these resources to come up with new ideas and innovate on the bag you are making. Your final project will be stunning and unique to you! Pattern: Netbook Computer Carriers Patterns: Bon Voyage, Get Out of Town, and Fetch Your Sketch
Okay, so you have done your reading, looking, thinking, and organizing. Now just enjoy the spring/summer (fall/winter in the southern hemisphere).

Get out there and look at nature. Take a bath. Have a nice dinner. Go for a drive or take a trip. Get on the road. You'll find more inspiration out there and you'll discover needs you didn't think about at first.

Boom! You've hit on it and you know what you're going to do. This may happen while sitting in early morning traffic, strolling through a park, changing a baby's diaper, or just as you lay down for the night. It might also happen while you are halfway through with your first idea and now you have two projects to create. No worries. You hit on it! You know what to do. So get to it!

Side note: If insight does come to you while taking a bath, you are among good company. Pattern: Changing Station Pattern: Got Your Back

Yeah, we know. It actually isn't that simple. So you have a great idea for a bag that looks like an ostrich and can walk by itself. It would be a great companion on your upcoming trip, but just how do you attach those feathers... let alone make it walk? Time to start the creative process once again.

During evaluation, it might also be helpful to know the criteria that the judges will use. This can help you focus your ideas on a category you might want to win and help you keep in mind some of the qualities we have identified as important. Don't let this criteria rule your creative process, as the ultimate goal should be making a bag YOU are proud of, not one that meets a criteria. Still, it may prove helpful in focusing your ideas.

"On the Road": the 2018 Road to California Bag Challenge Judging Rubric -- click here.

Finally, you come to hard core elaboration. We add this step because at the end of the day we are truly making something. We aren't just coming up with ideas, but instead turning that idea into a physical reality. Get to your sewing room. Cut that cloth, sew those pieces, prick your fingers, and pick those stitches.

Then sometime between June 15 and October 1, 2017, submit your images to the Road to California Bag Challenge committee and prepare for a wonderful show!

Free Tutorial: Make a Fetch Your Sketch Eraser

PBS Video on Creativity:
Delve deeper into creativity:
We loved researching this post and thought that the following video was educational.

Check it out from PBS.

PBS Video on Creativity:

Win A Fun Fabric Pack!
Share your thoughts on how you approach the creative process by commenting below.
We'll pick our two favorite comments
and award the writers with a fun prize!

Fat Quarter Fabric Pack
Girls Night Out*
by Terri Degenkolb
from Windham Fabrics

*This fabric won't be in stores until July, 2017, but Windham Fabrics graciously provided two Fat Quarter packs for prizes. We've loved making samples for Market using this line and know you'll enjoy playing with it, too!

Winners will be picked on May 15, 2017, from comments posted through May 14, 2017, and will be notified by email. Be sure your comment or blogger profile includes a valid email address.

Girls Night Out by Terri Degenkolb - Windham Fabrics

The On the Road Challenge is sponsored by Road to California and Soft and Stable®. The challenge will open June 15, 2017. That is when the official rules, regulations, and conditions along with the entry form will be available online at Road to California and’s websites.

This blog is part of the "On the Road" Bag Challenge blog hop. To see previous and upcoming posts, we suggest visiting the starting blog to find links. Click here to see the full list.

While there is no limit to the number of entries a person may submit, there is a fee per entry: $10 for an online entry and $15 if the entry is mailed in. All entry packets must be received by October 1, 2017. Winning entries and additional entries selected for display will be notified by December 1, 2017.