Among Brenda's Quilts

Have you ever wondered where the idea for a bag design comes from? Would you like to hear the back story behind my designs? Are you interested in what others have done with a particular pattern? That’s what “Showcase” is all about!

The Everything Goes Bag


Snowman and Everything Goes bags

Janet, with her Mr. Snowman bag, and Shirley, with her Everything Goes bag. Shirley, from the Marsh Store in Coldstream, Ontario is always happy to teach a class on the Everything Goes Bag.

'Everything Goes' started as 'Mr. Snowman'

Mister Snowman bag patternThe Everything Goes Bag pattern has been and continues to be a good seller here at Among Brenda’s Quilts, but you may be interested to hear that it started out as another bag entirely.

Back in 2006 I developed a bag made of wool felt with a snowman motif. The finished prototype hung around on a hook in my office for a couple of months in bag limbo until a friend, Janet McClure, stopped by. Janet loves primitives and country colors so this bag was right up her alley, and she encouraged me to set to work writing the instructions for what became the Mister Snowman Shoulder Bag.

Wool felt in the Summer? Although the bag was cute and roomy it never did live up to my sales expectations. Having written the design for use with wool felt was the biggest obstacles for sales. After all, who would want a wool felt bag in Spring, Summer and Fall? Why didn’t I think of that… I must admit it was great warming my lap in a cold car in the winter though!

A sales disappointment turns into a winner

The Everything Goes BagFast forward to 2011. Still loving the shape and size of the Mister Snowman Bag, I was excited to discover a new product, foam stabilizer, that had just been introduced to the market. You’ll likely know about it now but back then this was cutting edge product for bag makers.

The possibility of using a foam stabilizer, such as Bosal In-R-Form, gave me new hope for my pattern. So in the spirit of reuse and recycle I reworked the pattern into the Everything Goes Bag. I ditched the wool felt and got busy sewing.

The new sew-in foam stabilizer gave the bag the body it needed to stand up nicely and gave extra oomph to the double padded straps. The curved pocket was added, and the snap closure was discarded and replaced with a zipper top closure. I also gave the bag a security zipper pocket inside along with two huge inner pockets, one to carry an iPad™ and the other to carry a notebook computer.

Because so much fit into the 14 ½" W x 12" H x 5" D bag it was named the Everything Goes Bag and given the stock number ABQ-159. Practically everything but the kitchen sink fits in the bag.

I’ve travelled everywhere with Everything Goes. It fits perfectly below the seat of a plane and is securely zipped at the top. A passport and boarding pass are safe in the inner security pocket. Between myself and customers, Everything Goes has gone just about everywhere in the world doing its intended job, keeping everything you need close by, organized and secure.

Every month I get pictures of Everything Goes for my Show & Tell page; in fact, I think of all the bags this one shows up the most in my in-box.

Below is a variety of lovely bags from the Everything Goes pattern. What will you do with yours?

Susan was all fired up to sew another Everything Goes Bag after our class. She says I've unleashed the sewing monster in her!

Claire works at Quilty Pleasures in Orleans, Ontario, Canada. Here she is modeling her new bag!

Bag made by Pat S. for Andjareenas Place in Trenton, Ontario. “Pat has been making all your bags and teaching them as well and they are very popular in the shop.”

Lisa H. of Soft Impressions by Lisa made this sample for shows she vends at.

Marcy bought her pattern from vendor Lisa over at the left. Maybe she saw the sample! She writes, "I just finished making your THE EVERYTHING GOES BAG. It turned out awesome. Your pattern is written very clearly and the illustrations are very useful. Thanks for writing clear and thorough instructions! Marjorie made this beautiful Everything Goes Bag for herself. She shortened the straps to suit her height and writes: “Being a short person, I shortened the handles so I could carry the bag and not have it bump on the floor. Can still use it over the shoulder if necessary. Thank you for a great pattern.”

Mary Lamb deserves special mention. Mary, while being my sample sewer, also ends up sewing a lot of bags as gifts for her family.

Mary actually made this one for little old me.

Another gorgeous bag made by Mary!

Nice job on your Everything Goes Bag Denise! I love the look you got with the print you picked.

I met Ruth at a class where she made my Ellipse Bag. She's gone on to make this Everything Goes Bag on her own.

Rita took a class in Windsor and produced this lovely bag in a day.

Susan was part of a recent Everything Goes Bag Class and here's her finished bag. She writes: Completed! I am making number two today. Your pattern is so easy to follow!

Lynn loves the Blues and the blues love Lynn. Striking a pose with her new bag!

Dina has made several Everything Goes Bags. She left one with a friend in Australia and traveled with this wildly Canadian version of the bag while there. She's squared up the outer pocket to take advantage of her fussy cutting.

Marg travels extensively to visit her grandkids and packs the Everything Goes Bag to get there.

Judy stepped into my booth at the CreativFestival and had her new Everything Goes bag with her. That's a nice fall look Judy, good job!

Dina’s been busy making multiple Everything Goes Bags and doing a lovely job!

Liz does a lot of travelling " I bought this pattern from your booth at the Creative Festival show in Toronto and am just getting it done now! I'm flying and am looking forward to taking it. Love all the compartments especially the security pocket for passport and tickets."

Joan tells me that you can never have too many bags! Here is her beautiful Everything Goes Bag. I just love that punchy floral Joan!

This great Everything Goes Bag was made by Lisa of Heavenly Patchwork in Clontarf, Australia.

Marlene has a friend that is musically inclined. Here is her Christmas present - an Everything Goes Bag!

Jan S. has made some really fresh and fun looking Everything Goes Bags. Here’s one.

Oh my gosh, Genny has made a family of Everything Goes Bags!

Ann has made two lovely Everything Goes Bags and sent me the pictures. Thanks Ann!

Jan S. and another one of her gorgeous Everything Goes Bags.

Linda showed me her two new Everything Goes Bags at guild. Nice work Linda!

Written by Brenda Miller — August 24, 2015


I'm Brenda, and I love designing patterns that help you create beautiful, functional bags and quilts.

These patterns are unique, well-illustrated, simple to follow, and fun to sew.

We also carry my own line of bag zippers, finished designer bags, bag hardware kits, specialty fabrics, and notions, so you're able to easily find what you need to do a superb job on all of your ABQ projects.

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