A new tradition has started for our family. The beginning of each year we travel to Mexico to spend four days soaking up the sun, splashing in the waves, and dancing on the beach. The annual Playing in the Sand concert vacation with Dead and Company has become a "must-go" for us. The Grateful Dead have been around for decades in one form or another, no matter what the band name is, the community is still the same. The crafting of small items to gift to random strangers is a long standing tradition that still lives today. This year I brought buttons, magnets, stickers, and a few dozen hand-painted fans as my gifts. This awesome swag needed a special bag and thus the idea to create a one of a kind tote bag was born.
The 13 pointed lightening bolt is iconic and I knew I had to get it just right. The angles of the points would be tricky for sure, so to start I printed off a plain black and white copy from Google. I hand traced it, and began to section the image, breaking down each section in to individual patches. For detailed, step by step instructions on how to section an image for paper piecing, I recommend Sarah Elizabeth Sharps book Adventures in Paper Piecing and Design. She does a wonderful job explaining the process and has lots of practice lessons.
Once I was happy with the sectioning, I scanned the image back to the computer and opened the file as a Tracing Layer for a new block in Quilt Pro Systems. Using the polygon tool, I began creating the patches for each section over my scanned Tracing layer. Once the block was finished I used the foundation building tool in QPS to section and label each piece before printing at my desired finished size.
Now that I have the pattern worked out, the size of the finished block can be adjusted before printing. I made a few smaller versions that are perfect for a concert or a stroll through your favorite fabric store. If you haven't already attempted to create your own FPP, I hope this gives you the confidence to do so. May inspiration move you brightly!