When Anna Graham released the Range Backpack back in August, I immediately started plotting one of my own. This is the 5th pattern or tutorial of hers that I’ve tackled (the others are the Poolside Tote, Road Trip Case, Social Tote, and Ten Square Quilt), and I’ve loved every single one. Her bags are well designed and her patterns are very well written with clear instructions and helpful diagrams.
The exterior fabric is canvas from Rashida Coleman-Hale’s Kujira + Star collection for Cotton + Steel. I considered several different options before finally choosing this and I’m glad I did! The blue is the perfect color and the wave pattern is fun without being obnoxious. The lining and straps are Essex Linen. I went back and forth about using a light color for the straps, since that’s also the part that will be subject to the most handling and therefore the most grime and dirt, but c’est la vie. The bottom is a brown waxed canvas I bought from fabric.com. This is the first time I’ve ever used waxed canvas but it wasn’t difficult at all.
Instead of trying to track it all down on my own, I chose to buy a hardware kit from Anna’s site which included the metal parts along with a strip of leather for the hang loop. This was also the first time I’d ever used leather in a project but I used a leather needle like the pattern recommended and it was smooth sailing.
The only thing I would change if I make this again is the closure — working the strap into and out of the d-ring every time I want to open or close the backpack gets old pretty fast, especially if I’m opening and closing it a lot. Anna recently posted instructions on her blog for using a slide release buckle instead…which I unfortunately didn’t see until mine was already complete! Unless you really love the aesthetics of the d-ring, I’d recommend the buckle option instead.
I made this one over the course of a couple weeks in October and finished it just in time to use it at Quilt Market and Quilt Festival! Anna’s patterns are pretty well known among the modern quilting set, and I got several compliments on it as I walked around the Market floor!