Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day Tote Bag

On our way to the Denver airport on our recent trip to Colorado, we decided to stop in Longmont to visit a needlework shop, which I will cover in another post. After going to the needlework shop, I noticed a quilt store across the street, so naturally I had to stop in and look around. The Quilter's Studio is a very nice, albeit small shop, with lots of tote bag kits for sale.  Since I had noticed that the bag my daughter has been using was becoming rather threadbare, I purchased a Shoulder Tote Kit.

The pattern is from Quilts Illustrated, designed by Penny Sturges. You can buy patterns, kits, and even finished bags from her web site. This particular kit was made up in The Quilter's Studio. I love the purple/teal color combination, and I know my daughter will, too.   This was an extremely easy pattern, with very clear instructions. I did make two changes, the first one using plastic mesh - you know, the kind used for cross stitching, instead of the cardboard called out in the patter to stabilize the bottom. I like using plastic mesh - it is washable and dry-cleanable. I also added a button and loop closure at the top of the bag opening. Here's the finished product:

I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo, but the pocket is a bit wobbly. Next time I make this up I will use interfacing in the pocket to make it a bit firmer. I attached the pocket to the bag using a small buttonhole stitch, which is my favorite method of machine applique. This only took 1/2 day to make; that's a pretty quick gift. I mailed it off this morning, so I'll find out Saturday if she likes it. But she's my daughter, she likes everything I make! I made the mistake of showing it to my Mom, so now she wants one. I'll have to make hers in the red/purple combination that the Red Hat Club favors.

After finishing this tote, I started on one for me - only it's much more complicated, with several outside pockets, an inside organizer, vinyl bottoms and so on and so forth. It is taking quite a bit more time and effort. I'll show you that one soon, then I will switch to some embroidery projects that have been sorely neglected these past few weeks.

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