Happy Wednesday! I am home from Utah and slowly getting back into my routine. I am a total routine person, so anytime that I break routine for more than a day or so, I spend a quite a few days trying to get back into when I get home. My trip to Utah was wonderful though. I fell in love with Salt Lake City and the mountains in Utah. I kept saying over and over, “I could live here!” Now that I am back home and recovering (I came home sick, booo!) I am back to work sewing for Quilt Market. I can’t show you the projects I am working on, but I want to show you something that I forgot to share last fall, a tote bag I made for the fall Quilt Market using Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements Fabrics.
You might not know this about me, but I love making tote bags. Not only do I love making them, I love making them from my own patterns. This bag is an example of that. I totally designed this bag from scratch. Someday hopefully soon I will get around to making a pattern for it so that others can make it too. (While you wait for this pattern, be sure to check out the free online tutorial at Fiskars for my iPad tote!)
Working with Tim’s fabrics and design style is perfect for me because I love frayed edges because they look worn and well-loved. I also embrace the idea that things don’t have to be couture sewing perfect. I am not perfect, I taught myself to sew at about 10 by sneaking around and playing on my mom’s machine. Even though I have taken lots of classes since then, I still love a bit of imperfection. Goofy wavy seams are part of that, along with white thread, because even though I can change the thread to match my fabric and project, 90% of the time I just use white thread instead.
Another thing I love is adding hidden elements and lots of pockets. In the case of this bag, the hidden element is the pocket. If you uncuff the top of the bag…
it reveals that the patch on the front of the bag is actually a pocket. The pocket has divider so you can slip a pen into the pocket and it will stay put. I designed this bag with travel in mind. It holds both my MacBook Air and iPad easily (vertically) and has a pocket on the outside so that I can slip things like boarding passes and IDs into the easy to use outer pocket. The strap is nice and wide too so that it is comfortable to wear over the shoulder of across the body.
And what is a bag without an amazing focal point? For this bag, I added a large crinoline flower. True story- when I was designing this bag, Tim told me he wanted one of my crinoline flowers but he wanted it big, bigger than I had ever made before. This one is about 5″ in diameter. And another thing, he wanted it in brown. BROWN! I will admit that a brown flower didn’t sound pretty at all to me! But look at it!! It is amazing! The petals are all stained with a variety of neutral Distress Stains. It is the same flower as the Love Struck Millinery Flower except that it doesn’t use stamens in the middle. Instead, the rings of petals go all the way to the middle. I can’t even venture a guess how many petals I cut, dyed, and hand stitched onto the base.
And another thing, he wanted it in brown. BROWN! I will admit that a brown flower didn’t sound pretty at all to me! But look at it!! It is amazing! The petals are all stained with a variety of neutral Distress Stains. It is the same flower as the Love Struck Millinery Flower except that it doesn’t use stamens in the middle. Instead, the rings of petals go all the way to the middle. I can’t even venture a guess how many petals I cut, dyed, and hand stitched onto the base.
I finished the flower off with green crinoline leaves and Tim Holtz Crinkle Ribbon dyed to match.
What do you think? Do you love it as much as I do? Would you love to see a pattern available for it? Let me know and I will try to bump it up on my “must get done pronto” list! Okay, I am headed back to the sewing machine! I am working on something totally outside of the box for me. It has been a huge challenge and one I can’t wait to share more with you about!