Everyone who signed up for the swap was given some denim fabric that had been donated from Robert Kaufmann for the event. (I think others got to choose their denim at a guild meeting, but since I'm in the middle of no where, they just mailed me half a yard or so. We were asked to make a tote bag using the denim and any other fabrics we wanted to make a "modern" tote.
I wanted to do something quick and easy (why does that rarely end up being quick and easy?) so I thought I'd pull out my 2 1/2 inch scraps, chain them together in rainbow order, insert them into the fabric in random stripes, and sew up the bag.
Well, I didn't have as many fabrics in my 2 1/2 inch strips as I remembered...so I decided to cut some more...and I kept finding fabrics in my stash that just HAD to go into the rainbow. All told I ended up with 86 different fabrics although not all of the fabrics ended up in the bag itself (since some of them were in the scraps of the fabric that didn't end up in the bag. I sewed them into one long chain in rainbow order.
Then I started making slices into my denim and sewing in the rainbow strip.
I just kept going, slicing and sewing until I had strips going every which way with different colors overlapping.
I basically ended up with a bigger piece of pieced fabric to make my bag out of. (Isn't he handsome...and a good sport. He watched the kids all day while I worked on my bag.)
I looked through the Tote Bag Pinterest page. I was inspired by the large outside pocket on this one.
I used the overall shape and instructions from here, although I changed the shape a bit as well. The directions were pretty good and as much as it would have been fun to include a zippered pouch or something, I just didn't feel up to it.
The bag ended up taking me about a day and a half longer to make than I thought it would. (A good reminder of why I prefer sewing quilts to clothes I suppose.)
But in the end, I love how it turned out. It was actually pretty hard to part with...but I hoped it would go to someone who would love it.
This is the side with the big pocket. You can't tell from the picture, but there's a line sewn to make two pockets on the front, one bigger and one smaller.
And this is the side without a pocket.
We weren't asked to put anything inside, but I decided to include some items that represent me as a quilter, so here's what I tossed in...
A little bundle of I-Spy Fabrics, 1/4 yard cut of one of my favorite black and white fabrics from Sisters and Quilters, a necklace from Boutique Academia to show my geeky side, and a graph ruled composition book for jotting down quilting ideas and calculations. (Turns out great minds think alike because we got a graph ruled composition book in our swag bags too.)
Then at the last minute, I decided to throw in a few other things too. A package of Heat'n Bond because I use it a lot to applique, and piece of freezer paper for stenciling, and a little card with the Portland Temple because it inspired my very favorite quilt I've ever made.
Then I tucked it inside a brown paper sack, and stapled it shut.
A sweet lady named Catherine got it, and I was happy to have it go to someone so friendly and nice.
And here is the awesome bag that I got to bring home with me. It was made by Kate of the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild. I've been using it every day. :)
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|Spring House/Queen Anne fabric from You Keep Me in Stitches||Dr. Seuss Fat Quarter Bundle from Sisters and Quilters||Modern Black and Gold Hexies Baby Quilt from Pieces by Polly|
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