Mom Knows Best


Kim's Checkerboard Tote

Mom has always warned  me about the possible heartbreak involved in giving a homemade gift to someone who isn’t crafty.  After you spend hours and hours making something special just for that person, there’s the risk they’ll smile and say, “That’s pretty,” and simply not understand.  It’s not just the “thing” you gave them, you were thinking of your lucky recipient, planning something just for them and devoting a large chunk of precious  time to their gift.

I never quite understood until I made this bag.

A person who doesn’t make things might look at it and say, “That’s pretty.”  But a person who crafts or sews would look at it and, among other things, notice those 60 circles.  They’d know that meant I traced 60 circles on the back of some HeatBond, roughly cut out those sixty circles, then cut out 60 pieces of fabric, ironed those 60 pieces of HeatBond to those 60 pieces of fabric, neatly cut out those 60 traced circles on the back, ironed 60 circles onto the patchwork bag and then appliqued around them.  You got it, 60 times.

Kim's Patchwork Tote

Not to mention the 70 squares.

So you see what I mean.

The Underside

Thankfully, this purse is going to a lovely person with a high craftiness level.

She’ll completely understand.

If you want to make a checkerboard tote of your own, you’ll find the pattern in the Summer 2011 issue of Stitch magazine, designed by Ayumi Takahashi.

And: One for my Mom in pale linen and vintage sheets!

Checkerboard Tote, Vintage Linens

A phone pic of my own checkerboard tote bag in progress:

My Future Tote Bag

I love the little “windows” of fabric in the circles.  (You can see the finished bag here.)  I think I’d like to make an i-Spy baby quilt with this method.  I’ll be sharing it with you if I do!

9 thoughts on “Mom Knows Best

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  2. Yes…. I completely understand and appreciate each and every stitch !

    As I told you the other day, I was gathering some of your smiling energy when I caught myself just touching the circles.

    You rock your talent and skill! Every single thing you’ve gifted to me has been enjoyed thoroughly. <3

    • I’m so glad you like it, Kim! It’s a really fun pattern and really builds on skills I already learned from Ayumi. The bright circles of fabric seemed just right for you, especially the little houses! :)

  3. I’m totally in love with your checkerboard totes! You are just excellent at combining fabrics! I have no doubt that your mom will love the tote made with the beautiful vintage fabric!

    Oh and I know what you mean about the ‘heartbreak’ completely. And that’s why our handmade items made with love should be gifted to crafters who know the value, effort and love!

    Thank you so much for making these and for your loveliest and sweetest comments on my blog!

    • Thank you so much, Ayumi, for your comment and for linking to me! (I had so many visitors from your link!!) I’ve learned so much from you, and each skill just builds one upon the other to give me the confidence to try more.

      In fact, I think I’ll try making a baby quilt using this circles-on-patchwork skill that you’ve taught me. I think it would be perfect for an I-Spy type quilt … hmmm, or it would even make a nice “Memory” type of card game with individual squares made up like fabric cards … so many options! Thank you again for all you share with us and teach us. I can’t wait to see what comes next! :)

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