Jacqui’s Tote of Many Colors


Jacqui's Tote of Many Colors

Hopefully I’ll get this off in the mail after work, on it’s way to my friend Jacqui in England.  Years ago we used to send each other decorating magazines, so they were the first thing to pop into my head when I felt the urge to send her a little gift.  Then I remembered that I can sew now, a skill I didn’t have back then, and thought I’d make her a little something, too.  My “little something” morphed into this roomy Tote of Many Colors made with part of a Michael Miller Cotton Couture charm pack and a yard of fabric I bought while shopping with my Mom in Tennessee.  (That’s the lining and straps.)

The little tag was so much fun to make, I’m sure I’ll end up making more!

Jacqui's Tote of Many Colors Tag

Diego watched me turn the bag right-side-out when I was done sewing, and I swear his eyes lit up when he realized that was something he could crawl inside.  He followed me around until I set it down for a picture and he tried to see if it might be a good place for a nap.  Yep, I’ll be packing it up right away.  (I’m trying to keep the cat fur off it, Jacqui!)

Tote of Many Colors with Deegs

He is such a quilter’s cat.


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!