Sewing · WIP

Summer Fun and a Tote Bag

Many thanks to Lee of Freshly Pieced Fabrics for hosting this WIP Wednesday.  Click to return to her blog and see others who are staying out of the pool on occasion, and getting some Stuff Done.

Besides going to Long Beach, yesterday my son drove up with his three boys, joining my daughter and her family of three children (who had come from Arizona for the week) and we all went swimming in a friend’s pool.  I love it when they come!

That morning, my daughter and I had made two batches of cookies and a double batch of dinner rolls, and the evening was pleasant enough to set tables outside for our meal, where we served two kinds of barbeque chicken, salad, roasted potatoes and strawberries for dessert.

And cookies.  Snickerdoodles, if you must know, as we were saving the peanut butter cookies for her family’s day trips while they are here.

Still winding my way through the Lollypop Tree forest, I started on the border blocks.  My goal is to get everything cut out, shaped and pinned before I start back to school in two (dreaded) weeks.  This is a Giant Work In Progress, for sure.  What’s interesting to me is that for several years I collected the Kaffe Fabrics for this project, and you know how long it’s taken me to work on it.  But now as I’m coming to a close on the cutting part of it (just the billion squares for the interior borders left to do), it’s like I’ve released a whole stack of fabrics back into my stash for use.  I used some of it to line the zipper pocket of the tote (below) and I can see it sliding into other projects, now that I don’t have to “save” it.  As a result, although I was tempted this weekend in Long Beach by many Kaffe fabrics, I didn’t buy any.

And you know how sometimes you just have to SEW SOMETHING?  This was my project–a tote bag. I followed a lot of the tutorial designed by Lindsay Conner (found *here*), but deviated where I wanted to. [Her blog is also fun to read as she has a lot of tutorials.]  I’ve probably made a gazillion tote bags in my life, and after you wade through a few, you figure out it’s not rocket science–just a bunch of squares and rectangles.  I had originally thought I’d make this to take to Long Beach, but got bogged down in the center section, as I wanted a divided tote bag.  The day before I left I just couldn’t wrap my head around how to do it, so took a different tote with me.  (Besides, they gave us a decorative plastic shopping bag tote for our “souvenier bag.” Can I just say how much I miss the cloth canvas bags?  This kind is so. . . plastic.)

I wanted to use up the last of this Spoonflower fabric (thanks, Betty!) and wanted it quilted to make it a sturdier pocket.  This is about where I gave up that night, as the quilting. . . well. . . don’t look at it too closely.

So when I came home, I figured out the divider, plus the pocket/placket/zipper assemblage in time to finish it for church the next morning.

Here’s the birdie fabric side of the interior.

And here’s the zipper side of the interior.

My daughter and family will be here until Friday, then I really have to do something about my class.  Really, I do.

Sigh.  Summer sometimes ends too soon.

8 thoughts on “Summer Fun and a Tote Bag

  1. What a gorgeous family, Elizabeth! And what fun it must be for you to have them all together!!!

  2. I LOVE the family picture. What a good-looking group. The bag is lovely as well. Both family and bag are ever so much more fun than syllabizing.

  3. The family photo reminded me of a day in the vineyard with tables long enough for the whole family, plenty of dishes to pass and a leisurely afternoon of food and family.

  4. Hi! I’m happy to meet you and your beautiful blog! This happy colour tote bag lead me here from Lee – I love all those fabrics but what about the flower one from Marimekko!
    Thank you for sharing photos from quilt show, so creative and inspiring!

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