Totes (Like I Need Another One)

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My mother used to have a stack of boxes back beside the freezer in the garage.  They were mailing boxes, gift boxes, boxes to put your pet turtle in, and boxes that were there because, well, they were boxes.

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So this idea, that I just need a place to put more stuff, maybe runs along the lines of the imagined box mountain of my childhood.  (I can hear Mom saying, “There weren’t that many boxes.”)

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And not only do I have to another another tote or two (what else will I do with that beautiful Keiko Goke fabric?), I have to have pockets inside my totes, to. . . hold more stuff.  Enough pockets of the right shape and size, one with a zipper, put me in Tote Bag Heaven.

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This pattern was Pleated Tote, from Ellen Lucket Baker, found *here.*   I made it exactly as she recommended.  Still not keen about the fusible batting on the inside.  It makes the tote too bulky, too stiff, not tote-y enough (I like mine loose and foldable).  So maybe this is more of a purse-like bag?

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This next tote is floppy, roomy, perfect for a grocery store tote.

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The genesis came when I visited Cool Cottons in Portland earlier this year, and saw their bag in the front window.  I tried to purchase the fabric, but they were all out of it.  So I saw some at a quilt show I went to–it’s a sturdy lightweight cotton canvas, titled “Farmer’s Market,” made by Alexander Henry.

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I was able to make two totes out of one yard of fabric.  Simple things–just a rectangle with longish straps, no pockets, boxed corners to made them easier to put groceries in.

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While the Keiko Goke can now join the growing stash of totes in my closet, these two are relegated to the car, to use while grocery shopping.  I had intended to include the Goke tote as part of my WIP list, but I persevered and finished it up today.

FinishALong Button

It’s one of the items on my Finish-A-Long list, so I’m happy to be actually getting stuff done.  School started and it always takes a while to recover from all that distraction and get back to the quilting.

Facets Quilt pinned

But I am in progress on this Facets quilt, designed by Anne Deister, getting it pinned to the backing today.

Amish With a Twist 2 Log Cabins

And the next installment of my Amish With A Twist Two arrived this week, so I’ve plenty to keep me busy.  And now we begin the dodging through the school semester, pushing out tasks on weeks of low-to-no grading, dancing around those weeks where papers come in and there are stacks of things to grade and to prep for.

Linking up to Lee’s Freshly Pieced Works in Progress Wednesday.

WIP on

Elaine’s Quilt Block–Salt Lake City, Utah

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Whenever we go to Utah to visit relatives, I try to find a quilt shop to visit.  Elaine’s Quilt Block quilt shop is very close to my sister-in-law’s house, which could be verrrry dangerous, as you’ll see once we step inside.  Featured in the Quilt Sampler edition of Fall/Winter 2011, the building was built to be a quilt shop, and it is a delightful place to visit.  The address is  6970 South 3000 East, Salt Lake City, Utah 84121, and their website is *here.*  Their phone number is 801-947-9100.  They are located inthe Cottonwood Heights section of the city, up on the southeast bench of the mountains, if you know your way around, and are just off the 215 belt route freeway.

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This is the view as you step inside the front door–bolts and bolts of fabrics, notions, light and bright, tall ceilings, a welcoming staff and so much to see!

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Elaine’s has three levels and this is the stairs headed up to the upper level, which I’ll show you in a minute.  The lower level is classrooms and I didn’t visit there, but wanted to post this photo so you can see the cute displays they have tucked around the shop.  There are many project and quilt samples and they are all such good ideas–I want to make so many of them.

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I’m still standing in the doorway, looking to my right. . .

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. . . and a little further inside.

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At the back of this main room/entryway, they have all their magazines, some more displays and samples.  The main room is flanked by two other large rooms with dramatic high ceilings–the better to show off quilts!

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Entryway into the left room, which trends to Thimbleberries, Civil War and reproduction-style fabrics.  They have a huge selection.

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The room to the right is where my heart resides: Kaffe Fassett fabrics, Australian imports, brights, batiks.

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There are tables everywhere so you can lay out the fabrics for selecting colors for a quilt.  I loved the small decorative motif at the top of the shelving units.

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The black and white section.

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Rows of batiks.

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And underneath the lines of fabrics are folded fat quarters.  I had a fun time with those, as I had a limited time and had to pick quickly (note to self: leave more time for Elaine’s in the future).

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Upstairs are children’s and sale fabrics and Christmas and I believe, solids.

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No, I didn’t have to carry my bolts downstairs to be cut–there is a large cutting table right in the middle of this room, and they cut it for me there.

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At the main register, where I checked out, was this board of Block of the Month quilts they are running through the store.  I snatched one more pattern to add to my selection of fabrics, because of course, I need another project like I need a hole in the head, but it was the Thimble Creek Christmas quilt Santa’s Village pattern and it was charming (see below).

SantasVillage Thimblecreek

And that to me is one of the values and advantages of shopping at a local quilt shop like Elaine’s.  When you physically step inside, you are energized by all the creativity and samples and ideas that the shop owner has brought to their store.  I do both LQS and online shopping, but I feel more inspired by visiting a shop and seeing the fabrics, touching the samples and projects, turning them over in my hand and in my mind.  I hope you feel the same!