My Modern Tote!

I'm so excited to share that my Modern Tote has been published in the March/April issue of Love of Quilting!

Fons and Porter did such a great job photographing the tote, I just love it!

Here's my original tote. I used metal rivets to secure the handles, but the pattern calls for simply stitching them to secure. Much easier, and no extra tools needed!

The pattern includes a variation on my technique for covering 1" webbing to use for handles. I love the sturdiness of the webbing, and this allows me to use fun fabric without sacrificing that sturdiness!

If you sew up a tote, I'd love to see it!

And then, this one time....

I blogged!
Wow, November just flew by in a flash! Here's what I've been up to:
For Halloween, I made a "Blue Fairy" costume for Addy:
Blue Fairy Costume
Bodice detail:
Blue Fairy Costume
I like to take the extra time to create well-crafted Halloween costumes, because in our house they are used for dress up for YEARS! The extra few minutes spent serging the seams provide hours of fun later.
Ok, that was October. Let's move on to November.
Early in the month we drove (yes, drove) from upstate *eastern* New York to Chicago for my sister's wedding. The wedding was SO fun, and well worth all of the hard work (and the drive!).
As I've mentioned a few times, I made the flower girl dresses. My sister's dress was made up of tulle and lace layers - not poofy princess layers, but soft, subtle layers. We both love that look, so my sister asked me to make the girls' dresses in a simple shape with a similar layered lace bodice. They were really simple to construct, but time consuming!
Main fabric is silk taffeta from Mood. Sash in silk taffeta from J. Crew in "Bright Dahlia". Lace is a polyester lace from Mood. Lining is china silk and many yards of tulle.
(These poses are all her. She's such a character!)
Flower Girl Dresses

Flower Girl Dresses

Flower Girl Dresses

Flower Girl Dresses

Flower Girl Dresses

Flower Girl Dresses
The girls looked adorable in the dresses, and they both partied hard all night!

I also have a few pictures of my sister's bridal shower. We had the shower back in July, in my mom's back yard. Come jump in my time machine with me!
I used vintage bedsheets as table clothes and hung fringed linens along the fence (seen in the background):
Wedding Shower!
And mason jars filled with grocery-store flowers:
Wedding Shower!
The other bridesmaids helped set up the dessert table and bellini bar:
Wedding Shower!

OK, let's travel back to November now...
I created a few other things for the wedding as well. I made my sister this tote as a birthday gift (she got married on her birthday), but in her wedding colors, so that she could use it on the big day:
Stacey's Tote
I hand dyed the canvas used for the bag bottom. It was so fun, too! I started with a neutral colored duck canvas and used magenta Rit dye. This color isn't nearly as saturated as the wedding color, but I love it anyway! I also love the mottled look, although that was unintentional.
The main fabric on the bag exterior is the stripe from Bella, by Lotta Jansdotter. I densely quilted the white stripes with organic lines.
Stacey's Tote
The handles are 1" cotton webbing covered with Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Indigo (I love these solids! They are soft as silk!). The lining is my favorite print from Chickopee by Denyse Schmidt.
Stacey's Tote
The style and construction of this tote is identical to the Modern Quilted Tote. I used hair canvas and a layer of batting as a foundation and metal snaps to help support the handles.
Stacey loved the tote, and I think she will use it a lot on her commute to work.

I have one more project to share right now! My aunt requested a custom plus sign quilt including cats, so I hustled through my sewing to finish it in time to hand deliver it in Chicago. The recipient loves cats, and my aunt wanted to include a picture of the recipient's cat on the quilt. I used a cat print from Happy Drawings Too as my starting point and added prints in greys, gold, and purples. (These pics are a bit small. I forgot to take pictures before our trip, so these are smaller files that my aunt emailed over.)
Cat Quilt
The back:
Cat Quilt
My aunt had the quilt for a few days before she gifted it, so she hung it on her quilt rack to admire it!
Cat Quilt
She loved having the quilt hang in her house so much that she now wants her own quilt!

After our trip to Chicago we celebrated Thanksgiving at home and I started to work on a quilt idea for Quilt Con. The day after thanksgiving I traveled to Seattle to run the marathon again, which went GREAT! I took 25 minutes off of my time from last year, and had a blast! After the race I spent a day catching up with friends and then hurried back home.
This week I worked my butt off to finish up TWO quilts just in time to submit in the Quilt Con show. I'm really happy with how they both turned out, but I didn't get very good pictures of one of them. My camera battery died just as daylight was fading away, so I tried taking my pictures inside. They aren't the best, but hopefully I was able to edit them well enough. Fingers crossed!
As soon as I have better pics, I will blog about the quilts!
That's all I have for now, thanks for bearing with me!

Modern Quilted Tote

Have I mentioned that I have a ton of sewing to do for my sister's wedding? Well, I do. And as a true procrastinator, I decided to start a new project in lieu of working on the wedding quilt.

A few days ago Elizabeth posted her technique for creating patchwork panels, as she used in her Weekender Bag. I've been itching to make a patchwork tote lately, so I tossed aside my sewing obligations and started digging through my stash! I didn't have large enough pieces of Cotton Duck Canvas, but I do have a ton of hymo canvas (also known as haircanvas). Hymo canvas is typically used to add shape to outerwear pieces, but I've also read that it has been used in handbags. And while it's not an inexpensive supply, I don't have any plans to use it - so I cut into my yardage for this tote!

Modern Quilted Tote

I absolutely L.O.V.E. everything about this bag. At 14" tall, 11" wide, and 3" deep, it's a great size and shape, and the 25" long straps make the tote easy to carry.The hymo canvas gives the tote a lot of structure without adding ANY stiffness.

Modern Quilted Tote

For my quilting and construction, I used a slightly different style than Elizabeth. I pieced my tote panels using the hymo canvas and a layer of cotton batting as a foundation (very similar to how I piece my scrap blocks). After my panels were pieced, I quilted them with very dense organic lines.

Modern Quilted Tote

The two sides of the tote are unique.

Modern Quilted Tote

When I first started this project, I knew the approximate size and shape that I wanted for the finished tote. The dense quilting took quite awhile, during which time I started to think more about the construction. I decided to try a new (to me) style by folding the top of the tote down by 2". I attached the straps inside the tote as well, so that they appeared to be seamless from the outside.

Modern Quilted Tote

To further secure the straps to the tote, I added metal rivets. They are visible from inside:

Modern Quilted Tote

And on the exterior of the tote:

Modern Quilted Tote

You may see a few more of these totes around here soon. I have enough hymo canvas for 3 more totes, I think. After that, I may have to look into a reasonably priced source to purchase more!

This tote is now listed in the shop!

Market Square Tote Pattern!

Market Square Tote!

Last summer I sewed up this tote bag, which I still use every day!

Echino tote

My blog post about the bag brought in a ton of positive feedback, and even a custom bag order:

Custom Diaper Bag

With a little more free time now that Addy is in school, and lots of support from some great friends, I finally have the pattern ready for purchase!  You can find it here, in my Etsy shop.

Yellow Tote NY Tote

The pattern includes:
Tips for sewing with laminates
Detailed instructions with color photos for every step, including an interior zip pocket and a sew-in magnetic snap closure
No pattern pieces! All pieces can be cut with a rotary cutter, ruler and mat!

Striped tote FMF Tote

The bag includes a large exterior split pocket, which is a great place to showcase a fun fabric.
The 28" straps are long enough to easily carry the tote on your shoulder.
The accent panels along the bottom of the bag not only add personality, but also durability. Laminate fabric is a great choice for easy clean-up!
Inside, the tote has a large zip pocket. It is so easy to install, and a great detail in a bag.

Market Square Tote

Have fun creating your own Market Square Tote, and be sure to add your pictures to the flickr group! As always, feel free to email me or post on flickr with any questions. I can't wait to see what you create!

Market Square Tote

A huge thanks to everyone who has helped me finish my first pattern! Later this week I'll share some pictures of the bags made by my fabulous pattern testers.

In the mean time, you can purchase a copy of the pattern here!

Market Square Tote

Name that Tote! *Giveaway!*

I've been babbling about this tote for what seems like forever now. I'm working on a pattern for it, and I also have a few of these totes for sale in a local shop and on etsy. I have worked out all of the details in the design and the instructions, but I'm stuck on a name for it! Here are some shots of a tote I made recently:
Modern Everyday Tote Modern Everyday Tote Modern Everyday Tote Modern Everyday Tote 
The original tote can be found here.
I made a custom tote, which I blogged about here.
And there are several other totes here.
Help me name my tote, and you could win this cute little zip pouch:
Zip Pouch for Giveaway!
The pouch measures 5" tall x 8" wide x 2" deep and is lined with a laminated cotton print:
Zip Pouch for Giveaway!
Before I send the pouch off, I will STUFF it full of some fun scraps!
Scraps for Giveaway!
Here's how to enter:
Let's set the limit to 3 suggestions per person.
Leave each suggestion in a SEPARATE comment.
In the event that more than one person suggests the name that I like best, the zip pouch will go to the first person to suggest the name.
I'll choose the name I like best some time Monday, August 6rd!

Ready...... set ...... GO!