Saturday, December 8, 2007

variations on a theme

Around August and September I got on a bit of a roll with tote bags. Trixie's farm tote and playmat got posted awhile back and these are pretty similar in look and construction.
The following two went to my mother's cousins, both of whom are musicians. They also repair stringed instruments. Mom and I spotted the themed fabric in a quilt shop in Mitchell, SD while we were on vacation visiting this side of the family. Every inch of two fat quarters were used for this project. The rest of the fabrics were out of my stash (including some leftover batting from quilts I've made). The buttons are all vintage. The glitzy set went to Mary, who wears some sort of sequin or rhinestone on her clothing everyday. (Mom said they were a big hit.) I thought the other mix of buttons reflected Liz's cool, eclectic sense of style. They're both fun, interesting women and the most enjoyable part of the project was coming up with a way to distinguish the bags to reflect the both of them.
Both bags were quilted like the farm tote, but the top portion was stipple quilted by machine and the bottom portion was channel quilted. Twill tape divides the two. It was also used for the handles with some fusible interfacing to give them more body and stick them together before stitching down both sides and the middle.

The lining was a thrifted, non-natural piece of fabric and I'm glad I don't have to work with it ever again. It matched the cream in the exterior though and I'm all about using up what I have, so I plowed ahead. A small amount of themed fabric was leftover to make pockets on both sides of the lining after I determined the final size of the totes. (I based the dimensions on the size of file folders and sheet music.) The other pocket was divided to hold a pen and small pad of paper.

This one was created to hold a learning toy of Ellie's that's forever laying out because it doesn't fit nicely in anything. The fabric is from the Building Blocks collection and I've now lost track of how many things I've sewn with these prints.

Yep, more twill tape on the front dividing the prints with some rubber stamping to embellish it. This was another use what I have project - right down to the interfacing which would not have been my first choice. It's a bit on the stiff side, but I didn't relish the idea of quilting a bag that might get trashed. A little too much effort for something that was intended to be a quick fix.


Bettsi McComb said...

All of your bags are darling, but this is REALLY cute!

Sewing-Chick said...

Those music totes are great! I'm a music teacher and I give them two big thumbs up!