July's Tote

Spoiler Alert!--If you have a birthday in late July, and DO NOT want to know what your gift is don't read this post. This means YOU.

I don't know how it happens. Truly it is one of life's mysteries. Gift giving occasions, birthdays, holidays, baby showers, they just sneak up on me. I plan ahead, really. I usually know what I want to make or purchase for the recipient weeks ahead. Yet somehow, I always feel like I am in a rush at the last minute. Ever felt like that?

It is no secret that July has been a full month for me. Between vacation, kids camps and visitors I have been on the go. It comes as no great surprise when I looked at the calendar yesterday and realized I have no less than 7 birthdays to supply gifts for in the next 2 weeks! How many of those have presents ready an waiting? That would be a big fat ZERO!

Don't get me wrong I have several projects, okay, two projects underway but the rest are just ideas. Typically, when I run into this situation I resort to gift cards, a habit I really despise. I heard a comic the other day describe gift cards as, "Taking a perfectly good $20 bill, that is good everywhere, and turning it into a piece of plastic that is only good one place." And for this reason I vowed to decrease my use of gift cards.

Therefore, with the emergence of this new vow; I looked toward my tote for July. This tote comes from Quilts and More summer 2010 edition, and can also be found at allpeoplequilt.com. It is the Double Up tote by designer Sherri K. Falls.
This tote has a little bit of everything, applique, patchwork and quilting.

I enjoyed playing with all of the new features on my new singer. I'll admit it took longer than some of the other totes I have made. If you're looking for a quick tote to sew up, this is not the one for you. The quilting of the front and back was more involved than I originally anticipated. However, I think it makes the tote sturdier.

As with most patterns I undertake, I didn't follow it exactly. I substituted heavy weight interfacing for the handles instead of the cotton webbing. I also didn't use rickrack to border the flower applique. The pattern calls for making eyelets on the sides of the bag and adding a tie to the sides. I don't currently have any eyelets so they were obviously omitted.

I also changed the size of the interior pocket to be fat quarter friendly. Most of the exterior of the bag and the pocket were made with a Moda Fat Quarter bundle I had in my stash. The finished bag measures roughly 18X14X4". Making this a great tote for caring all of your summer extras!

Now I am off to finish the other 6 projects!

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