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The wonderful thing about sewing and quilting, whether for a business or a hobby, is that you can do it by yourself or with friends. The benefit that comes from sewing and quilting with friends is that you can share ideas and trade fabrics.
I learned how to make a tote bag from my dear friend, Loon. I love my first tote bag. It is a beautiful paisley fabric I found while traveling in South Carolina. I take my tote bag with me whenever I travel. It holds a lot of stuff.
So I set out to make a bag for my niece, Jen. Since Jen is much younger, I thought I would make a bag that was not as deep. This would give it a much more youthful appearance. The computer case that I finished the day before would also fit nicely in a more shallow bag. My original tote bag had two levels of pockets but the upper set of pockets were not lined or fastened at the top. They were floppy and often got in the way of putting stuff in the lower set of pockets. With Jen’s bag, I lined the top pockets with quilt fabric to stiffen them. I also used a different fabric on the handles, one because the contrast created a more sophisticated look and two because the remaining fabric that matched the exterior of her bag had a flaw in it. I added a second row of stitching detail to the bag rim for added strength and a more polished look. It truly turned out quite nice.
Tote Bag with
Zippered Computer Case
Before the Christmas holiday, I finished a Zippered Purse for a wonderful lady, Ann, who watches our grandchildren once a week so that I can sew with friends. I have named this purse, the ShirLeniLoon purse. This purse was inspired by my friend Loon who introduced me to quilting and who taught me how to make the original tote bag shown above. The exterior fabric was given to me by my friend Leni, a fabric “Designed and produced exclusively for JO-ANN fabric and craft stores”. The interior pocket fabric, “Vintage Treasures” Quilt Block-of-the-Month 2004, was given to me by my friend Shirley. Shirley also collaborated with me to extend the elastic used for the handles to the base of the bag to add strength and stability to the body of the bag. The beautiful interior and handle fabric is a Batik. This fabric found me while standing in the cutting line at JoAnn Fabrics. The lady in front of me had selected it for a quilt she was making. New features for this bag include: a zipper with an interior rim instead of the Velcro enclosure, quilting the exterior and incorporating two levels of pockets within a single pocket.
Zippered Purse with
As you can see, sewing and quilting is an evolution of ideas and experimenting to create beautiful things for yourself, others and your home. The fabric and style is often a reflection of the person the item is for or the place where the item will be showcased.
In an upcoming post, I will provide a step-by-step tutorials for the Zippered Purse and the Zippered Bag.