Armed with a new-to-me bundle of scraps I sat down on Wednesday night and made a tote bag. I didn't need a bag, but I needed to sew. It was one of those days where I was feeling restless. The new quilt pattern I've been working on was not cooperating. Have you ever heard the term, "you bit off more than you can chew"? Yeah, I think I tried to eat the whole buffet.
One of the best things about sewing, especially repetitive sewing, is that it frees my mind to think. I needed time to think about the pattern, work out the problems and see things differently.
I knew that whatever project I picked to work on required a repetitive element. I also needed it to be small, satisfying and playful. I know that is a lot to ask. Does that sewing project exist? It turns out it does, The Perfect Quilted Tote pattern by Elizabeth Hartman was all of those things.
Sharing progress on Instagram
The quilt as you go method is awesome! Deliberately choosing and placing each scrap satisfied the creative and controlling side of my brain (also known as my left side). And the dense quilting and ironing satisfied the restless side of my brain that needed soothing (also known as my right side).
Lining: Garden Party by Anna Maria Horner
Since there was a lot going on in my head already, I left out the fussy lining with inset zippers and opted instead for a plain lining made with pretty fabric. Oh Anna Maria Horner, you make my heart beat so!! This tote was so fun to make I plan on making lots of them and maybe next time I will tackle that inset zipper.
As for my own pattern, I'm still working on it, but this time refreshed.
Pattern: Perfect Quilted Totes by Elizabeth Hartman