Bag Lady

Yesterday I was able to finish off my Quilter's Tool Tote. What a great project! I'm so excited to have this to cart my cutting mat, rulers, and other tools off to the next class I'm attending on August 1st.

In case you haven't been following along, this is the pattern I was using:

When I started yesterday morning, I had the large pieces of the tote bag quilted to their batting, and all the component parts were made, including the lining, pockets, handles, and finishing strips. I was ready to start sewing it together.

First, I sewed the large pocket to one side.

This pocket is plenty large, and could hold a good amount of fabric, books, or whatever. Then I moved onto the other side and sewed the three smaller pockets on.

I like the way the pattern designer used the seam binding (I made my own) to finish off all the edges. Also, the pockets are lined, and the lining is turned back to give some trim to the pockets. Mine is all made with scraps and remnants, so I'm making do in terms of my fabric choices. Still, I like how all those different fabrics played together pretty well.

By way of demonstration, I've laid a 6 x 24 inch ruler on top of the long pocket. The lower smaller pocket on the right is large enough to hold a pattern or another shorter ruler. The clear pocket up above can be used for smaller items.

Once the pockets were all sewn on, I sewed the lining to both sides of the tote, that's the green fabric in the lower right corner. It was turned inside out, and then the bottom opening was hand-stitched shut.

After that, I turned down 1 1/2 inch at the top of the tote and attached the handles.

They're very well reinforced with plenty of stitching.

Once that was finished, I sewed the front and back of the tote together and, voila! One finished tote.

It's large enough to hold an 18 x 24 inch cutting mat.

Here it is all loaded up ready for class! Cool!

The clear vinyl pocket has a velcro closure. Of course, you could give all the pockets velcro closures if you wanted to.

Don't you think I'll be the envy of my classmates? I'm very happy with how it turned out! If you'd like one of these for your very own, you can find the pattern right here. I'll warn you though that there are some areas on this tote where you're sewing through many layers of fabric and batting. You'll want a sewing machine with a walking foot, at the very least, and you'll want your machine not to be picky about sewing through many thicknesses. 

Delivered to the front door yesterday afternoon... 

And you know that means we're gearing up for a trip. This trip has been a long time (and lots of money) in the planning. If you've been reading for a while, then you might remember this trip was born out of our last trip to Moab in our fifth wheel. I mentioned how we ended up purchasing a camper so that we could tow our ATV's along with us on some future trip to Moab in this blog post. And that was shortly before Mike ended up in the hospital for a ten-day staycation, which was anything but pleasant. Anyway...here we are nearly two years down the road (no pun intended), and our trip is coming up in mid-September. We are both very excited about it.

It'll be our longest trip yet in the cramped quarters of our camper. We're finding that each time we use it, we are a little more efficient with our packing, cooking, and generally staying out of one another's way. This trip will be ten days, and hopefully, neither of us will murder the other while we're gone. I'm making it sound worse than it is, but it has been a bit of an adjustment getting used to camper living when we've been used to the relative luxury of our larger fifth wheel.

And all of that to say that I'm going to start cooking for this trip. That basically means that I'll be making my usual dinners, but freezing portions to take along to Moab. It makes it so much easier to have meals prepared ahead. I'll be saying more about this trip in future posts.

Today's job is to get to work sewing hanging sleeves on two of the four quilts I'm entering in this year's Oregon State Fair.

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vicki W said...

Love the tote! Your trip sounds like a lot of fun.

SuperMomNoCape said...

Your Quilter's Tool Tote turned out great!

Good luck preparing meals, etc for your upcoming vacation. It sounds like fun.

gayle said...

That tote looks like it will be perfect for classes. Also, maybe perfect for your trip? Do you take along an embroidery project, or maybe some hand-piecing?

quiltzyx said...

You WILL be the envy of your next class/workshop! Very nice job!! Today I cut out fabrics to make a zipper bag for my friend Kim. I might try to sew it together tonight when I get home from work (off at 8pm today). We'll see. Need to finish it ASAP as she's leaving to meet up with her hubby in Boston for some much-needed vacation time. The bag is for her various cords & plugs.
Be sure to pack some M&Ms for every time you don't kill anyone on your trip in September.... ;)

Dana Gaffney said...

The tote turned out great, I think you'll love it for class. If the camper's too small and you need me to show up with a shovel, just LMK.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Congratulations on a wonderful finish - super class tote. I think 10 days in a camper would get to me - HA, just saw post above!! Take those M&Ms

Michele said...

I like, I like. I was going to make one for myself a couple of years ago but then got my Lucy and there is plenty of space in her wheeled tote for all of those things.

Kate said...

The bag turned out beautifully! It looks very useful.

Zenia Rene said...

What a great tote Barbara! Perfect for traveling classes/sew-ins. Happy and safe travels to/from Moab. Sounds like fun. I'm visiting from Val's Tuesdays Archives. You are welcome at my blog anytime.

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Visiting from Vals, great tote for classes and sew-ins!