Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Winter Time Tote

Winter Time Tote (size 18" X 24")
This Sherri K. Falls pattern came from her 2006 book ~Woodroses in Winter~ purchased that same year in Rhinelander, WI during a family vacation.  Although it was summer at the time, Mom and I were attracted to the stores kit sample hanging in Karen's Quilt Corner.  I promised to make it for Mom but over time I'd lost track of the project until my recent studio remodel when it resurfaced along with my determination to give it to Mom before this year ended.  Goal accomplished!
each pocket features a different panel

Construction was fairly simple once I understood the directions.  Thank goodness for book diagrams and photos.  There were a couple of steps I really had to ponder, especially the final seams and corner connections.  To spare myself a possible disaster, I made a paper version of the layers to that point and then tested the cutting directions and secured with tape first to make sure all would work out.  Actually, this tote pattern is awesome now that I've made one.  I can see myself making others with different themes. 

What made this tote more challenging was my use of a thick felted blanket as the batting.  I love the sturdiness of the bag but my machine could not handle four layers of this 'batting' plus the eight layers of fabric when it came time to sew the side seams and corners.  Hand stitched button hole thread (really strong stuff!), did the trick but was very painful on arthritic hands to accomplish.  Next bags will not be as thick for that reason.

My other pattern alteration was adding pockets to the inside of the bag using leftover contrasting fabric scraps.  Due to the clever fabric choices, this tote can be used all winter long - including Christmas, without being 'Christmasy'.

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