I enjoyed making the Denim tote bag using June Tailor’s Charming Circles ruler. This was the goal that I set for February. It was fun to make something of a smaller scale (compared to a king-sized quilt). The denim fabric was from Bedok Methodist church. There is a group of women from this church who meets every week to fellowship and sew together. The items they sew are put up for sale at the end of the year to raise funds for missionaries. I joined their sewing circle once and had a great time but due to work commitment I am unable to join them now. They had boxes of denim fabric donated by a jeans manufacturer and they did not know what to do with the fabric. They gave me some to ‘use’. Well the tote bag was a good project to use the fabric. I followed the tutorial here. Once the bag was done, I ‘returned’ it back to Bedok Methodist Church Sewing Circle. This is my contribution to their craft fair this year :). Here are some pics that I managed to take.
Don’t you just love the shabby chic look that fraying denim gives?
Just as I was deciding on which WIP to tackle next, I saw Pat Sloan’s post on her layout of the quilt made with blocks from 2016 Aurifil Block of the Month Designers . If you remembered, I was faithfully sewing my 2016 Aurifil blocks until I started working feverishly on the commissioned pineapple quilt. By then, I had sewn 7 blocks, i.e. the last block I sewed was July 2016. Her post reminded me that I have 4 more blocks outstanding and it is time to finish it up. Happily I sewed blocks for Aug, Sept, Oct and Nov. Problem came when I started on Dec’s block. It is a paper piecing block. My paper piecing skills have a lot of room for improvement and I mean A LOT! Dec’s block is very pretty but to construct it I needed to paper piece 6 parts then join them together. I struggled with each part as I was not good at estimating the size of each piece of fabric required. When I tried to join the 6 parts together, disaster struck, the parts did not meet. In other words, I was not able to join the 6 parts together and still get 12 1/2″ square for the completed block. I was so frustrated. Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with the pattern. It is a very pretty block. A bad workman blames his tools. No. Not me. I will not blame anyone for my lack of skills. I really need to work on paper piecing!
Then I saw Maureen Cracknell’s Dutch Treat block . It was love at first sight! That was it. I would make her block instead and that would complete the 12 blocks I needed for Pat’s quilt layout pattern.
I chuckled while reading Tish’s post at Tish’s Adventures on Wonderland on having a squirrel that distracted her from everything that she should be doing. We shared the same weakness. I was so sure that I was not going to be doing anything else except those quilty goals that I set for myself for this month. Wrong! I chanced upon Caroline’s Basket Tote bag at Sewcanshe and I was captivated. Whatever resolve that I had to be disciplined and focused on what I set out to do completely disappeared when I saw that she is providing the pattern to the Basket Tote Bag free! I had to drop everything and sew that bag. I was meant to sew that bag. My order from Amazon was delivered just not too long ago with packets of Soft and Stable and Bosal In-R-Form, the ingredient for making good structure bags, and they were waiting patiently for me to use them for some worthwhile projects. LOL. I must say the Basket Tote is definitely a worthwhile project. I am more than pleased with how it turned out.
I fussy cut an Indonesian batik fabric that I purchased from Malaysia last year. Like all quilters, I have a weakness for fabric. When I saw this piece of fabric, I told myself I had to have it. I had made up my mind that I was going to use it for a bag. It is a very beautiful piece of fabric but I would not want to use it on a quilt as the colours bleed quite a lot. I had pre-washed it and it bled everytime it was immersed in water.
Let’s take a look at the inside of the bag.
I added 2 more pockets to the lining of the bag so I have 4 pockets in total. Just what I need. Caroline linked her bag tutorial to Perfect fabric purse handles at Blue Susan Makes and it was there that I learnt to sew my dream bag handles. If I were to buy this type of handles, it would cost a hand grenade. Now I can make them myself. Yay. Thank you Caroline and Susan who are so generous to share your knowledge and creativity with us!