New tote bags

kingfisher tote

Tote #1

I made a couple tote bags. White tote bags. White is not a practical color for me, but I love how stitching looks on a plain white background. I guess I need to start looking into stain removal for things you don’t want to throw in the washer all the time… I used this bag once to carry fabric I bought at a quilt show up in Roseville last weekend, and it’s already dirty. Definitely need some kind of cleaning wipe thingys. It’s medium-sized, I guess, at about 14″x14″. The pattern is from Studio MME and was used in the Feeling Stitchy Midsummer Stitchalong. It features a kingfisher with an eye patch. His name is Reginald, and he has a backstory if you want to go check him out šŸ™‚ I was nowhere near done in time for the stitchalong — in fact, I think I started it after the SAL was already over.

kingfisher closeup


I basically made up the process to make the bags. No pattern or even a well-thought-out process — I just winged it. I used a cool neutral palette quilting cotton from Joanne’s for the back, straps and lining.

kingfisher back

Back, straps, and lining

There are a couple pockets on the inside, which I don’t have pictures of because it’s not really possible to take a good photo of the inside of a finished bag šŸ™‚ I wasn’t sure how well it would turn out since I was making it up as I went along, so I didn’t do in-process shots. Plus, once I get started sewing the last thing I want to do is take a photo break.

redridinghood tote

Tote #2

Bag #2 is pretty small at just under 9″x9″, but it’s perfect to carry my Kindle and a sketchbook. I used a couple patterns from Aneela Hoey’sĀ ā€œLittle Stitches” book. I learned to embroider when I was really little, and all I knew was backstitch, satin stitch, and a few other basics — there weren’t a lot of filling options. I love the patterns in “Little Stitches“, but I didn’t think the filling stitches would really be “my style”. I’m surprised by how much I enjoy filling stuff in. I really like it and have done it far more than I expected. Also, I can’t explain it but I love French knots.

redridinghood closeup

redridinghood lily closeup
Lily with French knots for the flowers

I used this lovely peacock pattern quilting cotton from for the back, straps, and lining. There aren’t any pockets in this one — it’s too small. I did sandwich a layer of batting in each tote bag to add a little weight so they wouldn’t be so flimsy.

redridinghood back

Back, straps, and lining

I’ll probably end up making at least one more — a really large one would be fun (and practical-ish), and it might be good to do it the “right” way and actually follow some directions šŸ™‚