Sometimes, I sit and try to remember what my life was like before the Modern Quilt Guild. It’s only been 2, almost 3 years since we started the LA chapter but, it is such a part of my life that it seems like it’s always been there. Good friends, great outings, weekends away, shoulders to cry on, laughing till it hurts, sharing life with people who love the same things as you do! What more can a girl ask for?
I can’t wait until our Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild meeting tonight! My mom is in town and I’m bringing her so that should be fun. And our swap committee has organized our first swap of the year. It’s a white elephant style Tote Bag swap in honor of Earth Month. The main rules are that it has to be awesome and that it has to include some patchwork or quilted element. This is what I made. Well, the bag not all the goodies inside.
Not quite a tote but, it’s a great reusable grocery bag AND I made 4 reusable produce bags to go with it so I thought it worked. I chose to make a grocery bag vs. a tote because it can fold or roll down nicely to fit in your car without taking up too much space. When it was finished I thought the bag was a little small so next time I’ll enlarge the pattern. So cute though! I think I want to make a bunch for myself to use to go grocery shopping!
I started to make my own pattern but, in the interest of time I used the Simplicity 2806 pattern for the grocery bag. I liked it because it looks like a grocery bag and it had a lining which I needed because I wanted to include patchwork on the front. The only changes that I made to the pattern were the patchwork piecing on the front of the bag, I didn’t include a pouch, and I added a french seam on the bottom. Easy great pattern though!
I got to use a random combination of a lot of my favorite fabrics. The background is Kona Coal and the lining is Alexander Henry Heath in Tomato. The patchwork on the front includes Art Gallery Pure Elements Lemonade (a new favorite), Lotta Jansdotter Echo Woven in Espresso (love this), more Tomato Heath, Connecting Threads Taupe Solid (yummy), Kona Robins Egg (I use this way too often), Timeless Treasures Crosshatch Sketch in Nectar (perfect in all colors), Robert Kaufman Metro Living Dots Blue (the perfect blue) and last but not least the green is a print from Liesl Gibson’s Lisette Collection at Joann’s (LOVE).
For the the produce bags I found this great tutorial. I followed it roughly.I used netting instead of the “scrubbie mesh”. I used the rough dimensions. I would probably make some of the bags larger. I made my own ribbons which I would make a little different next time so that they’re not so bulky. But, what I LOVE about the tutorial was the way the bottoms of the bags are sewn. Genius! Overall I love how they turned out and I know what I’ll do differently next time. I need at least a half dozen of these as well. I guess I’ll have to add it to the list!
For the straps I used Lemonade again, Kona Robins Egg, and Persimmon Shot Cotton.
I personally love it! I’m just concerned that everyone else’s “Tote’s” will be a lot more complicated compared to my simple grocery bag. Is it awesome enough? Let’s see how many times it gets stolen tonight! (Question: Ummm, can you steal your own gift in a white elephant gift exchange?) If you’re in LA come join in on the fun!