These are not birthday gifts or any sort of holiday gift; this bag was given to me by the officers in the guild for coordinating the thank you bags at the end of their terms. They made me a bag and it is fabulous.
The bag itself is a Poolside Tote and it is in perfect colors for me: turquoise and scarlet. The blocks, which fit perfectly are from a mystery quilt the guild did on my first retreat. My blocks were less than stellar and have long since been made into a donation top.
I received a number of pouches, some chocolates, candles, pens, a journal and a few other odds and ends.The fabrics chosen were fabulous and I think I will be able to use everything included in the gift.
I was completely surprised and somewhat mortified as I really don’t like to open gifts in front of people. Also, I don’t do things in the guild that I don’t enjoy. I feel very strongly that the officers should be thanked in a meaningful way and the bag idea is very fun. It leaves a lot of room for creativity. Everyone can contribute in the way that works for them. the officers don’t end up with an ugly quilt or a bunch of blocks.
My organizational system for officer bags is a mess and part of that is not posting about this bag. The last time I mentioned it was when I was having a zipper challenge.
I finished it quickly, which I think was a direct result of making it right after Mom’s tote. There are some quirks to this pattern, which hit me even after making a couple of these. One of them is the handle details on the front and back. Makers have to make sure they cover the raw edges of the front and side panels.
I am pretty pleased with the fabric selection. I would like to figure out how to put a slip pocket on the inside. I don’t think it would be terribly difficult. I think it would just require some deft measurement and having an already made up tote on hand might be the way to figure that out.
I don’t think I really had a good tag for this post, which means I will probably never be able to find it again. 😉 It is all about zippers.
I am faithfully following the pattern for the Poolside Tote. This is the third Poolside Tote I have sewed. I am not sure why, but I always have trouble with different parts.
This time I struggled with the facing. I also wondered about the zipper. On mom’s version and on my knitting bag, I just used slip pockets. On this version, I cut zipper pockets, which I didn’t remember. I guess it forced me to make pockets with zippers.
The directions for the pockets were pretty good. I didn’t have much trouble except for lining up the stitching. One side is hidden, so I leapt that hurdle. The only question I had was about the size of the zipper. The pattern called for a 10 inch zipper and that just seems weird to me. It seems too small. There are holes at the ends and no directions for zipper tabs. Obviously, I can make my own zipper tabs, but I just wonder why the designer asks for such a small zipper. I wonder if a 12 inch zipper would be better?
Are there rules for the size of zippers one includes in patterns??
This is not the end of the world. The zipper works fine and nobody will put something so small in the pocket that it will fall out if the bag falls over. This is just a puzzle about which I am curious. I might try the bag again with a 12 inch zipper.
I made a Poolside Tote* for Mom. I have that paint tube fabric to use for gifts for her. I want to make her items that she will use. I sent it off on Wednesday.
She received it Friday and said that she really liked it. I am glad.
If you are familiar with the Poolside Tote pattern*, you know that it is large. I had a hard time photographing it since my workroom is a WRECK, so I put it on the YM’s bed and photographed it there.
She said she liked the large size. I hope to make some things that she can put inside when she goes on a trip or to Sew Day. Not sure how she will use it.
The pattern calls for a D-ring, so I put one in. Currently it is a place for her keys and, later, anything I make for her that has a lobster clip. See bottom right of inside photo.
*I use affiliate links and may be paid for your purchase of an item you click on. There is no additional cost to you for clicking or purchasing items I recommend. I appreciate your clicks and purchases as it helps support this blog.
I got myself organized after the week’s strange schedule to head to Sew Day. Surprisingly, we had 15 or so people in attendance. I was the first to show up after Mary and she was pleased because she wasn’t sure if anyone would show up. Holiday weekend and all, I suppose.
We always set up and clean the tables first. As we were doing that, others showed up and offered help.
I brought cutting and organizing only, after bringing my machine last time for the Jelly Roll Rug. I have a number of projects that needed attention and brought them along.
First, the Flapper apron I am making as a gift needed some corners. It took me longer than expected to get these corners ready to sew, but I finally accomplished the task and moved on to the bag.
I decided to make a Poolside tote as a gift. Mine was a pain to make, but I started using it for my knitting and find it very useful. I think my recipient will probably find it useful as well.
I also brought the Mondo Bag to arrange, but didn’t get to it. Cyndi and I spent some time talking about Deb Tucker rulers. She recently bought the V Block ruler, which I think works on the same principle as my Split Recs ruler with a slightly different outcome. The V Block ruler makes Peaky and Spike blocks, like I used for En Provence. Perhaps I’ll try it when I get around to the next En Provence quilt.
I brought a pattern for a nightshirt that I wanted to cut out. Mary is a master at garments and she finished all of her projects. I asked her to cut out my nightshirt and she agreed. This means I got a third more done than I thought I would!
People were busy at Sew Day as well. Marty was working on a binding. Her use of mustard is the best I have seen. the colors in general are great. The piece is not too depressing, but also very neutral. It’s hard to see, but the background fabrics are low volume text (and text-like) prints. She used some that I used in En Provence. I also like the way she placed the Flying Geese. This is Marty’s fourth quilt! She was able to finish the binding today and we all cheered.
I was pleased to see Cyndi’s Jen Carlton Bailly blocks. She decided to make enough for a large wall hanging or small lap quilt and was working on them.
I didn’t get a photo after she finished it, but I did see it and it looks really great.
Once finished with the circles, she took out a different piece she is making from Camille Roskelly’s Simply Retro book. I saw the quilt she is making in the book and didn’t think much of it, but Cyndi’s version uses more dark fabrics in the background. It is much more appealing *to me* that way.
Finally, Gerre also brought her Jen Carlton Bailly blocks. She had sewn a couple of rows together and was able to get the top done by the time Sew Day was over. She used Amy Butler fabrics and the piece is fantastic.
I have some new projects to work on and some of the small tasks ready to move me to my next steps. I am happy!
While the pieces laid on my floor (all horizontal surfaces are fair game for storage), I noticed that the random letters, in certain cases actually made words.
I am not sure how I feel about that. I have pointed out some of the words I see.
The text fabric will be on the inside of the tote, so they won’t be very prominent. Making up stories using the words is a challenge.
On another note, the text fabric is VERY loosely woven and frays quite a bit. I might stitch the edge like I would a quilt with no border. I am just worried that another layer of stitching will make it hard to sew a bunch of layers together.
Not long ago, I talked about assembling the fabrics, etc to make the Poolside Tote. I know you thought it would be forever until I made it. Angelainspired me to get off my duff and said she would offer advice. Then Tim (both BAMers) said he wanted to make one as well. Julie also said she is going to make one. I might be leaving my two pals in the dust, however, or inspiring them to get off their duffs.
I went to a Sewcial on Thursday and cut out one version of the Poolside Tote. I used all the linen I bought and the AGF text print. It was a three hour Sewcial at Scruffy Quilts and I was able to cut out an entire bag except for the Soft and Stable.
I was kind of shocked at how much fabric this bag took. I don’t remember using up so much fabric. Well, I don’t remember using almost the same amount of fabric that the pattern demanded.
The other thing that was a surprise was how loosely woven the AGF text fabric was. It was actually kind of a pain to cut because it kept shifting because of how loosely the fabric turned out to be.
Still, I got the whole thing cut out. I just focused and did it. I started to think I could do a second one, then I realized I probably didn’t have enough handle fabric and I had forgotten to cut the handles out anyway!