Apr 13 13

Sick as a Dog

You might have noticed that I have been absent from my blog for awhile.  I was really sick, sicker than I’ve ever been in my life, and I didn’t do anything other than lie around for 1 1/2 weeks.  I’ve been really fortunate and never been ill like that before, so it was quite an experience.  I’m glad to say that I feel back to my old self now and am ready to go!  This first post back amongst the living is of a quilted tote bag I made about a month or so ago:



I started out by creating the center block of the bag using machine embroidery applique to make a feathered wreath (this is the 10 1/2 in wreath made with the Appli-K-Kutz  Plume Family die) and then added top and side fabrics to make 2 of the front/back blocks below:


I quilted each block, but did not use a backing fabric.  Here’s the backside of the front block:



I sewed the front and back together, then made the bases into box corners.  I turned it inside out so that the good side was on the outside again, then gathered my ruffle and pinned it to the good side and then pinned my straps in place on top of the ruffle (this way they would fall inside the ruffle in the final bag):



Here’s a closeup of what the top looks like after these layers have been stitched together:



…and here’s what the inside looks like at this point:


Next, I created the lining.  I do this by fusing the front and back lining pieces to fusible interfacing.  (I do this to give them more body.)  I cut my pockets twice as high as I want them to be and fuse those pieces to interfacing as well.  I fold over the pocket so the front side of the pocket is actually 2 layers (more body and more stable if you’re someone who likes to really stuff your pockets full of stuff!).  Here’s a shot of the lining and I placed some tv remotes inside them so you could see them better:


(In the photo above, the front and back lining layers have been stitched together and the bottoms have been turned into box corners just like the front/back of the tote bag were.)  Next step is to place tote bag front/back unit inside of the linign unit so that the good sides of each are facing one another.  That’s what you’re seeing in this next shot and you can see that the top edge has been pinned in anticipation of  sewing them together forever:


They’ve been sewn together in this next shot, but you can see from what I’m holding that there’s a small area of the top edge that was not stitched together:


You just slip your hand into that opening and begin pulling the “good sides” from the inside to the outside…here it is in a half-in/half-out stage:


Once it’s all been turned inside-out, you simply pin that small opening shut and then whip stitch it closed for good.  I then pin all along the top edge and then topstitch it all together at the end:


…and here it is in all its finished glory:


A lot of people have emailed me to ask about classes at the warehouse.  They were supposed to start later this month but we had to cancel them because I lost so much time from being sick.  We WILL be having classes in May, though.  The classroom is all ready for some fun quilty stuff:




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  1. Marianne Says:

    Welcome back – sorry to hear you too succumbed to the bad bugs going around.
    When I make tote bags these days I attach the handles to the lining and add a good extra 5 inches to each so I can sew them down sometimes all the way to the bottom. I tend to overfill my totes and have had the handles come loose resulting in my shopping or library books running down the High Street – not a pretty sight – especially in the rain!
    Wish the Appli-K-Kutz dies were available here in Europe – I really like your appliqué!

  2. Martha Says:

    So very glad you are feeling better!!!!! I love your tote!!! I am on the search for a fun and easy tote pattern to use with free motion quilting designs as I’m going to start giving simple lessons in our quilt guild newsletter!!! Your tote inspires me!!! Take care and have fun with those classes in May, wish I lived closer as I’d be there!!

  3. Darlene Says:

    I’m glad you feel better,some of the bugs out here are really nasty.I liked the tote too and am going to make one with some of the scraps I have. I might make my handles longer for carrying heavy things, like books… Good luck with your classes and I wish I lived close enough to join in.

  4. Deborah Says:

    So glad you are feeling better! Sorry to hear you were sick.

    Your new classroom looks fabulous!

    Stay well and enjoy your quilting!

  5. Luz2Quilt Says:

    I’m glad you have fully recovered from the “bug”. I couldn’t find your schedule for classes on your website? I am hoping to attend one of them this year.

  6. Leah Day Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been so sick Patsy, but what a beautiful project you’ve shared! Continue to take it easy and restore yourself.

    I LOVE your warehouse workshop! Fun fun!


  7. susanbh12 Says:

    hi Patsy
    Glad you are feeling better. It seems that lots of people got “colds” that took them out of commission for 2 or more weeks.

    Is there a place where you post details about your classes? I haven’t found it yet.

  8. SewCalGal Says:

    Oh Patsy, I thought you were busy creating and with work. I’m sorry you’ve been ill, but glad to hear you are getting better. You do so much to take care of others, that I truly wish I lived closer and could do something to help you.

    Your classroom is so inviting. I truly want to come for a class one day. Even better a multi-day class/retreat!


  9. Baba McInnis Says:

    Very sorry to hear you’ve been so ill, but glad you are back in the land of the living. Your Blog is brilliant as is your quilting. Your DVD’s have pride of place in my home. I have the lot as you know.