I am a great fan of geometry, gardening, purple and green. I simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work with Melanie Testa’s new FlorAbunda line. I’ve seen the precision work that she uses to cut her layered printing tools – and then the absolute beauty of the organic quality that results. There is a mix of control and chaos that speaks to me. The mix of quiet tone on tones and the bolder floral prints makes it easy to blend these fabrics.
I’m also on something of a
kick crusade to reduce all one-time-use plastic in our household. I’ve been taking my own bags to the store for several years now and have a number of recycled-plastic totes that are the PERFECT format for groceries. The thing is that they are also perfect for many other things so the bags that are supposed to live in the back of my van end up living in lots of other places instead of where I need them when I’m at the store. Time for a some new totes!
These fabrics are pretty enough for me to want to carry them around with me ALL THE TIME! Now, mind you, patterns and I don’t often get along so I sort of eyeballed the totes I had and guesstimated sizes. I think the hardest part of this project was choosing which of the gorgeous colors to put where. I figured things out by simply laying things on top of and next to each other.
Each piece you see here is sandwiched… a backside and frontside fused to a layer of stabilizer in the middle then stitched like a quilt to give the whole thing more body.
Fusible Web and I are best friends. In this case Misty-Fuse is adhered to the black fabric that I will make all my “binding” out of.
The hardest part of the actual sewing is inserting the sides and getting around the corners. If you sew the sides of each piece first, then trim the corners of the inside/side bit before you try to sew around that corner, it’s not so bad.
I securely sewed each piece together, then carefully fused black strips over the edges. Then I zig-zagged the edge of the binding. This tote is seriously going to last FOREVER!
And there you have it! Doesn’t that make it sound effortless? HAH! I won’t tell you about the twelve (yes, twelve) needles I broke sewing through all those layers. In all fairness, I think my trusty Bernina Record 930 is a little out of whack and I’ve been putting off a trip in to the shop. It only breaks needles when backing up.
I also won’t tell you that I really meant to make the bag wider than it is tall because that’s my favorite for groceries. I didn’t notice I had the pieces cut in the wrong orientation until I was completely finished with the tote. I’m chalking that one up to being so in love with the fabrics that I couldn’t pay attention to anything else. (ummmmm…. right.)
I worked out enough kinks and liked the first tote so much that I made the second tote the next morning. Yup. Love it even more. The bag has straps just long enough to go over my shoulders but not drag on the ground if I’m carrying them by hand. If I were shorter I’d add double straps, short ones to use when carrying it by hand. You should see the crazy mom-thing I do, carrying four to six of these fully loaded bags out from the store or into the house. I call it my workout for the day. (See me rolling my eyes here?)
Anyway…. please do enjoy the rest of the blog hop by stopping by and seeing what the other artists have created.
Be sure to participate in RJR Fabric’s giveaway over at their instagram account too!