Friday, June 6, 2014

Can’t Stop with the Totes!

Apparently, this thing with the tote bags is an official tangent. I was so happy with the one I made last week that I followed it up with two more, from the same Noodlehead pattern, both of which look like this:

(fabric facts: DS Quilts Fancy Free and Essex Linen in ivory)

I have a few nonquilt patterns that I tend to rely on a lot—I’ve done them a bunch of times, and I know how to do them really well (like, so well that I have the yardage requirements memorized!). The first that comes to mind is Alicia Paulson’s Jane Market Bag. The picture here shows just three examples, but I am not exaggerating when I report that I have made more than two dozen Jane Market Bags.

Most of my Jane Market Bags were completed when my sons were just babies and I had limited time—and brain cells—to devote to sewing projects. It felt good to pick out fabrics and complete something, even if that something was a bag I had made many times over.

This Noodlehead pattern is proving to be the same. It’s a great stash buster and easy, easy to put together. I invested in some canvas to interline the first one I made, but the second and third were interlined with scrap curtain lining I had hiding in the back of my sewing closet. I knew I was holding on to that lining for good reason!

Over at Lovely and Enough, Kelsey Boes writes about those quilting labors of love, projects you piece slowly over time. There is much to be said for savoring the process and watching a quilt top come together block by block. My biggest quilting triumph along these lines has been my Penny Sampler.

I can relate to Kelsey’s experience, but I also find enjoyment in the small accomplishments—skirts that you can crank out in a day, a tote bag that doesn’t require a trip to a fabric store.

Do you have any Noodlehead totes or Jane Market Bags in your pattern collection? What do you go back to time and again?

I’m linking up this post to Finish It Up Friday!


  1. Such cute bags!!! I'm going to have to check out that pattern!! Looks like a great project :-) Visiting from Finish It Up Friday

    ~ Jess ~
    Everything Is Coming Up Rosie

  2. Ha! SO glad I am not the only one! I haven't made many totes or bags..but I can sure crank out coasters(InColorOrder) and, more recently, chicken pincushions ("Pin Hens"!) of all things!!! Got a big kick out of your post! And both the Market Bags and the Totes look so great...I can see why you would get hooked on em!!

  3. I need a few more of those quick win projects! I do like a good zipper pouch, although I rarely repeat a particular pattern.

  4. "Official tangent" or not, those totes are cool! I love the shot of the 3 together. For me, the go-to projects are probably pot holders and pincushions!

  5. I enjoy making bags as well. I have taught some of my nieces to make simple bags. It is so much fun to have a quick finish.

  6. I think you're so smart to use a good pattern repeatedly. These are both lovely and useful.

    1. Thank you, Ann and my other fellow quilters, for the comments. Apparently, this tote tangent was one worth taking!


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