This year, my Mom‘s birthday falls on Good Friday – I knew I wanted to sew her something special for her gift, but I wanted to make something other than a quilt. I had admired Carolyn Friedlander’s “Social Tote” pattern for quite some time, and thought this would make a nice gift – especially filled with quilting notions, Valdani perle cotton thread, some wool charm squares and chocolate. I used Tula Pink’s “Fox Field” field for the fabric – it isn’t exactly my Mom’s style, but the bright spring colours, florals and cute little animals steered my choice. With her birthday today, and mine on Easter Monday, some rabbits are in order!
The construction of this tote was quite challenging! I had never made anything “3D” before, nor had I used the stabilizers required to give it shape. I spent a lot of time studying the instructions, reading blog posts online, and trying to visualize how this little beauty would come together. In the end, there were a couple parts that I didn’t quite understand fully, and I improvised, but nothing that changed the character of the design. The inner lining, shown below, was one of the most challenging steps, but Carolyn has extra instructions and pictures on her website that made it do-able, even for me.
Another aspect that added to the challenge of this project was the overall ‘bulk’ of the materials. In the final steps of assembly, each layer is quite thick, and I was worried whether my machine would even entertain sewing through it all. Luckily, my wee Janome performed admirably, and the thick layers weren’t an issue. Phew! The pattern also included a little pincushion, which I didn’t get a chance to make - But I will – Stay tuned, Sweet P!
Lastly, and perhaps most enjoyably, I took the tote into my favourite local quilt store to choose some little items to fill it up. The tote is smaller than I envisioned it being, but it should work nicely for my Mom’s hand-sewing projects.
Happy Birthday, Mom! I hope you enjoy this quirky little tote! XOXO!