Better late than never

Ok... I was a tad ambitious when I so confidently claimed that I'd have my niece's quilt done by the end of August. In reality, I just finished it this past week. I had the whole week off for Thanksgiving because I somehow had a bunch of vacation time to burn, so I made sure the adorable pink and grey quilt was on the top of my to-do list.

And here it is!

Still playing with straight lines for top stitching. Not boring yet!

Cute binding detail... like usual. :)

Of course, it needed my signature matching tote bag too!

I took better process pictures of how I construct the simple box totes this time. Here's a quick picture tutorial:

Cut strips to piece front and back.
Sew strips together in pretty pattern.
Top stitch with batting to match quilt.
Whip up a simple lining (the exact same, but 1/8" smaller than outer bag).
Leave one bottom corner open to turn right-side-out.
Sew sides to face pieces.
What I do when my batting is too small. Zig Zag!
I don't have a picture of how to make the handles. And that's because I haven't figured out the best way to do it yet. This time I tried sewing a little sleeve to fit right around the batting, then stitched the batting to one end and attempted to turn the whole thing right side out. What a mess. The batting twisted and turned until I mashed it smooth. Bah.

I love to pin the handles to the faces of the bag before sewing the lining in. It makes it easy to hide those rough edges, and you don't have to do any top stitching on the outside to make them nice and secure.

The front gets a button...

The back gets a tab with a button hole.

Pin lining inside bag with RIGHT SIDES FACING!

The bag is kind of "birthing" itself through the hole in the lining.

Sew the hole in the lining shut and pop it into the bag. You'll notice that because I sewed around the top edge of the bag with the right sides of the lining and the shell facing each other, there are now no rough edges showing! Yay! Just do a quick top stitch around the upper edge and it's done. You could also tack the bottom corners of the lining to the bottom of the shell to keep it from flipping out, but it's not really necessary.

Finished tote bag!

I also made another sweet little birth announcement print in a frame, using girly fonts and colors. Love it!

I bought the materials to start making all three kiddos' Christmas gifts today... and I can't wait to get started on them! You'll just have to wait and see what I have up my sleeve. In the meantime, here's a cute photo of me and my nephew Liam! This is the first official photographic evidence EVER of me holding a baby... and yes, we're in a woodshop. Don't ask! Ha ha...


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