It’s been a mission to keep this under wraps for the holidays. Not posting about Miss Mary’s workshop has been an endeavor of secrecy so that there was an element of surprise for those that received the Santa Totes. Cute as a button, great for the holidays, while giving little ones a huge squeal appeal when Santa Grandma is coming.
I made five at a time this year. I haven’t done that since my daughter’s wedding three years ago. I happen to be checking out at Michaels just after Thanksgiving. I hadn’t purchased a Quilting magazine in quite some time so I thought I’d block up the shoppers exiting the store by thumbing through some of the magazines because they moved the magazines to the exit of the store.
“Well what to my wandering eyes should appear”, a cute little ‘ol Santa Tote in “Quilter’s World 2015”. I was peaked but didn’t push the button because I was on my way out the door. I thought could I actually create the applique pattern? I’m not good at drawing. Could I find coloring pages online that would give me a mitten and a buckle? I tried. Within the week I returned just to purchase the magazine.
I used my tote pattern, a good 19”W x 15.5”H x 5.5”D, for the body and used my construction techniques, which are much different than the author because I build totes for strength. Example, I sew the handles to the outside of the tote. When you place the handle ends into the seam, it creates stress on the bag and eventually they will tear the seam open.
The best part about this new pattern is that I could use a purchase code to download the mitten pattern and the buckle pattern. I already know how to apply applique backing and how to sew a blanket-stitch onto the front of the tote. It was also the inspiration of the cuteness of the tote that really made me want to make so many for family and friends.
As most fabric quilter lovers do, I collect fat quarters that catch my eye, especially when on sale. Years ago I purchased quite a few holiday fat quarters hoping that someday I would create a holiday quilt – dream on. The fat quarters became the lining. Each bag was different.
Totes do not stand up by themselves unless you construct them to do so. I always sew a plastic bottom into every tote. Every tote body has a fusible fleece lining while every lining has a fusible stability lining. That tote will stand up by itself.
The Miss Mary factor was in sewing snowflakes onto the mitten, and quilting the bag. SO CUTE!!!!! That’s time consuming. It took approximately six or seven hours per bag to construct, beginning to end. I did them enmasse because I didn’t want to keep changing the bobbin and thread. I went through two rolls of red thread and five bobbin refills. I also needed more Robert Kaufman’s Kona red fabric and almost had a heart attack when I couldn’t find it. Thank you to the associate at Joann’s for finding the Kona red for me. NOTE: You do have to go back to the store of fabric origin because of the dye lot in the fabric. It has to match.
Charming Charlies, this year, had the cutest key chains with furry little puffs at the end that came in all colors. THAT would have been cute hanging off the handle. I believe a companion ELF bag would be ADORABLE, just change the red to green and use either a white or red mitten, and maybe a white belt. I’m a holiday genius.
Sew, what’s next? I have a few quilts I need to finish. I have a Spring children’s pattern or beginners pattern that I’d like to finish and put up online for free. We’ll see how that goes.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!