Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Last minute tote bag

Less than a week before leaving for the SewPro convention in Chicago in September, it dawned on me that I might need a bag to lug around a notebook, samples of my patterns, business cards (yes, I have business cards now - I feel all grown up!), maybe a light sweater.  I could have grabbed one of the kids' backpacks, but somehow that didn't project quite the image I hoped for.

So, with less than a week to go and plenty of unrelated things to finish up before I left, I just had to make a bag!

Snowflake tote bag
Snowflake tote, side 1
I think it came out pretty well, considering I winged it with no pattern.  I decided to use some of my snowflakes to dress it up a bit.  This one is Snowflake 7, version 4. 

Flip the bag over to see Snowflake 7, version 1.

Snowflake tote bag, side 2
Snowflake tote bag, side 2

I am particularly proud of the zippered pocket I added.  I could add slip pockets easily, as I have added such pockets to my small purses so had an idea how to proceed, but I didn't want my wallet to fall out unnoticed. I watched this tutorial and this one, took a deep breath and cut gave it a try.  Ta-dah!  A zipper!  With an actual pocket behind it too.

zippered pocket
Inside of tote bag, with zippered pocket!

I also added a clip to hold my keys .  Note to self:  next time put that clip higher up. This one is so far down the bag that it isn't any easier to fish out my keys than if I just let them drop to the bottom of the bag.

swivel hook for keys
Swivel hook for keys

Since I haven't made very many bags, I wasn't sure what to use as interfacing, but after much browsing online I settled on Shape Flex fused to the lining fabric and fusible fleece fused to the pieced outer shell.  It ended up being just about as stiff as I wanted, halfway between totally floppy and standing up stiff all on its own. I went ahead and quilted the outer shell too, just to add some nice finishing details.   Oops, missed a picture of that, and the lighting isn't very good to take some right now.  Just take my word that it looks fabulous!

The bag was good conversation starter, and Lissa said it's what she used to spot me in a crowd!

Speaking of Lissa, she is starting a Fandango/Tula Pink quilt along, blogging about it on Tula Tuesdays.  I have a long list of things I'm not getting to so I can't add another project, but I can cheer her on from the sidelines! Pop on over there and take a peek and tell her Joanne sent you.

Happy quiting!


  1. What a terrific tote bag and great idea for the convention. I think that snowflake just might become your signature emblem. Love the zippered pocket. Must give that a try too.

  2. What a wonderful bag! I'm not surprised at all that you would do a great job! For sure, anyone who has EVER seen your blog would recognize those snowflakes. Good on you, Girl! ---"Love"

  3. That is a "statement" bag! What a great way to use a couple of your snowflake patterns. For not making many bags, you certainly made a beauty this time!!

  4. Hey Joanie are you going to the AQS Des Moines show this week?
    Love your bag, good job on winging it!

  5. Ooh! Zipper pocket! It looks so professional.

    It's a very pretty bag - I can see why it was a conversation starter.

  6. Very good! I love those swivel hooks for keys too and have put them in a couple of my purses. I still need to put one in the bag I just finished. The zippered pocket is a great idea and looks very professional! You are all set now!

  7. What a great bag! Great job on the zipper pocket. I have a bag pattern waiting to be made.... maybe 6 years now? I should probably pull it out sometime and make it up! I really need to pull out my snowflakes and get my runner made too. Thanks for the reminder.

  8. I have been eyeing the snowflakes patterns, just need to knock some other quilts off my list first. They are simply gorgeous. I love how one pattern can give so many designs. Genius.

  9. This bag is beautiful and definitely represents you well.

  10. The bag is gorgeous..very practical too! Hope you had a great time at convention.

  11. Really, really cute! And very, very smart! I've been wanting to try that type of zippered pocket. You've given me the confidence to give it a go on my next bag! XO

  12. How did I miss this?? Argh! Email sign up for your blog is clearly needed. I still have a few snowflakes hanging out that need to grow up (ha, on the your business cards making you feel grown up!) so this is a great idea. Love the zipper pocket, must do that myself one of these future bags.


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