Monday, April 20, 2015

Design Wall Monday 4-20-2015

It's been several weeks since this item was part of my weekly goals: "Seriously work on Secret Project."  And not too long after that I admitted that the Secret Project was done.  Now, for the first time I can reveal what the Secret Project was and give you the whole story. First, a picture of the finished project. 
It is a tote made from the Professional Tote pattern. Check out Creative Thimble's page with information on the pattern. 

Now the back story.  Several months ago I was visiting Debby Kratovil's blog post: A Salute to Local Heroes. She was sharing the new line of fabric from Benartex/Kanvas called Fire Fighters Rock.  She had made some cute robes for her grandsons.  She also had some leftover fabric to give away. If you look at her blog pics you'll see the various novelty fabrics having to do with fire fighters and police.  I loved the fingerprint fabric.  And, why not, my dil, Aimee was a fingerprint expert.  So I mentioned that in my comment. Debby, out of the kindness of her heart, asked me for my address and said she wanted to send me some of the fabric.  Wow!  I was totally blown away by her offer.  And, Aimee's birthday was coming up.  Then began the "what to make with it" problem.  

I consulted with friends and one said I really needed to make the Professional Tote. I demurred.  I really didn't want to make such a complicated item -- 3 zippers, lining to put in, a million pockets (or so it seemed.) But my friend said if I followed the directions I would have a wonderful tote bag when done.  So, I checked with my son. Would she use it?  He thought she would.  I was then on a hunt for go with fabrics.  I found the cutest dog face fabric on black and knew that was the lining fabric from the moment I saw it.  I started cutting the tote out and realized I needed more of the fingerprint fabric to put it where I wanted it to be.  So, I located some on the internet and waited until I had it to finish cutting out the whole tote.  (All 20 or 30 pieces.)  

Once it was cut out and labeled I made a plan.  I realized there were 11 major steps in the directions so I decided I would do 3 steps one day and 2 for the next 4 days so that I could finish it in a week.  That really worked for me because I was able to finish parts of it and still do a bit more on other things.  I actually finished a day early because some steps were finished quickly.  If you ever need a very nice tote bag this one should be considered.  The directions are fabulous.  I've sewn both garments and quilts and lots of little things in between and without a doubt this was the best written directions I've ever seen.  No confusion.  No scratching my head saying "What?"  These directions were spot on.  Now on to the other pictures I took of the tote in progress. 

The first piece I did -- the front with a zippered pocket.  Below is the front and back sewn together. 
Here's the lining with the little doggy faces. Aimee likes dogs as much as I do so I knew she'd get a kick out of these dogs.  This has a series of pockets with one a closable flap. 
Here's the lining sitting inside  of the outer tote. Notice another zipper and interfacing and pieces yet to come. 
I can't tell you what part of the tote I was sewing on at this point but these clips were really helpful during the construction.  They are Clover's Wonder Clips.

And here's the finished product from the top.  I love the fact that it has a zipper on the top.  It also has a zippered inner section that would hold a computer or a table.  I used In-R-Form for much of the interfacing which would protect contents of the tote as well as give it a lot of body.  (It stands by itself.)  Hum, I wonder if I should make myself one of them. 

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to give it to Aimee in person.  Pat gave it to her when I was up in Maryland.  Now the sad part.  Aimee has moved to a different department and won't be working the fingerprint section any more.  I know she got a big smile on her face when she got the tote though.  

Here's my current goals.  No secret projects on these lists. 
Week of April 13, 2015
Load and quilt comfort quilt
Load and quilt QOV quilt
Work on Love Shack
Sew rows of baby quilt together

And this week's list. 
Week of April 20, 2015
Load and quilt donation quilt
Continue working on Love Shack
Head to Maryland to visit Jenny and the girls
Work on Easy Street

Check out other blogs at Patchwork Times and Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt. 

Happy Quilting All! 


  1. The tote is fabulous! Nothing beats good directions! I bet she loves in even in a though she's in a different department. Have a great time in Maryland.

  2. And your header photo is beautiful!!!

  3. Love the bag AND your new header photo!

    I've made a few totes but never one with 20-30 pieces. Yikes!

  4. Love the tote! You did a great job. Also your new header photo caught my eye. The colors in the quilt and the tree are perfect together.

  5. What a great story for this Tote!! It's awesome and you almost talked me into it but . really 3 zippers? There has to be some phobia for sewing and installing zippers, maybe even an allergy or two. You're and awesome MIL, not a single one of my children nor there other halves will ever receive anything I make with 1 zipper, much less three. And how did I miss that quilt in the header? My goodness that picture belongs on a quilting calendar!! Can you make one for 2016? I'll buy 10 of them, honest!!

  6. What a great gift! The fabric is perfect for Aimee. And I have that pattern....packed up right now, but I have it. I appreciate your counsel: break it down and do a couple of steps at at time. ("Yard by yard, life is hard. Inch by inch, life's a cinch." That pertains to quilty projects, too.)


I am pleased you've come to visit. I hope you will leave a comment.