It’s SUMMER! It’s been fun and busy over here – with things happening every weekend – as you can tell from the infrequent posting going on over here! After visiting Chicago, Minneapolis and Green Bay on a two week vacation and recovering from the craziness of Thanks to YOU Week and two trunk shows at Quilts at the Creek, I’ve been cottaging in Killarney, Ontario without cell service and then planning my youngest’s 6th birthday party – cat themed! Whew! I’m hoping to get better at quick, fun photo-based posts so I can share them all with you.

With all of this going on, I haven’t sewn anything significant in 5 weeks. I’m going a bit crazy over here and need to get my fix in! It doesn’t help that my sewing room is a mess – which is not really conducive to making anything. Since we don’t have any major plans before school starts in September, I’m hoping to blog about past projects and get on with making some new ones so I can share them with you in the fall. I’ve got some photos from a few years ago to share!

Today’s project is one of my favorite things – and I got to give it to my sister earlier this year for her birthday! I posted progress photos of the project on Instagram in black and white, so she hopefully couldn’t tell what I was making. It’s a fun series of photos to go through!

This Makers Tote is a pattern from Noodlehead, one of my favorite bloggers and bag designers – I love her simplicity. Nothing is over-complicated, the projects have clean lines and are super-useful – my favorite! The linen is my current favorite fabric crush, Mochi Dot from Moda, gorgeous!

This is also the first time I used by Annie’s Soft and Stable and I love the easy structure it gives the bag. I used it again in these cute purses for my kids and they stand up to wear so well. They keep their super-crisp shape no matter how much they get tossed around. And it’s great for creating a nice quilted look. The only thing I’m not crazy about is that it’s on the pricey side. In the long run, though, it is really worth it, since it does create a more professional looking project. (I’ve ended up with some Pellon Flex Foam and Bosal In-R-Form through different recent sales and I’m interested in comparing pricing and how the final product looks.)

The Makers Tote comes in two sizes, and I made the smaller version. I’d love to make the large one sometime as well. My friend Lisa (Lisa In Port Hope) made one and brought it to one of our sewing night and it’s a really nice size – perfect for carting larger projects around. I can also see my kids using it as a small overnight bag, complete with pockets for toiletries!

This bag, despite taking me a long time to sew in small time allotments, is really simple to make. It’s very straight forward, and if you have a bit of experience quilting, you can add that in as well. The only tricky bit is sewing the binding around the bottom curves. My Janome Skyline S5 (on loan at the time) handled it beautifully! I even surprised myself and hand-stitched the binding! Not so bad as I assumed, and very satisfying. We might eventually make a hand-quilter out of me – just hang on until my kids get a bit bigger first!

The only thing I changed from the original pattern, was to sew the free end of the zipper to the outside panel – since the one I used was too long, and I didn’t want to shorten it. If you do this, make a pretty cover for the end of the zip and be sure to leave enough room for it to open all the way. I really like how it looks – a bit cleaner without the end of the zipper hanging off the edge – but it was tricky to do, since it has to be sewn after the bag is fully finished. Maybe would be simpler with a properly sized zipper next time.

As usual, with any Noodlehead pattern, I’d wholeheartedly recommend this one as well. And have you seen her cute new free basket pattern? I’m going work that into my organizing plan somewhere soon!

Is your summer busy? What are you working on right now?

Pattern: Noodlehead Makers Tote Green Fabric & Stabilizer: Linen Mochi Dot, Horizon Flora by Kate Spain for Moda, by Annie’s Soft & Stable (from my sponsor, Mad about Patchwork) Orange Fabric: Marmalade by Bonnie & Camille for Moda (from my stash)