But I'm leaving today to visit my friend, who has just retired. She is going to a quilt retreat later in the summer, and I decided that Elizabeth Hartman's sewing circle tote would be a nice gift.
I'll start by saying that this is a fabulous pattern. It is well-written and well-illustrated with photos. It is not something that you will complete in a day. Well, I couldn't have done it in a day. There is a lot of cutting. But once the sewing started, I just took it slow and easy.
I chose Robert Kaufman essex linen blend in denim, and a stack of Denyse Schmidt fat quarters--the ones that were released in Australia, not here in the States, so I had been saving them for something special. For the inside lining, I used "McCall's Easy Sewing Guide" by Windham.
I learned a lot of new skills. There are four exterior pockets. I decided to choose the quilt-as-you-go option because I had never done it before.
Inside, there are three zippered pockets, two small and one large,
Excuse my picture overload there, but I couldn't believe how well they turned out!
There is a lot of very bulky sewing. Elizabeth uses duck cloth for stability, as well as fusible interfacing. A couple of times my needle must have bowed just a little when going through all the thickness, and I got this message.
I couldn't believe my lack of frustration with sewing this bag. But really, just going slowly and following the directions made sewing this bag a very good experience. Everything fit together just perfectly.
I'll warn you--it uses a lot of thread. I think I went through five bobbins! Is there anything I would change? Yes. I would follow Elizabeth's instructions completely. She mentions that it's a good idea to zigzag all around the pieces of duck cloth because they tend to fray. I was anxious to get to the fun stuff, and zigzagging around duck cloth was kind of boring, so when it came to the last pieces, which were long and narrow, I just skipped that step. Next time I'll zigzag around all the pieces.
I'm completely thrilled with this sewing tote. It's beautiful and well done. I give Elizabeth a lot of credit for that. I have gained some valuable new skills that I'm anxious to use again. Let's just say that I don't think zippered pouches will freak me out any longer.
And here's another first. I get to link up to Amanda Jean's finish-it-up-Friday and at Lucy's who is hosting TGIFF. Woohoo!