Monday, November 8, 2010

Martinique Tote Bag

Hello and Happy Monday! That's not something I say too often. Monday. Blah. ;) But even though it is rainy here today I am happy because it makes for a perfect day to just stay in and sew. And seeing as I have nothing else to do today, I'm in hog heaven!

I wanted to share my latest project, a tote bag made with my most treasured fabric. It is Martinique by 3 Sisters for Moda. I got a jelly roll and a fat quarter bundle on sale from the Fat Quarter Shop . Normally price for this stuff is really outside of my budget, about $130 plus shipping. But, like I said, it was on sale and I couldn't resist the opportunity. It was a super happy day when it arrived in the mail!!

I have had bad luck lately with projects that have just not turned out right, so I figured I would make a pretty tote and hoped that I couldn't really mess that up. Here is what I decided on:

Cute, right? It's 8" x 16".

So, I picked out my strips, cut out the lining and handles and fusible fleece:

And started quilting. Okay, first of all...I've never quilted anything like this before. It was a learning experience, lets put it that way. It did not turn out very well. I mean...OKAY...but not perfect. :(
When both sides were done, I put them together and was half way there.

Then came the lining, pockets, ruffle and straps. The lining and pockets went well. The ruffle hated me. The fabric wasn't long enough (how did that happen??) so it didn't wrap all the way around, it wasn't ruffling appropriately, I didn't have a piece of fabric long enough for 5" x 35", so I just used a strip from the jelly roll, which was 2 1/2 x 35. Which created a small, tiny ruffle. AND, to top it all off, I somehow just blindly followed directions without bothering to look at my creation, and realized once it was all put together that the ruffle fabric was inside out. Yeah. 
I was so sad by this that I just pinned the handles onto the top and called it a night. It is supposed to have decorative buttons at the end of each handle. That will have to come another day when I get over this. 
I know, I'm such a drama queen. But, really. Three projects in a row that turned out like crap??!
I'm just in a bad place right now I think. I need to get my head on straight. 
Here is the 'final' product: 

 See that tiny and not ruffled ruffle....

 Kind of blurry front photo. See those white tag things? Those were from the selvage ends of the jelly rolls. I thought I would be cool and just use them to cover up my major quilting mistakes. LoL.

And here is the inside and the cool pockets. I really like these pockets. It is a nice, roomy and sturdy bag.
I'll just have to try this again. Maybe with cheaper fabric next time. : /

As for today...I am trying something quicker and smaller. Mini wallets, Thanksgiving hair barrets and mug rugs. Wish me luck...I apparently need it!!!



  1. Keep trying Jan. It really is a cute tote.

  2. That's an awesome design! You did a great job quilting! I'm so sorry about all the trouble you've had putting this bag together. SO much work involved! But kudos to you for not giving up and the will to keep trying. You'll get it! I know you will! (gorgeous fabric, by the way!)

  3. @Jodi

    Hi Jo, Thanks very much!! It was a lot of work. But a good experience. I went ahead and got two more Jelly Rolls of that fabric while it was on sale. I'm realizing big time the difference between the expensive fabric and the 'Joann' standard fabric. This is sooooo soft and silky. I would definitely want my quilt made out of this stuff rather than the stiff and heavy cottons. Know what I mean? I'm learning more and more each day. :)

  4. @mrhev2

    Thanks Mom! (er, Mr. Hev?) lol You have to become a follower now. :)

  5. Jansie you are the WINNER of the bejeweled beads $20.00 dollar certificate. Please email me at for your address. Thanks Jen

  6. Well.....all I can say is I hate it when that happens to me.....but truly, it looks great! so what if the ruffle is not ruffly...just say you planned it that way....

  7. @Barb

    Thank you Barb. It will still get put to good use, and I did plan it that way, what are you talking about?? ;) hahaha. Have a great trip, wherever you are going!