I've been trying to find patterns for tote bags that I could use and easily make. I really loved that scrappy beach/camping towel tote I made a week ago. It was a joy to make. Using that finishing concept, I am designing a simple market bag tote & converting some patterns I did find.
I think what I liked about towel tote most of all was that I could use my scraps. There are so many in my closet that were cut ever since I started quilting. I pulled out a container of 3" scraps. I don't know why I cut 3" & 4" squares because the ones sold in the store measure 2.5", 5" and 10". And actually, those are the sizes called for in most patterns. Now I have a large container of the 3"s and this is a perfect opportunity to see if they work.
This tote will be one of those things that I make as I go, but I will write the steps and take photos (hoping to remember). It will be fashioned like the towel tote.
The plan, thus far, is to make the outside panels 16.5" deep by 12.5" wide, as a raw measurement before it gets seamed. I have laid out what I think will work for both panels. Using 3" squares, it takes five squares to measure 12.5" across. It takes seven rows of 3" squares to measure 16.5" the long way. Therefore, it will take a total of 70 squares to make up the two panels. I chose to make this a rainbow effect, however, if I make another one, I may try to do a different theme.
The piece for the sides and bottom measure at 9" wide and I will need to work this up to see how much is actually used for the length to connect them all. I found an orphan piece that is exactly 9" and was way long. Obviously, I need to treat it as if it were one piece rather than pieced and cut it with inches to spare. Now to find the lining. Finding larger pieces of fabric is getting to be the challenge.
Then I joined a Mother's Day Tote Swap, not to swap but to get the tote pattern & tutorial. Fun. The facilitator is from Australia where they use metrics where they call the stuff in the middle of the quilt wadding. Its a whole new technique and is giving me the opportunity to use up some Patriotic scraps. More on that later.