I have a bigger, younger sister. Well, actually I have three sisters. One of them I refer to as my bigger, younger sister.
Kate, is my bigger, younger sister. She is only 17 months younger than I, so she's not that much younger than me ;) But, a long time ago, she grew taller than me (I still haven't caught up) and since then I have been referring to her as my bigger, younger sister. And, as it turns out, as we grew older I often found myself going to her for advice, ahem, the way a little sister should be coming to her big sister...
But the truth is, she was married before I was, she had both her children before ours were born, and she and her husband bought their first home before we did...So, she had lots of advice to give!
Anyway, I love her! (I love all my sisters!) As we grew up we certainly had our ups and downs, especially since we are so close in age. We had our fair share of fights and hair pullings. But, we also had our fair share of late night talks, lazing about in the summer together and many childish adventures.
This fall she is finishing up her schooling and student teaching. She has worked very hard, taking care of her two children, studying and working part time and now she is almost there! I am so proud of all of her hard work. I know it has not been easy.
So, as a little "I'm proud of you!" gift to her I thought I'd make her a new bag to use while she is student teaching. Without giving her any indication as to why I was asking this, I asked her what her favorite colors were: jewel tones, deep purple, dark red, orangey yellow and grassy green. I was about to get started on her bag when I found out about this fun blog event hosted by Diane from From Blank Pages. (you might remember her from earlier this year when she guest posted for the Cover Robin gift exchange)
For the Friendship Quilts Blog Hop you need to make something for a special friend. Got it, Kate! And then, that something needs to be inspired by and resemble a friendship bracelet. Alright, well, I think I can do that...
What a fun inspiration for a bag. And who better to make this inspired gift than for Kate. She and I toiled away COUNTLESS hours making friendship bracelets together, at the beach, on the front porch, in the backyard, in the car...
I had so much fun making this bag! And, I am in love with it! (Do I have to send it to her?) It seems like I am always making things and then sending them off to other people! (it was hard to pack this and this up too!)
But of course I will send it off to her. She deserves it.
The bag is the 241 tote from Noodlehead.
I bought this pattern shortly after a little bloggy friend gathering with Jill, Tara, and Rachael and their families (you can see some silly pics here...). After I saw Tara's version in person I knew I HAD to make one for myself, although I have yet to make one of my own...
I love this bag for it's shape and pockets, oops, already said that...but I do. I also really loved making this bag. There are only three pattern pieces (small amount of pattern pieces is always a plus for me) and the actual construction comes together so smoothly.
The addition of the herringbone for the center panels (ie. friendship bracelet) was a ton of fun too! First, I got to use up some scraps (YAY!). Second, I got to include all of Kate's favorite colors. Third, I really like sorting through and finding just the right fabrics and putting them together just so.
I used Rachel and Holly's (again) tutorials as a guide for my herringbone to make sure I didn't royally screw up, but, I have to say, that after the three blocks from my runner I was feeling a bit more confident.
Anywho, I thought that some might be interested how I made the center panels for this bag. Of course, this is coming from a non quilter, so...forgive me, it's probably not perfect and know that I definitely refferred to the other tutorials (above) as guidance.
I used 11 strips of fabric cut to 2" x 7 3/4" (7 3/4" is a bit random, I chose it basically based on my scraps, but it worked...). There is an odd number, "one man out", which I put at the bottom (see it down there).
Once I had my two sides sewn together, it was time to cut. I flipped the pieces around and used the top as my guide to cut, placing my 6" x 24" ruler along the red pieces, see arrows (and herringbone tutorials here and here, because I am not a quilter...)
After I cut along the edges of my ruler as stated in the tutorials. I squared up my pieces to be 5" x 15". I sewed the two pieces together with a 1/4" seem allowance to make the herringbone and added a 4" x 15" strip of linen along each of the outer sides.
Next, I folded the block in half (right sides together), lined up the center panel pattern piece with the center seam, and traced and cut.
And there you have it, all ready to move on to the next steps...
So, now that I've shared, I guess it's time for me to send this off to my sister, huh!
And now, to make a 241 tote for myself, oh and for my mom, because now she wants one too and I do owe her a birthday gift!
(Oh, and I'm also entering this bag into Purse Week 2012)