I have been stitching this gift over the past couple weeks (the cross-stitch pattern is available here at Kitschy Digitals!) You might have seen my progress on Instagram? I haven't cross-stitched in a while! But it's totally addictive! So much fun. The pattern was designed by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. They've created several country themed patterns (you can find Italy, Japan, England in our shop, and they will have more coming soon!). I think doing a bunch of these, especially if you've traveled to these places, and incorporating them into a quilt would be so crazy cute!
I knew I wanted to make this pattern for my Mother-in-Law who's half Irish (her Mother was born in Ireland!) and is also visiting there this summer. I also knew I wanted to make the design into a pocket on the outside of a tote bag... because I don't know about you guys, but around our house, there are never enough totes. We use them for everything. I was thinking she could use it for all sorts of things, to carry books or keep a knitting or smocking project in (she's a seasoned sewer and knitter!). I tend to have totes the hold all sorts of different projects I'm working on. They're a great way to keep your project all together in one place so you can grab it on the go if you need a project to work on outside of the house.
The cross-stitching took the longest... the bag was super easy and quick! What took the longest on the bag is attaching the binding to create the two pockets. (I used this tutorial if you need a good bias tape tutorial.) And you can tell I was rushing to finish this in time for her birthday party because my bias tape stitching is wonky in places (oops!). I used a piece of a blue floral Liberty of London fabric I bought at Purl Soho while in NYC many years ago, for the other front pocket.
And speaking of Purl Soho, I used their 20-minute tote bag tutorial to make the bag! What makes it so fast is that you use webbing for the straps and you don't have to make a lining for the bag because you're using upholstery fabric (yes.) (I bought this upholstery fabric at Joanns.) You can again tell I was in a rush to finish it because the bottom corners are uneven (double oops), but you won't be able to tell when it's full. ; ) I definitely recommend this tutorial as an easy beginner project.
Aren't the pens cute? Those are more of my loot that I picked up in Little Tokyo, LA.
I'm excited to start another project. There's nothing like having a project waiting in the wings. We creative types thrive on this, am I right?