Monday, June 30, 2014

Yoga Mat Tote Bag

Hold on to your MATS!! I've got a finish in time for Melissa's A Lovely Year of Finishes, Sew BitterSweet Designs, June linky party.  There will be LOTS of pictures in this post!

I blogged here that my June goal was to finish my yoga mat tote bag.  Ha.  As in start it, more like.  And finish.  Well, I did it!

Here is the finished quilted fabric.  I had to take indoor shots yesterday afternoon as we had quite a run of thunderstorms.

I am really happy with it.  I love this Isacord thread, as did my girl, Avril, and I love the threadplay in many of these designs.  Many of them are Leah Day's of her 400+ Designs on her blog.

I drew the "om" Sanskrit symbol you see in the second square down, second column from the left.

This was my view as I quilted it, so the "om" symbol had to be done sideways
I also quilted my name in the bag, but it is now hidden in the casing and only "ndra" is visible!  Like the om, I had to write that sideways too. . . which was a brain exercise in itself! The design in the far right column second row from the bottom is my own, based on a motif in the lining fabric, a swirl in a flame shape.

I got a better picture between storms, but in the front hallway, so you have some natural light.  It was just soaking wet everywhere outside, and I wanted to get cracking on making the damn darling bag.
This shows the richness of the turquoise thread better
I used my blue ruler (I feel so much more confident and am much more accurate now, despite having that scary accident with it) for the two straight line designs in the top row, and the diamond design in the second row from the bottom in the picture above.  The top square on the far left is one of Leah's, and the other two are based on Angela Walters' Dot to Dot Quilting designs, a Craftsy class I took last winter.

I free-handed the two feather blocks, well, everything is freehand, except for the om.  I am really happy with how they both turned out, especially the  one with the pebbling all around it.

The om, I traced, and then used an X-Acto knife to cut out the symbols and get the circle as round as possible.  I used a Bohin chalk marker, my new favourite marker, to trace the stencil I made onto the black, as well as registration marks for the "brackets" design around the circle.  

It stands up nicely
I decided to have the lining fabric on the outside of the bag strap, with the black side facing the bag.  I LOVE the lining fabric.  It's Jason Yenter's "Winter Wonderland" for In The Beginning fabrics.  The main fabric is, of course, Kona cotton.

Looks pretty amazing lying down too, if I may say so!

I sewed in a small pocket just below the casing I made for the drawstring. Cellphone, car keys size.

I decided to apply a grommet for the drawstrings to feed through as opposed to two buttonholes.

That Buddha insisted on being in every outside shot!
Bella HAD to figure out a way to lie on the new quilted item!!
I can't make this cat any cuter. 

I've written a bag tutorial for the bag, which I will post tomorrow.

Bag Details:
Fabric:100% cotton
Size: 29.5" tall by 22" circumference

Linking up with Marelize's Anything Goes Mondays, and Melissa's A Lovely Year of  Finishes!


  1. Oh wow what a fantastic idea! Gorgeous quilting and I love the photos!

  2. Congratulations Sandra - on finishing - on the idea - great idea and on the quilting. Lots of lovely FMQ. Love the turquoise thread on the background fabric. It is very beautiful - but I think in the beauty department Bella gives it a good run for its money.

  3. What a fantastic finish! And a great way to showcase all your beautiful quilting. Nice job.

  4. Beautiful quilting, Sandra! What a great way to take something boring and make it wow beautiful!!

  5. Stunning. Love the quilting you've done on it. THe designs are great xxx

  6. Oh my GOSH Sandra this bag is so absolutely STUNNING. I gasped when I saw the first pic and by the end of the blog I was winded from all the subsequent gasps. This is so outstanding I can't find words to articulate its incredible beauty, AND your unbelievable TALENT!! I keep encouraging you to SELL these things, omg you'd have such a following that you'd never keep up with orders!! Your little makeup bags, your quilts, and now THIS - this piece of original, phenomenally artistic, one-of-a-kind gems! If you took orders, omg, just set up a damn website and start selling sister!!!! Just don't forget commission for your ever-loving -- (much younger) -- #1 encourager/supporter sister! LOL ;p

    1. Oh jeepers I just can't stop. I had to go back and look at the pics again. How do you deal with getting winded (which you clearly do so on a regular basis given your age)? I can't stop gasping. Is it just me being the absolutely clueless non-quilter, or is this bag just a magnificent creation?? Or is it the outstanding effect of turquoise-on-black? Or the INCREDIBLE amount of delicate stitched designs (I don't know the correct term for all the sewing, sorry) filling, no DECORATING the bag?? Anybody, untrained quilting eye or not, can see what a truly magnificent creation this is. You're doing the world an injustice, Sandra, by not sharing your incredible talent in a tangible way. Thank God for this wonderful blog - we are privy to some pretty amazing creations - but you really need to share your talent further. Unbelievable. Can't stop shaking my head and tutting, wow.

  7. It's already been said, but ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS QUILTING on this bag. Seriously, gorge ;)

  8. I've read... let's see... about two years so far of you blog. I keep coming back because I love your writing voice. I love how "you" seep out from phrases and sentences about quilts or yoga or your pets... BUT... I have not a clue about quilts. The technical (and even the less than technical) just goes right over my head, and I'm ok with that. But finally with this one, I had to go to YouTube and see what in the world a "long arm" was and how on earth a person gets all those beautiful and intricate designs inside every part of a huge quilt. Wow. Just wow. Ok. I get it now.
    By the way... I've thought it 100 times, but I'm not sure I've ever said it in a comment to you... You are an amazing artist.
    Have a great day.


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