Sunday, December 26, 2021

Letting the Bags out of the Bag

Well, Christmas is about over for another year as I write this, and it was a very special one for me, as I flew to Alberta to spend it with Brianne and Brady. I had the joy of being a part of two other special Christmas presents this year. About three or four weeks before Christmas, within the span of a week, two of my yoga students approached me, asking if I could make them the tote bag I bring to each class as a present for a loved one. They actually spurred me on to get my pattern, Positive Flow, finished up. It had stalled because I intended to include the tote bag... Below is the original bag, which I designed to showcase my Blogger Bundle I curated for Bernie's (now closed) shop, Needle and Foot. (that's her blog, always a good read).
Thought we in the northern hemisphere could use a little Caribbean Sea and sand about now!
This bag was my carry-on for that Cuba trip in March 2019. I've been using it this past year to haul my yoga stuff to classes I teach.

Here is one of the two I made, this first one with Island Batik fabrics. I was given free reign for colours to use.
Side 1

Side 2

The boxed bottom (love this print)

The lining, a 'vintage' fabric from my stash. It's slightly heavier than quilting cotton, so it made for a perfect lining. Absolutely love the motif.

Closeup of quilting
In this one I did back and forth in the nested plus blocks, and one of my favourite flower meander designs. All free-motion quilting on my Avanté. This bag was requested by the husband of the recipient. Both are yoga students. Fun fact: the recipient is the one who requested the Plus Playtime baby quilt I recently made for her first grandchild who will be born in January.

For the second one I was asked to make burgundy the main colour. This yoga student is originally from Montreal, and the bag went to her best friend who lives there. It's kind of a thrill to think of one of my designs tootling around a city I really love.
Side 1 - I did some fancy custom quilted feathers on the band.

I absolutely LOVE combing through my stash, putting various lines and vintages from modern to aged together. The main fabric here (stunning isn't it; originally bought for another kaleidoscope quilt) is a Jinny Beyer, the band fabric is a Shelley Cavanna from last year, and the trees an older Kona Bay fabric.

Side 2

The lining

The bottom

I quilted this one with a pretty variegated cotton Essential thread from Connecting Threads. (affiliate link - and btw their thread is all on sale 25% off!) Both bags were quilted with their variegated threads.

I'm sure you've seen but they currently have an extra 10% off their sale section, which is always a terrific section to visit anytime.

I can't wait to hear how the Montreal bag was received. The one in Kingsville? It's her favourite present she told me! Funny story: her husband warned me after he requested I make one as a surprise for her, that she was probably going to approach me to ask me to make her one because she'd told him multiple times how much she loves my bag. Well about two weeks after he'd talked to me about making her one, she did! I was ready. I told her I would be happy to make her one, but I just couldn't get to it before Christmas. 😉 Her response? Not to worry; if it wasn't until Easter, she'd be happy to wait! Glad she didn't have to wait very long after all!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Positive Flow tote bag by moi, mmmquilts
Size: 20.5" wide x 16.5" high
Fabric: Bag 1: Island Batik; Bag 2: various
Backing: as above
Batting: Hobbs 
Quilted: on Avril;  Bag 1: 18 604 stitches; Bag 2: 17 375 stitches
Threads: pieced with Gütermann cotton; quilted with variegated Essential cotton 50 wt; The Bottom Line in the bobbin.

If you would like a tote bag, you have three options. You can purchase the pattern here,

or you can email me (see sidebar) with a colour theme, 

or you can wait until I make one or two to list in my Etsy shop! I already have a fabric pull waiting for me at home.

However, once I get back home, I do, however, have a certain husband quilt to make, as well as binding the one below in order to check off all my goals for Q4 in #wipsbegone2021


  1. Bags, each of our daughters also received a special bag for Christmas, each also had special fabrics. Did Brady know you would be coming? What a wonderful time you will be having, even if a tad or a whole lot cold!!!

  2. What a clever husband to get his wife just what she wanted to for Christmas; I love knowing it was her favorite gift to receive. Lovely!

  3. Both lovely bags! That is one smart husband.

  4. Such lovely bags! And what a thoughtful gift, and fun to know you already had one for her when she asked.

  5. Congratulations on two beautiful bags that will be loved and cherished by the special people you made them for. Isn't wonderful when the husbands listen to their wives (and vice versa)?

  6. Lovely custom gift-making. The bag sure looks like a great size and design. You have been busy with all your gift making, etc!

  7. Love the bags & one busy lady with the bonus of time away with DD & GS. Hope you had a lovely time. Take care & hugs.