Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sewn: {Last-Minute} Teacher Tote

I'm so glad you all seem to be enjoying reading the Squam stories as much as I'm enjoying writing and sharing them. I have a couple more coming up, but tonight I wanted to share this last-minute teacher gift. I've been thinking of it as the "crazy bag" in my head, which isn't fair, because the bag itself isn't crazy. It's more me, kind of. Anyway, first the bag:


And excuse the poor lighting; I made it tonight and am gifting it tomorrow, so daylight photos aren't an option. Tomorrow, see, is the last day of school. It sort of snuck up on me, which is weird, because I've been counting down to it for months now. (I have a little song about school lunches, and how many more I had to make, to the tune of "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall." And when I got home on Sunday, my husband said, "Packing the lunches sucks!" No kidding, I said. Haven't I been saying?) But anyway, this is the earliest we've ended since we started going to that school--no snow days this year. We did have four hurricane days right at the start, but we made up three over the course of the year. One year we had flood days--four of 'em. They are not kidding when they say anything goes, weather-wise, in New England.

So, right. If I'd have been here last week, I'd have been thinking of teacher gifts, but my husband was being me, and he is not the version of me that thinks of these things. Typically at the end of the year I try to do something for all the teachers and staff, rather than individually, like I try to do before the holiday break. So I'm bringing in two iced boxes of joe tomorrow morning to leave in the office. But my oldest has had the same teacher for three years in a row, and he's moving on, and we wanted to give her something besides the shared coffee. But what? Nothing seemed right. So at ten this morning I decided I needed to make her something, and I went and found this tote tutorial from Zaaberry that I'd pinned over a year ago.

Did I mention my sewing machine wasn't actually in my possession at that point? I'd left it to be serviced while I went away, and it was pouring yesterday so I didn't want to pick it up. I got it back this afternoon, came home, fed the younger kids lunch, decided upon fabric, and cut my pieces. Because my husband is away, I didn't get to start sewing this until 7:30, but it's a quick sew, at least. My one concession to time was to use the thread already in the machine, thinking I'd match fabric to it. But I decided the bag should be this linen combo, which doesn't really match blue, except I had no brown thread and nothing that would go any better than the blue, so I kept it.

Oh! Take a closer look at the leaf print.


That's a birch leaf stamp that I carved the other night. I just had to. I'm so delighted with it. It's going to show up on other projects...one I'm quite excited about but can't show you yet. I'm so pleased with this stamp, I decided it had to be incorporated in this bag--it's on both sides. I used liquid acrylic craft paint, both because I don't have brown textile paint and because it's quicker and works just as well for this sort of thing, and it doesn't need to be heat-set (and it still won't wash out).

The really cute thing about this bag (and the reason it has that great button, which came in one of my WhimseyBoxes) is that it folds up.


So his teacher can just have it in her bag and use it at the library or the farmers' market or wherever she may be this summer and in need of a re-usable bag. I'm kind of smitten with this bag altogether. We're going to say the blue thread was a design choice, and be very forgiving of the wiggliness of linen (I'd forgotten how it moves when you try to cut it, if I ever knew). My son, to his credit, also seemed pleased and appreciative and thought it was a good gift. I think he is also admiring of the way it folds up like that, like it's almost tactical or something.

I'm linking up with these creative folks (missed them last week!) and then I'm going to lie down...

10 comments:

Jen said...

This is awesome!! I love the leaf stamp too!

Bells said...

Love a good tote!

Rose Red said...

I keep a fold up tote bag in my handbag (a bought one, not a lovely handmade one like this) and it really is very handy. And it is so nice to be able to say "no, thank you" when asked if I need a carry bag at a shop. Great gift.

Donna Lee said...

It's a great bag (and the leaf stamp is a perfect decoration)

I so identify with your feelings about joining the group on the dock. I am always sure that I won't really be welcome in a group that sounds like they're having fun. I wish I knew where that feeling came from. Good for you for taking the step!

Karen Isaacson said...

what a wonderful gift - can't believe you were able to do that the night before! and that stamp is terrific.

Michelle said...

Amazing! In that amount of time? You rock.

And I LOVE the stamp! Great use of it, too!

Jill said...

Good Lord, woman. Lie down with smelling salts and cucumbers on your eyes (I know, right?). What a whirlwind. I. Love. The. Stamp. Lucky, lucky teacher. Talk to you later.

Stephinie said...

It looks lovely! And the stamp is awesome. I'm inspired to dig out my stamping materials when we get home....

tartankiwi said...

What a great teacher's gift! I love the leaf print, it gives just enough detail!

peli said...

so simple and so beautiful at the same time!!!!