December 8, 2014

TUTORIAL (& Giveaway!): The Three-Ten Tote

CHRISTMAS! I love Christmas! And I have to work hard to keep myself in check and not over-extend myself baking and making all the gifts for all the people! (Surely, I'm not alone in this.) But as the year draws to a close, and the January anniversary of this blog approaches, I want to make sure I have just the right gift ...for you. How would like another December tutorial? Humbug! That's not enough. How about the actual tote from the tutorial? Read on for an opportunity to get your hands on both, and more!
Three fabrics, ten steps, one lined tote bag tutorial, zero bottom seam -- plus a giveaway! | The Inspired Wren


Craftsy


Let's start with the tutorial [originally published on Sew McCool in November 2014]. This tote is the perfect project to highlight great fabric combinations. What better (free) gift to yourself is there then to actually use your favorite fabrics? The unique construction of this lined bag features reinforced handles and no bottom seam, so you know it will hold up well to daily use. 

If you're like me and prefer to print out the tutorials you use, you can download the free three-page PDF file at Craftsy [you'll need an account, but that's also free with an email address]. Otherwise read on for step-by-step directions how to sew a 3-Fabric, 10-Step Tote of your own -- it’s time to stop petting those fabrics in your stash and show them off!


Three fabrics, ten steps, one lined tote bag tutorial, zero bottom seam -- plus a giveaway! | The Inspired Wren
Download the pattern now!



MATERIALS


  • Three coordinating quilting-weight cottons for the outer Shell, the inner Lining, and the Handles*
  • Medium-weight iron-on stabilizer
  • Coordinating thread 
*See Cutting for the amount of materials needed. Keep in mind that you could cut this project across the grain (depending on the print) with satisfactory results and therefore not need as large a cut of fabric. Also note the Shell is folded in half with no bottom seam, so beware a one-way directional print as it will appear upside down on one side of the tote. In this example I made sure the flowers were oriented correctly and decided the remainder of the print was abstract enough not to be distracting upside down. Use your best judgment when choosing and placing the fabric.


CUTTING

The dimensions listed here will create a final Tote Bag 9 ½" wide x 12" tall x 2" deep. You can easily change these dimensions to fit your need; keep in mind that the seam-allowance varies in places.

Shell: 13" x 22½", cut 1 fabric; cut 1 interfacing

Lining: 13" x 30½", cut 1 fabric; cut 1 interfacing

Handles: 4" x 22", cut 2

Three fabrics, ten steps, one lined tote bag tutorial, zero bottom seam -- plus a giveaway! | The Inspired Wren

CONSTRUCTION

1.      Prepare each Handle by folding it in half, wrong sides together and press. Open it up and press each outside edge to the center line. Fold fabric in half again and press. The final width of the Handle will be approximately 1" with the raw edges enclosed in the fold. Edge-stitch down each side. Set aside.

2.      Apply the interfacing to the Shell and Lining fabrics following the manufacturer’s instructions.

3.      Working with the right side up and matching the raw edges, center the ends of one Handle 4" apart on a short end of the Shell fabric; pin in place. Repeat with the second Handle on the opposite short end of the Shell.

Three fabrics, ten steps, one lined tote bag tutorial, zero bottom seam -- plus a giveaway! | The Inspired Wren


4.      With right sides together, align the short ends of the Lining and the Shell sandwiching the Handles in between—note the Lining will not lay flat as it is longer than the Shell. Pin in place.

5.      Stitch each short end with a ¼" seam allowance, catching the Handles in the seams.


Three fabrics, ten steps, one lined tote bag tutorial -- plus a giveaway! | The Inspired Wren
The red dotted lines indicate the stitch location for Step 5.

6.      Turn the Tote right side out and press the seam allowance toward the Shell. Press the entire Tote flat so that the Lining fabric is an even 2" at each end. Pin on either side of the Handles to maintain the 2" borders.

7.      Stitch each Handle onto the Lining fabric (through both layers) with an approximately 1¾"-tall X.

Three fabrics, ten steps, one lined tote bag tutorial, zero bottom seam -- plus a giveaway! | The Inspired Wren


8.      Sew the side seams of the Tote with a French-seam finish:*

a. Fold the Tote in half right side out—with the Lining in and the Shell facing out—and stitch down both sides with a shy ¼" (or a 1/8") seam allowance. QUICK TIP: Sew with the fabric in the ¼" position but move the needle to the far RIGHT position for these seams. Trim any loose or frayed threads.

b. Turn the Tote wrong side out and press the side seams flat. Stitch down both sides with a generous ¼" (or a 3/8") seam allowance encasing the raw edges of the seam. QUICK TIP: Sew with the fabric in the ¼" position but move the needle to the far LEFT position for these seams.

*If you prefer to finish the two side seams with an alternate method, know there is a ½" seam-allowance on each side.

Three fabrics, ten steps, one lined tote bag tutorial, zero bottom seam -- plus a giveaway! | The Inspired Wren


9.         Pinch one bottom corner together so that the side seam is centered on the triangle created; fold the seam allowance to one side. Mark up 1" from the corner point and draw a 2"-wide line perpendicular to the seams. Stitch on the line. Do NOT trim; if you prefer you can hand-tack the point of the corner to the side seam, but it is not necessary. Repeat on the second Tote corner. 

10.      For a finished touch, top-stitch on the top at each of the side seams' lining-bound border catching the seam allowance beneath.

Three fabrics, ten steps, one lined tote bag tutorial, zero bottom seam -- plus a giveaway! | The Inspired Wren

YOU'RE DONE!

So which of your fabrics will you use to sew a tote for yourself? For the shell of this tote I used my long-saved “mercer” by the De Leon Design Group for Alexander Henry Fabrics (2012 Collection). Of course the tote would also make a great gift in any fabric. Pair it with a Pocket Tissue Pack Cover and a Hand Sanitizer Jacket for a lovely, coordinated gift set this Holiday season.

Tissue Pack Cover Tutorial | The Inspired WrenHand Sanitizer Jacket Tutorial | The Inspired Wren



If you sew a 3-Fabric, 10-Step Tote for yourself or as a gift I'd love to see it. Come share your projects on The Inspired Wren Share page. There you can link up images of your work from a blog, Flickr, Pinterest, or Instagram. But if you're feeling pressed for time this holiday season and sewing a full set is overwhelming, you could just enter to win this set.


Enter to win the 3-10 Tote, Tissue Pack Cover, and Hand Sanitizer Jacket from The Inspired Wren -- or just click through for tutorials to make them yourself!


I can't thank you enough for visiting and reading each week. This "little blog project" has grown beyond my expectations and that's thanks to you. So comment below and enter to win the 3-10 Tote along with the Tissue Pack Cover and the Hand Sanitizer Jacket. Unfortunately I can only ship within the United States. So, if you're in the USA this full set could be yours with one little comment: tell us your favorite handmade gift to give (or receive) for your chance to win! Then be sure to come back to the Rafflecopter to register your entry.

Edited to add: Sorry, the contest has ended. Congratulations to winner Cindy D!




Ren Murphy writes for The Inspired Wren.
Snowflake image created by Danielle Garbouchain from the Noun Project.


___________________________________________________
   
You should really see all that goes into each project!
From my marathon sewing sessions, to all that I do when I #shouldhavebeensewing, catch daily updates on Instagram (and Flickr) of works-in-progress. Get that behind the scenes view you’re looking for, and sneak peeks of First Tuesday Tutorials, too.
___________________________________________________

The Inspired Wren is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

155 comments:

  1. My favorite homemade gift to give is jewelry. My favorite to receive is something edible. Thanks for the giveaway! Jamie Adkins

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  2. I am working through my family by making someone a quilt each year. I love making each person the perfect quilt. Plus no one knows when it will be their year. :)

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  3. I am 62 years old, but still remember the hand knit mittens I received from my middle school BFF, Maryl !

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  4. I really enjoy sewing "rice bags" out of flannel for my friends. We live in Utah and it gets pretty chilly during the nights. Just warm them up in the micro for those aches and cold toes!
    Merry Christmas. nettiecrain@live.com

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  5. Great tote! My favorite gift to make for adults is either a set of coasters or a patchwork zip pouch, and I love making little art totes for kids.

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  6. I make all kinds of things for Christmas gifts including: rice bags, tree skirts, table runners, fleece throws, pouches and more. I would love to win this great tote.

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  7. Great tutorial. I could use a tutorial for the tissue pack...Hint, hint.
    I am a Jack of All Trades, so I make jewelry, needlework, weaving, drawing, etc....no set gift giving item.

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    Replies
    1. Ask and you shall receive: http://theinspiredwren.blogspot.com/2014/09/tutorial-pocket-tissue-pack-cover.html

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  8. My favorite handmade gift to give is handmade beauty products such as soaps and lip balms.

    detroitgirl77 AT gmail DOT com

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  9. My favorite handmade gift to get is one that the giver thinks I will really love. I'm always touched when someone makes something for me. (That said, my best friend makes the BEST buckeyes each year!)

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  10. I don't have one set favorite gift to make. Last year everyone got mug rugs. This year the girls are getting zipper pouches. I love getting handmade, but no one in my family sews or crafts.

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  11. Baby quilt with a coordinating book :)

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  12. Hmm... I don't really have a favorite to make and give. I simple love making handmade items to give to people. Of course, in return, I'd never refuse fabric as a gift. ;)

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  13. My fave handmade gifts to give are zippy pouches because I mastered them and they're hard for me to screw up (though I still manage occasionally!). Thanks for the chance!

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  14. Handmade Christmas ornaments are always fun, along with wreaths made from fresh balsam.
    Also working on my project of making a quilt each year for a loved one!

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  15. My favorite handmade gift is anything thoughtful; I still love the quilt my grandma made me when I was young that had hearts hand sewn down the sides....

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  16. My favorite gift to give is a quickie personalized mug rug in the recipient's favorite colors. Who doesn't love a mug rug made just for them?

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  17. I love making handwoven scarves as gifts.

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  18. First off, awesome tutorial. I love to give fabric baskets as gifts. I would love to receive a 3-10 tote-hint hint:)

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  19. What a great giveaway idea the tote is adorable and I love tutorials. I love making pillow covers for my bed.

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  20. I love anything handmade, but especially quilts.

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  21. Wallhangings and table runners are great gifts.

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  22. I love making tote bags, and your pattern looks wonderful!! I occasionally make a lap quilt, if it's for someone special, like my grandson or my mom!

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  23. I often make jean picnic blankets as gifts. They are great to just leave in the car and have handy for impromptu cloud gazing.

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  24. My favorite thing to give or receive is handmade Christmas ornaments. Your tote is so cute - thanks for the giveaway!

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  25. I love to give cloth napkins!

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  26. I love making quilts for people. I love to receive bags!! :)

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  27. I love to receive scarves and ornaments! I love giving quilts. :)

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  28. I love making ornaments but this year I've changed to face cloths we'll see how that goes.

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  29. I love to make placemats. LOL I seem to have a thing about placemats. For different seasons and holidays

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  30. I love to give aprons - big, fancy, lots-of-work aprons. People are always so bowled over, and they use them often so they think of me often !

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  31. I love to make the 10 minute table runners for a quick Christmas gift.

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  32. I love to receive quilts or blankets of any kind. I love to make sandwich bags.

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  33. I really love giving away small handmade purses, they're fun to sew and my friends all love them! I would love to one day receive a quilt.

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  34. I love making quilts! and receive totes! yours is just amazing!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

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  35. I enjoy giving gifts that are personalized so the gifts change often. Right now I am enjoying making doll clothes.

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  36. I enjoy giving handmade bags. I think they turn out well. Sometimes people can't tell I made them.

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  37. I love to make quilts to give. And actually, I would love to receive one too! :)

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  38. I love the hand sanitizer holder- brilliant! I love to make patchwork lavender sachet pillows for gifts. I love getting anything handmade.

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  39. A Quilt! I've given lap quilts before, but I have also received them. I love it when someone takes the time to make something special for me.

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  40. Both my favorite to give and to receive would be a quilt..although I'll gladly take table runners, too. :)

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  41. Hmmmm, my favorite handmade gift to receive is knitted things, probably also my favorite to give as well, but I often do sewn bags more often because they are quicker and easier on the hands :)
    Thanks for the opportunity, super cute bag and a great tutorial!

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  42. I love to give and get bags! Shocking I know! :-D

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  43. I love to receive blankets. And I enjoy giving quilts. I love the hand sanitizer caddy - that's going on my to do list!

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  44. I love making quilts for people! They're a lot of work, but worth it.

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  45. I've had a great time this season making paper pieced mug rugs for my friends!

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  46. I love to give zippered pouches

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  47. I love making clothes for my goddaughter and niece :)

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  48. It is nearly impossible to pick just one thing!! I love to receive handmade gifts better than store bought ones.
    We usually make some type of wooden décor to give, but I also give knitted dishcloths and scrubbies.

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  49. Wonderful directions and great photos. Thank you for sharing your work!

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  50. Giving and receiving handmade items are the best because you know that time and thought went into the creation. I make wire wrapped Crosses and often spend time praying for the person who will be wearing or holding that particular cross.

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  51. I love this version. Really pretty fabric!

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  52. Ever since my son started preschool last year the little things that he makes at school have been the best gifts ever. Sounds corny but it is true! I'm a sucker for handmade gifts in general and this year marks the first year in awhile where I'm focusing on a returning to making gifts myself rather than buying them all.

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  53. My favorite hand-made gift to give is one that fits the receiver's taste and needs. It might be some accessory, some household help, or a toy or piece of clothing for a child.

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  54. I like to make things that people will use, so I tend to go toward quilts, and blankets since we live in a cold climate.

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  55. Oh man, I LOVE that purply fabric, and this is such a generous giveaway! Thank you so much! If I don't win, I am sure going to try your pattern!!

    I've made a lot of handmade gifts, and my favorite is when I don't mess up! Haha :)

    -CaLynn (hoopla ((at)) thecrafties ((dot)) com)

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  56. Wow - I have to try this pattern!!! mumbird3(at)gmail(dot)com THANKS!!!

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  57. I love making bags and totes! Thanks for the pattern, tutorial, and chace to win! I've downloaded the pattern and will one day (pressed for time now) give it a whirl.
    bwwedprep(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  58. My favorite homemade gift to give is pajama pants. They are popular.

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  59. This is only my second Christmas since I started sewing. Last year I made drawstring gift bags, this year I am making coasters. Both are rather boring I suppose, but they were good for mass gifts. I think my favorite gift to make would be baby quilts, but they require someone having a baby so I have only been able to do that once!

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  60. i love to give quilts away. best gift, to give and receive! and you are right, i love my tutorials printed out! thanks for the link.

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  61. I love gifting anything handmade but I think the things that have been the most popular are things I have knitted esp baby blankets and handknit socks for my Mum :-)

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  62. I love to make mug rugs, pouches, and pillows for gifts. I also love to crochet angels for Christmas gifts....my hairdresser still talks about the one I made for her a few years ago. Merry Christmas!

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  63. I like to give quilts, I like to get bags. Works out well!

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  64. I like giving handmade key fobs. Beautiful bag! Thanks!

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  65. I love giving bags... I love receiving anything handmade! :)

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  66. I don't think i have ever received a handmade gift that I didn't love. As far as gifting it just depends on what I feel like making. But often I like to fancy up and personalize non-handmade gifts, such as monograming candles.

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  67. My favorite gift to give is a quilt--but I wouldn't be unhappy to receive one either :) Merry Christmas!

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  68. quilted zipper pouches because they are fast and easy...not to mentions SO useful!!

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  69. Always a bag! I love them. I follow on Bloglovin. Thanks! Happy Holidays!

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  70. I like to give something that speaks just to that recipient, in just the right fabric. It's helpful that I don't make tons of gifts!

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  71. My favorite to give is homemade fudge or cookies. I only recently started sewing so haven't gotten to the gifting stage yet. Thanks for sharing the tutorial (love the fabric!). notwendy gmail

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  72. I'd love to receive a handmade mug rug. I don't have much time to sew these days so unless I finish a big embroidery project or cross stitch project (doubtful), no handmade gifts this year. :(
    What a beautiful bag! Thanks for the chance!

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  73. My favorite gifts to give are pillowcases.

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  74. I love making gifts for the new babies in our family. Blankets, bibs, burp clothes and if time permits a special quilt!

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  75. Your bag is just fabulous! Love the details. I personally only make quilts, haven't started on the bags yet. The quilts are a lot of fun to give though and that counts.:)

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  76. I make drawstring bags because they are easy quick and can be filled with pretty much anything then be reused by the receiver for whatever they want later. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  77. I am planning on making my Mom a silk pillowcase for Christmas this year.

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  78. My favorite handmade gifts to give are anything for my nieces, but I love to receive cookies mixes in a jar. Otherwise I just make chocolate chip cookies so it's good to mix it up!

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  79. My favorite handmade gift hasn't been found in my sewing room (yet) but in my kitchen. I love to gift baked goods. Thanks for participating in the Giveaway Day.

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  80. My mom made me a quilt this year. I am over the moon about that. (So now I'm thinking I better make her one too.) I think quilts are the ultimate expression of handmade love.

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  81. I love giving baby quilts. sarah@forrussia.org

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  82. I can honestly say I have never received anything hand made! I have never had friends that do crafts! I have not thought of that until now! But I give handmade all the time. So far, everyone in my family has a hand made quilt...by me!
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    Cheri
    quiltingnanny(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  83. I was in several mug rug swaps and pincushion swaps this year and had as much fun making something to give as getting something special. Merry Christmas from Oklahoma, USA. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

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  84. My friend made me a Doctor Who scarf one year. It is amazing

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  85. I like giving iPad sleeves for gifts.

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  86. I have given a bow clutch, Noodlehead's Open Wide Pouches, tote bags, and fabric baskets. My fave...a floor poof for my husband's godchild.
    Holly D

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  87. I like to give boo boo buddies, or little rice bags in fun kids shapes and fabrics.

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  88. I have a lovely handpainted cat face ornament made by my Mom for Christmas one year, and it is one of my treasures! Every year when I set up the tree, I think of her -- and I always place the cat where I can see it when I am sitting in the livingroom.

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  89. I love making bags and stuffies for my girls! This fabric is beautiful!

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  90. jammie pants or hooded towels
    sntbosch(at)me(dot)com

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  91. Zipper pouches filled with homemade soap.

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  92. Quilts are my favorite thing to give, if I can plan ahead with enough time.

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  93. I love giving pillows and quilts!

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  94. Table runners make wonderful Christmas gifts. Cookies are wonderful to receive.

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  95. My favorite gift to give is a quilt!

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  96. quilts and bags, great set hope I win!

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  97. I love making lap quilts and table runners!

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  98. Such a great bag and set! I like to give knitted dishcloths!

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  99. anything to do with embroidery!

    hines.jenna@gmail.com

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  100. Pretty! My favorite handmade gift to receive is anything that smells wonderful. Thanks for the great giveaway, and Happy Holidays!

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  101. Awesome giveaway! Beautiful bag and the tissue and soap covers make the perfect set. Such pretty fabrics as well! I usually make table runners or zippered pouches as gifts.

    Thank you for a super giveaway and the chance to win.

    usairdoll(at)gmail(dot)com

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  102. Tote bags and pillows are my go-to gifts.

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  103. My first line of defense are mug rugs. Although, the most pleasurable to give we're a quilt and a handbag...

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  104. My favorite homemade gift to give is crocheted scarves and hats. Thanks for participating! :)

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  105. I love pouches and bags too, of course. They're really useful and so pretty!

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  106. I like to make microwavable rice bags for gifts. They're always appreciated during our long, cold winter!

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  107. I love making placemats. I love receiving fabric and books.

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  108. I do not have a favorite, I like to tailor each gift to the person.

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  109. I love giving quilts if I can but I'm still learning a lot! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

    tdkcarpenoctem@hotmail.com

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  110. I love to make pillowcases. They are quick and fun and I love having fun picking colors and patterns.

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  111. For a fun little gift I like making coffee cozies. People like having colors chosen just for them.

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  112. I think that any handmade gift is a joy to give or to receive but for a while now my handmade gifts are usually fabric flower accessories. It's what I make most so whatever my latest favourite flower is that's what ends up as the gift for women and girls.

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  113. I like to make embroidered aprons for my daughter. She is a printmaker/artist, so she gets almost daily use out of them! I also enjoy sewing toys and dabble in pyrography!

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  114. My go-to gift this year has been travel trays and gift card sleeves. I try to use the honoree's favorite colors and/or character (e.g. purple with butterflies), but this summer, we took visitors from NJ to the Grand Canyon and stayed in Williams, so the trays were Southwest and Route 66 themed.
    I enjoy receiving something that tells me that the giver was thinking about me when choosing or making the gift.

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  115. I make one similar to this, only a little longer, add a small stuffed pillow, for breast cancer patients to use under their affected arm following surgery. I donate them to a local breast surgeon to give to his patients. They use the bag to carry the pillow and all the information, papers, etc. they receive on their treatment.

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  116. I love to bake for people. But my baking skills are much better than my sewing skills at this time!
    Ccaj at ATT dot net

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  117. My favorite hand made gift I received from a friend is a cover for a small legal pad. It is just the right size to go in my purse when I know I am going to need to take notes. My favorite gift to give is travel size pillowcases with the pillow enclosed or a set of regular sized pillowcases. Adults and children both enjoy these.

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  118. I love giving away handmade Christmas ornaments!

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  119. My 80yo mother asked for a tote bag for Xmas. This is perfect! Thank you!

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  120. I love knitting hats. I've also made quite a few knit and crochet washcloths to give away. No sewing projects - my friends are more experienced and better at that than I am.

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  121. My favorite handmade gift is a zippered pouch. It can be used so many ways!

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  122. I give gifts in gift bags that can be repurposed for packing shoes or other items when traveling.

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    Replies
    1. To clarify my previous post...They are handmade fabric gift bags...I use my fabric odds n ends from the year.

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  123. I love to do small projects that people will actually use. My favorite is homemade rice warmers, cotton bags filled with rice that can be heated, My family uses them all the time.

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  124. Seriously I love anything handmade. I think they are the most special gifts! Great tutorial Ren!

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  125. I love making Hanging Tissue box covers for young familes....they need them handy and close to get to....

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  126. I like giving anything handmade. Your tote is beautiful!

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  127. thanks for the tutorial on the tote, I am going to have to try this one...

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  128. favorite project to give is wine bottle tote, thank you, peterstankovich@comcast.net

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  129. I love to make handmade ornaments to give away. Or sweet treats! Thanks so much for the great tutorial and chance to win!

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  130. Great tutorial!
    I love handmade gifts from any craft!

    lflemin at msn dot com

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  131. I like to give ornaments for Christmas. Then when the tree is decorated the ornament brings back memories of the past year.

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  132. I give gifts whenever I see a need. Most people will not tell you if they "need" something only want. So whenever the need arises I give. :)

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  133. Gorgeous fabrics and a fabulous tote, Ren.

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  134. A beautiful tote - can't wait to try the tutorial! Can you tell me what the fabric is called? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Sorry for the delayed response (I took a bit of a winter break over the holidays). The print fabric is “mercer” by the De Leon Design Group for Alexander Henry Fabrics (2012 Collection) -- I've had it in my stash for a while now. The other two fabrics...I have no idea, Moda, maybe?

      Hope that helps!

      Delete
  135. Love this 3 Fabric, 10 Step Tote. So easy. It's my new go to tote pattern.

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  136. I really enjoyed this tote project!! I went onto Craftsy and printed it out. I also left a review, hope that helps!! Thank you so much for sharing this great project.

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