Beach Tote


After the success of my first tote bag, I immediately started designing a more complex bag big enough to carry towels and sand toys to the beach.What better project for summer, right? (I had hoped to finish earlier, but as it turned out, I started cutting fabric the day before my son was born. I finished most of it with a sleeping baby strapped to my chest.)

I started with the same basic tutorial, but added the straps and pocket from this other tutorial. I also added 2 pockets on the inside, one divided into 3 smaller pockets.


Most of the bag is strips of bright batiks from my stash, but I fancied up the handles and top by strip piecing some solid jelly roll batiks at an angle (the most time consuming part of the project).

All that’s left now is to find time to go to the beach!

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Quilted Wave Placemats


These quilted placemats were inspired by this photo. Copied, really, but I drew all my templates freehand. I chose sea and sand colors to go with my mom’s new house on the lake. (They’re a gift for all her help when the baby comes-I finished in May, and scheduled the post for after they’ve been gifted.)

I’ve never pieced curves before, so I picked up a few tips before giving it a go. It was surprisingly easy, except for one piece that curved a little too much right at the end, where I couldn’t get a good grip to keep it in place.

This was my first time doing unmarked fmq. I tell you, there’s nothing like doing the same pattern 6 times in a row to really get it into your head and fingers. After the first couple, I didn’t even need to look at the previous ones to check that they were the same.

Mini Wall Quilt for Baby

Appropriately, the first project I finished post-baby is this mini wall quilt to hang in the nursery. The fabric is Little Ark, just like for my godson’s quilt, but Baby N’s name is too long to make that pattern practical (also, I didn’t have quite enough fabric left). I used the walking foot for most of the quilting, and fmq for outlining the N and in the corners.

Lest you think I’m supermom (or neglecting my baby), I did have most of this finished in advance, leaving just the label (so I could include his birthdate) and binding for after the birth.

Quilted Toiletries Bags

For my last project before the baby, I made a pair of toiletries bags to take with me to the hospital. The tutorial I followed didn’t include measurements (or words!), so I had to figure some of it out myself as I went along. I used a 14″ zipper, so my quilted piece was 14″ x 14″ before turning it into a bag.


This was my first time working with zippers, and I ended up sewing them by hand to avoid seams showing on the top. The fabric for the green bag is Eden by Tula Pink, and the fabric for the blue bag is Akiko by Robert Kaufman.

This was a fun little project, and I can definitely see myself making more of these as gifts in the future.