Earlier this year in June I was lucky to get a spot in a class to make the Social Tote, lead by Lorena Uriate and hosted at Material Obsession. I already owned the pattern by Carolyn Friedlander & Anna Graham (Noodlehead) but having read over it I wasn’t up to tackling it by myself. There are lots of additional photos on Carolyn Friedlander’s site to help explain the process if you’re not so lucky to have someone to show you through it.
The class was scheduled for a couple weeks after the Modern Quilt Show Australia held in May. I knew I’d be burnt out after the show and could use a kickstart to get back in to sewing & quilting so it was perfect timing.
The social tote isn’t huge but is just the right size for carrying around your needles, threads, scissors and other small bits and pieces for a smaller project like EPP, or even just the little parts of a larger project. It sits on the arm of my lounge and acts as a thread catcher while I work and lets me easily move around. There are 2 smaller compartments and one larger compartment, perfect for a small kitten to climb into and then play with the built-in toys (clover clips & handles).
The pattern includes instructions for a pin cushion that fits perfectly into one of the smaller compartments. I like that it also helps hold the shape of the tote. One of the tips Lorena shared was that small scraps of batting are great for filling the pincushion and helping it hold its shape, I used a combination of batting scraps and polyfill for mine.
There are two little side pockets between the handles which are great for adding small feature fabrics. For my Social Tote I used various fabrics from the Paint line by Carrie Bloomston. The outside is one of my most favourite prints, I love the “Not Pink” colour combined with newsprint. The inner bottom uses the paint brushes print and I picked a few complementary colours & prints for other parts. I saved the paint chips for my pockets and one side of the pin cushion and the multi-colour woven print was a perfect binding to tie it all together.
If I were to make another I would probably try to make it a little deeper and I do wonder if it would be possible to add some kind of closure or lid for it so that I could put it in with other supplies in a bag for sewing events outside home. I’m really happy I went through the process of making this tote and am especially grateful for Lorena’s expert guidance, it was a great day out and I’ll be keeping an eye out for more workshops up at Material Obsession in future.