I finished my latest crazy quilt tote yesterday, and I'm so happy with how it came out I'm going to make you all look at it:
I made every stitch by hand, which is why some of them are a bit uneven, but my stitching is slowly improving:
I've had this swan lace applique for a while, and couldn't figure out how to use it. Finally I just sat down and made it a center motif, and let the subtle colors in it inspire the embellishment beading:
Sometimes I think too much about how to do something, and the solution is always to just do it, trust myself, and see what happens. Even when something doesn't turn out perfect, it still gives me the opportunity to learn from my mistakes (and with this one, about a hundred stitches I had to pick out and do over.)
Working with materials I love also helps. All the backing fabric for this tote is thin, hand-dyed silk that feels like air when you stitch through it. I went crazy with the beading, which is always fun, and used holographic thread, which makes every inch of the tote sparkle. This will be part of a gift for a family friend who is going through a tough time right now, so I poured a lot of love into it, too. Hopefully it carries as many good thoughts and wishes as the beads and stitches.
All that's left is to fill the tote with goodies and make a gift tag. Tomorrow I'll show you how I make fabric gift tags that also work as a little extra gift.