Secret Santa Gift Revealed!

As you would now know, earlier this year I was invited to join a wonderful paper piecing bee – Wombat Stew.  For someone relatively new to paper piecing, it has been such a fun adventure, learning all sorts of new tricks!  But the best part about this bee has been the friendships I have gained.
A couple of months ago, the girls decided we should do a secret Santa swap.  I was so excited, I ‘d never been a part of one, in handmade circles anyway, and so I started thinking and over thinking what I would make my partner.  I waited for my email telling me who my recipient would be, and was thrilled (and terrified) to find it was Gina from Party of Eight.  Gina is one super talented lady, and the pressure was on….
Thankfully, these crafty gals are also smart, and we set up a thread in our FB group to tell eachother our likes and dislikes, and what kinds of things we would love to receive.  Amongst other things, Gina mentioned she would like a tote bag, and in her favourite colours list was “a warm sunny yellow or mustard”.  Bingo!
I knew I’d pinned a fabulous tote bag tutorial I’d always wanted to make, and I had THE MOST PERFECT yellow fabric on my shelf awaiting use.  And so this is what I made…..
Secret Santa Gift
The “For Pleats Sake” tote bag.  The fabric is a divine Japanese print by Kayo Horaguchi.  It’s a little heavier than quilting cotton, so perfect for this project.  And the most perfect shade of yellow/mustard.
Secret Santa Gift
I auditioned quite a few fabrics for the lining, and even asked Chelsea which she preferred.  This Anna Maria Horner Field Study won.  And in my humble opinion is perfect!  I also used a pretty decorative zipper I’d had sitting in my drawer forever.  The zipper pocket is not in the original tutorial, but I will be doing my own tutorial on how I made this bag in the next day or so for you all!
Secret Santa Gift
I love the colours!
Secret Santa Gift
I couldn’t just send a bag, so I collected a bunch of other lovely goodies to add.  There’s a big pack of Tim Tam biscuits (cookies), which are the best Australian chocolate biscuits around!  Some strawberry fabrics (Gina has a thing for them), some Snugglepot & Cuddlepie fabric (a famous Australian story book) and a few sewing notions.
Secret Santa Gift
And this is how the bag looks worn.  Excuse the dodgy picture – I was in a rush to get this packed up and ready to post and asked the five year old to take the photo!
Secret Santa Gift
I pieced and top stitched the bag with Aurifil #2810 50wt.  The tutorial states to use a couple of different threads for attaching the handles, however, I couldn’t find them in the store. And due to my rushing to get it sent, I just triple threaded my big needle and gave it a shot!  I’m hoping it will hold, and hoping Gina will forgive me if she has to re-sew the handles on!
Secret Santa Gift
The reason for my rushing?  Well, my darling mother in law was heading over to the USA for a long holiday and said she would take my parcel and post it over there for me.  The handles arrived from China the day before her departure, so I madly attached them, got to the post office for a postage box and then wrapped it all to go!  Cudos to Gina for her patience – this parcel arrived at her place weeks ago, and she must have sat it under her Christmas tree, as she only opened it on Christmas Day!
I thoroughly enjoyed making this bag!  And just like the cushions I never make myself, this bag makes me want to make myself one!  One day…..
As I said earlier in the post, I will be back in the next couple of days with my version of the tutorial for this bag.  There were a few things in the original I just couldn’t work out or get to work, so I took lots of photos to show you how I made it work!
Christmas Day is done and dusted here in Australia, and we are now looking forward to the New Year……I have so many plans, so many projects……  How about you??

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