Thursday, June 2, 2011
Insulated Tote for Groceries and Picnics
All of a sudden, it is HOT here in Virgina. After my ice cream came home from the store in a soup-like condition, I decided to make an insulated tote. to keep my cold groceries cold. It will also work for picnics at the pool, and help keep picnic food cool - or hot (but not both at the same time.)
I wanted to do something fun with my tote, so I cut four six wide strips of embroidered denim (from stash) and two 6 inch wide strips of white quilting cotton.
I string pieced uneven strips of brightly colored fabric on the white fabric and then trimmed it. I saw this technique used in the previously mentioned Block Party book, and I wanted to try it. Small projects like totes are an excellent way to try new techniques.
After I had finished with my string piecing I sewed the colored piece in the center of the denim pieces so I ended up with two 17 1/2" by 22" pieces. I clipped a two inches square out of each bottom corner, and did the same with the lining pieces. I then backed my tote pieces with Insul-fleece, and basted it on.
I cut some bright yellow belting for the handles. I basted them on about six inches in from the sides.
Then I sewed the sides and the bottom, and boxed the corners as seen in this tutorial.I assembled the lining, leaving a large part on one side unsewn so I could reach in and turn the bag right side out, and then sewed the lining to the tote. After I turned it right side out I topstitched around the top so that the lining would stay inside.
Now it's ready for shopping and picnics by the pool. I made mine from scraps and stash fabric, but this could also be made out of recycled fabrics as well. It's fun to make utilitarian items look pretty,and it's a good way to try out new techniques.