Totebag challenge – incorporating machine embroidery (part 1)

There is nothing like a sewing challenge to spark creativity! I will be at SewExpo in Puyallup, WA the first week of March as an attendee. As part of the SewExpo Facebook group, the discussion came up about different totebag pattens and ideas. I’ve been looking for a reason to make a “workhorse” type tote – to carry my ipad, notebook, wallet, phone, pen and of course be able to carry some of my shopping finds from the vendor area. There is no surprise that I wanted to incorporate embroidery into this project, so I headed to my pattern and fabric stash to find a suitable candidate. Incorporating embroidery allows me to use this as a sample in my upcoming hands on software classes and events!

I thought it would be a fun blog post to document this sewing/embroidery project with some notes and ideas on the embroidery portion. I decided that I wanted to make a Miranda Day Bag by Lazy Girl Designs. A few years ago I made a Mini Miranda to match the Bendy bag I had made using the all over embroidery technique that I had blogged about.  I like the functionality of the Mini Miranda as a purse and thought it fitting that I make a Miranda Day Bag for this SewExpo project.  For those of you interested in purchasing this pattern, you can find it at your local quilt store OR you can purchase the download version here.  When purchasing via my affiliate link, if you use the coupon code SewBubbles25 during checkout,  you will save 25%  – alwaysd love a sale 🙂

For the fabric, I wanted to use some pieces from a collection I had gotten from EBI Fabrics. I was a bit nervous about the larger paisley print with the geometric style fabric, but I love the colors and knew this would be a great project for this fabric. Now, all I had to do was figure out how to incorporate embroidery.

The flap of the Miranda Day Bag had my full focus. I really wanted the embroidery to tie in with my fabric selection so I spent some time looking at the patterns on the fabric to see what my options were.  My eyes were drawn to the scalloped borders around the paisley shapes as well as the wavy circles that fell in between.  These ideas became the plan for the embroidery designs.  I was envisioning free standing lace along the edges with my initial in a scalloped frame at the front. Step 1 was complete – create the big picture plan.

I always try to break down my “big picture plan” into smaller projects.  This way I can spend my time wisely and efficiently in my software.  For this plan, there would be 4 projects.  The scalloped edge for the flap, the letter L initial, the frame for the initial and finally, the in-the-hoop construction of the flap itself. With 4 mini-projects using Embrilliance StitchArtist, I felt that it was a sign that I should break this out into a 4 part series in my blog, plus the introduction which is this post 🙂

I hope that you will follow along in my journey of creating the embroidery designs for the Miranda Day Bag.

Until next time, happy stitching!

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