I think something which we’re all looking for these days is more time. Time to complete our growing list of responsibilities, but also time to try to complete our growing list of fun, creative sewing and quilting projects we want to make.
A huge time-saver is to use our fabulous Janome machines and computer/ software options to make quick and easy work of whatever the project at hand. This was certainly the case when I wanted to make yet another of my favourite tote bags. I mentioned in some previous posts that my favourite, go-to tote bag pattern is The Everyday Tote by Elaine Theriault for Northcott fabrics.
It’s the perfect blank canvas to showcase some cool fabric, but to also add any sort of embellishments you wish. For this latest tote I added the front pocket for some extra organization as I always have so much to carry to my Janome presentations.
The pockets for my tote were first quilted on the Janome Quilt Maker Pro18 using the Pro Stitcher Premium software, which is an optional accessory to be added to the either the Janome Quilt Maker Pro 18 or the new Janome Quilt Maker Pro 16.
I loaded the frame with black backing, batting and black fabric for the top and stitched a few of the HUNDREDS of designs built-in to the Pro Stitcher Premium software. Enter whatever dimensions you want, and let Pro Stitcher Premium do all the hard work for you. You don’t always have to quilt just quilts! Instead, cut up the fabric after it’s quilted to use for whatever you need for your project. Shown below are the two inside pockets, one of which I chose to bind and used an applique blanket stitch to sew it to the main body lining piece.
In addition to the tote bag pockets, I quilted one pass of a continuous line, or edge-to-edge design to make a bed runner, or table runner. Once I had the fabric off the frame, I squared it up, added the black and white floral borders, used a flat yarn in red for punch of colour, and voila! A reversible table runner or bed runner quilted, sewn and completed in an afternoon. How easy is that?!
For the body of the tote bag I elected to quilt it on my fabulous Janome Horizon MC 15000 Quiltmaker. With it’s 11″ throat space, extra-large extension table, included Dual/ Twin AcuFeed Flex holder with standard AD foot, and quilting guide bar, I had everything I needed to get the parallel rows of crosshatching done in a flash!
Don’t worry if your machine doesn’t come with everything I mentioned above as these are all available separately, as well. Another optional accessory to make quilting easier is the Long Quilting Guide Bar set, which has an extra long guide bar for use BOTH right and LEFT of the presser foot.
Please check the Janome Accessory Guide, and with your Janome dealer to be sure you get the correct optional presser feet and accessories for your machine.
Another time-saving element of this tote bag was that I used fabrics from my stash, so didn’t have to take time to drive to the store for supplies, which for me, is about 30 minutes away. Not too far, but not exactly around the corner, either. But what’s really special is that included in my stash was the LAST fat quarter (another time-saver is to use pre-cuts!), which was the red, my favourite colour, from a beautiful fat quarter bundle of Kimberly Einmo’s Solid-ish fabric line for Timeless Treasures.
I literally coveted this fabric as it was personally given to me by Kimberly and her equally adorable husband, Kent, who everyone affectionately refers to as Mr. Kim. I met them both at Houston International Quilt Festival two years ago, as, in addition to being a sought-after teacher, designer, Craftsy/Bluprint instructor, author, Kimberly is also the National Spokesperson for Janome America!
She also recently got to make the BIG announcement at the Janome Institute unveiling the two new fabulous Janome machines you’ve likely heard about; The Janome Continental M7 Professional and Janome Memory Craft 550E This was us in the Janome booth when I showed her that I used every last scrap of her luscious fabric in my tote bag.
Even the selvage! which I stitched to the bottom insert, which helps give the tote bag body and support. As I explained to Kimberly, when you adore the fabric as much as the lady who designed it, you use EVERY piece of it!