Thursday, April 24, 2014

My very first Tote Bag

Last July we had a family meeting of ten cousins to explore the idea of organizing a family reunion. I'm blessed with a big and wonderful family, both my parents had 8 brothers and sisters, and we all remained very close. Two years ago had a big family reunion of my father's family and it was time for the same event for my mother's family. So, on February we had a most wonderful and heart warming family reunion in Jerusalem. There were about 200 people ages 89 to 3 months, 5 generations of the Levin family.

Between July 2013 and February 2014 we (me and my cousin Mickey) dropped almost all other activities, and worked full time on the reunion. We drove around the country to interview our cousins and collect pictures and documents, we put together a book and a family tree going back 150 years and together with the "organizing committee" managed to produce a wonderful and unforgettable evening. That's why my last post was in July 2013...

These are my grandparents, Ben Zion Yaakov and Rachel Levin, picture taken before their marriage  in Jerusalem in 1899. Rachel is 15 and Ben Zion Yaacov is 19.

One day, while driving around the country I heard Mickey's stories about her childhood in Japan (my uncle Shalom, Mickey's dad, was a diplomat) and about her recent trip there. We talked about the beauty of Japanese design and about their wonderful fabrics. That night I decided to make a bag for Mickey using Japanese fabric from my very special stash. I LOVE Japanese fabrics and I've been collecting them for 20 years. Some I bought in Japan many years ago. I figured it's time to use them.

For the outside of the bag I used a lovely blue fabric, and for the lining I chose "Its a Hoot Trees in Cherry" by MoMo for Moda. I thought the bright red really complemented the Japanese fabric.

The inside has 3 pockets, for a telephone, keys, etc. Basically the bag is reversible, and can be used either way.

The bag measures 13" x 4"  (33 x 10 cm)(base) by 15" (38 cm) (height), the straps are 24" (61 cm)(length) by 13/4"  (4.5 cm) (width). I quilted the blue fabric with batting (on the diagonal), then added the lining "pillow case" method.

The instructions for making the bag are from my lovely teacher Marganit. 
I gave the bag to Mickey on her birthday, and she was thrilled, hope she'll get to use it a lot.
It was a great pleasure working on a small project, start to finish in 2-3 days. Very satisfactory!
I got hooked, and planning on making few more bags.

I'm linking to Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story, WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
and to Show and Tell TuesdayShow and Tell Tuesday at I have to say

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. Good to see you back on the blog with a great bag of art!

  2. Lovely bag, Noga!
    I work at a museum, many years ago, we had an exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls & a group (actually 2 groups) of Israelis came for the installation & de-installation. I was struck by how similar Israelis were to Americans -- that is, so many come from other countries. I'm so glad you had a good visit with your extended family & were able to collect so many stories & histories.