One of the joys of appliqué is creating anything you want from fabric shapes. I drew some simple flowers, petals and leave templates to make up this hanging basket design. The initial idea was a bowl of flowers, a modern take on the traditional basket quilt block design. It evolved into two pattern shapes, the bowl and the basket. The Kaffe Fassett prints were also perfect for some fussy cutting - in the same style as Bari J's beautiful fabric collage style - so it became a mix of appliqué shapes and collage. I like the organic look that creates. 

I used Bondweb to position the flowers - as I was making up the design I attached the handles first to give me an idea of placement but would recommend sewing them on later as it was a faff to keep them out of the way! 

I did sketch style stitching with black thread, using the free motion foot and just echoing inside the shapes. Black isn't often my colour of choice as it's so harsh but that's what makes it work so well here. I think of it as doodling and the thread is my pen.
If you haven't tried this technique it really is a lot of fun and it's a great way to get used to using your free motion foot. Also it is really easy to cover any mistakes by going over the stitches, I usually go round the shapes at least twice. You can watch the video below to see my Sewing Quarter demo and get more tips as I create a bowl of flowers.

The straps on the tote are a little different because they aren't completely sewn down. The ends are attached with a square of stitching and a large zig zag, then I tucked the straps in while sewing the lining to the bag and turning the bag through. I them pinned them in place and did three lines of top stitching around the top of the bag for decoration and to hold the straps in place.

This means on a warm summer's day I could tuck a cardigan or shawl in through those straps ready for evening (dreaming of those warm days already!). Or extra space for all the kids jackets I end up carrying.

I have to say I'm quite fond of the minimal back side too! I'm planning more totes with straps like this because I really like the look.

Click play to watch the demo and let me know if you have a go at this technique!

linking up to finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts