Michelle's NDAD Creation

Michelle's creation today is something totally practical and useful. However, I love the story behind the creation even more. Check it out...

Hi, Marisa! Thanks so much for all your great inspirational pieces! I'm glad to know that there's someone else out there who shares my visions...like, when I see something that's blah and plain, and I see not what it IS but what it COULD BECOME!

I live in Indiana, and one of my best friends in the world, Barb, lives in San Diego. We actually met on Ebay, where I was selling some of the things I made. I sent her a little package of a few my creations, and the rest is history...we send each other packages every few months, filled with all sorts of goodies that we've each gathered with the other in mind! We have such a blast with this! It's been almost 10 years package exchanging, and we're still going strong!

I love going to the thrift store on Saturdays for quarter day, but sometimes there's a pretty big crowd. On one particular Saturday, I literally almost dove head first into the huge, 3 foot tall bin of household items, not because anyone else was there and might have gotten to it first, but because I spotted this adorable little homemade quilt at the bottom! It was in excellent condition.

New Dress A Day - DIY - vintage quilt

It had no batting, just a simple top and the back, which felt like it might have been made from a bed sheet. I just KNEW I was going to take that home and make matching tote bags for Barb and me!

 I washed it with fabric softener so it smelled delicious, grabbed my scissors, and started cutting it in half (it was perfectly square). I just folded up the material and stitched the sides shut - one side was the cut edge and the other side had the existing hem and border. I tucked the bottom under a little so it would hold bigger items like boxes of cereal or whatever, grabbed a couple of pieces of contrasting fabric strips to use as handles, and stitched the heck out of those so they wouldn't rip off. Just in case Barb wants to carry 30 or 40 pounds of canned goods in it, we can’t have the straps breaking! 

New Dress A Day - DIY - vintage quilt - repurposed tote bag

She wrote me when she got her package, and said, "That looks like a quilt!" It WAS a quilt but now it's a kickin' (12.5 cent) tote bag!

This is an easy project that ANYONE with just a little bit of sewing knowledge can make. I know most of your creations are clothing based, so maybe this will inspire you to dig through the household goods sections at the thrift store, because, hey, you can never, EVER have too many purses or bags! Keep up the great work, Michelle

I love this, Michelle! I think what I love the most is the pen pal relationship that you've made with Barb. I grew up having a bunch of pen pals and still stay in touch with a handful today. There is nothing better than snail mail coming from a friend, especially when it's a little care package. Can't wait to see what's next!