Okay! I had not planned on sharing more about my tote bags, but all the questions I've received have made me realize this is what a lot of my readers want. I live to serve! You're lucky too because I have begun making a new tote bag for my new daughter-in-law Sang. I first choose the umbrella fabric to build from in both color and design. I'm pleased so far. I like fairly large tote bags, but not so big that it becomes too easy to overfill. The size of this piece is 15" by 20". I'm also trying something new. Instead of using batting, I'm using a wool and rayon blend piece of felt. I spray baste the back to the felt then sew the pieces directly onto the lining (also the umbrella fabric, but for this part I'm using muslin or other fabric that is light in color) and felt. I usually use 7-8 fabrics, but this one seemed to work for me with fewer pieces. I originally had a green piece of fabric included, but it just didn't work for me so I used the blue one instead. I'm also not sure that Sang would like more. The next step is to do some machine quilting, but this is not necessary. It's just something I like to do. My friend Barbara does not quilt her tote bags at all and they are marvelous.
I realize you'll have to enlarge the photo to see that I have quilted two sections (the circles and brown fabric). I think it's fun to just play around on tote bags. You could quilt the entire piece too. If there is any distortion, you simply cut it and make it square. No one will know that you made it a little smaller. Personally, I just want to add interest and not make it look like a quilted bag. More tomorrow!
I'd also like to thank everyone for their sympathy and suggestions for my handle problem. You are the best!