Tag Archives: america’s test kitchen

Road Trip Tote Bag

Last weekend we celebrated my mother-in-law’s birthday. Wanting to make her gift, I started browsing my pins on Pinterest. I have a board devoted to bags and totes and have long wanted a reason to play with those patterns.  I thought it might be fun to make a tote for her and chose the Madras Plaid Summer Tote pattern from Noodlehead.

She and my father-in-law take lots of road trips throughout the year, sometimes camping and sometimes staying in hotels. When Julia and I were picking fabric and we saw this Route 66 novelty print and decided it was perfect!  It screams, take me on a road trip, please?

The Noodlehead pattern is simple. While I didn’t time myself, I am quite certain it took less than an hour to put together. I like the exterior pocket for slipping smaller items into. As luck would have it, the fabric totally matched up when I placed the pocket. On her pattern, Anna uses bias tape to trim the upper edge of the pocket. When I saw the perfect (accidental) match, I left the trim off. If you haven’t made many bags, this tutorial is a great one to try. Check it out!

In keeping with our Road Trip theme for this birthday gift, I also chose a cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen titled, Cook’s Country Eats Local. My in-laws, my husband and I, are all huge fans of America’s Test Kitchen.  This cookbook features recipes from the four regions of the US, Northeast, Midwest, South, and the West. The recipes look wonderful and I suspect my mother in law will enjoy trying these out.  (Hopefully on occasions when we are over there for a meal!) I also selected the Cheryl Strayed book, Wild. An avid hiker, my MIL is sure to enjoy this.

If you give someone a book bag and books, one needs to include bookmarks, right? These were very fun to make with some scraps from her bag. The striped fabric was used to line the tote.

It was a fun celebration with family. Ray smoked a trip tip and roasted potatoes and I made peach pie for dessert. When our peach tree was going crazy last summer, I froze bags of sliced peaches. It was lovely to have fresh fruit for pie in January.

By the way, look at the selvage from this fabric. It is adorable. I know lots of you keep unique selvages. If any of you would like to add this one to your collection, let me know in the comments. I will happily mail it to you. There are two strips that show the little cars.


Linking to Freemotion by the River, Let’s Bee Social, and Finish it Up Friday. All links to these parties are listed at the top of the page, under Link Ups.