Several people asked me to write the pattern to market, and I am so glad that I did. I knew that there would be a lot of options for finishing and quilt block pocket panels, but I have been astounded by the creativity of the pattern testers, and the possibility of customizing the Nova Tote to fit an individual's needs; it can be a simple market tote, it can be a plush pieced travel bag, or anything in between.
While any 8" quilt block can be used on for the pocket panel on both the large and medium size bags, I wanted to include a block pattern for purchaser's to use. I settled on a double star, which is fairly quick to construct and has a lot of visual impact.
The Nova Tote pattern is available to purchase on Payhip.
I owe a big thanks to Chrissy (Sew Lux) for being the first person to test my pattern while it was still in the rough draft stage; her jawdropping Nova Tote really showed the pattern's full potential. You can read Chrissy's post here.
The Nova Tote pattern includes instructions to make a plain pocket panel as well as the double star quilt block. I had a few testers volunteer to make plain pocket panel versions, and the looks are as diverse as the quilt block versions.
Jennifer made a large bag using an Alexander Henry print and Pellon interfacing. She really showcased how well large scale prints work on the tote:
I was so happy Jade (Stitch Mischief) was able to test my pattern. I love her work and felt really honored that she was able to find the time to help me in between running a house, blog, business, and creating beautiful quilted treasures for the Sewvivor competition. I am so in love with the polka dot canvas and indelible low volume pocket panel.
Erin made an unlined bag with a printed canvas as the second layer of canvas. Her interior is just fabulous. I love how every unlined bag what was tested used a contrast or printed binding; the unlined bag I have made has been with a binding color that matches the canvas and seem quite boring in comparison. I love this printed binding next to the polka dot canvas.
I roped one of my favorite people, Inder (Inder Loves Folk Art), into testing the pattern by first asking her to just proofread it, and then repeatedly reassuring her that she could make it quickly and with NO INTERFACING. I love her style, her blog post (read about it here), and her invaluable feedback. Check out the photos on her blog showing the contrast binding she did on the interior of her unlined bag.
Hilary (Young Texan Mama) used the double star pattern to create a completely different look on Texas A&M bag. Read her blog post here and see all the additions she made and see how wonderfully she quilted the Essex linen.
Sharon (Daisy Cottage Quilting) makes some of the cutest things around. I just love her medium aqua and red Nova Tote! This looks exactly like a bag I would make for myself.
I was very excited for Lisa Chambers to test my pattern. Her large Nova Tote, using Arizona fabrics, is one of my favorites - from fabric choice to fussy cutting.
I had a few testers offer to test the pattern using other quilt blocks.
Lisa Lake-Johnson aka Lisa Quilts Like a Boss (really she does!) blew me away with her quilting and super smart use of automobile headliner foam (available at Joann's) as stabilizer. I am dying to try this - the quilted texture is great! And I just love her Ferris Wheel Block (also called Country Crown on EQ7) in Cotton + Steel fabrics.
Gabrielle made a bag using Triangle Party block. I lover her color combos and contrasting straps to make the quilt block pop. Gabrielle added lining and pockets on both sides of the interior.
Michelle made the most adorable medium bag with a strawberry block on the pocket:
Abby made not one, but two different bags. I am super excited about the upcycled wool and leather Nova Tote she made:
Thank you to all Nova Tote pattern testers!