Saving Grace

July 29, 2009


I am always amazed by how one small event can so greatly impact another. Last night, my husband went to bed at 8 since he had to get up at 2 am to catch his flight this morning. On nights like these, I try and stay awake to make sure that he gets up and gets some help. At about 11 o’clock, I decided to help keep myself awake by sewing up a tote bag I had been thinking about for a few days.

At around midnight I sat down to embroider the two roses, and I was pretty engulfed 70 minutes later when I looked up to some of the most intense lightning that I have seen in a while. Now, Colorado has been experiencing very odd and strong weather lately, and we have had two floods in the past two weeks. This is really not normal for this area, and in fact, in the seven years that I have been here, we have been in a constant drought. I am not kidding when I say that I sat for about 90 seconds, watched as the wind picked up and whipped everything around, and then as the sky opened up and the torrential rain poured through. For anyone who has lived in a place like Arizona, you know what I mean when I say Monsoon. We had a very damaging storm last week, but that was about an hour of torrential rain, and it crept up on us, rather then hitting so quickly. I ran to the basement to check the sump pump, and literally, by the time I ran back upstairs to get my husband, grab some buckets and towels, and get back down stairs, the basement was flooding.

Needless to say, it was a long night. The funny thing was that if I had not been sitting in the dining room, embroidering that bag, waiting for my husband’s alarm to go off, I would never have known that they storm was hitting us the way that it did.


The tote bag is now one of my favorites, for many reasons. First, I love the tiny rose fabric, and it has been sitting in my stash for some time now. I used a mixture of cream linen with the rose, and the linen is so sturdy and clean that I am heading back to the fabric store today to pick up some more.


The pocket was an afterthought, and so it was stitched by hand (which turned out to add a personal touch on the piece).


The two roses are from Sublime Stitching, and they added the perfect touch. I think that one of the true of joys of sewing for me right now is that I am getting to a place where I am getting creative, and thinking on my own rather then always looking for a pattern. It is like cooking without a recipe, just letting your instincts be the guide. As I am getting older, I seem to be following my intuition more, and I am not so afraid of “screwing” up or getting it wrong.


The tote itself is super easy to make, and I am sure that there are thousands of patterns out there to use as a guide. I think that I have fallen in love with adding some fun touches to my bags, and I can see using embroidery and applique becoming pretty common in my sewing.

The bag will be always be a reminder that even in those chaotic times that make you want to cry, there is always something pretty to be made to lift your spirits.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristi aka Fiber Fool July 29, 2009 at 5:31 pm

I love the tote bag! And it was indeed lucky you were up and awake. May tonight be a dry basement night and you get plenty of rest!

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Heather July 29, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Thank you so much Kristi! I am hoping for the same :)

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KusZ - Jewelry and more July 29, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Don't you just hate when rain and storm hits you in the face ehm, house? The tote is very romantic, it's kinda cool to have something sweet and lovely to remember a night of luck in destress…

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Hip Mountain Mama July 29, 2009 at 8:00 pm

love this bag…and everything else you have been making lately!!

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julesinseach July 29, 2009 at 8:00 pm

I'm so sorry about your basement. I can't imagine that.

That bag is so pretty, I love little roses, they are so delicate and sweet.

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Gina July 29, 2009 at 9:10 pm

That is a beautiful bag. Your sewing is amazing, and I love to hear that you are following your intuition.

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Stephanie July 29, 2009 at 10:05 pm

That is really a beautiful bag. Well done

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Chelsea July 29, 2009 at 10:44 pm

The roses tote is so sweet and dear. I hope you don't have too much damage to your home?!? Wishing you dry skies and rest!

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kyndale July 29, 2009 at 11:38 pm

I love the flowers. I have told you that before. I just love the multi colored petals. I too hope for you a dry basement and sleep and calmer weather.

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perches July 30, 2009 at 3:53 pm

The bag is beauuuuuuutiful. I hope things in your basement are ok!

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larissa July 30, 2009 at 4:30 pm

i love your tote and that you are perfecting your embroidery on actual, beautiful and useful projects. I have been thinking alot about this lately since I have decided to work 'smaller' to try out new techniques. thanks for the inspiration. I hope your basement is doing better – i hate that these things always happen when the husband is heading out of town.

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Heather July 30, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Thank you everyone for the well wishes for a restful nights sleep. It rained last night, so I stayed up to watch the window well vigilantly (no really, I actually stared at it until 1 am).

It looks like we may skip out on rain tonight, so I plan to be sound asleep when I put the kiddos to bed.

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Imene September 8, 2009 at 7:35 pm

I love the tote bag. I am so sad I only discovered your beautiful yarn once you stopped selling them.

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Heather September 8, 2009 at 7:36 pm

Imene, we will have a few special yarn sales through the holidays, so no worries :)

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