The Tote Bag Secret Burial Ground

I reclaimed tote bags this week. It’s not the Battle of Marathon, but it is a victory all the same. Much of my organizational scheme relies on tote bags (which is why my sewing room looks the way it does).

Many of my totes are dedicated. There’s the guild meeting tote, which is actually a basket. It holds a pillow for those hard folding chairs, my name tag, sharing, and information about the latest projects for my friendship groups. There’s the embroidery tote, which holds the crazy quilt I’ve been working on for the last five years and the embroidered fabric boxes I started with the scraps of the crazy quilt. There’s also the embellishment tote.

This tote holds bags of silk ribbon, couching threads, and special beads I’m saving for the perfect project. I put them here so they wouldn’t get lost in the boxes and bags of regular embroidery threads, and beads. Sadly, for the much of the past year the flamingo tote was hidden behind a stack of books. I unearthed it while moving the piles, and now I can’t remember what all those perfect projects were for the contents of the bag.

At the same time I unearthed this tote –

This is could be a purse, or a brief case. I remember buying it – and some of its sisters – for Christmas gifts. I’m pretty sure the reason this one is still with me instead of stashed on someone else’s shelf is because it’s purple.

Then there are my go-to totes. My Asian fabric tote is perfect for business-type events. The bag is roomy enough to hold binders and supporting documents for the meeting, a book or small hand-work project in case I arrive early, and enough CDs to provide music for the trip. The reason this is a great meeting tote is that I can’t put it away with stuff in it. The bamboo handles would snap on the hook if the tote isn’t empty, so I have to take out all the binders when I get home. This doesn’t guarantee that I’ll type up my notes in a timely fashion, but it helps.

Finally, there is my favorite project bag.

This tote was a gift from a friend who knows me well. It was made in India from honest-to-goodness snack bags. It’s bright and shiny and rustles when I walk. No one else in the guild has a bag quite like it, so if I put it down someplace it will find its way back to me. It is surprisingly roomy and amazingly strong. While I might imagine myself as a raw silk bag with ivory handles and an antique clasp, in my heart I know that if I were a tote bag, the snack bag is what I would be.

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3 Responses to “The Tote Bag Secret Burial Ground”

  1. Thea Says:

    Lani, I love that flamingo tote – and the snack bag tote, and the red/purple silk thingy, too…. but Dwaine keeps telling me I already have too many totes, so yours are safe for now!

    ….but yours are so much more interesting!!!!

  2. Julia Johnson Says:

    These are all so cute! I collect totes and I know feel it’s my mission to find the flamingo tote!

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