Even though I was busy with other projects, I couldn't resist participating in my friend's Easter swap. I join in on projects hoping that it will somehow force me to do the things I've been wanting to do. And it worked! I had been wanting to make a lunch tote for myself (I'm a big proponent of bringing your lunch to work) and thought a lunch tote would be the perfect "basket" for a swap. I bought cloth napkins (something I had also been wanting for awhile) at Bed Bath & Beyond (12 napkins, in 6 colors for $10) and used a white jelly roll pen to spruce them up a little (the ink won't wash out). I also added a glass jar from Fishs Eddy, a sandwich container and some candy.
The most important feature I wanted the lunch tote to have was a large flat bottom - so my containers wouldn't tip over. I ended up finding two patterns out the internet and combined them. The top portion is from here, and the bottom portion is from here. There is a layer of cotton batting, and because of the way it's sewn together, it's also reversible.
I used the fabric from the "inside" to create the flower on the outside of the tote. I cut out one of the flowers in the print, and fused some fabric on the back (to add weight and stability). I ran some thread through the middle to add more dimension and also cut a flower shape out of plain fabric to add more depth and layers. I attached it to a pin back, so she can easily remove it. I used a white jelly roll pen to write her name on it. I'm sure labeling your lunch isn't as important as it was in grade school, but it seemed like a fun element to add.
I now have my own lunch tote (an owl print that is somewhat grade school-esque) and I just sent off one for my mom as a belated Mother's Day gift!