Adorable, isn't it? My plan was to sew the completed badges on the reverse side. But when the kit arrived, I changed plans (so what else is new?). I didn't want a tote that looked like everyone else's tote, I needed to personalize it. "Wait a minute!" I told myself, "If you didn't want it to look like the picture, why did you buy the kit? You spent good money on this kit, you really ought to follow the instructions." And the obedient, rule-following, don't-get-out-of-line girl in me agreed. So, I swapped out the brown fabrics for my own aqua kitchen print that I love, and replaced the "fetchin" embroidered square with my membership badge. It looked like this:
Also kinda cute. But while the tote sat in my sewing room waiting for me to attach the badges, the rebellious, free-thinking, I-don't-need-no-stinking-rules girl in me kept nagging that it really wasn't what I wanted. Although it's cute, the fringe and chenille really aren't "me". Now compliant girl and rebel girl were having an arguement: "You bought the kit and this is what you're supposed to do with it. If you aren't going to follow the instructions, you have wasted the money." "You have to be unique. No one can tell you how you have to decorate your tote bag!" Yada yada yada - back and forth.
Rebellious girl won. Rule girl finally admitted that, yes, I could have saved money by buying a plain tote and starting from scratch, but also acknowledged that I probably wouldn't have without the inspiration of the kit. Either way, the money is spent and having a bag I'm not happy with and don't use is wasteful also. So, I took everything off the bag and started over. (Rule girl was sure to save the pieces to be used in a future project.) It's got a vintage feel, it incorporates quilting, the off-set pocket and badge are a bit quirky, and it's pretty. I'd say I captured "me" pretty well. I plan to get the badges attached to the back this weekend and keep the bag in my car to use as a shopping bag for those quick stops I frequently make to pick up only a few items.
The moral of my silly story is best summed up by country music legend Dolly Parton:
"Find out who you are and do it on purpose."