Yesterday I had to go to the fabric store to buy buttons
(newsflash: it is in fact possible to have the most stash buttons of your entire family put together plus the stash of at least five of your crafty friends and still need to spend $20 on retail-store buttons)
and spotted some denim ends in a bin for $4/meter. Substitute yard for meter if you like, it'll do for this story.
Though I usually try to resist such indulgences when using public transit, I just happened to be carrying a much bigger bag than buttons typically require, so I bought about $7 worth of a lovely dark grey and headed home, where I immediately spotted a pillowcase on my stash fabric shelf with a shade of blue that comes pretty close to matching a blue crochet doily I've been wanting to use for something.
Then Michelle asked whether I want to meet up for coffee next week. Aha! Michelle's birthday is in March. A built-in excuse to drop everything and make a tote bag with the pillowcase for lining and the blue doily for an accent.
Of course, once I wanted it I couldn't find the blue. But I did find a nice white one I'd been hoarding.
And then I did find the blue after all.
I gave both of them big roomy inside pockets - the white bag's being sourced from a sheet, not a pillowcase.
Both of these have been imagined as market bags - box bottomed, and deep yet narrow enough to hold the better part of a baguette from any of the nice bakeries on the high street. Michelle doesn't actually use that high street any more, having moved a few neighbourhoods over, but I don't care, I will picture her carrying a baguette in her bag before visiting the butcher's and the fruit and veg store anyway.
A tougher call: which one do I give her?