I started a gift bag for my mom's list gift exchange. We do one every December and every May. I'm using the pattern from Cindy Taylor Oates' Easy to Make Totes With Zippers, specifically the tote that is sitting on the chair in the picture to the left. I'm sure mine won't look that much like the one on the cover because I'm crazy piecing and embellishing, but the structural design will be the same.
I decided to use larger pieces of fabric this year for two reasons: first off, it's quicker, and secondly, it's less busy looking. That second one may seem like a contradiction for a crazy patch design. I'm not going to do any machine embroidery, either. I am using the decorative stitches on my Bernina 180 to accent the seam lines, but I'm using a the same color thread on all the seams. One one side, I further embellished the pattern with navy tulle that had silver stars printed on it. I cut the tulle into sicle moon shapes and cascaded them down one side. The inspiration for this comes from Bonnie Lyn McCaffery's Fantasy Fabric. I like the way it looks so much that I"m not going to further embellish this side.
I haven't decided what I'm going to do on the other side. I'm going to stick with the one color decorative stitch on the seams, and then what? I don't want to do machine embroidery; no real reason, just don't want to. I don't want to bother with bobbin work. I do want to do couched threads, so that may be it.