The Reflection of Nature By Sew Totally Jo

The name Sew Totally Jo came from showing a friend one of my bags, to which she replied, “that’s so totally you!”  Part of what makes the bags totally me is the fabric choices. I love the outdoors - camping, hiking, kayaking, and biking.  My choice of fabrics is largely influenced by my love of nature.  

Whether its botanical or animal, nature is all around us and it’s amazing! Living in northwest Wisconsin provides a plethora of opportunity to dive into nature with its trails, rivers, and hills. I have seen many creatures come through our backyard including turkey, red fox, coyote, deer, sandhill cranes, bald eagle, fisher, and woodchuck! I love finding fabrics that reflects nature in any form. 

My husband and I live near the Chippewa River, and I kayak every summer with my little dog. On a certain part of the path we take, the water can be really low, maybe two feet deep, and you can see the water rushing over the rocks at the bottom.  That’s what the print on this wallet reminds me of – a flowing stream with pebbles and rocks. Or this tote bag, that reminds of water current patterns.



Rarely do I have time to make a bag for myself, but my husband and I recently traveled to Colorado and I had the prefect fabric, so I made myself this crossbody bag. The waterproof canvas bottom came in very handy I dropped my bag in a puddle! The polka dot lining of the bag was described by Shawna Stanley as a “starry night sky” which I wish I could say was intentional. When I was younger and lived in Colorado, I had a goal of hiking all of the 14ers.  I’m at two so far – Mt. Elbert and Grays Peak.  Only 51 left.


My grandparents used to take my younger brother and I camping every summer – we loved spending time with them and exploring.  Our favorite spot was Warren Dunes State Park in Michigan.  The huge sand dunes along Lake Michigan were so large and it was a chore to climb up, but running down was so fun. I especially liked it when my brother face-planted into the sand when he got running too fast. These pattern on these zipper pouches remind of those sand dunes and it brings a smile to my face. My husband and I were able to take our son there and he loved the sand dunes just as much as I did when I was his age. 

A new product for Sew Totally Jo this year was the sling bag, aka fanny pack. They’ve made huge come back, I’m sure you’re aware, and I’ve been repeatedly asked when I was going to have them available. Finally, I found a pattern I like that was slim and versatile. It can be worn as a sling in the front or back, or also around the waist.  And of course, it had to have some sort of nature theme so I either used it as the main fabric on the outside, or as a pop of color on the inside. Several people told me they were going to be using them to go hiking, which of course made me happy. 

How do you reflect nature in your life, either intentionally or not?  Maybe through a painting or picture on your wall at home, your clothing, a blanket of comforter, or maybe even the dishes you eat from! There’s a reason why nature is repeated and reflected – its beautiful and awe inspiring. Maybe take notice of how you use it use it at home or at your office, I think you might be surprised - I would love to hear what you find!

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