This is block 3 in Susan’s quilt-along featuring stars and pinwheels, called Chunky Star. Once again, Susan has offered two versions – one with half-square triangles as shown in the picture at the beginning of the post ….
…and one with flying geese.
These are both easy blocks with good instructions.
I’m using the blocks from this quilt-along each month to make a small project. I decided to put these two blocks together in a favorite tie bag. I found this pattern online about 15 years ago and have made it in a large variety of sizes and fabrics. Along the way, I adapted it to make better use of the fabric and it took very little to make this nice lined bag which will be a gift for someone later this year.
Susan at Desert Sky Quilting is hosting a block-of-the-month quilt-along featuring stars and pinwheels. The first block is Indian Star – an easy but interesting block offered in two options. The first option is using squares and half-square triangles; the second option has flying geese patches.
Since I have back problems and don’t make large quilts any longer, I’m participating in this quilt-along by using each block as I make it into something I can use at home or into a project that will make a nice gift. I made the blocks in both versions.
I used the first block to make a book bag for carrying my requisite 4-books-at-a-time back and forth to the library. The back of the bag includes a vintage embroidery piece adapted from an old coloring book.
The second version was made into a project box which I designed to set on my sewing table with pockets on the inside to hold instructions and other essentials along with the fabric for the project. I lined the bag with medium-weight canvas and added stiff interlining so the bag will set upright.
The embroidered panel is from one I found on the internet and good for me since I do almost all of my quilting on the machine.
This promises to be a fun quilt-along and Susan is meticulous about her instructions which makes everything easy and enjoyable. Hope you’ll join us here.
A couple of weeks ago, my neighbor asked my daughter and me to come to her house to check out some sewing/craft supplies she was going to throw away or donate. She knew my daughter and I did a lot of sewing, needlework, quilting, crafts – and thought we might find something we could use. Naturally, we could hardly wait to go across the street and see what was in those boxes!
There were two big cartons full of sewing notions, craft supplies, miscellaneous fabric and even a pair of worn-out jeans. My daughter used the waistband from the jeans along with some of the white fabric in the box to make a great bracelet/cuff.
I was excited to use a red luncheon cloth that was a nice heavy fabric and had only a small stain on it. I made three lined bags with it, also incorporating some of the white fabric and a couple of pieced/embroidered orphan blocks.
I also made a two-piece cushion set for my vintage folding chair.
The wonderful part of this story is that we have hardly made a dent in the contents of the boxes. We have plans for the Christmas season and well beyond it.
My daughter gave me a vintage cosmetic bag that she thought I might be able to use as an idea for bags I could make to use for cosmetics, small sewing items, little gifts, etc.
The bag opened out into sections and looked fairly easy to duplicate.
It’s basically multiple bags of the same size, lined and finished with a narrow facing. One bag has a flap and serves as the base. The remainder of the bags are stitched to each other to form an accordion-like feature.
I made five bags of varying sizes and thought the idea worked out pretty well. For one bag that I particularly liked, I made a matching small gift tote of the same fabrics and will be using the two pieces to hold an anniversary gift for my younger daughter in a couple of weeks.
I’m thinking about expanding the pattern to make a larger three-section tote bag. More on this later.
A friend sent my daughter and me really cute wall hangings made from a towel and washcloth.
We wanted to make something for her and collaborated on a large tote bag. My daughter did her great embroidery on an 8 inch center panel …
…and I used my favorite quilt block to frame a picture – 4-½ inch log cabin blocks (1-½ inch center and 1 inch strips).
I used the same pretty pink calico in the blocks and for the backing and lining.
Pale green check seems to go with pink so well and serves as an accent on the bag.
This is a roomy 16 x 20 inch tote and I hope will be used to transport a lot of good stuff.
Click on pictures to enlarge.
I wanted to make up a small gift bag to hold Easter candy for the grandchildren and I’m always looking for ways to use up fabric scraps. This little bag fit the bill in both cases and ties securely to keep all the treats from falling out.
This is how I made the bag:
I used 1/4 inch seams throughout.
For the bottom of the bag A:
- Cut two pieces of fabric 6 inches wide x 6-1/2 inches long. I chose to use a cute vintage bunny print. Notice the direction of the print before cutting so that you have the look you want on the front and back of the bag.
- Draw a 3/4 inch square at the two corners at the bottom of bag A. This measurement will make the bag 2 inches deep.
- Place the front and back of bag A right sides together and stitch along the sides and across the bottom.
- Spread the side of the bag and bring raw edges together at the corner, matching seams
- Stitch 1/4 inch straight across for corner
- Repeat with other corner. Turn and press.
For top of bag – B
- Cut 2 pieces of contrasting fabric 6 inches wide x 6-1/2 inches long. I wanted to use some blue and white scraps for this portion of the bag and cut 6 strips of white and 6 strips of blue, 1-1/2 x 6 inches. Sew 6 strips, alternating colors, to form two 6×6-1/2 pieces for the top of the bag.
- Join front and back of B together and stitch down sides.
- At the top of B, turn down 1/4 inch and then another 1/4 inch and stitch for the hem.
Joining top and bottom – A and B
- Place the top of the bag over the bottom, matching raw edges at the top and side seams. Stitch to join these pieces.
- Turn top A inside of bottom B and press. Measure down 1/2 inch from seam and pin on an 11-1/2 piece of trim which has been joined with a 1/4 inch seam.
- Stitch through the center of the trim, catching all 3 layers of trim, bottom and top of bag.
- Press and assemble bag so that top portion comes out of bottom of bag.
- Fill with Easter treats and tie with a pretty ribbon.
Bag measures about 5 x 8-1/2 inches x 2 inches deep – just the right size for a stash of jellybeans.
I also made a larger version, using a 6-1/2 inch unfinished quilt block and added borders to make the piece 8-1/2 inches wide x 9-1/2 inches long for the front bottom of the bag. I added 3 pieces of fabric the same size for the top and back bottom pieces. I cut 1-1/2 inch squares for the corners. On this one, I sewed a piece of lace with eyelets near the top and threaded the ribbon through the eyelets. You can adjust the fabric size to suit your purposes. The blocks cut out for the corners gives the depth for the bag. This bag measures 8 inches wide x 14 inches long x 3 inches deep.
I made this shopping bag-size tote several years ago for the Warren County (Lebanon, Ohio) Fair. It won a blue ribbon and I enjoyed doing the harness horse design. I used a coloring book sketch transferred to white fabric, then embroidered the design with black floss. I used crayons to color the picture and heat set it by placing a piece of white paper over the coloring and pressing it with a hot iron.
I used the same patchwork blocks to make the back of the bag, machine quilted it with low loft batting and made a lining and handle.
I found the large size of the bag to be extremely useful. My oldest daughter recently mentioned that she would like to have one the same size and I started looking through my orphan blocks and scraps to see what I could put together.
The center block is a Morning Star block I posted last year and the center with vintage-type fabric was appropriate for my daughter because she is interested and talented in any type of hand sewing. I looked for scraps with shades of yellow and blue and cut 2-1/2 inch blocks to accentuate the focus block.
On the back, I put together 2-1/2 inch blocks with 2-1/2 inch strips to continue the color theme. The front and back were machine quilted using low loft batting. The sides were left unquilted to cut down on bulk. I made another bag of plain fabric for a lining and made the handle extra-long so my daughter can swing the bag over her shoulder if she wants.
The bag is large – 22 inches wide x 25 inches long and should accommodate a lot of stuff when my daughter comes for her weekend visits.
I make small quilted items for my daughter, Shannon, to add to her donations to two of our favorite cat charities in the Cincinnati area, The Scratching Post and O’Bryonville Animal Rescue.
The quilt is a small snuggle quilt for a child and is made in the quilt-as-you-go method from the Kaye Wood book, 6 Hour Quilt. It is a simple method that joins strips, batting and backing at the same time and the quilt is reversible.
I did some additional quilting, using decorative stitches on my Bernina. I made a small wallet and tote bag from leftover fabric.
I enjoy making small projects for various animal charities in our area. My daughter, Shannon, is a great supporter of these groups and makes beautiful cross-stich pieces to donate. I pass all my projects on to her to distribute among the groups as she sees fit. I found some great Funky Cat fabric at Fabric Shack in Waynesville, Ohio and used it to make three wall hangings and a tote bag for the benefit of the cats. These items are offered for sale at various functions with the money going to the cat groups.
Two of our favorite cat rescue groups in the Cincinnati area are The Scratching Post and O’Bryonville Animal Rescue.