Whenever I’m invited to a pot luck dinner or picnic, I like to take a two-crust fruit pie. This kind of pie holds up well en route, can stand the heat and is something that a lot of people don’t make for themselves.
I like to use a carrier to protect it and have designed a pie carrier that works well. For special people, I leave the carrier with them as a hostess gift. It would also work well to carry other food items that will fit in an 11×11 inch container.
This is how I made my latest version, using a vintage embroidery pattern for the top of the lid and 3 orphan blocks for the lid lining, carrier and carrier lining. A few scraps for the side panels and tie handles along with some stiff interfacing completed the supply list:
Front and back: Cut 2 pieces 11-½ x 11-½ inches (includes ¼ inch seam) fabric
Cut 2 pieces 11-½ x 11-1/2 inches lining
Cut 2 pieces 10×10 inches of stiff fusible interfacing such as Inner-Fuse by Dritz
Sides: Cut four 3 x 11-½ inch pieces of fabric for carrier
Cut four 3 x 11-½ inch pieces for lining
` Cut four 2-½ x 10 inches of stiff fusible interfacing such as Inner-Fuse by Dritz
Tie: Cut two pieces 3-3/4 x 16 inches of fabric
Cut two pieces 3-3/4 x 16 inches of contrasting or lining fabric
Cut one piece 11-1/2 x 11-1/2 inches fabric
Cut one piece 11-½ x 11-½ inches lining
Cut one piece 10 x 10 inches of stiff fusible interfacing such as Inner-Fuse by Dritz
Cut 2 pieces 11-½ x 2-¾ inches of fabric
Cut 2 pieces 11-½ x 2-3/4 inches of lining
Cut 2 pieces 10-1/2 x 1-¾ inches of stiff fusible interfacing such as Inner-Fuse by Dritz
Binding: Cut one piece 1-½ inches x 44 inches
Velcro: Cut two sets of ¾ inch Velcro 10-½ inches long.
Attach stiffener to lining pieces by centering on the wrong side of each piece and stitching a cross to secure. Do this for the top, bottom, four sides, lid and two flaps
Sew fabric ties right sides together with lining/contrasting fabric, using ¼ inch seams. Sew two sides and across top of each set (pointing or rounding top if desired). Trim, turn, press and top stitch each side ¼ inch from edges.
Your pieces should be:
Bottom, 4 sides, lid, 2 flaps, two sewn ties
Bottom, 4 sides, lid, 2 flaps – all with stiffener sewn in place.
Sew four pieces of fabric sides, right sides together, to four edges of fabric bottom, leaving ½ inch at beginning and ending of seam.
Sew four pieces of lining sides, right sides together, to four edges of lining bottom, leaving ½ inch at beginning and ending of seam.
Pin corners together and sew from raw edge to ½ inch from end.
Fold corners of sides together and sew from raw edge to ½ inch from end.
Pin wrong side of lining in carrier, wrong sides together, matching corners and raw edges. Baste 1/8 inch from edge.
Pin tie handles to the outside of the carrier at the center of two sides of the carrier.
Join ends of binding with ½ inch seam and pin to top edge of outside of carrier, right sides together. Baste 1/8 inch from edge.
Sew the fabric flaps to the fabric lid on two opposite sides (flaps should be on sides that do not have flaps).
Sew the lining flaps to the lid lining on two opposite sides (flaps should be on sides that do not have flaps).
Place fabric lid and lining lid right sides together and join with a 1/2 inch seam, leaving a 3 inch opening on one side for turning. Trim, turn, press and top stitch the lid.
On the two sides that don’t have ties, measure down ½ inch from the top edge of the lining flap on the lid and draw a line. Center the matching Velcro piece with the top edge of the Velcro covering the line and stitch in place.
Place an aluminum 9 inch pie pan in the bottom of the carrier and place the baked pie on top of the aluminum pan. Place lid on top of carrier and fasten with Velcro strips. Tie the two tie strips together to form a handle.
Carry by handle, but keep one hand under the pie for security.
For the past few years (since I turned 80), I’ve had some back problems which make it difficult to do any gardening. I can get down on my knees but have trouble getting back up. Then, I found the Rumford Gardener’s Kneeler/Seat on Amazon and that solved the problem.
The unit can be used as a seat or, more importantly to me, a kneeler. It folds for easy storing, is shipped fully assembled and has been such a great help to me that I ordered another one to keep near the back yard. I’m sure there are other brands that are just as good, but I haven’t used them and I know this one is a good value at around $25.
I noticed that there are also pouches for tools available but they cost about half as much as the kneeler and I thought it wouldn’t be hard to make a set. These pouches are simple, easy-to-sew and work great for me. I put four hand tools that I use the most in the pockets and can carry the kneeler from place to place in the yard without difficulty.
Here is how I made the pouches:
2 pieces 8 inches wide x 30 inches long of fabric for base
2 pieces 8 inches wide x 8-½ inches long of fabric for pocket
2 sets of Velcro fasteners 6-½ inches long
Place base right side up on surface. Pin pocket fabric right side up on base, matching pocket with bottom and sides of base fabric. Baste close to bottom and side edges to secure pocket. Stitch down the center of the pocket fabric to make two sections.
Bring top edge of base down to line up with bottom edge of base, right sides together (pocket will be on the inside). Using ½ inch seam, stitch along the sides and bottom, LEAVING OPENING ON ONE SIDE OF ABOUT 3 INCHES TO TURN.
Working with the back of the piece, measure from the top edge down 6-½ inches and draw a line.
Stitch one piece of Velcro with the bottom edge of the Velcro slightly covering the drawn line. Stitch the other piece of Velcro to the back top edge. Top edge will fold down to secure pouch.
Repeat with the other pieces of fabric and Velcro to complete two pockets with a total of 4 sections for small hand tools.
At Christmas time last year, I had embroidered pillow cases for two friends who live out of state. I wanted to enclose the cases in something that could be mailed in a padded envelope and that might be useful after the gift was opened. I designed a flat bag with a deep pocket to hold the gift and the bag could be used to store many items throughout the year.
In this case I used some pretty Amish fabric for the outside of the bag and assorted scraps for the pocket and lining.
For Easter, I made dishtowels with an appliquéd bunny. Once again, I turned to the flat bag design for a nice gift bag, using orphan blocks for the outside of the bags.
This is an easy bag to put together, can be done in a short amount of time and makes good use of scraps, embroidered pieces or orphan blocks.
Here is how I made the bags (my example finished at 7-½ x 7-½ inches. It’s easy to change the dimensions to fit whatever item is going into the bag – flat items like books, Cds, DVDs, towels, pillow cases, etc., work best.
You will need:
A piece of fabric for the back of the bag that is the same size as the front plus ½ inch lengthwise. (Example: Cut back fabric 8-½ inches wide by 9 inches long.)
Sew the front panel to the back with ¼ inch seam, joining at the top of the front panel.
Press the seam toward the front panel.
Cut a piece of fabric for the lining that is the exact size of the joined front/back panels. (Example: 8-½ inches wide x 17 inches long.)
Place lining and front/back panels right sides together, pinning from just below center seam on front/back panel, along side, across bottom of front/back panel and down other side to just below center seam, back-stitching on each side.
Cut ½ inch from edge just below sewing at center seam on both sides and trim corners of sewn portion.
Cut pocket fabric the width of fabric and the length doubled. (Example: 8-½ inches wide x 17 inches long).
Fold pocket fabric in half lengthwise and press. Line up fold of pocket with clipped sides and raw edges on the lower part of the front/back panels. Pin in place or baste.
Beginning at the folded edge, sew ½ inch seams down the side, across the bottom and up the other side, back stitching on each side. Trim corners and trim the clipped pocket portion on a diagonal.
Turn pocket portion and press. Top stitch 1/8 inch from edge around piece …
…and fold in half to form flat pocket bag.
Red Brolly is offering a free pattern for a really cute, easy-to-make mug carrier and mug rug. http://www.red-brolly.com/2015/03/butterfly-mug-bag-have-you-made-yours/
Update 9/20/15 – A reader let me know that there is a problem with the above link and sent me some alternate ones for the pattern itself. She said these links are intermittent but she was able to get a printout of the pattern.
The bag is designed to hold a medium sized mug about 6 inches tall x 3 inches diameter …
The fabric is from scraps of an Easter dress I made for her in 2011, back before she became a sophisticated going-on-12 lady who doesn’t wear pretty lace-trimmed dresses any more.
Instead of a mug, I’m using an 8-oz jar of jelly beans in the bag and will be putting a gift card in the pocket.
For my two daughters, I’ll have the mugs filled with candy and will have gift cards in the pocket.
I made one bag/rug to have ready to give to a good friend from Chicago who visits during the summer.
In her case, I made an embroidered mug rug that shows a painter because she’s a gifted artist.
I enjoyed making these bags and rugs out of scraps, including using up a lot of small batting pieces. I included a snap and vintage button on each one. It’s a pleasant afternoon’s project with just a bit of hand sewing.
Red Brolly’s post has some beautiful bags made from her pattern by other readers.
Click on pictures to enlarge.
Last week, when I completed my Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM blocks and made them into kitchen curtains, I said I would post pictures of the curtains as soon as a non-snowy and sunny day came along. Well, there are still some small hills of snow around, but the sun is bright and the sky is blue – so, here are the curtains. The top picture shows the bay window area and this is the panel over the sink.
I tried several approaches to making the blocks into curtains and decided to use a simple, streamlined method of using the blocks with sashing and borders to make panels which are very much like wall hangings with a sleeve on the back rather than regular curtain casings. I wanted the panels to hang similar to a blind without any gathers.
This project worked out well for me and at a distance and in the right light, the panels look almost like stained glass windows.
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.