Repurposing a Hamper Rack – A Tutorial

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I have a hamper rack on which the hamper portion wore out very quickly.  I wanted to recycle the rack as well as use up a lot of fabric scraps, so I drafted a very simple pattern and used a Log Cabin variation to make the front and back.  The lining is from some old home dec curtains.

The only repair I did on the rack was to replace two side straps.  I cut two pieces 7 x ½ inch of scrap leather (could be from an old purse) and cut a small hole ½ inch from the ends on each piece.  I removed the screws on the broken straps and screwed them through the holes on each end to affix the replacement straps.

sidestrap
The rack measures about 16 inches wide x 25 inches high with ½ inch diameter legs – similar to the hamper racks sold by Ikea.

I used pieced blocks for my hamper, but, of course, any kind of fabric could be used.  Here is what you will need.

SUPPLIES

  • Hamper rack approx. 16 inches wide x 25 inches tall.
  • 2 pieces of fabric 28-1/4 inches wide x 24-¼ inches long for hamper bag
  • 2 pieces of fabric 28-¼ inches wide x 24-¼ inches long for bag lining
  • 10 pieces of fabric 4 inches wide x 6 inches long for tabs
  • 10 pieces of Velcro ¾ inch wide for tabs

HAMPER BAG

  • Place hamper bag fabric right sides together and sew with ¼ inch seams along two sides and bottom.
  • Keeping right sides together, at each side seam on the bottom edge, mark and cut out a 2-½ inch square.

2.5 final

  • Fold the cutout portion of the bag together, placing the seam in the center …..

bott-final…and sew a ¼ inch seam.

cutout-sew

  • Repeat for the other corner. Turn and press.

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  • Use the same procedure to sew the lining.
  • Make a mark at the top center front of bag.  Then mark 3-3/4 inches two places on either side of the center.  Repeat with back of bag.
  • Pin a square of each set of Velcro pieces centered over each mark with the top of the Velcro patch ¾ inch from top raw edge.  Stitch in place.  Repeat for back of bag.

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TABS

  • Along 4 inch edge of the tab fabric, press edge ¼ inch to wrong side of fabric.

strap-fold 2.5 top

  • Fold piece in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press.

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  • Open fabric and fold each side to meet at the center fold.  Press.

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  • Fold in half lengthwise and press.  Top stitch around sides and bottom of piece.  Repeat with remaining 4×6 pieces of fabric.

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  • On the finished edge of each strap, sew a ¾ x ¾ inch piece of Velcro.

strp-velcro

  • On the wrong side of each tab, mark 1-½ inches from the raw edge.  Place tab inside bag at top edge, wrong sides together, matching 1-½ inch mark with top pressed edge and aligning with the matching piece of Velcro below.  Pin.  Repeat with remaining tabs.

pintabs

  • Place lining inside the bag, wrong sides together, matching corners.
  • Pin every two inches along the top edge.
  • Top- stitch 1/8 inch from top edge, being sure to catch the 1/4 inch of fabric turned under on the bag and lining.

topstitch

  • Place on rack, looping tabs over the rack and securing with the Velcro patches.

finished

The hamper can be folded for storage.

folded

This makes a nice storage unit for lightweight toys (think stuffed animals), sewing, clothing, towels, etc.

An Easter Bunny Tote Bag

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A friend sent my daughter and me really cute wall hangings made from a towel and washcloth.

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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 …

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…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).
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I used the same pretty pink calico in the blocks and for the backing and lining.
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Pale green check seems to go with pink so well and serves as an accent on the bag.

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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.

Christmas Log Cabin Topper

I wanted to make a sofa topper and footstool cover using Christmas colors, but not Christmas fabrics.  I decided to make log cabin blocks to use up scraps and got out my jars of 1-1/4-inch-wide scraps – shades of red, green and off-white plus some yellow scraps in 2 inch blocks to represent the candle light in the log cabins.

I made 6-inch finished blocks – 32 for the topper (finished size – 49 inches long x 28 inches wide) and 4 blocks for the footstool cover.

I scanned and printed a recent picture of myself for the label because I think it’s nice to have an idea of what the quiltmaker looked like when the piece was made.

And my oldest daughter made a cute Christmas pillow to complete the project.

Kentucky Log Cabin Quilt

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I love Judy Martin’s quilt designs.  Even on fairly easy patterns, there’s a little something extra and interesting.  Last summer her web site featured glimpses of her newest book, Judy Martin’s Log Cabin Quilt Book.  On her web site her readers were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite patterns in the book and I immediately fell in love with the Kentucky Log Cabin.  I had decorated one bedroom in a lodge/cabin theme and had yet to make a quilt for the full sized bed.  I requested the book for my birthday in September, but didn’t have time to start the quilt until after the Christmas holidays.

I changed the layout to give me the look and size I wanted – big enough to cover the entire mattress plus an overhang on sides and bottom to come to a certain point on the bedskirt. 

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Although the pattern wasn’t difficult, a degree of precision cutting and piecing was required and I wore out three rotary blades making this quilt.  I felt it was worth it.

I was in the middle of making pillow covers to match the spread when I saw a forum discussion of an old-fashioned method of covering pillows by making a large flat topper that would cover the pillows, tuck under top and bottom and have an overhang to match the quilt.  This is basically a long, narrow flat piece that I designed using four applique cabin blocks and some of the coordinating maroon fabric.  This was my answer and I know in the future I’ll always make a matching or coordinating topper rather than covers that have to be removed every time the bed is used.

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I machine quilted using stippling for the body of the quilt and decorative stitching on the borders.  I like the quilt very much with the pieced log cabins and secondary star design. 

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Lodge Style Log Cabin Hanging

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In the relatively quiet week between Christmas and New Year’s, I made a new wall hanging for my lodge-themed guest bedroom.  It was based on a pattern I picked up in September at Miller’s Dry Goods in Charm, Ohio (Holmes County Amish Country).  The pattern is called “Log Cabin”  (#99001) by Pine Meadows Designs.  The pattern size is 23-1/2″ long x 27″ wide and I added a wide border to come up with the size that I wanted to hang over a queen size bed.

The pattern and instructions are very complete for the center cabin and lake scene which is appliqued using fusible web and invisible thread.  There are 22 log cabin blocks around the centerpiece which can be paper pieced (patterns provided) or simply sewn together as I have done.  

I quilted with invisible thread, echoing the design in the center and using stich-in-the-ditch and some cross lines to accent the small log cabin blocks. 

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It is a fairly simple pattern and not too time-consuming, resulting in a very colorful wall hanging which is perfect in my lodge style room.