I enjoy going to thrift shops and looking for vintage collectibles and china, and since I’ve been knitting have found some good bargains in yarn. Since 90% of my knitting is for charity, I appreciate finding some nice yarn at a good price. I was thrilled to find a large plastic bag filled with 17 unopened skeins of Caron Premium yarn in off-white for only $10.00.
I envisioned soft, fluffy baby blankets for my Lakota Indian group and was disappointed when I made a trial swatch to find that the yarn was thick and rather stiff when knitted. So much for fluffy baby blankets and I made a dishcloth, a table mat and a floor mat. The yarn worked OK for these projects but I had a lot of yarn and didn’t want to make any more cloths or mats. Then, I thought it might make a good, strong market bag to carry all the fresh corn and melons I buy at the farmer’s market every summer. My daughter had a nice pattern for a seamless tote bag that is knit in one piece from the bottom up. The pattern called for 4mm (#6 US) needles and cotton or DK (baby/sport) yarn. I used #6 needles with my thick, sturdy yarn and following the pattern for the bag portion exactly, made a very thick, sturdy market bag. I changed the pattern a bit for the handle which my daughter had made and found to be stretchy. I made two long I-cords, doubled them and stitched to the center front and center back of the bag to form a shopping bag shape.
The design pattern is easy and the project is a good one to work on while watching TV or visiting with friends.
Using the thinner yarn would have produced a bag 13 inches wide x 14 inches deep. My bag turned out to be 18 inches wide x 17 inches long.
Here is the link for the tote bag:
…and here is a You Tube tutorial on how to make an I-cord. This is another project that is mindless and good for knitting when there might be distractions. I used the same needle and yarn size to make the I-cord as I used for the bag.
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.
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 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.