Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Patchwork Gift Bag Tutorial


I've been working on some little handmade gift bags to have on hand...and I thought today I'd share a tutorial showing how I make them.  They're super easy and can be made with just a couple of fat quarters and some 2 1/2'' squares. You can see from the photo above that I used Moda twill tape to make handles for my Cabbages & Roses Northcote Range version; for my Ruby version I made a simple drawstring handle.  The finished bags measure 7 1/2'' wide by 8 1/2'' tall by 3'' deep--a perfect size for a little gift bag filled with sewing notions, travel accessories, or bath/body products.


Here is what you'll need to get started:
  • 16 2 1/2'' by 2 1/2'' squares; sew together in a 4 x 4 grid.
  • One piece 3'' x 8 1/2'' for front top band.
  • One piece 8 1/2'' x 11'' for back (front top band and back can be cut from one fat quarter).
  • Two pieces 2 1/2'' x 7 1/2'' to make cord casings.
  • Two pieces 8 1/2'' x 10 3/4'' for lining (lining pieces and cord casings can be cut from one fat quarter).
  • Two pieces 8 1/2'' x 10 3/4'' fusible fleece
  • To make drawstring handles you'll need two pieces 2'' x 28'' long (or use twill tape, cording, or ribbon).
(If you want the back of your bag to be scrappy, just piece another 16 2 1/2'' squares into a 4 x 4 grid and cut a second top band).



Sew the top band to the top of your patchwork piece. Press toward top band.


Next we'll make the drawstring casings. Fold both short ends down on the 2 1/2'' x 7 1/2'' casing pieces.  Press and stitch close to raw edge as shown.

Next, sew each casing with wrong sides of fabric together using a 1/4'' seam.


Press each seam open, centering the seam as shown above.  This will be the back of your casing and won't show on your finished bag.



This is what the front side of the casings will look like. Set these aside for later.


Next, you'll fuse your fusible fleece pieces to the backs of your bag front and bag back.

Now it's time to do some simple machine quilting if desired.  I quilted my bag back with a simple straight line.

The quilting shows better from the back.

On my bag fronts I quilted a simple grid and also quilted just above the lower edge of the band.

Again, I think the quilting shows up a little better from the back.


Next I centered my casing on the back front and back, 1 1/4'' from the top and about 3/4'' in from each side.  I used a clear ruler to position the casings.



I pinned each casing carefully then sewed close to each long edge of each casing.
 

Here is the finished bag front.

 

And here is the finished bag back.



Next, sew your bag lining pieces together on the sides and bottom, right sides together; be sure to leave a 3'' opening on one of the sides to turn your bag right side out later.  Cut out 1 1/2'' squares from the bottom of each side of the lining.  Open each corner edge and sew together using a 1/4'' seam.  This will form the "boxed" corners of your bag. Also sew your bag front and back together right sides together, also cutting out 1 1/2'' squares from the bottom of each side and boxing corners as described above. (Note: bag front/back are not pictured here).

 

Place your bag lining (right sides out) inside your bag (right sides in).

Match top edges and side seams; pin and sew together at top edge using a 1/4" seam. Turn right side out through the opening in the side of bag lining.  Press well and slip-stitch lining opening closed. Top stitch top edge of bag either 1/8'' or 1/4'' from edge.  Your bag is nearly finished!  If using a twill tape or ribbon drawstring, cut these to 28'' long.  Take your first drawstring and, beginning on the left side of the front casing, thread it through the front casing, through the back casing, and back through the front casing, exiting on the right side of front casing. With your second drawstring complete the steps above, this time starting  in the bag back casing.  Tie the ends together a few inches from the bottom if desired.

To make your own drawstrings: Fold and press under 2'' ends of casing pieces.  Fold in half, wrong sides together; press.  Open up and press each outside edge to the crease in the middle.  Fold in half again and stitch close to long edge.




I think these bags would be a lot of fun made with an almost endless range of fabric styles: Halloween, Christmas, reproduction fabrics--the possibilities are endless!

Hope you have fun making some of these little bags.  And thanks so much for stopping by!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Last Week's Farmer's Wife Blocks


Last week was pretty busy, but I did manage to fit in a little time on Saturday to make my Farmer's Wife blocks. I am determined not to get behind in this quilt along, so I picked some easy blocks this week.


This is block 71, Puss in the Corner.  I used some softer Fig Tree fabrics and love how this one turned out.  I just hope it fits in with the other blocks.


Block 70, Prairie Queen, was fun to make as well.  This one is all Strawberry Fields fabric.  I think the contrast worked well on this one.  I sure do learn from each block I make from this book.  There is simply no better way to learn about contrast and fabric choices than to just start playing...and these blocks provide the perfect opportunity.


The Flurry collection of fabric has a lot of busy prints and some fun solids, so I get a different kind of "contrast" practice working with them.


Block 71...not so sure about this one...perhaps the solid is too strong in this block?!


I was worried that Prairie Queen (block 70) was a little bit busy.  I used the solid white to hopefully give a resting place for the eyes.  I'm really thinking about sashing this quilt with white.  Okay...well these are last weeks blocks.  After this week's are finished I'll have 40 and plan to do a group shot!

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blogger's Block of the Month


I'm excited to share my block with you for the Blogger's Block of the Month! This quilt-along was organized by Jackie of Canton Village Quilt Works; back in August she sent each participant the most gorgeous group of Kaffe fabrics from which to create our blocks. I had so many different block ideas that I finally had to just settle on one and get started!  Jackie's rules were simple...everyone was asked to use the grey print and at least a couple of the others.  I decided to use all of them...how was a girl to choose!  If you are quilting along this should be a great stash-quilt.  You might also be able to make all of the blocks just from left-overs of another project since the blocks finish at 8 inches.  Okay...let's get started--my block is fast and easy!



Here's what you'll need:
  • 8 - 2 1/2'' squares background fabric (I used the Kaffe grey).
  • 4 - 2 1/2'' squares of medium/dark prints (I used four different Kaffe prints--you could make them all the same or use two each of two different prints).
  • 2 - 2 7/8'' squares background fabric (again I used the Kaffe grey).
  • 2 - 2 7/8'' squares of another medium/dark print ( I used two of the same, but you could use two different fabrics here as well).


The first step is to cut all four 2 7/8'' squares in half diagonally.



Next, sew these together using a 1/4'' seam to make half square triangles.



I press my seams open when making half-square triangles; I find this really helps when setting half-square triangles together in blocks.  Trim off the little triangles left over at the corners. You now have 4 completed half-square triangle blocks!

 


Now you're ready to lay out all the pieces and start assembling your block! Lay out the block pieces as shown above and sew each row together (again use a 1/4'' seam). Press.



I pressed all of my seams so that when sewing the rows together seams would "nest."  Sew all four rows together...press...


And  then you'll have your completed block! Since Jackie is collecting all of our blocks to make a donation quilt, I'll be making my own set of blocks as well and will be sharing those with you  monthly as each  block is posted. I'll also be reminding you each month about the next stop on the tour!

Hope you'll join along with us...for more information you can go here! Pat has already made a great block...go here to see hers!

Also, once you've made your block, don't forget to join the flikr group here:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/1738993@N24/

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Another Bite of Schnibbles


(Forward: Please know that I received this copy of  Another Bite of Schnibbles from Martingale Publishing.  I was not paid or compensated in any way to do this review). 

 It's no secret that I am a Schnibbles/Miss Rosie's Quilt Company/Carrie Nelson fan!  I love all of Carrie's designs and patterns.  Her first Schnibbles book, Schnibbles Times Two is one of my all-time favorites...it's so nice having quilt patterns designed in two sizes.  And Another Bite of Schnibbles is equally amazing! Her latest book has 12 quilts in two sizes each...for a total of 24 projects!


I'd like to highlight a few of the quilts included.  Two Percent is one of the first that caught my eye as I thumbed through the book. The large version has 9 twenty-four inch blocks with a piano key border.  I've been looking for another big-block quilt to make since finishing Swoon...I think I've found it! Of course the small version of this quilt, made with nine inch blocks is also wonderful! My blog friends Carol and Darlene made this version (Carol pieced and Darlene did the long-arm quilting)!



Okay...on to Roundabout.  This was actually one of my favorite small Schnibbles, and now I can make it in a larger size.  This one is also definitely on the list! (Darlene also pieced and quilted this quilt)!



Another favorite...Picnic is one of my favorite basket quilts. Ever. (In fact, my small version made using Bonnie & Camille's Simple Abundance line is currently hanging in my front entryway). I can't wait to make a large version...actually I'm thinking of Christmas fabrics for this one!


Decoy...another sigh.  I love it!  This one was pieced by another blog friend, Nicole! This star with a four-patch in the center has always been one of my favorites.


Cindy Lou Who in French General took my breath away as well. This quilt is stunning (pieced by Carrie).  Actually, every quilt in the book is stunning--imagine a large Lincoln in Bliss, a stunning Winter White pieced by Lissa Alexander using Minick and Simpson fabrics, and a gorgeous Reveille pieced by Lisa!

The large quilts range in size from 65 1/2'' to 90 1/2''.  All are square except for Oso which is rectangular. The small sized quilts are, well, typical Schnibbles sized, about 30'' square to 36'' square. Here is a complete list of the quilts included: Cindy Lou Who, Decoy, Getaway, Lincoln, Nash, Oso, Picnic, Reveille, Roundabout, Tagalong, Winter White, and Two Percent.

Another Bite of Schnibbles? Amazing.  That's all there is to it!

PS...Go here for the winner of the Quilt Essentials Giveaway!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fabric on Friday


My friend Nanette always posts the most amazing fabric collections on Fridays...I look forward to those posts every week--her stash is certainly amazing!  I have a few pieces I've fallen in love with lately that I'd like to share!  Above are Flour Sacks and Tossed Bread by Windham.  I still haven't figured out how I'm going to use them, but they were too cute to pass up!


I recently found some of the cutest Atsuko Matsuyama fabrics on Etsy.  They are beautiful.  I have an idea for a project...I'll be combining them with some of the French General linen pictured at the bottom of the photo.


I was really looking forward to these Secret Garden solids (by Sandi Henderson for Michael Miller).  At first I thought I might be a little disappointed with the colors (sorry for the blurry photo).



But they look beautiful when combined with the Secret Garden prints...they seem to magically come to life!



I think nearly every solid will work with each color way. I'm looking forward to the possibilities that are seemingly endless with these fabrics!


I just may have to start sewing with these today!


Oh, and The. Most. Amazing. Book. arrived yesterday hot off the press from Martingale.  It's Carrie's latest book, Another Bite of Schnibbles! I will be reviewing this book soon...I absolutely love it!  Carrie has done "big quilt" versions of some of my favorite Schnibbles.  And if you're having fun with "Swoon" right now, there are some terrific "big block" quilts in this book you just might want to make!

Thanks so much for stopping by!