Thursday, February 16, 2012

Out of the trashcan

    I spent a great day on Tuesday with  The Fiber Friends in Landrum / Tryon area that  meet at The Tryon Arts and Crafts School .   I shared my journal quilt challenges and in return enjoyed seeing their projects---fabulous silk dying (shibori),  a beautiful  jacket done with shasiko stitching, a series of wall hangings based on a photo and everyone was different.  They have a series of challenges planned that will be fun to follow.  Thanks for all the wonderful inspiration, ladies.
   One quilter was carrying her items in a tote that really caught my eye, and me without a camera!  On close inspection, I realized it was constructed  like I make the handles for tote bags and purses.  The finished "handles" were stitched together with a zigzag stitch much like the clothesline wrapped bowls and bags.  That means the inside is finished off like the outside---no lining---and the bag itself has structure and does not flop over.   Oh, the possibilities!  
    While putting everything away yesterday, I found trimmings of batting in the trash can from a few dolls quilts I had finished up.   Shame on me!  I could turn them into a bag.   I cut the batting waste into 1 1/2" strips and 1 " strips, and began making "handle" pieces last night.

Technique to make finished "handle":
   Strip of fabric  (3 1/2" wide)  is placed wrong side up and 2  1" batting strips are  placed on  top down the length of the strip of fabric.  (Or use a 2 " wide strip if you have scrap batting that wide).
   You can see I used all the scrap / waste of batting!  Just butting the ends up to each other.
.    Then press the long side edges over the batting---about 1/2 on each side.

  Then fold down the center matching the long edges.  Press well.
  Stitch along the long side about 1/4" from the edge to secure in half.

   Now join the finished pieces using a wide zigzag stitch.  Be sure to catch both pieces as you stitch.

 This is the first small section that I put together last night.  I used whatever leftover short strips I had and pieced them together if the strip was too short.
  I also mixed the width size of the fabric strips.  There are 2 1/2" strips (with 1 1/2" strip of batting encased), that finish at about 3/4".  And the 3 1/2" strips (with the 2 1" strips of batting encased) that finish at about 1".
Since this is an experimental project, I am winging it with the measurements.  I figure I need about 28 of the finished strips to sew together to make the 2 sides of a small  bag.  I plan on binding off the top and adding a couple of pockets to the inside.
Happy stitching.


Janet O. said...

Very interesting process, Debbie! I think my daughters might enjoy making these (I have sooo many bags, I think I will stick to quilts!) : )

Dana Gaffney said...

I like this idea and will wait patiently to see the finish, then I think, once again I may follow in your footsteps.

Anonymous said...

thankyou for showing us.xx

Mary said...

Great tutorial. I love making bags. Please show us more pictures as you continue work on your project.

Unknown said...

What a great idea. Looking forward to the finish. I like your feather quilting. Looks like you have the hang of it now.

barbara woods said...

like that maybe i will try at the very least i will put it in my saves

Nicki said...

Thanks for sharing this new technique for making bags. Lucky for us that you were so observant & figured out how the quilter made the bag.

Lynne said...

Finding new ways to use scraps seems almost limitless, doesn't it?

My teacehr showed me photos of bowls made in a similar way but with cord inside each strip.

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