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.


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

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

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

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

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.


Love questions and comments! But no anonymous comments accepted any longer. Send an email instead. Thanks for stopping by to visit.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...