Sunday, March 15, 2015

Itty Bitty...

Knitting Bag!  Bet that wasn't the completion of the title you first thought of!  It started with a plastic bag which didn't quite cut the mustard for carrying around the fingerless gloves I've been working on.  I thought I should make a small bag for this small project, one I usually take in the car on the trips up to Sarasota for yoga twice a week.  I thought it should be scrappy.  I just happened to have a block left over from Scraps of Calm.  That is where it started.  I added a row to make a 16-patch, almost started cutting some 2.5" squares, and then I remembered!  I have a bunch already cut!
Do you see the scrap from the Seashell runner? Lower rh corner
Then I decided I wanted the other side to be a different colour.  You know how I love blue and green together... I pieced it using my tried and true Book It! method:
Chain sew the pairs together, alternating the direction the seams are pressed; sew each pair, aka "book" to the pair below it

Press the seams of one double column down, the other up; notice how everything nests perfectly?
Second side done
Sewed the two sides to become one piece...but in future, I would not do this. Keep each side as a separate unit.

Franken-batted some pieces together from my leftovers and quilted away.  I had a great Gutermann sparkly thread that is pretty thick, so I did some bobbin work.  Started just doing a simple meander, and then pow! I thought why not try one of Christina's designs from her new book, Step By Step Free Motion Quilting book I just received?  And the first design in the book, called Cherish, was an open, simple meander-type design! Love it. Nope did not rip out the beginning meander. It's just a bag for moi, no pattern, making it up as I go.

the front
and the back
Sew tabs onto your zipper using Nancy's tutorial here. Sew one side of the zipper to one side of the bag, right side of the zipper to right side of the fabric.  Manipulate (I would do this bag in future keeping the two sides of the bag as separate units to make the zipper insert much easier) the other side of the bag into position to sew the other side of the zipper to the bag.  I fudged it (yep technical quilting term) at the closed end of the zipper...

With right sides together, sew the remaining two sides of the little bag together, pivoting at the bottom corner, backstitching at beginning and end and remembering to leave your zipper open so you can turn the bag right sides out! I did not box the bottom; I just wanted a small pouch type bag.

Cut a piece of fabric 16 1/2 (mine was 16 3/8 after quilting) by 8.5".  Sew the sides and bottom together so it looks like your pouch.  I turned the top edge of my lining over 1/4" and topstitched it in preparation for somehow stitching it to the wrong side of the zipper...  I used a laminated Kona, so generously given to me by Lara earlier this winter. It is just terrific for bag linings!

So I pinned it in place, wrong side of lining to wrong side of zipper, and then carefully, with my walking foot, and decorative thread in the needle, topstitched on the quilted side of the bag, catching the lining exactly on the topstitched line! Rather like machine stitching the binding down to the back of the quilt from the front side of the quilt, if that makes sense.  I couldn't get all the way around because of the zipper ends, so I got as far as I could, about 2/3 of each side, and then handstitched the remainder of the lining to the inside wrong side of the zipper.  The zipper is now encased between the wrong sides of both the lining and the outer bag.

And another shot of the latest gloves under construction inside the little bag.
Kind of cool what one can do with two 16-patch blocks made from leftover 2.5" squares, no?  When I make another, which I will do, I won't sew the two sides and treat it as one unit before quilting; I will quilt each side.  That will make the zipper insertion much easier.  I will also add a little strap I think, but for now the round elastic I put on the zipper to create a pull works as a grabber-nabber (all these technical quilt terms, I know!)

And it is official: I have joined in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, RSC 2015, over at SoScrappy.  I love scraps, in large part because looking at a block, I not only see the block as a whole, I see the pieces of past quilts.

When I saw this Cow Block at Piecemeal Quilts, that Leeanna is also doing for the RSC Challenge, it all fell into place: this quilt is going to my aunt for her birthday in December, when she will be 75.  She IS a farmer.  A farmer's wife, and a farmer's daughter.  I will be incorporating a couple of other farm-themed blocks in with the cows for her quilt.  One thing I know for sure is that there will be a minimum of 12 cows in the colours of the rainbow in her quilt. Here is my progress so far this morning:
Um, cow??  Sure, Sandra.... Well, this is 2 sections sewn together of the 10 that make up the block, egad.  Do you see the nostrils (black) and the lips of my cow in her pale blue muzzle?  Hopefully will have her done to show you tomorrow.  Sadly, I cannot link up with the RSC this month, because March's colour is yellow, and I have one tiny piece of scrap yellow down here from Fleurs, sigh.  My stash is calling me...but I will wait until the snow is gone, thank you very much!

Linking up with Oh Scrap! and with Pet Project Show at Pink Doxies, buttons on sidebar.


  1. You've inspired me! I want to try a new block this afternoon, and now I know what I'll do with it. I need a small bag to carry back and forth with sewing supplies ready. I have some laminated fabrics here I got for a steal at my LFS, and was waiting for the perfect project. Thanks for the idea!

    I can't tell by the picture for sure, but have you made loops on the inside to hold your needles? It appears so. I thought that would be safest for my longer scissors.

    Thank you for linking up to Pink Doxies Pet Project Show today.


  2. Great scrappy project. Looking good plus you ended up with something practical too :)

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  4. I love making those little bags, but haven't tried a patchwork one yet. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. That little pouch is a great use of those scraps. It turned out wonderful. I saw the cows too and they do make me laugh. I look forward to seeing your blocks progress. Thanks for sharing your scrap project on Oh Scrap!

  6. Oh I love that little knitting bag, how cute is that?
    And oh yes, I see the cow, can't wait to see more, our aunt will LOVE this quilt!!!

  7. Thank you for sharing your process in making the little bag; a fun and practical way of using your scraps.

  8. Very cool bag, and nice quilting!

  9. cows! Thanks for the Link shout out! !
    Those are some challenging blocks aren't they? I know, I know but a cow in colors? Hope your aunt likes them. Who wouldn't? LeeAnna at not afraid of color!


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