Hi ya’ll – I’m Marlene from Stitchin By The Lake. I told Madame Samm I’d write a blog post for her one day when she was having a giveaway, never dreaming she’d take me up on it! Usually it’s my kids or my husband volunteering me for something and here I went and did it to myself! But hey, I won the giveaway! :) So it was totally worth it, right? Here’s the deal:
Some of my stash is stacked nice and neat
and some of it looks like this – Mount Vesuvius overflowing!
Want to get rid of some of that volcano? And do yourself a favor at the same time? Several weeks ago I made a few bags like this one that I gave away recently:
In fact I made 13 of them. Can you say OCD? No, you can’t say that – it would be rude. But people begged for them. Everywhere I went someone wanted my bag! That’s when I realized I had a bonanza here! You can use up about a yard and a half of fabric if you make one this size (which is approximately 18 x 21) or you can use up some of that seasonal fabric that you just had to buy when it was on sale 50% off by making bags like these:
These just happen to be Glow-In-The-Dark Trick or Treat Bags for some beautiful, intelligent, perfect children I know. (The fact that they’re my grandchildren has nothing to do with these facts.) Make one in patriotic fabric, stick in the hamburger buns you volunteered to “make” for the neighbor’s cookout, give it to her as a hostess gift and you’re guaranteed an invitation to return. Unless your husband tries to tell her husband how to cook the burgers and they get in a fight and your husband knocks over the grill and sets fire to the grass. Then no bag will help. Make a few in Christmas fabric, fill with candy, sit under the tree and instant gifts are ready for the friend who brings you a gift when you aren’t expecting it. Think generosity ya’ll – your friends will love you for it. Valentine’s Day fabric and those little heart candies that say sweet things – Thanksgiving and a fall candle – Easter and marshmallow peeps. Now you’re getting the idea!
Here’s how you make them: First cut two rectangles for the outside and two for the lining. Pick a size, any size. My big bag is 18 x 21 (you can cut one 18” WOF and get two rectangles the same size out of that cut.) My little bags are about 10 x 14 because you can get 3 fronts out of one WOF. Oops, an uneven number. Easy…just do that twice and you have enough for three bags.
Out of the bag fabric cut a piece about 5” wide for the big bag or 3 1/2” wide for the small ones x WOF for the handles. Now iron on fusible fleece or fusible batting onto the bag and handle fabric. If you don’t have fusible just spray glue it but you’ll need to do a little quilting on it in that case. With the fusible I don’t quilt. Unless I’m trying to be fancy and mostly I’m plain. But if you’re giving it to a member of the Quilt Police you might want to think about quilting it. Yes they do exist – I’m not a member. Wasn’t invited.
Iron the handles in half lengthwise just to give yourself a line to help you later. Then fold both sides of that handle to that line you just ironed, fold again on that line and pin.
Is that blurry or have my bifocals slipped down again? Top stitch on both sides of the handle and cut it in half to make two handles. Since you cut it the WOF each one will be about 21” long.
Sew your bags on 3 sides and your lining on 3 sides. Except on your lining leave a space about 5 or 6” on one side unsewed. You’ll need it later for turning. You can make them short and fat or tall and skinny depending on the direction of your fabric. For heaven’s sake if you have faces or animals on your fabric don’t let them end up sideways – choose short or tall based on the direction of the figures. If you don’t you’ll forever be walking around with your head cocked to one side to be able to see your figures – you know, like a picture turned the wrong way! And isn’t it nice to be able to just choose tall and skinny instead of short and fat and not just wish you were tall and skinny? I’m forever wishing…oh well, you don’t want to hear that.
I box the bottom of my bags. On the big bags I mark a square about 3” big and on the smaller ones about 2”. You can use whatever you want to mark it because it won’t be seen. Except lipstick.
Don’t use lipstick – it’s greasy and will soak through. Ask me how I know???
Pinch the two points and pull it out and sew across from one point to the other. I know that makes no sense but just try it – you’ll see.
Now pin your handles to the right side of the bag while it’s turned inside out…like this:
If you want the handles to be shorter on a child’s bag, now is the time to shorten them a little.
Put your lining inside the bag right sides together and stitch all around the top.
Pull the bag through the unsewed part of the lining, push the lining down inside the bag and topstitch around the top of the bag. Done!
Fabric used up, gifts for friends put aside for when you need them, it’s time for a pitcher of…..chai tea lattes! You were thinking margaritas, admit it.