"Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest."
~ Henry Van Dyke

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Make do and mend Mondays

A day late and a dollar short but here I am with my project for this week. Sorry for the delay. It took me longer to get this project done that I had anticipated...

I am a member of a Yahoo homekeeping list. This is a close knit group of very inspiring ladies. Lately, Susan and I talked about having too many craft projects going. We talked about needing to clear up some of what we are doing instead of being constantly inspired to start more new things. In this computer age, that is not easy. There are so many wonderful things you see out there on the web! And so many inspiring people...

I have set myself a challenge to clear out as many of the UFOs (UnFinishedObjects) sitting in my quilt studio by the end of 2011. I am not considering anything but the ones that are in the studio. There are 10 times
as much yet upstairs. *gulp* I want to just have an organized studio for now where I can bring down one of two UFOs next year to work on. This week, I completed the first UFO.

I had started a new quilt project at the beginning of the year with the Civil War block of the week from Barbara Brackman. I was not happy with them at all. Not the blocks themselves but I found them so big at 8 inches when I have been making tiny quilt blocks lately. Do you find that you throw something off into a corner when you are not happy with it? I do. So they sat and sat with my only have completed 9 blocks total of the 52. When I was looking for my first UFO goal, I decided I do love the purple fabrics just not making a large quilt with these. So what to do with them to use them in a different way?

I used to redo bags my husband would get at all his computer fairs he used attend. With the bad world economy, there are no more bags or fairs. I have made many gifts for others using these "prettied up" bags but do not have one for myself. I realized that the dark patchwork blocks would look great on this linen oil cloth bag which I use regularly to take handwork up to Cranberry Cottage. It was a free gift with an outdoor life magazine here in Holland and the size is perfect to carry even a quilt in it.

I sewed four of the blocks together two and two so that I could turn then into small quilts. I hand quilted the blog which you can see if you enlarge the photos. I then just had to sew the two quilts on to the front and back of the bag.

Machine sewing them on turned out to be impossible. This is a bag with an oil cloth interior. It is stiff and I was unable to fold or move it around. I had to rip out the two sides I could sew on and decided that the only way forward was to hand sew these on. It was difficult and took more strength than normal but I got them sewn in place and I am really happy with the results. A handy and practical bag is now also a pretty bag!

16 comments:

DonnaTN said...

The bag turned out great and good for you that you didn't give up when the sewing got tough. This is a great idea that might translate to reusable shopping bags. It would be fun personalize them and pretty them up, provided that they aren't too hard to stitch on.

Alix said...

The bag looks great, and definitely better to use the blocks this way than carry on labouring over another 43 blocks when you're not fancying the resulting quilt! It looks so pretty now and such a useful size.
x

Linda said...

I really liked your blocks and they look great on the bag. I've been trying to use up the craft supplies I have for a couple of years now. I do have to buy new stuff sometimes, but first I look at what I have and try and find something I can use. I had quite a stash of cross stitch patterns and fabric. I have several piecese I've started but lost interest in, so I always wonder if it's better to continue to finish something I'm not sure I like or to just stop. There is a lot of work that goes into them. Sometimes I just need a break from a project. I like your idea of doing something with an exiting bag. Thanks for the inspiration. Linda

Jenny said...

Great idea Heidi. I love how the bag turned out and how you used up the quilt squares. They are to pretty to just leave and now you can admire them everytime you use your bag. I think I should start looking around the house for a simple bag.......hugs from CA.

Marybeth said...

I'm going to try to tell you quickly about the UFO challenge we have going at quilt guild. Find six UFOs that you want finished. Assign them a # 1-6. Then put little papers with 1-6 in a jar...draw a number and that is the one you HAVE to finish first. We gave 2 months to get each project done. It is amazing how many quild members are meeting their goals!! Even me, who come up with the idea, I have finished some 15-20 year old tops from classes I took. It feels so good!! Keep your eye on the goal!! Mb

The Barefoot Crofter said...

Good for you heidi. I love how your bag turned out. Hmm - not only do i have my own ufo's but a stack of my mother's are in my loft/studio too. She had made up hundreds of quilt squares and hexagons. One day i will do something with them. xx

Terri said...

I think that is just lovely! I use certain permanent shopping bags for my routine shopping and I am trying to get mine to look more generic and not scream 'grocery' lol. Really love the work you did on this!

Susan in SC said...

I LOVE these bags Heidi! You know I have a weakness for bags anyway. Now, I really have to finish some of my projects!

Jackie said...

You're always full of creative ideas! Love the bag and now I'm wondering what you're going to do with the other 5 blocks.

Ginny said...

What a great use for quilt squares! The end result is great and prettied up your bag. Like you, I desperately need to clean up my craft projects and supplies, but that's energy I don't want to spend right now. I'm going to work on the final finishing for some of my cross stitch projects for now.

Nancy said...

I like the handles on this bag. I just saw it on your other blog, but didn't really notice the handles. It sure came out nice.
Love you, Mom

Marsha said...

Now that is FANTASTIC and really good looking. You are so clever and talented. I LOVE it.

Jantine said...

Great bag! Good idea to use your blog different instead of forcing yourself sewing something you don't like...

Littlebit said...

What a pretty bag, Heidi, and so creative!

Joni CHL said...

Heidi - I love them!!

m.b. said...

Can this also be for garments? I don't quilt, but I do sew clothes for my family and myself. And the list is just growing. I need to finish all the UFO's before I begin anything new for this season.

I will join you in this. Excellent idea.

Maria