Friday, May 31, 2019

Bags Made with Rip-Stop Hot Air Balloon Material

A lot of large scraps of rip-stop nylon material (the material hot air balloons are made out of ) was donated to my quilt group. The woman donating the material hated seeing all this end up in the landfill and she was encouraging us to make bags using the scraps of nylon material. She herself made several bags and donated the bags to the local food banks for the people to have something to carry their food home in. Plastic bags will be banned from all stores starting in January 2020, so people need to start bringing their own bags.

I have been bringing my own bags for over 35 years now when I shop. I earned 5 cents to 10 cents every time I brought my bag to the store; so in 35+ years I actually paid for the bags a few times. I guess rewarding people to bring bags wasn't working, so now if you don't have a bag now you can purchase a cloth or a paper bag. They should have charged people for the bags all along and that would have encouraged people to bring their own.

Back to the bags I made with the scraps from hot air balloon making. I made a couple styles of bags. The first is the Stowaway Tote (a free pattern from Moments). I used Velcro instead of a snap to close the bag and added decorative button on top.

In order to make any of these bags, I needed to first sew some pieces of material together in order to create the size fabric I needed for the bag(s). I sewed seams and then pressed seams open and topstitched on both sides of the seams. The side seams of the bags I sewed a French seam, encasing the raw edges.

Here is the Stowaway Tote~

The Stowaway Tote here all folded up into a wallet size that fits nicely into a purse. (This has Sold)
Open up the tote and you have a bag with a pocket. The rip-stop nylon holds the creases in the bag, making it easy to refold the bag after use.
This is the other side of the tote in different colors. That lime green was a different kind of nylon as it was stiffer and sounds like someone wrestling with a bag of potato chips when you handle it, LOL! There were a couple of colors like that and the others felt softer and some were a bit limper feeling too. I wonder if they mix the different kinds of nylon into one hot air balloon? 
To fold to bag,  you place the handles down first and then fold in the sides. then fold this into thirds and close with the Velcro.
Here is another Stowaway Tote~
I had to piece the pocket to make this one. (This one has Sold)
Opened up with the pocket.

Back side of bag.

Next is the Winslow Market Tote~ (from a Quilting Arts magazine years ago).

This bag needed a center, sides, pockets, handles, and a bottom. This bag is larger and has boxed bottom. Since the material is light, it could be folded up. The original pattern for this bag is made in cotton and lined, so I had to adlib when making this out of the nylon material.

This is the other side of the bag. As you can see with both bags, I had to piece several pieces together to form the handles of the bags, since I didn't have long enough pieces.

Room inside for carrying all kinds of stuff.

Side view.

Here is another Winslow Market Tote I made~

Bag empty.

I filled it up so it would stand nicely.

Side view.

Full of stuff this bag stands up nicely.



Sewing the material wasn't difficult, but cutting it was a bit tricky as this material can slide a bit. You could press the nylon with an iron because after all this material does get a lot of heat from the burners of the hot air balloon in order to get lift for the balloon when flying them. It was rewarding making something out of scraps and keeping large pieces of this material out of the landfill, as I am sure this stuff won't decompose at all.

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Selvage Cross Body Bag

In April I was selling my bags at my quilt group's annual outdoor quilt show. A quilting friend saw a bag I made out of selvages (The Emma Bag) and she saw another bag (Serendipity Hip with a straight across top) and she asked me if I could make the Serendipity Hip bag, but with selvages. Of course I can. I emailed her photos of the original Serendipity Hip bag I made with the rounded top because I wanted to see if she preferred the rounded top or the straight top. She wanted the straight top. So I started making the selvage bag she requested.

It turned out really cute, even if I do say so. The bag is accented with black strap, strap tabs and bottom. I chose a nice color for the lining that went well with the selvages and even showed a peek of that fabric on the front of the bag as well.

This bag did get rather thick in places to sew with the selvages, and fleece, but my Brother PQ 1500S can handle those thick layers with ease.

Here she is:



After sewing on the accent bottom, my last selvage strip hardly showed. All you could see was a tiny bit of white and the white from the selvage strip above made a large white space there. So tiny buttons to the rescue! I sewed on these colorful tiny buttons here on the front and the back of the bag. The buttons look a bit like the round dots on some selvages indication the colors used in the fabric, so I thought it was a perfect addition.

Side of the bag. Also my handmade charm for the zipper pull.

Other side of the bag.

Inside the front pocket is a phone pocket within a larger slip pocket. This is located below the outside zipper pocket.

Back of the bag.

Closer look a the back. 


Inside I added the credit card pockets one side.

The other side of the lining has a zippered pocket. The instructions have you place the credit card pockets just under the zippered pocket, but I thought that made it a bit awkward to use, so I placed this pocket by itself and lowered it down a bit on the opposite side of the bag.
I am delivering this bag today to my friend. I sent her photos already and she said she loved it.
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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Warren the Bear

I saw this bear online from Shiny Happy World and had to make some. They call for using polar fleece, which I made the 2 pink floral ones out of, but the other 2 I used wool. I have a lot of wool from old suits and sweaters, so thought this would be a good project for using up some of the wool.

You can make Warren with a few nose choices and a couple of muzzles choices or a tummy, but you can't include all in one bear. You can also add a heart too. So I made a variety and each give a different personality to Warren. Warren (the Charity Bear) is a free pattern too. Easy to make and so cute and cuddly. These would make great gifts for little ones or to donate to your local police when a child needs comforting, or other charitable organization.

Shiny Happy World has so many cute applique quilts, crochet animals, stuffed toys, embroidery and other sewn things too. It is a happy site to go to. I love the cute animals on her site. Lots of free stuff and other patterns to buy as well.

Here are the four Warren Bears I made~

Made with herringbone wool.

This was from a wool sweater I washed and felted.

All 4 bears. Two with tummies and 2 with different muzzles. A couple of different noses. All have a different personality.

These are polar fleece bears with wool accents.

Wool muzzle and nose.

These are the wool bears.
I will be making more of these bears. I may need to sew some patchwork wool first to get large enough body pieces first though. I have plenty of noses, muzzles and tummies I can cut, but the body pieces need large enough pieces and I may need to either sew pieces together first to create large enough body pieces or use some other wool I have around. I could make some out of cotton fabric too, since there are no raw edges showing on the body, just the muzzle, nose and tummy. The nose, muzzle and tummy can be made out of any felt and I have lots of acrylic felt too.
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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Cross Body Arabesque Bag in Browns

I made another Arabesque at 90% and with a cross body strap in browns. I quilted this bag to foam stabilizer, which gives it a nice look while maintaining it's shape at the same time. The cross body strap allows you to wear it across your body for hands free shopping, or shorten the strap to wear across your shoulder. I really love both versions of this bag (cross body or the original 2 straps for shoulder wearing), but making it with a cross body strap gives you the best of both now.

All my bags are one-of-a-kind bags because I rarely ever make the exact bag in the exact fabrics. I change the colors, the fabrics, the straps and pockets. So while I have made the Arabesque several times, no 2 were exactly alike. This brown Arabesque is currently available in my Etsy Shop for sale. While I may make more Arabesque bags in 3 sizes and 2 kinds of straps, they will each be unique, so when you buy a bag from me no one else will have the exact same bag. Which is why if you ever see something that you love, get it because it will never be made exactly the same later.

The strip of pottery fabric and the rust colored fabric with petroglyph designs on it gives this bag a Southwest feeling.

Inside the bag is a slip pocket, including a pen pocket. 


Depth of the bag. Te bag closes with a zipper closure to keep your belongings secure.

On the back of the bag is a zippered pocket. This is handy for holding your phone or keys.


This bag is currently for sale in my Etsy shop.
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Friday, May 17, 2019

Who? Owls Peeking in the Window Quilt

My quilt guild announced an Attic Window challenge recently so that we would try making an Attic Window any size. You could make a single block or a quilt as large as you wanted to. The purpose of the challenge is to decorate our guild's booth space at Fiber Arts Fiesta, happening at the end of May. We turned in our Attic Window quilts yesterday. Everyone who participated got a participation entry and they will draw a random name to win a gift card at a local quilt shop.

I knew what I wanted to make right away and was so happy at how it turned out! Some ladies made Attic Window quilts using a panel of an outdoor scene so that it appeared as though you were looking out a window onto that outdoor scene. I wanted to have the owls that I appliqued appear as though they were looking in the window at me. I love these cute, whimsical owls.






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