Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Utility sewing

Hi all!  Is it raining and gross where you are?  It's better than snow, but we have had some really strong storms. It's warm, so it's rain and wind, but no fun at all. Our house has a lot of trees surrounding it, so the strong winds had us holding our breath for a bit. My heart goes out to those of you who live in areas that had tornadoes this past week.  Hope you all came through okay.

So far this week, I've had to do a bunch of sewing chores that are not very exciting but need doing, things like hemming pants and putting a lining in some curtains.  I also made up these denim bags (temporarily stuffed with quilt batting to make them stand up):


The little birds are in there just to add some color! These are just some quick grocery bags for hauling provisions home.  Everybody needs these, right? I hate the ones they sell at the stores--they don't hold much and they're made of some weird fabric that doesn't wash well.  I made these from some denim I've had for years and years.  Why not use it up? I don't make many clothes any more, so it's just going to sit there otherwise.

These are super-simple.  All I did was cut 24-inch lengths, fold the fabric in half, then cut 5 inch squares from each corner. 


Stitch the sides and you should be able to stitch a straight seam for the corners.  Hem the top, make the handles, and voila--grocery bags with style!  I did use French seams so that the insides won't ravel and be a mess, but otherwise it's just plain straight stitching.

So there was that.  I also made some bindings from leftover backings:


These are from the long straight pieces that are trimmed off after the quilt is quilted.  The rest of the trimmings get cut up into scraps, but it's awfully handy to have these bindings on hand.  They're especially good for scrappy quilts.

So, as I said, lots of boring sewing.  Does it get more boring than hemming pillowcases?


I have to shorten them because I have a king-sized bed but regular-size pillows.  Every time I do this I'm reminded that my grandmothers used to iron their sheets.  Why, I don't know, but they did, every week.  Thank goodness we have moved on from that!

Just to have something inspirational hanging up, I pulled these out so I could figure out what to do with them:


I didn't make these blocks.  Believe it or not, I got these in a scrap bag!  Every year Patched Works has Scrapfest, where you buy scraps by the pound. We were in Wisconsin over the holidays, so of course I went shopping there and of course I got some, because I need more scraps.  Obviously.  These great blocks were there for the taking as well!  Who could resist?  Right now I think they'll make a nice, fast donation quilt that I can practice quilting on. 

 Hope your stitching this week is less boring than mine!  I do have something lovely coming up for Friday, though, so be sure to come back for that!  Happy stitching!

Sharing at Linky Tuesday and Let's Bee Social.

11 comments:

  1. Like your grocery bags. I agree, the ones they sell or pretty bad. Very cool blocks. I love scrap bags--they are really fun. Can't wait to see what you do with them.

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  2. Great bags and it is wonderful you can do all kinds of sewing ! Great skills. Love the blocks you found, they are really beautiful! take care form Iowa

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  3. I love the way you store your excess bindings. Those blocks will look great together. I would put them on point. Have fun with them.

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  4. I love your bags--there's something delightfully European about blue and white stripes. (in my mind anyway!) And yes, the weather is vile here too. Another freezing rain storm slammed us yesterday with the usual power failures and generator roaring. Not nice.

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  5. Amen to ironing sheets and hemming pillowcases. I have BAGGU bags for the groceries - similar to ripstop nylon so they're really strong (hold a lot and never rip) and they wash/dry like a dream. Your striped ones are MUCH better than the ones from the stores.

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  6. Well this was not boring at all!! I'm thinking of your post as a to-do list. I need washable grocery bags (I would not want my current bags to be tested for germs!), and this looks like a pattern I could handle. You have also reminded me that I need to shorten some king sized pillow cases. We got a new pillows last week that were too big for our queen cases but are swimming in the king cases I bought. Now whether these things actually get done is another matter, so you're way ahead of me there. Your grab-bag quilt blocks are so pretty--someone spent a lot of time getting all those points so neat. Have fun giving them a purpose!

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  7. Well, it was your lucky day! Very interesting blocks that you picked up!

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  8. I really like those grocery bags -- so quick and easy!

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  9. Not boring Mari. You get to check so many tasks off the to-do list. I love that feeling.

    This afternoon I ironed two of Ray's shirts (all cotton☹️) and was thinking of how my mom used to sprinkle the ironing so it was damp and then roll it up, put in a plastic bag and pop it in the refrigerator. It sat there until she had time to iron it. Which was probably never because she had six kids within ten years. Maybe she just kept sprinkling the same batch and putting it back in the fridge. Hahaha. I'll have to ask her. I remember she had a 7-Up bottle with this sprinkle top thing on top of it for the water. I also remember that when JFK was shot, my mom was ironing and I was playing nearby and she started crying. She had some sort of talk radio station playing and heard the news there. I must have been about 3 or 4? A very early memory.

    So just look at what your pillow case ironing post brought up!!

    Love the blocks - I have no doubt you will make those into something lovely!

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  10. I usually buy bags of scraps, there I said it!
    I laughed at the obviously!

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  11. Sounds like you got lots of necessary stuff out of the way you'd have time to play. Like your "found" blocks. Looking forward to seeing how that project comes together.

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