Monday, March 30, 2009

Patchwork Tote Tutorial

I enjoy making totes out of my needlework projects. So many cute quilting fabrics to accent the great hand dyed flosses. This is a very easy and quick project. It uses 1 yard of fabric, most of the time I select four different fat quarters that coordinate well. If you are using a needlework project as your focus piece trim it leaving a 1 inch border around. You can make the tote any size you want adding pieces to the sides and top/bottom until you like it. I put a 2 1/2" wide piece on each side first. Then add a 2 1/2" wide piece to bottom and top. You can make it even more patchwork-like with smaller pieces sewn together for each side, thin strips, etc.

After you have the size of front you like cut a piece the same size for the back and two pieces for the lining.

Right sides together sew the front to the back using a 1/4" seam. Sew the two lining pieces together using a 1/4" seam and leave a 4" opening on one side for turning.

To square the bottom of the bag, right sides together still, put the corners together and match seams creating a triangle shape. Measure in approx. 1 3/4" and sew a straight line. Do this for both the lining and the outer bag.



Using leftover fabric make two handles. Sometimes I piece mine as above if I've several smaller pieces of fabric left. Cut the fabric at least 3" wide to make a nice size handle width. Cut the length however long you'd like it. Press in 1/4" along each long edge and fold in half. Sew a seam down the long edge of the handle fairly close to the edge.




Turn outer bag right side out and put inside the lining so right sides of lining and outer bag are together. Put handles inside placing them approx. 2" from each seam edge and match them on both sides. Make sure they aren't twisted before you pin in place. Tuck the handles down inside so they don't get caught in the seam. Place a few more pins to secure outer bag and lining in place. Sew a 1/4" seam around the top of the bag and make sure handles are caught in seam.




Pull the outer bag through the opening in the lining and check to make sure handles are secure in seam. Press bag seams and if everying looks great and hand sew the lining opening closed. Top stitch around the top edge of the bag for a nice finish and fill the tote with all your fun necessities.




I hope you enjoy the tutorial, please leave a note if you have comments or suggestions. Thank you! I'd love to see your project, info@countrygardenstitchery.com






Thursday, March 26, 2009

Easter Eggs and Create and Decorate


I'm just barely in time for Easter with my fancy eggs and blossoms embroidery. I loved the Gentle Art Sampler Flosses I used, their colors are so soft and blend very well with some of the quilting fabrics I like to use. I haven't decided if I want to make a pillow or wall hanging. Probably a pillow, I have an abundance of wall hangings now and need some color elsewhere. I'm very excited to be spreading the word of Create and Decorate Magazine's new blog. I love their magazine and still have their first issue. Full of fun things to do.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Flower Needlecase Set


I decided to sew a little needlecase with some very bright pink fabric and stitch a little flower on it. I decided to put some inside pockets in it and then a piece of felt for keeping needles. It worked up very quickly and I was very happy until I turned it right side out and the pocket part was upside down! Oh, frustration. I think this is why I don't sew a whole lot, but now and then I like it. I did rip it out, dastardly deed, and make it right.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Midnight Flower Tote Bag


I decided to put my latest cross stitch creation into a tote using some bright green spring - spring green - fabrics. I like how it turned out, the flower really shows up nicely. I am now working on a swirly pansy - pansies are one of my favorites but they don't do well here in the hot Nevada sun - maybe that is why I stitch them so much. I will display that later.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Midnight Flower and Progress




I had a great time stitching this flower in shades of black using "Soot" from "The Gentle Art". I wanted a different combination of colors, something I never use and these were it. I am a flowery type person and like those colors. I am going to use some of these Market fabrics from Michael Miller to make a bag I think, but then I thought this frame might look good too.... Also a bit of progress on my Mirabilia design. She has a face and head now and her little slippers too! Getting close.

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