Archive for the 'fabric' Category

Fabric Gift Bags–Tutorial

Friday, December 26th, 2008

Here’s the perfect excuse to hit the quilt shops this weekend! Go forth, ye fabric addicts, and find heavily discounted holiday fabric. You can turn it into wonderful fabric gift bags that will last for years. Save the environment, save yourself gift wrapping time, and satisfy your need for new fabric. What could be better?

Fabric rectangles in various sizes (choose fabric that you can’t see through!)
matching thread and bobbin
pinking shears
straight pins
safety pin
beads for embellishment (optional)

The beauty of this project is that accuracy is not very important. There are no points to match! Everyone will be so excited to get to the gift inside, they won’t have time to measure your seam allowances. Except your cranky old grandma. That’s why she gets a fruit basket.

I like to do several at once so I can chain piece. I can whip these out much faster than I can wrap a gift.

Step one:

Lay out your rectangle of fabric and decide how you want to fold it to make the best gift bag. Find the sides that will be the two tops of your bag and trim the ends with pinking shears. At this point you will have a rectangle of fabric with two opposite ends pinked.

Step two:

Fold down the pinked ends about 1″. Pin. This should give you adequate room for a seam allowance and plenty of room to send a beribboned safety pin through your drawstring pouch.

Pink two edges and fold down for drawstring

Note: you can click on any picture to go to much bigger

Step three:

Sew down your drawstring pouch. I keep my presser foot along the pinked edge to keep more room for the drawstring.

Sew Drawstring lip

Step Four:

Fold rectangles so the right sides are together and the drawstring pouches are at the top. Pin both sides.

Step Five:

Sew the sides of the bag with 1/2″ seam. Start sewing where the drawstring pouch seam starts. DO NOT SEW ALL THE WAY UP TO THE TOP! If you sew to the stop, you won’t be able to put in your drawstring!

Sew sides with right sides together starting at drawstring seam

Step Six:

Use the pinking shears to trim the seams you just sewed. This will prevent fraying and make your bags last a lot longer.

Pink seams

Step Seven:

Turn bag right side out. Attach a safety pin to a length of ribbon and run it through the drawstring pouches. Tie the two ends together in a secure knot. OPTION: Add beads to the ribbon to spruce it up.

Use a safety pin to thread with ribbon

Step Eight:

Add a gift, then tie in a pretty bow.

Insert gift and tie a bow!

Step Nine:

When Christmas is over, put the bags somewhere safe so you can find them next year. I think this will be the hardest part!

We used the bags this year and it was fantastic! We were able to take all the toys out of their impossible packaging and pop them in the bags. We didn’t have to spend Christmas morning fighting with twist-tie packaging while our son begged for his toys. My husband was also very grateful to get out of traditional wrapping. My only concern is what happens when the kids get old enough to be sneaky and open the bags while they are alone in the house prior to Christmas. I guess at that point maybe I won’t even care. I was a very bad girl and always opened and re-wrapped my Christmas gifts while my mom was at work.

Quilty Day!

Monday, July 9th, 2007

I had a really great quilty day today! I’ve known that the quilting pirate works at a shop not all that far from here for quite awhile. I’ve been wanting to go, but the thought of taking Erik on a car trip longer than 10 minutes, then dealing with him in the shop has been a strong deterrent. But when she told me that the shop, Patches, is having a 25% off sale on fabric this week I knew I had to get my butt in gear and get out there! How can I resist quilt shop quality fabrics at those prices?

Mike often telecommutes on Tuesdays, so I thought I would head out there that day sans toddler, but this week he doesn’t get to telecommute. That meant I was going to have to take the boy if I wanted to get in on the fabric action.

So off we went, with a plan. I needed to get fabric to compliment my BOM blocks and my Birthday Blocks. Not only that, I needed serious help picking out something that would go well with all the blocks. The colors? They are sort of a mess. It was time to call in the professionals.

We got to the shop without any problems and I had a grand time looking around, though it would have been even grander if I didn’t have to chase around an extremely busy, curious little ball of energy. I could just see him tipping over bolts and pulling patterns and notions off the wall. He wound himself up good, running in circles around the counters and up and down the ramp. I’m sure everyone heaved a big sigh of relief when we walked out the door. Quilt shops and toddlers don’t mix. At least I knew the Quilting Pirate so I didn’t have to be quite so embarrassed when he wanted up on the cutting table and “helped” her cut out my pieces.

I’m so glad the owner and the Quilting Pirate were there to help me! I think both quilts are going to turn out great with the fabric choices. Here’s a couple of sneak previews. I really must get my mom’s wall hanging done before I tackle these two tops. I have quilting ADD. It feels like I never finish a project because I see other things that look more fun and get excited about them while leaving an almost finished project in the dust.


Mmmmmm. . . lucious

I told myself I was absolutely not going to buy any unnecessary fabric. Once I caught a glimpse of this collection I decided it was necessary. The two at the end don’t actually belong to the collection, but I might use them in the quilt anyway. Current plan is maybe a Drunkard’s Path or some kind of circle motif. That could change.

BOM fabric

I’m going to set off the blocks with a very thin strip of black. I think it will make a very purty quilt. (I have a total of 16 blocks)

Birthday Block sashing

I had no clue how to finish off this quilt. I got these blocks in the birthday block swap (I rec’d a total of 15) and they are all so different that I was overwhelmed. The Quilting Pirate picked out the yellow/orange combo for sashing and I can’t believe how well it goes! I never, ever would have picked out those colors but it really works!

I need to go back to the quilt shop. Need, I tell you! And I need to go when I’m all alone so I can drool over all the patterns, fabric and notions that I will spend way too much money on. I guess it’s a good thing it’s a wee bit of a drive. If it was closer I would be living there and Mike would have to take on a second job to support my habit.