Using durable reusable things instead of plastic disposable items is very important to me. I still use a shopping bag that I sewed almost 10 years ago!
When shop for groceries, I prefer to pick fruit and vegetables that are not packaged. I buy loose oranges for example and not the oranges in a plastic net and loose apples instead of apples laid in styrofoam and covered with plastic. I have already made transparent organza bags with a string to pack loose fruit and I also use them for bread.
And now I also crocheted shopping bags.
I did not use a pattern and also did not write a pattern but I took some pictures of the process. I believe you can understand how I made them from the photos and do the same if you want. If you must have a pattern you will find a lot of similar patterns on pinterest if you look up the words crochet shopping bags free patterns (or click on the link :P).
I started with a chain in the desired length of the bag. I think it was 66 or 68
This is the first row:
And this is still the first row, preparing to crochet in a circle:
This is the second row. I chrocheted 6-7 row in each color (totally 3 colors)
The third color is white (this photo is from the purple bag):
After 6-7 (how many you want) rows in white, 2 rows of single crochet and then the bag handles
Don’t think “This bag is so small! I will make mine much bigger!”
Make no mistake, this bag is very elastic! It is stretched when it is filled with heavy things and become longer!
For decoration I sewed tags:
This bag is very elastic and you can carry a lot in it.
There are commercial templates in the market for Drunkard’s Path quilt blocks but if you use them you are forced to use the specific variation of purchase different expensive plastic templates. A more economic way is to make your own templates and it is very easy with just the simple drawing compass or the Easy Circle Cut ruler
What you do is cut 2 equal square in the size of your block including the seam allowance. you decide where you want to have the curve and you draw it on both squares. then you add in one of the squares a 1/4 inch seam allowance line outside the curve and this is the line you are going to cut on with your scissors – we will call this part of the template the center piece. In the other square you draw a 1/4 inch seam allowance line inside the curve and cut on this line the background piece
When you make your own template you can make as many as you want in different sizes. the place of the curve can varied. you can make a very thin background piece or the other way around.
Now that you have your template (mine is cut off a pizza packaging) you can trace the parts to the fabric using a fabric pencil.
Now comes the part in other tutorials when you suppose to pin a center piece to a background piece and sew while you take out the pins and the parts don’t move and you will not get the perfect curve.
But not in my tutorial 😛
First we do fold all the pieces in the middle and press a bit with the finger so we’ll know where the middle point is.
Then we use Prym Wonder tape – 9 meter of truly wonder tape! I just tape the curve on the center piece.
Then peel the paper. tape the middle point of the center piece to a middle point of a background piece and both the corners and then carefully tape the whole curve.
Ready to sew? no pins to not forget to pull away on time. no breaking needles. nothing moves.
After pressing you really get a perfect curve
I am proud to present the finished quilt, using the technique machine trapunto that I have recently learned from a book I borrowed from the quilters guild library. I used in this quilt the 4 pieces of fabric I received from the quilters guild as a part of the quilting anniversary challange that will be exhibited in the general exhibition of the dutch quilters guild in September.
It is a small quilt of 52 x 52 cm. I had to make the binding larger then 3/4 inch because it was almost too small for the requirements!
Some close up photo’s:
Meanwhile I have read that 178 quilts were sent to the exhibition!
Exploring Machine Trapunto, new dimensions bij Hari Walner
I don’t remember when I first heard about trapunto with the machine but when I saw the astonishing results you can achieve with it I had to learn it. The best way that works for me for learning new stuff is through books. So I search on the subject and borrowed this book from the dutch quilters guild: Exploring Machine Trapunto, new dimensions bij Hari Walner
In a really short definition, trapunto means a quilt design raised with an additional layer of batting and with a pronounced “stuffed” effect. While it was traditionally a time-consuming, labor-intensive task, today’s quilters made it easier – you can do trapunto with the sewing machine!
Best of all, with machine trapunto, there are no holes in the back of your quilt!
This book has everything you need to learn this technique – list of materials and helping tools, choosing batting and step by step instructions. And after Hari reviews the basic techniques for machine trapunto the FUN begins! The book describes- 7 different “uses” for this technique, including cornerstone quilting, a reverse trapunto technique, great for borders and special effects. I was most fascinated with trapunto quilting a patchwork block.
The book also includes very useful and helpful patterns showing what should be shown with water soluble thread and what can be left to be quilted later.
Eventually I had to return the book to the library and I am considering buying it to my own library 😉 So when I desided to use machine trapunto for the jubileum challange of the quilters guild I already forgot that the project in the book also quilted ohio star patchwork blocks. I used the same block but it was just a coincidence . It was a lot of fun to do and the results are amazing. I am defenately not done with this technique and I want to try the other idea’s too – The celtic design with twin needle, traupnto of the applique and the fake applique. I will show the whole quilt I sent to the quilters guild in the next post.
I always carry a book in my bag. Mostly paperbacks because hardcovers are too heavy and these paperbacks get damaged sometimes because of other stuff in my (too) full bag. That is why I thought for quite sometime that I need a boekcozy with thick batting to protect my precious books.
I made 2 bags for 2 different common sizes of paperbacks: the small thick one and the bigger but also thinner one. Really thick books I just read at home and not in the bus 😛
- Quilt fabric (cotton) for the outside, quilt fabric for the lining and cotton or bamboo quilt batting.
- piece of 4 x 8 inches table cloth.
- 25 cm zipper (you can always make a long zipper shorter)
- sewing thread and sewing thread in a matching color for the table cloth and matching color for the fabric of the outside of the book cozy.
- zipper foot for the sewing machine
- wonder clips and pins
Cut 2 rectangles of 18 x 26 cm from the fabric for the outsied, lining and batting. total: 6 rectangles.
Cut 2 squares of 12 x 12 cm from table cloth and cut each of the squares diagonally so you will get from 2 squares – 4 triangles.
Lay a rectangle from outside fabric right side up on a rectangle of batting and 2 table cloth triangles exactly above the corners of the long edge (that is going to become the bottom of the book cozy) also right side up. Hold them in place with wonder clips and sew the diagonal edge through. Repeat this step for the backside of the book cozy with the other rectangle of outside fabric, batting and the other 2 table cloth triangles.
Lay down a piece of lining right side up. Lay the zipper along the long edge down right side up and then lay above that a piece with the table cloth triangles. De zipper now lays exactly between both pieces. pin the pieces along the edge or use the wonder clips.
Set your sewing machine for sewing zipper with the special zipper foot and sew the edges with the zipper between them. Turn the pieces to the other size so the zipper apears.
Lay the other piece of outside fabric right side up. Lay the zipper right side down above the edge of the outside fabric. Lay the other pice of lining right side down on the zipper. It will lay on the other piece of lining. pin or clip and sew the edge.
When you turn the pieces you now have on both sides of the zipper 2 pieces sewn. top stitch with a matching thread to the right and left of the zipper all the parts 0,5 cm from the zipper on each other.
Open the zipper. Lay the pieces of the lining on each other right sides facing each other. Automatically the pieces of the outside fabric are aligned right sides facing each other too. The table cloth triangles are between and above each other. pin or clip the outside edges and sew around. Don’t forget to leave a 10 cm opening in the long edge of the lining (to be able to turn the book cozy to the good side)
cut the corners diagonally
Turn the outside piece through the opening in the lining. Neatly shape the corners.
Sew the bottom edge of the lining. Lay the lining inside the bag. iron the bag if necessary and close the zipper.
In the other bag I made the zipper is on the short side.