The more projects I complete from “One Yard Wonders” the more I love it. I fall in love with so many fabrics and then they end up lanquishing on a shelf. Some prints are simply to busy or to unlike anything else in my stash to be used in a quilt. And even those that can be used in a quilt may not make it into one for years because it takes so long to make quilts and my inspiration for quilts varies so frequently. I may buy a floral fabric because “I have to have it” but be really inspired by simple and graphic prints and make a quilt out of those. I buy fabric because I love it and want to be surrounded by it, not have it sitting on a shelf waiting for months or years to be used. This book is filled with everyday items that you can make out of fabric so you can finally take those well loved prints off the shelf, put them to use, and be surrounded by them all the time!
This isn’t my favorite project from this book but it comes pretty close. The book calls this a “collapsible shopping tote” but I call it the ninja tote.
Look how small it gets!
This one is for my mother in laws birthday. Originally it and the umbrella mini quilt were going to be Christmas gifts but TH wants to make her a cutting board for Christmas so we’ll give her these in a couple weeks for her birthday. The quilt will be “wrapped” in the bag. Now that she and her husband are retired they spend a lot of time traveling in their fifth wheel so I’m hoping that both the quilt and ninja bag will fit well into their downsized, on-the-go lifestyle.
This one is for me! I fell in love with this print by Paintbrush Studio and bought it knowing I could never use it in a quilt but “needing” it nonetheless. Now I can easily carry this in my purse for trips to the fabric store, drugstore, etc.
Since they are made with quilting weight cotton I wouldn’t load this bag up with a bunch of groceries, or at least not a gallon of milk, but it’s handy for just about any other shopping needs. And it’s small size and portability mean I won’t find myself in a store accepting a plastic shopping bag as I kick myself for forgetting one of my reusable bags.
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As part of my handmade Christmas gift giving I decided to make a “gift bag” for each recipient. I could easily make simple fabric bags for everyone’s gifts but they would probably end up in the back of a drawer or stored away somewhere. Since my intention is for everything I make and give to be something the recipients will use on a regular basis, I thought of making resuable grocery bags/market totes for each person using different patterns found in books and online.
Named the the “Everyday Shopper” (from Amy Butler’s new book “Style Stitches”) this bag seemed the perfect choice to serve as a reusable grocery bag and I suppose it can serve in this function. Since it is HUGE it will fit a lot of groceries, it just may be to heavy to carry very far!
The pattern calls for 3/4 yards of one fabric and 1 5/8 yards of another but I wanted to use the 1/2 yards of a couple Heather Ross Far Far Away 2 prints that I already had on hand. In order to make it work I used four different fabrics- 3 prints from FFA 2 and a yard and a half of a deep purple micro cord that I purchased at JoAnn Fabrics.
Each pattern in Style Stitches is rated by level of difficulty, the shopper is rated easy and I would definitely agree. The bulk of the time required for the project is in the cutting and fusing of the interfacing. Once you get to the actual sewing it is a breeze, the project is after all just a bunch of rectangles sewn together!
The Everyday Shopper is well designed and constructed to handle the weight of a regular grocery trip but I personally feel it is just too big for a trip to the farmer’s market. I “test drove” this bag at a local craft fair, after carrying it for three hours filled with two sweatshirts, two wallets, two water bottes, a container of lotion, and a bag of cinnamon roasted almonds (yum!) my arm started to go a little numb. After an hour I was ready to leave it behind. The temptation, because of it’s size, is to fill it with stuff but if you do that your shoulder will start to hurt from the weight. On the other hand, if you use it for a trip to the grocery store you only have to carry it from the store to your car, and your car to your house. In that case the bag can hold (without strain) a ton of stuff and you only have to carry that weight for a short period of time. That isn’t a particular flaw with this design since any large shoulder bag would cause the same problem.
There are countless patterns for similiar bags where the Everyday Shopper stands out is it’s reversible design, sturdiness and shear size. Personally I would prefer it to be smaller but I cannot complain about its construction and I do really appreciate the reversible feature. I made this bag for a friend who has a ton of clothes and bags, she is always telling me she “needs” options. Since I used the same main fabric on both sides the overall look isn’t that different but she loves purple so that was a no brainer. She also loves Sleeping Beauty but may not always want to advertise that fact so the flowers are a nice alternative. While I think she will love this bag I doubt I will make it again because of it’s size.
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