Gift Bags

I had some Christmas fabrics laying around. They finally got on my nerves enough for me to cut them into the correct sizes for gift bags. I knew my MIL needed some larger ones, so the ones I made went to her. There are two shown above, but I made about 8.

Decorative Stitches
Decorative Stitches

The 6600 has some great decorative stitches. One I chose for the Hot Drinks gift bags were bells. They look festive,though I am not sure anyone will notice. *I know,* and that is what counts.

As I have said, gift bags are a great way to try out your decorative stitches and a great way to use up fabric. None of those reasons bring up not having to wrap gifts with paper and ribbon. You can find the tutorial for making gift bags on the tutorials page.

I still have the napkins I prepped at Sew Day to make and those are next on my list.

Sew Day Success

Weird Red Sun
Weird Red Sun

I went back and forth on what to bring to Sew Day. I thought for sure I would bring my machine. We are having a heat wave, which means record temperatures. I was hot and not really in the mood to be dragging a ton of stuff around, so in the end, I just brought projects to prep/cut out.

Sew Day Prep Completed
Sew Day Prep Completed

This focus was a good move. I was able to cut out or prepare 5.25 projects, which means it is time to sew again – HA! Not that it is ever time NOT to sew:

  • Finished trimming Dots & Stripes HSTs
  • Prepped En Provence HSTs
  • Cut out Napkin fronts
  • Cut out gift bags
  • Cut out 2 more Little Cell Phone Wallet bag parts
  • Started prepping more Sew Together Bags
Sew Day Projects
Sew Day Projects

I found another stash of HSTs that go with the Dots & Stripes HSTs I mentioned last week. They will make the piece larger, which is always good. I trimmed the last few I didn’t have time to trim at Craft Night and trimmed this new stash. Some progress.

I had cut the squares for the En Provence HSTs on Friday night, so I had sixteen less things (fabrics) to haul to sew day. I pinned the squares together and drew the lines in preparation for sewing using my Triangle Technique at home.

I grabbed the coffee fabric, which had been hanging around for awhile. I always intended it to be napkins, but I get tired of making them after a few. I had never gotten to cutting this fabric. I did on Saturday and yesterday I had an idea of what backing to use and who they will go to as a gift. I need to get to work.

It is hard to know whether to count cutting out gift bags as one project or one per fabric. I counted using a hybrid method. There were three different fabrics and I will end up with probably 7 bags total.

I also found the fabrics for my last two cell phone wallets. Now all of the pieces out of all the fabrics are cut. I need to start sewing, because I really miss not having the matching bags when I wear my tunics and dresses.

Finally, I started three more Sew Together Bags. One will be for me. I will use it for embroidery. The other two will be gifts. I only got one step of pieces cut, but it is a start. After making three at a time last winter, I think it takes almost the same amount of time to make three at once as it does to make one at a time. As you know the cutting of the pieces is the worst part. The weird thing is that the fabrics I want to use for the exterior have disappeared. I can’t move on to sewing until I find those.

Anna and Nicole, who I had never met came and showed off their projects. Anna is making a table runner with a Lone Star block in the center. She is using nice soft colors. Nicole is hand quilting a beautiful log cabin quilt made from a lovely combination of blues and greens. The fabrics looked like batiks, but I didn’t look that closely.

Mary had surgery on her elbow so mostly chatted with me, but did a little bit of handstitching. She also met with the Retreat committee.

Bonnie was making nametags for the Retreat with help from Nancy.

Marti was making round mug rugs. I have been thinking of making a couple of mug rugs for the Puzzle Guys at work, so she inspired me.

Lynette was working on zipper pouches she will donate to a holiday boutique to raise money for the Belmont Senior Center.

Others were there as well. We tried to keep cool and had some fans to help. It was a fun day and I am glad I went. I feel like I accomplished stuff.

Christmas Gift Bags

I am trying very hard to be process oriented rather than product oriented. The Morass feeling hasn’t helped. It turns out I am trying, simply, to get something finished.

I did feel a lot better on Monday night after what I completed over the weekend. Monday was a holiday and I actually spent some of it sewing. I hope I am over a hump, but you never know.

Christmas Gift Bags
Christmas Gift Bags

I bought some fabric at Wooden Gate when Mom and I met there earlier this month. One of the leaders and enders I was doing were Christmas gift bags from the fabric I bought there. I finished them on Sunday and was able to put 1.5 yards in the ‘used’ column.

The print is really fun and the fabric was 75% off. I am pleased that they are done.

Gift Bags

Happy Birthday gift bags
Happy Birthday gift bags

I was at a NSGW event over the weekend in Sacramento. I took the opportunity to visit two shops: the Fabric Garden and Quilter’s Corner. The Fabric Garden had a wonderful Alexander Happy Birthday print I couldn’t resist. I bought a couple of yards to use as gift bags.

I was pleased to be able to use my star decorative stitch again. It looks a little wonky, but not enough to worry about.

Typewriter Gift Bag

Gift Bag
Gift Bag

This is a different kind of gift bag than the one I usually make. A few years ago I made a couple of bags for wine. I was thinking of those bags when I bought the olive oil** for the hostess gifts. I remembered the basics so I didn’t even look at the post until I was writing this post. Also, I had just finished the Heart Bag, so I was freshly well versed in handles and turning bags. I felt confident that I could make one of these bags easily.

Gift Bag - Full
Gift Bag – Full

The size is different from wine, but I just measured the bottles of olive oil and made one bag (about 15″ around) for both bottles and the pour spout. The size was generous, though not so much that the bottles clinked around against each other.  I used some leftover pieces of batting to beef up the sturdiness of the bag. I used something different last time, but didn’t note what I used. It was pretty stiff. The batting worked fine this time.

I made two handles this time and think I prefer just one handle. It isn’t as fussy around the top. All in all, I am pretty pleased with how this bag came out and especially pleased that it was a quick project. I will definitely make more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**Nota bene: there is a fancy olive oil store near my old office and we find that giving fancy olive oil is different than giving wine. Most people bring wine as a hostess gift and fancy olive oil is usable and well received.

Gift Bags as Leaders and Enders

Birthday Gift Bag
Birthday Gift Bag

There was a bit of a shortage of gift bags at Christmas. Not critical, but when you don’t always get them back, it happens. I also haven’t made any in a few years. Thus, it was time to get back on the bandwagon.

I bought a few pieces of Christmas fabric on sale to make up for the loss. I also snuck in a couple of pieces of birthday fabric into my cart that were just too cute to pass up.

Gift Bag (fabric from Mrs. K.)
Gift Bag (fabric from Mrs. K.)

I am a fiend for leaders and enders, but when you aren’t using a quarter inch foot it is hard to keep up the pace. This is where gift bags come in. They are a very forgiving project and I used them as leaders and enders as I made the Sew Together Bags.

Birthday Gift Bag
Birthday Gift Bag

Thus I got a few gift bags done without trying very hard. The ones shown here are just a few examples of the 8 or so I have made.

I have about 6 yards of fabric left to make more Christmas bags and I want to get to it, so I can offset some of the fabric I have bought and also get at least one stack off the floor.

Even More Gift Bags

I didn’t intend to make more gift bags. However,  I cleared off my cutting/work table and found some cuffs waiting to become Christmas pillowcases. I stared at them and finally decided to make them into gift bags instead. I am done with pillowcases for this year, I think.

Formerly cuffs, now gift bags
Formerly cuffs, now gift bags

They are long skinny bags, but what the heck?

The one on the right will fit a gift I have to give on Saturday at the BAMQG gift exchange, which is great. I am sure I will find a use for the other one. Pretty soon I am going to have to do a gift inventory and see what I still have to make or buy. at that time, I will wrap gifts with bags I have handy.

Thinking about gift bags, this reminds me that I have a huge gift to wrap. I don’t think I want to make a gift bag that big that will only be used once, or very occasionally. I might drape some Christmas fabric over it and tie a ribbon around it and call it done. Did I mention I found another stash of Christmas fabric when I was looking for beads for the ATCs?

More Christmas wrapping
More Christmas wrapping

I also made a few bags from the leftover lights fabrics. These are so cheerful.

Have you been making gift bags?

One More Gift Bag

Red Lights Gift Bag
Red Lights Gift Bag

The other day I talked about making some pillowcases. I had enough fabric left to make one gift bag. I am glad, because I like the fabric. I am happy to have at least a bit of it around the house. I don’t really need more gift bags, but I also don’t want to waste fabric. Gift bags are a good use of smallish pieces of fabric.

I have put a tutorial up, as long time readers will know, that tells you how to make gift bags. Save a tree: make a gift bag.

Donut Gift Bag

Donut Gift Bag
Donut Gift Bag

The other week when I made some gift bags I lost one. It turns out that I must have clipped a thread and been distracted while the bag and some other pieces slipped down behind my sewing table.

I, subsequently, dropped something else and felt like it was my birthday! I found all the things I had been wondering about.

It turned up again and is ready for use.

Non-Christmas Gift Bags

December Gift Bags
December Gift Bags

What the heck? I know you are wondering. Christmas is exploding all over and I am making birthday and Mother’s Day bags? Huh?

A week or so ago, I did some cleaning and clearing. Nothing crazy, just a bit. I found these fabrics and was about to get rid of them when we had to wrap gifts for the Young Man’s birthday. I used the same gift bags I always use. I don’t know what happens to them all, but they disappear except for the few that I snatch out of people’s hands as soon as they remove the gift, so they don’t walk off. I also love them and am not giving them up.

I thought that these fabrics would make nice additional gift bags, so I sewed for about 20 minutes and have 3 new gift bags. I had four, but one piece of fabric disappeared. I am sure it will turn up, but I didn’t take the time to look for it.

Need to make gift bags to save trees and save wrapping time. I have a tutorial. Now go make some gift bags!

 

A Few Gift Bags

Gift Bags
Gift Bags

I had some fabric left over after making the pillowcases for the nephews and used it to make some gift bags.

These are on the small size, but I really like the cheerfulness of the fabric and didn’t want to waste it.

I don’t need many more gift bags as I have plenty, but I do like to make some new ones to use new fabric that I can’t resist.

You can find the directions for making the gift bags on the tutorials pages.

Gift Bag Challenge

2012 Gift Bag
2012 Gift Bag

In cleaning up the fabric avalanche, I found a piece of marginally Christmas fabric. It is a little pale to be a gift bag, because eager eyes can see through it, but I made a gift bag anyway.

This made me think about my Christmas fabric and after looking through all that I had, I decided I needed to make bags out of it. My ribbon can is also overflowing. I don’t need anymore gift bags and the family is pretty well set, so I decided to try and encourage YOU to start using gift bags for your holidays. To encourage you, I will offer a prize of a variety of gift bags in November for anyone who participates. Most of them will be Christmas bags, because that is the fabric I have.

In order to participate you must:

  • sew gift bags. No tape, staples or glue. Any fabric works
  • post a photo to your blog or Flickr (or other easily accessible web space) of the gift bags you made
  • put a comment with a link to the photo of your bag or bags in this post or a post related to the gift bag challenge. Each gift bag challenge post will say something like gift bag challenge

I will:

  • keep track of participants
  • post a tutorial and ideas for making gift bags
  • on or around November 15, I will draw a name or names (depending on the number of gift bags I have to give away) of the winners

You may:

  • enter more than once, but the limit is 10 times, which is about the number of months until November
  • embellish, embroider to your heart’s content
  • use any pattern you want including my tutorial

Rules subject to change without notice and my discretion.

Gift Bag Tutorial

Supplies:

  • Fabric – I use either a half yard, a yard or a fat quarter. If you use a yard you can make 4 smallish bags, two medium bags or one large bag. You can make bags with any size piece of fabric and you can make a specially sized bag for a special gift.
  • thread
  • ribbon
  • Sewing machine
  • basic sewing kit

For this tutorial, we will use a fat quarter of fabric

1. If your fat quarter does not have a selvedge, create a hem using two folds so there are no raw edges. If your fat quarter has a selvedge, use the selvedge for the top. It won’t unravel.

2. Press hem in place.

3. Sew hem with a decorative stitch, if you have it, a zigzag or straight stitch work fine as well.

Optional: If you have stitch letters on your sewing machine, stitch your name and the year so you know when you made the bag.

4. Fold hemmed bag in half RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER so that half of the hem is underneath itself towards the top and the fold is on the left. You will be making a French seam.

5. Fold a piece of ribbon about 1.5 feet long in half. You can adjust the size of ribbon you use depending on how much ribbon you need to tie.

6. Place the folded ribbon in the open side of the bag about 4″ from the top edge/hem.

7. Pin ribbon in place.

8. Pin rest of the right side and bottom closed.

Use an 1/8″ seam allowance or as small as you can.

9. Starting from the top, sew down the right side, backstitching at the beginning and over the ribbon 2-3 times. You want to backstitch at stress points to keep the bag from ripping apart.

10. Turn at the corner and continue across the bottom, backstitching at the end.

11. Turn the bag inside out, so the right sides are together and the ribbon is out of the way of the seam (It will be inside the bag, but I put mine as straight as possible towards the opposite side of the bag.

12. Press seams, taking care to push them as far out as possible so there is no extra fabric near the seams.

Use a 1/2″ or 5/8″ seam allowance.

13. Starting at the top, sew down the side and across the bottom again to finish the seam.

14. Open bag to make sure the raw edge is hidden inside the seam.

15. Turn bag inside out and press.

Voila! Your bag is really to use!

Please come back and check this tutorial out as I may update it.

Gift Bags So Far

Gift Bags 1&2
Gift Bags 1&2

One of my medium nephews was over while his parents were gone and he decided he wanted to make a pillowcase.

The first step was to select fabrics. In the course of doing that, we pawed through my Christmas bag fabrics. I was reminded that I needed to get busy on some bags for 2010.

I have two gifts for two different people at work who have been especially helpful to me this year, so I decided to make bags for them. I don’t normally spread bags outside of the family, but the alternative would be to actually wrap the gifts with PAPER. Ugh! So, above are the bags. I used the French Seam method that I learned from the Twiddletails pillowcase pattern. I am not at all near making very many bags this year so far. That can always change, though, right?

Creative Prompt #95: Thanks

I would like to wish all of my American readers a Happy Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for your participation in the blog, your comments and your continued reading. I would also like to tell my international readers how grateful I am for your readership, your comments and your participation in this blog.

Pie in Progress
Pie in Progress

Yes, the prompt is a day early. I thought I would shake things up a bit and I had nothing planned for today. 😉

Post the direct URL (link) where your drawing, doodle, artwork is posted (e.g. your blog, Flickr) in the comments area of this post. I would really like to keep all the artwork together and provide a way for others to see your work and/or your blog.

The Creative Prompt Project, also, has a Flickr group, which you can join to  post your responses. Are you already a member? I created this spot so those of you without blogs and websites would have a place to post your responses. Please join and look at all of the great artwork that people have posted. Post yours and get kudos!

an expression of gratitude

Danke

Ta

Cheers

Give thanks

Say thanks

thank you notes

Thanks very much

A million thanks

I can’t thank you enough

With special thanks

Thanks for understanding

Thanks for the memories

Thanks for being there

With deepest thanks