I’m currently away on a dog-sitting mission in Dorset, so I couldn’t resist paying a visit to Hansons in Sturminster Newton. It’s quite the Aladdin’s Cave of crafts! I didn’t really have anything particular I was looking for (and when has that ever stopped anyone shopping anyway?), but in the back of my mind, I recalled the fund-raiser coffee morning for the Riding for the Disabled Association I’d been invited to by the local sewing group I joined last Monday. Part of it will involve a tombola with bags as prizes, and when I saw some really great novelty fruit and veg prints, I had a bit of a *ping!* moment.
How cool are these? Definitely the kind of thing to use as the feature fabric on shopping bags, I thought. A bit more rummaging and pondering and I came up with four toning solids and an earthy-looking brown blender (Makower’s Spraytime):
This, I felt, could become something. I added a metre of cotton batting to the pile for good measure and proudly carried my finds home (after getting hopelessly lost in Blandford while looking for the vets).
After playing around a little with the numbers, I cut each of the novelty prints into two 10.5 x 19″ rectangles (the FQs were really generous!), attached them to each end of a rectangle of brown Spraytime, lightly quilted the result with straight lines, sewed up the sides and boxed the corners to make my outer bag. The solids made very nice coordinating liners, and I finished the raw edges around the top with a binding of more brown and added brown handles. It didn’t occur to me until I was part-way through bag #2, but the brown really does look like the nicest kind of soil, especially after I quilted it with brown variegated thread! (No, I have no idea why I own brown variegated thread, but this weekend I was really glad that I did!).
For variety, I quilted the print area with perpendicular straight lines – happily again I discovered that I (mostly) had coordinating thread suitable for each colour. Yay for random purchases!
I think they look really neat as a set:
In total, 12 FQs, 1.5m of brown Spraytime and 1m of wadding was just enough to make all four bags (it almost wasn’t when I messed up cutting the brown a bit, but luckily I managed to gather enough off-cuts to make binding and handles for all of them in the end). My plan is to donate two of them (probably the lemons and carrots) to the RDA coffee morning and keep the other two. I’m really proud of how they came out. 🙂 I think I will also write up a tutorial/pattern for them (with slight size adjustments so they’ll be more US FQ friendly). They’re pretty easy to make and I had a lot of fun with them.