Free bag pattern

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Bag making

I don’t know about you but the times you see a free bag pattern that you would love to make only to look in your stash and not have enough material to make it.  As someone that loves patchwork and quilting my stash is mainly made up of fat quarters. It is a brilliant way of collecting colour coordinated fabric from your favourite designer that has caught your eye, but not always practical for those larger projects that need larger pieces of material.

I wanted to make a bag but was having problems with my choice of fabric.  I have loads of fat quarters but nothing bigger. Most fat quarters come in bundles of one of each design in the range and this is where the problem lies. This is where patchwork comes in and a little bit of maths.  You need to know that you have enough to complete the whole project.

 

My bag project

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A cute kitten

I have just started screen printing. I bought a screen sensation and have been stocking up on my screens.  So I wanted a plain material for the middle panel as I intended to print an image onto it.  Then I wanted a pattern fabric for the edges.  Remembering that you need enough for both sides, you need to make sure that your measurements are accurate and check it a few times I have made more mistakes than I care to count. For the outside of this bag you will only need 2 fat quarters.

The beauty  of patchwork is that there are lots of ways to make larger pieces by joining up what you have.  Of course they have to coordinate with each other and a  plain fabric with pattern is probably best .  Once you have the size that you need you can carry on making your project as normal. In this case I didn’t want to overwhelm the project with too many panels as I was screen printing the front but smaller panels could be cut and pieced for a different look.

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A bag made from fat quarters
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handy pockets for phone and make-up

The next problem is the lining fabric. Usually the lining is all the same but I didn’t have anything big enough but I did have two dark grey pieces that were a similar shade. As it is the inside of the bag I decided to take a chance. It has turned out to be a lovely looking bag. I have made two bags the first is the screen printed one that I have quilted. The other one is simply lined but not quilted ideal for folding and putting in your handbag if you are going to the shops. As you can see the lining on this bag is different both pieces are black but a  different pattern although they look fine inside.

If you want the pattern for this bag please subscribe to my e-mail list it will be available for a short time.

or if you want to purchase one of these bags they  will be available on my etsy site.

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Crochet Addiction

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Read at your own risk

Crochet Addiction

I have to admit that I have a serious crochet addiction. It has crept up on me and I now have no control over it. I particularly enjoy crochet dolls, animals and socks. I have made a blanket and I did make a cardigan for my daughter. I don’t know if its the rhythm of crochet, or the magical way that a ball of yarn can suddenly turn into something  that you can treasure, but I  am now completely and utterly hooked no pun intended.

I am currently making Sophie’s Universe crochet along.  Its a very good way of expanding your knowledge of different stitches although it is quite challenging at times and so if you are a complete beginner I would not start with this pattern but learn the basics first. click here

I have to say that I am the worlds worst for starting a project and half way through it I see something else and start that as well and before I know it I am surrounded by half finished projects.  I am trying to be more disciplined lately and although I have more than one project on the go I am finishing them as well.

I have a bag that  my friend bought me for my birthday to put my projects in, and then when I am ready to work on them I can just get the bag and carry on where I left off. As I finish them I can put more wool in to start another one.  This has certainly made me more productive as I am not hunting around for my hooks that mysteriously vanish as soon as I put them down as they are all now in a pouch in the bag with the wool that I need.  It isn’t a massive bag just enough for 2 or 3 projects,  so if I am out and about I can just take it with me.

 

These are one of my ever growing collection of the Edwards Menagerie animals that I love making. I saw Kerry Lord on Create and Craft a few years ago and loved the look of them.  Her patterns are so easy to follow and the result is always spot on. I have all of her books and they are quick and easy to make as the arms,legs and body are the same pattern and then you just follow the instructions for the head.  If you can double crochet you can make one of these.  The books are divided into sections so that if you are a beginner follow the easy patterns but the more advanced you are the patterns become harder.

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Just a few of my creations

 

I think this addiction took hold after my father past away 6 years ago. Although I had always crocheted I think I used it as a coping mechanism to deal with it.  It is a real stress buster and I can feel myself relax if I have had a particularly bad day.  I find it hard to just sit watching TV  in the evenings without having something to work with whether it be knitting, crochet or EPP as it helps me to unwind, although if I am looking for a quick fix crochet has to be the quickest, a hook and some yarn and your good to go.

Basic stitches

Chain stitches

Chain stitches are the foundation row of your work. Once you make a slip knot onto your hook you simply

hook the yarn and pull it through the slip knot you continue pulling the yarn through the stitch on your hook until you have the desired number of stitches.

Double crochet

Double crochet are started in the second chain from your hook.  You insert your hook into the stitch and pull through your yarn keeping it on your hook so there are 2 stitches on the hook then wind the yarn around and pull through both stitches on the hook.

Treble crochet

Treble crochet are started by working into the 3rd chain from your hook.  Wind your yarn around your hook before putting it through your stitch and then pull your yarn through as you would for a double crochet leaving 3 stitches on your needle pull yarn through 2 stitches and then through the remaining 2 stitches.

These are the basic stitches.  The confusing part is knowing which country your pattern has been written. In America the chain stays the same but a double crochet is a single crochet, and a treble crochet is a double crochet. So you need to be aware of your pattern. The times I have forgotten and made the wrong stitches are nobodies business.

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Learning to crochet has never been so easy there are so many tutorials online as well as classes that seem to be springing up, I would ask in your local library, it is a lovely way of meeting like minded people for a chat and some advice.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this and it has inspired you to give it a try.

Keep crafting and please subscribe to my e-mail list to see what else I am doing.

 

 

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English Paper piecing

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English paper piecing

English paper piecing was how I started to experiment with patchwork. I bought my first patchwork magazine and there was a cushion cover that caught my eye. To read about that click here. I was a complete beginner and didn’t really understand what I was doing I only had some cut off curtain fabric and needless to say the result was terrible.  A few years later I  read an article about a paper pieced quilt called Smitten by Lucy Carson Kingwell.

The more I read and saw on line about English paper piecing or EPP for short the more it appealed to me. There are so many  patterns  available, but as long as you have the paper templates and your chosen material you can’t go wrong.  Its a way of getting rid of those small pieces in your stash that are too big to throw away but not quite big enough to use for a block.

English paper piecing
Just a few of my blocks

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Introducing a lost art

What a difference some nice material makes.  I am so lucky that I read that article its a very relaxing way of making a quilt and it is so satisfying to see the blocks come together.  This  way of making a quilt has been handed down through the generations and although the materials have been modernized the principle has remained the same.

I am still working through my  blocks and I have started joining them all together, but I still have a way to go before its finished so if your looking for a quick project this may not be for you. I run a craft club in the school that I work in and I am going to teach them this skill this term and hopefully they will be making some little coasters or place mats.

                                                                                  

This post contains affiliated links  clicking on them will cost you nothing but I will receive a small amount of commission.  I do not use a lot of them as I only choose products and services that I use personally and believe to be good quality and value for money.

MyBluprint.com

As I have said English Paper Piecing is by no means the quickest of crafts but it is very relaxing and portable. If you prepare your pieces in advance and put them in small pouch  along with some needles and thread they can then be taken with you anywhere. Car journeys or appointments are an ideal example of where you could join them up.

So for a portable relaxing hobby that can produce the most attractive quilts stock up on some paper shapes and material and see where your imagination takes you.

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