A Bag

I’m always happy when someone appreciates handmade gifts but realise that not every one does. This week I made a bag for my running buddy as it was her birthday.

I used some dark blue waterproof rucksack fabric that I had leftover from when I made my sister a bag, some waxed fabric from Ikea (my Christmas table cloth) and some red webbing and produced this:

Steffi's Bag

I loved it but was ever so slightly nervous when I handed her the present. I needn’t have worried, she loved it too and it’s already in use.

I still have some of those polka dots and some turquoise rucksack fabric. I may just have to make one for myself…..

I did the boxed corners in a new-to-me way and I loved how quick and easy it was. I’ll show you what I mean on the next one I’m making as I didn’t take any pictures this time. That’s what happens when you finish a gift five minutes before you leave for the party.

Bag Handles

You know that feeling when your bag handles are cutting into your hands because you’re carting around lots of stuff for your kids or you bought more than you expected?

Last year Little Miss Bossy-Boots and I went to the swimming pool as often as we possibly could and even though we left some of our things at one of the lockers there, I was still lugging around towels, a picnic lunch, swimming costumes, toys, sun cream and lots more. The bag I used had very narrow handles and they were cutting into my hands or shoulder depending on how I carried it. So I made a padded bag handle whatsit that I could wrap around the handles and close with velcro.

Bag Handle Whatsit

I kept misplacing the pad whenever I took it off to open the bag so I added a little ribbon that I could attach to one handle. Then I rounded off the corners and added some stitching down the side so it wraps around more easily. Now I’m really happy with the result and I’ve made one or two for most people in my family. I usually have one in my handbag so that I’m always prepared.

I was asked to make some for my sister’s mother-in-law and one of her friends so I sat down and made a whole stack of them.

A Stack of Loveliness

I’m hoping to rent a shelf in one of our local fabric shops and sell some handmade goodies, including these. So I made a basket to display them in:


I had to take off the button and sew it on again as I couldn’t live with the wonkiness…

I thought that maybe you would like to see how I make my handle whatsits, which really need a catchy name, so I’ve prepared a tutorial and am just waiting for better light to take some pictures. Hopefully that will be done by this weekend. It’s snowing again today which makes it quite dark in my sewing room. I don’t want to complain, though, as I really like the snow.

Bag Lady

Before I became bitten by the quilting bug I used to make bags. Shopping bags, hand bags, big bags, small bags and pouches. I’ve had to go back to my roots as the handbag I’ve been using for the last few years became very scruffy.

Boho BagThis is what it looked like when I first made it. I’ll spare you a picture of what it looked like only last week before I took it apart. The fabric on the outside was faded and frayed and I felt embarrassed every time I grabbed it. The lining, however, still looks fine and is made in one of my all time favourite Summersville fabrics by Lucie Summers. So I’m keeping the lining and making a new outer and strap.

The problem is, I can’t decide what to make. Should I go for another patchwork bag? Use leather or rucksack material? Should I make the strap or use webbing? What colours should I use? The lining is off-white and red. I’m not good at making decisions at the best of times but this one is killing me.

Meanwhile I’m using a bag I don’t like and feel comfortable with…..

A LOUD Birthday Present

It was my sister’s birthday on the 6th and, although we agreed ages ago not to give birthday gifts anymore, I made her a bag. I had already made her one earlier which she loves (no pictures as it was one of those finished-seconds-before-gifting projects) ¬†However, after using it she thought it would be even better if it was a little taller so her knitting doesn’t fall out.

When I was at the Fat Quarterly Retreat I bought some Cotton & Steel with lions on which I knew I wanted to use for the bag.

Cotton & Steel

Then I remembered some laminated Amy Butler fabric that I thought would work well colour wise. It wasn’t quite the match I had hoped for but I liked it together nonetheless. I added a very bright blue lining with neon green, pink, purple and white dots and some bright green handles.


It ended up being a very LOUD bag. It shouts LOOK AT ME and I really like it despite the clashing colours and patterns. Or maybe because of them?

Kris's Bag

I will give it to her with the words: “If you don’t like it I’ll make you a different one.” Because I’d be very happy to keep it.