Monday, June 9, 2014

Brown Bag Alternative

Last year I made an insulated lunch bag for Em's birthday for her to use for first grade.  I wasn't so sure how well it would work, but I had bought the pattern years earlier and thought it would be a fun project to whip up for her sixth birthday.

The pattern is called "The Not So Brown Bag Insulated Fabric Lunch Bag" by Debbie Hogan.  It takes less than a day to make and it lasted through an entire year of first grade looking almost as good as new.  My daughter loved it because she could throw it in the washing machine when it needed a good cleaning and Em loved it because it was colorful and special.

This past Saturday I woke up wanting to start a project, but didn't want to get into anything that would take more than a day.  Em will be seven in July and I thought she might like another one for second grade.  I had picked up some fabrics about a month ago with this project in mind.

I cut the fabric up and quilted the individual pieces using InsulBrite insulated batting, and by 3:30 in the afternoon, the lunchbox was all finished.

The bag has a little pocket inside that holds eating utensils and napkins - maybe even a piece of candy or two.

I hope she will enjoy this during the next school year because I know the day will come when she won't want anything homemade or different from the other children in school.  Hopefully she'll enjoy Grammy's goodies for a few more years though  :)

Happy quilting!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Custom Dishtowels (and a tutorial)

Last week I found some fantastic nautical fabrics at the local quilt shop.  I thought about it and decided that although I didn't want to make a quilt out of these fabrics, they would be perfect for accessory type gifts.  I thought some more and dish towels came to mind.  After speaking with one of the quilt store employees, I found out they carry dish towel fabric that is pre-hemmed on the sides...perfect!.

Once I got home, I tried making a dishtowel bordered in one of the fabrics featuring blue didn't turn out as well as I had hoped.  There just wasn't enough contrast between the towel fabric and the decorative border fabric, and worse, the edges of the border fabric didn't line up well. Then I remembered the foolproof method for making bordered pillowcases that results in perfectly encased seams and aligned borders every time.

I chose the other fabric and went to work using the same method to attach the borders as when I make pillowcases.  Here is the result.

I couldn't be happier :)

If you would like to make a pair for yourself or someone else, here is a link to the tutorial.  Note:  I updated the tutorial after I posted it to clarify the instructions in a couple of spots.

I just pulled these fabrics from my stash. Hmmm...I think I might buy some good European linen and make my own hemmed dishtowels and pair them with these.  They would make great Christmas presents for my wine drinking friends and family.

So, maybe a natural flax colored linen to pair with the dark corks fabric, and perhaps some chocolate linen with the corkscrews fabric?