Monday, September 8, 2014

Inspired by a New Friend!

When I visited my daughter in the Netherlands, I took a crocheting class at the "Haak In".  Corrie teaches how to "Up Cycle" plastic bags into usable items.  She inspired me to crochet again! Website - and Facebook Page -

I learned how to crochet in high school in my Home Economics Classes. My first project was a dish cloth and then we made shawls.  I made a pretty pink shawl and wore it to the high school dances.  When I was in college, I worked with fabrics strips and made crocheted rugs.

Over the years, I have crocheted afghans, rugs, and hot pads and table mats.  
Corrie inspired me to crochet again.

I have been making circular hot pads and table mats using fabric strips.
This is one I made recently and sold it on ebay.

I was so inspired, I even created a fried egg table mat from yellow and white fabric strips.

In the class, Corrie shared how to cut the plastic bags so they end up in one very strip of plastic.  I made a crocheted cover for a plastic bottle.  I displayed it on the plastic bag that I used for the strips.

Corrie refreshed me on stitches, that I had completely forgot how to do, when I learned how to make the small pocket purse.

I took photos in Corrie's classroom of all the crocheted items created from plastic bags. 

I signed the guest book at "Haak In".

At the end of the class Corrie draped her crocheted shawls on us for a picture. The shawls were made from plastic strips combined with black yarn.

Outside she has two huge plastic yarn balls on display. They were larger than a beach ball.

She has a large flower made from the plastic bags on display out front.

I speak only English and sometimes not very well. Corrie spoke Dutch and a little English.  It was a delight learning a new craft with a bit of a language barrier. And when I don't understand something, I tend to laugh at myself!
In the next photo, I was laughing and crying as we said our good byes!

We will keep in touch through emails and facebook and I will visit her when I return to the Netherlands to visit my daughter and her family.

During, the class we talked about our love of creating. Corrie creates with plastic bags and I create with quilted fabric.  I showed her my purse and pocket purse and checkbook purse that I made with my quilted fabric. Corrie asked if I would make a quilted pocket purse with quilted roses for her.

I quilted roses with a red thread on black fabric with a white backing fabric. I just sent it off to the Netherlands this week.

 Corrie asked me to quilt my name on the front of the purse with the year.

It is hard to photograph black fabric and to get enough light it makes the little fibers show up.

When I quilted the fabric, I quilted a large piece of fabric and made enough to create several pocket purses.  They make great gifts for friends and family.

Several years ago, I taught quilted tote bag classes and I also wrote a pattern for the quilted pocket purse.  My pattern is available as a PDF Downloadable Pattern at in my pattern store. Click Here.

I am so happy I made a new friend in another country and super delighted to learn a new craft and rekindle my crocheting with plastic and fabrics.

I made this crochet mat from the scraps from ...
my "Up Cycled Grocery Bag" that I made from Project Quilting, while in the Netherlands. I made it from clothes and used a borrowed sewing machine. Click Here for that post. I added some green scraps to the crochet mat as my daughter loves green.

I love learning new things, 
I love creating and crafting with friends, 
and I love sharing my experiences!



Friday, August 15, 2014

I Love Fabric Scraps!

Especially, if they are blue tiny print fabrics.  Yes, I love fabric scraps!

I bought several bags of fabric scraps from a friend through a fabric destash group on facebook.  They had belonged to her Mother.  I also bought several yards of her fabric too, but I seemed to be most excited about the scraps bags, but as you can see, I don't think Toby was.  He was sleeping and enjoying the sunshine.  I think he is just happy to have me around sorting scraps.

First, I very carefully opened each bag and looked for straight pins.  I only found three pins.

I found old fabric sticker tags and tape on a few and a button. I was told the bags hadn't been opened in several years.  I am sure her Mother saved them, thinking she would use them for something one day.  Just like we all do. Well they came to a good home. I love scraps!
Next, I put all the little scraps in a pillow case.

Tied it up with a big knot.

Washed and dried the pillowcase full of fabric scraps.  

I did not dried it completely.  I like the scraps to be a little damp when I sort them out.  It is easier to flatten them out as I sort.

It may look like a mess to you, but not to me! I sorted it while watching TV one evening.

It is almost like a puzzle.  I sorted the fabric pieces into piles of similar colors.  It covered my whole table.

Here's a closer look at the blues.

After it was all sorted, I cut the pieces into 2 inch squares and 1 1/4 inch squares to use for little 4 patch blocks that end up being 2 inch squares when sewn together.

I laid them out on the table to see how they would look together.  It's scrappy, but I moved them around a bit.  There are, of course, duplicates of many of them and I did not want them together.  It is not all 30's reproduction.  There are some from the 60s and even the 70's. It did not matter to me as I selected all my favorite ones.

I started to sew them together. First in groups of 2 and then in 4 patches of both the tiny ones and the 2 inch squares. I had about ten little 4 patch blocks.

Here's an up close photo of the 4 patch blocks.  See how I worked the little 4 patch blocks into the larger ones.

When I put them together, I kept moving them around and I had already pressed seams in different directions, so I had to move some of the seams to press the other way.  This made the back of the quilt --- not so pretty or not perfect.  That is OK.  It was more important to get the prints in a nice scrappy balance.

I was so excited that it was completed and ready to quilt.  I took a photo with a dinner plate on it --- Pretending like it was done! 

It is four - 4 patch blocks across and  five - 4 patch blocks down.  That is a total of twenty - 4 patch blocks.  Or 80 total squares measuring 1 1/2 inch finished squares including the little tiny 4 patch blocks! I love it!

I free style quilted it on my long arm quilting machine with a small meandering with little tiny hearts. I selected a soft blue thread for the quilting and the binding.

Here's an up close photo of the all machine embroidery stitched binding.  The quilted piece to the left is my table topper that I quilted with small meandering and tiny leaves.

Here's an up close photo of where I stitched my name and the year --- Marcia 2014. It hard to see with all the prints.

I love it with my new blue plate from a local resale shop.

If you look up close at the quilting, you can see the tiny hearts in between the meandering.

You can see it better on the backside of the placemat.

The placemat measures 16 inches by 12 inches.

A full view of the backside of the placemat.

I could use it on either side.

I love it! I know my friend's Mother would be happy to know, I used a few of the blues scraps to display on my table. I plan to cut the rest of the scraps into 2 inch and 1 1/4 inch squares to make more placemats --- someday.  For now, I will just have one special placemat to enjoy on my table.

Looks great with this plate too!

And this old one too.  I don't have matching plates.  I love to have a variety of plates. It makes my table look like a patchwork quilt.

I had breakfast on my new placemat this morning.

And lunch on it too.

I have another blog, where I post photos of pretty food, on pretty plates, on pretty placemats. I named it:  Lunch Looks Like a Quilt to Me!  It's just for fun!

I know it is Friday, but this post is going to be tagged - Sunday's Scraps.  If you click on the tags at the bottom of this post, it will take you to all my posts tagged Sunday's Scraps - but it will start with this post, then keep scrolling and clicking next post.

Do you buy scrap bags and what do you make with them?