Bags-that-are and bags-to-be

May 2 – My biggest issue in the past, and even right now, has been space. I’m great at beginning a quilt but once it reaches a certain size, I run into trouble. I have nowhere to lay it completely flat and accessible from all sides. My sewing table is only 4 feet wide so anything larger will hang over the edges. And that hinders my work to the point of frustration. I begin something else, something smaller, such as placemats. It’s how my idea for reusable shopping bags was born.

I’d found an old t-shirt that belonged to my sister. It was stained and ready for the rag bin until I had the fabulous plan to save the front and make a bag! It was my first attempt at making a reusable shopping bag and I was immensely pleased with the result. However, I do believe it’s too big for my sister’s liking because she doesn’t use it! I may have to just take it back 🙂 I like it and I WOULD use it. I’m a reusable shopping bag freak. NO plastic for me! But I won’t get started on the horrors of plastic and the damage they’re doing to the environment.

I was so thrilled with the first bag, I made a second and almost completed a third (the handles have given me pause). I went on a t-shirt buying and gathering spree (all saved from secondhand stores, friends and family) and have lots of ideas for more bags. Just like quilts/blankets, everyone can use a bag. Don’t ya think?

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These are just a microscopic glimpse of the t-shirts I have waiting to be bags. My head gets so full of ideas, I think it gets clogged and then I can’t do anything. One. Bag. At. A. Time. I need to focus on one bag at a time. . . . . . so much easier said than done!

May 15 – A few days ago, or maybe only two days ago, I decided to finish a bag I’d started a long while back. And when I say “long while” I mean more than a couple of years. Yikes.

I haven’t Googled how to make these bags, nor have I purchased a pattern. I’m very stubborn in wanting these bags (my quilts and matching pillows too) to be my own creation. Obviously, I know the general shape of a reusable shopping bag but these are my own design. And that’s why I’ve been so slow at making them! It’s tricky fitting the liner into the bag and I’ve tried a few different ways of attaching handles and am not sure I’ve figured it out yet. . . . . all I can really say is it’s a process of trial and error.

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This owl bag will be one I keep. Owls were something my grandmother once collected, the pocket is from an old pair of my jeans and I’m a recycling fanatic. It’s perfect for me! Plus it has some major flaws since I am still learning how to make these bags. I could never sell something so flawed! No way, no how. I’m far too fussy for glare-in-your-face mistakes. Once I have the design kinks worked out, I can then think about selling them because how many shopping bags does one person really need?

I WILL have to keep Oscar though. And my other owl. . . . . .

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May 19 – I ditched the owl bag. The handles and band around the upper edge ending up being so incredibly sturdy I had trouble sewing through them! At some points it was as many as 10 layers of denim! I learned a valuable lesson to say the least. I will use the bag for myself but since the handles and band are bothering me, I’m seriously contemplating taking the bag apart and beginning all over again. . . .

I began Oscar the Grouch yesterday and maybe even would have completed it today if my sewing machines weren’t acting up! Why now? I haven’t used that cotton pickin’ ultra hold adhesive since it first gave me trouble. I’m highly frustrated. Very. I hate being on a roll only to be stopped by technical difficulties. Big sigh. And try to remember all is still well in my world. My issues with my sewing machines will be solved 🙂 I guess my Montreal Canadiens quilt is on hold as well.

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