Tag Archives: tote bags

The list gets longer


With all this wet then frosty weather it was good to get out in the garden today, even if it was only to fill the bird feeders and check the greenhouse. On my way round I noticed that lots of Hellebore are flowering, some for the first time. I have an area behind a gate which is quite shady and moist, it contains some nondescript hellebore that have over the years seeded profusely. These I have moved around the garden in the hope that one day I might find something worth shouting about. Also I have bought in a couple of doubles so the overall effect is now beginning to show a tiny bit of a promise.IMG_0011

A yellow double bought some while ago bulking up nicely. The clay pot has nothing to do with this, it’s containing a vigorous hardy ginger, must cover the pot.


The leaves on this hellebore are what made me buy it. I have a feeling this is ‘Winter Moonbeam’

These are some of my seedlings and even the backs of the flowers are lovely.


H’ Sternii, grown from a seed. Several plants now grow around the garden.IMG_0002

A beautiful double bought a while back, this is also making a large clump.


A seedling that I am pleased with, a nice clear yellow and good strong leaves. Hopefully more plants will be opening their tight buds in the next few days and weeks.


Do you have a ‘To do list’ ? I do and it seems to get longer by the day. The trouble with me is I get side tracked when ever I start something. Take this morning as an example, I was just going to tidy the front garden as the men from the council came to trim the trees on our road and left a mountain of debris in all of the shrubs. This turned into pruning shrubs by epic proportions, I may regret this later ! Something else on my list is to make more ‘stuff’ for the open days. So these last few weeks I have made tote bags, some note books and larger books with pencils.

The books with pencils are made by making a ‘loose’ cover for a bought note book. I have hand blocked a piece of white heavy cotton fabric with a stylized flower. The small books are hand made using an old poster for the covers. The bags are madeĀ  using all donated fabric, most of which has been over printed to make each one unique. All the proceeds from all of these items and my plant sale this year will go to the East Midlands Air Ambulance. I just hope that in the months to come the garden fills out and performs well for me.

Is your garden coming back to life yet ?………



Filed under From The Sewing Room To The Potting Shed, Uncategorized

Cheats Patchwork….Tutorial….Part One

This summer I have made several zipped tote bags for family and friends, each time I make one I end up with 8 small 6 cm squares, and you know me I have to use them somehow.


The school lunch totes for the girls .


Tote for my daughter – in – law to use in her new job.


A tote sent to Korea to my lovely friend Li-anne.


A bit of indulgence, well a girl can never have too many bags.

I thought I would share with you this tutorial for using up odd bits of fabric, and as you will see they can be any type, just fairly regular in size.

All of the little squares were bonded to a muslin backing fabric.




These were then stitched down using a large zig zag stitch.


Don’t worry about neatness, this is quick and rustic.



Lay the fabric on a surface and cut up through the whole patches.


Taking every other strip, turn them 180′, creating smaller, narrow patches.


Machine zig zag again these new smaller patches.


Doing the same again, cut up the width of the patch and turn every other one 180′.


Creating tiny square patches.

Zig Zag again.


Next bond the whole of this fabric to a piece of bondable wadding.


Change your machine foot to a free machine embroidery foot or darning foot, dropping the feed dogs, lift the needle tension. And away you go. Using the needle as a pen and lots of smooth movements, create swirls in a couple of different coloured threads.


This strengthens the fabric and quilts at the same time.

And there you have made yourself a piece of usable fabric that you can use to make all sorts of things.

Part 2 we will make a small make up type pocket …watch this space…


Filed under Textiles