Scrappy pencil case

I made a pencil-case with the same fabrics I used in the clutch.  I saw directions for making a flat pencil-case online some time ago, and once I figured out the basics of attaching the zipper to the two front edges of the top fabric and attaching the lining to the zipper, too, the rest is just a matter of making the case any size you like.  Mine are determined by the size of the zipper I happen to have on hand.  I watch for zippers on sale at Wal-Mart and Hobby Lobby.  Adding a small piece of fabric at each end of the zipper tape makes the case look more professional.  And makes it easier to insert.  I have managed to lose my zipper foot somewhere, but I was able to use a different foot on my Bernina 1008.  Doesn’t work the same, but it got the job done.

Here’s the latest.  Check it out at http://www.countrybydesign.etsy.com.

scrappy pencil case

scrappy pencil case

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Scrappy clutch bag for Etsy

I have been neglecting my Etsy shop this summer, what with moving and one thing and another.  But I am making an attempt to correct that situation.  And make things using scraps from my stash.  Here is my latest effort.  You can see this and more at http://www.countrybydesign.etsy.com.

Clutch bag with wrist strap
Clutch bag with wrist strap
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Brown Sugar Zucchini Bread

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since my last post here, and I may, at some point, try to fill in the blanks, but for right now, I’m going to pick up fresh and start over!

Brown sugar zucchini bread
Brown sugar zucchini bread

We don’t have a garden this summer, so I didn’t mind finding stray zucchini on my kitchen counter.  I tried one zucchini bread recipe that I thought was the one that I really liked last year, but it didn’t have very much flavor, so I went looking for another recipe.  It was hard to decide since they are a dime a dozen on the internet.  This one caught my eye because it calls for oatmeal, which I like a lot.  The more fiber the better.

 

Here’s the original recipe for brown sugar zucchini bread.

 

And here’s my version.

Oatmeal Zucchini Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

3 large eggs

3/4 cup canola oil

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

3 cups grated zucchini

1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and sugar 5 mini loaf pans.

Stir together all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.  Combine eggs, oil and vanilla and add to bowl.  Stir in zucchini and nuts.

Divide batter between pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

This recipe was adapted from the Food Network, but I think I made enough changes to call it my own.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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He is present. He is good.

He is present. He is good..

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Two new totes

tote bag

tote bag

I “inherited” a stash of lightweight men’s suiting fabric.  Since it isn’t “suit”able for quilting fabric, I’ve been at a loss as to what to do with it.  Finally the thought came to me that it would make nice bags/purses/totes, so I jumped right in.

When I’m making bags, I start with the zipper.  I cut two pieces of fabric the length of the zipper plus about 2 inches and stitch those to the zipper.  In the case of the bag above, the strips I used were vintage denim.

Then comes the main body of the bag.  The width needs to be the same as the length of the top bands, but I cut the body for each side in three pieces to make it easy to add pockets.  If I want the center section to be 9 inches wide when finished, then I cut is 10 inches wide.  Then the other two sections are cut to make the total width.  The pockets are added to the center section before they are stitched together.

Next comes the straps.  I usually cut the fabric for the straps five inches wide then fold it in fourths.  Most of the time I add a strip of batting to make them padded.  The straps need to be stitched to the main body of the bag before it is stitched to the top band.

Then I cut the pieces for the bottom of the bag.  In this case, it is the same vintage denim.  The bottom can be cut in one piece, but I find it easier to cut it in two pieces.  On one side of each piece, I cut out a square that will form the dart for the bottom of the bag.  Then I stitch the bottom pieces onto the body of the bag before stitching the seam for the two bottom pieces.

With the bag turned wrong side out and right sides together, I stitch the side seams.  I press those seams open, then stitch across the raw edges at the bottom corners to make the square shape.

Using these general directions, you can make a bag any size you want.  I usually start with the length of the zipper!  The depth can be anything you wish.

Here’s what happened when I started with a 23 inch zipper.  It ended up measuring 21 inches by 19 inches!

Large tote

Large tote

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Country By Design Christmas

place mat for Jacob

place mat for Jacob

Two years ago I started making Christmas presents for all my grandchildren.  It gets more challenging each year!  I do like the way I was able to use a vintage jeans pocket in this design.

Case made from pair of old pants

Case made from pair of old pants

I also like to take the zipper out of a pair of old pants and put it to good use.  In this case, the zipper is from the same pair of pants that makes up the body of this bag.  The lining matches the fabric on the ends.

 

 

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Thought for Today

Originally posted on Espirational:

Dalai Lama In D.C.

Dalai Lama In D.C. (Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service)

“I truly believe that individuals can make a difference in society.  Since periods of change such as the present one come so rarely in human history, it is up to each of us to make the best use of our time to help create a happier world.” — His Holiness the Dali Lama

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