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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Tracing your Jewish roots

Even though I don’t have any Jewish ancestors that I know about (yet), we were/are all affected by their plight.  How would the world that been different if all the Jews had lived?  I can’t think but that we would live in a better world today.  Hate has to be the worst four letter word.  But it wasn’t exactly hate.  It was power, wasn’t it?

I haven’t read this book, but I think I should.  Being able to see the big picture would be nice.  Take a look at History Broke Us:  One Jewish Family’s 20th Century.  It could happen to any of us. 

 

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Thought for Today

Originally posted on Espirational:

Copy of a Photograph of Charles Dickens

Copy of a Photograph of Charles Dickens (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” — Charles Dickens

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Thought for Today

countrybydesign:

I needed to hear this!

Originally posted on Espirational:

A man and a woman performing a modern dance.

A man and a woman performing a modern dance. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering.”   ― Steve Maraboli

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