My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Sometimes you need simple...

I just read a quote on Deborah Boschert's blog today:
He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.—St. Francis

Deborah was talking about her workbook for developing your creative voice, called "Head, Heart and Hands".  I bought a digital downloadable copy for myself with the intention of starting work on it after my 100 days project is finished, I'll let you know how I find it.

Anyway.  The quote made me think about the sewing I did yesterday.  Sometimes you just need something to sew, something uncomplicated, something that just uses your hands, and maybe a bit of your head.  Something that will give satisfaction without any frustration.

At the recent Auckland Festival of Quilts, I bought a couple of half-metre cuts of Echino linen prints. I love Echino fabrics - a delightful mix of prints and colours.  I simply cut this piece in half, squared the pieces up and sewed them together into a tote bag.

For slightly more complexity and an increase in user-friendliness, I sewed it using enclosed seams.  Then I boxed out the bottom corners, added a simple outside pocket and lightly padded handles in a solid cotton fabric from my stash.  Done.  

Above is a snap of the bottom on the bag, inside out, so you can see the enclosed seams and the boxed corners.  

To sew enclosed seams, put the two pieces of fabric WRONG sides together and sew a 1/4 inch seam round the three sides, clip the corners, turn inside out (RIGHT sides together) and press.  

Then sew another seam around the three sides, slightly larger than 1/4 inch and this will enclose your first seams.  

Now you can box your corners as in the photo above, add a double fold hem around the top edge, add your pocket and your handles.  

I enjoyed it so much, and loved the final product that I might just use the other piece of Echino in the same way.


  1. I hear what you are saying, sometime you just need to make something! Your something is lovely...........I must have missed that gorgeous fabric at Auckland Festival!

  2. I bought a piece of linen at the Auckland show to make a bag too, but haven't even started yet. Maybe I should get into that soon...
    Good idea to have french seams, so much neater than other finishes

  3. That is a great quote, and that fabric... gorgeous. French seams do make a nice finish, especially with things that want to fray. If you wanted to trim the corners off, you could sew, trim then bind. But to be honest, it looks nice and neat as it is.


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