Monday, November 19, 2012

Week 46 or After the Election

I made or fixed or started a bunch of projects this week, but none of them were bags. I patched the knees on some kids' pants. I started knitting a purple penguin. I almost finished a sock. I started a second sock for a different pair. I wrote a bunch of grant award letters and sent out award ceremony invitations. And I made a couple of little boxes as tests.

During the election season, I noticed hundreds of corrugated plastic signs littering people's lawns. (not that they swayed my vote, I just saw them. As raw materials.) After the election, I don't know where they all went, but they sure disappeared fast, and very few of them were in trash cans or recycling bins. Believe me, I looked for them. It's not like they fit in a regular barrel.

I did see a truck driving around collecting some of the more outlandishly large ones, so if I want those, I'll need to make a phone call (shudder) to a political campaign office (shudder some more) sooner rather than later (oh, just forget it). I got a stack of small signs from friends, so I'm all set for bag liners. I'll stiffen up the Lego bags that are filling my life now. I added stiff bottoms to the bags I made last week.

I wanted to see how well they'd work as boxes, so I made some little prototypes. Here's one of them. It only took up half a sign, so it's about 4" x 6" x 4". I figure if I use a whole sign, I could make a waste paper basket. How very appropriate! The giant signs could make an entire trash barrel. Or a compost bin, with a little duct tape to seal the seams and a gasket around the top. The circle of nastiness would be complete. And all for the low, low price of $5,000,000,000 every four years!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Week 45 or Lined Lunch Bags

I didn't even think about it until I sat down to write this, but these bags sum up our household politics. Red and blue. Pretty evenly split with white flags at the ready. It's been a tough week, but we seem to be coming out the other side still stitched together and ready to make lunches.

It's a standard size bag, copied from little shopping bags and apple picking bags. Perfect for Mom and apple pie. Lined with rip-stop nylon. Durable, washable, wipeable, small enough to carry, large enough to hold a small picnic.
A bit late, but not too much. And once again, I've made multiples. Three this time. Each just like the others. And stiffened on the bottom with discarded lawn signs from the election.

As I approach the end of the year, and the end of my initial commitment to this project, I need to remember that the last few weeks I've been over-producing bags and have actually sewn enough to finish out the year. But I'll keep going for at least a few weeks. And probably, because that's just the way I am, into the new year.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Week 44 or More Bakery Goods

Sandwich wraps folded into 1/3 squares.
The theme of the month is the bakery. About 2 years ago, I bought some waterproof fabric and made sandwich bags for our family and a few others. I bought a yard more with the intention of making more for friends. Well, intentions gave way to procrastination and the material lingered. Until now.

Position your sandwich.

Ready to roll.
The other supply that had been languishing was a pile of quilting fabric. Whenever I feel like I've got too much material, I think of the place I bought this stuff. A quilter needed fabric, but she didn't know how much of any particular pattern she might need. So she bought the whole bolt. Then she needed something else. So she bought another bolt. Eventually, she converted her dining room into a sewing room, with a cutting table instead of a dining table. And fabric racks instead of credenzas. Then she took over the little room next to the dining room. I bought about 20 yards of fabric that day. I felt so decadent and ridiculous. The flannel got used pretty quickly to make nightgowns for my daughters. I made a couple of skirts for them. The rest just sat. Until now.
Fold in the bottom corner.

I'm pleased to say that there is now an inch or two of space on one of my fabric shelves. That could be because I now have a box of fabric waiting for a purpose. But I know I've made a dent already.

Works with a sub roll, too.

This week I made sandwich wraps. With the benefit of 2 years of field trials, I decided to move on from bags to flat wraps. They have the advantage of being able to fit any size sandwich on any type of bread. You could also use them as placemats or mini picnic blankets. And if you're really desperate and serious about your low-carb diet, you could use them in place of tortillas. Very high in fiber! They're 19" square, large enough to fit a sub, sturdy enough to sit on. Machine washable and PVC-free.
The front of the 15 year, 3 generation quilt.
You can see the backing peeking out of the top right corner.

My very own quilting scraps, from the backing of the only quilt I ever made, became two more baguette bags. Very dark purple with golden lettering and lilac gingko leaves. Hopefully potential customers will not associate the wrap with the smell of gingko fruit.
The baguette bags.
They're not that short, just folded in 4 for the picture.