Be joyful even though you have considered all the facts...practice resurrection. -Wendell Berry

Thursday, July 24, 2014

the fabulous scrap fabric swap

I signed up for The Fabulous Scrap Fabric Swap, via Sharon's blog, The Teacup Incident. I received this package of goodies from Yvonne in Sweden. I had to set them aside for a few weeks due to a splint that immobilized my left wrist and thumb (can you say frustrating?). Then, I couldn't find the box that has all of my beloved Bernina's presser feet in it. (I do not have a sewing studio here in VT yet). After getting into quite a snit, I took a deep breath, relaxed my shoulders and decided to improvise. I did not sketch or measure, but just played around with the fabrics and trims as I went along. 
I ended up with a free spirited tote bag, using lots of the fabric Yvonne sent me. The only fabric I used from my own stash was a bit of solid lavender for the back of the tote.
Limited by the 1/4 inch pressure foot that was on my machine when we made the move up here to Vermont, I did not even have the ability to use a zig zag stitch, so I maneuvered carefully around the appliqued shapes with a small, straight stitch.

I had fun incorporating some of Yvonne's buttons. And I have a card of little white ones that I did not use, to add to my own stash now.
The trims I used along the bottom looked a bit like garden fencing to me (see below). I made the handles with two different fabrics, and the tote is lined with other fabrics from Yvonne's swap. My interfacing basket is also missing, so the bag is lightweight and a little flimsy, but I'll get over that. 
The take-away from this project is that sometimes when we have to "make do" with circumstances (delayed start, limited tools and supplies) and when we let go of perfection, we can still find our way through a project and have fun in the meantime.

Many thanks to Yvonne for the cheerful fabrics and trims. And thanks go out to Sharon, too, for getting us organized. Be sure to pop over to her blog tomorrow to see what other folks have done.

(For another story about improvising, check out the latest post at Our Home in Vermont.)


  1. You've got a clever mumsy, but you're a clever mumsy yourself, too!
    Love how you used fabric and trims to sew a very nice tote!


    1. ...I should have written 'Mumsie'...

  2. What a lovely result! I love improvising too, thats the fun of sewing!!!!

  3. Well done!
    It is lovely to see things made into something pretty when they are sent as part of a swap. X

  4. Very cheerful and beautifully made, Karen!! Love your use of buttons and trim!!

  5. I love the details of the flowers with buttons - they're adorable! I heard news today from your swap partner (she is my mom) that she is sewing with the blue fabrics you sent her this weekend! :-)

    Glad your hand is healing!

  6. Yvonne AnderssonJuly 27, 2014 at 3:59 AM

    Hallo. You have Done a wonderful bag, I love it. Im still working on My projekt.

  7. Looks so happy! Sorry that it was a bit frustrating starting out, but you certainly made the most of it!