Sunday, January 16, 2011

GreenStitch Episode 21 - Channeling our inner Ma Ingalls

Haven't yet listened to this episode? Here's the link.

I'll start with the braided coasters, since the scrap-recycling nature of the project is very true to Ma Ingalls and the Little House on the Prairie family.

First, here's the link to Carolyn's blog post. Bookmark her blog and go back - she always has terrific ideas!

Here are my coasters. I'll make different colors next time, but these are the T-shirts I had handy - and I must say, the coasters have been put to great use already.

Here's the little pouch made out of the skirt lining. You can also see above the little paper template I drew to make it. Nothing fancy, that's for sure.

The shopping bag is small, but a useful size to keep handy for little purchases.

And because of the thin, slick fabric, look how easy it is to stuff that shopping bag into the tiny pouch.
Clipping the pouch just inside my purse means I won't have to dig for the shopping bag -- and will help avoid using a little plastic.

As for the quick-as-a-wink quilt block, above is step one -- seam two 3-by-5 1/2-inch rectangles together, the long way.
Attach two more rectangles, top and bottom.

Finish it off with two more rectangles that you've joined on the short ends. A great 10 1/2-inch block - and when they're all sewn together, they have a great vitality. Super stash busting! I still have visions of making a quilt like this entirely out of plaids from old shirt. Someday...

Oh, and if you're the Facebook sort, will you head over here and give GreenStitch a "like"? Thanks so much!


  1. Thanks for the shout-out - the snow is halfway melted from our front yard! And we didn't even have to break into the grain stores from inside our walls! (random Little House reference there).

    And speaking of Little House on the Prairie - did you know there are now prequels? There are a couple stories for each of Laura's progenitors (her mom, grandmother, etc., on back to her great-great grandmother in Scotland). Sort of American-girl-ish, but I love the connection to Laura Ingalls-Wilder.

    Also, regarding braided things as rugs... I have a book that gives instructions on slicing up plastic grocery bags to get those big loops (similar to the t-shirt "tubes" Carolyn described in the coaster post), and crocheting them into rugs. I think cutting them into a inch wide is about right to make the "yarn".

  2. Great ideia about the braided rugs. Thanks

  3. These are great ideas - thank you. I just found your blog & 'cast, too.

  4. This 'cast made me think about the fabric I recently peeled off an umbrella I bought to ward off the heat while waiting in line to see the Vatican Museum. It yellow with cherubs on the edge and it had broken in too many places to stitch back. It's a lovely pictorial nylon and has been sitting on the sewing machine waiting to be transformed. I'm thinking after this 'cast of creating a simple shopping bag that rolls small for those didn't-mean-to-shop times.

    @Pam I'm partial to the book about Laura's daughter Rose being a telegraph operator. I come from a line of telegraph operators. The family morphed into programmers, so information technology is as American as pickin' Plums on the Banks of Plum Creek!

    I wonder if people ever donate old umbrellas to thrift stores or if they put them out. They may get tossed due to lack of functionality. So often they have beautiful designs on the nylon.

  5. @Simple Romantic, if you come up with some good ideas for using umbrella nylon, let us know! A few years ago I saved the fabric off a broken umbrella, but had a heck of a time trying to figure out how to use it -- with all the shaped piecing, it wasn't flat, so that presented challenges. I eventually lined a tote bag with it. The lovely print you describe would make it worthwhile to explore other options!

  6. I just LOve this podcast too! The little house books were some of my favorites as a child, and I also read them to my daughter. Since I was a child, other people have written books about other parts of their lives, when Laura was older and her married life. I always felt the Little House books ended rather abruptly and wanted to know more. I don't have the names handy, but I am sure it wouldn't be hard to find them.

    On the Tshirt Yarn, make sure they are no side seams. Many women's tshirts have side sesams, because they are more "fitted".

    Another sourse of Tyarn, is you can sometimes find knit fabric yardage in thrift shopps that is in a tube, like a tshirt. You get LOTS of yardage from a yard of knit fabric still in tube form. I found 3 different yards awhile ago for 99 cents each.

    Thanks for the ideas for the Tyarn. I have made little "scrubbie bags" for soap scraps in the shower. Crocheted with a large hook they are the perfect testure, and you save all of those soap scraps more easily. I am going to try making dishclothes and potholders with it and see how that goes. I would think it would be pretty gook. I have a problem in my house of people using the potholders as rags or dishclothes, so this way they could be designed to be either, and if we had enough of them, there would never be a problem.

    I have to make being green extremely easy for my family. They are not nearly as into it as I am. They would rather I killed all the blackberries on our property with nasty cheicals, I have a goat instead. They would like me to bug bomb for fleas and spiders, I put diametaceous earth into the carpets (also known as fuller's earth). It has been a struggle, but I am not giving up!! Thank you for your inspiration!

  7. Anne - Love the portable bag idea. Brilliant! You truly are a fearless sewer. There doesn't seem to be anything you aren't willing to give a try. I really admire that! Looking forward to meeting up with you in Cincy!

  8. Anne, your blog-friends simply must know that the quilt pattern here is absolutely fab-u-lous!!! I've now made three of them, in what I think is record time, and with almost no errors requiring ripping, so I am a believer!!! I am cutting all scraps left from any project now into 3" x 5 1/2" rectangles and have them stacked neatly in a basket ready for lap-quilt #4. I will be sharing your pattern with my quilting friends at church at our next Prayers & Squares workshop. It is perfect for our projects. Thanks so much, Anne, my fellow quilter and dear sister!!!