Saturday, October 16, 2010

Children's Activity Bag or Comfy Quilts from Scraps and Snippets

My mom is forever salvaging odd bits of fabric left over from sewing projects and even from torn jeans or other items of old clothing.  She takes these odds and ends and cuts them up into neat squares of different sizes.   She has done this for years.  What does she do with them?

She creates wonderful works of art.

My mom has put together some of the most beautiful patchwork quilts or cottage-perfect cushions and throws.  These one-of-a-kind  items make wonderful gifts that literally cost nothing except the time and love needed to make them.  Who wouldn’t love a homemade masterpiece to curl up with on a chilly night?  Recently, my mom has taken to making super sweet Children’s Activity Bags.  I am particularly found of these bags, because I am not such an ambition sewer smaller projects are more appealing to me!

These activity bags are brilliant for keeping all the little activities your child loves to do in one place.  Think crayons, coloring books, readers, small toy cars, baby doll accessories, etc. all neatly tucked away in a convenient bag – perfect for trips in the car and even visits to child-less friends!
To create a bag for your own child or as a gift:
  1. Start by collecting scraps of fabric (for a really personalized bag, consider cutting squares from worn out but loved baby clothes, blankies, etc.) and a sewing machine.
  2. Lay out your squares to form a piece approximately 24 inches by 12 inches. 
  3. Once you are satisfied with your design, sew the fabric squares together
  4. Fold the piece in half and stitch sides to create the bag. 
  5. Add straps and fold the top edge over to hem and your done! 
  6. For a really polished bag, consider lining it and adding a front pocket or button closure. 
Really, once you put your mind to it, you can get quite creative.  For a great gift, pack the bag with a coloring book and some crayons or a favorite story book and a toy and watch the smiles!

Creating something from old or unused items is not only great on the wallet, but also great for the environment – remember: reduce, reuse, and recycle!  These patchwork projects do all three!  Starting with a small and simple sewing project is a great entrance into the wonderful world of sewing – once you start, you may be so inspired and not want to stop!  Happy sewing! 

By Maria Minten, a mom, teacher, writer, and craft enthusiast.  Her ideas are brought to you by My  Baby Clothes Boutique, the perfect place to find snuggly baby hats, beautiful baby headbands, tutus and so many other adorable baby gifts.

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