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More bags from the “Bag Lady”!!

Crazy K | Posted in Photo Gallery on

Here are my latest………..I’m having so much fun!!  Hope the recipients like them………

Thanks for looking!!



  1. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #1

    Kay, they are adorable! I am crazy about the pumpkin one! These bags would make grocery shopping fun...almost ;) Cathy

    1. Crazy K | | #2

      Thanks!  Glad you added the 'almost' to making shopping fun!  Although I guess I don't mind it quite as much as I did when I had hungry teenage boys to feed.......and very little money.  Had to make things stretch.

      Glad you like them.  The pumpkin is my favorite also.  They're all from Emb. Library........and the pumpkin was a freebie during Happy Hour weekend.  Can't beat that!!


      1. User avater
        ThreadKoe | | #3

        For so long I have had to shop for so many with so little, it has become habit to be the thrifty shopper and stock up with sale items. Now it is only going to be the 2 of us. DD3 has informed us she is moving out to live with DD2. Hard time getting my head around it. Tuna on sale, we like tuna, so automatically pick up 12 cans, then think, do I really need 12? so put 6 back. Weird. Even if I have everyone over for Tuna bake one night, 6 cans is more than a month's worth! Cathy

        1. Crazy K | | #4

          Oh, that strikes a chord!!!  DH and I are empty-nesters now but we still shop sales and Sam's Club!!  If there are things that keep well (rice, noodles, etc.) we buy the large economy size!!  Probably silly but in the event we couldn't shop for a while, we surely wouldn't starve!! ha  I also buy bread flour in 25# bags and store in a industrial style container.  Of course, when I'm baking bread regularly, it doesn't last too long anyway and is much less expensive that way.

          Isn't it funny how old habits die hard??


          1. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #5

            I cook from scratch, so I buy bulk as much as possible for staples, and keep them in containers as you do. Only now I have to rethink how much am I going to be able to use up before it expires. I am keeping my whole wheat and other special flours in the freezer now as I had some go bad last year. On the other hand, the girls shop my shelves rather often when they come home to visit. No sense in them buying a whole package of flour when they can filch a few cups from mom eh? Cathy

          2. Crazy K | | #6

            Are you my long lost twin??  ha ha  I buy in quantity (sugar, flours, and other staples) and share with DD when she's out!  Makes sense for both of us, doesn't it?  Often she's only needing a few cups of something........just like your girls.

            DH always says 'great mind think alike'............ha ha  I like that one!!



          3. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #15

            I was feeling really out of place until I found Gatherings. There are people here just like me! All this creative energy is feeding my creative spirit, and I get to meet nice people like you. Cathy

          4. Crazy K | | #16

            I know what you mean.......I have had so much enjoyment from 'chatting' with my sewing friends from all over the world.  We all have a common bond, it seems.  It's nice to be able to share and learn from each other.  I have a neighbor who sews and have recently 'met' a gal on another forum that lives very near me........we're planning a coffee meeting one day soon and I'm going to New Richmond, WI late in Sept. to met our own "Damascusannie" in the flesh!  I am so excited!!

            My hearing loss keeps me from lots of social events so even though we've lived in our present home for 7 years, I haven't met tons of people.  We have a little circle of friends, neighbors and acquaintances but none (except one neighbor) share my love of sewing like the forum gals!!

            Happy Stitching!


          5. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #20

            I have "met" a friend who lives fairly close also. Hopefully we can work together also. The hearing thing is too bad. DH is severely hearing impaired, a hereditary thing complicated by working with big machinery. I know how isolating it can be. He takes it with good humor tho. When he really mishears something, he says purple monkey washing machine? and it is his way of asking us to repeat what we said. He started that when the girls were little. It still makes them giggle. Cathy

          6. Crazy K | | #21

            Does DH wear hearing aids?  I have high powered state of the art ones but there is nothing like the real thing!  I got my first hearing aids at age 39 and it has progressively gotten worse over the years.  I hear virtually nothing without them now.......and even with, life is a challenge.  One on one, face to face I do fairly well.  Yes, it is isolating but I'm healthy otherwise so count my blessings!  I don't have to hear well to sew!!!!!


          7. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #23

            He has good ones. That sit in the cupboard more often than in his ears. They pick up more background noise than anything he says. He got his first pair when he was 25. He has gotten good at lipreading. DD1 is a Developmental Services Worker and has her level 3 in sign language, and I can finger spell. So he is beginning to learn some of that by osmosis. We have always used some modified sign around the tractors anyhow, so it is now carrying over to the house. Even our friends are starting to pick up the basic signs for Coffee, Lunch, Phone! Cathy

            Edited 8/20/2008 4:25 pm ET by ThreadKoe

      2. sandyszoo | | #11

        I LOVE EM LIBRARY!!!!!

  2. damascusannie | | #7

    I love them, especially the black grapevine motif. Gorgeous!

    1. Crazy K | | #8

      thanks, Annie!  I finished it off with back handles .......don't know if that shows.  It really makes a striking bag.........at least I thought so! ha ha

      I've got the 28th of Sept. on our calendar.  Looking forward to it!!


      1. damascusannie | | #9

        I forgot that you were coming out to the Heritage Center--can't wait to meet you!

  3. Gloriasews | | #10

    Wow - are you ever on a roll!  You'll have most of your Christmas gifts done in no time.  The bags are gorgeous.  I'm like Annie - the black grapevine bag is my favourite.


  4. rodezzy | | #12

    Those are so cute. 

  5. Josefly | | #13

    I love your bags. Just curious, Kay: how long does it take to embroider those designs, like the pumpkin or the grapevine? The more I see examples of embroidery embellishments on projects here, the more I wish for the machinery to do it! Does it take longer to do if more thread colors are used?

    1. Crazy K | | #14

      I don't know exactly how long the pumpkin took but it was awhile.......I wish I could remember but I think over an hour!  I think there is over 38,000 stitches in that one.  And, yes, the single color ones do stitch out quicker because you're not changing colors.  Most of the one-color designs are not as stitch intensive either which makes a huge difference.  The first ones I did with the toile herb designs stitched out in just minutes.  Unless the color changes are frequent, I sometimes multi-task while embroidering........such as sewing, serging or even ironing because all those machines are in very close proximity to my embroidery machine so I can hear and watch.

      It is fun to do and very habit-forming! ha ha  I don't regret getting my machine, software, stabilizers and threads.  It's not a cheap hobby but very gratifying when you can make personalized one-of-a-kind gifts for family and friends.


      1. Josefly | | #17

        Thank you for the answer. I can see now that multiple machines would be necessary, else waiting on the embroidery would be un-fun.You've done such a nice job. I'm sure the recipients will be delighted with your gifts.

        1. Crazy K | | #18

          I have a problem, though...........I don't know which to keep and which to give away!! ha ha ha  I will be making more, that's for certain.  When I make multiples for the families, I probably won't do the large and very eloborate designs.......it just take so long I'll be at it until next July 4th!  Well....maybe not quite but I think some of the lighter designs are pretty and they go so much quicker.  I have lots of different toile designs that are one color and light.........I'm thinking they will be used on some.

          Waiting is un-fun but the first designs I watched in awe.......couldn't believe how they could stitch out so beautifully.


  6. dressed2atee | | #19

    There adorable.  Did you get this idea from "Embroidery Library" website, I just saw a project like this.  They really turned out great!

    1. Crazy K | | #22

      Well, I just got the idea...........yes, I suppose the emb. library project added to the idea but the 'pattern' was from a brown paper bag!  I used that for size and just started measuring and cutting..........it evolved from there!  I did the first one and it was so plain......that's when I decided I needed to embellish them somehow......for identification if for no other reason.


      1. User avater
        VKStitcher | | #24

        I really like your bags.  When I saw them I wondered if you had used a pattern or had just made it up on your own.  I'll have to get the brown paper bags next time I go to the grocery store so I can have a pattern too.  The embroidery designs really liven them up.  Thanks for sharing all your creations.

      2. dressed2atee | | #25

        great job!

  7. sewslow67 | | #26

    My goodness Kay, these are wonderful.  You've got me so inspired that I'm going to make some of these for Christmas gifts.  Thanks so much for sharing all of your news ones as you complete them.

    Now then, I have a couple of questions:  What kind of sewing machine do you have/use to make these and what programs do you use for the designs.  Do you use designs from CD's, disks put into your machine, or do you download designs from the computer to your sewing machine?

    My machine is the Pfaff 2170, and I have the embroidery unit to go with it, and the software (but my software is out-dated now, and I'd like the new stuff).  I have a number of designs on CD's, but really have not used the embroidery unit much for the past year or two.  I'd like to get back to it now that you have inspired me - thus the questions.  Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks, my friend.

    1. Crazy K | | #27

      Thank you for your kind words.  I use designs from Emb. Library which I download to a floppy or jump drive and then for the floppies I use an external floppy drive for my machine......the jump drive plugs in directly but I use a hub.  I need the hub so I can plug in my machine's mouse as well as the external drive.  it works good.   I have Vikings SEs and 3d software.  I do enjoy machine embroidery and have lots of fun..........and also have accumulated lots of designs.  DH teases me when I buy more..........I just tell him that I'm going to live a very long time to use them all!!!

      I'm glad I've inspired you.  I have one thing to change in my procedure........I didn't pre-wash the drill fabric before I made the current ones.........I am going to try washing one of them and see how much shrinkage occurs and how it affects the embroidery.  I may have to change my methods and pre-wash and then embroider, then construct the bags.  Anyway, the bags go together very quickly.........only the embroidery takes time but the simple designs aren't time consuming either......and well worth the effort because they add so much.

      Hope this helps......


      1. sewslow67 | | #28

        Thanks, Kay; that is helpful information.  Now then, I have another question - no hurry to answer, only when you have a moment. 

        I was wondering if you hoop the fabric or, since it is heavy, if you use one of those "sticky" type deals to keep it on top of the hoop when you embroider it.  Also, am I to understand that you embroider the fabric first, i.e. you cut out the front of the bag, then embroider it, the sew the bag together?

        It seems like it would be easier to cut the front out first, except you'd probably need to make it a bit larger to accommodate a possible "shrinkage" of it with the embroidery, and then, trim it down to the exact size you wanted for the front of the bag.  Does that make sense?

        1. Crazy K | | #29

          I just came to the computer and found your message!  Great timing, huh?

          I cut out my bags...........I make them from one piece........half the width or about 30" wide and 42" long.........when the sides are stitched up.  I then stitch across the corners at 3" in from the point......which makes a 6" wide flat bottom.  I turn the top down 1", press, turn down around 1" and press again.  I then position my straps in 6" from the side seams and stitch around the bag stitching the straps in place.  Then I stitch around the top edge of the bag and fold the straps up and stitch across.  After that I stitch an "X" in edge strap to hold and give stability.  I press, fold and the bag is done.  My finished bags are just about exactly the same size, width and depth as a paper grocery sack.

          RE:  Embroidery.  I cut the bags and then to the embroidery on the flat fabric.  I use a medium cutaway stabilizer and spray adhesive and then hoop the stabilizer and the fabric.  I have had really good luck doing that and given the nature of the cotton drill, no puckering at all.  I'm concerned that it could pucker after laundering and that's why I mentioned in a previous post that I should start laundering the drill before making the bag.  I was hestitant do to raveling but I will deal with that!!  I want these bags to be durable and still look good after using and laundering!!

          Hope this is helpful info.........more questions, please ask.  These are no big family secrets I'm passing along!!


          1. sewslow67 | | #30

            Thanks so much, Kay.  Your directions were so helpful that I did a copy and paste and sent your message to myself.  ;-)  I have the fabric for only one bag at the moment, but that's a start, so I'll post a picture when I get it done ...after the reunion.  Thanks again for all you help.  Over and out ...probably until next week, I suspect. 

  8. SAAM | | #31

    What beautiful work, Kay. The bags are fabulous and the recipients will be so glad to receive them. I bought an embroidery machine earlier this year, but have not had much chance to play with it. I, like you am rapidly moving into the "empty nest" phase of my life, so will perhaps have more time to figure it all out.

    My 16 year old was accepted into college, so she's left home two years before we expected, my 23 year old moved out the same weekend, and my 26 year old is planning on getting her own place by October. I'm going from a full house to an empty one in the space of two months. I know what you mean about "getting your head around it." It's a bigger adjustment than I expected.


    1. Crazy K | | #32

      Thanks for the kind words.  Machine embroidery is addictive!!!  Take time to play and learn and you will have a ball.  I started out embroidering towels, pillowcases and other things that we had around the house.  Figured if I messed up it was not a big deal.  There are lots of good places to pick up tips.......Emb. Library has some great tutorials, videos and printed instructions on the Emb. Library Projects page. 

      Have fun with your new-found time and toy!!


    2. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #33

      Welcome to my world! I also am finding myself suddenly an empty nester! Every day I am finding a new Good Thing about it tho. Like, my neat-nik daughter is no longer hiding things where I cannot find them. They are getting put back where they actually belong. As a post-menopausal woman, all those woman things are now hidden away. They sure took a lot of space up in the bathroom! tee hee It is really hard to argue with yourself... unless you really need to. tee hee. And I can get into the sewing room when I need to undisturbed, and the computer when I want, and the bathroom.....Cathy

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