Yesterday, I was taking a friend to pick up her car at the dealership where it was getting serviced. We had lunch first and decided to stop at Tuesday Morning (link) to browse. Had no intention of buying anything but the store is fun to wander through and see what they have... never know what you'll find.
Now, I've sworn off buying fabric and am determined to shop my stash for projects; however, when I came across these, I stopped to look. At first, I thought they were fat quarters but they "felt different" when I picked them up... upon further examination, I realized they were half-yard cuts. And for $1.49, too! Love the prints, love the colors... and I've already cut them out to make four grocery bags for my daughter.
I love how strong these fabric bags are... last week during a grocery run, I got a gallon of water, a half-gallon of milk, a jar of spaghetti sauce and a box of saran wrap in one bag. If bagged with plastic... you'd need two bags at least.... and I'd be worried that the corners of the saran wrap box would cut the plastic and I'd end up with a broken jar of spaghetti sauce on the concrete driveway.
Even though I had placed a moratorium on fabric purchases a while ago, I realized that my stash was at SABLE stage: Stash Amassed Beyond Life Expectancy. So, I found a pattern/tutorial for grocery bags online and did a bit of sewing.
This morning, I made a grocery run and these shopping bags definitely have a lot of positives:
1. Using these will reduce my consumption of plastic bags. I don't want to see any more photos of animals killed or deformed by plastics dumped in their environments.
2. These bags are sturdier than plastic bags so I won't, for example, have any more burpless cukes poking a hole in a plastic bag and ending up on the driveway or on the floor in the kitchen.
3. This sturdiness also allows more items to be placed in the bags so there are fewer bags to manage out to the car and into the house.
4. The handles do not slide on and do not cut into my arm when lugging them into the house.
5. The cheerful, fun bags help make a chore a bit more pleasant.
The tutorial and pattern is by Stitched by Crystal (link) and it is easy to follow. The bags go together quickly, even though all the seams in the bag are French-seams. The most difficult part was selecting fabrics. The pattern calls for fat quarters and most FQs I have are singles.... so the backs and front of the bags are different, though coordinated. The lining, which takes one FQ, is also coordinated rather than matching. It was nice to put a small dent in the stash... and good to have these fabrics out where I can enjoy them!