Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Green" Baby Shower Favors

I have a wonderful daughter-in-law (DIL), who I have been trying for years to get "hooked" on quilting. But, she is a practical and utilitarian sewer, who sews when necessary. I remember when her brother and his wife were pregnant with their first child. After prodding her for years about trying quilting, she came to me and said she was ready to make a baby quilt. I suggested a very quick and easy, flip and sew project. We went fabric shopping and she had so much fun picking out airplane theme fabric. I thought - aha! I hooked her.

A few years later - yes a few years, her dear friend from elementary school was pregnant, and she was ready to make another quilt. Last year we even took a free workshop at a local sewing shop during Earth Day and made a reusable shopping bag. She loves it and uses it. But it was one and done. And then her brother had twins. That time it was two rag quilts made from flannel. She still was not bitten.

Now her sister is pregnant. Time for another quilt? Yes! And what did I think of the idea of making reusable shopping bags as bridal shower favors? She even brought me a pattern. First I have to let you know that her sister is determined to reduce her carbon footprint. She has made an effort to have as little purchased new for this baby as possible. She has been trying to reuse and/or borrow or buy used what she needs. Then she will register for her baby shower. I really admire this. Sometimes I think there is just too much consumption in this country.

So I thought my DIL's idea for the shower favor was a great idea. And I had a brainstorm, thinking of too much consumption, wouldn't it be even better if we went through my fabric stash and used as much of my fabric as possible? How many bags did she need? Wow! 30, maybe 40? Decorator fabric was plentiful, so I thought, and my DIL chose a color palette. Then we picked some quilting fabric. The deal was that I would cut up the fabric for her and she would do the sewing.

I spent almost a day cutting up all of the fabric and experimenting. It looked like so much fabric before I started. It yielded enough for 27 bags. I made a few prototypes. First I changed the pattern so that the body of the bag was cut as 1 piece. I also added a bottom gusset, which is so easy to do, and really makes it a professional looking bag.

The first bag I made was the green striped bag on the right. I shortened the bag, but I thought it looked too small. So I used the dimensions from the original directions.

My favorite bag is the one on the left. I had bought that fabric a few years ago for an Autumn tablecloth. I wanted to try making a bag from it since it is a cross between an organza and a taffeta and I was concerned about its sturdiness. There was enough to cut 6 bags. The sample came out beautifully.

So now I am on a mission to not buy any fabric for this project. I just have to go through my stash one more time and then ask friends to come up with enough fabric for 13 more bags. And my DIL has a lot of sewing to do.


  1. I sure do have a lot of sewing! Let me know about Sunday. xoxo

  2. I will be happy to contribute from my stash -- I even have some decorator fabric! What a wonderful idea! Quiltgirl

  3. when all else fails: read and FOLLOW the directions. ck

  4. Fabric, Quilt Girl! Who knew you had so much!

  5. Ah,Cheryl-I loved this-Olivia sent it to me today; You are so generous; i feel so lucky to have you and your family now a part of ours. (Oh, yeah.....and LOVE the bags)


Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to hear from you.