Apr 23 10

Tote Bag Mania!

I’ve been really busy getting lots of these sewn. As you can see from the bag above, there’s a great variability in how well you can see the wreaths in the center block:

and this one made from scraps from an old animal quilt I made a decade ago is probably my favorite:

and here’s a cute one in Michael Miller prints:

and here’s the original prototype one:

I’m learning that it’s really hard to “pose” handbags! I put a group of them on this bench, but they really look like pillows!

Do you see that stone wall behind them? That wall is about 80 feet long and in its tallest section is about 7 feet high. Would you believe that my husband and I actually stoned that wall ourselves?! It seems unbelievable to me now, but we really did it! When we finished, we were so proud of ourselves and then we realized that we still needed to grout between the stones…bummer! After stoning that wall, we figured we could do anything, so we set out to grout it. (I need to add that the stoning process involved carrying enough rocks to cover that 80 foot wall up a small hill and although that doesn’t sound bad, it was pretty grueling work. Then we “buttered” each stone individually with mortar to set them all in place, and that was after we had attached a heavy metal mesh to the original cinder block wall so that it could support the stones. Man, this is making me tired just thinking about it!) Anyway, grouting the wall involved holding what looked like these giant vinyl pastry bags that were filled with 5-10 pounds of mortar, and then with one hand squeezing the mortar through a narrow tip in between the stones. I’m not describing this well enough, but trust me, it was HARD!! Anyway, we learned very quickly that we couldn’t finish this last part, so we paid a stone mason to grout it. But, I still feel pride every time I look at that wall, knowing that Ern and I helped create it!


  1. What Comes Next? Says:

    love those bags, and love your stone wall! I made a dry stack wall around my garden in the back, way smaller, but I definitely know the joy and pride of building something so substantial!

  2. Joan Says:

    The animal print bag is my favorite too. I love anything with animal print and use it as accents in home decorating — small touches such as pillows — but nothing too overwhelming. Please don’t ever stop blogging. You’re my fave.

  3. LuAnn in Oregon Says:

    Wow Patsy! Gorgeous thread work on those bags! Great portable shop samples for market……good thinking. Also a very do-able project for newbie machine quilters.
    Now for the wall…….incredible, and such character.
    Congrats to you and Ernie for all that hard work.
    Makes a beautiful back drop for photos.
    Have a great weekend,
    LuAnn in Oregon

  4. Elsie Montgomery Says:

    All I can say is that making that wall explains your persistence in perfecting your art! I did a log and stone stairway once and every time I walk up it I think that must have been my more industrious twin. Thanks for the inspiration in the wall, and the lovely bags!

  5. Kelly Stodola Says:

    Love your bags! Just wanted to let you know that I have watched all your free-motion quilting lessons on The Quilt Show website. Excellent job! I really hope you’ll be doing more! I think I need to make the investment in your feathers dvd! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Beverly Dunahoo Says:

    Hi Patty,
    Of course, the bags are wonderful with the feathered wreaths . I would love one of your books, because you are making my learning so carefree and non stressing. I don’t know how far I will go with this free motion quilting, but I am loving it so far. I think I only have about 19 quilt tops to quilt in a month or two or three when I get better at this fun stuff. Oh, by the way, I wouldn’t start over on that bag that is tall in portion: It would be perfect to use for those too tall things that want to fall out of other size bags while on the way to retreats or workshops.

  7. Sherry McCary Says:

    Cute, cute bags! I think what draws me most to #4 and #6 is the fact that you can see your gorgeous center wreaths better in these two.

    I’m totally in awe that yall built that ginormous wall by yourselves!