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Tuesday was a long, hard-working, fun day. I had the best possible students in my ‘Quilts and Tote Bags from Your Old Sweaters’ workshop. I dutifully provided a tote bag pattern, all written out with measurements and everything. None of them used it. They all had their own ideas and just went ahead with them. I loved it! Randi read my class supply list carefully, and correctly interpreted my intention for each student to make exactly the bag she wanted. She spindle-spun the yarn she used to make her tote bag, and bought jute upholstery webbing for the handles. Using one of her own tote bags as a pattern guide, we figured out how to cut, construct, and sew the new bag from her hand-knit fabric with Guatemalan fabric as a base and lining. To strengthen the handles, Randi folded the webbing in and over itself along its length. She used a decorative stitch in red thread to secure the fold and match the stripes in the jute. The difficulty came when it was time to sew the handles to the bag. We [] finally got the job done with a denim needle, and slow, patient stitching. We both learned from this project. see the finished bag in tomorrow’s post. knitted tote bag in progress Ginger saved our sanity when it looked as if we couldn’t get the fusible interfacing to stick to the sweaters. “They’re all different, ” she said, “so you have to read the directions. ” I always steam my fusible to make it stick better , but it seems that some fusibles work best with a dry iron. Unfortunately, fusible doesn’t always come with directions, so we experimented with steamy and dry irons to find the right combination. Ginger was very comfortable with the sewing machine, so she put her small quilt together, and embellished it with decorative stitching and appliqué, without much interference from me. Time was getting on, and she decided to finish the quilting and binding at home, so she could start on the tote bag. Read the rest of the story and see the finished bag in tomorrow’s post. old sweater patchwork in progress , a free-form crochet scumbler and , pulled together her purple and charcoal sweaters with bits and pieces of knitting from my scraps box. “It reminds me of outer space, ” I said. “Take a look at my lining material!” she said. The white dots and purple balls on a black background looked exactly like the Milky Way with planets. She had picked up the fabric because she liked it, but with no particular project in mind at the time. We all commented how beautifully things come together sometimes. Check tomorrow’s post to see how her project evolved. old sweater patchwork in progress

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