By Rita Latour
This time of year is always a challenge for me—there are so many new prints out for the upcoming holidays, and I feel the N E E D to buy it and use it. As I have been visiting shops in the area, I have seen some beautiful Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas fabrics. In reality, I cannot buy all of it and make a quilt, but I can pick up a small piece and use that on small projects.
One of my quick “go-to” favorite ways to use a specialty fabric is to make treat bags. A fat quarter (18” x 22”) will make four treat bags. The bags measure 5” x 9” and are plenty big enough for candy, sewing notions, small toys, or gift cards.
You will need one fat quarter, some craft ribbon cut into four 18” lengths, your sewing machine, and glue dots or fabric glue.
Trim the fabric to 18” x 20.” Fold the fabric in half so that you have a 20” wide piece by 9” high. Cut it into four pieces 5” wide. This will yield four strips 5” wide by 18” long. Fold the right sides together so that you have a piece 5” by 9”. Sew down the two long sides, backstitching at the top and bottom. Turn the bag right side out. Using a pencil or some rounded object, make sure the corners are nice and neat. My favorite tool to use here is called “The Purple Thang” and is designed especially to use on pushing corners nice and straight. Trim the top with pinking shears or just leave it. This is an optional step. Take a length of ribbon and using a small glue dot (or dot of regular glue), attach the ribbon about 3 inches down from the top. Make sure the glue dries before you fill the bag and tie the top.
I use these filled with candy for “special” guests or to give to the postal carrier, my hairdresser, nail tech, or teacher. I also have used them filled with sewing notions as retreat gifts.
Just change your fabric to fit the season or occasion for which you want to use one of those new fabrics. Make them up ahead of time so that you can easily go to your gift closet (or drawer) and have ready-made wrapping for that small gift.
Your recipient will love the “wrapping” and you get your “fix” using the latest and newest fabrics for the holidays!
I’m a resident in Central Illinois and welcome your comments. Please let me know if there is a quilting topic you would like to talk about. Contact me at [email protected].