Friday, April 24, 2020

Project three - farmhouse produce bags...

I had a dream to own a farmhouse in the country, a wrap around porch, large vegetable garden, climbing roses, chickens and ducks roaming free, a cow (oh, my, yes a cow) and a simple swing hanging from a large shady tree right out front. 
When I imagined having a home of my own that was the picture painted in my mind, that was my hope.

But that's not the home we found and we're not in the country, so was I disappointed when we finally purchased our very first home eighteen months ago? Yes and no. 

Most of you know we went through quite a journey to be home owners (well, co-owners with the bank) so there was tremendous relief when we eventually found 'the' house we could afford and which ticked most of the boxes on our long list...but what won it over for me was the large powered shed out back for my dear husband and the area available to plant a vegetable garden in both front and back yards. I was very happy about all that.
My honest disappointment was due to the very beige and brown colour scheme throughout, especially the fairly new kitchen. Knowing we could not afford a makeover to 'country white and cream' I've spent this past year and half adding colour here and there with what I make and how I decorate. And in some odd way this has been really good for me because it makes me look with creative eyes at the internal environment we live in...probably a bit more so lately while we've been isolated at home like everyone else in the country. 

I pondered Paul's words in Philippians 4:11 this morning...

"...for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content."

...and I realised mostly I am very content indeed, but then some days I'll dwell on the dream that never came to pass and feel temporarily discontent. Do you have days like that?

Most of the discontent arises from pondering the beige and brown kitchen, and that's just the truth of it, so recently I chose to pray and consider what changes I CAN make to what is essentially a well set out room with everything I need to bake and prepare meals. Focusing on the best parts and planning simple changes to the rest by using the skills I have and probably a bit of hubby's muscle soon as well.

Which leads me to today's tutorial!

If you can't get the farmhouse kitchen you want, begin making things that reflect that style and put them on display...

I used to store my potatoes and onions in the spare fridge (here in the tropics that is quite normal) but when the fridge decided to take a permanent break I had nowhere to put them so they hid in the pantry beside the rice and pasta.

Years ago I made a potato produce bag from a nice thick tea towel and so I thought it would be good to make a new one, plus a second for onions, but this time give them the country farmhouse look I love. I chose blue tea towels because the colours blend well with beige and brown and when my hubby puts together the three tier vegetable trolley on wheels that I bought (because I'm hopeless at putting things together and always ask him or Blossom to step in) they can not just serve a purpose by shielding my potatoes and onions from the light but look good too.

Here's how my bags were made:

Step 1 - choose your tea towel and wash it because tea towels shrink a lot.

Step 2 -  dry, press and remove both side hems and the bottom hem.

Step 3 - fold in half, and with right sides together sew a scant 1/8 inch seam down the sides and across the bottom.

Step 4 - turn the bag inside out and press flat.

Step 5 - sew down the sides and bottom edge again, encasing the raw edges in a French seam.

Step 6 - sew cotton lace, bias binding, ricrac braid, ribbon - whatever you like - around the open top edge.
One of my tea towels has the cotton lace sewn under the edge and the other towel had it sewn over the top. Pin the lace first to see which style you prefer.

Step 7 - gather some buttons, a length of twill tape (I used tape from fat quarter bundles I bought about ten years ago which proves everything can be reused one day), a piece of solid colour fabric, embroidery thread and DOWNLOAD this sheet to trace the words.

Step 8 - trace the words and backstitch them with two strands of your chosen thread. Trim the word blocks to a quarter inch larger than the stitchery. Fuse to the top right fold as shown above using a scrap of fusible web or simply pin in position. Blanket stitch around the word block with a single strand of thread.

Step 9 - attach the twill tape by folding in half and sewing into the side seam with a button.

Step 10 - sew the buttons in place and fill with produce!

All done!
Fill those bags and think about what other produce or supplies might be prettied up in bags like these.
I am thinking about rice, pasta, beans...those bags could be smaller.
What else would you use them for?

My next bags might be green and cream because I only have one more blue tea towel, but I also think green would look lovely amidst the beige, brown and blue...especially as we have a green blind in the kitchen and green plants on the windowsill.

This has been the third project in my Creative Hands At Home initiative this week and next week I'll be back with three more. The final project will be shared the week after.

If you missed the first two they are the Churn Dash Tulips pincushion and stitchery HERE...

...and the Hexie Flower Tea Towel HERE

I can hear my husband pulling in to the driveway now and that heralds the start of our weekend so I'd best be away and make a cuppa for our Friday afternoon wind down.
He's been building raised garden beds from old wooden palettes this week and over the weekend we will fill them with soil and do a bit more planting.

Before I go here's a few more project ideas I found online that you might want to try while being home.

Kerryanne has some very pretty handmade tags you can download and print, and I have a feeling a few of us have been making more gifts than usual lately so the will come in handy.

I pray these days of rest ahead give you joy and healing and refreshment.

Loving hugs


Joanne said...

Hi Jenny,
Those farmhouse produce bags would look great holding potted plants on the window ledge. Herbs here in the Winter months.
Thanks for the link !
enjoy the weekend!

Quilting Babcia said...

I love finding a new post from you to accompany my early morning cup of decaf. A gentle way to start the day, pondering the scriptures you share and admiring your newest creative accomplishments. There are several pieces of striped toweling yardage in my stash, so some bags may eventually find their way into the pantry area. Our potatoes, onions and garlic are currently kept in old baskets. We don't dare store dry staples like pastas, rice and other grains the way you're planning, too many insects in this very old farmhouse. Instead, all our grains and pastas, nuts, beans, etc., are stored in large half-gallon canning jars. They look so pretty lined up on the shelves when we open the pantry cupboard.

A Notion to Sew said...

Thank you for sharing your terrific Creative Hands at Home projects, Jenny. You are such an inspiration to me and I always look forward to displaying my projects from your blog and from your blog and from my Faith in Hand membership. Have a blessed weekend. Pam

Anonymous said...

Bonjour Jenny
Oui on ne peut toujours avoir la maison de ses rêves , mais on peut l'adapter , l'améliorer chaque jour , une peinture , un bricolage , de la couture , tout ça peut rendre une pièce plus agréable et qui nous ressemble ...


Brenda said...

Hello Jenny, I enjoy your posts every day! While I am doing a couple of your hand embroidery projects at my slow pace in the evenings. After reading and seeing these lovely Farmhouse Produce Bags I could just feel that excited feeling growing throughout. These will definitely be my project to liven up our kitchen area a tad bit more! Which it really needs. Know that every project you share with us, even if I do not make it, I appreciate your time and effort. Thank you and have a fantastic day!

Donna said...

Your bags are just them/

MargaretP said...

Love the beautiful produce bags, so pretty.
I'm halfway through the Grain shawl and it is so easy and looking good, very happy with that.

Cheryl B. said...

I have almost those exact tea towels purchased at Ikea. As soon as I can stop sewing masks and surgical caps I would love to make these!

Kay said...

These will certainly pretty up your kitchen. When we moved into our current house our kitchen was all very dark wood which I loathed so I painted it all, it took a lot of time but it became cream with new handles too. Last year we repainted it white, affording a new fitted kitchen is beyond us but at least it looks reasonable now, I have always found dark colours a little depressing so am much happier. x

Lin said...

Much prettier than the plain white bread bags I whipped up in a hurry the other day! xx

Sherry said...

I love this idea. My kitchen needs this. I think I will take a break from quilt making and freshen up our home a bit.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Could you paint to make your kitchen the colors you want? My mother painted her dark brown cabinets a pretty white. Now her kitchen is bright and happy (it had been dark and dreary).

Allie said...

Those are so darling!! Jenny-girl, I think anywhere you live will be filled with Jenny-touches, and it will feel like home - you can't help but put your own imprint on wherever you are. I admit I've had trouble with going from an all-white kitchen (so bright and cheery) to all wood....but now I like it, and I keep adding more color. Someday, you'll look around, and realize you've created the kitchen of your dreams!

Susan said...

Jenny, that's the best one yet! I may just make those in May, as I have plenty of tea towels. I've been thinking of getting one of those hanging basket things, as I do have a corner where one of the boys could hang it for me. Those bags would look great!

I would have been very happy in a farmhouse like that, but it isn't what I have, either. And I didn't have time to repaint when I moved in, so I'm stuck with peachy-beige walls I certainly don't like, either. My kitchen is way too tiny. BUT, my roof is good, no trees have fallen on the house, I'm dry and warm or cool, whichever I need, year-round, and my house is a safe haven for me now and at all other times. I am content with what I have. =)

Kerryanne @ Shabby Art Boutique said...

Your produce bags are so lovely Jenny and do have a lovely farmhouse charm about them. I make my own produce bags too, but they are not nearly as lovely as yours my friend. Thank you too for the sweet shout out on my printable tags.
Thank you for sharing this post at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I'm delighted to be featuring your farmhouse produce bags at tonight's party and pinning too.

Pamela @ DIY Vibes said...

I think we all have that dreamhouse/location in our head. I call this home, "the one the kids grow up in" but in my heart there is one with more land surrounded by a lot of foliage (not being able to see my neighbors houses) and a lots of flower beds. I can still dream. But on to your adorable bags. I LOVE the material, actually I love everything about them. The details are so cute. These would be cute bags for anything!
Pamela | DIY Vibes