Thursday, November 15, 2007

Quilted Gift Bags

I have been working on gift bags. My husband hates wrapping presents. (I'm the complete opposite - I love it.) So a few years back I decided to use some of that fabric I've got to make gift bags. The first ones were just bags - not even drawstring bags because that was too hard. Pretty ironic given how much time I spend on them now.

I didn't like just having one layer of fabric around the gifts - way too easy to figure out what was in the bag. So I've turned to making quilted gift bags. There's a tutorial here I wrote two years ago for anyone who is interested.

I love using up all the extra bits of batting that are too fiddly to whipstitch together to make a bigger batt. It's also fun to find the perfect fabric to just make bags out of as well, like this one:


The quilting on this one actually looks like the snowflakes I sewed this week:

I love buttons:

I put a perle cotton tie through every dot on this fabric:

I sew safety pins onto the back of the nametags so that I can move them from one bag to another. But this roller coaster bag is all mine. I sewed the ribbon on through all three layers of the sandwich.

Kind of ridiculous to spend this much time on bags. But I love that they are reusable and we're not throwing out all that wrapping paper. Plus it's cozy, like a little quilt snuggling up the gift.

I've had a hard time actually using these on presents leaving the house. I get too attached and just want to keep them here. I'm hoping the more I make the easier it will be to let some go. And it's not like they're going to "waste" here. I stuff things in them and use them to decorate. They look lovely under the tree and who actually needs presents?

By the way, I've posted pics of all of these bags before. I'll show the newer ones another day.

It was a crisp fall day today. Took a walk along the Champs d'Elysees with a friend. Hope the weather is lovely where ya'all are too.

20 comments:

Laura said...

Oh my gosh the bags are awesome. What fun, I will have to check your tutorial out!

joyce said...

Amazing bags! The Japanese usually wrap gifts in cloth, often beautiful scarves, so you get two gifts instead of one. These bags do the same thing.

Susan said...

I love your bags *and* the idea for pinning on the nametags! Thanks for the tutorial, I'm going to refer to it in my blog. Great idea! You have so many like that. =)

Dianne said...

Great gift bags, Ton. If you added a long cord as you're finishing them up, they'd make great little handbags for keys, credit cards and "mad money"...I can imagine anyone receiving a gift from you in one of these keeping the bag and enjoying it as much as or more than the gift!

Fiona said...

I love them! Great for kids' presents too.

Kristin L said...

What a cool idea. I love the button and dotty ones. CDs and scarves are on my Xmas list this year -- I just realized I can wrap one with teh other. Brilliant!

Diane said...

You are something! These bags are utterly charming!

Tazzie said...

Super cute bags Tonya, I know I wouldn't be able to give them away. You put soooo much work into them. Just lovely.
*hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

andsewitis Holly said...

I was just thinking about these, Tonya -- my first thoughts of Christmas. One of these days (years) I'm going to stitch up some of these. They are a great idea and because the bags are used over and over, they kinda hide the shape of the gift. Too cool. You could get rich with this idea ya know?

atet said...

Love those bags -- a great idea, green (since you reuse them), and fun. I don't think it's silly at all to spend that much time on them (um, have you seen the gift bag I KNITTED?!?). Then again -- I've been told I spend more time on the wrapping than I do on the present sometimes (which, come to think of it, is true). I'd have a hard time letting these go as well!

Tanya said...

Oh! Such great bags! I'm always thrilled to see your sewing creations on your blog! Always a new idea for me to try! Thank you!

takinanap said...

very fun wrapping. and the buttons with perle cotton...oh a woman after my own heart.

Kieny said...

These bags are so great! No wonder you want to keep them for your self.

Kathie said...

Fabulous! You really are a trip. This would be a great use for a pile of Christmas fabric I recently fell heir to...

Clare said...

Ton they are gorgeous. They really are. I love the red and white one with the buttons and your perle cotton dots. In fact I love them all. Not this year, but perhaps next. A good idea too for Alex's stocking - I can never find a stocking big enough! In fact that is something I can do before she breaks up in about 4 weeks - yikes! Thanks for yet another great tutorial.

Are you still strike bound?

Lynda said...

The bags look great fun to make and receive, but apart from the separation problem, there's only one snag that I can see - you have to plan ahead and actually have your gift ready before you know what size to make the bag! Still, it's not too early to do some Christmas shopping, now.

jude said...

what a great use of fabric! and i'm with you, such a waste...all that paper.

Julie aka "Quilt Diva" said...

Tonya - THANK YOU for posting this! I tried making single layer drawstring fabric gift bags last year but was VERY unhappy with the way they turned out. Your tutorial is great (as always). Okay if I link to it on my blog? And I especially like the idea of making these and using them to decorate under the tree!!

Helen in the UK said...

Love your quilty gift bags :)

Tracey @ozcountryquiltingmum said...

Tonya....another idea that is jsut brilliant...brillianter than brilliant-what would that be, incandescent??
Of course, now there is no excuse for him to not get presents, and a lot of bags that require filling as well. LOVED them all!!
Also v.keen on your latest post with the trees and words, nice and bright, don't lean to either layout...just looks good! Tracey