Small things

October 8, 2019

Woosh…and school holidays ate two weeks in a flash.

I did get a small thing finished in the holidays. A small thing made of smaller things.

This is a toilet bag for Our Dear Girl made from paper-pieced hexies cut from vintage sheets. I bought a packet of these from a tiny wee shop in Ballarat called The Crafty Squirrel, an eclectic exuberance of buttons, bits of fabric and miscellaneous vintage haberdashery.

I had envisaged it would be a good entree to hand sewing to my child who was showing interest in sewing and making things from fabric. And for a while she was quite engaged with the process of sewing around the hexies and then pulling the thread tight over the card backing. We made progress and bought another packet. At some point though, we both lost interest, perhaps it was when we moved house, and the project was put away and forgotton.

A serendipitous search in the fabric cupboard for something else, led to its rediscovery and the realisation that we only had a few hexies left to make up and sew together.

The toilet bag is loosely based on the Hexie Dilly Bag that was floating around quilting blogs a few years ago but the technique and sizing was completely winged. I used a denim scrap for the base, reinforced with interfacing. The lining was made from an old apron that had been turned into a dress for Our Dear Girl when she was smaller. I even unpicked the apron pocket and resewed it, to centre it inside the bag. The contrast fabric was a quilting scrap destashed by a friend.

It is no schmick, just-like-a-bought-one piece of DIY, but it is a sweet, useful thing made from scraps which evokes time together in the front room of the little house by the lake during our first year in Ballarat. Hopefully it becomes a favoured travelling companion for Our Dear Girl for school camps, holidays and sleep overs. It is tall enough to hold a brush, squat enough to sit sturdily on a counter and squishy enough to fit in any corner of a backpack.

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  1. how beautiful! love those hexies and the memories that bag has sewn into it. Such a precious thing for your dear girl to stow her travelling goodies in <3

  2. How beautiful, and how fine it is to make projects that are evocative as well as functional! This did bring to mind my grandma teaching me this technique, and gifting me her tiny scraps, which in my case resulted in a 900 patch strong quilt centre piece of 3 x 3 cm squares, started in childhood and finished in adulthood. I made it into a bed cover and gifted it to a friend who loved it and later told me she re-sewed little Mary’s stitching somewhere every time she had to wash it. What a friend!

  3. This is wonderful! I love the bag. And even if the bag doesn’t last the memories of the making will. This summer I introduced my 9 year old granddaughter to the world of sewing. Both with a needle and thread and with my vintage hand crank machine.. after only the most basic of tuition she made herself a small cotton pouch.. can’t wait for her next trip so we can sew more.. perhaps a wash bag like your one is a good idea ?.

  4. That bag is as sweet as the story of it’s making.
    I really need to pass on a bit more love of the stitch to my girls. I had them do a painting for our local not the Archies portrait exhibition but we’ve yet to do a lesson on the machine. I hope you and the crew are happy and well.
    Love to you all !

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