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Saturday’s Simple Recipe Page 22 Taco Soup

February 13, 2016

Hello Everyone,

Sorry it has been a couple of weeks since you heard from me. When I’ve been home, I have spent time in my studio every spare minute. I had a big order from the Texas Quilt Museum that I finally finished yesterday.

I made 20 collage greeting cards,


Happy Birthday, Jennifer



thirteen Design Packets,


Thirteen Design Packets

and twelve mug rugs or hot pads.


Twelve Mug Rugs or Hot Pads

I loved every minute of the hours in my studio. There are only a few other places I would rather be.

Now let’s think about cooking. We are getting near the end of my family cookbook. Here is the fourth from the end.

Taco Soup

In the middle 90’s, I went to Seattle to teach several of “That Patchwork Place” employees how to make the second five Jazz jackets. The jackets were pictured in my second book Jacket Jazz Encore. Marta Estes made this soup for our lunch one day. My husband loves this and will eat it for several days. Thank you, husband. I don’t feel guilty when I’d rather be creating in my studio than cooking in the kitchen. The soup is very easy.


Taco Soup


1 ½ lbs. hamburger

16 oz. can diced tomatoes

15 oz. can kidney beans and juice

1 pkg. taco seasoning mix

15 oz. can chicken broth

1 can corn

1 chopped onion

1 small can rotel tomatoes (mild)

1 can hominy


Tortilla chips

Grated cheddar cheese

Chopped avocado

Sour cream

Sliced black olives

Fresh cilantro


In large kettle sauté meat and onion, breaking up with a spatula as it cooks.

Add taco seasoning and stir. Add tomatoes, beans, corn, hominy and broth. Stir and simmer for at least ½ hour or up to a few hours.

Serve by mounding broken tortilla chips in the bottom of the bowl; add a dollop of sour cream, then the soup. Top with grated cheese, sliced olives, and chopped avocado and cilantro.

Ummm…I think I’ll make a pot this week. Those of you who are looking out your window at snow would love this hot, tasty soup.

Happy cooking and creating to you until we meet again, Judy


Think Positive

July 12, 2015

When I started this blog a few years ago, I thought I would connect with other crafters. I had seven published books, a line of fabric, a garment pattern line and had taught quilting and fiber crafts extensively for 30 years. I was and still am involved in Quilts, Inc., but I no longer teach or write books. I missed my students and thought blogging would be a good way to connect.

Judy Murrah published books

“Jacket Jazz” series

Instead of reaching new friends through tutorials, I have connected more with family and friends whom I’ve made over the years in the quilting industry. I have written several “Play Date How-To” posts, but they are not the ones that get the most hits. My audience has been more interested in my every day life…our family and most recently my journey with bone marrow cancer.

Since I was a pre-teen, I have sporadically kept some sort of diary, journal, or thoughts for the day in various types of notebooks. Some I have since burned, others I read occasionally, but mostly they are just left behind somewhere on a shelf. I sometimes wonder if my children/grandchildren will run across them someday, or if they’ll just be hauled-off with the tons of other stuff my husband and I have collected over 49 years of marriage.

I guess my blog is somewhat like a journal or diary. I put it out there publicly not knowing if anyone will read it. I still like to tell my story even if there aren’t huge numbers of listeners.  I’m encouraged by the comments that are left behind on my blog or Facebook. It pleases me if I can make a difference in someone’s day by taking the time to visit.

It’s always good to hear back from a reader to learn a little about what is going on in her life. If what I have experienced can make me a better listener, then some of my day-to-day living makes sense. Being drawn to become a Stephen Minister eight years ago at First United Methodist Church in Missouri City has much to do with helping others by listening to their story. Recently the topic of our Stephen Minister supervision meeting was on Forgiving. We were instructed by our leader to bring books or articles we had read on Forgiveness to help facilitate the conversation. I recalled a book our friend and pastor, Reverend Dr. Michael Barry, had written and given to us over a year ago.

In looking for “The Forgiveness Project” written by Michael S. Barry, to my surprise it was with another book Mike had written in 2004. Mike had sent me the book, “A Reason for Hope” many years ago. I had read it and brought it to an earlier Stephen Ministry in-service supervision meeting. To date, I have not been assigned a care receiver who is battling cancer. My journey with cancer is new, but my experience is growing.

Books by Michael S. Barry

Books by Michael S. Barry

Finding Mike’s book at this time was a God-thing. I have no doubt. I took the little book to bed with me many nights and found much to read and ponder. Reading the fifth chapter, “Why Do You Want to Live?” was an “aha” moment. My prayer life is simple, but constant. However, I found difficulty in praying to God to let me live when others have died. Why was my life so much more important than all the others? Yes, of course, I want to live to see our grandchildren get older and pass milestones. I want to live so Tommy and I can do the traveling we have waited many years to do. It seemed selfish, but in Mike’s book, he gave me real purpose that I cling to and that is: I want to live to serve and glorify God. I can do that in my every day living with family, friends, and people I meet. I can stay positive and be supportive of them. I can listen and care. I can love as He loves us. It’s a big order, but it’s a reason to live.

Now let’s talk about being positive. Oh, my, I am challenged by that daily. I know being a positive person makes me and those around me feel better, but sometimes that’s a tough one. Tommy and I have been talking about and planning for our 50th wedding anniversary next year. We decided we would plan a cruise in Europe. Wait a minute. We have never been on a cruise. Maybe we should do something in the states to see if we even like cruising. So we researched and talked to many friends who have taken dozens of cruises. We settled on an 8-day New England Island Cruise on American Cruise Line. We were scheduled to set sail on July 4. Best laid plans of mice and men don’t always work out as planned. With my cancer treatment and transfusions often twice a week, I could not be gone that long. We knew this 6-weeks before we were to set sail, but we had missed the cancellation, money-back deadline. Even with a formal letter from my oncologist, to date the cruise line will not give us a refund or rain check.

Our Small Ship

Our Small Ship

But let’s think positive. With permission from my oncologist, PA and research nurse, I could be gone from MDA hospital visits for four days. I looked at Tommy and said, “Hey, let’s go back to Long Beach to see our one-month old grandson.” So we spent the 4th of July week-end with Troy, Michelle, and T.

Troy, Michelle, and T

Troy, Michelle, and T

To my surprise, Michelle and Troy gave me T to hold after each nursing, diaper change, bath, playtime, etc. Often he slept in my arms, and other times we talked, snuggled and kissed. I felt a renewal and healing holding that sweet little guy. What precious children to let Grammy have so much time with their baby.

Grammy Loving T

Grammy Loving T

We came home on Monday and then back to MDAnderson on Tuesday. I should have started my third round of chemo over a week ago, but my blood count has been too low. Dr. Garcia-Manero wants to give my body a chance to recover more from the chemo treatments. Last week my counts were higher than the previous week. We are hoping they will be high enough this Tuesday without transfusions to start chemo again.

You’ve asked about side effects with the chemo. There are few. My body does not feel like my body as it tires easily, and my muscles are weak and sore. My hair thinned, but I did not lose it. While I’m taking chemo I don’t feel much like eating, but that’s the extent of it. If I get to start chemo on Tuesday, I will take it in tablet form from home. This is a good thing because our darling 18-year old granddaughter is coming on Wednesday to spend 8 days with us. Yes, isn’t that amazing that our first grandchild, who goes off to Texas A&M this fall, still likes to be with us in our home. We are so lucky.

Madison Murrah

Madison Murrah

So there is always a positive to each day. We just have to find it and hold onto it. My positive will be Madison Elizabeth Murrah, or as I called her from the beginning “Little MEM,” will be my playmate once again. Let the fun begin.

Blessings and fun to all of you dear friends. Enjoy the rest of your summer. Hugs, Judy


Play Date #12 Texas Boot Stocking

November 28, 2014

We are all about being from Texas. Everyone in the picture below was born and raised in Texas, or being raised in Texas, except for our oldest son, Todd. He was born in Joliet, Illinois in 1968 when my husband was in the Army. We moved him to Boston, Massachusetts, after the Army stint, long enough for Tommy to get his MBA. We moved our new little family back to Houston as soon as we could. Our daughter, Holly, was born in Houston in 1972, and  baby brother, Troy was born in Houston in 1975. He also was raised in Texas, but after college graduation he moved to California and has lived there ever since. He has a loving wife and her family there, but we miss him here. We look forward to Christmas when he and Michelle will be with us. Then we’ll be the Murrah 13 and growing rather than the 11 you see below.

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving 2014 was a grand celebration before the Texas A & M football game was played in College Station. We had turkey dinner, conversation, hugs, laughter, parking lot football, and just good family time. The highlight was the excitement of our oldest grandchild, Madison, being accepted into the 2019 class of Texas A & M. Her daddy graduated there along with her granddaddy and great-grandfather. Our daughter and her husband, Scott, also graduated from A & M along with great-great uncles and all my husband’s sister’s children. It’s a family tradition. We wish Madison Elizabeth Murrah many happy memories while she gets her education at Texas A & M.

Congratulations Madison

Congratulations Madison

Yes, we are about Texas and all things Texas. It’s hard to believe but more than 30 years ago I had a boot stocking design featured in a magazine which went out of business long ago. Does anyone remember Decorating and Craft Ideas? I still get orders for these stockings made from discarded denim jeans. My nephew’s wife just asked me to make more to add to her collection as her family grows with grandchildren. While making those for her I thought you might like to learn how to make them, too.

Texas Boot Stockings

Texas Boot Stockings

Materials Needed

Discarded pair of denim jeans for boot. One pair of jeans will make two stockings.

Fusible web with paper, suede cloth, ribbon, fringe, cotton fabric, felt scraps, etc. for applique

Christmas trim, jingle bells, studs, western charms, trinkets, etc. for embellishment


  1. Using the pattern provided, enlarge stocking to your desired size. I use the enlargement feature on my copier. My pattern for the width of the boot is 9″ at the top and 8″ at the bottom. It is 15″ tall. The foot is 7 1/2″ at its tallest and 11″ wide. You will make two pattern pieces. The A pattern is the leg of the boot. The B pattern is the foot of the boot. Make a pattern for these two pieces.

    Boot Pattern

    Boot Pattern

  2. Lay out blue jeans pant leg on flat surface with side seam decorative stitching on top. Using larger top half of boot pattern, place straight top edge even with bottom of jean. The side seam stitching will be center of boot starting in the middle of the top edge of the boot and ending at the scallop indentation where the foot of the boot is joined.
  3. Draw pattern on jean leg. Cut two wrong sides together on line drawn.
  4. It is not necessary to use the decorative seam stitching for the foot of the boot. Using foot of boot pattern, draw pattern on upper jean leg. Cut two wrong sides together.
  5. Lay the top part of the boot section under the foot part of the boot with right sides up. Use a zig-zag stitch to sew the two pieces together. Do the same for the boot back. Add trim over the zig-zag stitching.

    Stitch Leg to Foot of Boot

    Stitch Leg to Foot of Boot

  6. Choose an applique design for stocking. I have included several here. You will want to enlarge them. Trace applique patterns to paper side of fusible web. Fuse to wrong side of fabrics. Cuton line. Peel paper away and iron in place on stocking front.
    Deep in the Heart of Texas

    All About Texas

    The Lone Star State

    The Lone Star State

    All Things Texas Appliques

    All Things Texas Applique

  7. Machine zig-zag in place. You may prefer to replace the applique with a blue jeans pocket. Add embellishments.

    Deep in the Heart of Texas

    Deep in the Heart of Texas

  8. To construct the stocking, place front and back right sides together. Stitch boot front and back starting and ending stitching at either side of boot top. Clip curves every 1/4″-1/2″. Turn right side out. Press. My finished boot measures 19″ tall and 10″ across the foot.
  9. Use 8″-10″ of ribbon or cording for making a hanging loop. Fold ribbon in half with ends even. Tie knot near bottom. Stitch to inside corner of boot top extending loop beyond the top.
  10. Embellish further with other trinkets or treasures to personalize each stocking.
    Personalize Each Stocking

    Personalize Each Stocking

    Y’all come back now. Ya’ hear? I wish a great holiday season to you and yours no matter where you live. Merry Christmas,  Judy

Play Date #9 Patchwork Messenger Bag

June 24, 2014

Have you collected more canvas totes than you need? Take one apart, then use it and the handles for the foundation on which to flip, stitch and embellish a useful messenger bag. The tote and/or handles can be made smaller than the original tote by trimming to the size you desire. The patchwork and embellishment can be dressy, casual, funky, pretty, or any style or color you choose.

Embellished Canvas Bag

Embellished Bag using Vintage linen and lace

Materials needed

  • Canvas tote bag like you receive at shows

    Canvas Tote for Foundation

    Canvas Tote

  • Fabrics for patchwork
  • Lining  ¾ yd. for tote bag front and back, handles, pockets

    Materials Needed

    Materials Needed

  • Buttons, trinkets, charms, non-valuable costume jewelry
  • Trims and lace
  • Focal point such as glove, hankie, photo transfer, special fabric, applique

Supplies Needed

  • Large safety-pin for pulling strap through handle fabric tube
  • Sewing machine thread colors to match trims and fabric
  • Tube turner
  • Sewing machine with size 80 needle


  1. Take tote bag completely apart. I use a rotary cutter as a seam ripper. Iron on wrong side. Ink may melt on iron if you iron logo from right side. Iron handles with a pressing cloth or with tote bag canvas on top. Nylon handles melt with iron directly on it.
  2. Cut tote bag apart on bottom fold so you have a front and back piece of canvas.
  3. Determine size you want your tote. If size you want is smaller than existing size, cut down. Zig zag two handles together at short ends to make one longer single shoulder strap to be worn across your body.
  4. Round the corners of canvas by cutting in a curve using a dinner plate or something similar for a pattern.

    Tote Preparation

    Tote Preparation

  5. Iron patchwork fabrics flat.
  6. Cut the following from lining fabric and set aside:
  • 2 pieces the size of tote foundation for lining plus 1″-2″ taller.
  • 1 piece 2 ¾” X length +1″ for handle, if it’s 1″ wide. If handle is wider, double width and add 3/4″.
  • 2 pieces each 5 ½” X 8-10″ for pocket and a second smaller pocket
    Cut from Lining Fabric

    Cut from Lining Fabric



  1. Cut and glue stick a piece of light weight batting to cover the logo on the front side of canvas bag. Stitch. Start with focal piece in central area on the batting side of bag.
    Focal Point

    Focal Point

    Stitching with a ¼” seam, add-on other fabrics by stitching out, up, and below the original center design. Use the stitch and flip method of piecing. Keep pieces large. This is the same method used for Crazy Quilting and Log Cabin piecing.

    Crazy Quilt

    Crazy Quilt Piecing

  2. When front of canvas is covered, press. Stitch 1/8″ around outside edge. Trim even with canvas.
  3. Cover seams with trim, fringe, ribbon. Add appliqués, and buttons.

Constructing Tote

  1. Sew pocket pieces right sides together using ¼” seam allowance. Leave an opening for turning. Turn right side out. Press and turn the raw edge in. Pin pocket to right side of one of the lining pieces 2 ½” from top edge. Stitch on 3 sides close to edge.
    Stitch Pocket to Lining

    Stitch Pocket to Lining

    Add a second pocket to other side of lining, if you prefer. Stitch a seam in the middle of the pocket to make two smaller pockets for cell phone and keys.

  2. Place lining pieces right sides together. Place the finished bag front face down on top of back of bag right sides together. Layer the four pieces in the following order and pin together. Patchwork bag right side up, back of bag face down on right side of bag, two lining pieces right sides together on top of bag. The lining will extend at top of bag 1″-2″.

    Four Layers Stitched Together

    Four Layers Stitched Together

  3. Stitch ¼” from the edges through all layers starting at top edge of lining ending at other side top of lining. Leave the bag opening unstitched. Clip the curves to the stitch line.
  4. Turn the backing piece over the bag so the backing is on the outside. Use a long, blunt tipped tool to push out the bottom edges for a smooth, rounded finish.
  5. Turn the lining down over the top edge of the bag and turn under ½” at the raw edge. Pin in place. Set aside.

    Turn Lining to Front

    Turn Lining to Front

  6. Fold handle fabric strip in half lengthwise with right sides together. Stitch long raw edge with a ¼” seam. Stitch across bottom of one short end. Push from this end to turn right side out. Cut off end near stitching. Press with seam in center back.
  7. With safety-pin attached to one end of strap, work strap through fabric tube.
    Strap through Fabric Tube

    Strap through Fabric Tube

    Leave 1/2″ of fabric without strap on both ends. This will be tucked under front cuff. Make sure strap is lying flat and topstitch down center of handle. Stitch ¼” from each side of center seam. Press.

  8. Place raw edge of strap under the folded lining at each seam line and fold up over lining on outside. Pin.
  9. Edge stitch along the fold through all layers. A free-arm sewing machine makes easy work of this. Add trim to the edge if desired. Stitch close to the top edge, too.

    Add Strap and Top Stitch

    Add Strap and Top Stitch

  10. Add buttons on top of the straps where they connect to the bag, if you desire.
  11. Add snap, loop, button or Velcro for closing the bag.

    Closure Ideas

    Closure Ideas

Fill your bag with lots of goodies and out the door you go to buy more fabric. Toodle-lu.

Applique Messenger Bag

Applique Messenger Bag

Photo Transfer Center

Photo Transfer Center

Embellished Patchwork

Embellished Patchwork

Look for more detailed photos of totes in my etsy shop at

Play Date #7 Chenille Pumpkins

August 13, 2013

It’s been a while since we have had a Play Date.  So, while making chenille pumpkins for my etsy shop, I decided my dear crafty friends might like to know how to make them also. My husband questioned the earliness of working on fall decor when it’s 100 degrees outside in Houston, Texas, but he kindly cut the sticks for the pumpkin stems the same as he does each year. Thank you, husband.

Chenille Pumpkins

Chenille Pumpkins

Supplies You Need

  • Chenille or candlestick bedspread
  • Cotton fringe from bedspread
  • One package or bottle of Rit brand dye in Sunshine Orange or Tangerine and Green found at JoAnn’s, grocery store, or craft store
  • Artificial fall leaves and berries on garland or bush found at Dollar Stores or craft stores
  • Sticks from tree for stems each 3″-4″ long and varying diameters
  • Raffia
  • Button or Carpet thread or other strong, heavy thread
  • Polyester Stuffing
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Foam Core or cardboard box on which to draw templates

Instructions to Follow

1. Remove fringe from bedspread by cutting close to tape edge. Dye fringe in green dye and bedspread in orange dye following manufacturer’s directions.

2. Draw circle sizes listed below on foam core or heavy cardboard box. You want to be able to use a rotary cutter to cut bedspread around this template. Cut out templates.

Size 1          6 1/4″ diameter            9″ circumference

Size 2                9″ diameter           13″ circumference

Size 3              13″ diameter           18″ circumference

Size 4       16 1/2″ diameter            22″ circumference

Size 5       20 1/2″ diameter            30″ circumference

Circle Templates

Circle Templates

3. Place template on bedspread and use rotary cutter to cut around circle. You will be surprised how much bedspread it takes to make Size 4 and 5.

Rotary Cut Circle

Rotary Cut Circle

4. Use heavy thread double and knotted in a large eye needle to stitch around the outside edge of circle. There is no need to turn under the raw edge. Stitch close to the edge.

Gather Circle

Stitch Circle with Heavy Thread

5. Pull-up stitching as tight as possible to gather. Back stitch three times to secure.

Pull-up Gathers

Pull-up Gathers

6. Stuff pumpkin until full. The larger the pumpkin circle the larger the hole that remains. Don’t worry. It will be filled with a stick and covered with fringe.

Stuff Tightly

Stuff Tightly

7. Place stick in middle of stuffing, twisting to make a place for it. Take out stick and put hot glue in center of stuffing. Place stick back in center with a twisting motion until you feel it to the bottom. Glue fringe close to stem and going around the stem.

Insert Stick/Add Fringe

Insert Stick/Add Fringe

8. Glue leaves and berries on top of the fringe and into any space between stem and fringe.

Leaves, Berries, Raffia

Leaves, Berries, Raffia

9. Put a dab of hot glue on stem and close to pumpkin under leaves. Combine several pieces of raffia and wrap around stem starting at the dab of glue. Bring to front and tie a knot and bow with the raffia.

Add Raffia & Leaves

Add Raffia & Leaves

10. Separate and primp the raffia for finishing touch.

Happy Fall

Happy Fall

Make several more in all of the sizes to decorate your house or to give to friends. If I have a small piece of Chenille left  not large enough to cut the 9″ circumference size, I cut it just a little smaller so not to waste the scrap. Therefore, the pumpkin family below has a sixth little size.

Orange Pumpkin Family

Orange Pumpkin Family

You may prefer to make your pumpkins using the bedspread without dying it as I have done with the pumpkins below. Instead of using the dyed fringe from the bedspread I used commercially bought fringes and trims. Some of them have beads hanging from the trim. I think that’s fun. You can also use ribbon instead of raffia for a more fancy look. These white pumpkins also look really nice in a cottage chic setting. You can use them in the fall and enjoy them with your Christmas decorations also.

Neutral Pumpkin Family

White Pumpkin Family

Let me know if you make any pumpkins and send pictures. I’d love to see them. If you like the pumpkins and this looks like too much of a bother, you can purchase them in my etsy shop. I’ll continue to add fall items to my shop. So keep coming back.

Happy Fall preparations to everyone.

Love and stitches, Judy

Play Date #5 Drawstring Bag

May 2, 2012

It’s time to play again. So get your creative energy flowing and see what you can make from those “false start and reject” patchwork pieces.

5 bags

Five Patchwork Drawstring Bags

I have been sewing since I was six years old and have been collecting things since then, too. As the years went by my collecting became a challenge to find the best deal, the next new craft idea toys and tools, the antique quilt no one wanted…you get the idea. Among that collecting is a very large plastic tub containing every piece of patchwork I have ever created that did not get used in a project. Oh, and some of that patchwork someone else created and gave to me or I bought at a Quilt Guild Show. It seems other people are able to cast out their unused patchwork, but not I.

Use It Up

Use It Up

So let’s make something with that patchwork. What do you have? Get it all out. Sort through and find some things that look like they might work together in a color scheme. Here’s what I grouped together from technique samples when I taught wearables from my “Jacket Jazz” series. The color scheme components are purples and oranges.

Purple and orange

Purple and Orange Components

Let’s Get Started

1. Start with your biggest patchwork piece. This Continuous Bias patchwork piece measures 13″ X 15″. Do I want it larger? How about that piece of Machine Grid Smocking? It fits, so I stitch it right sides together with a 1/4″ seam allowance and press it away from the main patchwork piece. I trim all the edges straight and it now measures 15″ X 17″. That’s a good size.

Side One

Side One Complete

2. Let’s see if I can create that same size with the remaining bits and pieces of patchwork and manipulations. It’s time to pull-in the lining fabric. After a few auditions I like this Kaffe Fassett sunflower cotton print. What do you think? The lining is also the binding and casing at the top of the bag.


Add the Lining Fabric

3. Let’s add strips on the side to make the Seminole Patchwork 15″ wide. Another strip of fabric above that will be the piece on which the lining will turn-on to the front. I don’t want the lining to cover the Seminole Patchwork. Again I stitch right sides together and press seam away from patchwork. The piece is now 6″ tall with another 11″ to go.

first row

First Row Complete

4. Let’s introduce the lining fabric before adding another row of patchwork pieces. I cut it one and a half inches wide and stitch and flip that strip. Now there are 10″ to go for Side Two.

5. What’s next? What’s left? Let’s square-up some of those odd pieces. Now I sew 3 of them together and get a 15″ wide strip. Just what I need. I sew right sides together with larger piece, press seam to one side, trim even and contemplate again.

Second Row Complete

Second Row Complete

6. Let’s add another rest stop with a 1″ wide lining strip before adding more patchwork. Now let’s see if we can make a wider strip with the rest of the fabric manipulations. Yes, with a little piecing and adding on to those strangely cut pieces I think we have a 15″ wide piece. So it’s stitch and flip and press again. I use a steam iron and do not miss this step as it’s very important for keeping your piece flat and even.

7. One more strip of lining fabric will complete the second side of the bag to match the size of the first side.

Side 2

Side Two Complete

Oh, dear there are a few pieces left from the purple and orange patchwork. They will go in my collage card making box. Waste not, want not.


Leftover “Leftovers”

Time out…I need to make a collage greeting cardwith the left-over “left-overs.”

collage greeting card

Thank You Collage Greeting Card

Now it’s on to the lining and pockets.

1. Place the patchwork pieces right sides together. Trim if they aren’t the same size. Use a gridded mat to make sure all four sides are even. Place on top of lining fabric which is right sides together. Cut lining 2″ taller than the patchwork.

2. Make pockets from left-over lining fabric. They can be any size you like. Very often the amount of fabric I have left from the lining dictates the size of the pockets I make. Cut two pieces for each pocket you make. Sew pocket pieces right sides together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Leave an opening for turning. Clip corners. Turn right side out. Press and turn the raw edge in. Center and pin pocket to right side of one of the lining pieces 4″ from top edge. Leaving top open stitch on 2 sides and bottom close to edge. Add a second pocket to the other side of the lining. If you prefer, stitch a seam in the middle of the pocket to make two smaller pockets.

3. Place lining right sides together with all edges even. Put patchwork right sides together and layered on top of the lining 2″ from top of lining. Other three edges should be even. Pin all 4 layers together. Stitch two sides and bottom together with a 3/8″ seam allowance. Leave 3/4″ free of stitching above patchwork on the lining.

leave open

Leave Seam Open

4. Turn right sides out bringing the patchwork fronts to the outside. Lining will be inside bag with 2″ extending above patchwork bag. Fold lining/casing in half onto itself.

fold casing

Fold Casing in Half

5. Fold casing down onto bag. Pin to bag. Top stitch casing through all layers. The 3/4″ on the lining that was left unstitched is where the ribbon will be inserted to make the drawstrings.

6. Choose ribbon or cording twice the width of the bag plus 4″. You need this length two times.


Ribbons for Casing

7. Using the opening on one side of casing run ribbon through with a bodkin or safety-pin. Leave tail outside of casing on one end. Run ribbon all the way back to where you started. Pull out small amount. Hold two ends together and tie ends in a knot. Pull tightly so knot doesn’t come out.


Knot in Ribbon

8. Do the same with the second ribbon starting on the opposite casing side. Put one knotted ribbon in each hand and pull. The bag closes tightly.


Drawstrings Pulled Tight

The drawstring bag is complete with lining and pockets and ready to fill.


Lining and Pockets

Now that was simple. Want to see a few more ideas? Here are a few others I have made. Go to my etsy shop to see details for each of them.


Wonder Wedge Drawstring Bag

rayon bag

Rayon Strip Pieced Drawstring Bag

blue bag

Stripped Piece Drawstring Bag

Chinese bag

China Red and Green Bag

I hope you will make a Drawstring Bag from your left-over patchwork pieces. We all would love to see your creation. If you have any questions on the directions I have given you here, don’t hesitate to ask. I’d love to help.

So here’s another challenge. This time there is no prize or deadline. It’s just a simple challenge for you to use some of your left-over patchwork to make a drawstring bag. Then send a picture to me so I can post it on this blog.

Friday I will announce the winner of the little sewing drawer full of vintage lace. Stay tuned and keep stitching. Judy

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