Farmhouse News

This is the market tote I’m making for my Etsy shop but will offer a tutorial on later so you can make your own.

Here at my farmhouse in town winter is really getting under way.  This morning we had our first hoar-frost with the temperature down to 22 degrees.  I know that in many areas across the country it has already gotten much colder and everyone is bundled up in their wool and mittens.

I am busy making market bags for my Etsy shop.  We have long since stopped using paper or plastic bags to put our groceries into and use cloth grocery/shopping bags.  Every time I leave the house I grab at least one of them because I can never be sure when it will come in handy, when I return home I hang it up on my bag hook.  We have many shopping bags because our kid can’t go anywhere without an entire tote bag filled with snacks and things to amuse himself with.  He’s an intensely picky eater and a grazer so he’s always hungry when we’re out and about but there is rarely anything “out there” for him to eat.  We always travel with a protein bar, some crackers, and filtered water.  He also has ADD and it has been a lifesaver to us since he was a toddler to always bring a collection of things/toys for him to play with while we’re out.  He will panic if he doesn’t have a bag of his things because his view of the world, depending on his mood, is that it’s either insanely boring or very hostile.  In either case, we never travel light and so some of our market bags are always packed with his things.  Some are also always in the wash.  So we have three hooks in our kitchen dedicated to aprons and market bags.

It took me a long time to get into a good habit of always having a cloth bag with me, and even now I forget once in a while, but the real trick for me turned out to be having those bags near my kitchen door, which also serves as our front door.  So if you have trouble remembering to bring bags with you, try this out.  Also be sure you have an abundance of them.  If you only have one or two you will never have them handy.

The bag I made (in the picture above) is a simple tote with no pockets.  It’s lined with muslin and has sturdy woven cotton handles that are long enough so that you can carry the bag on your shoulder.  This bag is currently in my Etsy shop and when I’m done with this post I am heading to my sewing machine to make several more in a couple of other patterns so if you would like to buy one please visit the Etsy shop.  If you want to make one of your own I have decided that this is one of those sewing projects that is ideal for beginners so I’m going to do a tutorial on how to draft this bag to your own sizes needs and how to make it.  But if you are already familiar with my timing you will understand that it may be a while before I pull it all together to present to you.

In a little garden news I want to share the surprise I found underneath my bean tee-pee: 4lbs of carrots!  I will probably do a separate post to talk about underplanting in the garden, but today is just a little post to share what’s been going on around here.  The carrots were completely neglected and thrived- they are so sweet I’ve actually been snacking on them raw.  I don’t often like snacking on carrots raw and plain but these are so sweet I am really enjoying them!  I absolutely love garden surprises whether they are volunteers shouting up at me from the ground (often the legacy of previous gardeners) or if I planted something and thought it died only to find it thriving later on.

It’s time I got to my sewing room so until next time- happy homesteading!

Come visit the Stitch and Boots Etsy Shop!

3 thoughts on “Farmhouse News

  1. chickadeeworkshop

    I found that I do best to keep a bunch of cloth bags in my car. When I unload my purchases in the house, I hang my bags on the door knob of our most used door and that way, they are right there to go back to the car with me on my way out to wherever. I just toss them in the back seat and they are always there ready to go.
    However….my problem is remembering to take them (or enough of them) into the store. I’m pretty good with “grocery” stores, but tend to forget with Walmart, Kmart and the like. And I’m bad about thinking I’m going in for just one thing and coming out with 20, so often bring one bag when I should have had two or three. But I’m getting there. It’s only an 18 month old habit for me and I’m improving.
    I like your bag design. Very basic and versatile. I think it will be a great beginner project.

  2. risa b

    I have made a few from burlap bags by scissoring a “U” shape into half the bag (both sides) and folding the resulting flaps over each other. This is too big without shortening the “strap” for most, and works better on smaller bags not intended for 100 pounds of coffee beans!

  3. stitchy1

    Risa- I love burlap but haven’t come across anything packaged in them since I worked in a coffee roasting cafe. I wish I had hung onto the ones I snagged back then because I would totally try your trick out! But it’s funny you mentioned burlap because I saw some at JoAnne’s fabrics and I thought it would be fun to make some up in that.
    chickadee- I had a hard time getting myself into the habit but I’m finally really solid. Your habit sounds pretty strong to me! And smart. My good friend and fellow Farmhouse headmistress Chelsea also was talking about the difficulty of remembering to return your cloth grocery bags to the car. When I leave the house I almost always bring two bags because I run a lot of errands at the same time and nearly always end up needing two. I just assume I will.
    Thanks for the comments!

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