Feb 4, 2015

Bird Seed Bags and Other Fun

In Irish lore, February ushers in St. Brigid's Day and the beginning of Spring. In ancient Irish mythology Brigid was a fire goddess and she represents the Irish aspect of divine femininity. As the patron saint of babies, blacksmiths, boatmen, cattle farmers, dairy poultry farmers, farmers, printing presses, sailors, scholars, and even travelers.

My busy years of traveling back and forth continuous times in a year from Oregon to Alaska came to an end with the loss of my parents, but remembering them and missing them continues on in my heart.

In their honor, I made small format art quilts for donation to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiation and the wonderful work of its founder, Ami Simms. Now, with both of them gone, I made small quilts for use by those with Alzheimer's Disease or related dementias.

January was my making month. I created and am or have given away 8 quilted items. The 9th I created and made for carrying those donations to and from my local Mid-Valley Quilt Guild.

For that purpose, I used re-purposed materials form our guilds 'free table' which gives our members a chance to donate any and all old materials they no longer have a need for. Most of the time, it shares very small bits and pieces that others don't necessarily want, so those items are often nabbed up by me and used for my small projects.

Here, I used cut off selvages and strips of fabric from pieces from that free table, as well as the larger scraps to create three mug mats.

But one month, a member had started to put together a vinyl bag made out of things like bird seed bags etc. With our love of birds, and the harbinger of Spring, I quickly found my own collection of plastic/vinyl bird seed and chicken seed bags, and created the 'Bird Seed Bag' seen below.

I made it quite large, so that it would be big enough to hold all of January's donations..5 Fidget Quilts and 3 mug rugs/mats that will be sold by our guild at its bi-annual quilt show to earn monies for our guild's charitable causes.

If you want to create your own re-cycled plastic bags into a large carry bag of your own..start saving just about anything! I save plasticized coffee sacks, cat food sacks, metalized candy bags..you name it!

Last year, I used Johnny Cat litter bags..remember it is made out of clay, a natural substance, and after all has not been used yet when you recycle those bags ;-) I combined it with a nicely handled bag that held oranges sold by the roadside. I made a gift for a family member whose cat was named Johnny to hold birthday gifts.  My grandcat loved the bag and thought it was his!

Yes, I know, only someone like me even saves kitty litter bags ;-)

And a tip! When sewing on any of these materials use hair clippees to hold seams and bag hands, and sides of bags together. Pins leave permanent holes and unless you want a fresh air bag for your veggies, you might prefer it to be rain proof as you run in and out of many different places as I do!

Early harbingers of Spring..birds, and eggs, and re-creating fun materials into craft and quilting projects!  And yes, I did make this little prayer flag garland out of maps and even those were free and re-purposed/recycled! In Spring, everything old is new again. Even if it's only Spring in Irish folklore!


Bags: Patterns, Tutorials, Links and Inspiration   

Making Fidget Quilts for Alzheimer's Patients

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey from Alaska to Oregon with thousands of free Quilting, Sewing, and Crafting Patterns and Tutorials. Help change the world, one little quilt, art quilt, and prayer flag at a time!


O'Quilts said...

I have made those bags too...I have them in my trunk for groceries...:)...I have used the left over screen from the screened in porch and meshing from oranges, etc and cat food....They are some of my favorite bags...Friends at the pool used to save them for me until my life here changed...Of course I love yours too. never thought of gifting them with things inside. One time the cashier at Aldi loved it so I just gave it to her...she was showing it all around the store...so much fun.

Scrappy quilter said...

WOW I love those bags. Always love visiting and seeing what you are up too. Hugs

Lynne said...

Cute bags!

Michele Bilyeu said...

Thanks, everyone!