Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Humbug Bags

These little bags were my weekend sewing project. I learned about these triangular “humbug bags” about a year ago and picked up the pattern at my local quilt shop. Finally got around to making one and once I got the hang of it, easily made two more.

I have to confess – I am pattern challenged. Don’t listen to me when I complain about a pattern. I was almost done with the large humbug bag late Friday evening and realized I put the zipper in upside down. There was no fudging it and had to rip out and start over. I was actually crying and laughing at the same time. Crying at my stupidity and laughing because I knew I needed to ‘fess up in blogland. I think this is why I tend to look at the pictures in quilt books and magazines, getting ideas here and there and then just doing my own thing. It seems I always make mistakes when trying to follow directions. In this instance, I read and reread the instructions, examined and reexamined the pictures and still didn’t do it right. Urrrgggh!! Oh, well. The other two went together pretty quickly – spent as much time quilting the fabric as making the bag. I strayed from the directions (intentionally) in two ways. I used fusible fleece for the batting and I made the handles with batting and fabric rather than ribbon. I didn’t think the ribbon would be very sturdy.

I was glad to use a recycled zipper on the yellow bag. I have several I picked up at a yard sale years ago.

The pattern I used is a product of quiltwoman.com. Their description says the shape is based on a traditional 19th century English candy, from which the bag takes its name. I had wondered.

It was a beautiful day here on Sunday. Instead of traveling away from Washington, D.C. to take the dogs on a walking trail, we went toward it to Theodore Roosevelt Island.

The bridge to the island

 A view of Washington, D.C. from the bridge

It took about an hour to walk the trail. There were other walkers, but not too many. Planes taking off from National Airport were fairly frequent reminders we were near the city.

This is what the National Park Service pamphlet says about the island. “Memorial dedicated to the 26th U.S. president and conservation advocate preserves 88 acres of swamp, marshland, and forest. A formal plaza has a statue of Roosevelt with quotations from his writings carved in stone”.

Pretty yellow irises grew in the swampy area. I don't know if they are native to the area.

A view of Rosslyn, Virginia

Here are crumb blocks stitched on my featherweight. The featherweight is sitting on my dining room table with my container of scraps. It is very convenient to sit down and sew a few seams when I’m waiting for the water to boil for tea or dinner is on the stove.
Yes, I had to pry Len’s mouth open to retrieve that little block in the lower left corner. No harm done – just a little doggie slobber ;o)


  1. It looks like a gorgeous day for a walk! What a beautiful area.
    I love your humbug bags. I'm not good at pattern driections either so dont feel bad- you are not alone!
    Fun crumb blocks too!!

  2. I too have a bit of grief with patterns. I seem to prefer to go off and do my own thing. Glad you are enjoying the lovely spring weather.

  3. Very cute bags! Love the pictures, such beautiful scenery! And doggie slobber never hurt anyone!


  4. The humbug bags are darling and I love your crumb blocks! Very cute and fitting name for them. Glad to hear that you are enjoying your featherweight.

  5. Your “humbug bags” looks very nice. I have no clue how they are made, but they are looking really cute altogether like that :) I miss trees and city like that in your pictures a lot as we don't have that here in the desert. All we have here are the heat and cucti!! lol

  6. it's wonderful to see the beautiful cityscape with it's bridges and waterways AND green of spring growth~!!~

    love the shape of the bags. i may have to look for the pattern as my daughter likes to carry a small bag that isn't made of animal products. i'll have to show these to her and see what she thinks.

    the crumb blocks are getting Len's stamp of approval~! they are very cool~!!~ i'm wondering what size they are and what you are thinking of doing with them.


  7. Maureen....you're a genius! It never occurred to me to set up my spare machine near the kitchen! I am forever waiting around in there, and it's going to be so great to bang out a few blocks now! Yippee! You just made my day! Of course, the beautiful pics of your bags, and all that gorgeous greenery didn't hurt, either! Thanks a bunch!