If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I run a Flickr swap called the Potholder Pass. Since we are now on our seventh round, I was looking for a way to add variety for those of us who have been in the swap since round one and are well stocked with potholders. For this round, you may swap just potholders, just reusable shopping bags, or both. The addition of the shopping bags has been very fun. I have completed my swap bag for my partner but enjoyed making up a couple more bags for myself this weekend. I think that Keyka Lou’s grocery bag pattern is particularly good. It is so easy and straightforward and useful!
I really enjoy bringing these pretty reusable bags to the store. The only downside is that they do use quite a bit of material. This is how I keep my costs low. Since they are reusable shopping bags, I tend to avoid designer fabric. I found this cute vintage kitchen print at JoAnns for 30% off. Then I used osnaburg for the lining. Osnaburg is a heavy, coarse cotton with a plain weave. It’s the perfect way to add a bit more heft to the bag and can be purchased at JoAnns with 40% coupons! You can find it in the utility fabrics section. I only used designer fabric for the handles. I do love designer fabric but using it for all my shopping bags just wouldn’t be afforable for me. Designer or not, these are still way cuter than the bags that the food store sells!
This pattern is also easy to do “assembly line” style. When you are adding the three rows of stitching to either side of the handle (this adds strength to the handle as well as style), don’t forget that you can chain them together as seen here, just as you would chain piece in quilting. It saves time!