Fold placemat in half with the right sides together.
Stitch 1/2" from the edges on both sides of your bag. Backstitch at the top and the bottom to increase the durability - these are the areas that get a lot of wear and tear.
Make the bottom of your purse by pressing the seam down on the corner that you just sewed, forming a triangle. Sew across this triangle of fabric about 2" from the point.
Turn the bag right side out. For handles, you can use the purchased kind and simply follow the instructions enclosed with the handles. You can also purchase belting in a matching color and sew 2 pieces on, matching length and making sure to center the handles appropriately.
Want to add more of your own personality? Sew on old buttons, beads, or even pin your grandmother's brooch on the front of your new bag!
Instructions For Placemat Tote or Purse Using Two Placemats
2- 50" pieces of cotton webbing
fabric to get 2 pockets 9" by 8"
2- 18" long, 5/8" wide grosgrain for ties
Cut two pockets out of fabric 9" wide by 8" tall. If you are working with fabric scraps, you can adjust the pocket's height. You don't want to adjust the width as that will put your webbing straps too close together. Don't forget you could also piece your pocket.
Fold top of both pockets over 1/2" twice to finish top. Topstitch 3/8" below top to secure.
With right side of pocket facing the right side of the placemat and the pocket upside down, place pocket on placemat. Find center of the placemat (by folding in half) and align it with the center of the pocket. Stitch pocket along bottom to placemat. Repeat for other side.
Stitch webbing to placemat covering sides of pocket. Stitch both edges of the webbing up to the top of the placement. This forms your handles and covers the raw edges of your pocket. Use the ribs of the placemat as a guide to keep the webbing straight. Repeat for other side, ensuring the webbing lines up at the of the placemat.
With right sides together, sew placemats together at sides and bottom. Match the webbing at the top and adjust the placemat position if necessary. Use a 1/2" to 5/8" seam allowance and don't forget to backstitch (reverse) at the top- this is where the tote will get the most stress.
This forms the bottom of the purse. Take one side seam you just sewed and place it on top with the top of the bag toward you (the bag is shown upside down). Force the bag to flatten with the bottom of the side seam forming the top of the triangle. Stitch across the triangle as shown, 1 1/2" from the point of the triangle, which will make a 3" stitch. Again, make sure you backstitch. It's too difficult to open up the seam allowance, so just turn the seam allowance to one side or the other. Do the same on the other seam.
Turn bag right side out. Your bag is now basically finished except for the tie closure. Center the 5/8" between the straps on the inside of your bag. Fold under the raw edge and stitch. Do the same on the other side. Simply clip the grosgrain to length in a diagonal to prevent fraying..
Primitive Labels For Your Jars
You must check out blue*cupboard*primitives olde labels...They are awesome and make your jars look so prim...They can also be used on boxes and seed bags..
Here are two recipes to celebrate Cinco De Mayo
Black Bean, Zucchini & Tomato Quesadillas
1/2 cup chunky salsa plus more for serving
1 cup drained black beans
1 zucchini - shredded on box grater
8 flour tortillas
2 cups mexican cheese
Combine salsa beans and zucchini. spread mixture over tortilla. top with cheese, cover with another tortilla
Heat pan over medium heat. brown on both sides (about 4-5 minutes per side).
Keep them warm in a 170 degree oven while you cook the rest.
Battered Fish Tacos with Quick-Pickled Onion and Cucumber
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
3 teaspoons salt
12 ounces beer
3 (8-ounce) tilapia fillets, cut into chunks
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
Quick-Pickled Onion and Cucumber, recipe follows
Fill a large pot with oil halfway up the pot. Heat oil to 350 degrees F. Preheat grill.
In a medium bowl, mix together 1 cup flour, cumin, cayenne, and salt. Slowly whisk in beer until thick, but not runny. Dredge fish in remaining flour first, then dunk in the batter. Fry in batches until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper-toweled lined plate.
Meanwhile, grill tortillas on grill.
Serve fish in tortillas topped with Quick-Pickled Onion and Cucumber.
Quick-Pickled Onion and Cucumber:
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon salt
1 large red onion, medium dice
1 large Vidalia onion, medium dice
1 English cucumber, medium dice
1 habanero chile, seeds removed, minced
1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves
In a medium saucepan, bring to a boil the vinegar, sugar, water, and salt. Add onions and cucumber and continue to cook a few minutes more. Remove from heat, add chile, and transfer to a bowl. Let cool slightly then chill covered, for at least 1 hour.
Toss in the tomato and cilantro, 5 minutes before serving.