Pleated Tote Bag Tutorial

Purses are like friends. . .
you can never have too many.

How are you on this last day of October,
my beautiful friends?
I trust each one of you are well.

Today I have fun sewing project just for you. . .
a cute pleated tote bag.
It's perfect for carrying your books,
knitting and crochet projects,
lunch, and a number of other things.
Shall we get started?

Supplies needed:
1/2-yard  each of two contrasting fabric
fusible fleece
and  of course sewing supplies

For the outer fabric cut 12 strips that are 3 x 9-inches
and for the inner fabric you will need 10 strips that are 3 x 9-inches.

You will use 6 outer strips on each side of the bag
and 5 strips of the inner fabric for each side.
Using a 3/8-inch seam allowance
sew the 6 outer and 5 inner strips together.
Alternate the colors as you go.

Once they are sewn together
fold the outer fabric into the center of the inner fabric.
If you make a notch at the two ends of each inner fabric
(right where my red butterfly pins are in the picture below)
this will help you keep things straight as you make the pleats.

This is what your pleats will look like
after making the folds.

Sew along the top edge with a 1/4-inch seam allowance
to hold the pleats down.
Press the pleats with a hot iron.

This is that the wrong side of the pleats
will look like.

Cut a piece of fabric that is the width of the bag
by 11-inches long.
The width should be 14.5-inches wide
so the piece of fabric will be 14.5 x 11-inches.
Place the pleats right side down on the fabric
and sew together.
Do the same with the other strip of pleats
and voila!
This is what you should have.
Press the seams down with an iron.

Cut a piece of fusible fleece that is 14 x 26.5-inches
and press onto the back side of the bag.

Fold the bag with right sides together
and sew both sides with a 3/8-inch seam allowance.

Push the corners outs and measure 1.5-inches.
Draw a line with a pencil and pin the corner.

Sew on the line and don't forget to back stitch at both ends.
Cut the corner just below the seam.

For your lining you will need a piece of fabric 
that is 14.5-inches wide and 27-inches long.
Fold the lining and sew along the two edges 
with a 3/8-inch seam allowance.
Leave a small opening on one side 
so that you can pull your bag right side out.
Make the boxed corners on the linging
the same way you did for the bag.

Now for the bag straps. . .
cut two pieces of fabric that are 14.5 x 3.5-inches.
With a hot iron, fold in the edges and press.
Then fold in half like so. . .

Stitch along both edges.
Press with an iron.

Pin the handles onto the inside of the bag.

Turn the lining right side out
and place inside the bag.
Pin the lining to the bag along the edge.

Sew along the top edge
and turn bag right side out 
by pulling it through the hole in the lining.

Close the hole by sewing it shut.

We're almost done. . .
your bag needs a special touch
so let's make a fabric flower.

You will need 6 fabric circles that are about 3-inches in size
and a strip of fabric that is 1.5-inches wide x 8-inches long.

Fold each circle in half. . .

Then fold it again.

Now sew a gathering stitch along the edge of each petal.

Once one petal is done 
simply add another to the length of thread.
When you have all 6 petals on the thread 
attach the first and last and knot together.

The strip of fabric will be used to create a rosette.
Simply knot the end of the strip
and twist the fabric around the knot.
Sew together
or apply a little bit of hot glue to the back side.

Use hot glue or fabric glue to apply the rosette to the flower.
You can also glue the flower onto the bag
as it will hold up well and stay put during washings.

Don't you just love seeing the inner fabric
peaking out?

Sew up some of these sweet pleated tote bags
for your family and friends.
They would be a wonderful birthday or Christmas gift.

*** A couple of notes worth mentioning ***
If you place the pleats on the bottom 
and add the strips of fabric to the top of the bag
(rather than the bottom)
the pleats will pop open more.

Also, I have made a few pleated bags without fusible fleece
and they turned out nicely
especially if you like a thinner-type bag.

Thanks for stopping by,
dear friends.
I am always blessed by your visits.
I have been missing in the blog community
because I've had my head buried in my craft room
getting ready for a craft show this coming weekend.
I look forward to catching up with many of you
and reading your lovely blogs.


"Are Ye Able?" Said The Master

A Christian is a person who,
when getting to the end of his/her rope,
ties a knot and determines to hand on,
realizing that human extremity now
becomes God's opportunity.
- - Unknown - -

Are ye able," said the Master,
"To be crucified with me?"
"Yea," the sturdy dreamers answered,
"To the death we follow Thee."

Are ye able to remember,
When a thief lifts up his eyes,
That his pardoned soul is worthy
Of a place in paradise?

Are ye able when the shadows
Close around you with the sod,
To believe that spirit triumphs,
To commend your soul to God?

Are ye able? Still the Master
Whispers down eternity,
And heroic spirits answer,
Now as then in Galilee.

- - Chorus - -
 Lord, we are able. Our spirits are Thine.
Remold them, make us, like Thee, divine.
Thy guiding radiance above us shall be
a beacon to God, to love, and loyalty.
- - Earl Marlatt - -

But Jesus answered and said, 
Ye know not what ye ask. 
Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, 
and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? 
They say unto him, We are able.
- - Matthew 20:22 - -

And whosoever doth not bear his cross, 
and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
- - Luke 14:27 - -

The mission of each Christian
is to proclaim and live the Good News
of the gospel and to urge individuals everywhere
to experience a personal reconciliation and relationship 
with God.
- - Kenneth W. Osbeck - -

Love and hugs to you
on this blessed Lord's Day!


Apple Fritter Bread

Kindness is like sugar,
it makes life taste a little sweeter.

Sweet friends, the quote I shared about kindness
seems very fitting for the kindness you showed me on my previous post.
You truly made my life sweeter.
I have to be honest and say 
that I was terrified of opening up and sharing my story,
but you were incredibly gracious, loving, and KIND!
Thank you from the very bottom of my heart.
And I want to thank YOU for opening up with me.
Some of you shared some heart-touching stories
and I am ever so grateful for your openness and honesty.
Now, shall we do some autumn baking?

* * * * * * * *

Apples, sugar, cinnamon, and icing,
does it get any better, my friends?
This apple fritter bread is simply lovely
and tastes delicious with a cup of coffee or tea.
Why don't we make a loaf. . .

- - Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Mixture - -
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- - Bread Loaf - -
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter softened
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk or almond milk
2 apples any kind, peeled and chopped,
mixed with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon

- - Old-Fashioned Creme Glaze - -
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
1-3 tablespoons of milk or cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Use a 9x5-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper.
Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. 
Set aside.

In another medium-sized bowl, 
beat granulated sugar and butter together 
using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended.
Add in vanilla extract.
Combine and whisk flour and baking powder together in another bowl 
and add into creamed butter mixture and stir until blended.
Mix milk into batter until smooth.

Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan; 
add half the chopped apple mixture.
Sprinkle 1/2 of the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture 
on top of the apple layer. 
Pour the remaining batter over the apple layer 
and top with remaining chopped apples, 
then the remaining brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Lightly pat the apples into batter.
Swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using a knife or spoon.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted 
in the center of the loaf comes out clean,
approximately 50-60 minutes.

To make the glaze, 
mix powdered sugar and milk or cream together until well mixed.
Let cool for about 15 minutes before drizzling with glaze.

Sugar. . .
yes, please!

Enjoy, my friends!

Have a most beautiful and delightful day.



ConceiveEasy Review & My Story

Hello, sweet friends!
Today I am sharing something 
of a more personal nature with you.
You see, I was approached by ConceiveEasy
about reviewing their product
and I decided to take them up on their offer.
Before I jump into the review,
I want to share my story with you.

Let's go back, my friends. . .
way, way back.
My husband and I were thrilled to find out
we were expecting 2 months after getting married
and 9 months later we welcomed our precious son.
About a year or so after our son was born
I was diagnosed with PCOS-
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
My doctor recommended I use birth control
to help with my symptoms, but I kindly declined.
For 9 years I have dealt with all of the "issues" 
that come with PCOS,
including the struggle with having more children.

I have to tell you, dear friends,
that my husband and I are very content with one child.
Over the years we have been approached by others
about us having just one son.
Some people said we were selfish for not having more kids
because it's wrong to have only one child.
Yes, that was really said to us.
We've also faced a lot of questions
as to why we haven't had more children.
Sometimes the questions are awkward
and many times they are intruding.

In the beginning when our son was younger
I struggled at times with not being able to get pregnant.
There were times when I would get excited and feel hopeful 
only to be let down by a negative test. . .
But, lovely friends, over the years 
I have learned to look at it differently
and I can honestly, and most happily say, 
I am quite thankful I have only one son.
You see, my husband and I dearly love our son
and we can't help but thank the Lord for giving him to us.
We would rather rejoice in the fact that we have one son
instead of bemoan that fact that we haven't had any more children.
We have always thought that if God gave us more children
it would be a blessing,
but we also think that if we don't have another child
it's still a sweet blessing.
While I struggle with PCOS and other related health issues,
we are happy and content with our precious family of 3.

I know there are other women out there
who struggle with some of the same issues
and my heart truly goes out to them.
It's not easy and I totally get that.
PCOS can be very painful
and sometimes it's quite an emotional journey.
I decided to try ConceiveEasy
so that I might help or encourage some of these woman.
According to the ConceiveEasy website:
ConceiveEasy is clinically proven effective 
in overcoming the most common obstacles to conception, 
and has been demonstrated in limited studies 
to help women conceive who have PCOS.

ConceiveEasy is a pregnancy kit
that is Doctor-formulated to help overcome infertility
and help women get pregnant naturally.
The kit consists of pregnancy and ovulation tests,
a thermometer to keep track of your temperature,
and vitamins that are taken daily.
The vitamins are fairly small and easy to swallow,
and I noticed they gave me energy
which was an added bonus.
I think my favorite part of the kit was the ovulation tests.
Years ago I had a cyst rupture on my left side
and oh, the pain! 
I thought I was dying and while that seems extreme to say,
it truly felt like a knife had been pushed in to my lower abdomen.
Every other month I get severe pain on my left side
and I have wondered if I am even ovulating. . .
well, thanks to the test I found out I am.

My dear friends,
I have nothing negative to say about the ConceiveEasy kit
and I would recommend it to women trying to have children.
I took the vitamins for about two months
and according to ConceiveEasy,
you can take them until you get pregnant.
You can visit the ConceiveEasy website
for more information.
There is also a FAQs page 
that will answer any questions you might have.

** ConceiveEasy contacted me about trying the kit
and I was not required to write a positive review.
I would also like to make it known that ConceiveEasy
is the first and only pregnancy kit that I have tried.
All thoughts and opinions are my own. **

Sweet friends,
this is a personal matter for me
and it's something I don't often share with others.
Simply because I am a private person.
I decided to share a little bit of my story with you
in hopes that it helps and encourages someone
even if it's just one person.

I appreciate your visits, dear ones.
I hope you have a beautiful day!


His Loving-Kindness

A Christian should never lose his reason
for singing about the Lord
and His constant loving-kindness.
- - Kenneth W. Osbeck - -

Awake, my soul, to joyful lays,
And sing thy great Redeemer’s praise;
He justly claims a song for me,
His loving-kindness, oh, how free!
Loving-kindness, loving-kindness,
His loving-kindness, oh, how free!

He saw me ruined in the fall,
Yet loved me notwithstanding all;
He saved me from my lost estate,
His loving-kindness, oh, how great!
Loving-kindness, loving-kindness,
His loving-kindness, oh, how great!

When trouble like a gloomy cloud,
Has gathered thick and thundered loud,
He near my soul has always stood,
His loving-kindness, oh, how good!
Loving-kindness, loving-kindness,
His loving-kindness, oh, how good!

Soon I shall pass the gloomy vale,
Soon all my mortal pow’rs must fail;
Oh, may my last expiring breath
His loving-kindness sing in death.
Loving-kindness, loving-kindness,
His loving-kindness sing in death.

Then let me mount and soar away
To the bright world of endless day;
And sing with raptures and surprise,
His loving-kindness in the skies.
Loving-kindness, loving-kindness,
His loving-kindness in the skies.
- - Samuel Medley - -

I will bless the Lord at all times: 
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
- - Psalm 34:1 - -

Loving-kindness has been described
as "love in action."
God's loving-kindness was the act 
of sending Christ to be our Redeemer
"while we were still sinners." (Romans 5:8)

(Found this cross on one of our hikes.)

The God of my rock; in him will I trust: 
he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, 
my high tower, and my refuge, 
my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: 
so shall I be saved from mine enemies.
- - 2 Samuel 22:3-4 - -

Blessed be the Lord: 
for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness 
in a strong city.
- - Psalm 31:21 - -

Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; 
and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.
Thy righteousness is like the great mountains; 
thy judgments are a great deep: 
O Lord, thou preservest man and beast.
How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! 
therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; 
and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.
For with thee is the fountain of life: 
in thy light shall we see light.
O continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee; 
and thy righteousness to the upright in heart.
- - Psalm 36:5-10 - -

For the mountains shall depart, 
and the hills be removed; 
but my kindness shall not depart from thee, 
neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, 
saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.
- - Isaiah 54:10 - -

But God, who is rich in mercy, 
for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins, 
hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
And hath raised us up together, 
and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace 
in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
- - Ephesians 2:4-7 - -

Have a blessed Lord's Day,
sweet friends!


October's Party

The days are getting shorter and the nights are cooling down.
Soon the Autumn days will be over 
so lets make the most of each beautiful moment.
Listen as the leaves crunch beneath our steps 
and smell the sweet scent of the mountain air.
Join me, friends, 
on this lovely October day for a delightful tea party outside. . .

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came -
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.

The Chestnuts came in yellow,
The Oaks in crimson dressed;
The lovely Misses Maple
In scarlet looked their best;
All balanced to their partners;
And gaily fluttered by;
The sight was like a rainbow
New fallen from the sky.

Then, in the rustic hollow,
At hide-and-seek they played,
The party closed at sundown,
And everybody stayed.
Professor Wind played louder;
They flew along the ground;
And then the party ended
In jolly "hands around."
~ George Cooper ~

It's always a joy and pleasure 
to have you join me for tea :)
Thank you for visiting 
and may you be richly blessed 
today, tomorrow, and always!
Love and hugs to you.

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