Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Let's Make Dumplings (Bags)

I love to make dumpling bags. Probably through Pinterest, I found a free tutorial about making dumpling bags (see http://keyka.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/08/lets-make-dumplings-free-zip-pouch-tutorial.html). These little zipper pouches open WIDE. They are great for earbuds, match cars, crayons, medicine, whatever. I do not recommend it as a coin purse as they open wide.

As a quilter and fiber artist, I generate a lot of scraps so I am always on the lookout for ideas about using up my scraps. A great use for scraps is in English paper piecing so that I am assembling larger shapes out of the smaller scraps. The particular advantage that I have with English paper piecing is that it is portable. I'll work up some shapes while monitoring the kiddo's homework progress, or attending his practice, or sitting in a meeting. I was recently at a three day conference and on the third day I found I just had to keep my hands occupied to keep my brain alert.

The Paper Pieces company sells lots of different shapes and sizes of computer precision cut paper templates. No need to trace and cut your own shapes out of index cards or newspaper (or the Sears catalogue if you have heard stories about that or done that yourself). I use my paper pieces multiple times before recycling them.

Putting dumplings and paper piecing together, I make two "flowers" and then fill the area around them with a background fabric. Then, remove all the paper, use the pattern shape to cut to the appropriate size and follow Michelle's directions to complete them.

A suggestion or hint for when basting the zipper, do the first side with the zipper unzipped (just easier to handle). Given the fact that there are lots of bias edges, do the second side with the zipper zipped. Too many times, if I do the two sides of the zip separately, I end up being "off" and the pouch doesn't close as neatly as I would like.

Given the labor time in making the English paper pieced dumplings, I give them as gifts, I don't sell them. I do sell the dumpling bags when I have used just one fabric for the outside.