Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pieced Cakes and Grocery Sacks

Cake Blocks - The 318 Bee

I joined a new virtual quilting bee called Patchwork 318: The Bee.
In this bee, we (six of us) create one block a month using
patterns in the Japanese book "318 Patchwork Patterns" by Kumiko
Fujita. (It is unfortunately out of print.) This is my month
and I asked everyone to pick whatever block she likes from
the book that is related to a Sweets shop. Kerry kicked off this month
with this super cute Sweet shop, and Leila made a yum yum green tea
ice cream cone. Charise is working on an ice cream truck with one of my
favorite fabrics ever! Knowing Tamiko and Amisha, I know
they will make ridiculously cute sweet blocks as well!
If you know me enough, you know I am already going nuts
picturing my small quilt made of six yummy
sweet blocks! I am already saving a nice spot for it in my
living room. I made three cake blocks - one of them will be chosen
based on consistency with blocks from everyone.

This is the first one I made. My favorite part of it is
the chickens helping me out to make sure I did add eggs.

After seeing Leila's green tea ice cream, I felt like
green tea, so this is supposed to be a cake with green
tea cream on top, but Joe thinks it looks more like a lime
cake. I am not crazy about lime cakes, so maybe this
will not join my final mini quilt. thanks Joe! lol

I was getting tired of limiting myself to pick out only
fabrics that will make a realistic cake, so this one was
made after I came to realization that it's only patchwork after all.
A boy on a strawberry and high heel sandals in a cake are acceptable!

Let me share with you some reusable grocery bags I made
this week.


My local grocery stores have been very successful
at making customers switch from using disposable
plastic bags to bringing their own reusable
grocery bags. Impressively successful, I would say.
Every single grocery store in this town gives you
cash incentive if you bring your own bags. Either customers
with bags earn a cash discount at every transaction
or some extra points on threir member's cards. There is even
a store that charges for disposable plastic bags!
At a cash register, there is a "My Bag" card which
you can put in your basket to notify the cashier
that you don't need plastic bags. The first thing a
cashier does is to look for the card in the basket.
When she/he can't find it, you are asked if you sure
don't have your own bag. It makes you feel pretty guilty
to say "Yes" to that question. It's like you are no good.


So here is my solution, of course, a handmade grocery sack!
This grocery sack functions just like the plastic
bag from a super market except it's much prettier and stronger.
Oh I made handles a lot longer so that I can hang it from
my shoulder! I am so so so happy I finally made this!
With this bag in my purse, I will be able to
join a "good" bunch of customers who never need
plastic bags! Hehe, I can't wait to bring this
next time I go grocery shopping and feel 'proud!'


Here is another bag I made and it is listed
in my shop here :) Speaking of my shop,
there are more Japanese fabrics available in my shop :)

My creation

Hope you are having a great week!

P.S. Thank you Angela for featuring me as a part of
Quilting Around the world :)


  1. I'm smiling at you feeling "proud" of having your own grocery bag. :)

    Amazing what guilt will do for our motivation, isn't it?

    Great blocks, btw.

  2. Love your blocks! They are super cute. I especially love the shoes on the last cake. And I wish our stores here did the same! Although at one of my LQS if you don't use a plastic bag for your purchases you get to sign up for a $25 giveaway for the store which I have won 2x!

    I have been trying to find a copy of her 318 Patchwork book and her ABC Patchwork lesson book for ages now! Whenever I see a copy on Etsy it has always just been sold. I'm never fast enough! So if you ever find any copies, you should put them in your shop so my search would be over!! LOL!

  3. these are great!
    love the bags too-especially the polka dot one :)
    i know some places in europe charge for plastic bags in the grocery store as well-
    these are so much cuter anyway ;)

  4. What a beautiful and practical solution! You'll be the envy of everyone in the store when you whip out those babies! Jxo

  5. They are all adorable!

    Quick question... Do you blow up the picture in the book and paper piece on top or do you cut out all the pieces plus SA and piece as normal?

  6. Oh my...so much cuteness in one post :) I love your blocks and the grocery bags!!

  7. What a sweet set of blocks! ;-)

  8. All the blocks are so sweet! Love your bags too!

  9. Those are some stylish grocery bags, there, Miss A!
    I especially like the sweet cherries one. Very cute.

  10. Would love the dimensions you use for your bags(or a tut?). Reusable bags are the norm here - most stores charge for plastic. One city has a bylaw requiring stores to charge. But I haven't found the perfect design I love yet. I use a mishmash variety of bags I've accumulated - not a very elegant solution.

  11. Great blocks and what lovely grocery bags...makes you want to go shopping more just to show off your grocery bags!Right?

  12. Any suggestions of where to find similar blocks to the ones your group is making? Impossible to find the out of print book....Would you consider a block and tutorial for sale? I really love your work and want to learn how to make a pieced block. I will bet I am not alone in this?


  13. Such deliciously beautiful blocks - yum yum!
    Your grocery bags are wonderful and eco-friendly!

  14. I want a piece of that cake! Loved your comment about it being "only patchwork". Exactly! It's so nice when I'm in that mode of no wrongs, only rights. Hmm... feeling like improv!

  15. you're killing me with all of the cuteness here. Now of course I have to go check out your fabric! ;)

  16. I really love your grocery bag-it's a little different from the usual tote bags in the way the handles extend from the body of the bag. Did you use a pattern or come up with your own. If it's your own, would you consider sharing it or creating a pattern?? Love everything you do!

  17. ayumi, stop! these are too cute! I just love them. beautiful beautiful. and you know I love a good bag. :)

  18. Love the bags and the blocks.

  19. What super cute blocks! They look delicious!
    I just fixed my computer cookies and now am able to leave comments again! yay!

  20. these cakes are so cute! I need to use my 318 book more...Also the fabric arrived! thanks so much for including the extras..so nice of you to have remembered that I liked the buttons!

  21. those bags are adorable! :) the japanese supermarkets are really good at guilting you! we carry our bags too!

  22. Thank you so much everyone! If you want to make a grocery bag like this, there is a great free tutorial over here that shows a very similar way I made my bags.

    I have been thinking about making paper-pieced patterns for sale at some point. Have you checked out Amy's cute kettle pattern and Sonja's great pattern shop? Sonja's got a video tute too!

  23. I am drooling over the blocks from the book! I want it so bad but must wait to find it affordable. I like the idea of the bags and yours are super cute while being functional too.

  24. great blocks! the green one reminds me of a pistachio cake i had recently :) your grocery bags are great! i don't like to take the plastic bags either, so i always bring my own one (not as pretty as yours though) :)

  25. Your cake blocks and grocery bags are adorable!

  26. All such super makes, and i your fabric choices.

  27. I really like the little boy cherry, and the turquoise icing on the other cake- reminds me of iced birthday cakes I've made in the past for children- look great but wouldn't want to eat the blue! Cute bags too!

  28. Ayumi thanks so much for your adorable work! When I'm looking on your bags & blocks, I'm feeling that craft is a magic!

  29. me encanta tu blog,
    mi correo es lascosasdeeni@gmail.com,
    estoy encantada de contactar con tigo,
    vivo en Barcelona,Catalunya
    gracias por compartir

  30. Ayumi...
    Your killin me!!!...Your blocks just couldn't be any cuter!
    I love them all but am really lovin the high heels in the last one:)
    The grocery bags are way cute too and they look like fun to make...a great way to showcase awesome fabrics too:)
    Your blog is always inspiring!

  31. I love your design. I've been using the free "Charlie" pattern from Burda for my grocery bags, and what I like about both designs is the wide straps: they make heavy bags easy on the shoulders.

    I'm sure the cashiers will all admire yours!

  32. I love your grocery bags. And it is really interesting to learn about bringing your own bag to the shop. Here in Germany ALL grocery stores charge you if you take their plastic bags. So it is absolutely common here, to bring your own bags and baskets when you do your grocery shopping. You can even leave the extra packaging (cardboard boxes, plastic wrappings etc.) there for recycling, instead of filling your trash can at home.

  33. your "cake" is soooo delicious! and not fattening at all - lol!
    i think they are fabulous... as are the bags! i remember going to the grocery store with my grandma in Europe and having to bring your own bags. if you didn't - they gave you "the look"... you know the look I'm talking about! anyway - missed you while you were "gone" and happy to see you back :)

  34. just wanted to let you know I awarded you the versatile blogger award and i hope you can accept it (see my blog for details) :)

  35. Great blocks and those are some stylish and adorable bags.
    Well, I want a piece of that cake. Your creation is such a unique.

  36. your cake blocks are so perfectly pieced, have such gorgeous fabrics in them and they just scream "made by Ayumi!!" i love every square inch.

  37. i love your work Ayumi!, the blocks are adorable, i see green tea!, btw it's my favorite icecream flavour!.
    Please do a tutorial for the bags, they are so stylish! and practical.

  38. Adorable Cake blocks and a great small tote - perfect post, thank you!

  39. I love all your projects! I found your site via pinterest.

    It's funny because my name is Megumi and I married a Mills, so sometimes I use megumills! Looking forward to future posts!

  40. Nice post.Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very useful!

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  42. This post reminds me of a long time ago when in school we used to have a subject (with proper lectures - although I don’t remember about the exams: P) called "handwriting improvement". It sounds quite a funny but helpful course now :)

  43. very cute grocery bags! Here in Norway, all grocery stores charge you for their disposable plastic ones. I work at a wine store, and we started charging for plastic bags about six months ago. Lots of fuzz the first week, but noone needs five bags to carry four bottles any more :o) very effective.

  44. Just now finished work of little purse. I mixed all types of fabric and colours in my single bag. working with various fabric was such a fun idea and enjoyed lot.

  45. I specially liked your design of the grocery sacks.... I checked your shop at Etsy but you don't sell the patter ... and it's a pity you don't share it.

  46. The quilted cakes are so cute! What a fun idea. And I love the grocery bags, I always use reusable bags for my groceries too!


  47. Do you offer the sewing pattern or tutorial for making the grocery bag?

    1. Hi there,
      I don't have a pattern or a tutorial for the bag, but if you search "grocery bag tutorial", you will find lot of tutorials of similar bags :)

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