Making tote bags


I have about 40 feed bags waiting for a square bottom and handles. Today was the day to start working on them. Now I can’t find the roll of webbing for handles to continue so thought I’d touch base with all of you. If you get this post in your email, would a few of you let me know in the comment section so we’ll know the subscription feature is working again? Thanks so much!
Iowa and Iowa State meet each other on the basketball court tonight — we’ll be watching.

187 thoughts on “Making tote bags

  1. Dee W

    Great looking bags. I loved the goat at the door too! Have a great Christmas! My 2014 quilt top is done, going to get quilted as soon as I decide on a back. Looks great! Mine has cat fabrics in it, just like my 2013. I have a couple of likely candidates for both of them. Looking forward to hearing from you again.

  2. Melody Lenart

    Hope you have and are enjoying free time. Miss the news on the goats and other animal friends.

  3. Caryn-sunny in MN

    I am so excited to receive your e-mails again!! I’ve missed all the Farm news!

  4. Mary Lou

    It’s working. Enjoying seeing pictures of the farm and what you’re up to. Still busy as always!

  5. Mary Ann

    Hi there. So nice to hear from you. You have been missed. Always looked forward to opening your emails and finding your blog posts.

  6. Rose Mikulski

    Me, Rose, #1 Fan of Susannah, has received the email link to the blog, Big Yippee, Yippee! Kyle has done magic!

  7. Marsha Ivers

    I am so happy to be hearing from you again! I have really missed your newsy updates. Welcome back!

  8. barbara wells

    I got 2 emails today. Love hearing all about the animals and sewing projects. Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

  9. Cathy Platzer

    I was so happy to see a post from you. I had just asked Susan if she has talked to you lately.

  10. Amelia Dehner

    Hi, I have missed you, and reading about the animals , and what you are making. Wishing you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS. Amelia Dehner

  11. Patty DeHeer

    Cute Bags! Sounds like you’re taking advantage of some well deserved free time and the nice weather all at once! Good for you!

  12. Mary Roen

    I was just thinking today how quiet it has been without hearing about your adventures. It is wonderful to hear from you again! Merry Christmas!

  13. Esther Lautenbach

    Glad to get your post, I did a bunch of bags a couple years ago and I just used the end of the bags for the handles, webbing would be easier quicker and will probably last longer. Have fun 😉

  14. Jeanice Domino

    Thank you for touching base with us! I have been missing your posts. I miss the stories of the farm and the animals. I hope that you are enjoying your retirement.

  15. Jean Elliott

    Got the post!! Love those bags and boy does that work area look familiar!! So happy you are able to enjoy retirement and that you have such a fabulous work space now!!!

  16. Lois Palmisano

    Hello from Lois P in Omaha. I just re-subscribed last week and received 2 posts. The othe one was the sheep at your sewing room door. I guess she needs anothernquilting lesson! Happy holidays!

  17. mary jane

    I got it too….thanks for the mail, loved seeing that heading in my in box today…
    I want to wish all a lovely holiday season…

  18. Kristine

    So glad to see a post from you – Love that Emma sneaking up to the door to check on you; she’s probably missing all the comings and goings from all of us as well. Love the repurposed totes made from feed bags – modern day feed sacks you could say. Thanks Mary – have a great weekend.

  19. Molly Daniel

    Yes I have received your email. I miss your email. I live in West Virginia. I have dogs and cats too! I also sew and quit. I have several of your patterns. I’m glad to hear from you. Merry Christmas to you , your family, and the animals. Molly Daniel

  20. Micky

    So glad to have this website up again. Bags look great, what are they made of, it looks like a plastic.

  21. LaRue Schade

    It’s so good to see your posts again!! I miss hearing about your furry friends! I have a Cat Chow bag waiting to be made into a tote, and wasn’t sure how you went about doing that. Do you sew the webbing on just the top?? and square off the bottoms? Thanks for your advice….. (go Hawks!)

  22. Alberta

    Got your CHICKEN SCRATCH post!!! FUN! I’d LOVE to make a TON OF THOSE FEED BAGS!!! I’d LOVE the pattern??? Then…a SOURCE for the handle webbing??? ENJOY making them once you find your HANDLES!!! 😉 Alberta

  23. kam

    i got the e–mail in az. glad to see you are enjoying retirement. keep the messages coming….

  24. Carolyn Ostercamp

    It was fun to see Emma looking in at you. What a riot she must be! I always enjoy your posts and it was good to hear from you after a l—o—n—g absence.

  25. Sandy Bessingpas

    Yes, I got the post and so glad to hear news from you again…I hooe yiu are enjoying your retirement

  26. Kay Fielder

    Oh gosh !!! Sure was good to see you pop up again !!!! Sure have missed you, the animals, the farm and all the girls!! Enjoy your “retirement” …….don’t you find yourself just as busy ? just different……Merry Christmas and wishing you a wonderful New Year !!!

  27. Jane

    Received in Nevada, A-OK. . .pleased to see so many comments, Mary!!!
    I am sorry you can’t find your webbing, I have spent at least half of my retirement looking for something. I hope that won’t be the same for you. 🙂
    Love that you are continuing to stay in touch!
    Merry Christmas!

  28. Kathy Bahn

    Your post is a hit!! Working like a charm. The tote bags are absolutely adorable!!
    How do we get them when you have completed them?

  29. Cathy Jackson

    So glad to hear from you again! Looks like your “retirement” is keeping you busy. Love the bags!

  30. Ellie

    So glad to hear from you. I’ve missed hearing from you regularly and I love hearing about all the animals. Hope you find your webbing! I spend half my life looking for things I know I have but can’t remember where they’ve gotten to. Enjoy your retirement. You have earned it!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  31. Linda Hanley

    Hi Mary – I got your e-mail. It was nice to hear from you again. Have a wonderful Holiday and hope to hear from you again soon. Linda

  32. Lynda Clelland

    Hi Mary,
    Got your newsletter just a few minutes ago. How are you enjoying retirement??


  33. Anita Mattson

    Yes I received your wonderful email news. I have missed your notes. Keep them coming. A Canadian Fan! Anita

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      I use these bags for lots of things and will sell any excess at the yard sale next spring. No, I will not ship anything!!!
      I make a square bottom so the bag will sit up and I use cotton webbing for the handles because it’s easier on the hands. No pattern – just do it!

  34. Jan Kallestad

    Hi…….. I got your email on 12-12-14…………I have been doing outside errands as it is 65 degrees in Great Falls MT…….It may snow tomorrow……..we are having a lot of different weather…….Merry Christmas……..Jan

  35. Leslie in GA

    It’s working. Didn’t realize I had to sign up again. I have really missed your Farm News, but know you are happy to be retired
    Cute bags! Makeskme wish I had critters to feed. LOL

  36. susan blazevski

    So glad to hear from you, and see what you’ve been up to. The link is working just fine.

  37. Marilyn Hooton

    Wow what a wonderful surprise to hear from you missed you and glad you are up an running

  38. Linda Everett

    So good to get an email from you! Hope “retirement” is everything you were hoping it would be!
    Charlotte, NC

  39. Kathy Davis

    Your email is working! So happy to hear your news again-always a bright spot in the day. I love those bags!! I have plenty of webbing but what do you use for the bottoms & how do you sew them on?

  40. Jan VanDeWalle

    Those feed bag totes are so cute, fun to see bags from other areas. Are you making them to sell?

  41. Launa

    Such a welcomed post! Seems you haven’t slowed down too much yet. I’ve been marking pages in 101 Fabulous Small Quilts with wee stick-on tabs for future projects. We finally got the rain storm here in Tulare in the wee hours this morning. What a blessing for parched farm land.
    Quick question….How long are you sitting around in your robe in the mornings?
    Launa in CA

  42. Diana

    I make those bags also but I just cut off the bottom or top and make handles out of them. Wish I had the pretty different bags you get.

  43. Bobbie

    Saw your email about the sacks from the feed sacks. I do the same thing with my chicken feed bags, but just cut a double handle width off the top and use that to make my handles. Your feed bags have a better design than the ones I have.

    Please keep sending out the emails!

  44. Cheryl Davis

    Hi Mary!
    I’ve been thinking of you and Connie! I sure do miss your newsy emails, but I am so happy for you – for your new found free time.

    You and I never met, but I will always be grateful to you, for your words of encouragement concerning my aging cat. Toby is still with us. He is 18 years and counting! His hearing is almost all gone, but he can see O.K., and he still purrs when I hold him, and he snuggles next to me for a nap!

    Happy sewing!

  45. Jane

    So good to hear from you! Miss hearing about all the animals and pets, but of course your animals ARE pets!

  46. Lenore Guajardo

    Got you message A-OK….love the bags. Hope you find the webbing…..I know all about hidden items in the workroom….

  47. Agatha

    Miss all your news and beautiful pictures was so excited to see that I had emails from you today.

  48. Ann s

    I got the email! Glad to be in touch. I hope you’re enjoying retirement as much as I have!! It’s so relaxing!

  49. Nancy Finch

    Got the feed sack email. Again thrilled to get you back up online. Missed you and your farm family.

  50. Bonnie Specchio

    Just love your bags – I’ve been making them also. We live on a farm so I have chicken, bird and fish food bags and I buy different kinds of dog and cat food with the kinds of pets my friends have so I can make them a bag with their special friend on it. Finding a black lab bag was the most challenging – got it at the dollar store. The sign shop in town gives me scraps of the plastic sign material to use as the bottoms. So glad you are enjoying your retirement!

  51. Diane

    I got it, too. I commented on Emma. It sure sounds like we are all happy to hear from you!!!:). It’s in the high 39’s here in Ohio. I love reading the comments from all over the country. Enjoy the weekend.

  52. Malynda Reed

    Love the tote bags and thatI’m receiving mail from Iowa again! Feels like an old friend is back. I love to read the stuff you write and see the photos of all your animals. Merry Christmas

  53. Judy Berna

    Glad to hear from you again. Love all yoir posts about the animals and the pictures.
    Merry Christmas and a healthy Happy New Year.

  54. Vickie Devore

    Hi, got picture of Emma and the one on tote bags. Thank you for continuing. With wishes for a safe & merry christmas and happy new year, vickie

  55. Packer Pati

    Does your quilt shop feel just a bit “haunted” when you walk in now? Kind of sad for sure. Would love to see your cantata–just my favorite moment on Christmas Eve since I was 8 and started in the Children’s Choir–especially the very first time I sang the “Hallelluia”choir with the adult choirs and huge pipe organ–still gives me goose bumps Good luck finding you web handles. Since we moved in most of our conversations begin with “do you remember where…..”Only 2 football games today…………

  56. Angie

    So great to hear from you!! It’s like an early Christmas surprise!!

    Have a very merry Christmas!

  57. Joanne Kalahar

    This are wonderful – will they be available for sale? Happy holidays to all. Joanne

  58. jane plourde

    Its fun hearing about your farm and retirement news. Thank you for
    sending out the emails. Miss the store though.

  59. Janet Snyder

    Definitely working for me. So glad to hear from you again! Missed hearing about the animals and the other goings on at the farm.

  60. Diane Meyer

    I received your e-mail also. I really like the bags; I have thought of trying to make some myself. They would be good for grocery shopping. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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