LaRueSews-Quilts, Spuds in a Bag

It’s Chilly here in Alabama today.  That is to say, rainy 70 degrees feels cold compared with 90+ degrees.  This has been a frustrating day.  I have a little project that I wanted to talk about this time.  However, I’ve lost the special ruler I need for the project.  Let me rephrase that  . . . I put that ruler away so well that now, I can’t find it.  Besides that, it’s not the only thing I’ve lost.  Where is that Misty Fuse I need to start that new quilt?  It goes on and on.  Seems like every time I want to start or work on a project, I have to spend time finding what I need for the project.  Drats!  Sad  That must mean there’s toooo much STUFF in my little sewing room and stash closet.  Does anyone else have this problem?  Let me hear from you.  I don’t want to be the only one who loses things in the sewing room.    Oh well, guess I’ll sit down and write a BLOG instead.

Last month we went to North Carolina.  Of course I had to look for a quilt shop with my “travelin’ friend,” Cathy.  Yup, we found one.  In the little town of Elizabeth City, N.C.  The name of the shop is Simply Divine Fabrics and Things.  It’s a cute little shop with a sweet and generous owner, Tanaya Ewell.  She had a neat little project that I can tell you about.  Do you like baked potatoes?  These cute bags are just the ticket for baking potatoes in the microwave.  They are moist and delicious, just like in the oven, except that the skin is tender, moist and ready to eat.  The watermelon print bag came from the Simply Divine shop, and the other bag was given to me at my recent quilt retreat.


The bags are easy to make. Just cut two coordinating fabrics about 16 to 12 inches long and 8 to 10 inches wide, depending on size and amount of potatoes you want to use.  Cut one piece of batting the same size as fabrics.  (I think cotton batting would be best, not sure) Lay the fabrics, right sides together, with batting on top.  Sew across each short end of the fabric and batting.  Turn right side out, keeping the batting between the fabrics.  Both sides will be open.  Now, fold down about two inches to the outside of the fabric pieces to make a cuff.  Then fold the fabrics right sides together, with the fold/cuff on the inside.  Sew or serge up each side of the fabrics and turn the bag right side out.  There will be raw edges on the inside, and a cuff will be on the outside.  It works kinda like a fold-over sandwich bag.  It’s all done!  Pop those little buggers in the bag, and follow the directions.

Potato Baking Bags:
Used to bake russett, red or sweet potatoes.
Wash /rinse potato and pat dry with paper towel.
Wrapping the potato in paper towel is optional,  
    (keeping it on keeps bag cleaner longer)
Close the flap and place in microwave for 5-8 minutes
     depending on wattage of microwave.
Open bag/ cut open potato, add butter
    the extras, salt and all.

**PLEASE!  If you plan to make these potato bags, be sure to use only natural fabrics, thread and batting.  The polyester will burn quickly can cause problems in the microwave.  Also, be sure to keep an eye on them while cooking, and follow you microwave instruction book for length of time for potatos

Now it’s time for your next quilt block from our LaRueSews BOM.  I promised last time that I would get the first three blocks made for you.  This is a photo of those blocks, plus the fourth one.  The fourth block in our BOM is the Sashed 4-Patch.  You will notice that in my blocks, the colors are not as bright as those in the block diagrams I have posted.  That is because I am using mostly fabrics from my fat quarter stash.  Unfortunately, my fat quarter stash has very little yellow in it.  So I used a gold fabric that is darker than I expected it to be.  I need to get some yellow when I go to a fabric store. 


Sashed 4-Patch 

These are the rotary cutting measurements, in case they are hard to read.
A patch,  3 ½" X 3 ½ “
6-Gold /yellow patches
2-Red patches

B patch,  6-1/2" X 3 ½” Blue patches

If you are reading about LaRueSews Block of the Month for the first time, you may find the first three blocks in my two previous BLOGS.  On the left side of this BLOG, there is a box titled, Recent Posts.  The BOM is in the two post previous to this one.

By the way, I’d like to tell you about a really good on-line source for fabrics.  It is  They have one of the best selection of fabrics on the net.  I have ordered from eQuilter many times and I have never been disappointed.  Check it out, it’s worth your time.

That’s about it for this time.  I hope you are all keeping up with our BOM.  So far, they are easy blocks.  In fact, all of the blocks are on the easy side, though they will get a bit more challenging as time goes on.  Oh, one more thing, this is just a little treat.  It's a photo of an orchid that I have grown from a very small plant in a two inch pot.  It is now in a five inch pot and has five blooms, you can see three and a little bit of one more.  And IT'S NOT A QUILT!  Big Smile


Stitches to you,

P.S.  My finger is all healed already!

I have these names on my list.  If you are not on the list or do not plan to do the BOM, please let me know so that I can correct the list:

Linda B
maggie milner

Comments (13) -

Oh but LaRue it would look so nice in a quilt, are you really, really sure? Yeah, I am still lurking around here.


The potato bags are great but MAKE SURE you use 100% cotton batting.  The first one I made caught on fire in the microwave.  I had used Warm & Natural, which had some polyester in it.  Luckily, I was right there and the only thing ruined was my pretty bag.  Be sure to check the fiber content.



buglady40475 10/10/2009 10:08:59 AM

Use cotton thread also.  These bags have been know to catch on fire if in the microwave too long.


Sorry, I don't understaqnd what you mean . . .what would look nice in a quilt?

Karen and Buglady,  

Thank you for your comments.  If you go back and check, you will se that I have edited the instructions to reflect the comments you have both made.

I have not made the bags myself, since I was given two of them.  But it was easy to see how to make them, by just looking closely at them.

Stitches . .


PLEASE!  If you plan to make these potato bags, be sure to use only natural fabrics, thread and batting.  The polyester will burn more quickly can cause problems in the microwave.   Also, be sure to keep an eye on them while cooking, and follow you microwave instruction book for length of time for potatos

One more thing about the potato bags . . .there is no need to quilt the fabrics.  They work just fine unquilted.


maccarlibyrd 10/10/2009 1:05:06 PM

Don't usually write anything but read everything.  Regarding the potatoe bags... I used old  cotton terry  towels for batting and they work out great.  Have given several for gifts and all loved them!  Thanks for your comment about losing things.  My Dad always told me I would get lost inside a paper bag when traveling...guess the same thing goes for everything in my sewing room, too! Wink

thecomputerist 10/10/2009 1:43:29 PM

This is your best blog ever!!  I love it!

I think you meant to say "DON'T CUT THE POTATO" in the instructions.  The mind can be so much faster than the fingers.  LOL

I do the same thing with my potato but I *** them with a fork because the skin can get too tight and break.  The steam from the water in the potato can be very strong.  The potato is a very large percentage water.

I can't find things either - in fact, where is my invisible thread???  LOL (gotta read that one with a giggle.)  


thecomputerist 10/10/2009 1:44:07 PM

Forgot to mention that beautiful orchid.  


I will take liberties and call you MAC, sincy you did not sign your name.  Or on checking again, i could call you Carl or Carli, or Byrd, or even Liby.  That's what you get for keeping me insupence, my brain goes crazy, wonder just what your real name is.  ;o)

Thanks for your comments.  It's good to "Use-Up" anything we have lying around.


I just got a direct email that said "Do Not WHAT Potato".   Actually that wasn't my type-O.  But that's what I get for copy and pasting without reading the instructions more than once.   The instructions that came with the second bag I was given were a bit different.   I guess it's like the old party game where you sit in a circle, and whisper a message to someone next to you and pass it on around.  When it gets back to you the mesaage is tottaly different.

After reading it again, and remembering  the Qult shop conversation, I believe it goes this way. . . After baking, DO NOT CUT THE POTATO, use two forks to pierce and open the potato, then push on it to fluff up the inside.  If that's not it, DO IT YOUR WAY.  The quilt/potato police are not out to get you.

Stitches, and spuds to you,



Add me to the list

Sheila (basktcse)

Sheila, (basket)

I'll be glad to add you to the list.  Thanks for your comment.


LaRue, Don't worry about your ruler & the Misty Fuse -- they're probably together & will re-surface once your project is done.  If you're lucky before then!  :>)  And yes, it's a sign of an over-stuffed sewing room -- but really, we wouldn't have it any other way!!  I lose things quite often & just have to remind myself that I used to get things done before I had all those nifty little gadgets!  Don't let it break your stride!  

wow it has been 2 years since you wrote these instructions for the potato bag. I can now tell you that warm and natural has a batting just for these microwave bags and of course the fabric companies have a potato, corn and a tortillia fabric  (they follow with such when quilters talk). W&N batt is called hot tater batting and is 100% cotton. When I made my first one it was suggested to use everything cotton for the reason you give.. fire in the microwave.. now I've seen  others say never poke the potato and some say use the paper towel wrap inside, but mine goes into the wash and dryer and has stayed good for more use. hope to read more of your blogs. BTW I found this article in Annthegran's site haven't been here for several years.

Losing things in the sewing room? me too, and I just found a mat that had been missing in action for over 5 yeras it is warped and sad, was under a cutting table piled with scraps from Christmas quilts (4) I made for the children. How did I miss it all the times I searched?

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