A shopping trolley’s quilty makeover

Every now and then, coincidence and quilting collide in a good way. Like most quilters, I enjoy going to quilt shows and festivals. Like most festival goers, after looking at all the quilts, I can’t resist a stroll along the vendor’s booths and I end up staggering along weighted down with bags of goodies (although I do always set myself a budget and stick to it: cash only and when that’s gone, its gone). At gardening shows (which I also love) I had noticed visitors with crates on wheels with an extendible handle or compact shopping trolleys, happily trundling their purchases around all day. ‘The would be handy for a quilt show’ I thought to myself, ‘perhaps next time I should take my wheeled carry-on luggage’ and promptly forgot all about it.

Last week I was shopping for some winter clothes, and when I was paying at the desk it turned out that with a purchase to a certain value, one received a free pink shopping trolley. Aha, I thought, looking at its compact pinkness and foldaway capabilities, that is what I need for quilt shows.  Unfortunately, as with most freebies it had the name and slogan of the shop emblazoned on the lid, but for a quilter that is just a challenge!

The 'freebie' trolley. Out of deference to the shop I have photo-shopped out the name and slogan.

The ‘freebie’ trolley. Out of deference to the shop I have photo-shopped out the name and slogan.

The trolley from the side: light and compact and ideal for quilt show purchases!

The trolley from the side: light and compact and ideal for quilt show purchases!

I trundled my trolley home and examined the top flap. It has a large plastic buckle underneath, so I needed to avoid that in my ‘flap treatment’. A large appliqué was the obvious solution to the problem of camouflaging the shop slogan. I wanted the trolley to look more at home at a quilt show, but didn’t want to spend days on it (it may fall apart the first time I load it up for all I know). I dived into my stash and found a bit of hexagon cheater cloth in the Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern that I got in a guild swap a couple of years ago: perfect. I cut out three of the ‘flowers’ with their surrounding blue hexagons plus 1/4 of an inch so that I could turn the raw edges under. I ironed the piece onto some iron-on stabilizer to give it more body, then onto some fusible web. Then I cut to the outline in all the corners and carefully fused the turned-under raw edges to the back.

In the process of turning-under the raw edges of the cheater cloth appliqué

In the process of turning-under the raw edges of the cheater cloth appliqué

I ‘ironed’ the patch onto the bag flap (having completely dismantled the trolley to get the bag off the frame), with a very cool iron (otherwise the bag exhibited an alarming tendency to melt) and then secured it for certain with a couple of pins. I sewed it down on the machine using a straight stitch, as I wanted to minimise the number of holes in the lid (hence the tuned under edges). Manoeuvring around the invisible buckle was tricky, but it worked.

A close-up of the appliqué on the top flap of the trolley

A close-up of the completed appliqué on the top flap of the trolley

Then I put the whole thing back together and voilà: a quilter’s trolley and nicely in time for the Open European Quilt Championships that are held here in The Netherlands, in Veldhoven, from the 17th through the 20th of October. This year I’ll be there with my little pink trolley and my arms won’t be too tired to grip the steering wheel at the end of the day!

A trolley fit for a quilter or an Ice Bear!

A trolley fit for a quilter or an Ice Bear!

Hope to see you there!

3 responses to “A shopping trolley’s quilty makeover

      • I’m excited for you!!! I’ve been to two quilting shows now, the first time UNPREPARED!! The second, still procrastinated on taking something to carry EVERYTHING, lol so I bought one of those extra long and wide “I love quilting” totes. But I’d love something to ROLL around, like yours! 🙂
        Hope it holds a lot of GOODIES!!

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