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Images of a person all bundled up, arms loaded down with logs for a fire as they walk toward their house through beautiful, pristine, fresh-fallen snow always have such a nostalgic charm to them. And living out that scenario once or twice as the first snow of the season falls is kind of fun. But in reality, at least around here, we eventually end up running outside without coats and hats because it takes longer to get bundled up than it does to actually get the wood from the woodshed. That means dirty shirt sleeves and an occasional case of poison ivy.
I looked into buying a log carrier and, being a girl, found myself gravitating toward the pretty versions which also had pretty pricetags. The one that I was most drawn to was a light-colored suede and cost $139. And the fine print read not for outdoor use! I finally decided to make my own.
I love the look of leather but to keep the cost down on this project, I settled on an embossed "faux" leather. Vinyl, if you will. Vinyl can stretch under the heavy weight of a load of wood, so I lined the log carrier with canvas. The canvas is the practical, functional part of this project, the embossed vinyl the stylish part.
To make this log carrier, begin with 1 yard of 45 inch wide faux leather. Be sure to square up the fabric before starting by trimming if necessary.
With the material folded so the selvages (the 45 inch sides) are together, measure 26 inches along the selvages and mark this point. Measure 26 inches along the fold and mark this point. Cut the material from mark to mark. This is a long length of material so if you are using a cutting mat and rotary cutter, to fit it on your mat, fold the material so the mark on the fold matches up with the mark on the selvage. After cutting you should end up with a 26 inch x 36 inch piece and a 19 inch x 36 inch piece.
Repeat these steps with the canvas.
Keep the faux leather folded with the 26 inch sides matched up. Along the 26 inch side, measure in 5 inches from each end toward the center of the edge and make marks. Along the 36 inch side, measure down 6 inches toward the fold of the fabric on each side and make marks. Using a Fiskars acrylic ruler, cutting mat, and rotary cutter, cut from the 5 inch mark to the 6 inch mark. Basically, you'll cut off the corners of the fabric. You can scroll down to the photo of the handle placement to see the shape of the material after cutting.
Repeat these steps with the canvas.
Lay the 2 materials, with right sides together, on a large table or the floor and pin them together. Faux leather is more difficult to pin than woven fabric so I like to use these hem clips instead.
Beginning along one of the 36 inch sides, sew the layers together using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Leave an opening for turning the materials right side out and make sure to back stitch when you start and finish the seam. Trim the points off the seam allowances to reduce bulk. Turn the carrier right sides out, push the corners out, and hand stitch the opening closed. Use an iron on the canvas side to press the edges down flat. Do not do this on the faux leather side as you will melt it!
Top stitch around the perimeter of the carrier 1/4 inch from the edge.
The structure of the strap is actually woven web strapping. Again, the faux leather would stretch under the weight of a load of wood so it's purely decorative.
If you don't want to spend the time covering the strap, you can just purchase a coordinating color of strapping and skip down to the placement of the strap.
If you've chosen to cover your straps, cut four 3 7/8 inch wide x 36 inch long strips from the 19 inch wide x 36 inch long remnant of faux leather. Stitch the 4 strips together, end to end, using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Cut the finished strip to 127 inches and set the extra aside for another project.
Fold the strip in half lengthwise, right sides together, taking care to fold over all the seam allowances (where you stitched the ends together) in the same direction. Pin the edges together or use hem clips. Stitch the edges together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Taking this slowly and keeping your seam as straight and even as possible will make the next steps easier.
Turn the strap cover right side out. Since the strap cover is so long and the material stiff, this is time consuming and will be tiring on your hands. I did this step while watching a movie.
Put a large safety pin through the end of the strap, and work the strap through the strap cover. Start it through the end of the cover that will allow you to push over the folds of the seams rather than against the edges of the 2 pieces of fabric that make up the seams. You should be able to feel this through the cover at the seams.
Hold the strap cover so the seam is centered over the center of the strap. Running the strap through the cover is where making sure you kept your seam straight and even makes your job easier! Run the strap through so that the cover extends about 1/4 inch over one end of the strap and 3/4 inch over the other end.
The strap is so long you will reach a point where your arms are not long enough and you will need someone to help you pull the strap through the cover.
Fold the carrier in half (short ends together) to find the center and mark it on both sides. Fold the strap in half to find the center and mark it.
Beginning at the center point of the carrier, start pinning the strap to the carrier. It should be 5 1/2 inches in from the sides of the carrier. When you have a few pins in place, move to the opposite side of the carrier and, matching the center point of the strap to the center point of the carrier, pin the strap to the carrier. Continuing pinning the strap to the carrier. When you come back to the starting point with the end of the strap, fold the 3/4 inch excess strap cover fabric over the end of the strap. Butt this up to the other end of the strap. It should sit on top of the excess 1/4 inch of fabric on that end of the strap. Pin in place. Begin stitching the strap to the carrier stitching as close to the edge as is comfortably possible for you. When you come to the ends of the carrier, simply stitch across the strap to the other side of it.
When finished, remove the pins and stitch a box with an X in it on the straps at the edges of the carrier to add reinforcement.
1 yard canvas, 1 yard faux leather or other stain resistant material, 3.5 yards 1 1/2 inch woven web strapping, thread, pins or hem clips