Bags for Quilters: Handle and Strap Making

I have been making a new Penelope Purse using Daysail from Bonnie and Camille by Moda for the pieced part and Robert Kaufman Essex Linen  in Denim for the accents. I am really loving how this is turning out. Using the Essex Linen adds such a nice dimension to the purse, I feel.

Today I am going to talk about the handle/strap application that we use and why.

Penelope-Purse-1 This first photo shows the length of strap with the interfacing already fused and then it sewn lengthwise into a tube. We like to interface our handles and straps to give them that extra strength and body. The handle gets used so much that we don’t want it to become wrinkled up and flimsy. The interfacing is just wide enough to cover the length of the strap and cut to the width of it. Some of the longer handles/straps require piecing but that is not a problem, as we use fusible interfacing. Which Jennie spoke about in our last “Bags for Quilters” post.

Penelope-Purse-2 This is the strap after it is sewn, turned and pressed flat, the seam falls down the middle in the back. We like this application because then there is a neat, complete tube for your handle or strap. No folding or trying to get them even, and it just seems better to us.

Penelope-purse-7Now that the strap is sewn it is ready for the batting or flannel to be inserted in to it. (Use a larger safety-pin or bodkin to pull it through) they both work about the same. Batting is a good way to get a lot of padding without a lot of work. Sometimes we use two layers of flannel and this is about the same for thickness. I like the extra padding in the strap, because if you have ever filled a purse/bag really full you know how the handle or strap can cut into your shoulder. Well this is the reason for the extra padding, it is to make it more comfortable. I have even added three layers of flannel before, but one batting and one layer o flannel is usually sufficient. (Maybe for a larger bag that you will be filling up with heavy stuff you will want to have more thickness). The key is to make it so that it is comfortable for you!!

Penelope-Purse-5Here is the strap with the batting and the stitching lines sewn. Now it is nice and sturdy because it is interfaced and soft with the flannel or batting for comfort on your shoulder. It looks great with nice lines sewn down the sides, or like this one I sewed several lines. I like it!! It is ready to be added to the purse!!

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Penelope-Purse-9 *I added this additional picture so you could see the tool better.* The picture above is showing the bone tool that I used to get nice rounded corners on my Penelope Purse. I used the rounder end and pushed it out until it was even and the way I wanted it to look. For sharper corners I use the other end, it works great for corners that need to be pushed out.

Now for the extras!! We are also hosting a casual sew along  of our Penelope Purse. (Which is on sale for $5.00 in our shop). We would love to have you join us. If you do, please share your pictures on Facebook or instagram with the hashtag penelopepurse. Or leave a link to your blog post in the comment section of this post and you will be entered for some giveaways along the way. Be sure to post your finished purse by April 10th. Have fun and enjoy sewing and then carrying your purse around.

 

the Louisa bag {Pattern Refresh}

I have been busy making a new Louisa bag and now that it is finished I am happy to say, I love it.  It is ready to be used now.

Louisa-remake-1

This is my version in all Bonnie and Camille fabrics except for the solid. I used the blue as you can see and am happy with how it turned out.
Louisa-remake3

In all of my pictures I have not drawn up the sides so that it has a little more of a square look.

Louisa-remake4My variation on my bag was to make the rounded corner at the bottom just a bit rounder, I wanted to see if I liked it, I think I do!!

Louisa-bag-remake5

Since different fabrics can make a patchwork bag look so unique, we also had some Instagram friends make up versions of the Louisa bag, so that you can see some of the options. To view all the bags, check the hashtag #louisabag, and here are some of their finishes {there are a few more too, if you check the hashtag link you should be able to see them all!}:

Louisa Bag - ShawnaShawna Haynes made this Louisa bag using Doe by Carolyn Friedlander and Essex Linen, you can read her blog post here, and find her on Instagram here.

Louisa-bag---SusanSusan {The Felted Pear} made this one and skipped the patchwork to show off this beautiful print from Amy Butler’s Violette.

Louisa-bag-SaraSara {Sara.oe} removed one row of patchwork and replaced it with some adorable hexagons that really add a sweet touch, and of course, we love the Miss Kate by Bonnie & Camille fabric.

louisa-bag-vickiVicki {vpquilter} used squares instead of tiles, which gives this bag another unique look. The way she alternated the fabrics in the center really give it a focal point.

louisa-bag-cassidyCassidy {crbeeman} made her bag using a variety of Cotton + Steel prints, and utilized the selvage for the binding, which is a fabulous detail {she also said this is her first bag…I never would have guessed!}.

Louisa-bag-eileenEileen {sew_eileen} made her version with Priory Square and Cotton + Steel, she also used a linen for the sides, handles and binding and they give such a finished look.

louisa-bag-kayseKayse {quiltykayse} used these pretty Joel Dewberry prints to make her Louisa bag, which has larger rectangles than many of our patterns, perfect for showing off larger prints.

Louisa-bag-christyCristy {loveyousew_} made her bag with Robert Kaufman’s Kona Cottons and Andover Fabrics’ Chambray in black, the bright colored flying geese really give it a striking look, way different but so chic.

Thank you all so much for sewing these gorgeous bags!

We hope this inspires you to get a pattern and make the Louisa bag for yourself or as a gift, spring is just right around the corner and they are the perfect size to use as a handbag, tote, or a diaper bag. And, if you’d like to make one up too, you can find the pattern here.

Have a great day!!

Louisa Bag: WIP

Hello! I am giving you a preview of my Louisa bag and the progress I have made so far. (If you would like to purchase this pattern or any of our other patterns, visit our shop here.)  I hope you have had a great start to the week!!

Bag-Making-SuppliesThese are the tools that I use when I am making a bag. I just got the tailors pressing ham yesterday and have found that I love it! I looked it up and found there is a tutorial for making your own if you don’t want to purchase one. Google tailors pressing ham and I am sure you will find one or more on the internet.  It only costed about $15.00, which is not that much considering there are many other times I wish I had  one.  What I had been using was the rounded end of my ironing board and it did a fairly good job, but I think I am going to love this extra tool!!

I use a 24″ ruler, nice and long for cutting those longer lengths of fabric, interfacing and flannel. Rotary cutter, a cloth tape measure, (nice for measuring around the bag for adding the gusset and such). Then scissors, seam ripper, and a pincushion for all the pins I use in construction. The pins with the yellow heads are sturdier for those thicker layers. I find the thinner pins bend too easily, so I will save them for quilting and sewing. Of course not shown are my sewing machine and iron! Couldn’t do it with out them!!

Louisa-front-and-back-2These are the two panels I started with, I showed them last week but thought it would be okay to see it from the start again.

Louisa-panels-with-blueThis is the fabric I chose for the gusset, handles, binding, ties and maybe the lining.

Louisa-bag-body-patchwork-1 This is after the gusset and ties are sewn on, it’s looking like a bag now.

Louisa-bag-inside-2  An inside view. We will be sharing the reason we use flannel for our bags and the type of interfacing we love. Just waiting for some supplies so we can go into more detail.

Louisa-bag-with-handlesLastly I have body of my bag and the interfaced handles sewn and just need to be finished up. I am excited about this bag because I love the size of it and the fabric, yes some of my favorites.

Just a quick view of how my Louisa bag is coming along. There is a Louisa Bag tour on instagram. If you would like to see lots more Louisa bags in the process of being made, search the #Louisabag, or #cloverandviolet, you will find more. Some completely finished and some just getting started. I have been enjoying seeing them all!! These ladies are doing an amazing job.

Louisa Bag Remake: Introducing “Bags For Quilters”

Good Morning! It’s Friday and I am looking forward to a nice weekend! We got some snow and it is still very cold here, perfect for sewing and quilting and creating. I have been spending my time sewing on a new Louisa bag. If you would like to purchase a pattern to make your own follow the link here. (We have this pattern available in both pdf and printed form). I chose to do a mix of Bonnie and Camille fabrics for my new bag, I am so happy with how it is looking!

We are doing something a little new, that is to begin a series of blog posts for sewists who make quilts and would like to make bags also. We have heard from  fellow quilters that they aren’t sure if they could make bags but we are going to try to help in that area. We believe if you can quilt you can make a bag, especially our bags. Because we love making bags and designing bags that everyone can make. Maybe there are just a few tips and techniques that would really help make that a reality. Our series will be called “Bags For Quilters”. There’s just something so fun about carrying around a bag that you made using fabric that you really love.

Louisa-front-and-back-panelsThese are the two panels that will make up the main part (body) of my bag, the front and the back of the bag. They are patchwork sewn just as you would for making a quilt. It is simple and arranged the way you want it to look.

Louisa-front-and-back-2We leave a small border of the flannel around the outside to strengthen the seam allowance. I don’t always do this but for the purpose of this photo I have left them on. It is a little hard to see but there is about 1/4″ around the edges of each panel.

Louisa-panels-with-blueNow for the decision part. What to make the gusset (sides and bottom piece), handles and binding out of. I like the blue. Usually when we begin making a bag all of those choices are made before beginning, but I am making this bag from fabric I already have on hand.

Louisa-panels-with-pinkThe second choice I have is a solid pink that I think would also go well with the prints. It really is a matter of choice and what direction I want my bag to go in. Not sure though! I like them both so that makes it really difficult. My other Louisa bag has pink so maybe I am leaning toward the blue. Any thoughts you have would be appreciated. I always love asking!!

We hope you look forward to our series as much as we are and that you follow along, if you have any specific questions we would be happy to answer them! We have a variety of other patterns available in our Clover & Violet Shop that you might want to purchase, some in both pdf and printed form and some just in pdf form. We would love it if you stopped by and had a look!!

Have a great day!!

 

Sewing Hearts

Sewing hearts is fun and quick! I had a little fun sewing the past week or so. Not a lot but just small things that will mostly be gifted.

hearts-1These hearts are ready to be assembled into a mini wall hanging with some sashing. I had fun choosing the colors and fabric for these. I have been seeing a lot of cute heart things all over instagram. There is a lot of eye candy, I mean a lot!!

hearts-2Here is a little wall hanging or maybe even a little quilt to go on a table or just anywhere to add a little Valentine cheer. It has lots of pretty PamKittyMorning pink fabric, well because I love Pam’s fabric.

heart-mug-rugAnother fun little sewing project that I made was this pink heart mug rug. It is for a special lady!! Hope she likes it.

pincushion-1Lastly I have this pink and red pincushion, also made with Pam Kitty Morning  fabric, that I had fun making for a friend. I made the hexies and wasn’t sure what it   would be but decided a pincushion for lots of sewing. Loving those heart pins, I had some from a friend and will share some with my new friend.

hearts-miniI think this will be the layout for these hearts. I used the tutorial from CluckCluckSew. It is a great tutorial and she has the directions for making these in different sizes. The heart I made are the smallest ones that finish at 4″. Now I need to go finish up these projects that are going in the mail.

Have a great weekend and hope you have a Happy Valentines Day!!