Ruffle Girl Tote Bag – Lovebirds Fabric

Ruffle-Girl-Tote-BagIt’s that time of year again, Fall Quilt Market is this weekend! We had the privilage of sewing with one of RJR Fabrics new lines, Lovebirds by Patrick Lose! We have a new pattern and a free pattern in the works, but for today, I wanted to share a ruffly version of our patchwork book bag!

Fabric requirements:

  • 6 – 10″ x 2 1/2″ strips for flat strips
  • 2 – 14″ x 2 1/2″ strips for ruffle strips
  • 1 – 10″ x 5″ strip for back
  • 2 – 10″ x 11″ rectangles for lining
  • 2 – 4″ x 16″ strips for handles
  • 1 – 2 1/2″ x 25″ strip for binding

Batting & Supplies:

  • 2 – 11″ x 12″ rectangles flannel
  • Coordinating thread for quilting
  • Ruffler foot (optional)

Read all directions before beginning. All seam allowances 1/4″ unless otherwise stated.

Ruffle-Girl-Tote-Bag-1Gather the two 14″ x 2 1/2″ strips until they are 10″ wide.  The strips can be gathered by setting your sewing machine to a long stitch and then sewing 1/8″ from each long edge. Then, select one thread (top or bottom) and pull gently to gather the fabrics.

Ruffle-Girl-Tote-Bag-2Sew the two ruffle rows lengthwise between three of the 10″ x 2 1/2″ strips to make the front. Place the patchwork panel on the 11″ x 12″ piece of flannel and quilt in place (we stitched 1/8″ from each seam. Trim the flannel to the size of the patchwork.

Ruffle-Girl-Tote-Bag-3Sew the remaining 10″ wide strips together to form the back. Place on flannel and quilt as for front.

Ruffle-Girl-Tote-Bag-4Place the front and back right sides together and sew side and bottom together. Clip corners. Repeat with two lining pieces, but use a 3/8″ seam allowance so the lining will not be loose.

Ruffle-Girl-Tote-Bag-5Place the lining inside the bag body, line up side seams, and pin in place.

Ruffle-Girl-Tote-Bag-6Make handles by folding the 16″ x 4″ strips in half lengthwise, wrong sides together and pressing. Unfold and then fold the outer edges toward the center. Fold in half along crease, then top stitch 1/8″ from each edge. Position the handles 2 1/2″ from each edge.

Ruffle-Girl-Tote-Bag-7Fold binding strip in half, lengthwise, and press. Sew to the top edge of the bag with the folded edge down. Use your favorite method to join binding (I love this tutorial – scroll to “Joining Your Binding”!).

Ruffle-Girl-Tote-Bag-8Fold the binding around to the inside of the bag and top stitch close to the edge of the binding, stitching the binding in place on the back. When you come to a handle, fold the handle up and stitch through the handle and binding.

Ruffle-Girl-Tote-Bag-9Top stitch handle 1/8″ from top edge too, and you’re done!

Ruffle-Girl-Tote-Bag-BackWe’re not at quilt market this time around, instead we’re celebrating a cute little girl’s first birthday (how has it gone so fast!). Hope you have a great weekend!

Modern Stitching Bee Blocks

I have been making a little progress on my blocks for the Modern Stitching Bee. I was thinking these blocks were going to be difficult, but they are just fun!


It is fun going through scraps and putting them together in a fun way! I love seeing all the mixes of fabrics in each of these blocks.


I have been sewing many other things lately, but I am glad to be making bee blocks again.


These are all for now. I have a couple of more blocks for this bee and then several more for the Sew Sweet Bee.


Organizing Your Sewing Area

This contributor post is written by Donna of donnaslavendernest.


Hi y’all.
I am donna from It is so much fun to be back here at Clover and Violet. Jenny and Clara are just the 2 sweetest people and I am so grateful they are having me on there blog.

Today I wanted to give you some ideas of how to organize around your sewing machine. Now I am just saying, it is not always this clean around my machine. LOL!

sewing area

My very clever hubby made me a desk so that my machine would fit in it. So far it has been the best thing ever. I stumbled upon this sweet milk glass bowl at a resale shop super cheap and decided it could be used for my thread nest as I am sewing.

sewing area 2

This is a tin a watch came in a long time ago. It is perfect for holding all the things you need while sewing. When I go on retreat I just put the lid on and pack it with the other goodies going along for a sewing trip.

sewing area 3

The drawer that attaches to my sewing machine just didn’t work anymore or fit the new dest. So I found this sweet bowl at Goodwill to hold the different feet that go with my sewing machine, sewing machine oil and needles. It works perfectly and everything is very handy.

Hope I was able to give you a few ideas of how you can organize around your sewing machine and keep it looking cute.

Thank you so much Jennie and Clara for having me. You are the best.


Simple Scrappy Sampler {Week 5}

Shoo-FlyI’ve been absent from my sampler quilt for too long {see the rest of the posts here!}, but I’m determined not to let this one slip by the wayside. So, I’ve made up two more blocks in hopes of getting back in the swing of things. I am still dreaming of having this quilt on my bed someday, so I chose two easy blocks {they’re essentially the same, just the half-square-triangles are rearranged!} for my first week back. Here they are:

Friendship-StarI’m honestly still undecided if I’m going to use the navy. There are so many navy prints that I love though, so I decided to try it with a couple blocks and see how I feel about it. For now this one stands out a lot! I had also intended the star to be the lighter aqua, but accidentally cut the pieces backwards, and now I’m glad I did!

Block 9 and 10Here’s the cutting layout for the blocks. Alternately, PDF version can be downloaded here. This time my notes on block construction is easy, for both blocks I cut my larger squares to 3 3/4″ and then sewed and trimmed them to 3 1/8″. I’ve heard that there’s a ruler that will trim the blocks before pressing…I need to check into this!

Ten-BlocksAnd here’s the 10 I have so far. See, the navy really stands out…but I’m hoping if I add some more, it will be okay, thoughts? If you hate it…please tell me! I’d rather remake this one than have to remake a bunch!

As usual, if you’re sewing along, please share in the Flickr group or on Instagram with the tag #simplescrappysamplerqal. I’m already looking forward to next week’s blocks!

A Guide to Selling at Craft Fairs – Part 2

This contributor post is written by Erika of Midwest Family Life.

Hi! It’s Erika from Midwest Family Life again to talk about selling at craft fairs. If you didn’t catch Part 1, you can click here to read about the top five things you need to know before you start selling.


This second part will dive more into what I’ve learned from doing craft fairs and some personal tips for success.

What I learned from doing craft fairs.

I was super excited about craft fairs when I started my business. Personally, I could walk around them all day long, especially the really great ones we have outdoors in autumn. I’m a people person and also enjoyed designing my booth space. Each time I set up and took down my booth it got a little better, a little faster. Having done so many fairs in one year I got a little burned out and will be backing away from doing them. Trying to balance family and work can be challenging. When I do a craft fair, I’m gone from almost 7am-6pm which means my hubby is home with all three girls. In general, the profit (after time and expense) ended up not being worth it to me.

Five tips to keep you headed in the right direction.

1. Really make sure you are going to a fair that hits your target market, otherwise you’ll have wasted your time and money– big time. This is the main reason I’m personally backing away. I’m realizing that my product isn’t meant for craft fairs. In general, folks are looking for a deal and that’s not me or my products. If you are paying $40 or less for the booth rental, you probably don’t have a high-paying crowd. Get a feel for the city you will be selling in and talk to the person in charge of running the craft fair. Ask questions about attendance and get a copy of the past vendor list. Was it mostly direct sale vendors or were there a lot of crafty folks selling? Really try your best to know that customer.  The one fair I did really well at was a Fall Fest, cost $150/booth and had 300 vendor booths and an attendance of over 90,000 people. Big difference, right?

2. You really need to accept credit cards. There are so many missed opportunities if you don’t do this. Sure there is a fee per sale, but it’s worth it! and PayPal both have free readers. Many big banks have their own as well. Practice with your smart phone, you need to have Internet access in order to use it. Inputting the numbers by hand carries a larger fee. Additionally, make sure you have a sign displayed in your booth that states what you accept. Customers don’t want to ask.

3. Make sure you have a lot of product for people to choose from and expect them to touch it all. I’ve played around a lot with packaging or no packaging and displaying my items. Each item will be different so make sure you research what will work for you. Put a clear pricing sheet out, I stick mine in a picture frame, or better yet, have pricing on each item. Again, customers don’t want to ask you what it costs, it makes them feel uncomfortable.

4. Set up will take you longer than you think, especially if you are putting up a tent. It’s stressful to be rushing. Give yourself lots of extra time and know where you are going. Look at directions ahead of time. Most of the big 10×10′ tents take at least two people to set up. Ask for help if you need it.

5. Look like a legit business. Hang your banner or signage where people can see it. Have your business cards out, have bags for people to take their product home in and be organized.  Be a brand, think about little things like matching table cloths and not having the legs of your table show. A little goes a long way. If you want to BE a business, act like one.

This is the information I can offer you right now. After a year of various fairs I’ve decided that they aren’t for my business. I’m going to focus on wholesale and direct selling. I still love fairs and fests and regularly attend them but selling at them won’t be at the top of my list. It’s just too much time commitment for not enough payout. But maybe your product is perfect for craft fairs! Give it a good effort, follow the tips above, really research your market, design a great booth and you’ll probably have awesome success.

Good luck and remember to have fun! After all, you started this business because of your passion. Live it and love it.