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!!


Scrappy Little Planner {Tutorial}

Scrappy-Little-PlannerPaper planners seem to be everywhere these days. I know lots of people use their phones and other electronic devices for their calendars, but to me {and apparently lots of other quilters too!} you cannot get much better than real paper. So, it only seemed appropriate to put a little sewing and quilting and planners together, and I came up with this scrappy little planner. You could make this cover for a variety of planners, but I’m using this Punctuate Vinyl Planner that I bought from Barnes & Noble for $5, since it was 50% off. I found some on Amazon for a little bit more, but still less expensive than a leather planner.

You could also use a mini binder like this one or this one, and just adjust the cover size a little bit! Or, you could cover a regular notebook, if the rings aren’t important to you.


You’ll need:

  • Binder or Notebook
  • Scraps
  • Batting or Soft and Stable 1/2″ larger than your binder
  • Hidden Magnet or Velcro
  • Bias Tape
  • Foldover Elastic

Scrappy-Little-Planner-1Begin piecing your scraps in any manner you choose. I chose two fussy cut girls from Tasha Noel’s The Simple Life and centered my piecing around them.

Scrappy-Little-Planner-2I sewed my pieces on log cabin style, but pieced some of the longer strips first to give it a bit more dimension.

Scrappy-Little-Planner-3I created mine in a front piece, back piece, then joined them in the center with another strip. I then added the final borders to make it 1-2″ larger than the planner. You can make the patchwork the exact size of your finished cover (about 1/2″ larger than the planner), if you don’t want to waste fabric, but I like having it over sized so I don’t have to worry about any shifting or it being too small.

Scrappy-Little-Planner-4Being careful to check the polarity, sew the magnet to the wrong side of the patchwork piece where you want your closure. I centered mine next to my fussy cut girl, since I wanted her to be near the edge.

Scrappy-Little-Planner-5Cut a piece of Soft and Stable or a double layer of batting about 1″ larger than the planner (again, if you’re not worried about shifting, you can cut it to 1/2″ larger which will be the exact size).

Scrappy-Little-Planner-6Quilt as desired. I used a walking foot which made the quilting much easier. I did a different pattern in each piece of patchwork.

Scrappy-Little-Planner-7Trim the patchwork to 1/2″ larger than the planner {1/4″ on each edge}. Cut two pieces as tall as the planner and 1/2″ narrower. These will be the inside pockets you’re going to slip the planner into. Fold them in half, wrong sides together and press. I then sewed right along the folded edge to finish them.

Scrappy-Little-Planner-9To make larger pockets for the inside, use a scrap twice as tall as your finished pocket height and 1/4″ wider than the inside piece. Fold in half and sew one side at 1/4″, then turn clip corner and turn right side out. Line up the raw edges with the side and bottom of the inside flap and sew along the side.

I also made a patch pocket out of a 6″ x 4″ rectangle. Fold in half and sew on three sides, leaving an opening along the bottom. Clip corners and turn right side out. Then sew to the inside flap.


Here you can see how I sewed the patch pocket and then sewed the larger pocket along the side {it is flipped open so you can see the patch pocket underneath it}.

Scrappy-Little-Planner-11Place both inside flaps on the wrong side of the quilted piece. There should be a gap about the size of the ring portion of the planner in the center. Sew along the sides, also sewing the large pocket down. Round corners if desired {I just cut curves, but you could use a round object too}.

Scrappy-Little-Planner-12Make the magnetic flap by cutting a strip 1 3/4″ x 8″. Fold it in half {1 3/4″ x 4″} and crease. Then sew the magnet right next to the crease. Fold in half again, right sides together, then sew the long sides, back stitching at the end. Turn right side out and top stitch along the edges.

Scrappy-Little-Planner-13Sew the flap along the edge of the back of the patchwork planner body, opposite the magnet, and double checking the polarity.

Scrappy-Little-Planner-14Sew a 1″ loop of fold over elastic to the back of the planner as well, about 2″ from the top, for a pen holder.

Scrappy-Little-Planner-15Sew the bias tape to the outside of the organizer. You can use premade bias tape {as I did for the pink planner above} or make your own. For this planner I made 1/2″ bias binding following this tutorial from Sew 4 Home. One little note, I’ve noticed, as I’m working on learning how to do curved binding, that when you reach the corners, think of pulling the binding back rather than stretching it forward around the curve. This really worked for me!

Scrappy-Little-Planner-16Fold the binding around to the inside and sew in place. I hand stitched mine, but machine stitched would be great too!

Scrappy-Little-Planner-17Next, cut the snaps off of the vinyl cover of the planner. If necessary, trim the body of the planner to fit inside the flaps. I cut about 1/8″ off the edge of my planner all the way around, and made the corners a little more curved too.

Scrappy-Little-Planner-0Then slip the planner under the flaps and you’re done! As an option, you could also sew the planner to the cover, to keep it more secure. I’d recommend using a leather or jeans needle.

Scrappy-Little-Planner-20And, there you have a fun planner, exactly your style! And, if you make one of these, make sure to let us know! Send us an e-mail, share in our Flickr group, or tag @cloverandviolet #scrappylittleplanner on social media!

Cookie Book Kitchen Set {Handmade Gifts}


I’m taking a break from quilting bees this year. I participated in two last year, and eventually fell behind {I’m down to only two blocks left to catch up!}. I have come to terms with the fact that, while lots of people adore quilting bees, they’re not really for me in this season of life. But, I did love the little community that develops around a bee. So, this year, I joined a handmade birthday club. There are twelve of us involved and each month we send a handmade gift to the birthday girl. For January, I sent this fun potholder set to Jenny.

Potholder-SetFor the patchwork, I used the scrappy trip method by Bonnie of Quiltville and just adjusted my number of strips {4 for the potholder and 8 for the oven mitt}. The oven mitt was surprisingly a lot easier than I had anticipated! I used the pattern from Gingercake Sews and loved that the mitt is placed on the fold, so there isn’t a seam down the side opposite the thumb! I now need to make myself some!

Potholder-Set-2The potholder is the pretty little potholder by Amy of Nana Co. and was a little bit more challenging. I’ve been working on my bias binding skills, but still felt that this didn’t quilt turn out perfect {it probably would have helped if I’d have had navy thread, but, of course, I didn’t, and the snow kept me from trying to find some!}. Also, after doing my best to put navy binding on with gray thread, I realized I forgot to bind the top pocket…but I think it worked out in the end!

Potholder-Set-and-Tea-TowelsSince the Cookie Book selvages were so cute and say “full cookie jar, happy home”, I felt I needed to include them. So, I found some white tea towels and sewed them on. My selvages were shorter than my towels, so I used two on each.

I really enjoyed making and sending this gift. Do you  use homemade potholders in your kitchen? I admit, I have some, but they hang on the wall. I think I need to put them to use and replace all my old ones with handmade!

Log Cabin Quilt Blocks

These are my log cabin quilt blocks that I received from the ladies in the Sew Sweet Bee and I am ready to finish and sew them into a quilt. That will make one less w.i.p. and another great quilt to have in my home.Sewsweetbee-1The photos are not that wonderful but the blocks really are special. I love that each and every block has fabric that is not in my collection, but came from someone who made them for me. I have decided that I think this quilt needs to be larger so I will be adding several more blocks to make it the size that I would like it to be. I have started 7 but now that I have thought about it more, I have decided to go even larger. I will show updated pictures as soon as I have made  more blocks.

Sewsweebee-2I am playing with the layout to decide which one I like better. It is a little hard to tell but I have laid them out in two different patterns.

Sewsweetbee-3I really do think this is the pattern that I like the best, the top photo is the same layout and you can see it a little better in it. I just need to do some rearranging after I make the additional blocks, that is the fun part.

Aqua-stashI always enjoy searching through my fabric stash to see what I have that I can use. No trip to the quilt shop this time!!

What are you sewing on these Winter days? It sure does seem to be perfect weather for sewing! Although, I will say I am so looking forward to Spring!!


Handmade Gifts – Final Swaps of 2014

machine-sewn-miniI think 2014, or at least the second half of it, was the year of the swap for me! A few years ago, I was involved in a lot of swaps, but as Flickr became harder to use and I focused more on the blog and patterns, the swaps sort of dwindled into the background. But, swaps have made a resurgence on Instagram {my new favorite hangout}, and I signed up for quite a few. Here are the final swaps of 2014. This Machine Sewn Mini {pattern by Sew Lux Fabric} might just be one of my favorite 2014 finishes. I used the amazing gold hexie print from Brambleberry Ridge by Violet Craft for Michael Miller for the sewing machine, and then some lovely stashed fabrics for the rest of the mini. The binding is another new favorite, Netorious in Mixing Bowl by Cotton + Steel.

organizer-hoopI also made this little hanging hoop, it was my first one, but I’d like to make one for myself now too!

Machine-sewn-mini-swap-packageAnd here are all the goodies I sent to Kayse as part of our purple swap. I felt like everything in this package was fun, sweet, and sparkly. I’m using it as my inspiration for Lydia’s room too!

Merry-Gift-BoxesThen, here are my Swap Before Christmas goodies. I sent this Merry Gift Boxes table topper to Cheri. She loves woodland things and neutral colors, so I had some fun with linen and used some browns too.

DSC_6882I also made my first hoop ornament for this swap. I loved how it turned out so much I made a bunch more!

night-before-christmas-swap-1And here’s the rest of the swap goodies I sent. I love giving gifts, so picking out the perfect swap extras, and then packaging the whole thing up, is lots of fun {and you don’t have to spend a fortune either, everything in these packages were either on sale, in the dollar section at Target, or under $10}!

I’m taking a little break from regular swaps this year, as I joined a crafty birthday club {more on that later}. But making fun packages for fabric loving friends is really a highlight of my quilting and sewing life! I forgot how much joy it brings to make up the perfect package for someone that they’ll love.

I think one of my goals this year will be to center gifts around a handmade element, like I do with swaps, but for my friends and family too. I’d like to put as much love into the gifts I give people I care about dearly as I have into the gifts I’ve made for quilty friends. Do you have a favorite handmade gift you’ve given or received?