Monthly Archives: September 2011

Quilting Technique—Finished Wristlet Purse


Stripe quilted wristlet.

Loryn: I’ve been working on a mini purse or wristlet to go with my new paisley bag. I wanted it to coordinate, but not match too slavishly. I also wanted to try a different spin on the quilted technique I had used in one of my unfinished objects. You can also see it here, in this wristlet I made for my stepsister a few years ago:

Purple stitched purse

For this purse, I made and finished each piece separately, before assembling.

Previously, I had made the pieces out of a quilt sandwich of muslin surrounding flannel. I didn’t have any flannel (and our fabric shop has left town), so I used six layers of muslin instead.I did not use a pattern for this. I made the main body the size I wanted, 7″ by 11″ long, and quilted it. Then I made the curve I wanted and sketched around it to create a pattern piece for the sides.

I had not tried multi-colored stripes before. I wanted this design to read as gray, so I used two shades of gray, with pink and fuschia. I did all of the quilting before assembly.

The next step was to add the zipper (seen here on the finished piece). To sew a zipper into a tube, use a zipper that is a few inches longer that the piece. Baste the zipper into place, then sew it into place with the zipper fully open so you can get both sides under the presser foot. When you’re done, cut off the excess and sew a tailor’s tack over the teeth to keep the slide from coming off.

The hardware was a pain for this project. Our local Joann’s Fabrics closed because a super Joann’s was opening in Kokomo, and evidently they can’t have two stores within 30 miles of each other. I stopped in at the new Joann’s when Kristin and I were in Kokomo to look for hardware, and the selection was simply terrible. They had no small d-rings. Kristin’s ingenuity came to the rescue, and she suggested that I use belt buckles with the center piece removed. They didn’t have the hooks I wanted, either (like the ones on the purple-stitched purse above). Instead, all they had were this spring type. Save yourself the headache and don’t buy the spring-type pictured here. They fall apart almost instantly. Also, the finishes didn’t match, as one was brushed and one was glossy. Spray paint to the rescue!

To assemble the bag, I slipstitched the sides together by hand. This looks really good, but honestly, it was a pain!

Finished mini purse


And here is the finished bag! I will have to replace the hooks sooner rather than later, but I’m going to look at hardware stores to see if I can find better quality there. I’m looking forward to carrying them to work tomorrow!


Cheap Tricks: iPhone Bag

Cheap tricks are great and most of the time, they are things you just don’t think about, you just do them. Today, I did one that I had to think about. I love lounging around my house in comfortable clothes. However, very few of those pajama type bottoms that are the perfect lounging wear actually come with pockets where you can stash your phone, and since I like to listen to audio books and music while working around the house, I definitely need someway to carry my phone around. Hence, I created the Kitty Bag (named after the fabric I used, not the actual application of the bag, although, if the Kitty Bag were big enough, our cat, Jamison, probably wouldn’t mind being carried around in the bag too).

I bought this absolutely adorable, kitty-patterned flannel some time ago. It was just too cute to pass up a few yards and was on sale to boot.

Black flannel with neon kitty figures.

You can see the three pieces I cut out of it today. They are all cut selvage to selvage (45″). I then sewed the long, thin strips at one end, right sides together. Then I sewed this even longer strip into a tube, again right sides together and turned it for the handle. The last piece of fabric (which is about 1″ wider on each side than my iPhone) I also sewed right sides together, leaving the selvage side open to turn the fabric through.

Next I ironed the two pieces (thank you Loryn for stressing ironing projects, it really does help). After determining the length of the handle (the handle is actually sewn all along the sides of the bag, so it needs to be long enough to go from the bottom of the bag over your shoulder and back to the bottom of the other side of the bag) I ended up cutting off about 3 inches on each end. I made the bag to go across my body, not just over my shoulder. Then I sewed the handle in, starting with the front panel of the bag, down and around to the bag with only about a 1/8″ seam. I did the same thing with the other side of the bag. This created a flap of the extra body fabric.

Side view of the handle stitching to the body fabric

I needed to decide how much of a flap I wanted and I also wanted something to weight it down a little and after digging through my supplies, found a pretty ribbon that looked perfect with my neon kitties. I cut off about three inches from the flap and turned it under and wrapped the ribbon all the way around and sewed two seams, one towards the top edge of the ribbon and one at the bottom. This also has the benefit of closing the opening left from turning the fabric.

Finished bag.

All-in-all, this was about 1/4 yard of fabric (if even that much), 6″ of ribbon, black thread and some time, all of which I had on hand today. It was done very quickly (about an hour) and works just perfectly. It is also big enough to hold my ear buds and hangs just at my hip when wrapped across my body. Then flannel lining helps protect my phone from damage or anything else I choose to stuff in it.

Finished bag open to show my iPhone.

Well, time to get some housework done now that I can carry my phone around and bop to the music. Have a wonderful Saturday!

P.S. Sorry about the odd lighting effects, I just got my very own studio lighting and haven’t quite got them where I want them.

Daily Squiggle

Boy who kicks.
This squiggle boy is good at karate.

This squiggle was an experiment in the use of hot press watercolor paper with markers and color pencils. The paper is so smooth the color pencil works itself into a ball under the point of the pencil until it drops off and leaves a smudge of color. The effect looks interesting, but it is not exactly what I want and I will file the information for use later. In the meantime, I will look at some other paper and save the Arches hot press for watercolor.

I like the position of the boy and the look of motion. He is definitely one of my favorites.

Cheap Tricks—Take a Tissue!

Loryn: Sometimes, you do something so thrifty that you’re amazed at your own cheapness. That’s just what happened for this cheap trick! I love this vintage mirrored tissue box, but it really irritates me that the tall square tissue boxes cost the same, with half the tissues. One day recently, I took a handful of tissues from one of the large bulk boxes, folded them in half with the folds facing the top, and put them inside my vintage tissue holder. Don’t stuff it full, and the tissues pop up perfectly! From the top, no one will be able to tell just how cheap you are!