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Mini Quilts Make Great Handbags

Want to try a new quilting technique but don’t have the time or materials to make a whole quilt? Then stitch up a mini-quilt and transform it into a handbag.  I used the embroidery designs from the Hourglass quilt, featured in my online Craftsy class, the Machine Embroidered Quilt, to make this fetching handbag.  I wanted to try the technique with upholstery fabrics – just to see how the quilting would look. I love the nubby texture of the fabrics and with Fall just around the corner, this color combo is neutral enough to go with my entire wardrobe.

I stitched three continuous appliqué embroidery designs on a quilt cracker strip (quilt top fabric and batting only). Complete instructions for the continuous appliqué embroidery technique are provided in the Craftsy class. Since each design stitches in under 10 minutes, this took just 30 minutes. I made three strips – complete in 90 minutes! Then I used the reversible piecing technique to piece the three strips into a mini-quilt.

I added shape to the rectangle by trimming a diagonal section off of each corner.

Then I laid the new shape over lining fabric to cut the lining. Two quick seams on both the bag and the lining, sewn right sides together, produced the nifty bag body. I slipped the lining into the bag and basted the top.

Next I added a stiffened (with Peltex) band at the top.  Faced with a neutral cotton fabric, the band was sewn to the bag top.

And then the fun really began. I made the straps and sewed ribbon to cover the raw edges of the strap before adding grommets to the band.

Okay, true confession here, my husband, Pete, added the grommets. The upholstery fabric/Peltex combo was too much for my hand strength so Pete rescued the project with a protective piece of wood and hammer to pound the grommets in place.

I inserted the strap through the grommet and stitched a horizontal button to the end of the strap. Voila! Fun, fun fun!

But don’t take my word for it, look how much fun the Craftsy students are having with their Hourglass quilts. I love seeing all of the fascinating color combinations.  Here’s a peek at a few of their quilts.

This week’s assignment:

If you’d like to give the Hourglass quilt a try, use this link to purchase the class at HALF off!  Click here.

Let me know what you do when you want to try a new technique.  Post your comment for a chance to win a $25.00 shopping spree to the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the following question

You tell me. What did I overlook? If you need a refresher on the newbie and intermediate bucket lists, just click here and here.   Leave a comment and tell me what task you think should be added to the Advanced Embroiderer’s Bucket List.  The winner will receive Stitcher’s Hardware with a Feminine Twist.

The winner is:  Dell!
“You can also do buttonholes in the hoop, plain or there are really cute designed ones available.”

Congratulations Dell!

 

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45 COMMENTS

  • Rusty

    When I want to try a new technique, I check out http://www.dzgns.com to see what the experts have done! I just purchased Eileen’s “The Machine Embroidered Quilt” on Crafsy and am going to make my FIRST machine embroidered quilted project for my Mom’s 80th birthday!! My mom has hand-made hundreds of quilts for family and friends, its time for me to give something back 🙂 Thanks for the great information on your blogs. Rusty

  • Anne Marie Reilly

    When I want to try something new, I start looking through the indexes to my back issues of Designs in Machine Embroidery” for inspiration.

  • Lori

    I usually try a new technique after looking at my Designs in Machine Embroidery. I have 2 quilt in the hoop design packs-I love the idea of making a purse. I love making purses, but never thought of using them for that. Thank you for all your ideas!

  • Jane Anderson

    When I want to use a new technique, I peruse the internet until I find something that I can use in a different way. It may take a day or two but I will eventually find something that “rings my bell.”

  • Brenda Howard

    I am new to machine embroidery so all techniques are new to me, with that being said I decide what I want to do and try to make sure that I choose fabric that is a good match to what I want in the final project so that if it turns out good I can use it too in some way. Next I take A deep breath and go for it!

  • Kathy

    I am very fortunate that my local fabric store has a monthly meeting for sewing and another one for embroidery that we are introduced to a new technique. So many ideas and wishing for more time to try them all.

  • Susan C.

    I try to do a little research, online, with back issues of DIME and my file of “ideas to try.” Then I gather what I need, take a deep breath and go…

  • Carol Seavitt

    First, I research the Internet and then I call my mom :))))

    • eileenroche
      AUTHOR

      You’re a smart girl, Carol, your mom is full of great ideas! Say hello to her for me.

  • Nancy

    I go through copies of my Designs magazines, surf the web and go to a once-a-month embroidery club at my Baby lock dealer. Sometimes my mind just “hits me” with an idea. Do enjoy your tips.

  • Leandam

    I do lots of drawings and then look for answers I might need in books/internet sites etc and make sure that I use scrap fabric until I know that I have it right. I have changed my mind so many times at this stage and am really glad that I had a few trials first. For inspiration, you can’t beat the internet and this site 🙂

  • Linda Coleman

    when I want to try something new I look online first and also youtube can be a great resource if I’m not sure.

  • Darlene Jacolik

    Depending in what it is, I might go to my local quilt shop and discuss with the employees. If that’s not appropriate, I go to the web sites of my favorite magazines and see what they have to offer.

  • maria elena blecha

    I look at all the issues of Mags i have, then make a mess trying to find pieces of fabric to play with, then just jump in “because if I think it too long it won’t get done!! Thanks for all the inspiration!!

    • eileenroche
      AUTHOR

      Maria Elena – you sound just like me!

  • Mary Haggenmaker

    First I look at my stash to see what I can make use of then I go to the internet to see what other folks are doing and how they do are doing it. This.also includes checking through stacks and stacks of books that I keep telling myself that one day I am going to put in a database.if I live long enough.

  • Jean

    I research online and go through my embroidery/sewing magazines and try to come up with a “quick and easy” project to test out the technique. This helps perfect the technique before starting something big.

  • Shirley R

    Over the past several years, I have compiled notebooks of projects and techniques I want to try, and so I go through these and pick one that appeals to me for the purpose I have in mind.

  • Berenice

    Depends on the project… Some I can just jump in and go for it, some I spend lots of time investigating what I am getting into. I don’t want another UFO!

  • beth daniels

    I always am willing to try new techniques. I look in the Designs in Machine Embroidery magazine that I receive in the mail. I try to use one of the techniques when I do machine embroidery on my machine at least once a month.

  • Paule-Marie

    I’m aafraid that I just go off whole hog, half cocked when I try a new technique. It’s kind of like knitting a pair of slippers or socks, I get one done and then loose momentum on the second. So, it is just better if I jump in feet first. (sorry about all the cliches)

  • Donna G.

    When I want to try a new technique, I start with something small, like doing placemats or tablerunners. I also keep a notebook with new ideas for machine embroidery, so inspiration isn’t hard to find! (Just “time” is!)

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  • Barbara

    I rehearse the technique in my head once or twice to get an idea of what I’ll need, then I spend a lot of time on the materials list, rehearsing as I go. By the time I get to the machine, I just dive in! Generally, I’ll try the project I see in the magazine/at the demo class/online. If it’s successful, someone gets a present. If not, I cut it up and use the scraps for something I know how to do!

  • Karen

    I just grab what think I need or want and start. If I research and think about it the hour or two that I had to do will be gone, kind of a do it or loose it thing.

  • LeAnne L

    Depending on what it is, I’ll either jump right in or, like a purse pattern, I have to read the instructions about 20 times before I get up the courage to try it.

  • Martha Mauhar

    I just want to say, I’m new at trying to learn how to use the embroidery tools and machineI have , the Elissimo.
    I want to learn how to do these new ideas but I have a hard time
    trying to figure out if I have the material big enough and how to hoop it.
    I bought the PAL and have not used it yet. I want to machine quilt so bad jusst need help in the right directions.
    Can anyone tell me how you figure out how to measure the border of a block so I can put more designs on it.I have the continue border hoop and doesn’t tell you much, wish it had a dvd to show you some things to do and how.I hate wasting materials but I want to learn how to make QUILTS in the hoop and hjow to add the extra borders to make the designs bigger.Is there a dvd on how to use this hoop and where to goe to slect border designs?

  • MarciaW

    When I want to try out a new technique, I go on the “lookout” for a giveaway that will provide the raw materials I will need, and a blog site(s) with the in depth tutorials that answer my questions before I ask them. Your site is one of those with great tutorials.

  • Jo

    I always want to try every new technique, then I start searching for the perfect application and that’s a lot of the time where I get bogged down. LOL I don’t follow through very well.

  • Deb

    I made an index of ideas that interest me from all my Embroidery mags, that way it is easier for me to go back & find all the articles that may use that technique. Then I do samples which I keep for further reference or use in some project if they turn out good. I also do a search for a video or good tutorial, those always help, too.

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