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.