Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fortune Cookie Purse

Hello there, and welcome to my first attempt at a tutorial of sorts.  Usually I just take pictures of my projects at the end but today I made this little purse in about an hour and I took pictures along the way.  I hope you will give it a try - it is a fun project.

This is the final product.  It is a small purse that holds just enough for those nights that you're going out but don't want to carry your usual carry-on luggage sized handbag.

I started with a piece of fabric that I bought with no intention of doing anything in particular with.  This is a Ricky Timms design.  I cut it about 13 1/2 by 13 1/2 square, added Warm and White cotton batting and black Kona cotton as a lining fabric.  Then I quilted it using a walking foot.
After it was quilted, I used a 12 1/2 inch platter that was in my dining room cabinet and traced around the outside.

Cut it out.
Fold it in half and use chalk to mark a line right down the center.
Cut it on the line.

Next I added a zipper.  I picked the colorful fabric because I already had a bright green zipper that would go with it.  My goal was to not leave the house.

Attach the zipper to the other side.  Pin it this time so the sides are even.

Press it flat with a lot of steam and then I did two rows of top stitching so the zipper would never get caught in the fabric.  I HATE when that happens.


Sew around the curved edge and then either serge the edge or zig zag stitch it so it doesn't fray.  Br sure to open the end of the zipper a little so you can get your hand in there and so you don't stitch the zipper shut and have to take out your seam ripper.  I HATE that too.

Turn it inside out and press it.

Cut a piece of fabric 2" by 18" or so.  Fold it in half and press it.  Then open it up and fold in the two raw edges to the center, press them.  Finally press the two folded edges to they meet and Voila!  a 1/2 wide strip of sturdy matching loops for your bag.  Cut the strip into one 5" long piece and one 13" (or so) piece.  The 5" piece is shown here.

Sew across the bottom with about a 3/8" seam allowance.

Next you have to open the bag up and line up the loops on the side seam.  This is a little bulky but if you use a 90 or larger needle you should have not problem.  I then stitched across the bottom the loop where the seam allowances are and again above the raw ends to reduce the chance of any fraying.

Take the long loop and put it through the small loop and you can carry it in your hand or as a wristlet.  I think it would also be a great little girl purse.  I personally never wear black, it makes me look tired.  But if I had a little black dress, I would carry this bag with it.  

I hope you will take a stab at my little purse.  It was fun to make, used less than 2 fat quarters of fabric and has a lot of possibilities.  For example, I would love to make it in randomly pieced strips, dupioni silk with couched silk cord, batiks, hand dyed, oh the mental list goes on and on.  I will post some of the possibilities as they arrive.  

Thanks for reading and feel free to let me know how I did on my first tutorial or ask questions if you decide to try this fortune cookie purse.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Scrapbooking Meets Quilting

This year my husband and I were fortunate to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary.  We decided to  take a trip to someplace neither of us had ever been - Paris, France.  It was a wonderful 9 day trip and we took a ton of pictures.  I thought about printing them and making a scrapbook, then I looked at the scrapbooks of years past and realized that I hardly ever looked at them.  So, instead I decided to print the pictures on fabric and make a quilt to commemorate our trip and our anniversary.


The background and outside border are cotton batiks while the tower and inside border or black Kona cotton.  I used a background that was neutral with pale Fleur-de-Lis motifs and a border that was structural like the Eiffel Tower itself.

I free motion quilted it in swirls which just felt Parisian and wavy lines on the borders.  I then added vintage mother of pearl buttons on the corners to give it a  little bling that kept with my vintage sepia look.  That top picture was taken by an Italian tourist from Trocadero.

I used printable fabric and adjusted my pictures to 1 1/4 X 1 1/4 inches each.  I also made them in sepia tone because it made it look old - maybe older than the 25 years we have spent together but, that was the idea anyway.


Here is a close up that shows the quilting, the buttons, the pictures and the inside border.  The luster of the buttons really adds to the look of the finished piece.

Finally, here is the subtle fleur-de-lis batik that I just love.  I got it at Batiks, Etc.  I was very  happy when it arrived because the internet image was true to color.

So thanks for stopping by and checking out my work.  My advice to you is that if you ever get the chance to go to Paris - GO!  It is a beautiful city - and I am a country girl so that is saying something!