Hello to everyone today, and a special greeting to those who are joining me for the Purses, Bags & More Blog Tour sponsored by Clotilde. When I was approached a couple of weeks ago about participating in this event I jumped at the chance. The opportunity to make and review a bag would have fit right in with last year’s recurring post on my blog, “Bag of the Week”.
Purses, Bags and More is a fantastic new book, with designs by Pearl Louise Krush and published by House of White Birches for Clotilde. I was sent an advance copy of the book, asked to look it over and write a review of the book as well as one of the included ten projects which was assigned to me. Pearl Louise, whose motto is “Happiness is homemade” is the owner of The Thimble Cottage Quilt Shop in Rapid City, SD. She has come up with ten beautiful and unique bag designs using cotton quilting fabrics. The 48-page book is filled with bright, full-color photos and clear, well written and illustrated instructions.
I was assigned the Ragtime Blues bag to evaluate. I read over all of the instructions which were very clear and easy to understand. I decided the best way for me to truly test the pattern was to make it up. Here’s a picture of my own version of the bag:
Instead of the quilting cotton called for by the pattern, I substituted some denim left over from a previous project. This worked well and created luscious, fluffy fringing with the exception of the light blue piece which, it turns out, contains some lycra which prevented the fabric from fraying. So stick with 100% cotton fabrics as instructed.
The pattern calls for pairing two squares of fabric, sandwiching a piece of cotton batting between, and free-motion quilting them together. I am a self-proclaimed lousy free-motion quilter so instead I used a simple machine embroidery design to quilt the pieces together. I absolutely love the technique described for cording the top edge of the bag for stability and can’t wait to try in on another bag. But, given the extra weight of the fabric I used I chose to skip the cording on my version. Lastly, I confess I am not a fan of braided handles so I substituted a corded tube (love my FasTurn!)
I found the bag very simple to construct and a fun project to complete. This is a very forgiving pattern; because of the way that it is constructed, precision is not critical (any uneven seam allowances are hidden in the rag fringe layers) which makes this a good choice for either a beginner or for experienced sewers who want to take a break from the demands of garment sewing or quilting.
An additional project in the book is for a removable organizer that fits this purse. You can fill the many pockets and change purses by simply removing the insert and placing it in a different bag.
I am already eyeing several other projects in this book for the future. If you would like to see more projects from this book you can read the other participants on the blog tour who have each reviewed a different bag. Here is a list of links to those posts:
If you would like to purchase a copy of the book for your very own, please use this link to connect with the Clotilde website where it is available in print or as an electronic download (both for $9.95, a steal!). I think you will be happy to add this book to your sewing library. Please feel free to browse the rest of my blog while you are visiting. I’ve just posted a new tutorial for an Accordion-Fold Photo Album that will appeal to quilters, machine embroiderers, crafters and just about everybody else. Happy sewing, everyone!