Archive for the ‘Quilted Handbags’ Category

Hand-made Custom Tote Bags

Are you looking for a unique gift for a special someone? Well look no further.

A couple of fellow bloggers recently commissioned me to create some special gifts for friends and family to be given as Christmas presents and I wanted to share them with you all. I love creating these custom bags and I know the recipients will be thrilled too.

When I first let it be known that I would make custom designed bags, Agnes (What’s Her Name from Dachsies with Moxie) ordered about a dozen bags for me to make over the course of a few months. The last few would be Christmas presents for her mother and best friend. She also wanted one for herself and only told me to make it pink (her favorite color). She was confident that I would pick the best embroidery and fabric for her and I think I did good.

You can click on the image to make it bigger. The embroidery is called Dachshund Sketch and the first time I saw it I knew it was perfect for Agnes.

The next tote bag I made was for one of Agnes’ friends who has a Bichon Frise and loves purple. One side of the tote has a full body embroidery of a Bichon and the other side has a paw print that says “I ♥ My Bichon Frise”.

The final tote bag for Agnes was one for her mother. She wanted it to coordinate with the clutch bag I made as a Mother’s Day gift for her mom with a similar embroidery of the Virgin Mary. I altered the original embroidery to fit on the exterior pocket for this bag and I think it turned out great!

Do you remember when Lily Belle and her mom came to visit us? Well they were here to pick out fabric for this beautiful red and black tote bag. This bag is also a gift for a dachshund loving friend. It is a little smaller than the other tote bags. It is the same height, but the width is smaller.

The interior of this bag has the same features as all the other bags. Each bag has two zippered pockets and two regular pockets and the zippered pockets are open in the back for extra storage.

If you are interested in ordering a one of a kind creation for someone special on your holiday shopping list you can visit my Etsy shop to place your order. Just click on the link for the custom large tote bag or click on the “Request Custom Item” link on the menu to the left on my Etsy shop home page.

Not a Dachshund or Bichon Frise lover? No problem. There are many non breed specific embroideries that can be used to embelish your tote bag or you can visit Embroidery Library to pick out one of your favorite dog or cat breed and I will add it to my collection.

You can also view my current inventory of pet related designs here.


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The Perinton Quilt Guild, which is the smaller of the two clubs I belong to, wrapped up our season with our last meeting on June 4th.  About a month ago we had our bi-annual quilt show and it was a great success! This year the show was held in the gymnasium at the Perinton Recreation Center. Except for it being a bit chilly for those of us that were there for extended periods it was a great location for the show.

View of the show from walking track above gym

The show was a great success with over 300 quilts made from members of our guild hanging. We had more visitors than previous shows and were very pleased with the reception we received from the town. Many people visited the show because they were already at the recreation center for another activity.

You can see most of the show from this view

I was responsible for signing up vendors for the show and they were all pleased with the turn out as well.

Handbags and other small items

In addition to the quilts there was also a display of some smaller items such as handbags and pillows.

Garage sale tables

The guild members also donated sewing and craft items for garage sale tables and we made a bundle of money from the sales. The show was not professionally judged, but rather was judged by popular vote from the visiting public.  I had seven quilts hanging in the show.  Three lap quilts that you can see below and four wall hangings.

Here are my lap quilts

Two of my wall hanging quilts were winners in this show.  My Lily Pond quilt won best small wall hanging and my Autumn Leaves quilt won second place in the large wall hanging category.

There were also a few special activities taking place during the show.

Last Minute Sales of Raffle Quilt Tickets

Tickets were sold for our raffle quilts and the winning ticket was drawn at the end of the show. The other special event was the unveiling of the Perinton Bicentennial Quilt the guild made for the town.

Perinton Bicentennial Quilt

You might remember when I previously blogged about the two blocks I made for the quilt. The church block is in the upper left and the Powder Mills Park block is in the lower right.  I am so pleased with how beautiful this quilt turned out.  All the ladies that participated did magnificent jobs, from the organizers to the quilt block makers and finally to the quilter that added the finishing touches.  If you click on the image you can see a larger view.  The border around the outside of the quilt has the names of local parks quilted in script writing.

Gail Mazur presents quilt to town leaders

About two weeks after the quilt show the guild officially presented the quilt to the town.  Gail Mazur was the coordinator of the quilt and she gave a small speech before the town supervisor helped to reveal the quilt in its display case.

Guild Members with Supervisor Jim Smith

Some of the ladies that worked on the quilt were able to make it to the presentation and posed in front of the quilt.

Some of us pointing to our blocks

Here are a few of us (that’s me on the left) pointing to the blocks we made. My blocks are so far apart I had difficulty pointing to them and looking at the camera at the same time.

The quilt guild season is now over until September.  I really enjoy both of the groups I belong to and will miss meeting up with all of these ladies until then. I hope you enjoyed checking out our quilt show and the beautiful Perinton Bicentennial quilt.

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I know I’ve been missing for a while, but I have some good reasons for it. The first reason will be the subject of this post and I will explain more later.

A few weeks ago Roo of Roo’s Doins left me a comment saying that he showed some of the bags I have made to his Mom and suggested she order one for his Grandma for Mother’s Day. It seems that Roo’s Mom had been wracking her brain over what to get her mom for Mother’s Day and when she saw the bags I had made she thought Roo was a genius.

Roo’s Grandma is a quilter and he thought she would like to have a nice tote bag to carry her quilting supplies to some of the classes she takes. Roo’s mom contacted me and we discussed what colors she would like and I showed her some embroideries to choose from for the outside pockets. I just love how this bag turned out and had a difficult time putting it in the mail to Roo’s Grandma.  I just might have to make one like it for myself!  You have to click on the images to see the pockets.  The one on the left says, “Quilting with friends will keep you in stitches” and the other one is of a hummingbird with some spools of thread.

Quilter’s Tote – Quilting With Friends Pocket

Quilter’s Tote – Sewing Hummingbird Pocket

Click on the images to see a larger version

Here is a look at the inside of the bag and a close up of the quilting. The interior has two zippered pockets and two plain pockets.  The quilting is a sashiko pattern that I used my embroidery machine to quilt the outside fabric with. I chose a floral pattern for the quilting to coordinate with the flowers on the lining fabric. The lower portion of the bag and the handles are made of faux suede.  I like using the faux suede for those areas because it wears better than the cottons (at least it has so far on the bags I have made for myself) and it makes the handles less slippery so they stay on your shoulders.

Quilter’s Tote – Interior

Quilter’s Tote – Sashiko Quilting detail

 Click on the images to see a larger version

The tote bag was shipped a couple of days ago and should reach Roo’s Grandma today or tomorrow. I can’t wait to hear what she thinks of it.

The second Mother’s Day bag I made was for Agnes’ mom, the Dachsies With Moxie’s Grandma. Agnes wanted a clutch that her mom could put her rosary in and she wanted it to be in royal blue which is her mom’s favorite color.

Rosary bag

Agnes chose a beautiful embroidery of Mary with the words of the rosary embroidered around her.  I made this bag using faux suede for the outside and a beautiful floral for the interior.

Rosary bag – Interior

I really enjoyed making these bags especially since they were custom designed for a couple of special ladies and I thank their daughters for thinking of me to create these special gifts.  If you are interested in having a bag made for you just let me know in the comments and we can discuss details.  I will be announcing my etsy shop soon, but until then just leave me a note.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there including mine!

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Hi everyone!  I know it’s been a while since I posted last so I thought I would let you know what I have been up to.  Last week was all about quilt clubs.  I had meetings for both the clubs I belong to and a great class on Friday (I will tell all about that later).  I am currently working feverishly on quilting my king sized quilt that was basted this past November so I can have it ready for the Perinton Quilt Guild show on May 12th.

Before I started working on my quilting I made some more bags for customers.  First on the list were bags for Agnes, What’s Her Name from Dachsies With Moxie.  She has placed a large order that I will be working on over the next few months.  Most of her items are for friends and family, but the first few things I made were for her.  A sort of “thank you” for letting me help with the Fearless Five quilt. In case you didn’t know pink is Agnes’ favorite color.  She had requested a large drawstring bag with a cute dachshund embroidery and a clutch with a sewing motif on it.

Dachsie Stack Drawstring Bag

Dachsie Stack Drawstring Bag Interior

I knew as soon as I saw that dachshund embroidery that I had to put it on a bag for Agnes.  The interior includes a zippered pocket, a snap loop that you can hang your keys on and a large divided pocket.

Needle & Thread Spool Clutch

Needle & Thread Spool Clutch Interior

The clutch is about 10″ wide by 7″ tall and the interior has two open pockets.  This bag is a great size to hold just the right amount of things for a quick trip out.  You can put your wallet in it, a camera, or your phone and be able put some of the accessories in the pockets.  Agnes reports that she uses hers every day and loves it.  As an added surprise I included a personalized key fob/wristlet.

Key fob / Wristlet for Agnes

I embroidered “both” of her names on each side.  This can be attached to the tab on the outside of the clutch to use as a wrist strap or you can put your keys on it.

The next items on the order for Agnes were a pair of near matching clutches for a friend and her daughter that have a Bichon Frise.

Dark Purple Clutch - Bichon Frise Head

Light Purple Clutch - I Heart my Bichon Frise

Dark Purple Clutch - Interior

Light Purple Clutch - Interior

Both bags have the dog head on one side and the “I heart my Bichon Frise” on the other.  I enjoy picking out lining fabrics to enhance the look of the bags.  Agnes said it was okay to blog about these bags as her friend doesn’t read blogs.  Be sure to click on any of the images to see them at full size.

Another bag I made was a clutch for my sister for her birthday.

Knitting Motif Clutch

I used the same red fabric that I have for some other knitting bags for her so all of her bags would coordinate.  She is using it for a project bag for small knitting projects.

The most recent bag I shipped out was to the Meowm of Junior, Orion, and Sammy.  She saw the drawstring bags I made in an earlier post and wanted a medium-sized one with a polar bear on it.

Purple Polar Bear Drawstring Bag

Purple Polar Bear Drawstring Bag - Interior

The interior has two big pockets with one of them divided into two smaller ones.

I really enjoy making all these bags.  If you are interested in buying one just let me know in a comment and I will contact you for details.  I have a wide variety of embroidery motifs, or the bags can be done without any embroidery on them.  I will be setting up an Etsy shop soon to make selling the bags easier for me and you.

Stay tuned for more sewing and embroidery fun tomorrow.


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I recently discovered a new quilting blog and they are having a huge give away that I could not resist.  Even though I just looked and there are over 400 entries I figured why not up my chances just a bit by doing a post about it.  Thanks to Very Berry Handmade all I have to do is do a post about what I hope to accomplish this year in sewing and I get a second entry in the drawing.

Well many of my followers already know that I will soon have a wonderful quilt to work on, the memory quilt for the Fearless Five and I am not starting anything big until that is completed.

Dragonfly Summer Quilt before basting

In addition to that I have a king sized quilt top that is basted and just waiting to be quilted.  At first I thought I might take this to a local quilt shop that has longarm quilting machines you can rent, but since I plan on doing quite a bit of custom quilting and not just do an overall quilt motif it would be too big a project for that.  After reading some of Leah Day’s posts about how she uses her domestic machine to quilt everything I decided I would give it a go. My friends at the Genesee Valley Quilt Club helped me baste it in November so I hope to start quilting this soon.

Quilt basting on a frame

Some of my other sewing goals for this coming year are to make more bags.  I would like to try my hand at selling on Etsy or in local shops.  There will be a variety of items from clutches, totes and purses as well as accessories for knitters like the project bags and needle roll I made for my sister.

The only other thing I have on my agenda for this year is to work on an applique quilt I have a years (12 months) worth of kits for.  It is a beautiful quilt with baskets of flowers and I can’t wait to start now that I have gotten my feet wet with applique.

Those of us that are blogging about this give away get to choose our preferred prize and I think the fabrics in the Fat quarter bundle (10 FQ) from Erin McMorris’s Summersault are delish although I would be more than happy to win any of the prizes.

Wish me luck as I tackle these projects in the coming year.

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When my sister was visiting just before Thanksgiving this past November I asked her if there was something I could make for her for Christmas.  Since I am currently unemployed I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on gifts and she came back with a swift answer, “How about some more knitting project bags, but this time make them bigger!”  Back in February of 2010 I made a knitting tote bag with accessories for her birthday.  She never leaves home without her knitting projects and loves the project bags most.

Like any good crafter my sister is never working on just one project and wanted more bags to store them in so I obliged her.  Of course I couldn’t just make some plain old bags so I found some machine embroidery to add to them.  She was quite happy with them and when she visited her local yarn shop with one, the owner of the shop thought the bag was awesome and asked if she could contact me to see about selling them at her shop (in Grosse Pointe, MI).

Knitters Project Bags

I stuffed them full of batting to photograph them so you could see the shape.  They have a circular bottom and a drawstring at the top. I lined them with complementary light-colored fabric.  I chose fabric that was used in the previous tote bag or that matched some of the fabrics in it.

In addition to the project bags I also embroidered a t-shirt with a cute knitting motif on it.

Knitting Polar Bear T-shirt

The three embroideries I did on the project bags came from Urban Threads and the knitting polar bear if from Embroidery Library (my go to sites for embroidery files).  Here is a close up view of the embroideries.

Knitters Embroideries

I love the one with the sheep knitting herself a sweater after being sheered.  I think the detail of the band-aid is funny.

The other gifts I made were zippered clutch bags and key fobs/wristlets.  I made a couple out of cotton that I did a simple quilting motif on for each of my sisters daughters and the report is that they love them.  I am always nervous making things for the youngsters since I am not one myself any more.  I worry that the fabric I choose won’t be something they will like, but these two were big hits!

Clutches for my Nieces

Clutches for my Nieces

I also made a couple of these bags out of faux suede with embroideries on each side.  I made one in black for my hair dresser and the blue one with the wristlet was for my mother.  Both of the embroideries were also from Urban Threads and are snowflake designs. The black one for my hairdresser uses scissors for the snowflake design and the blue one has a button, thread spool and needle with thread for the snowflake.  It took a while for the hair dresser and some of her colleagues to make out the scissors.

Faux Suede Clutches

I love using the faux suede for bags.  It is more durable than cottons so the corners don’t wear out.  In February I will be giving a short seminar on how to make the clutch bags at the Genesee Valley Quilt Club, one of the quilt clubs I belong to.  Apparently many quilters are intimidated with putting zippers in bags and requested a seminar on this subject.  Being a sewer all my life and having made plenty of clothes with zippers I am very comfortable adding them to projects and love to show others how simple it is.

Well, those are my most recent projects.  I had fun working on them and will let you know what is next in line.

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Freedom –

Yesterday I tried to soak up my last day of freedom. We started the day by hanging out in the yard with Nina for about 2 hours. I took the opportunity to top off all the bird feeders, Charlie cleaned out the bluebird houses to get ready for the new season, and Nina sniffed out all the action that Charlie and I couldn’t comprehend. Our witch hazel are in full bloom and with the warm weather they were full of honey bees! I tried to get some pictures with my new phone, but they didn’t turn out well. Spring is really on the way. We ended the morning with the three of us hanging out on the patio soaking up the sun.

Purse –

In the afternoon I started working on a new purse using some of the new fabric I got when I added to my stash recently. One of the fabrics was a beautiful purple batik with yellow/orange sunflowers on it. Purple is my favorite color and when I saw this fabric in person I new I had to use it in a purse. I was lucky to find another purple batik with the same colors and coordinating pattern for the bottom of the bag and already had a nice yellow batik to use for the top and lining.

Purple Sunflower Purse

Purple Sunflower Purse

I custom built this purse from a pattern I have previously used. The bags in the pattern book are much bigger than I wanted so I had to calculate the dimensions for this one myself. It took me longer than I expected to make sure I got the dimensions correct so I got a later start with cutting the fabric than I had hoped. I also added a bunch of pockets inside. Two zippered pockets and two regular pockets with slots for a pen on each side.

Purple Sunflower Purse Interior

Purple Sunflower Purse Interior

I made a purse with these same features previously, so at least I knew how everything went together.  The most difficult feature is the zippered top, but for a purse I always want to have it close that way.

Purple Sunflower Purse Top

Purple Sunflower Purse Top

By the end of the day I had completed the purse. I think I needed to do this marathon purse construction so I didn’t keep thinking about what the next day would be like. I am so happy with how it turned out. It’s just beautiful!

The New Job –

Today was my first day at the new job. It was pretty uneventful. Just a lot of filling out paperwork, shaking hands, and reading the employee manual (snore!). The highlight of the day was that I happened to start on the day they celebrate all the March birthdays! They had about 5 types of cakes to choose from and anyone that knows me knows that I can’t pass up a good piece of cake (or two). I had a scrumptious piece of carrot cake with lots of frosting. I love frosting! Tomorrow I am scheduled to meet with a few people to learn more about the business. Sometime in the near future I will get to go to some of the close-by locations where there are actually trains to see. I might get to climb into an engine and maybe they will let me blow the whistle. There is a lot to learn about the railroad business and it looks like I will be spending much of my time doing just that for the next few weeks.  Overall not a bad day to start my first day of work in more than 6 months!

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I am a bit late giving an update on my progress during the Spring Winter Sewing Party I participated in this past Saturday so here it is.

At the previous Genesee Valley Quilt Club meeting I picked up a comfort quilt kit so I could practice quilting.  I am not new to sewing so piecing the quilt top was not a challenge, but I haven’t done much quilting yet and wanted to have something to try out my skills on.  I also recently purchased a Free Motion Assistant with Quilters Cruise Control.  After taking a class in free motion quilting I realized that this device would make the quilting process easier.  Even with the Free Motion Assistant it still takes a lot of practice to improve your skills.  I can still be a bit jerky, but as I have moved along I am definitely seeing an improvement.

This comfort quilt is intended for a child so when I saw these cute continuous line animal charm patterns in a book I borrowed from my mother, I knew I had to include them in the quilt.

Comfort Quilt Progress

Comfort Quilt Progress

In the green squares I am attempting to quilt loop-de-loops around the big circles and then continue with a more free form loop-de-loop pattern in the red polka dot squares. I am not always as smooth in the green squares, but I am getting better as I progress.

Comfort Quilt Progress

Comfort Quilt Progress

I am using a Sulky green variegated thread for both the top and bobbin threads. When I was quilting on Saturday I was having some problems with tension, but after fiddling for a while I was able to resolve the issue. This slowed down my progress, but I am pleased with how far I have gotten and I love the way the charms look in the plain yellow squares.

Comfort Quilt Detail

Comfort Quilt Detail

The next GVQC meeting is March 11th and my goal is to have the quilting completed by then so I can turn it in.

In other news…Recently I posted about the Knitting Tote and accessories I made for my sister Colleen’s birthday and wanted to let you know that she was over the moon with excitement about the bag and all the goodies that came with it.  Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but she really liked it!   She also sent me a picture of one of her recent knitting projects that I thought I would share with you.

Knitted Christmas Stocking by Colleen

Knitted Christmas Stocking by Colleen

What a cute Christmas stocking.  She gives these away to friends that have had a new baby so they can use it for the first Christmas.  I don’t know much about knitting, but I do like the details of the striped part and the scalloped edge with the little bells at the top.

Today I received another picture from Colleen. It appears that Kip, one of her cats, is over the moon with excitement about the tote bag and accessories, too!

Kip the Kitty's New Toys

Kip the Kitty

Well, anyone that has or has had a cat knows that any bag that is lying around is fair game for exploring and anything soft and cuddly could also be mistaken for a toy. I hope Kip enjoys his “new toys”, but please don’t tear anything to shreds.

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