July 29, 2009


This is a quick, cute and functional project from Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson: Quilted Coasters

Cutting pattern pieces is my least favourite aspect of sewing (to put it gently), so it was nice to be able to just cut a bunch of rectangles and be done with it. I got to try out my brand new walking foot too, which is a great tool.

My lines are anything but straight and certainly not uniformly spaced, but I actually don't mind this look of imperfection. I'm sure there is a way to know exactly when to turn a corner so that each line is 1/8" apart but it eludes me.

I'll be keeping this set of coasters for myself but I'm looking forward to making more. I think they would make a great housewarming gift with perhaps some new glasses or a fancy beverage.

Quilted Coasters Pattern Review

Pattern: Quilted Coasters by Joelle Hoverson

Pattern Rating: 4.5/5

Cost: The book sells for $30 in Canada (27.50 US) and includes a variety of patterns organized into the time needed to complete each (in the case of the Coasters 'Less than 2 hour gifts')

Fabric: Good Folks by Anna Maria Horner (I ordered a fat quarter bundle and used 3 of the 6 designs for this pattern) + natural cotton batting

Yardage: A fat quarter yields eight coasters


-this is a super easy project
-sewing the concentric rectangles was somewhat meditative!

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July 16, 2009

Buttercup Bag

My sweet sister-in-law sent me a gift certificate for the Heather Bailey shop and I chose some bright and cheery fabrics, one of which I used to make a Buttercup Bag.....

It's a great, relatively small handbag with lovely pleats, an interior pocket and a magnetic snap.

There's enough room in there for all my essentials, i.e. wallet, keys, GPS (I don't drive anywhere without it, I'm very directionally challenged), gum, etc.

Buttercup Bag Pattern Review

Pattern: Buttercup Bag by Rae Hoekstra (PDF)

Pattern Rating: 4/5

Cost: Free! However, purchasing the pattern gives you a limited commercial license to sell bags that you make, and also a pattern for a larger version of this bag.

Fabric: Pop Garden (Zag Stripe-red) by Heather Bailey

Yardage: 2 fat quarters

Joining seams
Inserting a magnetic snap
Creating pleats


Instructions are at times brisk so you just have to do what you think is right, probably because it was written with the assumption that one has some experience. I was able to figure things out based on my limited experience.
- In some cases the pattern didn't specify the seam allowance but the rest are
1/4" so I went with that.
-I did not add the button flap and buttons because a) I got lazy!, and b) I'm pleased with the way it looks without them.
-The snap was super easy to add, using a small square of fusible interfacing for reinforcement as the pattern suggested, and following the directions on the back of the snap package.

-One little correction to the pattern: step#14 says to 'Turn lining inside out', but it's already inside out from step 13. You need to turn the outer inside out in order to place it into the lining with right sides together.


-I read that the bag could be a bit flimsy so, seeing as I just learned how to add sew-in interfacing when making the Dewdrop Handbag, I went crazy and lined the whole thing, exterior, interior and strap. I was a bit worried about how the interfacing might affect the pleats but I found it easy to pin the interfacing to the exterior fabric, then measure, pin, press and sew the pleats through the two layers at the same time.

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July 2, 2009

Dewdrop Handbag

I've been spending nearly every spare moment sewing. A fruit of my labour? This cute little handbag...

I love it! It was pretty easy to make and I got to use some of my Anna Maria Horner fat quarters.

I purchased the pattern from Keyka Lou on Etsy (she has many lovely patterns). I ordered it early in the morning on Saturday and the pattern PDF arrived in my inbox in 12 hours (guaranteed to arrive within 24 hours) so I was able to start cutting and prepping that night. I then spent much of Sunday on the bag and Voila!

My Dewdrop is the perfect size for dashing out to the store or for toting around a small knitting project.

For anyone considering making this bag, I thought it might be helpful if I provided a review. So here goes:

Dewdrop Handbag Pattern Review

Pattern: Dewdrop Handbag by Keyka Lou (PDF)

Pattern Rating: 4.5/5

Cost: $7 USD

Fabric: Good Folks by Anna Maria Horner

Yardage: The pattern called for two 1/2 yards (1 for exterior, 1 for lining), but I managed to use 2 fat quarters and just needed to use a third to cut the inside pocket (and I like the way it looks with the contrasting pocket!).

Skills: You do not need to know these before you start, the pattern will guide you through it
and by the end you'll have picked up some new techniques!

Using interfacing
Creating darts
Attaching a lining
Top stitching

Darts on bottom side of bag


-I am a beginner and found I could easily handle all of the techniques needed to complete the project

-Keyka Lou provides a very detailed, clearly written pattern with photos to illustrate various steps. There were only a couple of very minor instances where I wasn't exactly sure what I was supposed to do (and this is because I am a newbie) but I was able to figure it out quickly and whatever I did seemed to work. For example, the pattern step was to 'Clip curves' so I just made about 4 clips with my scissors spaced evenly around the curve from the outer edge of the fabric to the line of stitching (without cutting my stitches!). The e-mail I received with the PDF pattern invited me to contact Keyka Lou if I had any questions about the pattern so I could have done that, but once I get started I just can't stop so I winged it!

-Although you could use fusible interfacing, I chose to use sew-in as Keyka Lou suggests in her great tutorial on interfacing.


-None, the only thing I did differently was, after turning the pocket fabric right side out through the opening, instead of slip stitching it closed I put that end of the pocket at the bottom when placing the pocket in the bag and edge stitched the sides and bottom of the pocket in place as the pattern called for. This closed the opening and I avoided hand stitching (which I try to avoid whenever possible!).

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