Bags of Love

Materials

  • 2 fat quarters of striped fabric
  • 1 fat quarter of plain fabric
  • 24 x 19in (61 x 48cm) of wadding plus extra for stuffing
  • Quilting thread to match fabric
  • Two pieces of dowelling 1⁄2in diameter x 9 3⁄4in long (will be a tight fit or 9 1⁄2in for a more relaxed fit)
  • Four rose quartz beads or similar buttons 
  • Dressmaking pencil
  • Machine embroidery foot or darning foot

Note: 1⁄4in seam allowance is used throughout

Finished Size

10 x 11in (25.5 x 28cm)

Skill Level

Beginner with sewing experience

Suppliers

Rowan fabrics and Rose quartz beads are available from John Lewis department stores nationwide

Method

Cut:

  • Eighteen 3in squares of striped fabric
  • Eighteen 3in squares of plain fabric
  • Two strips 10 1⁄2 x 2 1⁄2in of striped fabric
  • One length of striped fabric 19 1⁄2 x 10 1⁄2in
  • One length of wadding 24 x 10 1⁄2in
  • Two strips 10 1⁄2 x 2 1⁄2in of wadding
  1. Sew the squares together as shown in Figure 1. Alternate the striped fabric with the plain fabric, and also alternate the direction of the stripes on each row.
  2. With the dressmaking pencil draw a heart in the centre of the plain fabric on rows two to four. Turn the fabric around and repeat.
  3. Place the wadding on the WS of the patchwork piece and quilt in the ditch made by the seams along all the rows.
  4. Carefully sew around the outline of the hearts with a straight stitch. You will need to stop with the needle down and lift the foot a number of times to get smooth curves.
  5. On the WS, using a small pair of sharp scissors, cut a tiny nick into the wadding in the middle of each heart, taking care not to cut the front fabric. Stuff each heart through the cut with the extra wadding.
  6. Place the narrow side of the length of striped fabric RS together with the top edge of the patchwork and sew a seam across the top. Repeat with the bottom edge, (Figure 2). Fold so that half of the top and bottom rows show on the striped side and sew down all the sides from the folds to the lower seam of the second row of squares.
Finished Bag
  1. Arrange the piece so that the striped fabric is RS together and the patchwork is RS together. On one side sew from both ends to meet the stitching. On the other side sew from both ends to within an inch and a half of the stitching. (See Figure 3).
  2. Position all four corners as shown in Figure 3 and stitch across 1 1⁄4in away from the point. Turn inside out through the gap, and push the striped lining to the inside of the bag.
  3. Using the gap in the seam, position a piece of dowelling into the top edge of each side of the bag. Turn the seam in and stitch the gap in the sides.
  4. To make the handles, Place a strip of wadding on the WS of one of the strips of striped fabric, with RS together sew all around the edge leaving a 1 1⁄2in gap on the long edge. Turn inside out and stitch the gap closed. Repeat for other handle.
  5. Position the handles where required on the inside of the bag and stitch through all of the layers by hand, starting from the front, to secure. For the finishing touch add the rose quartz beads to the inside of the bag where the handles join the bag. If you can’t find any rose quartz beads, why not try heart shaped buttons instead.
Figure 1: Layout of stripes and hearts
Figure 1: Layout of stripes and hearts
Figure 2: Assembling the bag
Figure 2: Assembling the bag
Figure 3: The corners and lining
Figure 3: The corners and lining

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 12 Number 2 - February 2004