For the sewists in our community, I hope you like this design that will take advantage of more than usual on your sewing machines. The whole idea here is to stretch your abilities just a bit with a little more challenge, and you’ll end up with a very usable project. (#AutumnJubilee2020)
The sew along will make a fabulous strip pieced bag you can use as a purse, or a tote. Plus we’ll do some embellishments to make it your own. Begin by pulling out a jelly roll, or choosing 8 pretty fabrics to cut width-of-fabric strips. You’ll need 2/3-yard of a coordinating fabric for lining and handles, plus an accent piece 5-1/2 x 16-1/2-inches and a piece of batting about 18 x 44-inches Since this is Autumn Jubilee, I’m doing mine in Autumn prints with a ninth print for the lining and handles.
Begin by cutting one width of fabric strip from your chosen fabrics, or selecting 8 jelly roll strips. Sew all 8 together lengthwise.
When you have them all sewn, press all in one direction.
Cut off the selvedges to a clean edge. Hang onto that bit as it will be useful in a minute. Even up both sides, to make a total length of about 38 inches.
From the left edge, make a cross cut 5-inches from the edge.
Insert the accent piece.
Now, take a look at the stitches on your machine. You may not have a lot of built in decorative stitches, but most machines have utility stitches that you can use. Even a simple zigzag can work, but see if you have some fagoting stitches or other edge-joining stitches you could use. If you are lucky enough to have a host of decorative stitches, now is the time to give them a workout.
Layer your strip piecing onto a scrap of batting large enough to have a bit of extra all around. Using a scrap of batting and the edge you cut off, audition your stitch choices on the scraps. It will also help you to get into the rhythm of the stitch, seeing where it goes and how you need to keep the seam lines lined up.
Thread your machine with a coordinating color of embroidery thread, or rayon thread with a bit of shine. Sew decorative stitches on the seam lines.
The stitches will give the bag its quilting.
These are all utility stitches, but they look decorative stitches when stitched in rayon embroidery thread.
Press the piece after stitching.
Now for the accent embellishment. Use any of the leaves given in the download, or a combination to mark your accent piece for embellishing. Or, use a motif of your own design to complement your fabric choices such as a flower or a star. Mark with a method that is removable. See Fat Quarter Shop for some removable marker choices.
Stitch around the markings. This will allow you to remove the marks prior to embellishing.
Remove the markings. Add beads and buttons as desired. I planned to outline the shape with beads and fill the inside with buttons and seed beads. I began my handwork with stitching bugle beads on top of the stitched leaf shape.
Then I filled the center with a group of orange buttons, shading the darker ones to the center and the lighter ones near the edges. I did the first row down the center, following what might be the line of veins.
Then filled in the rest with dark near the center and lighter to the edges. When I was done with this part, I decided it didn’t need any more beading.
Alternately, you could use your embroidery machine to embroider a motif on your accent strip prior to inserting into the strip set. I have another project for us this month that will utilize our embroidery machines as well.
You could just add a few large buttons, or premade appliques to the accent piece if you don’t want to do handwork and you don’t have an embroidery machine. Or simply choose an accent fabric that has a strong focal design. Anything you want to add makes the design your own. The finish of this project will post in two weeks. Download the pdf for your sewing room – Autumn Jubilee 2020 SewAlong
Today’s giveaway is a $50 Gift Certificate from Fat Quarter Shop!! International winners eligible! Just leave a comment on this post, then click on the Rafflecopter icon below to enter. Share your progress in Instagram and in our Facebook group with #autumnjubilee2020.
Do you use your utility stitches much? Have you ever considered them as decorative stitches?
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