Friday, August 31, 2012

Free pattern day: purses, handbags and zipper bags

Just in time for back-to-school or holiday projects, we've assembled a collection of free sewing patterns for bags. Our previous post focused on free patterns for tote bags; in today's post we're sharing 25 free patterns for purses, handbags, and zippered pouches.  Note: This post was updated on July 4, 2015.

Denim Farfalle Handbag tutorial, upcycled jeans project,  at Artfully Caroline

The Bella Clutch by Clover and Violet

Snappy Pouch, free pattern at Robert Kaufman

Coco Bag, free downloadable pattern by Christine at Chris W Designs (Australia)

Simple and Sleek Fat Quarter Handbag tutorial by Jennifer Ladd for Sew Mama Sew

Ric Rac Clutch tutorial by Jennifer Ladd for Sew Mama Sew

Giselle Bag, free pattern by Cyndi Hershey for Red Rooster Fabrics  (the pattern also includes a table runner/dresser scarf and pillow pattern)

Reversible Bag, free pattern by Novita at Very Purple Person

Blossom Handbag/Shoulder Bag, free pattern by Amy Butler as seen at Sew Mama Sew

Preppy Wave Tucked Handbag at Sew 4 Home

Luscious Bow Tote, free pattern at Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Pleated Lined Handbag, free pattern at Warehouse Fabrics Inc.

Ruffled Purse, free pattern and tutorial at Domestic Diva Online

Buttercup Bag, free tutorial by Rae at Made by Rae

Place Mat Purse tutorial from The Martha Stewart Show

Chevron Bag with adjustable strap, free pattern (.pdf) by Rosemary Archer for Oakshott Fabrics

Emerald handbag and scarf, free patterns by Anna Haraldsson & Kamilla Svensson for Husqvarna Viking UK (metric measurements); download the handbag pattern here and the scarf diagram here

Hip Pockets Purse tutorial by Elizabeth Bailey at Better Homes & Gardens

Placemat Clutch tutorial by Jessica Fediw at Happy Together Creates 

Simple Party Clutch by Elizabeth Hartman for Sew Mama Sew

Origami Pouch with drawstring, tutorial by Janet at Quiltsalott

Ruffled Envelope Clutch, free pattern by Jessica Gerblick of Me Sew Crazy as seen at The Girl Creative

Rosy Wedge Bag tutorial by Amy Friend for Basic Grey

Little Purse tutorial at Quiltsalott 

Scrappy Make-up Pouch tutorial at noodlehead 

Zippered Pouch with Boxed Corners at Seamingly Smitten

"2 in 1" Makeup Bag tutorial by Teje at Nero’s Post and Patch (Greece)

Gathered Clutch tutorial at noodlehead

Image credits and links: All images are copyrighted by their owners. Please respect their generosity in sharing their free patterns, and the restrictions they have placed on the use of these designs. Complete information can be found at the designers' websites provided in the links.  If any links are broken, we'd love to know; email us at Quilt Inspiration.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Free pattern day: Tote bags !

Just in time for back-to-school or holiday projects, we've assembled a collection of free sewing patterns for tote bags (and a backpack).  These are perfect for books, groceries, knitting, or anything else you need to haul around !

NOTE: This post has been updated and expanded.  Please see the new Free pattern day: Tote bags!

Monday, August 27, 2012

All sewn up: Fruit and Vegetable quilts

We think that a quilt, wall hanging or table topper would be a great way to celebrate the beauty and variety of fruits and vegetables. For the last two weeks we've featured quilts that honor the summer harvest, with colorful, ripe plums, peaches, tomatoes, carrots and more.   We're also showcasing some luscious apples from a previous post.  There's a style here for every taste, from traditional to modern, pieced or appliqued !

Above, Row 1:  Simply Delicious by Rebecca Goldsmith at Piece O' Cake DesignsRow 2: Pearl's Garden by Pearl P. Pereira at P3 DesignsRow 3: Pieced Vegetables by Linda L. Frost at 13th Street StudioRow 4:  Pears, pineapple and apple by Laura Wasilowski at ArtFabrik.  For links to our original posts, see the footnote*.

Above, Row 1:  Vegetable quilts by Lonni RossiRow 2: Cornucopia by Elly Sienkiewicz, stitched by Karen Pessia; Apple still life by Ellen Lindner, Adventure QuilterRow 3: Apple of my eye by Debi Hubbs at Art Blooms; Cider Mill Road by Nancy Halvorsen at Art to Heart. For links to our original posts, see the footnote*.

*Image credits:  Images are shown with the generous permission of the artists.  Patterns  and/or books are available for many of these quilts.  For our original posts discussing these quilts and artists, please visit the following links: Simply Delicious; Pearl's GardenPieced VegetablesArt Quilts by Laura Wasilowski; The Broccoli Quilt by Lonni Rossi; and Harvest Quilts - Part 2.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Art Quilts by Laura Wasilowski

Multi-talented artist Laura Wasilowski lives in Elgin, Illinois, where she displays her gorgeous work on her Artfabrik website. Laura teaches workshops and seminars, produces luminous hand-dyed fabrics and threads, writes books, designs kits and patterns, and creates beautiful quilts using a number of fusible applique methods that she developed.   Here are some of Laura's vibrant quilts with a fruit theme that really caught our eyes.

Folk Art Pineapple, 15 x 18, by Laura Wasilowski

These pure colors of nature remind us so much of Hawaii, with lush green pineapple fields surrounded by the blues of the ocean and the sky. You can purchase the pattern separately, or Laura also offers both the pattern and the fabric kit together on her patterns page at Artfabrik.  Based on the eye-catching design, this is definitely a pineapple with personality.

Color Chip Collage by Laura Wasilowski

Lively pears spill right out of the woven basket, just waiting to be picked up as a snack. Notice how the curved white stitching against the dark blue background gives a great sense of energy to this work. Laura teaches this collage as a one day workshop in using simple fusing techniques to create a pictorial or abstract small quilt. No sewing machine is needed ; and for a small kit fee, Laura provides a hand-out and her stunning hand-dyed fabric. We think that this workshop would be so fun and inspirational !

Prelude to Pie, 46 x 46", by Laura Wasilowski 

Laura writes, "Inspired by family, friends, and home, I create stories in cloth. My narrative quilts begin with unique, hand-dyed fabrics. These become whimsical wall pieces that reflect a joyful and colorful life." Her original "Prelude to Pie" quilt features a big bowl of apples sitting on a virtual tablecloth, surrounded by more apples that float in space. The blue sky backdrop gives this scene a surreal quality which we love.  This quilt is for sale on Laura's Artfabrik portfolio page.

Fanciful Stitches, Colorful Quilts by Laura Wasilowski

Laura's book, Fanciful Stitches, Colorful Quilts has easy-to-follow directions and patterns for making 11 fused applique and embroidered projects, including this adorable cozy cottage, a houseboat, lighthouse, and windmill.  There's a chapter on how to select stitches and do hand embroidery for fused art projects,  as well as a chapter on how to do a time-saving smooth finish wrapped binding. This intriguing book is a wonderful way to practice your fusing and embroidery skills together, while making some really pretty small quilts.

Note : In addition to Laura's Artfabrik website, please check out her fun blog. She details her adventures as a guest instructor on a European cruise, along with many helpful tips about quilt making.

Image credits: Images shown are with the generous permission of the artist.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pieced Vegetables

We're continuing our series on fruits and vegetables, and today we are featuring textile artist Linda L. Frost, whose website is at 13th Street Studio. Linda's work ranges from reproducing antique quilts to creating abstract pieces, and her quilts have been exhibited in galleries and quilt shows throughout the U.S.   Her beautiful vegetable quilts were inspired by Ruth B. McDowell's book, Pieced Vegetables.

Carrot, 17 x 37", by Linda Frost at 13th Street Studio

Linda Frost's explorations of pieced vegetables began in 2008 with the opportunity to show some quilts at her local organic/health food market. She decided it would be a good time to make some of the quilts in Ruth McDowell's book, Pieced Vegetables. We love the carrot, above, with its interesting fabrics; the carrot appears to be visible underground, with just the carrot tops showing in the light blue sky fabric;  the carrot top is quilted to mimic the texture of leaves.

Yellow Pepper by Linda Frost at 13th Street Studio

The sinuous shapes of the yellow pepper are clearly shown in this art quilt by Linda Frost.  She has enhanced the lines of the pepper with echo quilting.  Linda's artistic fabric selection extends to the border, which incorporates strips in a variety of colors and patterns.

Artichoke, 36 x 37", by Linda Frost at 13th Street Studio

This is the third vegetable quilt that Linda Frost made to exhibit in her local Mercantile. It is also from Ruth McDowell's book, Pieced Vegetables. At 36 x 37", this artichoke is larger than life! Linda used some purple acrylic paint to shade the tips of each of the artichoke petals-before they were sewn together... and then also used some fairly heavy stipple quilting in purple thread to help with the shading.

Ruth B. McDowell's book includes our favorite vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, onions, peppers, and more. Pieced Vegetables joins Ruth's other books, including Pieced Flowers and Piecing: Expanding the Basics.

Image credits:  Images are shown with the generous permission of Linda L. Frost. The quilts shown here are in private collections. She is the author of the book, Happy Birthday Kansas! A Sampler Quilt Celebrating 150 Years on the Prairie. Her work was also featured in Martha Sielman's Art Quilt Portfolio: The Natural World and in several books by Barbara Brackman; for more information, please visit 13th Street Studio.  For additional inspiration also see Linda's photostream at Flickr.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pearl's Garden Quilt

Pearl Pereira of P3 Designs lives in Southern California, has been sewing since she was 6 years old, and creates some of the loveliest applique patterns we've ever seen.  Since August is the month that many of us in the Northern Hemisphere are  harvesting home-grown fruits and vegetables or shopping for them at local farmers' markets, we're featuring the charming "Pearl's Garden Quilt."

"Pearl's Garden Quilt", size 54 x 60 , is comprised of twelve 9" x 12" appliqued vegetable blocks, accompanied by embroidered herbs and inked lettering. In addition, this quilt features four smaller  6 x 9 blocks of very cute appliqued insects, embroidered herbs, and inked lettering. The four smaller blocks can be seen in close-up at the gallery page of P3 designs.

The "Pearl's Garden" pattern contains easy to follow instructions for the embroidery and inking of the vegetable and herb names, plus full size patterns for hand applique of the very realistic looking vegetables.

The sophisticated renderings of the vegetables are juxtaposed against a patchwork background of soft ecru,  natural linen beige, vanilla, and pale taupe fabrics, which give a homey, comforting look to this quilt. Here's a great opportunity to use neutral hue remnants of  quilt backing or fat quarters from former quilt projects. Depending upon your decor, you could also select background fabrics of pale, icy green or soft pale silvery gray. 

We especially love this block above, because as owners of a carefully-tended home grown tomato plant, we think Pearl has done a perfect job of drawing these lifelike leaves and blossoms. Pearl has chosen just the right shade of sage and olive green batik fabric for this plant. However, you could also make these blocks in tiny calico prints or monochromatic tone-on-tone fabrics, depending upon the selection from your stash.

Note : Pearl Pereira and her colleague Nancy Avidon teach at many well-known workshops and seminars throughout the year, including hosting a fabulous quilt cruise to Hawaii in the spring of 2013. For more information and more gorgeous patterns, please see Pearl's home page of P3 Designs .

Image credits: Images shown are with the generous permission of the artist.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Simply Delicious

In the middle of August, in North America, the markets are overflowing with colorful, ripe cantaloupes, peaches, tomatoes and more. We think that a quilt, wall hanging or table topper would be a great way to celebrate the beauty and variety of fruits and vegetables.  We decided to share a few block-of-the-month quilts that are among our all-time favorites.  So let's get started... with Simply Delicious.

Simply Delicious by Rebecca Goldsmith at Piece O'Cake Designs

"Simply Delicious" was the second block-of-the-month pattern at Piece O'Cake Designs and it is still going strong. We love this classic quilt, which was inspired by vintage botanical prints from the 1800's.  There are twelve different blocks depicting fruit with descriptive names, such as Perfect Pomegranate, Plump Peaches, Choicest Cherries, and Purple Plums.

Purple Plums, 16 x 16", Block 5 of Simply Delicious at Piece O'Cake Designs

In Purple Plums, the colors of the plums varies from red-violet to deepest purple, reflecting the plums at various stages of ripening.  The fruits are appliqued on a four-patch background of blues and neutrals, giving a soft, vintage look to the finished quilt.  Each block finishes at 16" including the small sashing squares, which add to the appearance of gingham. 

Luscious Lemons, Block #4 of Simply Delicious at Piece O' Cake Designs

Each individual block would make a charming wall hanging.  We are particularly partial to Luscious Lemons, above, with its cheerful color scheme.  It would be fun to pick out the fabrics for this block! Check out the beautiful block posted by Penny Sanford, and the work-in-progress by Wanda at Scrap Happy Quilting.

Choicest Cherries, Block #16 of Simply Delicious at Piece O'Cake Designs

We've always loved the look of vintage botanical prints, and "Choicest Cherries" is another of our favorite blocks. For more quilt inspiration, check out the stunning finished Simply Delicious quilts posted by Cotton Kapers and Pine Belt Quilters (Ollie Jean Lane trunk show).

Rebecca Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins are the co-founders of Piece O' Cake Designs, and Linda says that Simply Delicious is one of her all-time favorites from her Piece O' Cake partner (see the interview with Linda and Rebecca at the Robert Kaufman Fabrics blog,  The Swatch and Stitch.)

Image credits:  Images are shown with the generous permission of Rebecca Goldsmith.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Free Pattern Day: Plus and 'X' quilts

Among the easiest of all quilt blocks are those that make 'plus' and 'X' designs. The strips can be made either skinny or wide, and the symbols can be centered, off-center, or tessellating.  The X's are sometimes combined with circles to make "hugs & kisses" quilts, and if the X's are continuous they make lattice designs. This post was updated on June 20, 2015. Here are the free patterns!

Through the Lattice quilt, free pattern by Patti Carey for Northcott Fabrics

King's Cross quilt, 60 x 60", by Tara Faughnan at Michael Miller Fabrics

Just Kisses quilt, 47 x 59", free pattern by Janice Zeller Ryan for Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Hugs and Kisses quilt, 41 x 52", free pattern by Sue Pickering for Windham Fabrics

Criss Cross quilt, 56 x 66", free pattern at Riley Blake Designs

"Nough Said" Layer Cake quilt, 67 x 67", tutorial by Cindy Sharp for Moda Bakeshop

Kisses and Hugs
, 38 x 50", free crib/wall quilt pattern by Caroline Reardon ar Quiltmaker Magazine

Double Cross quilt by Pam Rocco for Quilters Newsletter

Positively Perfect Nap Quilt by April Rosenthal for Moda Bakeshop

Bella Crossing Quilt by Elizabeth Dackson at Don't Call Me Betsy

Cinco de Mayo by Pam Rocco for Quilters Newsletter

Simple Math Quilts by Elizabeth Hartman for Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Crossroads quilt, ~70 x 88", free pattern by Siobhan Rogers for Windham Fabrics

Uneven nine patch and star quilt by Laura Boehnke at All People Quilt

Hugs & Kisses for baby by Cindy Carter at Carter Quilter

Blushing collection, free patterns for quilt and table topper by Margot Languedoc at The Pattern Basket


Cape Ann Quilt, free pattern by Oliver + S

Little Apples, free pattern by Aneela Hoey for Moda Fabrics 

Califon four-patch quilt, free pattern by Mark Lipinski for Northcott Fabrics

Tropical Punch by Karen Montgomery for Timeless Treasures Fabrics as seen at Fat Quarter Shop

 Binding Their Time by Sylvia Galbraith Jennings for RJR Fabrics

Happy quilt by Jennifer Heynen, free pattern by Jason Yenter at In The Beginning Fabrics

Winding Walk quilt by Jinny Beyer for RJR Fabrics

Tessellating Crosses pattern by Elisabeth Preininger at Elisabeth's Weblog

Hugs & Kisses quilt block tutorial at Little Miss Shabby

Plus Quilt Tutorial by Jeni at In Color Order

Below, Row 1: Adamant Argyle Pillow by KarrieLyne from Freckled Whimsy as seen at Sew We Quilt; Crossing Paths Pillow Tutorial at A Squared WRow 2: Cushion Couture Tutorial by John of Quilt Dad for Moda Bakeshop; Xs Pillow Tutorial by Piece N' Quilt for Moda Bakeshop.

Image credits and links: All images are copyrighted by their owners. Please respect their generosity in sharing their free patterns, and the restrictions they have placed on the use of these designs. Complete information can be found at the designers' websites provided in the links. The quilt montage was created by Quilt Inspiration.  If any links are broken, we'd love to know; email us at quiltinspiration {at} gmail {dot} com.
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