One mother sharing her knowledge with others.

Love Struck Purse

Do you remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books we used to read when we were kids? Well that was kind of how the making of this purse went. Each step of the way, I was asking myself, “What next?” or “Now what do I do with it?”

It all started last week when I won a giveaway that Julie from That’s Sew Julie had on her blog for the just released Love Struck block pattern designed by Kitty Wilkin, aka Night Quilter. It’s such a cute pattern that as soon as it arrived in my inbox I just had to make one. And so the adventure began.

In the pattern, Kitty suggests using striped fabric for the feathers as a way to save a bit of time rather than piece all the individual feathers. I had some really pretty rainbow fabric so that’s what I decided to do.

Now it’s been a while since I’ve done any foundation paper piecing.  Getting those stripes to line up the way I wanted them to proved a bit of a challenge. Add to that the times I trimmed off the wrong bit of fabric and had to unsew and redo different parts of the blocks. But finally I had two arrow blocks that I was quite pleased with.

Purple and Blue Love Struck Arrow Block

Orange Arrow Block

I would have made more blocks but I didn’t have enough of the light grey background fabric. I had forgotten that foundation paper piecing can use a lot of fabric.  So that left me wondering… What do I do with just two arrow blocks?

In the scrap drawer of my fabric dresser, I found a bit of multicolored fabric with all the colors from the arrows in it, so I cut a strip and sewed that between the two arrow blocks. It looked okay but I still didn’t have any idea what to turn it into.

Maybe a zip pouch? So I searched through my sewing stuff and found a pretty blue zipper.  I cut the block in half, ironed on some fusible fleece (<-affiliate link)… a bit more sewing and the zipper was installed.

Love Struck arrow with zippered panel between them

Then I decided to add a bit of quilting by stitching in the ditch around each of the arrows. This is what it looked like on the back:

Quilted arrow from the back

Okay, I thought, now what? A couple more seams and it could be a pencil case. Or leave it flat; add a back and it could be a project bag. Or…

Perhaps turn that zipper into the front pocket of a tote? Yes, that could work. Okay, so a tote it is!

I added fabric just above the zipper on the wrong side to make the pocket.

For the back of the tote, I cross hatch quilted a piece of the rainbow fabric that I used for the feathers of the arrows.

Cross hatch quilting on rainbow fabric using Sulky Blendable Thread

I quilted it with more of that pretty Sulky Blendables rainbow thread (#4106) that I used for the rainbow borders on my Flying Zebra Quilt.

After sewing the front to the back, I had this…

Love Struck Purse front and back sewn together

Again, I ask myself… what next? Well it has to have a lining and more pockets as I love totes with pockets.

And straps. But what kind of straps? Two short ones? Or one long one? How long?

Oh and should I leave the tote open or make some kind of closure? What kind of closure? A button with a loop? A flap? No, that would cover the orange arrow.

What about a recessed zipper? Hmmmm…

Recessed zipper section

recessed zipper section and straps pinned in place

And finally, after all those choices the adventure came to this very satisfying conclusion…

Front of Love Struck Purse
I made the strap 50 inches long so that it can be worn across the body.
Inside of Love Struck Purse
There are three pockets on the back, with one sized to fit my new smartphone.
Back of Love Struck Purse
I love the cross hatching on the back!

I am absolutely thrilled how those two little arrow blocks that at first I had no idea what to do with, over the course of a few days, ended up being transformed into a beautiful new tote/purse for me.

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7 Comments

  • Catherine
    February 7, 2015 2:40 am

    I love how your project evolved into this beautiful purse. Foundation piecing is so satisfying if a bit wasteful of fabric. Totally worth it though for the beautiful arrow blocks.

  • Celtic Thistle Stitches
    February 7, 2015 4:10 am

    What a great job you did with the arrow blocks and turning them into a tote? Genius 🙂

  • Susan
    February 7, 2015 12:09 pm

    That is just cute as anything! I love the rainbow fabric, and the brightness of the bag. Everywhere you go with it, you’ll receive compliments. Thanks for blogging the process, not just the product. That’s how I do a lot of things I stitch in crazy quilting, unlike people who draw it out and know everything before they start! You have made something beautiful!

  • Kate
    February 8, 2015 7:51 am

    Well done, Sue! You’ve made yourself a beautiful bag!! 🙂

  • Marly
    February 8, 2015 5:13 pm

    What a useful bag! Thanks for sharing the process; it’s so interesting to follow your sequence of decisions and rejected options.

  • Julie Stocker
    February 9, 2015 8:21 pm

    Susan,

    I love projects that start with a Something, and turn into a Wow Thing! You did it here! I’m the queen of orphan blocks that I try out, and then don’t know quite what to do with. This works!

    Thank you for sharing it on Pink Doxies this weekend. I just had to chase it down to see the whole thing. So glad I did.

    Julie

  • Yvonne (Quilting Jetgirl)
    May 7, 2015 9:54 am

    I love how this came together. Thanks for letting me know that you had used Kitty’s pattern; I am so glad I found your post about it. I especially like the long strap so the purse can be worn across a shoulder, that is my favorite style of purse / bag!

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