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Paneled Purse


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I once commented to a friend that I liked her big patchwork bag. She agreed that it was pretty but said it was too big. That set me to thinking about a design that was big enough to hold all the true essentials (wallet, phone, keys, pens, lipstick and comb, etc.), but was still lightweight and easy to throw over your shoulder. This bag is the result, with a nod to the patchwork I admired initially. Made completely of fat quarters, you can incorporate several coordinating fabric designs, and it makes a great stash buster too. Beads on the shoulder straps add even more interest. If you just like the basic shape, I've also included a variation that is much simpler, and just uses two fabrics - one for the outer and another for the lining. Look for it at the end of the pattern along with other suggested ways to vary the bag. BASIC SKILLS NECESSARY This pattern is good for intermediates with good sewing skills

Recommended with this pattern

  • Both the outer and the lining of this bag were made from fat quarters. I initially purchased 9 fat quarters in 8 complementary patterns because I didn't know what I was going to make from the fabric. However, with a little less variation, you could easily get by with 3 fat quarters for the outer and 2 fat quarters for the lining.
  • For maximum variation: 6 complementary fat quarters for outside of bag 2 identical fat quarters for lining
  • 1/2 yard heavy weight interfacing. I used fusible interfacing, but the sew-in type would work just as well.

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Kay Stephenson is a freelance writer and fiber artist living in Atlanta, Ga with her husband, Mark, and her dog, Lady. Working in several fiber related craft areas, she combines quilting, crochet, and wet felting techniques to create unique works of art. Kay blogs about her craft at She says, "I learned to crochet, knit and sew at my mother's knee. She could do it all from sewing to tatting, crochet, knitting, embroidery. I learned to knit when I was about 6 or 7 and just never stopped learning new crafts and techniques."