Gather your Sew-plies, Quilting Arts Holiday edition.

I am happy to have published in the Quilting Arts Holiday gifts issue, which showcases my Gather your Sew-plies purse. 

 This sewing purse is the Bee Knees, if you ask me. These purses were designed with movement in mind. The bag itself embraces a reverse pack pack styling, so, it sits at the front of your body, safe and secure, as you move around your sewing studio.


The pattern in Quilting Arts Holiday has directions for a scissor pocket, though you need not stop there! As you can see, I have also included a tiny pocket to hold my thimble.  


Sometimes the purses themselves become a canvas on which to stitch and embroider.


And sometimes I include fancy bits of fabric in the lining. I have also been known to clip rounded bits of plastic from milk bottles and juice containers to tuck into the scissor pocket-which protects the fabric from being punctured by my embroidery scissors.


See? You can even swing while ready to sew. 

All in all, I can’t live without these little functional bits of beauty. So far, I have made about 15 of these purses, each has thread, embroidery floss, some Thread Heaven  (An Amazon link, I LOVE Thread Heaven as a thread ‘conditioner’), and the pattern has evolved over time. Sometimes I make them with flaps as you see in the above photos, sometimes I make them with a fold of fabric that flips over and closes the purse (this is the pattern that Quilting Arts Holiday has published). I also like to thread string through the bias straps, which strengthens them.

I would love to have a Gather your Sew-plies sew along if you are interested!?? Please post a comment below and tell me know if you would like to do this. You will need to purchase the magazine to access the pattern, but I have many additional ideas and notions that will make this quite the fun sew-along. 

Check out these other posts on the blog hop too!

Friday, September 12, Vivika Hansen DeNegre,

Saturday, September 13, Lyric Kinard,

Sunday, September 14, Claude Larson,

Monday, September 15, Linda McLaughlin, 

and Kathy Kerstetter,

Tuesday, September 16, Lori Miller,

Wednesday, September 17, Melanie Testa,,

and Liz Kettle,

Thursday, September 18, Susan Brubaker Knapp,

Friday, September 19, Lisa Chin,

Saturday, September 20, Sarah Ann Smith,

Sunday, September 21, Catherine Redford,



Back to gallery


  1. Peach!!

  2. Count me in Melly!

  3. Barbara Fox says:

    Yes, would love to participate. Is it online or webinar style I hope? Please let me know if possible. Your bag is quite unique and would be fun to give as a gift. Peach is such “a cat!” Your reaction was delightful!

  4. Yeah!!!
    I made one your Sew-plies already but since this is a different design I will love to make another!

    Lovely photo of you on the swing!

  5. I love this idea! Yesterday’s blog hop asked what I would be making for gifts. This just might be it. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I’m in! I’m sowing a lot of hand stitching these days so this is perfect! Can’t wait to start. Imofftoget the digital version of the magazine now! Xo

  7. I’m in! And I have the pattern ready to go! Love the idea of stick the plastic in to keep the scissors from making a hole in the pocket.

  8. Geneen Granger says:

    Hi Melly! can’t wait to get the gift magazine and see how you did the pattern. Sorry I never got back to you but Brenda said “Oh the mags already in production.” Will email a photo of the ones I made this summer but need your style for some more! Good luck, Geneen

  9. Melanie– This is my first blog hop and I’m pleased to have discovered your site. There’s an all-original feel about your work and comments, which isn’t always the case in this copy-and-paste world. I’ve made little wearable bags for years (okay, decades) for my writing and painting supplies. Never thought about a waist strap! Smart. And I’ve seen the knees of bees… Your bag is just as cool and, what’s more, just as functional. They collect and spread pollen; you assemble and embellish functional art. Very nice to meet you. I’ll be back! –Laura

  10. Oops, forgot to answer the question! I don’t know how a sew-along works, but I’m all in. Adventures are my trademark. Thanks.

  11. I am laughing so hard! I wish I had a camera set up when I started watching the video. Ms. Kitty suddenly went from my lap to the laptop and had her nose against the screen when Peach made her debute. LOL!!! She looked behind the computer and was trying to find Peach. Anyway, I’m in. I’ve made a couple of the original Sew-plies. I even made one for Carl to keep in his car for when he looses a button on a trip. I love the photo of you on the swing!!! I need/want/covet a swing! Your new do is pretty cool, too. Sending love. xoxo

  12. Neat Sew-plies, something we all need! A sew a long sounds interesting, I have done quilt a longs in the past.

  13. I would enjoy a sew along. I need some motivation to ignore all the stuff that thinks it has to be done before I sew.

  14. Your Sew-plies bag is brilliant and I’d love a sew along. Your video had me laughing…your beautiful furball was video bombing. LOL Too cute! Love your laugh too.