Have you always wanted to design your own bags and add your creative flair to your designs? Join Leesa Chandler as she shares with you a method to creating a fun bag pattern at any size, then she shows you a variety of different fabric flowers using multiple techniques, that you can create to embellish your bag design.
Instructions and digital pattern included for creating your own version of Leesa’s Flower Tote Bag design
Follow along with Leesa as she shows you how to create different fabric flowers using ruching, fabric folding and how to create Suffolk puffs
Detailed step-by-step instructions take you through all the steps for creating your own version of Leesa’s bag and then you’ll feel confident to create and embellish bags to suit your needs
Use the techniques you learn to create embellishments for a range of different craft and quilt projects
A great project and workshop for beginner crafters looking to learn a variety of different fabric techniques
Chapter 1: Meet Leesa Chandler (2 min)
Meet fabric designer Leesa Chandler, as she introduces you to bag making and the project you’ll be learning to make.
Chapter 2: Wrapped around bag technique (16 min)
Leesa shares her advice on how you can create this bag at any size, then, follow along as she demonstrates how to assemble your pieces.
Chapter 3: Ruched flowers (11 min)
Learn to make ruched flowers. Leesa shows you how you can use the technique of ruching to create flowers that can be used to embellish your bag or any number of projects.
Chapter 4: Suffolk puffs (12 min)
Next, Leesa will show you how to create Suffolk Puffs, which can be used to embellish different projects.
Chapter 5: 3D flower petals (14 min)
Learn to create 3D flower petals to embellish your bag or any other project you’re creating. Leesa shares her expertise and advice with you.
Chapter 6: Show and tell with Leesa (5 min)
View a gallery of Leesa’s other works, from beautiful bags to spectacular quilts.
Leesa began quilting at 18 by chance, when a quilter stopped at her farm and asked for directions on her way to class. “Like many quilters, my first quilt was a classic 12-block sampler. A really good one, actually, with many techniques and tricks I still use today,” she says.
Leesa describes her quilts as fitting into two distinct categories: “There are two styles of quilts I make,” Leesa explains. “The first are designed to display large print fabrics, such as oriental prints and my fabric designs. These are quick and fun to make and it’s all about the fabric. The second is all about technique and they may include 3D appliqué, foundation work etc.
“I do a lot of fabric folding, 3D work, machine appliqué, quilt as you go, paper piecing, whatever I need to get the right look,” she adds. “There are many cool techniques I still need to add to my collection, and that means there’s so much more fun to be had. It’s so hard to choose just one technique which is my favourite. I love needleturn appliqué. It’s a skill I relish because it challenges at every stitch, and there is always room to improve with each project.
“I am also into pre-pieced appliqué at the moment — well, I think that’s what we will call it! Piecing lots of small pieces together and treating it as a printed piece of fabric to cut leaves and 3D petals from — I’m working on it. I prefer hand-work, but as a tutor and shop owner I love the fun, results and time-saving benefits of piecing by machine. There are also so many cool techniques and threads that can only be used on a machine.”
For Leesa, inspiration comes from all over the place. “I find it anywhere and everywhere,” she exclaims. “I love designing with authentic influence from different cultures and have a real obsession and appreciation for botanical art. I find colour combinations everywhere. I got the inspiration for my new Russian collection’s colour story from an eye shadow pack while shopping for makeup! I will often be inspired to create a quilt design for a specific print, rather than the other way around. Having said that, I love using large prints and then taking particular sections and elements of the design for complementary appliqué and piecing.”
Leesa’s “free” time is spent teaching fellow quilters. “I love teaching,” Leesa states. “It’s so rewarding spending time with like-minded people and helping them create something special with their own colours and style. I teach everywhere, sometimes in country towns, guilds, retreats and around the occasional kitchen table. Styles and techniques change from year to year, but it’s always about having a go, having fun and taking home something that looks gorgeous at the end is a bonus.”
Leesa, husband Rob and their boys live in the Melbourne Bayside suburb of Beaumaris. The Chandler household is a busy one. Leesa and her husband run their business, Chandler’s Cottage, while raising their two boys, Philip and Steve.