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A Stitch in Time Dumpling Bag - Blog tour

I’m was very honoured to be asked to join the blog tour for Sharon Burgess’s second book ‘A Stitch in Time‘, another lovely book published by Tuva Publishing.

Following on the from the great success of her first book ‘Quilting on the go: English Paper Piecing‘, which showcased the portability of hand stitching, this is another beautiful journey through a range of handmade heirloom projects.

A Stitch in Time Dumpling Bag - Flat lay with hexies

The true beauty of this book is the hand pieced element. This makes you slow down and just enjoy the process.

Sharon has included a diverse range of projects in her book, ranging from small trivets and pincushions, to larger quilts. But none of them are fast, and that’s why I love it. I certainly appreciate the place of quick projects made on the sewing machine, but surely the most special are those that are truly intentional.

The ones that make you stop and sit down.

As I flicked through this book for the first time, I was immediately drawn to the ‘Dumpling Bag’ on page 54. It’s a super roomy drawstring tote.

It was just so unusual, so eye catching, that there was only one choice for me after that!

A Stitch in Time Dumpling Bag - Fabric pull basics


When starting a project like this, it can be daunting to know quite where to begin with fabric selection, as this bag has several elements involved.

There’s the hexagon piecing, the main panels, the accents, and the lining.

So take the time to step back before you dive in, and consider the bigger picture. To have an effective finished product, you need to be pretty certain that your choices are spot on, especially as you are going to devote many hours of your time to creating it.

I suggest choosing a ‘hero’ fabric first.

I wanted my Dumpling Bag to have a scrappy look, but for that not to be the main focus. So I choose that large peony print to be my Dumpling Bag ‘hero’. You might recognise it from the pillow that I made my daughter last month. I loved it so much that I had to use it again!

I then pulled a paler large gingham print for the gussets of the bag, and a bolder but smaller Tilda print for the accents.

They became my three main fabrics around which I chose the rest.

A Stitch in Time Dumpling Bag - pieced hexies

I went to town in selecting my scrappy hexies, mixing bold colours and low volume, both busy and calm, but keeping it mostly in the blue and pink palette. Lots of old favourites here, and always satisfying when you can raid your scrap bins for tiny pieces!

A Stitch in Time Dumpling Bag - pieced panel

If clamshells are new to you, there’s just the right amount to get your feet wet here! Each panel only has three of them, so they are really quick and easy.

I also backed my panels with batting, to make the piecing puff up more and to add some more body to the bag. Just be sure to cut it away from your seam allowances, or there will be too much bulk.

A Stitch in Time Dumpling Bag - how pretty is this bag

Don’t you think this bag is just so unique?!

It’s a pentagon, with gussets that add intrigue like the slashes in a medieval gown sleeve (picture Maid Marion!)

The pockets are roomy, and this Dumpling Bag has a base that supports it very well, making a substantial bag that truly stands up on its own.

I didn’t have template plastic, so I substituted some heavy weight bag interfacing that I had, and it did the trick perfectly.

A Stitch in Time Dumpling Bag - bag lining

A Stitch in Time Dumpling Bag - large storage pockets

A Stitch in Time Dumpling Bag - vibrant colours and beaded drawstring

A Stitch in Time Dumpling Bag - adorable clamshells

I’ve added flower buttons in place of the cross stitches on the corners, and just I love them! And for the perfect finishing touch, I wrapped the end of the drawstring in embroidery threads, and added some pearl beads.

And while I was congratulating myself on how well this turned out…I spotted a panel that I forgot to top stitch.


A Stitch in Time Dumpling Bag - all the cute details

A Stitch in Time Dumpling Bag - hexies and clamshells

O well, at least there’s four other sides to display, and four out of five ain’t bad!

Follow along with the rest of the wonderful line up of makers 5 Nov – 5 Dec. The Dumpling Bag is proving popular!

5th Nov Sharon Burgess @lilabellelane

7th Nov – Lou Orth
8th Nov – Michelle Hickson @coleandtaffy
9th Nov – Mathew Boudreaux
10th Nov – Lauren Wright
11th Nov – Heidi Grohs
12th Nov – Cathy Ewbank @cathyewbank
15th Nov – Jennie Pickett
17th Nov – Nisha Bouri/Kim Martucci
18th Nov – Martina
19th Nov – Minki Kim
20th Nov – Sedef Imer
21st Nov – Ali Phillips – that’s me!
22nd Nov – Karen Tripp
23rd Nov – Sarai Schuk @sarai_hobbies
24th Nov – Larisa Shurupov
25th Nov – Wendy Welsh
26th Nov – Laura Piland
27th Nov – Alexandra Luenz @alexouq
28th Nov – Nadra Ridgeway
29th Nov – Elise Baek
30th Nov – Kitty Wilkin
1st Dec – Andy Knowlton
2nd Dec – Stacey Day
3rd Dec – Anorina Morris
4th Dec -Paper Pieces
5th Dec – Ange Hamilton