I once read that a work of art always lives, enhanced by each generation. This statement is certainly true with the "miser's
purse." What started as a small 2" leather pouch evolved into an elaborate fashion accessory.
This tiny purse dates back to Europe in the mid 1800's. Carried by the well-to-do gentleman, it held coins to dispense to the needy.
Because men controlled the purse strings, it was not until much later that the women began using them. They changed from a
utilitarian item to a fashion statement and were carried as a status symbol. Using their finest threads and stitches, these Victorian
women created an exquisite treasure for future generations.
I have made these tiny versions of the miser's purse to add to my crazy quilting projects. They can be quickly made and add a
distinctive touch of elegance to any block. I think they would also make wonderful gift items. They could hold a small piece of jewelry,
be added to a bow for any package decoration, used on handmade greeting cards, as a brooch or necklace, etc. I also think they
would make a wonderful centerpiece for the holiday season. A small Christmas tree adorned with these tiny purses would add a
Victorian touch to our homes.
5" length of 1 ½ - 2" wide floral jacquard or fancy ribbon
Thread to match
Small button or bead for closure
||Purse on the left is made of antique ribbon with beaded handle and picot edging. Purse in upper center shows size in relation to a quarter.
Lower right purse shows solid color ribbon with silk ribbon embroidery
||Example of the small miser's purse placed on a crazy quilt block.
Beaded Picot Edging:
Beginning at the top edge of one open side, secure your beading thread between the two layers of fabric.
Step 1 - String 3 beads. Determine the distance of one bead from where your needle was inserted.
Step 2 - Working very closely to the edge of the ribbon, insert the needle from back to front.
Step 3 - Without piercing the ribbon, insert your needle from front to back of the last bead strung and string 2 more beads. Repeat step one and two, stringing 2 beads, until you reach the end of that side. Secure your thread and cut.
Repeat the above for the remaining side of your pouch