Bags & Totes, Oh my!

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Every few months I have the pleasure of teaching a full day sewing workshop to a great group of creatives in New York. “Bags & Totes” was the theme for our session yesterday. The gals were interested in learning how to make lined bags and totes with zippers and pockets. For this workshop, I prepared kits that included some necessary and fun notions as well as a plethora of notes and step by step directions as support materials for their at home use.

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Cheryl worked on a raw edge demin tote that featured patches and pockets from her son’s childhood clothing, how on trend and yet personal …what a keepsake! She was thrilled with the finished piece!

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Using her gorgeous hand printed fabrics, Brenna made two lined zipper pouches to hold her art supplies! Funky and functional, go Brenna!

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Eileen used coordinating fabrics for the outside pocket for her lined zipped bag! She went right at it and finished it in a wink! Looking good!

IMG_4566.JPGYou would never know that this was our newbie’s first attempt at installing a zipper and lining a make up bag…well done!

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And Cheryl’s beloved Bentley is always a charming host!

Great job ladies! I’m so proud of all your hard work and creative efforts!

Looking forward to our next workshop!

 

 

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A Garland of Well Wishes

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A very, very dear friend has been going through a rough time and when considering how I could best bring some cheer while she recovers from procedure and treatment I decided on making her a special garland. ┬áMy vision was to fashion a variety of lovely calming blue printed cotton fabric strips into a garland where she could attach some of the tons of well wishes she would receive. This is one very special woman, we are talking about, whose kindness and optimism knows no bounds. Her bounty of cards and messages could probably fill several garlands (don’t worry friend, I will be sending you more Blue clothespins!).

The process…First I enjoyed shopping through my huge stash of printed quilting weight cottons to assemble a group of calming blue prints (our girl loves the ocean!). Next I rotary cut several 3″ wide strips of varying lengths of each fabric and tied them onto a sturdy, nylon cording I picked up at Home Depot. I cord was about 10-11′ in length.

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I found that lovely gold toned painted sea star at Michaels. Using an awl I pierced a hole in the top of said sea star and used lightweight gold wire to attach it to the cording.

 

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On each end I tied on some natural raffia, a small shell and my own note of well wishes. Medium sized blue clothespins from Michaels will hold her cards in place. I am thrilled that she and her hubs hung the garland from their balcony…what a peaceful backdrop (thanks D for taking the photo!!). Enjoy and heal my friend!!

Shibori on the 4th!

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There’s something pretty exciting about having free time to dye fabric! And that’s just what I did this July 4th weekend. What a treat! The weather was absolutely perfect: sunny, warm, dry with a constant sweet breeze. So I set up my work station outside.

The plan was to Shibori dye tablecloths for summer entertaining, although I also threw in a bunch of scarves and summer cotton tops! My love affair with all things navy and indigo continues, so all three dye baths were of that color. I used Procion MX Reactive Dyes from Prochemical.

Shown above is a cotton/linen cloth with handkerchief style hemming that is quite long, about 100+ inches, perfect for my farmable. Rectangular wood shapes were placed inside accordion folds and bound with hemp. Here is a detail shot..

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Tablecloth #2 pictured below, also a rectangle and just a bit shorter in length, was also cotton but with a woven texture. I purchased it a while ago from Target. I accordion folded and then bound it crosswise with cotton cording.

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If you look closely in the detail shot, you can see the crosshatching design, which is was not only pretty but also added a nice heft to the cloth.

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This last tablecloth was actually gifted to me. Originally an midweight, ivory colored cotton canvas cloth, I bound it using the Japanese”Kumo” technique with cotton cording, thus creating a spiderweb design.

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A close up…

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I’m over the moon with the results from this dyeing session. Now I’m thinking that I need some cloth napkins to go with?!!