I think these early Amy Butler Charm strips and dots go well with her much newer graphic floral even though not one of the colors actually match. I like the cool tones they all have. Added the dark ribbon to ground it and was pleased to find it actually makes the flower centers pop and conveniently keeps your eye from noticing the color mismatch.
The ribbon was originally wrapped around a gift box from a long-ago boutique purchase. Squirreled it away thinking it would come in handy some day. One can't keep everything (or at least probably shouldn't), but just jump over and take a look at Julia's great new bag and you'll forever hang on to extra Elk hide. Don't have elk hide in your stash? Must be a Texan thing. Julia's been a sewing fiend lately, so be sure to scroll down and check out the clothes she's making.
Many of you have asked, so I've been trying to figure out ways to explain how I make these bags. As I've said before, I really do just whack them together. No pattern. No plan.
Each starts with a rough idea built around the individual fabrics, and is open to modification as I cut. For example, on this one I decided on making it just four inches deep, about half as much as previous totes. Also included a reinforced double pocket up high on the inside for my cell phone and keys, which always ended up lost in the bottom of my other bags. Inevitably I'd pull out a maxi pad with my phone in front of people.
I've also been thinking about having the stripes at the bottom and top and decided it looked right on this one. The strips top the inside lining too, and I'm delighted to say they all line up around that top edge. Can you say obsessive?
For me a project like this is a new puzzle, which is how I like it. It's fun to let it take shape as I work. To be honest, it's not been particularly relaxing to think about how to explain the process. I keep veering toward writing a full pattern, but I just don't want to. First, because I do it differently each time, but also because writing instructions is just too darned close to work. When I worked for money I wrote user manuals and in-house technical documentation for FDA controlled medical devices. I get focused and it's got to be perfect. Every parameter explained. Every path on the flowchart followed. It's made me a little crazy these past few days just thinking about it.
I'd much rather just pour a glass of red and admire my matched stripes.
But I promised, so I have taken some photos I'll share next time so you can see the steps. What I will share are construction techniques that I like, products I use and the general process.
This morning I had three tote bags on the table, but I couldn't get to them due to Mr. August. That's Raven back there on my little padded board. In a head slapping moment I now realize why I had to pick her silky black fur off my projects all day as I was ironing.
You can see by the ears he's only faking. But he didn't intend to budge.
Finally got him to move, only to return to the room to find him repositioned on a different project.
Oh, I want to show you that artwork on the sideboard and another. Still need to take them for proper framing, but for now they're propped in the dining room.
View from a Plane Window by R, age seven. The quilter in me LOVES this one.
Adobe by R, age nine.
She brought this one home roughly folded and stuffed in the bottom of her backpack with all the other flotsam and jetsam from her desk on the last day of school. She didn't like it because she didn't have time to add the roof and the perspective lines aren't perfect. I got out a stack of modern art books to show her that was just fine. This so much better in person because the think pastels create the effect of heavy paint - it has great texture. Right now it's just placed in this frame - matting this one for depth will be good for it.