Tag Archives: grey

Patchwork tote

We all know about the evils of plastic bags … aside from their inherent ugliness, and the fact that they cut into your hands something beastly when they’re full, the environmental impact outweighs all of these by some distance. Their manufacture is carbon intensive, they take hundreds of years to degrade in landfill, and they’re a menace to flora and fauna if dropped and left to blow around the place.

How about an attractive alternative?

Patchworked from reclaimed denim and corduroy jeans, this tote is a monochrome dream with a flash of purple to lift it out of sombre winter dullness … purple silk trim around the top and on the handles, and an abstract machine-embroidered floral design to complement the colour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve left pocket details from the original garments on each end of the bag … handy little receptacles for phones, keys, and the other small but vital bits and pieces that inevitably sink to the bottom of big bags!

It’s lined in a sturdy black cotton … I love the way the purple embroidery really pops colour on the black … and it makes the bag reversible, should you fancy a change of mood.

But would you want to, with these gorgeous, sweetly patterned, appliqued cotton jersey roses on the outside?

And look … another pocket on the front …

I love this bag … it’s costing me a real pang to part with it! But it’s available right now in my Etsy shop – a completely unique, one of a kind bag that’s practical, stylish and environmentally friendly.

Summer Quilt

The summer holidays are upon us, and I’m winding down for a couple of weeks … family holiday time – YAY!! I’m so looking forward to spending a couple of weeks with the family, without all the rushing about that seems to attend term-time life.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not sewing 😉

I’ve started a little summer quilt – it’s only 1 metre square, but will make a nice little lap quilt, or throw, perhaps.

Lovely subdued shades of blue, turquoise and lilac woven into grey and smokey faded blue denims, seven delicious boro-woven blocks, on the hoop and ready for the surface embroidery that’ll hold it all together.

This is rapidly becoming one of my favourite ways of working … a little more time-consuming than conventional patchwork – even hand-pieced patchwork – but I love the way the stitching and the strips of fabric come together to make a new, complete fabric.

I’m keeping the stitching pretty simple, though – mostly just closely spaced running stitch, but with some detailed work in the two central diamonds … a little lazy daisy, overlaid with trellis stitch, and cross stitch to heal the edges. It is odd how working with stitches in this way sometimes reveals the original functional elements of a stitch that is generally used for decorative purposes: cross stitch is an excellent stitch for hemming (as is chevron stitch, I note in passing).

I have used the vivid orange just for a splash of contrast colour … I don’t think there will be a lot more of it, maybe a couple of lines more, enough to make it a coherent statement, but no more. I don’t want it to dominate.

I have been looking at Sami quilts, and admiring the way that fabric is so simple, but adorned with the rows and rows of running stitch, broken by stitched pattern here and there, uniting layers of fabric to a single and warm hole.

I’m experimenting with the same technique here … I haven’t put any wadding in this quilt, but there are four layers of fabric, not counting the quilt top, to manage the structural elements and cuts and twists I’ve made.

The weight is quite satisfying, and the softness of the worn fabric makes this quilt a pleasure to work. And its simplicity means that it’s a great project for the holidays ….

If you’re on your holidays, I hope you’re having a wonderful time. I’ll be back in the middle of August, hopefully with batteries fully recharged!