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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

70th bag

This is a large (for me) project that I have been working on for some time without being able to blog about it. It is a 70th birthday gift for a friend of sixty years. As she follows my blog and I wanted this to be a surprise ( also wanted to make sure it worked!) I have had to hold of posting until after her birthdaylon 5th July. I began the project in late February - so it's been hard keeping it to myself. Fortunately my friend lives in another State (usually a disadvantage to me, but in this case advantageous) so plenty of stitching friends locally have seen it and encouraged me.

I began with the intention of embroidering a scarf with 70 flowers. Then, while reorganising my stash, I came across a shirt that my late husband bought in Bali in the 1990s. We both liked the fabric, which was printed with a batik block of four repeated human figures. When the yoke stitching gave way I kept it - perhaps to mend, perhaps to reuse.

It occurred to me that I could use it to make a bag for my friend. I cut two large rectangles - one from the shirt back and one from the two fronts stitched together. I backed them with wadding and cotton sheeting.
I then began embroidering the figures.

The goal was to embroider 70 figures - 35 on each of the two pieces, then join these two pieces together to form a large shopping - or crafting - tote bag.
It's been a lot of fun. My granddaughters got involved as did the Junior Embroiderers group at the Guild - identifying their favourite emerging figures and providing fashion advice and ideas.
Here's the first side finished in early April.
I will about post the other side - and the constructed article - soon.


margaret said...

what a wonderful transformation from a man`s shirt to this characterfull bag, such imagination to think of doing this it has worked perfectly, your friend`s face must have been one of amazement when she saw it. You mus also be thrilled that this labour of love has turned out so beautifully

Jillian said...

Thanks Margsret. Yes, I'm delighted with the outcome!