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.
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.