Lightbulb Moment and Trail Tote

While I’m a tad paralyzed with how to move forward with quilt making (I have so many stinking ideas that keep coming up while driving or in yoga, I can’t decide which one to start next) I’ve been distracting myself with some more bag making out of leather.



I have a friend who lives in Silicon Valley and is the poster child for online innovation having been recruited and moved from Apple to Google and now Youtube all in this last year. (Of interest we met online through a political discussion group organized by a common ex-high school teacher friend.  In response to the gridlock in Washington, she included contacts across the country and world with a wide range of political ideals and we discussed everything from the validity of the “American Dream” to gun control-fascinating stuff!  Nic, this friend brought hilarious much needed levity to the group.)  In any case I wanted to make Nic who appreciated my handmades a manly bag that spoke to him being an “idea man”.  The problem was that after I made it, in my husband’s words it looked a little too “uterus” not lightbulb.  That might be OK for some but I didn’t figure my openly gay friend would be much interested in a female anatomy bag.  🙂  With the help of some Instagram friends I had a “lightbulb moment”.  I added gold metallic pen to the bottom and . . .  So much better, don’t you think?.

Another one of Noodlehead’s bag patterns, the Trail Tote kept me distracted as well ( Trail Tote Free Pattern: Robert Kaufman Fabric Company. ).  I decided to make my tomboy daughter a purse using the pattern for Christmas.




I adapted the bag pattern to fit my own plans trading out the front zipper for a large suede star and also replacing the  simple inner pocket with a zippered one.  I added an inner strip of leather to match the outer bag on the lining.  I think this concept keeps the lining fabric from peaking out and looks more professional.  This leather was so thick, I also bailed on the side piping. Donated repurposed leather and suede were the stars of these bags and I am very grateful to my crafty friends (Thanks! I made them!. and Spontaneous Threads.) for sending them to me.



Call Me a Bag Lady





I know, I know, more bags.   Playing with bag designs over the last week, I cut up a vintage Bemis feedsack and paired it with some red scrap leather and Japanese linen for a 3/4 size version of my Museum Bag.  This one is even better in person and the size is not too big, not too small . . . just right.  I’m finally converting these paper drawn pieces into plastic form for future use.

The extra red leather scraps also seemed to pair well with my husband’s motorcycle tire tubing that was waiting to be thrown away.  It was the first time I sewed with rubber and was delightfully easy.  That Pirelli insignia was too precious to throw away and I think my guy likes his new “Boy Bag”.  More leather and rubber to come (and undoubtably more bags) . . .



In Other News . . .

Was my work post too heavy?  Sorry guys, my life is such an interesting mix of ER, mommy and craft worlds mixed all into one.

In other news. . . my craft room has been bustling of late.  I was the lucky recipient of a suprise package from Texas.  My friend Bianca, knowing my affinity for repurposing leather sent me several thrift store jewels.

Thanks! I made them!.

I about died when I caught a glimpse of the leather orange skirt she sent.   Combined with some white leather remnants picked up from a local upholstery store and some orange circle fabric found on sale (8 yards for $5!!!) a bag design came into focus.  Initially, I was concerned that the leather skirt seams would make my bag idea impossible (the biggest challenge I have found with repurposing leather from coats and skirts is that it is hard to find large pieces without seams).  What a nice surprise to find that the seams compliment rather then detract from the bag.





Isn’t that lining fabric yummy?  I used both U clips for the handle and metal feet on this bag.  Both were new to me and thankfully easy.


I also got ahold of some awesome red leather remnants at the same upholstery store and whipped up this little bag.  Is there anyone out there who doesn’t love the Red Cross symbol?  Odd-ball zipper pulls also have me obsessing of late so I used an antique key as one for this bag.  No question, I need to find more of these keys!



Lastly, this Sunday I was surprised to see my quilt “Big Blue” picked as a Flickr pic of the week by Make/Craft Magazine online.  Very Fun!

CRAFT Flickr Pool Weekly Roundup | MAKE: Craft.


There are some more fun quilty things in the works but all must be put on hold for now.   Our family is going on an adventure (one that involves wetsuits and a lot of sunscreen).  Yippee!  Hope you too have a week of fun and adventure.


The Bianca Clutch

The digital age has changed irrevocably our day to day lives.  The way we interact and make connections has forever changed.  Through various forms of social media, we now can date (thank goodness I am married!!), we can reconnect with friends from high school and we can make new friends on line.  I was reminded of this recently when I received a surprise package from Texas. Via Flickr, I have been introduced to the work of many talented people.  One such person is Bianca (  Bianca has THE best style.  She makes clothes that compliment her so well and her hand stitching is amazing.  Soon I also discovered her blog ( where you can find great tutorials and inspiration.  Bianca somehow read my mind after I got my new industrial machine and picked up a leather jacket from a thrift shop for me.  Little did she know that I had been requesting old leather jackets from friends and family with the idea of repurposing to no avail!  In any case, Bianca’s wonderful gift came and today I decided to put my new machine and this leather to work.


I pulled together some of my favorite Carolyn Friedlander Botanics and followed an online tutorial for a fold over clutch I had been eyeing. (


To add some extra bulk to this quilting cotton I used a medium fusible interfacing and I quilted the lining. (This is one of my favorite bag making tricks as I often like a little more heft to my bags but prefer a smooth nonquilted outside.) My Juki did well and I am delighted with this bag. I only used a small amount of the leather in this coat and look forward to using more. Thank you so much Bianca!!