Ok, Just One More . . .

I swear, this leather repurposing is as addictive as chocolate . . . well, almost. ūüôā ¬†While the kids, my husband and I anxiously await my folks who are coming to visit after a road trip in southern Utah, I put some finishing touches on yet another bag. ¬†Once again, with an idea in my head, I drew up a pattern and stitched it up. ¬†I used the same printed leather as in my previous bag but flipped it over to show off the suede side for the bottom. ¬†I added a linen flower I had made awhile back which feels like icing on the cake for this basic tote.

Linen Rosebud Flower Tutorial | Entropy Always Wins.

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It’s such fun to give my friends back their donated leather re-imagined.

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A Quilt Finish

Woot! Woot!  I finished a quilt top and oh my I love this quilt.  It is a quilt of my own design made from repurposed jeans of ours and new and vintage linen with a touch of corduroy.  The fabrics make this quilt heavier then my other quilts and it feels reassuring somehow to cuddle up with a retake on my favorite old jeans.

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I tried to partially echo the Plus design from the front on the back and quilted this up on the diagonals.

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In other news, I came up with a design for the Umbrella Prints Trimmings Challenge (Umbrella Prints: Golden Ticket) and I’m super psyched to share it with you. ¬†Hope it comes out as I envision. ¬†Happy crafting!

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 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/48608470@N06/). ¬†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 (http://thanksimadethem.blogspot.com) 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.

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I pulled together some of my favorite Carolyn Friedlander Botanics and followed an online tutorial for a fold over clutch I had been eyeing. (http://youandmie.com/tag/foldover-clutch/)

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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!!

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Humbled

I have the most amazing group of artist friends. One of my faves is Vicki who is quite the world traveler and photographer. In addition to doing graduate work teaching Spanish, she is a part time dental hygienist who spends time every year going to remote locations of the world providing dental care to folks who have never seen a dentist or a hygienist. Yep, I know how to pick friends. Anyway, Vicki just returned from a trip to India and invited several of us over to see her pictures. Her work is lovely and the subject matter eye-opening. Seeing her photos of beautiful young women dressed in their colorful saris spreading dirt and gravel to repair the roads makes me think how underdressed I am most of the time in some variation of scrubs or yoga clothing.

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Travel too is one of my passions and I love the Mark Twain quote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness”. By seeing the world we gain a better understanding of other cultures and also a better insight into our own biases and beliefs.

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Vicki picked up some amazing textiles on her journey, one of which was an elaborate antique shirt that she had custom fitted. Despite some extensive time fitting her in India, the shirt was quite binding and she felt that she would never wear it. Knowing my love of textiles and repurposing, she offered it up to me to remake into something she would use. With great care and delicacy, I ripped seams and cut into this 90 year old garment. GASP! I used the back fabric to make a bag strap and folded the front into a simple bag shape. I used some of my own linen which i random straight line quilted with cotton and fusible batting as the liner to give the bag some extra structure. I then used a vintage button from my growing collection to help secure the top.

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I think she and I are both pleased with the result but hearing back from the person who helped her buy the original shirt gave me a chance to ponder. The town’s specialty are these handsewn textiles in which they rightly take huge pride. In the end, Vicki’s guide in India was also pleased with my repurposing but I think also a little surprised that I would alter it so. It gives me a better appreciation of all the handmade textiles I so treasure at home and overseas as well as the people and history involved in their making.