Friday, November 19, 2010

Of Bags and Buckles

If you've watched the promotional video I made for my book, Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design, and Inspiration, you've heard me describe the projects in this book as items I've wanted to design for a long time. Many of the projects are the result of ideas I've carried around for a long time. For instance I mentioned that the kitchen curtain that's featured in the book is a concept I've long wanted to play with. I'll often see something in a store or in a magazine and think it's interesting and then something about will just stick with me. That's the story behind one of the projects that was originally slated for the book, but, due to space constraints and the complexity of the project just didn't make the final cut.
 The impetus for this book bag was my desire to make a bag that had a bona fide, working buckle. This bag is all about that 3" buckle. Years ago I was at Hill Country Weavers and I saw a knitted bag with buckle on the cover of a Rowan magazine. I liked the bag, but I LOVED the buckle. What's more, I loved the concept of a bag with a buckle. I know that seems like a little detail to hone in on, but I put it in the back of my mind that one day I'd design a bag with a buckle.
The rest of the bag: the quilted interior and exterior, the placement of the flap, the binding encasing both the quilted flap and the interior seams, and all of the other details I had worked out in this previous design.
 But this was where I decided to add my buckle.
Interestingly, the bag that is in the book also has a design feature that I had in mind for years.
 This is my image of the Four Points Tote taken before the bag was sent off to Interweave Press last winter. The handles, however, were given to me by a friend several years back. At the time she was cleaning out her aged mother's house and found these wooden handles. She didn't know anything about them, but thought I could put them to good use. I set them on a shelf and there they sat and gathered dust. As I was planning the patchwork for the tote, I realized that I wanted to use those handles in the design. I checked to make sure they were a standard size so that folks could recreate the pattern without having to dig in some obscure place for similar handles and, once reassured, added them to my tote.
Now I have both bags in my home. The tote I've set aside until book promotion is over, but the buckled bag is already getting daily use. And, like a little kid, I am so loving buckling and unbuckling my bag.


Anonymous said...

Wow! I love both of them, but that buckle purse is really cute!!

Amy said...

Both are gorgeous, but the second one looks like a great bag for a knitting project! And it's beautiful. Wow. I'm always so impressed with what you do!

connie said...

Bags are so much fun to make. I have been making reclaimed wool bags. I love them. Hey, I see you are in the December/January American Craft Magazine. Way to go. Very nice article and photos. :-)

One Second Needle said...

Thanks for this great bags and buckles post. The pictures are wonderful!

Ingrid said...

wow that book of yours is a must have!

Claudia said...

I just wanted to let you know I received your book in the mail yesterday. I had preordered it and forgot. Almost buying a second one. It is beautiful. I would like to make everything in the book. I have been reading your blog for some time now and have thoroughly enjoyed. Keep up the great work!

Tanya said...

I love the crab bag -- I am guessing it was inspired by the molas made by the Kuna of Panama? Gorgeous!

Malka Dubrawsky said...

Hi Tanya,
The crab flap is a mola for the San Blas islands. A customer asked me to incorporate it into a bag, so I backed it, quilted it and included it in the flap.