Posts filed under ‘Bags’

Bag and books

Another catch up on items made in 2021. Early in 2019 we had a mini workshop at GeeTAG on using Inktense pencils and crayons. I decided to research different sea stars and created a panel of 8 on cotton fabric. I have used 4 of these on the komebukuro bag I made of leftover and recycled denim fabric. I added hand stitch and beading. The drawstring is half kumihimo cord and half wrapped cord with beads Effie Mitrofanis style. The lining is a cotton sateen second.

Sateen lining

My bookmaking has come to a standstill in the last 6 months due to working long hours but these are two coptic binding books I made earlier in 2020. The covers are some of my handmade paper using t-shirt material and recycled paper. Each signature has two sheets of drawing paper with a sheet of watercolour paper in the middle. The signatures are also wrapped in a sheet of contrasting hand made paper. The handmade paper seems to tear a little with the coptic binding so I need to investigate that further. I am currently also investigating how to prevent the cardboard cover from showing through the handmade paper and came across the process of making bookcloth here using rice or kozo paper and wheat paste. I will have a try at covering first with rice paper followed by the handmade paper to see if that gives a better result.

Coptic binding

The beginning of 2022 will be spent reorganising the creative making spaces and giving away anything I will not be using in the future. Then it will be onto my WIP list.

January 6, 2022 at 11:37 am 2 comments

The slow stitch boro bag

I am really enjoying the variety of bags that are appearing on India Flint’s bagstories group on Facebook. I began slow stitching a boro bag when I was recovering from surgery and couldn’t focus for long periods of time. It is a great project to pick up and continue in those little moments of rest. For this bag I used scraps of sari silk, indigo dyed kimono scraps, some eco dyed silk and some lovely natural dyed fabrics and threads from Arlee whose blog I follow.

I decided to stitch this in a quilterly way so layered the lining fabric (a lovely print of an indigenous painting), some padding and then the patches of scraps were pinned. The stitching evolved as I sat and stitched with no real premeditation. the strap also evolved, starting with some indigo dyed cotton-thanks Arlee, onto a wool blanket remnant. It was a little scrappy and not strong enough so I added a wrapping with the madder dyed (I think Arlee??) fabric. Some seams were machine stitched as there were so many layers. Having the padding means it will be perfect to carry my laptop to Uni for the PhD meetings.


I enjoyed this one so much I think I will start another in the Spring term break. Next time I will try using the doll needle (a tip I read somewhere) and use a wool blanket padding. I will also add the lining separately for a better internal finish.


August 4, 2018 at 7:13 pm 2 comments

Some slow stitch

I have been housebound the last two weeks following surgery so slow stitch by hand has been very therapeutic. I recently purchased a download version of India Flint’s bagstories self publication and have three bags in process. India has also started a Facebook group for sharing the results which provides lots of inspiration. The first two need finishing details. The first one I made from a remnant of linen and appliqued fragments of my ‘eco-printed’ silks and cottons. I added a strap using a cashmere and wool sample but find it a little long so I am thinking about how to remedy that. The lining is silk dyed/printed using iron water. It will have a closure added, still browsing the ideas on Facebook to decide on that.

Tsunobukuro bag

The second is hand stitched using squares of natural dyed and printed silks and cottons. It needs a closure of some kind and a strap, I will hopefully finish these over the coming days. The squares had some disappointing natural dyed cottons used like paper piecing in quilts so I will also add a full lining to finish and strengthen it, maybe cotton or linen as the outside is all silk. This is a picture of some of the squares in process:


little squares bag

The third bag is a very slow stitch one: a boro bag with lots of vintage indigo and sari bits, my own ‘ecoprints’ and I will also add some naturally dyed fabric and threads I purchased from Arlee Barr (be warned these took almost a month to arrive by post-blaming Australia post dis-service for that) once the base fabrics are secured.

Boro bag stitching

As well as these projects on the go and cogitating, I have just finished my contribution to India’s ‘gardens of the heart’ project which will culminate in an exhibition in South Australia early next year and also a publication of the resulting poems. Each participant is allocated line 1,2 or 3 of a short poem to stitch. Here is mine below using whipped chain stitch on natural dyed and printed bridal silk remnant, photographed among the she-oak and grevillea this morning (very dull morning today):



June 8, 2018 at 1:56 pm Leave a comment

Goldwork finished

I have been very busy over the last 3 months working on samplers and pieces for the Intermediate course in Goldwork with Alison Cole for Embroiderer’s Guild Victoria.

First piece was to be an initial (very little gold thread in there!)

Second piece was to be based on a traditional form of design-I chose Art Deco style and decorated this very cute round bag I found in an Op Shop (lots of gold, black and purple-Art Deco colours). The dodgy cotton padding was fixed before the gold purl was added :

Art Deco bag

Final piece was to be a major study of A4 size (approx.). This is to be the cover of a Triptych, which will be completed for our EGV Geelong 50th anniversary exhibition in September. The piece was embroidered as a set of separate slips (technically mostly silver work), I hand painted the background silk:




February 18, 2018 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment

Crewel work finished

I have had my crewel work returned from assessment (yet to receive the written summary but received positive feedback so all good). I really enjoyed crewel work, the texture of the wool, the quickness of the stitch up and the relaxation of hand stitchery. The intermediate course was a perfect winter activity!

Here are my finished pieces below, I haven’t photographed the samplers, maybe next time. All coursework will be on display at our upcoming biannual exhibition and should be mind blowing, there have been some wonderful portfolios of work produced over the last two years by some creative and accomplished stitchers. Well done everyone including the tutors.

The first piece is a bag made from a Nicole Mallalieu design. The embroidery includes free machine embroidery as well as the crewelwork and is on a pocket at the front of the bag. The design for this began with the vintage fabric I bought on a trip to A piece of Cloth. (I thought I had blogged about this visit but cannot find it, will do later) It includes left over light grey woollen fabric from a long ago project, dark grey woollen fabric from a pair of Op Shop trousers, heavy black fabric from a discount shop and some lovely red linen as lining. I have a magnetic catch on the pocket and a zipped gusset on the bag. Nicole’s pattern was a dream to sew with very explicit directions, however it is an advanced pattern so I wouldn’t attempt alone without a good background of sewing skills. It is very roomy and will be perfect for carrying lots of gear to GeeTAG group and workshops (and shopping trips!)


This cushion was designed from the roman blinds in our family room where this chair sits. It was great fun to stitch as we had to use 15-18 stitches so I could be very creative in applying the stitches even though it is a quite traditional design.

poppy cushion 1

This paperweight is one of the minor pieces made from one of the samplers. I chose a nice flat river stone from the garden and felted the wool over first. The embroidery was cut out and then needle turn appliqued into place. I had originally designed a lotus flower to embroider for this but ran out of time. Might do a matching one at some stage.

felted stone

Another minor piece: we had to do crewel embroidery over  a patterned piece of fabric. Most people embroidered over tapestry but I decided to make Claudia a cushion when I found the red patterned fabric. I cut out a motif and ironed onto a heavier fabric with vliesofix to make a sturdier base for the wool embroidery.

Claudia's Cushion 2

Claudia's Cushion 3


August 16, 2013 at 9:21 am 2 comments

Quilty time at AQC

Claudia and I joined Pauleen & Pauline for a train trip to the AQC last week in Melbourne.

Every time we went to listen to one of Dale‘s talks I had to go back to her stall to purchase something!! Totally deliberate on Dale’s part I am sure. Should be set now for the remainder of the year!!

Claudia and I went to watch a spring opening Japanese bag being made as we missed booking in for the class. (a project for the holidays) and then Claudia booked in to the Brother stall to make an origami bag. The lovely lady on the stall also gave her a pink one to make at home (another holiday project).

Claudia loved the quilt exhibitions and took photos of her favourites (she was especially into 3D and texture!). Sorry I didn’t get to note down who made which quilt.

Finally, just a pic from the Herald Sun. We tennis girls had fun sloshing a little champagne around for a HeraldSun photo shoot down at the beach:

You can read the whole story here.


April 17, 2011 at 10:47 pm 2 comments

Quickie Post

I am hoping to get back into the groove this week. Reports are almost finished and the term will begin to wind down soon for the mid year break. We have a couple of big events at school over the next two weeks (BER [thankyou Kevin Rudd] and a feast day).

I have been following on with the Holey Moley Group over the last six months but not actively taking part due to the thesis writing, however I may find some time to join the final challenge which is to use the techniques from the last six months on a ‘pocket’.

Tonight I sketched a few possibilities as to the shape of the pocket:

Just realised I spelt asymmetrical wrongly!!

I have also just downloaded the latest edition of WOW and there are a quite few ideas which could be applied as well. Great article about Dale in there too.


June 5, 2010 at 12:29 am 3 comments


February 2023

Notebook Project