I stitched up (yet another :)) tote bag. I made changes to this one, too…
Inset handles, instead of after thought ones.
Single side quilting with a lining, instead of quilting all three layers at once.
Every time I finish a bag for a moment I contemplate keeping it. I enjoy so much having that finished object in my hand. I love the feel of the fabrics and uniqueness of handmade. My selfish self says ‘Keep It Keep It!’
In the end I don’t keep them; I wrap them up in our homemade coloring page wrapping paper, add a yarn bow, and add it to my gift pile. With my master list of friends and family I check one more name off and begin again. I’ll repeat that cycle of make, want, gift many times over the next month. It’s the rhythm of my holidays.
The beginning of the cycle begins again…
I start with a finished object in mind, and a person it’s intended to be for. What’s their favorite color combo? What style might they like? What new technique do I want to try? What do I envision them using it for?
I pull fabrics from the stash as I roll the ideas around in my head. Images come to mind, thoughts on construction. Sometimes I pull fabric and I lay it out and I don’t know just where I’m headed yet. I walk away, grab some breakfast, watch a show, work on a already in progress something. Letting the idea sit in the back while it gathers itself together.
If it doesn’t gather, I change the fabric, change direction, think about a different intent. Sooner or later it gels in my brain and I can begin to cut and stitch and mostly feel my way along the process. All the other things I’ve made informing the steps I take, and if not, a seam ripper at the ready. (Even though I sigh and cringe as I use it.)
I rarely stop mid-way once I begin this kind of project. Unless I find myself making so many mistakes it’s no longer fun but frustrating. I tunnel vision my way to the last stitch. To the ‘Oh, I want to keep it!’ moment. Then I take a picture, (to remember my proud mama moment) wrap it up, mark it off, begin again.