…and packing on the side.
Just the other day I came across this article on “Making Something Even If You Don’t Feel Like It” from one of my online news feeds that resonated with me and shows the importance of creating no matter what mood one is in. For the past couple of months I have had so many emails from blog followers concerned that I am turning away from textile art because I am letting go of my library and some of the art I have created over the years.
Well, I am posting today to assure you that creativity and art will never be far from my life. I am actively working on combining various disciplines, and at the moment photography seems to have taken on a primary focus (pun intended). It is easier to carry a camera with me than lugging around my 46 lb. sewing machine… which I am happy to report, was packed safely into its original box today ready for the impending move. (No, no definite new place or location yet… we are still waiting to hear if our place has sold. – Patience is a virtue… I keep telling myself that every day!)
Meanwhile I have resorted to creating with my hands (it will get me all excited about my sewing machine once I am in a new space). A little while ago I saw this CBC Marketplace report on cell phone safety. While I have never been in favour of tucking my mobile phone into my bra, this report certainly raised some other concerns. About the same time I was contemplating a new project around creating small bags inspired by Japanese Omiyage and Chirimen. Omiyage and Chirimen projects fit well into my focus of “Slow Stitching…”, just like Kantha!
It didn’t take long to put ideas together and come up with the plan to create a small bag for my cell phone. I recently upgraded to an iPhone 7 and it’s a bit larger than will fit safely into my exercise jacket for when I am out walking. Introducing bag # 1, created in the Chirimen style and using some of my quilting cotton remnants:
I love it and wear it all the time. I made the strap to go over my shoulder and rest just below my hip. It is roomy enough to hold my earbuds as well. I love to listen to digital books while I walk… No worries – the iPhone buds do not drown out environmental sounds… I still know when cars approach and even hear the birds chirping in the background.
Enter bag # 2: A girl can never have enough bags, right? I found that the first bag was great for everyday use but when it came to dressing up a bit I wanted something a little more stylish. I didn’t use a Chirimen pattern. I just pulled together some Asian inspired fabric and started:
I love this small bag. Just like the first bag, this one is fully lined and has enough space for earbuds. It is elegant and understated and two bags are great, adding versatility… but, three bags are better!
When I was approached by UK Stitch Magazine I proposed a Kantha Mobile Phone Bag ,and while I was waiting for the final approval I decided to just forge ahead. Well, the editors chose a larger project bag, so the cell phone bag was half-way done when I had to put it aside to design and create the magazine project.
Just this week I retrieved the Kantha Cell Phone Bag in its unfinished state. And as life suggests, I have so much else on the go that I just had to look for another project. It didn’t take long to finish the bag.
I loved working on each aspect. I chose words that I stitched in Outline Stitch and filled in with running stitches. The background was completed in the Kantha tradition. I used a hemp and silk blend fabric that I painted years ago. It was only a small piece of fabric ,and I had little use for it elsewhere but for the bag it was just right. This bag is lined with a silk kimono remnant and judging by the sturdiness of the hemp and silk outer fabric, this one will last a very long time. I just completed it this afternoon.
Here are close ups of the words I chose, each relating to the telephone. The words are “Talk”, “Call”, “Chat” and “Ring”.
Time to call it a day. Dinner is next – I wish an idea for that would come to me as easily as the idea for a new project in fabric…