Tea Towel Tote
I tried to email some of you to give you a heads up, but the email got kicked back to me.
Check your local listing to see when the three hour-long episodes repeat.
The show features artisans around the US who specialize in weaving, quilting, blacksmithing, jewelry, sculpture, furniture, etc.
Okay, onward to my submission to the first purse challenge.
I was faced with my own challenge during this project--my eyesight.
I just can't see up close anymore.
Time for reading glasses (groan...).
So this was more difficult than I intended.
So forgive my less-than-perfect stitches this time around.
My tea towel tote started when I found a tea towel hanging in a thrift store for 65 cents.
It still had a little gold sticker on it that stated it was linen.
It was stiff and unused, and I just assumed it was vintage.
I paired it with a plaid in a similar color scheme (an odd brownish, brick red), and a beige linen, both given to me by a friend of my mom who used to be a professional seamstress.
I decided to use one of my vintage patterns, and was pleasantly surprised with how this pattern comes together--I'm sure I'll use it again.
The construction technique was completely different than any other bag I've made previously.
That in itself has been a fun learning experience.
The towel said "Arabic Snacks", and had several recipes.
I utilized the main portion of the towel as the outer pocket.
I actually had the presence of mind to reverse the two portions of the strap, so they hang identically.
I had a few scraps left with recipes written on them...so I thought I might incorporate those somehow on the back.
Initially I was going to place a recipe for hummus and arabic coffee on the back (those were the scraps left), above the large piece that I had placed on the bottom of the back piece.
But it was just too plonked on there. There was no cohesiveness.
So I decided to cut the scraps up at random and do a sort-of seminole quilting technique, but without precision.
I was initially disappointed with myself for being so rash and ruining a perfectly good piece of text.
But I'm trying to get away from being glued to my ruler and a pattern guide.
I figure any sort of experimentation is both freeing and a learning experience.
So I made a band encased with bias strips I cut out of the plaid fabric,
but it was just missing something.
Then it came to me!
I decided to copy two images from a cookbook onto fabric.
I found the cookbook in a box of freebies at the library (written about here. One pic, and the other pic)
Using the entire page was overkill, so I just cut out the woman and placed her to the left under the band.
I then copied the lamp onto shrink plastic and made two buttons, in two sizes.
I like to work in odd numbers, and travel the eye around to (in this instance ) three places.
I think these elements added a unique twist, and the added interest I needed.
On the front, I didn't like the plain 'Kingdom of Saudi Arabia' design, so I partially covered it with a bowl of something (a dessert probably) from the same cookbook page.
I then took a coin from the United Arab Emirates with matching jug imagery
(I found this when working in a cash vault, and couldn't believe my luck. It's so perfect for this project).
I glued the coin to the back of a button-cover to give it a shank, thereby making it into a button.
See how it's the same coffee pot? Cool, huh?
So I accomplished what I intended, which was to learn, to grow, to try something new.
The gallery of all the purses submitted for the challenge will be posted tomorrow (link on my other blog).