Monday, March 03, 2008

My entry for the Amy Butler bag contest

I'm anxiously awaiting results from the Amy Butler Sew Inspiring contest.

I made Amy's "Madison" bag, using a collage of her fabric designs.
Amy Butler 'Madison' Bag
(click on image to enlarge and zoom)

The entries are so amazing, I knew that if I wanted to stand out, I needed to do something completely different than everyone else.
I went up to Sowing Sisters and bought 15 Amy Butler fabrics, then 2 more at Beverly's.

And I just started cutting out floral motifs.

I didn't end up using all the fabric designs or colorways, but I used quite a few.
I collaged the floral motifs onto Amy's dark brown Lotus fabric.
I used Steam-a-Seam to initially hold the design in place, then I did stitching around each applique to secure it.
I didn't want the bulk of zigzag or satin stitch, so I used a straight stitch throughout, using a variegated thread by King Tut.

Back and flap:
back of bag and flap

detail area, back of bag:
stitching detail (back of bag)
you really need to see these photos larger. The only thing I don't like about Flickr is the sizing of horizontal photos for blogging.

more detail:
more stitching detail (back of bag)
For example, here the large green flower, the blue leaves, and both pink flowers are appliques. Well, to be clear, some of the blue leaves are part of the green flower fabric, but others are added on.

I added detail stitching to add interest, again simply using the straight stitch.
The fill areas are just a back-and-forth motion.
Yes, it probably would have been easier with an embroidery machine, but I don't have one (and I'm not really a fan anyway. I prefer hand-stitched embroidery).
And yes, it probably would have made more sense to drop the feed dogs and do random stitching that way (but I don't know how to stipple, etc. I would like to learn though).
But the straight stitching worked out fine I think.

side of Madison Bag
Matching that flap was not the easiest thing in the world.
Truth be told, after these pics were taken, I took the flap apart and am in the process of redoing an area that wasn't perfect enough.
Hence no photos of the cute lining yet.
I'm without a sewing machine this week, but I'll post when I fix it.

Here's a detail of the area under the flap, on the front:
detail front of bag
and here too:
more detail front of bag.
Here the small green flower, and the large lovely blooms on the top are all appliques. The flower on the left corner matches the background fabric, but is an applique in a different colorway.

I tried to lay out a pattern that still highlighted areas of the background design too, while adding new elements in a cohesive way.
I had to be careful not to get cluttered or over the top.
Basically, I made a new Amy Butler fabric, using Amy Butler fabrics.

Anyway, cross your fingers for me.
I know some of the entrants will be disqualified for entering more than one bag (a shame, because there are some really good ones that fall into that category).
But that still leaves stiff competition.
It was a fun contest though, I'm happy with my bag, as well as with really having tested my creativity and skills (always a good thing, because I really think I'm growing lately).



Blogger Rebecca said...

Barb, I love it! The applique idea is very unique. And so much time put into it!


12:37 PM  
Blogger Vallen said...

That is truly a work of art and you make it look so effortless although I know that it wasn't. Beautiful.

2:47 PM  
Blogger Pattie - Chicagoland, IL said...

Oh Barb this is just beautiful. Your sewing and unique ideas are always a thrill to see. Good luck!

3:23 PM  
Blogger Monds & Mayberry said...

Beautiful! I love the details!

5:58 PM  
Blogger Cindy Is Crafty said...

Awesome, Barb. {fingers crossed}

6:24 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

It's a beauty Barb. Great original idea and skillful execution, You're right satin stitch would have really detracted from the flowers while your straight stitching really highlights them. Wishing you luck

7:20 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

WOW!!!!!!!!! I am incredibly impressed by this lovely creation!!! What a fabulous demonstration of some great talent! Good luck on the contest, I sure would say you are a winner!!!!

10:23 PM  
Blogger Jennifer W. said...

So unique and creative! A sure winner in my book!

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great idea! It turned out beautifully!

11:12 PM  
Blogger Gina E. said...

Gee, that's a lot of work. Is it insured?? Enjoy using it!

8:24 AM  
Blogger nayandra said...

It's a hi from Indonesia,
Don't know where to start but your bag is awesome. Keep up the good work:)...

12:08 AM  

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