Saturday, August 13, 2011

So Much to Catch Up On!

I’ve been a lousy blogger this month, but if you are as busy as I am in the summertime, I bet you haven’t even noticed!  Blogging seems to take a back seat when there are family get-togethers and vacations and all sorts of adventures in nice weather!
A Magnolia Pearl Handbag

Where to start???

We currently have Boho Fever at Crazy Quilting International.  Boho is a style popularized by Robyn Brown of Magnolia Pearl.  It’s a bohemian, hippy style - lots of lace, vintage fabrics (think carpetbags), trims and tassels.  It fits so well with the whole crazy quilting thing.   Pat Winter started earlier this summer with her boho bags, then Gerry did too when Susie went to visit her (and the barn).  They have all taken embellishment to the Nth degree, and each of their purses is nothing short of amazing.

So, last week I was accepted into a local boutique (one of the larger ones in the state, actually).  And it is in 5 weeks (or maybe 4 as I write this). Short notice to come up with “crazy quilt purses, farm girl aprons and wall hangings”.  Since the acceptance rate versus rejection rate is 1:5, I made it in by virtue of the fact that CQ is still a relative rarity in the boutique circuit.  It will be unique.

My mission, therefore, is to turn the Boho style into a QUICK CQ purse.  I would like to have between 18-25 purses made by Labor Day. Impossible? Probably, but I will get close.   Let me tell you about my preparation and my plan.

Although I did not begin with dyeing lace, I thought the pictures of the dyed lace in the evening sun were lovely, so I`ll show those as I blather on talk about my plan.  In my stash, I have collected a lot of home decorator fabrics over the years: tapestries, velvets, floral jacquards - lots of mid-weight variety and colors.  

To supplement it, I visited a couple local upscale furniture stores last week and was able to gather another couple bags of free fabric samples from discontinued fabric lines.

THAT’s when I dyed the lace.  Like a scavenger, I raided all my thick (and some thin too) laces. Anything that was too white got a little soak in a dye bath. While they were drying, I ran over to JoAnn’s fabrics to stock up on fusible fleece.  The fusible fleece I bought is very thin and supple, but adds a definite strength and stabilizing factor to the focal fabrics.

While I was at JoAnn’s, I picked up some trims that were on closeout, which I also used a discount coupon on.  Plus, they will give you a discount on the last portion on a bolt if you take it, so that was my very lucky night!!

And Gerry came to the rescue to fill in some holes in my colorways for me. We send each other “Care Packages” whenever one of us puts out an SOS to the other!  :-)  Thank you Gerry, they are lovely!

Lastly, I pulled all my supplementary fabrics (velvet, brocade, corduroy - yes, corduroy) and thinner laces, trims, etc, and sorted them by colorway.

Laces ready for action...

 Oooh, I see a couple pink bags in my near future!!

Some beaded home dec trims.  Glad I stocked up when they were on sale a couple years ago...

So, my first purse is basically a black and gold colorway.  There was one rose print tapestry sample fabric in that color, and I had just enough black trims to go with it.  Also, I figured if I messed it up too bad and couldn’t sell it, that would be a good color combo for yours truly.  Hehe. There is a method to my madness.

All I have left to do is tack on some velvet trim to the back and attach th=e//=/9  (that was my cat Boomer stepping on the keys.... he wants attention)... where was I?  Oh yeah, I still need to attach the strap.  I’m a little worried about that because the purse is so thick.  Should’ve done it in a prior step, but I was figuring out all the other stuff.   I might have saved myself a lot of grief, to say nothing of a couple hours time, if I had used a commercial pattern, but REALLY!  Who does that?

Here’s a sneak peek of one corner of the front flap.

And here is a sneak peek  of the back.  That’s the velvet I still have to attach.  When I post the completed pictures, I will explain what I did (in exchange for some honest comments and suggestions!!).

And finally, a picture of a little goldfinch I snapped through the front window this morning.  We have had a lot of smaller birds this year, which is delightful.  Probably because all those darn magpies and scrub jays have stayed away.

Now, I’m off to pay attention to that cat.  If I don’t I’ll be sorry at 3:00 a.m.

Cathy maroon


  1. Looks very sassy little lady! You are certainly busy these days.

  2. Your bag is wonderful! And, I surely wish you luck in completing your goal for the boutique! The BOHO bug has not bitten me yet...but it has been buzzing around my head. I think I'm waiting to read Pat Winter's upcoming article about her BOHO bag to fully commit! Of course, I'm knee deep in wedding preparations for my niece the BOHO bug will just have to buzz around a little longer! Hope you share photos of your bags as you finish them...I love the inspiration. Your work is always so creative and gorgeous!

  3. Oh I recognize those embroidered pink roses and some of that trim... Looks like you are moving right along.. Glad the stuff got there... I will be assembling mine tomorrow and have changed my mind hourly about the strap... Gerry K.

  4. OMG ..... the bag is wonderful!! You have captured the 'look' for sure. And so fast I can hardly believe it. I think you'll reach your goal in time and they will be a huge success!

  5. All that yummy lace!!!! I love the pink roses what a beautiful bag it will make. I love the casual elegance of these bags. I may need to dig around in my stash, so I will be ready when I see all these lovely bags you will be creating! Good Luck!

  6. Look at all this lovely stash - be still my heart! Can hardly wait to see your bags Cathy so don't forget to post. Congrats on your upcoming show. The boho bags on both Gerry's and Pat's blogs are lovely and no doubt yours will be too!!!

  7. Wow that's lot of future bags! Wigh you luck with your goal. All of the stash is just gorgeous and I love the lace !

  8. If anyone can do this it would be you. Great news that you made it in the sale.

    The one you showed looked great and I think they will be a great hit at a sale.



  9. Congratulations and Good Luck!! I am sure your bags will be most popular in the shop!

  10. Good luck in reaching your goal for the boutique. Your bags will be wonderful. I love what you've shown so far. Can't wait to see the final product. Love it all!


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