Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ta-Da! Done! This project kept getting carried around and driven around and went all over the US but I never seemed to work on it. I was pushed to finish it up this morning as an additional gift for my 14 year old granddaughter. It's just big enough to hold a few "necessaries" and I can say it's done!

My biggest problem with this was trying to find a way to coordinate bits and pieces of tatting odds and ends. I've tried several layouts and yet, in the end, I just picked up whatever looked okay and went with it. Otherwise, I was going to be tatting new stuff to go with it and I didn't want to do that.

Merry Christmas Everyone!


Sunday, October 21, 2007

I haven't forgotten this one. I've just been very busy with prior committments that will go on for yet another month...and then we have the holidays. So I've been gathering up my tatted bits that seem to be in bags all over the place, and trying to find a way to use them here. I was just playing around with this concept but I hope I have enough bits that will co-ordinate. I don't want to have to tat something to use on it since the point is to use what you already have.

Anyway, I can work on the bits and pieces when I am between other projects or just need a break.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bag 1 of 3

A couple of years ago I designed a basketful of 3D flowers for the newsletter. I had intended on attaching them to a pillow. Two years later they were still laying on the top of a box waiting. I had to move them off of the box top to get into the box and I slid them onto one of my black craft bags. They looked pretty good, so I took the long car ride to the family reunion to sew them down. I was sewing them onto a bag stuffed full of picnic stuff like extra jeans shirts jackets and whatever didn't fit into the picnic hamper, so they didn't get positioned quite where I wanted them and I wasn't about to un-stitch them. Fortunately there were a couple of little butterflies stuck in the bag just the right size to fill in the gaps. So here's the first of my bags.

I figure I'll have to do 3 bags because as I posted on my personal blog, I already have 2 pre-made bags and the whole point of this exercise was to make a bag from jeans. My jeans are black and both bags are black so it looks like a black background is going to be a recurring theme.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Not Quite 1/4 Done

It needs more butterflies and flowers, but the right side of the front of my jeans purse is nearly done. The free-form bit seems to work as a pond -- at least the family thinks it does. That's one of Jane Eborall's flamingos standing in the pond (the Pamela Myers version), and Jane's swan. I decided the swan had to be a duck, though -- the size compare to the flamingo means it's too little to be a swan. The fishes I found somewhere on the web years ago and have been doing them as doodles ever since. If you recognize them as yours, please let me know! [11-10-2007, found the fish -- they are Sharon Albers' "Little Fishies"] Finally I've done a lot of four ring butterflies to set off the profile butterfly by Sherry Pence. Then I modified Sherry's pattern slightly and made a whole butterfly with it. Still -- it needs more little flowers and more little butterflies. I'm going to make more and sew 'em on as soon as my hand is working right (er, left...)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Better late than never . . .

Well, I suppose I win the award for being last to join the party. Unfortunately, just after deciding to do this challenge, my hubby and I spent a month apartment hunting and then moved. I'm finally fairly settled and most of my craft supplies are unpacked and roughly organized.

While I was going through my fabric stash, I came across some denim scraps someone had given me years ago and got my inspiration. I'm calling my project a Mock Crazy Quilt bag. I love the way tatting looks in crazy quilting, but denim just isn't conducive to quilting of any sort, so this is what I came up with:

I've obviously got a LOT more tatting to do to fill up this bag. So far it has some projects that were abandoned for one reason or another: the bridal headpiece start (I broke down and bought a tiara. I was already tatting the edging on my veil, sewing my dress, and crocheting a shawl as a gift for my maid-of-honor. There just wasn't enough time!), some edging ideas that I didn't end up using,

Along with a doily that I could never get to lay quite right. Shouldn't have fidgeted with the pattern, I suppose. And some random medallion and motif bits.

So far I like it. I have to find a way to get my little turtle in since he's sitting in a display case all lonely. I'll also probably do some stem stitch in an open space and sew on some of the little flowers I do with spare thread for scrapbooking and card making. Nothing will be sewn down until I'm sure I'm happy. I don't know if I'll do both sides of the bag or not. Depends on my free time. I'm cross-stitching a wedding present and knitting and crocheting baby sets to fill orders, so there's no telling. I'll be back. I'll try to get the handles on the bag this weekend.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Tatted Denim bag finished (until I find something else to put on it!)

The first picture is of the front and the second is of the back. Everything is fastened down except the petals of the gerbera daisy. I'm working on that. Securing the tatting was a big job, but I had fun selecting and arranging my little garden. Some of you will recognize the three strips of tatting on the bottom left of the back as the first three attempts at designing my own lace for the wedding hanky. I just had to include them. I am tatting a heart from the May Handy Hands newsletter right now that might end up on here. Also, my MIL just brought me two pair of jeans that would make pretty bags. We'll see!

Monday, July 30, 2007

I'm finally working on it, but I'm cheating!

When you don't have, or want, a sewing machine, it's difficult to turn a pair of jeans into a tatted bag! So, I bought this messenger bag on sale at Kohl's this Saturday for half price! It's big, but I figure it will hold most anything I need. The front is a flap that opens to reveal lots of pockets and even slots for credit cards!

The top picture with the pre-embroidered flowers on the lower right is the front. The other is the back and part of the side. I haven't sewn any of the tatting down yet. I just have them pinned until I'm sure what I want to do. I just can't wait to start sewing them down, NOT! I would love to just glue them down, but hate to lose some of them that I've worked so hard and long on.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Small Progress

...but not much, because I changed my mind about what to do. This time it is a firm decision: I sewed the two "theme setters" onto the front pocket openings; the sun and the moon. I'm going to be adding stars to the side with the moon. I'm not certain these are the ones I'm going to use, but am certain they will be colored stars. I decided to use beads, too. I'm a crow -- if it's shiny I want it! Both the sun and moon are made with rows of split rings from DMC size 80 threads.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Photos of my bag

This is how far I have decorated the front, I have added a few beads that were floating around my tatting box. And all my learning motifs that I didn't know what to use for. I haven't decided what to use for handles yet, The back is only just begun, I found a long piece of shiny gold chiffon, so twisted it and couched it on for a different effect, Am now wondering what to do next, so back to gazing mode!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Just in case anyone needed some guidance.
:-) Gina

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The final bit .....for now.

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I decided to use my edging to finish off the other rear pocket. I think I'll leave the purse as it is for now. I may decide to add more embellishments in the future.
Now I am just going to enjoy using it and I am sure the purse itself will become somewhat of an ambassador for tatting when I am out in the public. I'll have to be sure to bring along my tating brochures to pass out to those who are interested.

Small Beginnings

I started! So far I just have two pieces done. The first one was a bit of pocket lace -- very tentative start. Those aren't beads; they're pin heads. I don't want to fasten anything down until I'm ready with everything. If I decide to change something, it's easier that way. The other piece is really free-form. I don't want to say what it is until I see if it's going to work! It will go on the opposite side of the front of the purse from the lace and will be combined with a whole bunch of little things. I've been saving these little shuttle-end tattlings for months. I probably won't even use them all. The long threads are to attach the pieces to the purse. I'm thinking of using some embroidery stitches to tack it all down. I'm still not certain how well that might work.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Backside of Purse

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I was able to tat two more items for the backside of my little purse. This is a small purse and just my style. I loaded it up with my personal items and gave it a test run and guess what? It's my new favorite purse!
I just LOVE it!
In the beginning I thought this one would be a give away, but nope, I'm going to be selfish and keep it all to myself and I couldn't be more delighted.
The tatting on this purse is in size 80 thread. The gorgeous brown thread belonged to my great grandmother and was given to me recently by a great aunt along with one of her shuttles. So it makes this purse extra special.
I attached the tatting to the purse by carefully sewing it with invisible thread. Talk about a pain in the tush, but well worth it in the end.

Here's just a side note. If you, as I do, suffer from ....let's say ...a rather large "posterior region" apparently pockets on the back of your pants minimize the appearance of the size of your rear. Whereas pants with nothing on the tush area maximize it. I believe this to be true.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Change of plans

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This is my little sister's purse which I promised to post here. I have been trying to teach her to tat for quite some time. She was successfull with rings and chains but she soon lost interest. Aw well, I tried. She spent a lot of time sewing on all those little buttons. Cute eh?

So I abandoned my little skirt purse because I couldn't get inspired by it and most of all I couldn't visualize what it was going to look like in the end. I think I was caught up in my dislike for pastel colors so I went back to the drawing board. I found a dollar thrift store and bought some tiny jeans. It was hard to cut them up because I have a lot of tiny people in my life that would have looked so cute in them!
Anyway, because of the recent dog attack that has left my right hand damaged, I haven't been able to get a whole lot done. But I did pick up the tatting last night and stubbornly plodded on. I tatted these original butterflies and made up a flower pattern on the fly. What would normally have taken a couple of hours has taken me two full days. The tatting is terrible, because my tensioning is out the window and I had to stop every few stitches because of the pain. But anyway, I am thankful that I am tatting at all and hoping it will all heal up soon.
These colors are much more my personal style and I can envision a lot more to come for this purse. This is just a start.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I got the old jeans

I found a very worn-out jeans from under some old clothes and gave it a wash, and you can see here that it is really very faded.

I plan to make the bag from scratch. I was looking at it for a long time trying to figure out how to begin. Finally, I took out the scissors and cut it along the inside seams of both legs. Now that it is laid out flat, hopefully I can get a better idea of how to make the bag. I want to keep the back pockets as part of the bag.

Well, that is as far as I got at the moment. But I am getting ideas, now that I can see as a flat piece of fabric and not as a pair of jeans.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Saw an example

I was in Memphis this past week on business and went to Hobby Lobby. They were selling jean purses, all decorated and ready to go. What I noticed is they made the bag a lot differently than I am. The center front and center back of the jeans were the side seams of the purse, so the fly of the jeans had been removed. That gave you a back pocet and side pocket on the front of the purse, and they had made the back side a single zipper pocket. Interesting approach- not the angle I had thought of.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Found My Bag

Naturally, it was right where I left it ... I just had a hard time remembering where that was. It was with all the other purses I don't use on a regular basis. It's completely undecorated right now. It has a gusset in the bottom, a zipper in the top gusset, and a nice lining. That makes a secret hiding place if I unzip the front zipper, but it looks a bit bizarre if I go rooting around in there!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Gathering my stuff

I now have the jeans and all sewing items needed to assemble my purse. I'm working on collecting my tatting now. My 3-year-old daughter Emma helped me bead the handles last night, so I'm on my way!

Friday, May 25, 2007

A Previous Small Bag I have Decorated

I have never tried to decorate bags until I particpated in the Jan 2006 bag exchange organised by Mary Donohue. Besides the 2 bags I sent to my partners, I decorated a 3rd one which is similar to 1 of the 2 bags I sent out. The ready-made canvas bag was about 5.5" by 4". I tatted the flower motifs from a Japanese book with Coats 20 threads and glued them on the bag with fabric glue. I must say although I'm quite pleased with the bag, I have not used it much, perhaps from fear of dirtying it.

Well, for this current challenge, I have a bag bought previously - 12" by 9" dark blue denim. It's plain on both sides, but with a beaded Chinese character on the 3" wide strap on each side of the bag. I'm starting slowly on this project. Just finished a flower motif from Jan Stawasz's book. I'm planning to tat more of Jan's flower motifs in different colours for 1 face of the bag. Well, pictures in the next post.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Getting it together:)

I am slowly getting my things together to make my bag. I have a old well worn pair of jeans from hubby to cut the legs off of. The neat part is they are button up 501's . Thought that is really kool for the effects sake. Not to mention the added pockets. I figure I will make good use of the fringing along the bottom once I cut the legs off. I have some tatting I intend to applique direct to the jeans. So far Karey Solomon's Buttonwood pattern. I made this pattern in Valdani variegated thread for the trunk and branches and Trebizon Pure Silk thread because I didn't have any size 10. I used the long picots instead of joining to the button simply because it's my personal quirk, I don't like thread showing over the button in the joins. But the disadvantage is the button will need to be secured when sewn down because it tends to flip otherwise. The buttons I got from JoAnn Fabrics. I really like the effect of the spiral chains to make the branches. Over all this patter doesn't stand on its own because of the nature of the pattern so it's ideal for this project and the applique.

Another tatting I will attach to the bag is an 8 point snowflake. This one is a pattern by Patti Duff from 1999. It's called Deep Scallop Edging Snowflake. The way the snowflake is constructed one gets creates 3D effect that makes it look more like a flower than a snowflake. It's really easy to make. I got one done in a evening working on it off and on. It's made with Olympus Thread size 40 and size 11 Charlotte beads. Sorry it got kinda squashed in the scanner. But basically when the center is gathered up it creates to layers to make it look 3D. I need to find a nice jewel to add to the center as well.
This was an interesting experience first time I have ever used this blogger thing. Funny I find making web pages from scratch much easier...LOL The pictures don't keep disappearing on me and the text stays where I put it.
Happiest Tatting,

Monday, May 21, 2007

Pockets on the inside

Well, I now have two itty-bitty pair of jeans from my daughter. I was thinking about turning them inside out so the pockets would be inside to hold stuff. Also, I found a little denim skirt that would make a nice purse. I'll have to decide.

In the meantime, we had a calamity at MIL's house Friday afternoon. Long story, but a wreck in front of the house ripped the power off of the house which caused a fire. No one was hurt and damage is light compared to other horror stories. However the house is not fit for habitation and we have her, (and her two little dogs), in a motel room right now. I'm fighting with two insurance companies. The lady at fault called her company and told them she hit a mailbox! She clipped a power pole in half and kept on going for about 60 more feet! I don't think she did that going the speed limit! Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we try to sort through all of this red tape and get the house fixed. Maybe I can tat while we sit in court! HAHA!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007


I have identifed my victim. I found a pair of jeans in my closet that would take Cinderella's fairy godmother to get me back into. I will sacrifice them to Pursephone (goddess of purses). Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Oh, for Pete's Sake! I'm sorting and cleaning and in that batch of clearance stuff I bought, there IS a denim sling this will be next on the agenda.
:-) Gina
Speed sewing a bag! Fun to watch....put your tatting where the pipe is painted on this one.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Making of another bag

I know I have already made one before this challenge came about......still have to take a pic of it to show you........but there is no reason why I can't make another. This time I am going to make it a backpack style with a top loop and long straps to go over my arms with a draw string closure and flap that will buckle. I could use a backpack to carry my things to and from work. I walk to work when I can and even tho I have a black leather briefcase with a shoulder strap and is becoming really heavy lately, I think this will be more sporty looking. And then adorn it with my tatting bits. Actually I think I will use the motifs and edgings from other tatters that I have received in exchanges when I used to do a lot of that. No sense in letting them sit idle in a folder and never see daylight! This way they can be shown :)

Thanks Sharon for providing this challenge.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Good Parts Purse

Yup. Mom and I made a couple in ...hmmmmm... late 1970 or early 1980. They use the top of the pair of jeans -- hence what mom called just "the good part". I've still got mine. I think I'll just decorate one of those, because mom did all the really difficult sewing. Mine have a gusset in the top and bottom, are lined and have a zipper closure in the top. I have not yet hunted one out, but have been saving all my bits and pieces for it. I'm thinking I'll just cover it completely...without a specific design motif.

Ok, I'm here...... to find an old pair of jeans that I am allowed to cut up.
I only have 2 pair to my name right now.. One I inherited from my Mom after she died, and another I found at Value Village.....I've grown out of the others and am keeping them for ......when I get a smaller posterior.
I guess I could raid the boys's piles, hmmmmmmm?
I know how to make the bags, have done that in the past. Shades of the 1970's ....... and High School.
I'll get on it and post again soon.....
Hugs to all,
CyameseTats aka Lynda

It'll be a slow start ......

..... but since Sharon said there is no time limit to this, I have decided to jump in as well. Thank you Sharon for the invitation.

I have taken out an old pair of very faded jeans. Have not worn it for a long time because of a broken zipper. Nothing is done to it yet, it is just lying there on my bed. Still working up ideas in my head and have not put anything down.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I decided to warm up with a jewelry bag kit from DMC Linea on clearance a few years ago for $2.00. The bag is premade and has lines stamped for embroidery but no floss or anything. I decided to use some leftover rayon floss. The embroidery is done in outline stitch. Embroidery is not my strong point but I enjoy it sometimes. I started that part tonight. I'll be glad to get it done - this isn't my favorite part. In the meantime, I tried out a motif I made a long time ago, intending to use it as an insertion on "something" but that "something" hasn't appeared yet. The motif is too big and a color not good for this but I like the shape so I may tat another version in a smaller thread and see how it looks.

I like the idea of using my bits and pieces to put on there and look at so I can get an idea of how it will look before I go to the trouble of tatting something.

Friday, May 11, 2007

waiting to start

Okay, I don't wear jeans. I can't wear jeans. I wear a leg brace and my legs are different lengths anyway, so you wouldn't want to see what I look like in jeans - neither would I - so I don't own a pair.

But I got brave at work, so I asked my boss if he had a spare pair. He did - they're incredibly ratty and threadbare and bleached-out, and came with comments along the lines of "At last we're getting into each others' pants." I put them on a kitchen chair when I got home and couldn't bring myself to do anything with them.

Yesterday I stopped at a thrift shop and got a pair of nearly new, size 10 Calvin Klein jeans for $1. They're a deep blue and they'd work well... except I looked at them again and thought, they might just fit my step-daughter. So I'll wait until she has a chance to look at them before I decide. I might be back to no jeans again... or have to work with John's bleached-out pair.

But I'm very slowly making progress...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Phase 1

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Since I own only three pairs of jeans I decided to go to the thrift store to purchase some. I found that all the adult jeans were too large for my liking so I went to the childrens section. I found this little girl's skirt(shorts underneath) would suit perfectly for what I have in mind. It already has some embellishment and I intend to incooporate it into the overall design.
I bought another piece for my sister so that she too can join in on this challenge. I will post pics of her work too.

Need Jeans!

I'm still waiting on my daughter to bring me a pair of her jeans. Maybe I will just go to the local thrift store and find a pair. (Her's might be too small anyway.) I have all of my bits and pieces in a bag ready to go!

Working on it!!

I have arrived and have made a start, but not worth a picture yet, just a lot of placing and standing back so far, will get my rear in gear soon,

Monday, May 7, 2007

More Bag Information

In answer to several questions about the bags in no particular order.

  • Does the bag have to be denim? No. You can use what you like.
  • Can I use just the leg of the jeans? Yes. The important part is covering it with tatting.
  • I can't sew, can I use a premade bag? Yes
  • Sounds like fun, can I join? Yes, just send me your email address here so that you can post your progress on this blog.

The following links will take you to various web sites with instructions on constructing a bag, ideas for making different kinds of bags and some for decorating bags. Notice that one of the links shows bags made out of nothing more than the back pockets. This is great for beginner tatters who don't have a big stash of tatted bits to work with. Purple links for How-To pages, Green links for eye candy.

In a minute ago blog - Bags of fun


Croque-choux blog - It's in the bag

Stephanie's Stitching Studio - Tote bags

Bootie Bags! - Bags

Margaritaville store - Denim Jean Bags

Huabags - Bags

Ethnicware Limited Co - Fashionable Bag

CraftBits - Recycled Overalls Bag

Craftzine - Make a recycled jeans backpack

ReThreds - Handbags

DIY Network - Recycled Jeans Pocket

WSU 4H program - Big chunks into Tote bags --PDF file

Lacy Days - Recycled jeans

Craftster Org - Jeans to Backpack

Craftster Org - Lazy Girl Backpack

Celtic's Lacing - Hector tatting event bags

The Creative Process

That's a nice way of saying "I haven't started yet, but I'm thinking about it." In my mind, I see an English garden with a small table covered in a lace cloth... Whoops! Too much information!
Maybe I'll have something to show before too long!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

New Tatting Challenge

OK. So here we are with a new challenge. I started writing about this on my blog here and to save time and space I won't repeat it. Most of the folks involved in the 25 Motif challenge are well on their way to completing their 25 motives. In fact a lot of them have finished and started over again. So it's time for something new and different. This time we're going to take an old pair of denim jeans, cut the legs off and sew the cut end across the crotch to make a bag. That's the trash part.

Then we're going to take our tatting scraps, our misfit bits, our snowflakes, hearts, butterflies, doilies, edgings and all of that and we are going to creatively and artisticly attach them to the bags to create awsome and wonderful treasures.

The bags will be durable because they will be made out of denim and they will be beautiful because they'll be covered in tatting. They will be useful, because you will make them to suit your purpose. It can be a diaper bag to carry all the baby paraphernalia, a craft tote for all of your portable crafting needs, a book bag to carry your homework in, a shopping bag to carry your groceries in, or a little pouch just big enough for your shuttles and needles.

You can add quilting to it, or embroidery, use fabric paints or dyes or whatever you like. Just be creative and have fun with it, but most of all show us pictures, lots of lovely pictures. Tell us what you're doing, what's giving you problems, and what's fun to play with.

If you want to join send me an email sharon at gagechek dot com and I'll add you onto this blog so you can start posting your pictures and comments.