A Trio of Trees
Picking up from the last post, I wanted to go into more detail of the work that goes into each bag I make.
These three are quite special, using a variety of techniques in each design, they are a joy to make, hard work and require much concentration.
First step - Choose fabric, threads, yarn.
Fabric - I chose to use some batik cotton fabric for the fronts with a complimentary plain fabric for the back and flap, where the embroidery will appear.
Threads - I use two types of thread. Rayon embroidery thread, a fine shiny thread for the embroidery machine and cotton quilting thread for the Bernina, the machine I use to quilt the fabric pieces and to assemble the bags.
Yarn - cotton and cotton blend yarns that coordinate with the fabrics/threads used to weave the inkle strap.
Once the fabrics are selected, the inkle loom is warped up using the coordinating yarns. The video below demonstrates how the straps are woven.
When all bag fabric pieces are cut out , the sections to be quilted are sandwiched with wadding and a stabiliser ready to quilt. The digitised embroidery file created using PE Design software is sent digitally to the Brother Innov-Is embroidery machine where the design is selected and stitched out.
Then the pieces are freemotion quilted on a sewing machine, the front is quilted in a flowing spiral design to echo the embroidery on the flap which takes lots of practice and concentration, whereas the back (and base) is random quilted to fuse the fabrics together and make the bag more sturdy
The bag is then assembled adding the hand woven inkle strap and any fastenings are attached. The bag is lined and steamed ready for photograpy. These bags really are a labour of love, individual, useful and beautiful.