Thursday, April 10, 2014


For quite some time I have wanted to make some heavy weight linen bags. After searching for several months, I finally found some heavy upholstery weight linen that I am really happy with.
I absolutely love the weight, textural appearance, and the feel of this fabric. Sometimes I have a desired result in mind for a project, and the reality of the finished product is far from what I had initially envisioned. It was certainly not the cases with these bags.
Cotton Duck Cloth: Front
I had made my initial prototype with cotton duck; it was fine to begin with.
Cotton Duck Cloth: Back
Next, I made three bags in the heavy-weight linen. Even though the linen was very heavy, I knew that the bags would need additional support. I wanted them to  retain their shape even when sitting empty.
I went to the local fabric store to purchase what they had on hand to use as a stabilizer.
I happened to have a fair bit of Annie's Soft and Stable stabilizer on hand and decided to use it as I had been itching to try it out. Annie's bags are very beautiful, and her products are great.

I washed the linen first, and then dried it in the clothes dryer to remove any sizing. I then hand painted it with my Textile Design Stencils using Jacquard's Lumiere and Neopaque paints. After heat setting the paint with my iron, I assembled all the layers of the bags: outer fabric, stabilizer, and lining.
I finished the bags at 10:00 pm: the night before I left to setup my vendor's booth at the EBHQ (East Bay Heritage Quilters) Show in Point Richmond near San Francisco, CA. I think that I got to bed at 11:30, and I was up at 4:30 the next morning to prepare for the 6 hour drive.
 I didn't even have time to photograph the bags before I left, so here are some quick snapshots in my booth.

 These bags were a really generous size: 22" wide x 14" deep. The stenciling came out really well on the linen. The funny thing was that when I first painted a sample, the stencil stuck to the linen so well that I thought that something really sticky must have gotten on the back of the stencil. It was only the fibers from the linen grabbing hold of the plastic.
 I do have one bag left if anyone is interested: Linen Bags 

Special Note:
I am happily participating in Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday blog roll, so please check her fabulous blog out here: Nina Marie Sayre
Thanks Nina Marie!


Last Sunday when I came over to my studio to pay bills and catch up with my bookkeeping, I had a really nice surprise. I had an e-mail from the Sewell Gallery in Eureka, CA, who represent me, and they had sold one of my large pieces.
The funny thing is, it was an older piece that I had pulled out of storage to fill in space if need be amongst my newer work. This piece was made in 1999. You can see the details of this piece here along with other pieces that were in the exhibit: Exhibition Gallery
A New Realm Beckons, 44"h x 59"w

This piece started as all white fabric with the exception of the solid black. The background was overdyed with Procion three times, and then it was painted with black Versatex ink on the back side. The ink work was done with an Identipen, and the fans were paper-pieced from gradated hand dyed fabrics then hand appliqued onto the background.