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!


bethanygarner said...

Really beautiful bags April, and all of your work is wonderful. Sad so many of us were unable to be with you and enjoy strolling through your booth and taking home some special fabric and fibre art from your studio.
Bethany in Kingston, ON Canada

A.Sproule said...

Thank you very much for your kind comments and for giving me the opportunity to become acquainted with your amazing work featured on your various blogs. I hope to see more of your work and perhaps take one of your really interesting workshops someday.

LynDee Lombardo said...

I can't believe how beautiful your linen bags are...Wow!

Chris said...

Your handbags are real works of art. Wonderful!

Funky Diva said...

April, your linen bags are really lovely. Glad they were so successful. Maggie Winfield in Arizona

A.Sproule said...

Thank you very much for the compliments. I am still tweaking the size and shape a bit. I want to make a couple of "Art Bags" for myself: one big one for art class and supplies, and one that will securely hold my iPad. Also, I want to play around with waxing the linen.