Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dragonfly and Summer Hemp Blend Yarn Inspire a New Bag

At the end of my June 14 post, I mentioned that looking at the new summer fibers, I felt inspired to try my hand at creating a new bag.  This is the result -- the Dragonfly Applique Bag Crocheted in Hemp Blend.

The bag was crocheted using Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy, a pleasure-to-work-with blend of hemp, cotton and modal fibers.  It has many of the qualities of hemp, but is much softer to work with and comes in beautiful colors.  The color I used is called Fauve -- sort of a dusty rose shade, with just a hint of salmon or peach.  As you can see from the photos, the bag is fully lined in a floral cotton, with the color of the flowers matching the yarn.  I used large seed beads in the same shade as the yarn along the top edge of the bag, the closure loop and the crocheted closure button.

I wanted to add something to the bag that would really say "summer".  I have been experimenting occasionally with Angelina fibers and I realized that I could create a sheer, glimmering fabric using the fibers that would be perfect for dragonfly wings.  So, I decided to add a dragonfly applique to the front of my bag.  To pull things together,I used the lining fabric to create the body of the insect, and I had some shimmery, sage green fiber left from another project that I used for the reeds.  I used a wonderful bonding material, Misty Fuse, to fuse the applique to the bag, as well as to create the Angelina fiber wings. I wanted the  applique to stand out from the purse, so I used metallic thread to embroider with a loosely-placed, satin stitch around the edge -- serving both a decorative function and to help keep the edges in place.

This was my first attempt at an appliqued bag, and I was very pleased with the result.  It was a fun exercise in creativity because it utilized a variety of techniques and materials.  And it gave me an outlet for my summer design imaginings.

But even though it's summer, in my Artfire Studio, I am running a Christmas in July Sale.  Time to turn my attention to a few Christmas designs to liven up the sale selections!

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