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arguably the coolest bag i've ever made

From the second I laid eyes on this quilted bag in a Japanese book I was editing, I KNEW I was going to make it.  My curiosity demanded it.  I'd never seen anything quite like it and I loved everything about it ... the shape, size, handles, patchwork, colours, monogram with embroidered outline, and of course the super cool swivel hook clasp.

At a glance, it looks pretty straight forward.  The patchwork is made from simple sashed squares set on point.  The body is mostly just top-stitching (also should have been done by hand).  Add a quick appliqued letter and throw on some handles and boom! there you have it.

However, like many clever Japanese designs, this one requires a little more attention than you think.  The squares are an odd size, and the patchwork pieces are cut with templates.  So when you're cutting/piecing them together, if your seam allowances aren't precise, the wheels fall off. 

About the appliqued letter - the book only comes with a template for "A", I'm assuming after the author Akemi Shibata.  So I had to find a font on my computer, get the correct size, and make my own template from there.  The gorgeous fabric I was given by Lecien is just so lovely to work with, but it's a thicker woven that isn't usually used for applique.  It took a little more attention to get the corners right.  Not gonna lie, the embroidered outline hides a little of my .. er ... less then perfect points. ;)

About the colours.  I know, I know, NOT something you'd think I'd like, right?  But I was kinda mesmerized by the interesting mix of black, brown, blue, green, and yellow.  So I dove into my stash and found it surprisingly easy to come up with these prints - 3 of each colour - and (almost) all from Lecien.  The original bag also used a fun book/letter print for the sashing so when I found this one in amongst all my "script" fabrics (of which I have several, so it turns out), I knew it would be perfect.  Don't be surprised if I end up making an entire quilt with these colours.  I won't be. LOL!

And then the hardware.  Love it.  Love it, love it, love it.  But here's the thing.  I needed to use dark thread to go with the leather, but the lining of the bag is very light.  I didn't want the stitches to show through and I didn't want to applique a "bandaid-cover-up patch" over the stitches on the inside afterwards.  Soooooo, I just took my time and stitched the handles and swivel hook - which have pre-punched holes - very slowly and carefully by only catching the top layer of fabric and batting with my needle.  Somewhat tedious, but well worth the results.  For me.

I got several questions about the red handles from my last post.  All the hardware from both of these bags will be available very soon from ZakkaWorkshop, the company that is publishing the English version of Akemi's book, "Quilted Bags & Gifts".

Happy weekend to you! xo k

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Reader Comments (20)

Beautiful bag! I'll check out the book.
May 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHildy
It's marvellous!
Love this bag so much!! Any secrets you can share about sewing on the leather handles? Thanks!
May 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa
I can't believe how talented you are.
May 14, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermonique
Gorgeous. I love the way the enbroidery makes the appliqué pop.
May 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDebbi
That is a very cool bag! Your skills are first class!
May 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSuz
Saw the title of the post and thought, "Well, she's made so many gorgeous things, I don't see how any of them could top each other."

Clearly, I was wrong.

This is, most definitely, without-a-doubt, THE coolest bag!
May 14, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterliz n.
Very cool indeed!
May 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Seitz
By the way, any idea when the English version of the book will be available?
May 14, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterliz n.
Did you make it for me I am a "C" and you are a "K" right ?
Lovely just lovely and we haven't even seen the inside, yet
May 14, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterColleen
What an amazing bag!!!
May 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHeide
I can hardly wait to get my hands on this book. Your bag is lovely.
May 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterChristine
Wow I love this. I have just gone and ordered the book because I am so inspired. Love your blog and the bag is amazing
May 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
You do such lovely work, Kristyne. Both bags are wonderful! Love your choices of fabric and your stitching is terrific too. Even if it's not done by hand! Have fun at market.
May 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Shackleford
Oh how I love this!!! I love pink and aqua as much as you do, but this bag is cute all grown up!!
May 16, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterhappy little cottage
You're exactly right... it's the coolest bag!
May 18, 2016 | Unregistered Commentergreg
Following your post on 9.5.2016 I purchased a copy of 'Quilted Bags and Gifts'. What a fabulous book. So many lovely things to make, I don't know where to start! Thank you for the blog post.
May 19, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterUmaesew
Beautiful - looks pretty difficult to make. Love the fabrics and your details! All your work is gorgeous no matter what you do!
May 21, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
Spring is by far my favorite season!
June 5, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie
Once again, outstanding and inspiring. I don't want to order the book...I NEED to order the book! It's hard to judge the size, what would you say the dimensions are?

Keep the inspiration coming! You blog is my "happy" place!!

June 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLori

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